It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Crafting is a big deal these days. You take one look at Etsy or Pinterest, and you wind up spending an hour drooling over adorable hand-crafted items, from zombie plushies to pottery to clothing, etc.! Okay, maybe we don't ALL enjoy hand-crafted cuteness, but I'm sure we all know someone who is really (REALLY) into it (guys, I'm looking at you).

My favorite crafts use books to create a whole slew of different items: ornaments, wreaths, pumpkins, mobiles, dinosaurs-- you name it, someone's done it. Why would a librarian want to cut up a book, you ask? Because typeface against the creamy yellow background of a tattered page just looks so awesome! Besides, I only cut up books that are in really bad shape.


Paperback Christmas Tree, DIY Christmas Decor, How To Make A Paperback Tree


Anyway, the point of this post is to invite you to a recycled book program tomorrow at Green Valley Library. From 4:30-5:30 we'll be making Christmas Trees out of book pages, sipping hot cocoa, and listening to some holiday tunes. If Christmas isn't your thing, you're always welcome to make your own creation! We'll raffle off a gingerbread house kit to one lucky attendee.

If you can't come, but feel intrigued, check out the tutorial links above!


Have you seen this, Hunger Games fans? A blog full of recipes for the food mentioned in the Hunger Games! http://www.fictionalfood.net/category/books/hunger-games-book/ Learn to make your own goat cheese, where to get purple melon, and more! I'm sure you have seen the trailer, but just in case, here it is.


Books for the Holiday Season

It's finally chilly outside, and inside we're all gearing up for the holidays: anticipating our favorite Thanksgiving dishes, putting up decorations, playing holiday music, and getting ready to celebrate. This time of year makes me want to curl up on the couch with a blanket, a mug of something delicious, and a book. I'm always looking for great holiday themed books for teens, but I find the pickings pretty slim. Am I missing something? Do you have a favorite? Share it!

In honor of Native American Heritage Month and the holidays that follow, here are a couple of recommendations-- great for guys or girls-- to help you get in the spirit.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time IndianThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie                                                                                      
Sherman Alexie packs a punch in this absorbing novel about a Native American boy searching for a brighter future. At once humorous and stirring, Alexie's novel follows Junior, a resident of the Spokane reservation who transfers out of the reservation's school -- and into a nearby rich, all-white farm school -- in order to nurture his desire to become a cartoonist. Junior encounters resistance there, a backlash at home, and numerous family problems -- all the while relaying his thoughts and feelings via amusing descriptions and drawings. Having already garnered a National Book Award for Young Adult Literature, this moving look at race and growing up is definitely one to pick up. (Text from GoodReads (www.goodreads.com)

Dash & Lily's Book of DaresDash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan          “I’ve left some clues for you. If you want them, turn the page. If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.” So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the New York Times bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions? Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.


Teen Lounge Opening at Green Valley Library!

The new Teen Lounge at Green Valley Library is now operational. There's a lounge area where you can check out games for in-library use, comfy seats for reading or hanging out, and tables for studying or homework. We've also got three teen-only computers that will soon be up and running! And don't forget the books! Teen fiction has been relocated to the Teen Lounge, and we have new books and brand new Teen Life books on display for you to check out.

Please join us for a grand opening celebration on September 20, 2011 from 4:30-5:30. You'll have a chance to meet Bobby and Sandra Ellis, who donated the funds to make the Teen Lounge possible, and there will be cake!

We'd love to see you at a teen event. Find the calendar here, or pick up a hard copy at the library!


Teen Book Review

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Reviewed by Elizabeth, Grade 6

Summary: Meggie and Mo must escape and defeat Capricorn and his men. Read out of their book by Mo, Dustfinger tries to get back into his story.

Review: I did love this book. Its characters were great, and the story and idea was great. it made me think about words a lot, and about books - to the point where the words seemed different. If you're a book-lover, then this is your book. Sometimes the language gets bad, but I wouldn't say too bad. I didn't really approve of the ending, but overall, I liked it!


Bubbly Boba

If you're feeling a little too hot next Tuesday at 4:30, come to Green Valley Library for a delicious and interesting drink! We'll be learning how to make boba milk teas and slushies, and you can choose your flavor-- green tea, purple yam, or lychee slush.

So what is this boba I speak of? Basically, balls of tapioca that you can chew at the end of your drink or suck up through a giant straw. Some of you have probably had your share of boba drinks, especially if you hang out on Spring Mountain Rd. Love it or hate it, it's a popular Asian treat, and a fun alternative to your standard boring Starbucks order.

Boba is a variant of what Americans call bubble tea, a drink that became popular in Taiwan in the 1980s. It is also referred to as pearl milk tea because the boba resembles pearls. Two tea shops in Taiwan both claim that they originated the recipe. Chun Shui Tang teahouse made a concoction of milk tea, fruit, tapioca balls, and Hanlin Teahouse made milk tea with smaller white tapioca balls. The drinks weren't popular at first, but when they were featured on an unidentified TV show, people became interested. I can't find the name of the show, so please share if you find out!

Today, boba shops are all over the place, and they offer way too many varieties of boba drinks to name. You can get tea, fruit-flavored soft drinks, smoothies, slushes, and more with a big dose of boba at the bottom.

If you're interested in trying out a few shops, I have listed some below. Drinks cost around $4 at a shop, but you can make them for much less money at home. Visit an Asian market to find raw boba (you have to boil it), tea, and a wide assortment of flavors and ingredients you can add! Find out how to cook your boba, and get a free drink by registering for the Boba Cafe Workshop!

Boba Tea Lounge
8846 S Eastern Ave
Las Vegas, NV 89123
(702) 942-6064
CooCoo's Gourmet Coffee Cafe (Not specifically a boba shop, but apparently they serve it, and it's in Henderson)
19 W. Pacific Ave.
Henderson, NV 89015

Volcano Tea House
4215 Spring Mountain Rd.
Las Vegas, NV 89102

No 1 Boba Tea
4255 Spring Mountain Rd.
Las Vegas, NV 89102

Books related to this post:

Cover image  The Fortune Cookie Chronicles

  Iron Wok Jan!


New books for teens at the library!

Now you can keep tabs on all the latest teen books at Henderson Libraries by subscribing to our RSS Feed here. To see if a book is in at your nearest library, just click on the title, and you will be taken to the library catalog.

You can follow this feed in any RSS reader using the URL. If you don't already use an RSS reader, or if you don't even know what an RSS feed is, take a look at this explanation and list of readers at About.com: http://email.about.com/od/rssreaderswin/tp/top_rss_windows.htm

I love Google Reader, and I subscribe to our new teen books feed there!

While you're at it, why not subscribe to this blog?!


Unlocked Voices 2011

Twenty-nine teens participated in this year's Henderson Libraries Teen Writing Contest! You can view a PDF of the magazine and read their work on our website here.

We had a great time reading everyone's submissions, and we look forward to doing it all again next year! Look for contest info in November!

Now for some photos from the event:

Finalist Michelle Bostaph smiles with her copy of Unlocked Voices.

Emilie Robins, 1st Place Middle School Poetry
Jasmine, Amber, and Ashley Mixson pose with their certificates. Ashley won 1st Place High School Poetry and Honorable Mention High School Prose. Jasmine won Honorable Mention Middle School Poetry.
Marlo Wilde, Honorable Mention Middle School Prose
Felicia Kalkman won 1st Place Middle School Prose. 
Panelists from Nevada Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators spoke about career oportunities in writing.


Now These Are Some Sweet Books!

That cake looks almost too good to eat! (I said almost folks, I'm not crazy)

Awesome books and cake are quite possibly two of my favorite things ever! Usually the website Cake Wrecks showcases all of the things that can go wrong (horribly wrong) with cake decorations, but on Sundays they devote their posts to cakes that should be considered works of art. A few days ago in honor of National Library week, the website Cake Wrecks dedicated a post to all things literary!

You can check it out here, and man! You would not believe what some people can do with cake!


Sci Fi Comic Free for Reading and Recreating


This is very cool. Greg Pak and R.B. Silva have published a new free comic under a creative commons license. That means that anybody is free to read and recreate the book as they see fit, as long as the result is noncommercial (you can't sell it!). Characters, storyline, and even images are up for grabs. The creators actually want people to create new works based on their book.

The plot sounds pretty awesome, too:

"In the year 2061, three friends grapple with revolutionary change when Sprout Computers releases the most visionary piece of personal technology ever created. The latest sci-fi mindbender from writer Greg Pak ("Planet Hulk") and penciller R.B. Silva ("Jimmy Olsen")."

The product is called iEye, and it's a recording device people can use anytime, anywhere, to record anything. The catch is that all of these recordings are monitored, and content is policed for copyright infringement-- meaning that simply singing your favorite song as you walk down the street could get you a cease and desist order for breaking the law.

Take a look and see what you think! I'd love to see some local teen creations based on this comic!


Free Music? Sounds Good to Me!

If you have a Henderson Library Card you can download up to 3 songs each week. And the best part? Once they're downloaded you can KEEP them! You can access freegal and other awesome downloadable content from the library webpage here.

Here are the Top 10 Freegal Downloads for Henderson Libraries:

  1. Someone Like You - Adele

  2. Sing (Glee Cast Version) - Glee Cast

  3. Firework (Glee Cast Version) - Glee Cast

  4. Thriller/Heads Will Roll (Glee Cast Version) - Glee Cast

  5. Hold It Against Me - Britney Spears

  6. What the Hell - Avril Lavigne

  7. We R Who We R - Ke$ha

  8. Hey Soul Sister - Train

  9. For the First Time - The Script

  10. Strip Me - Natasha Bedingfield


Coming to a Theater Near You!

Some pretty awesome YA novels are being made into movies! There's some BIG names attached to the cast so you might want to take a peek below.

You can check out any othese novels at a library branch near you!
I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
You've probably already seen the trailer for this one; it's due out in theaters February 2011. This action packed flick also has an awesome cast - including Alex Pettyfer as Number Four/John Smith, "Glee" star Dianna Agron as Sarah, and Callan McAuliffe as Sam.

Beastly by Alex Flinn
Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer (Yep, he's in "I am Number Fours AND "Beastly!" This guy is busy!) star in this modern, urban retelling of "Beauty in the Beast." Neil Patrick Harris of "How I Met Your Mother" and Mary Kate Olsen also make appearances in the movie. It comes out March 4th.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Lionsgate has a release date set for "The Hunger Games!"The movie will hit theaters March 23, 2012. Now we just have to wait for news about the cast! Check out this article from Entertainment Weekly here where Suzanne Collins talks about writing the screen adaptation! According the magazine, the movie's budget is reported to be $60 million!!! Do you think that's enough?

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Lily Collins as Clary Fray in the movie version of Cassandra Clare's novel. What do you think about the casting choice?

Wake by Lisa McMann
Miley Cyrus is attached to star in the movie version of "Wake" by Lisa McMann. The movie is being developed by MTV Films. Be sure to check out the sequels "Fade" and "Gone," available through the library. McMann also has a new novel coming out in February called "Cryer's Cross."

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Calling all Taylor Lautner fans! He's reported to star in the movie adaptation of "Incarceron." The movie is due to come out sometime in 2013. You'll also want to check out the sequel "Sapphique" at the library!

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke is set to take Dashner's first novel of the sci-fi trilogy to the big screen. Be sure to check out the sequel "The Torch Trials" at the library!


Favorite Blogs and Websites

So, inquiring minds want to know: what's your online routine? Every time I sit down in front of my computer, I wind up staring at Facebook. It's less than amusing most of the time, but the addiction is solidly in place. Leave me a comment and tell me which URLs your fingers automatically type when you sit at your desk! Teach some librarians how to stay in touch with you whipper snappers.

In the mean time, here are a few links to other places that I think you might enjoy visiting.

XKCD is a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language, according to the website. Hilarious stick figures are what draw me in.

Hyperbole and a Half is a blog full of the musings of a really funny chick who creates crazy drawings in Paint. At least, I think it's Paint. Almost a webcomic, but not quite.

I'm a librarian, so of course I had to throw some books at you. Really, though, this website does a swell job of informing readers about the best upcoming YA books. Even if you think you're too mature for YA books, you'll probably be reading them when you're thirty and longing for your younger days, so why not get a head start?

Figment is a social neworking community for writers. Post your stuff and get feedback! Also, it's really pretty.

Pixel Girl Presents is my favorite source for awesome desktop backgrounds. They also offer stuff for your phone, iPad, etc. The art is really snazzy.

This is a visual bookmarking site. Keep track of photos and videos you love, and you'll never find yourself searching Google endlessly for that hilarious picture you KNOW you saw somewhere. Believe me. I've done it.

This is just a bookmarking site in general. Save links to websites you want to visit again and tag them for easy retrieval. Also, browse other people's public tags to discover new sites you'll love. Just be careful when you create your tags. I have tags for things like "pop_up_shark," which I can assure you I will never use twice.

Get news updates from all over the web. Being informed is good.

I'm sure there are thousands that I missed, so fill me in!!