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Middle School Reviews: Ranger’s Apprentice: The Royal Ranger

Check Out Ranger's Apprentice: The Royal Ranger by John FlanaganWhat’s your name?: Auden 

What school do you attend?: Clapham 

What grade are you in school?: 6th grade

What are you reviewing?: A book

What’s the title of what you are reviewing?: Ranger’s Apprentice: The Royal Ranger

Did you like it?: It was an amazing fantasy book. One of the best in the series! It is action packed and suspenseful.

Who would like this?: Someone who likes action and suspense, boys and girls alike.

How many stars would you rate this?: Five Stars

Posted in Middle School Reviews

Middle School Reviews: FIFA 16

Check Out FIFA 16 by EA SportsWhat’s your name?: Shelby

What school do you attend?: Saint Michael

What grade are you in school?: 6th grade

What are you reviewing?: A video game

What’s the title of what you are reviewing?: FIFA 16

Did you like it?: Yes! I love it! It is so much fun! It is super easy to learn, so anyone can play! Also, each game is only ten minutes long.In addition to having men’s teams, FIFA16 has women, unlike FIFA14. Plus, you can play as any team you want!

Who would like this?: Someone who likes soccer.

How many stars would you rate this?: Four Stars

Posted in Middle School Reviews

What I Just Read – Summer of Sloane

By: Hannah Rapp, Young Adult Librarian

Check out Summer of Sloane by Erin L. SchneiderEarlier this month I went on vacation with my family, which meant I packed plenty of light (but not too light) summery reads, full of fun, romance, summer camps, or in the case of this What I Just Read, beaches.

What I Just Read: Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider

What’s It About (Jacket Description): Warm Hawaiian sun. Lazy beach days. Flirty texts with her boyfriend back in Seattle.

These are the things seventeen-year-old Sloane McIntyre pictured when she imagined the summer she’d be spending at her mom’s home in Hawaii with her twin brother, Penn. Instead, after learning an unthinkable secret about her boyfriend, Tyler, and best friend, Mick, all she has is a fractured hand and a completely shattered heart.

Once she arrives in Honolulu, though, Sloane hopes that Hawaii might just be the escape she needs. With beach bonfires, old friends, exotic food, and the wonders of a waterproof cast, there’s no reason Sloane shouldn’t enjoy her summer. And when she meets Finn McAllister, the handsome son of a hotel magnate who doesn’t always play by the rules, she knows he’s the perfect distraction from everything that’s so wrong back home.

But it turns out a measly ocean isn’t nearly enough to stop all the emails, texts, and voicemails from her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, desperate to explain away their betrayal. And as her casual connection with Finn grows deeper, Sloane’s carefree summer might not be as easy to find as she’d hoped. Weighing years of history with Mick and Tyler against their deception, and the delicate possibility of new love, Sloane must decide when to forgive, and when to live for herself.

Do I Like It: Beaches, friends, family, and a dash of romance…what’s not to love?

Thoughts:  Okay seriously, if you are looking for ideal beach reads, you need to add Summer of Sloane to your list. Like Lisa Freeman’s Honey Girl, which was probably my favorite beach read last year, Summer of Sloane is the perfect combination of realistic family and friend relationships, drama, romance, character development, and a gorgeous setting. Don’t let this fool you into thinking it doesn’t have substance though. From the very first pages when Sloane realizes that her boyfriend and best friend have betrayed her, Summer of Sloane gives real emotional depth to the reading experiences and the main character.

I think the friendships in Summer of Sloane were my favorite part, but not in my normal “I loved seeing these dedicated and loving friendships” way. While Sloane’s relationship with her brother, her Hawaiian friend Mia, and her coworkers were delightful to watch, I think it was the complications of her relationships to her best friend Mick and (ex) boyfriend Tyler that were the most compelling. It would have been possible to make either character a villain, or to exonerate both of them, but that would have been taking the easy way out. Instead, Erin L. Schneider does a great job of portraying Sloane’s mixed emotions, the real pain suffered by Tyler and Mick as Sloane ignores them, and the complications of dealing with being hurt by some of the people dearest to you.

But of course the friendships, while my favorite part of the book, are not all of what makes this book a great beach read. Summer of Sloane is also full of pools and oceans, surfing and sun, beach bonfires and lanais, and everything that will make you wish you were in Hawaii yourself. The romance that develops between Sloane and Finn adds an element of heat, but never overwhelms the main story of Sloane figuring out who she is without two of the most important people in her life. So if you’re looking for a summer read, pick this up immediately. And even if you aren’t specifically looking for a beach book, you’re likely to find something compelling in Summer of Sloane.

Posted in The Teen Scene: GEPL High School

Building Better Readers

By: Leigh Ann Vock, Youth Department Page

Our summer reading program is titled Read to Build. Our partnership with Habitat for Humanity will be helping to build homes. In addition to the physical building of homes, summer reading can also be a time to build better readers. Reading is a fundamental function but the benefits go beyond that. To name a few, it helps develop our minds and our creativity. When we read our communication skills increase, we discover new things, our imagination soars, our listening skills are honed, and our vocabulary improves, along with our attention span and memory retention. Phew, that’s a lot of reasons to build better readers.

Reading can be a challenge in the summer time when everything from the pool to a new movie release can put it towards the bottom of our warm weather bucket list. One thing is for certain, making books available throughout the home can help to put the thought of reading in a child’s mind. Consider having books EVERYWHERE in the house, not just on a book shelf. Baskets, buckets and bins can all be used to house a variety of books. Make sure that reading is not just reserved for bed time or quiet time. When books are always present and available, the option to read is viewed as an indulgence and not a chore. Enjoy the creative possibilities below for book provisions in your home.

Consider reading as a vital form of entertainment for your family and build a better reader today.


Posted in Where The Child Things Are: GEPL Youth

TV vs. Movies (Take 1)

By: Hafsa A., Teen Blogger

Picture of an old TV on one side and a movie reel with film streaming off it on the other.

Lately, television series and shows are more preferred over movies in our society, possibly because TV has a more visual depiction of the characters, main points, and major plots. The events and other details are described and outstretched among many seasons to show more of the visual storytelling. There are probably many reasons why TV is the cultural centerpiece as it is being produced more often than movies. But, I think it is because TV series have more reactions by audiences and encourages them to think and visualize what is going to happen next. Also TV shows can be freeform, which can vary from thriller to horror to comedy or even romance.

Movies on the other hand, have a desperate need to be marketed properly, so they simply make movies just to sell. I see TV shows as an emotional roller coaster because you always have to wait eagerly to find out what happens in the next episode. Also movies are made over a shorter period of time than the time spent on TV shows. So TV shows are attracting the best acting talent and they are able to do their best on TV shows because they have a longer time to practice.

Today in our society and culture, TV shows may have started small but, thanks to new distribution methods and word-of-mouth recommendations from audience who’d seen it and loved it, shows such as Breaking Bad, or even The Vampire Diaries, have really taken off.

You can’t continue the last movie you saw. Although there may be series and endless sequels, there would be no excitement in that. Paranormal Activity had come out three years ago, and though the first one was okay, the studio’s determination to suck its bones dry with endless sequels wasn’t such a great idea.

What I Think: I love TV shows because they make me feel all types of emotions such as fear, happiness, sadness, and most of all eagerness. The emotional roller coaster makes me want to keep watching and I’m not able to do that with movies because they don’t continue.

Strengths and Weaknesses: Movies are short, simple, and have good endings. However, movies don’t show small details that may have some audiences wondering. TV shows on the other hand show more detail and explanation, with new characters and plots throughout many seasons. The bad thing about TV shows is that viewers have to wait for the next episode to air and the eagerness of waiting could make me go insane. Just kidding, I’ll make it.

Posted in The Teen Scene: GEPL High School

Middle School Reviews: A Long Walk to Water

Check Out A Long Walk To Water: A Novel by Kinda Sue ParkWhat’s your name?: Shelby

What school do you attend?: Saint Michael

What grade are you in school?: 6th grade

What are you reviewing?: A book

What’s the title of what you are reviewing?: A Long Walk to Water

Did you like it?: I LOVED THIS BOOK! It was a very exciting book and I have never read one like it! I really enjoyed how it was two different stories that came together at the end. Before reading this book, I didn’t even know that there was a Civil War of Southern Sudan, which made it even more interesting. Also, it is based on a true story,which is unbelievable!

Who would like this?: Someone who likes “A Single Shard”

How many stars would you rate this?: Five Stars

Posted in Middle School Reviews

Middle School Reviews: Eragon

Check Out Eragon by Christopher PaoliniWhat’s your name?: Maria

What school do you attend?: Home School

What grade are you in school?: 8th grade

What are you reviewing?: A book

What’s the title of what you are reviewing?: Eragon

Did you like it?: The book Eragon was very exiting and captivating, i didn’t want to put it down! It is about a farm boy named Eragon,who finds a dragon egg and becomes a legendary Dragon Rider! He decides to join the Varden, (a secret group of dwarves, elves, and men.) To overthrow the unjust king, King Galbatorix with his dragon Saphira! They go on lots of exiting and daring adventures together!

Who would like this?: Someone who likes adventure and suspense.

How many stars would you rate this?: Five Stars

Posted in Middle School Reviews

Middle School Reviews: Ella Enchanted

Check Out Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson LevineWhat’s your name?: Meghan

What school do you attend?: Glen Crest 

What grade are you in school?: 8th grade

What are you reviewing?: A book

What’s the title of what you are reviewing?: Ella Enchanted

Did you like it?: I really liked this book because it combined well known fairy tales into one fabulous story. Ella Enchanted has a theme of feminism and good and evil. The story is about a girl named Ella with a spell upon her to be completely obedient. When her mother dies and Ella is sent to to boarding school with her evil stepsisters, Ella is pushed to her her limit and decides to try to lift the curse. Join Ella as she struggles for freedom and finds love along the way.

Who would like this?: Girls 2nd through 8th grade.

How many stars would you rate this?: Five Stars

Posted in Middle School Reviews

Middle School Reviews: Sisters

Check Out Sisters by Raina TelgemeierWhat’s your name?: Aisha

What school do you attend?: Medinah Middle School

What grade are you in school?: 7th grade

What are you reviewing?: A book

What’s the title of what you are reviewing?: Sisters

Did you like it?: It was a good book. People who like the author Raina Telimeiger and her book Smile. Its a graphic novel. The book Sisters is an autobiography of Raina and her sister Amara. They go through twists and turns throughout there lives from Raina wanting a sister to Amara wanting a horrible snake as Raina says.

Who would like this?: Someone who likes graphic novels.

How many stars would you rate this?: Five Stars

Posted in Middle School Reviews

Prep for College Series

By: Hannah Rapp, Young Adult Librarian

College Kids Walking Down PathSummer is in full swing, and we know the last thing anyone probably wants to think about right now is college applications. But we also know that many of you probably are! Whether you are going into your junior year and just starting to think about the college search process, about to start your senior year and facing the terror of applications, or newly graduated to heading to college in the fall, we’re betting it’s on a lot of minds.

We also know that there can be a lot of stress surrounding each part of the process, from deciding which colleges to consider to making a final decision to getting to know your freshman year roommate. So we hope that this summer, our Prep for College series won’t bring you down by reminding you of what’s ahead, but instead make the whole process just a little less stressful.

We’ll be kicking off the series with the aptly named “Where Do I Start and How Do I Choose?” sponsored by the library’s Teen Leadership Council. This panel discussion will feature college application and selection experts, as well as current college students. They will delve into how to start building a list of colleges to look at and apply to, what the application process is like, how to decide which school is right for you, and what the transition into college life is like.

Once you get your bearings in this panel, we’ll be offering a Practice ACT and Practice SAT over the next two weeks, as well as a presentation on how to “Think Like a College Admissions Officer” and one on Essay Writing and Using the Common Application. All of these, we think, will help you prepare for college searches, applications, and decisions. So take some time over the next two weeks to come to any or all of these that you think might help you (keep in mind that if you actually make it to all five, you’ll be eligible for a prize from us or our sponsors, C2 Education.) College is stressful, we know, but a little knowledge can go a long way to make the process easier!

Posted in The Teen Scene: GEPL High School