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Thursday, December 26, 2013

UnRequired Reading

While you’re on winter break, the last thing you want to think about is mandatory reading assignments, right? So kick back with a book that is featured on the big screen. Check out and read the book first then watch the recently released movie. Afterward, you can decide if Hollywood preserved the story…or not! Either way, these books will provide plenty of adventure during the long, cold winter nights.

The Book Thief – This unforgettable story, narrated by Death, reveals the horrors of World War II and the story of Liesel – a courageous young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family, friends and the Jewish man they are hiding.

Catching Fire – Unless you’ve been living on Venus, you’ve heard about the Hunger Games phenomenon. In this second installment, Katniss and Peeta become targets of the Capital after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks rebellion in the Panem districts. A thrill-ride of action and heroism that will have you anxiously awaiting the final book and movie.

City of Bones – Set in NYC, a seemingly ordinary teenage girl is suddenly able to see demons. Turns out she’s a descendant of Shadowhunters, who introduce her to a dangerous alternate underworld. An entertaining fantasy that, hopefully, translates well onto the big screen.

Ender’s Game – Young Ender Wiggin must fight a desperate battle against a deadly alien race if mankind is to survive. An intense book about genius video gamers that will appeal not just to fans of sci-fi, but anyone who loves a really great story.

The Hobbit  Bilbo Baggins, a respectable, well-to-do hobbit, lives comfortably in his hobbit-hole until the day the wandering wizard Gandalf chooses him to take part in an adventure from which he may never return. This classic fantasy hero quest will sweep you into the Hobbit’s epic adventure.

How I Live Now – A teen and her cousins must fend for themselves in the English countryside when war plunges the UK into a violent military state. I devoured this book when it first came out several years ago. However, be warned that it has some powerful issues that make it suitable for older teens.

Sea of Monsters – When Camp Half-Blood comes close to being overrun by mythological monsters, Percy sets out to save the Camp. The whirlwind adventure continues in this second book of the Olympians series filled with jokes, magic and monsters.

    Resolve to Get Involved    

It’s that time of year to make your New Year’s resolutions.  Here's a thought; resolve to start a positive new habit…visit the library and participate in one of our many cool programs!

To celebrate the birthday of Edgar Allan Poe in January, we have created a Poe trivia contest just for teens. Throughout the month, drop in to any library branch and grab a list of clues. Solve myths and mysteries about the infamous writer and his tales of suspense to be entered into a prize drawing at the end of the month.

Another exciting new program for young adults in 6th grade and up is the Bealeton Teen Writing Club. Do you love to write? Would you like to get feedback on your work and connect with other teen writers? All types of writing welcome: blogs, journals, short stories, poetry, novels, and more!

If you’re interested in finding out more, come to the charter meeting of Bealeton library’s teen writing club. At this first meeting, we’ll discuss the best date/time for future meetings and how the club will be managed. Snacks provided by Friends of the Library.

And remember, if Bealeton isn’t in your service area, the library has two other teen writing clubs that meet at the Warrenton and Marshall branches.

You can learn more about about our writing groups, as well as other programs just for teens on the teen page of our website. 

Enjoy the break and while you're at it, be sure to reflect on all you've accomplished in 2013 and dream about all you hope to achieve in the coming year.

Happy New Year!

Ann @ Bealeton Library

Ann McDuffie, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Great Inspirations!

Is there someone in your life who you admire and look up to? A friend who encourages you to be a better person? Even a stranger that you aspire to be like? November is National Inspirational Role Models month and with Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s a good time to send them a shout out.

I am especially grateful for the library’s wonderful teen volunteers who donate their precious time to helping us make the library and community a better place. These teens have devoted countless hours during our Summer Reading Program, after school tutoring, and special assignments like sprucing up the library garden or planning a Halloween party for younger kids.

Cards created by teens at the Bealeton library

Most recently, the teens participated in a heartwarming community service project - Holiday Mail for Heroes. At this program, teens created holiday cards for service members. Many of these hand-made cards express gratitude, best wishes and holiday cheer to those who give the ultimate gift to our country. Completed cards will be delivered to the American Red Cross for distribution to service members around the world.

Being a volunteer is a cool way to get involved at the library, gain valuable work experience in a really great environment and earn service hours for college applications. You are the role models that others will aspire to be!

If you’re interested in joining the Teen Advisory Group (TAG) or participating in any teen volunteer activities, contact your local library branch.

Here are dates and times of TAG meetings - we hope to see you there! 
Bealeton Library - 4 p.m., the second Tuesday of each month.
Contact or call (540) 422-8535 for more information.

Warrenton Library - 4:30 p.m., the last Monday of each month.
Contact or call (540) 422-8516 for more information.

John Marshall Library - TAG group now forming. Contact or call (540) 422-8525 for details

This Month's Featured Book Review

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Imagine a typical day. You’re riding the bus to school and wham, the world as you know it ends. The school bus crashes into the glass front of a superstore, trapping the students inside the building. In this action-packed story, cataclysmic events cause a series of disasters that wipe out most of civilization. Fortunately for the young people, the huge department store filled with supplies becomes a refuge from the mega-storm, crushing earthquake and toxic black clouds outside. Mostly working together, the kids manage to survive and form a solid family as the older teens take care of the youngsters.

Narrated by sophomore, Dean, who keeps a journal of the harrowing days, this fast-paced thriller will keep you turning pages as the group deals with contaminated air and water, murderers on the outside, even head lice. When two outsiders intrude, the gang breaks into factions; who will escape and who will remain barricaded in the fortress? A few mildly racy scenes, some substance abuse and violence make this suitable for slightly older teens, but everyone who likes a good post-apocalyptic story with a cliffhanger ending will be satisfied and look forward to the sequel.

Thanks for Reading!

Ann @ Bealeton Library

Ann McDuffie, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library

Thursday, October 24, 2013

And the Winner is...

The votes are in and you have spoken -- the winning name for the new teen blog is...Reading Riot! Thanks goes out to all who participated in our poll.

Read on for the latest library news and book suggestions and be sure to check back for poll results, more reviews and other cool stuff!

First things first. In the spirit of the Halloween season, we'd like to hear from you in our newest poll: What scares you most? Although you may be too old to don the latest Walt Disney-inspired costume, you face your own challenges and everyone has something that makes their knees knock.  So tell us, what creeps you out?

Be Someone’s Hero

My heart goes out to anyone who has ever been the victim of harassment. Sadly, bullying is a real and painful issue that teens still face today. But they don’t have to face it alone and it can be prevented. If you have ever felt powerless or put down, speak up. If you know someone who is being bullied, get help. And adults can’t dismiss incidents. We have to reinforce the message that bullying is not acceptable behavior. Reading books is a non-threatening way to explore the issue and open up discussion.

In recognition of Bullying Prevention Awareness Month in October, I have put together a list of young adult books that involve teens who have faced such challenges. Some of these stories are powerfully intense; others are laugh-out-loud funny, but each one will touch a nerve and all are available at the Fauquier County Public Library.

Books for Teens about bullying

This Month's Featured Book Review

Extremities by David Lubar

Teens may be too cool for trick-or-treating but there’s nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned fright. This time of year is perfect to snuggle up with a creepy book. Extremities is exactly that – a book of bloodcurdling stories for teens who like to savor the darkness. These stories are not for the faint of heart. In one, high school girls take revenge on their sadistic gym teacher. In another, two stowaways find themselves on a ship for the dead. In the one that kept me awake at night, reality show contestants are challenged to stay all night in a haunted house…and somebody doesn't make it out. These 13 tales of death, murder and revenge will get you in the “spirit” of Halloween!

Spooky Reading!
Ann @ Bealeton Library

Ann McDuffie, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Welcome Teen Readers!

With the beginning of every school year and the coming of fall, I get the urge to turn over a new leaf and start something original. As a youth services librarian and avid reader of young adult books, I thought, what better way to satisfy the reader and creator in me than to produce a teen book review blog?

To that end, you are reading the very first post of the Fauquier library’s teen blog. Read on for reviews of young adult books and information about programs just for students in the 6th grade and up.

As you can see, this blog is missing one very important detail…a title! That’s where you come in. We need your help to choose a unique and fitting name for our blog. Will it be Book Thirst? Reading Riot? Teen Shelf? Or something totally awesome that you’ve submitted? Click on the choices in our poll to the right or submit your own suggestion between now and October 15. 

Here at the library, we are currently promoting the Teens’ Top Ten, a “teen’s choice” list where you vote for your favorite books of the year. Click here to see the list and vote for your favs.

And finally, if you’re looking for a cool activity that will earn you some community service hours, consider joining one of our Teen Advisory Groups. TAG is a great way to make new friends and plan library activities just for teens!

This Month's Featured Book Review

There are 28 titles on the Teens’ Top Ten nominations list and I’m still making my way through some really good stories. One of my favorites is Every Day by David Levithan.  

Since the day he was born, A wakes up in a different body…every single day. Boy, girl, druggy, geek, there’s never a reason or warning as to who he will be. A has survived this life, stumbling through each day as a new person until, at age 16, he falls in love for the first time. Now, all A wants to do is get back to Rhiannon and make her believe his incredible story. But one of his hosts, believing he’s possessed, catches on to A’s intrusion and things start to unravel. Trying to escape, A body-hops from person to person, always looking for ways to get back to Rhiannon.

Every Day adds a supernatural twist to an otherwise realistic high school fiction story. Each chapter introduces a new character that A inhabits from the disturbed girl on the verge of suicide to the homeschooled boy under the control of a merciless mother and everything in between. You’ll keep turning pages just to find out who A will be next and how he will get out of each crisis as his life spirals out of control. Author Levithan truly has his finger on the teen pulse, speaking to the fact that each teen is unique, struggling to find his identity and searching for acceptance for who she is.

Good Reading!
Ann @ Bealeton

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.