Friday, January 31, 2014

Blind Date With A Book

All throughout the month of February, the OPL Teen Department will be spotlighting a Blind Date With A Book display (located above the curved "fiction" shelf). For it, various books from our collection have been hidden inside sealed envelopes. The only clues as to what these books might be are a short, one-sentence plot description and a genre tag. That's it! It'll be up to you, the reader, whether or not you choose to accept the challenge of checking out and reading a book you really don't know anything about. The book you end up with might be something you absolutely love or something you don't like so much. That's part of the fun!


So stop by the Teen Department and take the Blind Date With A Book Challenge! We dare you!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fangirl

Identical twins Cath and Wren used to do everything together, including co-author the internet's most popular Simon Snow fanfiction. But college changes everything. Even before the sisters arrive on campus, Wren drops Simon (and, by association, Cath) in favor of parties, guys, and whole cliche college scene. Hurt and completely overwhelmed, Cath just can't seem to find her niche: Her roommate is downright surly, her creative writing professor believes fanfiction is synonymous with plagiarism, and a certain guy seems just a bit too friendly. And that doesn't even include all the family drama going on outside of school.

The more her real life world seems to fall apart, the deeper Cath dives into her fanfiction. Simon Snow, his love interest/nemesis Baz, and the whole Snow fandom are the only things that make her feel safe and truly at home. But she can't hide there forever. Or can she?

Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl is an awesome coming-of-age story about opening yourself up to new experiences, daring to try new things, and taking a chance on befriending people you, otherwise, might not associate with. In short, it's about what can happen when you dare to step outside your comfort zone. Sure, it can be scary, but in the end you're glad you did it. And you'll be glad you took a chance on reading Fangirl as well! --AJB

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Almost Halfway There

A week from today it will be February 2, Groundhog Day. This will mark the halfway point of the winter season, according to the calendar (Of course we'll have more chilly weather beyond the first official day of Spring--we always do--but not much). So hang in there, everyone. We're almost halfway done with this winter stuff. 

But while you wait, check out a book. It'll help lessen the cabin fever. It'll still be winter, but at least you won't be as bored.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story

Don't let the (short) length of Wait Till Helen Comes, by Mary Downing Hahn, fool you. There's enough creepiness packed into this slim volume to keep you reading long into the night--and jumping at every strange sound you hear as your house settles (pssst: don't turn off the light. Helen's coming to get you!).

The horror begins almost immediately when step-sisters Heather and Molly discover a creepy old graveyard in the woods behind their new home. At the weed-choked edge of this graveyard, the girls find a forgotten, moss-covered  gravestone carved only with a set of initials and a date of death. This stone becomes an obsession for the girls, particularly for scardy-cat Molly, who is, perhaps, overly disturbed by its isolated location and its mysterious inscription. Her uneasiness soon transforms into terror when Heather begins visiting the stone, claiming she's met and befriended Helen, the spirit of the young girl buried beneath it. But Helen's no friendly ghost. She's an angry and vengeful spirit who, Molly learns, may very well be responsible for leading several children to their deaths in a nearby pond. And it's looking like Heather might be the next victim. Can Molly convince her step-sister of Helen's deadly agenda before it's too late?

Wait Till Helen Comes is one of our 2014 Oxford Middle School Battle of the Books selections. I first encountered it when I was in middle school, and found it seriously creepy back then! When I re-read it for the Battle, it was still just as creepy as I remembered! So if you're looking for something scary, something other than love triangles and Hunger Games wannabes, or just something you won't be able to put down, look no further than Wait Till Helen Comes! --AJB

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sick of Winter Yet?

Seems like this winter has been unusually harsh: Record snowfall, record cold, the worst ice storm in decades, power outages, frostbite, school closings, flu outbreaks... This all has many of us Michiganders longing for the warmth and sunshine of summertime. Unfortunately, it's only January and summer weather is still at least four months away. 

For many of us, hopping a plane to Hawaii or taking a Caribbean Cruise aren't really options for beating the winter blues. School, jobs, finances, and, well, just life in general are stumbling blocks to making that great escape. But fear not! We at the OPL Teen Department have the perfect alternative to a tropical vacation. And you even won't have to worry about getting a sunburn or wonder whether its safe to drink the water. Best of all, it's FREE!

So stop by the Teen Department and check out our display of beachy, summery books (located along the top of the curved fiction shelves). Here, you'll find stories about tropical vacations, summer romances, Central American safaris, and adventures that can only happen when the temperature is 80 degrees or higher. 

It's feeling warmer in here already!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Hope Closet

Beginning in February, Oxford Public Library will begin its annual Hope Closet dress donation collection. February 1 thru mid-March, we will be accepting donations of clean, gently-used formal dresses, shoes, purses, and jewelry. Dresses must be clean and free of rips or tears.

Hope Closet is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing high school students with attire to attend prom and other formal occasions, regardless of financial situation. All a student must do to shop here is present her school ID or proof of attendance (a recent report card, for example). For more information on Hope Closet, please visit their website.

Friday, January 17, 2014

September Girls

September Girls
by Bennett Madison

Sam would rather not spend his summer at this crappy, run-down beach town, but that's exactly where his (possibly insane?) father dragged him when his mother split without so much as a backward glance. Now Sam is stuck here with no one to hang out with except his estranged older brother and the population of bizarre, unusually-pretty blonde girls who act as if they're from another planet. So while his father roams the beach with a metal detector, convinced there is buried treasure somewhere out there, Sam spends his days watching bad daytime TV and looking for something to do.

Then he strikes up a conversation with one of the blondes, and everything changes. Between parties, trips to the local karaoke place, and just hanging out, Sam learns of an ancient curse involving these mysterious girls: Why they're unable to enter the ocean, why they can't leave the town, and what terrible fate awaits them at the end of each summer. Sam also learns that, by making a life-altering sacrifice, he might be able to break this curse. But will he have the courage to do what he needs to do? And, more accurately, will he even want to?

First of all, DO NOT let the cover fool you. This is NOT a romance book. At least, not in the traditional sense. Yes, boy does meet girl, but, really, that is sort of secondary to the story. Really, this is more of a mystery story that anything else. A mystery story with a distinctly and weirdly creepy edge to it and some very unexpected plot twists. Warning! This is one of those books that stays with you a while after you read it.


So if that sounds good, check out September Girls. --AJB

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Battle of the Books...2014 Edition

It's getting to be that time of year again...

Preparations for 2014 Oxford Middle School Battle of the Books will be kicking off in a few short weeks. Interested students can pick up information packets and permission forms at the Oxford Middle School Media Center. 

Permission forms are DUE no later than Friday February 14.

Selected Battle Books will be available for checkout at both the OPL Teen Desk and the Middle School Media Center (two checkouts per visit) as of Friday February 14.

The Battle of the Books will be 7 p.m. Thursday April 24, 2014 @ the OMS Commons.

Questions? Just ask us!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Teen Review: The Hunger Games

By now, lots of you have read about Katniss Everdeen's victory in The Hunger Games (or you've at least seen the movie), but this series is still new to some. Seventh Grader Rachel G. just read and reviewed the first volume in this now-classic dystopian trilogy. The verdict: OMG! Loved it!!


"It's my favorite book," she writes. "I absolutely loved it! It's even better than the movie."


The Hunger Games has something for everyone: Suspense, Action, Fantasy, Romance... Rachel recommends this book for teens ages 11-13. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Hyperbole and a Half

Although thick (nearly 400 pages), Allie Brosh's Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened is a surprisingly fast and exceptionally fun read. But don't let the (at a glance) simplified, cutsy illustrations fool you. The humor in this one is nothing if not sarcastic, dysfunctional, and completely twisted. But, at the same time, it's relatable to everyday situations: From wanting nothing more than some of that forbidden cake your mom baked for someone other than you to a pets-eye-view of moving, Hyperbole and a Half will make you see the humor in life's curveballs and maybe even cause you look at your life in a different way.
The verdict: Awesome!
--AJB