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GEPL Tweens: Share Your Experience With Others

tween-blog-bannerHave you ever experienced something so awesome that you just needed to share it with everyone? Whether it be music, video game, movie or book? The tween website has a place where your opinions can be heard. Submit an online review. We’d love to hear what you have to say. You might even help someone find their next favorite book, or discover a game they had never heard of.

All of the tween reviews will be stored on the website for everyone to access whenever they want. Your opinions and recommendations will be read forever!

As an extra thank you, anyone in grades 6-8 who writes a review earns a piece of candy at the youth department desk. Once you’ve written a review, check in at the youth desk, and receive a tasty reward for your thoughts.

Posted in GEPL Tweens

GEPL Tweens: Looking For A New Book to Read?

tween-blog-bannerChoose your next story based on this neat flowchart from Harper Collins! Identify with Gamer, Dreamer, TV Addict, and more to help lead you to another great book. After you’re done, write a review for other tweens.

harpercollins

Posted in GEPL Tweens

GEPL Teens: Reading Resolutions

Teens Blog BannerHappy New Year!  It’s that time again – one year moves into the next, and many people make many resolutions, most of which will be abandoned by February.  But even if we never quite achieve our resolutions, the act of making them can still be worthwhile.  Taking the time to make resolutions can help us discover goals we didn’t even realize we had, or make us re-examine things we’ve taken for granted.  So when I started thinking about New Year’s resolutions, I naturally started thinking about books, because that’s what I do.  Which has led me to three “Reading Resolutions” for 2015, which I think can be adapted for just about any kind of reader!

Blog Entry 115 - Image 11.  Diversify my reading – this can take many different forms, really.  It just means stepping outside my comfort zone sometimes, or trying something totally new.  From checking out an author I’ve never tried to reading about someone totally different from me to simply remembering that there is a reading world outside of YA (something I have a tendency to forget!), I promise to frequently pick up books that seem like they will be different from anything I have read before.  That said…

Blog Entry 115 - Image 22. Don’t waste time on books I don’t like – there are far, far too many great books in this world for any one person to read.  There are far more books I want to read than I will ever get to.  So without the pressure of a class or a book club, why would I read something if I don’t like it?  I need to give books a fair chance, of course, but if I’m far enough in to feel confident I have a sense of the plot, tone, characterization, etc. of the book and I’m still not digging it? Then I promise I will put it down and move on!

Blog Entry 115 - Image 33. Make time to read – believe it or not, this is something I have struggled with recently.  Now, with a lengthy commute and a constant stream of library audiobooks, I’m actually reading quite a lot.  But, although I love them dearly, audiobooks are not quite the same as reading a print (or electronic) book.  For starters, I read faster on my own than audiobook narrators, so I can read more in the same amount of time if I’m reading myself.  And with audiobooks, I’m getting a narrator’s interpretation of voice and tone, rather than me own.  This is usually awesome, but it’s also good to let my imagination reign free.  And especially with the craziness of the holidays, it’s been hard to find time to just sit and read, and I miss it.  So in 2015, I promise to not only make time every single day to read (even if it’s just a few pages,) I also promise to every now and then carve out big chunks of time to binge-read and completely immerse myself in a book!

What are your resolutions, reading-related or otherwise? Did any of my resolutions strike a chord, or do you already do all these things?

Posted in GEPL Teens

What Are You Doing For Holiday Break?

An unintentional poem:

The holidays are near.
School is out for the year.
The library is always here.

What are you doing for holiday break? Coming in and visiting your favorite librarians, I assume. A few of you joined us for cookies and hot chocolate to kick off the winter festivities, but what about the rest of the break? If you’re in need of some time to yourself, why not enjoy a fast paced book of suspense and adventure? I have three suggestions for you.

By the author of the “Last Apprentice” series comes a new book involving ghosts.

ghostprison

Fifteen year old Billy starts the first night on the job as a prison security guard. Unfortunately, the prison happens to be haunted. Billy is warned to stay out of the area known as Witch Well, but classic Billy makes a terrible mistake and gets himself locked in. The creepy illustrations throughout the book will sure to keep you occupied during the winter break. Be prepared to sit on the edge of your seat, and see what happens to Billy in “The Ghost Prison”.

Get started with a new spy series!

playwithfire

Read along as troublemaker Max Segredo leaves another foster home and moves into Merry Sunshine Orphanage. Max is surprised to discover the orphanage offers classes on lock picking, code cracking, and knife throwing – not something you commonly learn when you’re thirteen. But this isn’t the biggest surprise Max has learned. Someone has passed on a message that his father is still alive.

“Artimis Fowl” author Eoin Colfer has started another series.

Riley is an apprentice to a magician-turned-crook named Garrick. He is forced to come along on a “mission”, and nearly pressured into killing someone! Luckily Riley is saved from doing so by the intended victim, a time travelling scientist! Riley is transported through time, with Garrick following close behind. Now in present time, Riley is helped by 19 year old FBI agent Chevron. Together they must stop the evil Garrick.

 

 

All of these books are available at the Glen Ellyn Public Library, so stop by and check one (or all of them) out!

Posted in GEPL Tweens

GEPL Teens: Teens Write – Holiday Study

Teens Blog BannerBlog Entry 114 - ImageAh! The holidays! I’ve always seen these two weeks of break as sort of a double edged sword. Yes of course, we now have eight extra hours of the day as well as no homework, but finals are also creeping up on us. So I thought it would be a good idea to share some tips on how to enjoy winter break while ensuring that you don’t tank those midterms.

1. Food. It’s probably my favorite thing in the world, so each finals season, my mom and I take a trip to the grocery store and fill up a cart just for my friends and I while we are studying. From Christmas cookies to candy canes, we always find food to keep us going through those long cram sessions.

2. Study with friends. Two heads are better than one and sometimes even three or four. In the past, I’ve gotten together with my friends almost every day over winter break. Of course half the time we spend isn’t studying, but it’s a good way to enjoy break while keeping up on schoolwork at the same time.

3. Go to the Library’s late night study sessions. On January 13-15 the library will be open late and serving free food just for those of us studying for finals. The library is conducive to studying, and offers the resources we need to be successful!

4. Study with family. If you have a big family like I do, you probably get together around the holidays. Between the seven older cousins of our family, two of which are in my grade, there are always people to help you and people for you to help. Every year, we kick everyone out of our family’s “conference room” that we have at the hotel, and spend an afternoon just studying together.

And don’t forget to take a break! We were given time off of school for a reason! If you are too stressed to enjoy your free time, try doing something somewhat educational such as watching season five of one of my favorite winter shows, Downton Abbey, or the educational Youtube videos from Crashcourse, made by the famous Youtubers Hank and John Green.  Happy studying!

-Britta

 

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Teens: Winter Reads Display

Teens Blog BannerBlog Entry 113 - ImageSometimes when it’s cold and snowy outside, it’s nice to read about someplace warm and sunny – a little escapism never hurt anyone.  But sometimes, when winter hits, there’s nothing better than drinking a hot drink and curling up with a book to experience all the snow and ice and holiday madness vicariously through someone else’s story.  Cold, wintry reads are what this month’s display is focused on – whether they take place in our modern world or a fantasy world, around the holidays or just at a time when it’s cold and snowy, these books will all keep us in the winter spirit.

If fantasy, dystopias, or other worlds that are not our own are your thing, you could pick up Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo to read about the frozen, Russia-like land of Ravka, or Relic by Heather Terrell to experience a possible future civilization excavating the ice in the Arctic.  Or maybe you like our world, but with a twist, and so the werewolves of Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater or the re-imagined Rapunzel of Towering by Alex Flinn should suit you.  Perhaps you like your books realistic, but taut, exciting, and thrilling.  If that’s the case, you might want to try Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick or The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson.  Of course, you could just opt to get into the holiday spirit with Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, or the Let It Snow collection of short stories edited by John Green.  All these and many more options are featured in this months “Great YA Winter Reads” display, newly located on the big book cube closest to the Teen Scene.  Come take a glance at what this display has to offer, choose the winter read that will appeal to you, and get huddled under that blanket ASAP!

Posted in GEPL Teens

Tween Spotlight: Kyle Drexler

kyledrexler

This is Kyle Drexler, an eighth grader at Hadley Middle School. A very busy kid, who still finds time to volunteer with the Middle School Volunteers program.

In his spare time, he enjoys running, acting, singing, playing guitar, but most of all – READING! He loves lasagna, and has recently discovered the new restaurant A Toda Madre. He suggests getting there right when they open to beat the rush, and recommends the Toda Madre taco platter.

His other favorite place in Glen Ellyn is the library. He appreciates the variety of books in different genres, and his favorite two genres are sci-fi and history. When given the hard choice to narrow his favorites to just a few titles, he named the Nicholas Flamel series by Michael Scott, the Harry Potter series, and “Because of Mr. Terupt” by Rob Buyea.

Kyle is a third year volunteer with the Middle School Volunteers. He signs up nearly every session because it’s incredibly fun, feels good to do something for the community, and he gets to work with good people – including the instructor. (Shucks!) Believe it or not, his favorite duty while volunteering is pulling books to be reviewed for removing from the collection. He says it shows him books that he would possibly never have noticed otherwise. Sometimes, these titles interest him so much that he checks them out and gives them a second chance at the library.

Fun facts: Kyle ran a half marathon last summer! Kyle will be Shrek in the Hadley Musical “Shrek.” He shares the role with one other person.

Join Kyle and many other awesome kids Wednesdays at the library for Middle School Volunteers!

Posted in GEPL Tweens

GEPL Teens: Teens Review – Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio

Teens Blog BannerBlog Entry 112 - ImageReviewer: Sabrina

Title: Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio by Peg Kehret

Description: Ten years ago, in a riveting story of courage and hope, Peg Kehret wrote of the months she spent in a hospital when she was 12. The book deeply touched readers of all ages and received many awards and honors. This anniversary edition includes an updated and extended Epilogue, 12 pages of new photos, and a new section about polio. (Description from Goodreads.com)

Review: This a story about strength and hope. It is a story of optimism and desire. It is a story about taking small steps. The story is, Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio. Small Steps is a story that is told by Peg Kehret about herself, her struggles, and her achievements. It’s about her getting polio just before turning 13, and she tells the story from when she was in different hospitals. She talks about her recovery, deathly diagnosis, physical therapy, and painful symptoms. Her writing talks about how having polio caused her to miss out on a lot of milestones and events she had been dreaming about. Peg had three types of polio, bulbar, spinal, and respiratory; this meant she had to learn how to walk again and learn how and when to use the bathroom. She had to do daily painful exercises and have someone take her to the bathroom. Her time at all the hospitals led her to meet many friends and many of them were in worst conditions than she was in.

Even though polio is a rare problem in our time, I take the inspiration from this book and take it to real time problems. Problems like addiction, depression, cancer, or anything other issue. Peg’s willingness to try and not give up on herself inspired me to bring that willingness into other society issues. There’s a lot to learn from Peg and her experiences. I would have to say this book doesn’t look appealing at first but that is why you never judge a book by its cover. Readers will have a different way of learning from the book. This book is something different from our currents books. I loved it!

-Sabrina

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Teens: December Watch List

teens-blog-bannerDo you ever find that at certain times of year, you feel the need to read or watch certain things?  There’s the obvious, of course – snowy books in the winter, warm weather books in the summer.  But sometimes it’s not as logical – sometimes our minds form some stranger associations.  For instance, I have somehow gotten into the habit of re-reading Jane Austen in early summer.  It’s reached the point where as soon as the weather starts getting warmer, I become Austen-obsessed.  And because every Lord of the Rings movie came out in December, I always feel the need to watch the whole trilogy in December (preferably accompanied by some hot tea or a hobbit-style feast.)  Perhaps due to the short days and long darknesses, or perhaps due to extra holiday free time, December is always a busy month for me in terms of things I simply must watch.  Some of it is holiday related, some of it decidedly not, but these are a few of the things that have been swimming around in my head since Thanksgiving.

Blog Entry 111 - Image 1How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Not the Jim Carrey live action version (though I actually enjoy that movie as well,) but the old-school, Boris Karloff-narrated animated Grinch.  With a running time of only 26 minutes, it’s easy to watch this many times over the holiday season (and I have.)  No matter how old I get, the simplicity of the story, the slapstick humor of poor Max trying to pull the sleigh, and the delightful thrill of hearing “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” never wears off.  When I watch this, I’m a kid again, enjoying the story of how the true spirit of the holidays got a mean old Grinch’s heart to grow three sizes.  The beauty of the story, the charm of Dr. Seuss’ wonderful words, and the nostalgia are always a winning combo.

Blog Entry 111 - Image 2Lord of the Rings – To be honest, I think any time is a good time for some LoTR.  But especially in December, all I want is hobbits and warriors and a good dose of the Shire.  Despite how many times I’ve seen these movies (my in-theater record is Return of the King with eight – just one shy of my goal of nine!) they never get old.  Frodo’s bravery, Sam’s loyalty, and Aragorn’s morality never fail to inspire.  Merry and Pippin’s friendship and humor never fail to light up a room.  And Gandalf’s long fall in Moria never fails to bring tears.  There is very little I prefer on a dark winter evening than immersing myself in Middle Earth, and bringing my own hobbit-y tendencies to the surface.

Blog Entry 111 - Image 3The Nutcracker – Really, any version of The Nutcracker will do.  I’ve seen friends perform in ballet school versions year after year.  I’ve seen the Joffrey perform in Chicago.  I’ve watched at least five different versions on TV over the years.  But my absolute favorite – the one I watch every year – is my DVD of the American Ballet Theater Nutracker from the 70s, featuring Gelsey Kirkland and the incomparable Mikhail Baryshnikov.  While I’ve outgrown my preschool days of imitating every step of Kirkland’s “Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy”, I still catch my breath every time I see Baryshnikov leap across the stage, and feel my heart swell every time the orchestra crescendos in the final pas de deux.  I learned long ago that I don’t have the patience or talent to dance ballet myself, but ever December I still enjoy immersing myself in the art.

Blog Entry 111 - Image 4Whatever the latest Disney/Pixar/Dreamworks masterpiece is – This is a holdover from the days when someone in the family, down to my youngest brother when I was a teenager, always got one of these fantastic animated movies for birthday or holiday gift.  At some point between Thanksgiving and New Years, at least one or two of these movies entered our household.  So did many others of course, but with a wide age range for the kids, we always had to stick with something appropriate for the youngest.  So Kung Fu Panda, Toy Story, The Emperor’s New Groove, and so on were always part of our holiday festivities.  So now it just doesn’t seem like December without at least one awesome animated movie to keep us all laughing and enjoying some family time together!

What are your favorite things to watch at this time of year?  Do you stick with holiday classics, or have some slightly less logical choices for your winter viewing?

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Teens: Teens Review – Shatter Me Series

Teens Blog BannerBlog Entry 110 - ImageLove triangles, superpowers, dystopia: three book themes that we teens can’t seem to get enough of, and the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi has all of them.

As soon as I read the first pages of Shatter Me, I was addicted. The writing style, the characters, the story; I fell in love with them throughout the pages.

The Shatter Me series consists of three books: Shatter Me, Unravel Me, and Ignite Me. They tell the story of 17-year-old Juliette in a dystopian society where the world has been tarnished by global warming and a harsh dictatorship, the Reestablishment, has taken over. Juliette has spent almost a year in an “insane asylum”, placed there by her family when they find out that her touch is lethal. Society is afraid of her. Her family is afraid of her. And most heartbreaking of all, she is afraid of herself. Juliette goes on an adventure to try and save the world from the Reestablishment, and save herself along the way. She finds her heart torn over two very attractive boys. Adam, a soldier with a soft heart, and Warner the so-called “villain” whose heart is not made of ice like you may think. Juliette must learn to find the good in her touch and learn to use her powers before it is too late.

The story is adventurous, thrilling, and unique. It is a complete emotional rollercoaster, filled with ups and downs, tears and laughter. Not only that, but the writing style is unlike any other that I’ve read. The lines are poetic, they flow together making you feel like you are inside of Juliette’s mind. These lines here showcase that style,

I have a curse

I have a gift

I am a monster

I’m more than human

My touch is lethal

My touch is power

I am their weapon

I will fight back”

Many lines are crossed out in the book, bringing you deeper inside Juliette’s thinking and her fears. Mafi’s melodic writing makes you want to soak it all up at once.

My absolute favorite part of the Shatter Me series was the characters and their development, even the amazing minor characters. There is Kenji (my favorite character), Juliette’s best friend, whose sense of humor brings much needed comic relief. Even when it seems like the world is (literally) ending, he will make you laugh out loud. Adam’s sweet little brother, James, will always leave you with a goofy smile on your face as well.

There is also the phenomenal character development of Juliette’s love interests. In the first book, Warner will seem like a heartless, but intriguing, villain. The second and third books make you question that. What makes Warner who he is? What are the secrets of his broken past? In the first book, Adam will seem like and the only one for Juliette, but you will question that too. Does Adam really know Juliette? What are the secrets of his broken past? This is not your typical love triangle. Mafi pulls at your heartstrings and makes you fall for both boys even if you try not to.

Finally, there is the character development of Juliette. In the beginning, she is psychologically broken, she is afraid, she feels weak. As the series goes on you can see how she truly grows, becoming more confident and strong with each word. In Shatter Me, many lines are crossed out because Juliette is scared to say what is truly on her mind. In the next book, those lines decrease, and in the third book there are no lines crossed out. I felt this showed how Juliette has finally begun to accept herself as who she truly is. She is proud of every thought and ready to speak her mind, she becomes a strong leader before your eyes.

That’s why I recommend this series. Each book gets better and better. The ending of the trilogy in Ignite Me was flawless. Tahereh Mafi drew me in, made me fall in love with the characters, and had me hooked on the writing style. She will do the same for you too!

-Amanda

Posted in GEPL Teens