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GEPL Tweens: Butterfly Feeder


By: Christina Keasler, Tween Librarian

50 Degrees in the Fall and in the Spring

Man! How about that weather last weekend? The library’s been a lot less busy because everyone is outside. Lots of people (including myself) aren’t wearing coats or socks. Sure, it’s kind of chilly today, but I think we can safely say the worst is over. The flowers have sprouted out of the ground, and soon we will be surrounded by the beautiful sights, sounds and smells of spring, and the allergies they bring with them.

Along with flowers and birds, we will soon hope to see butterflies fluttering about outside. Today, I will show you how to make a really easy butterfly feeder so you’ll be able to observe their beauty, as well as help feed struggling butterflies.

What you need:

A sponge

Yarn or twine

¼ cup sugar

1 cup water

What to do:

  • Bring water to boil.
  • Reduce heat, stir in sugar. Let mixture simmer until sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Remove from heat, let cool completely.
  • Cut sponge into 4 smaller pieces.
  • Thread yarn or twine through one of the ends of the sponge. Tie ends together to make a loop.
  • Let the sponge absorb solution. Drip out excess.
  • Hang the sponge from hook or branch – wherever you want your butterflies to flock
Butterfly Feeder

picture from http://petdiys.com/sponge-butterfly-feeder/

To learn more about butterflies, visit the North American Butterfly Association.

Posted in GEPL Tweens

GEPL Teens: Women’s History Month – Part II

Teens Blog BannerWomen’s History Month is still in full swing, so we’re here with another list of great historical fiction about women!  We’re going way back for this list, into Pre-Renaissance world history.  These books don’t even begin to cover all the amazing history that happened in ancient and medieval times, but they’re all great peeks into some fascinating cultures and eras!  All descriptions are from Goodreads.com unless otherwise noted, with librarian notes in italics.

Blog Entry 132 - Image 1Forbidden by Kimberly Griffiths Little – In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden’s tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden’s turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe’s leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family’s position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden’s heart.

Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden’s heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb’s increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden’s every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying.

With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family’s survival on the line, Jayden must embark on a deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find a true love for herself.

Set against the brilliant backdrop of the sprawling desert, the story of Jayden and Kadesh will leave readers absolutely breathless as they defy the odds and risk it all to be together.

Hannah’s Note: This might be the only YA book I’ve ever heard of set in a Mesopotamian culture!  Combine that with the kind of star-crossed love story anyone can relate to, and there’s something for everyone.  Check it out for a fascinating look at a seldom-written about (in fiction, at least!) world.  

Blog Entry 132 - Image 2Dark of the Moon by Tracy Barrett – Ariadne is destined to become a goddess of the moon. She leads a lonely life, filled with hours of rigorous training by stern priestesses. Her former friends no longer dare to look at her, much less speak to her. All that she has left are her mother and her beloved, misshapen brother Asterion, who must be held captive below the palace for his own safety.

So when a ship arrives one spring day, bearing a tribute of slaves from Athens, Ariadne sneaks out to meet it. These newcomers don’t know the ways of Krete; perhaps they won’t be afraid of a girl who will someday be a powerful goddess. And indeed she meets Theseus, the son of the king of Athens. Ariadne finds herself drawn to the newcomer, and soon they form a friendship—one that could perhaps become something more.

Yet Theseus is doomed to die as an offering to the Minotaur, that monster beneath the palace—unless he can kill the beast first. And that “monster” is Ariadne’s brother . . .

Hannah’s Note: This re-telling of an ancient myth blends mythology with the real history of Crete.  And for my money, Ariadne is one of the most interesting characters from ancient Greek mythology, one who certainly deserves her own book!

Blog Entry 132 - Image 3Cleopatra’s Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter – The only daughter of the last queen of Egypt watches her beloved father–Mark Antony–fall on his sword in front of her. Then she hears the haunting wails of the priestesses of Isis on the island of Pharos and knows her mother died. It is the end of Cleopatra’s rule and the start of Selene’s nightmare. Her parent’s vicious enemy, the snake-like Octavianus, forces Cleopatra Selene to march through the streets of Rome in golden chains and then sentences her, along with her brothers, to live as political prisoners in his own home.

There she fights desperately to keep her brothers safe from poisonings and secret assassination attempts. Selene plots furiously to do what she knows her mother Cleopatra would want her to do–reclaim her destiny as the queen of Egypt. While plotting with her mother’s agents in Rome, Selene knows her best shot at retaking Egypt’s throne is to beguile her despised captor’s nephew, Marcellus, the beautiful, golden-haired heir to Octavanius. But Selene unexpectedly falls in love with a fellow political prisoner setting off a deeply personal crisis: Does Selene choose the man she loves over the man who could help her rule Egypt? (Description from Amazon.com)

Hannah’s Note: Everybody’s heard of Cleopatra, and probably a little something about her affairs with two of the most powerful men in the ancient Roman world.  But what is often forgotten are her children – children torn from their native country and brought to the center of one of the most powerful civilizations in history. 

Blog Entry 132 - Image 4Daughter of Xanadu by Dori Jones Yang –  Athletic and strong willed, Princess Emmajin’s determined to do what no woman has done before: become a warrior in the army of her grandfather, the Great Khan Khubilai. In the Mongol world the only way to achieve respect is to show bravery and win glory on the battlefield. The last thing she wants is the distraction of the foreigner Marco Polo, who challenges her beliefs in the gardens of Xanadu. Marco has no skills in the “manly arts” of the Mongols: horse racing, archery, and wrestling. Still, he charms the Khan with his wit and story-telling. Emmajin sees a different Marco as they travel across 13th-century China, hunting ‘dragons’ and fighting elephant-back warriors. Now she faces a different battle as she struggles with her attraction towards Marco and her incredible goal of winning fame as a soldier.

Hannah’s Note: It’s always fun to look at famous historical figures from the fictional point of view of those around them.  This is especially fun, since we do have Marco Polo’s own writings to tell us about him.  But what about the people he was writing about, in the distant (for him) worlds he was visiting?  

Blog Entry 132 - Image 5Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman – “Corpus Bones! I utterly loathe my life.”

Catherine feels trapped. Her father is determined to marry her off to a rich man–any rich man, no matter how awful.

But by wit, trickery, and luck, Catherine manages to send several would-be husbands packing. Then a shaggy-bearded suitor from the north comes to call–by far the oldest, ugliest, most revolting suitor of them all.

Unfortunately, he is also the richest.

Can a sharp-tongued, high-spirited, clever young maiden with a mind of her own actually lose the battle against an ill-mannered, piglike lord and an unimaginative, greedy toad of a father?

Deus! Not if Catherine has anything to say about it!

Hannah’s Note: Okay, I know this is aimed a bit younger than high school students, BUT!  This is, hands-down, one of my favorite historical fiction books I’ve ever read.  Catherine is sassy, relatable, funny, and someone it’s easy to care deeply about.  The research into the historical details is amazing – and it’s fun to read historical fiction that doesn’t shy away from the dirty, yucky aspects of the medieval world!  If you haven’t read Catherine, Called Birdy before, give it a try.  And if you have, it makes a quick and delightful re-read!

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Kids: Community Partnership helps us “Feed our Hungry Neighbors”

By: Amy Waters, School Liaison

The Glen Ellyn Public Library is “so much more than books”. But you already knew that! Maybe you’ve been to our Smart Starts program, created something on our 3-D printer, used a database to learn how to speak Spanish, or rented your Friday night dvds from us. But did you know that the Glen Ellyn Public Library also works with many partners in our area to help meet other needs of our community members?
Last summer we piloted a summer meals program in cooperation with the Northern Illinois Food Bank. We are excited to be participating again this year.
We know that there are many things that can lead to summer slide in education. We want to help fill that gap by helping connect children with books over the summer. But before some of our neighbors can even think about what to read, they are wondering “when will I get something to eat?”
The Glen Ellyn Public Library is an open Summer Meal site. That means, all children 18 an under are invited for lunch. No qualifying, no questions asked. So, if your child has a friend that might benefit but is shy about attending, invite them to eat together. All are welcome! If you have any questions about the Summer Meal program at the GEPL, please feel free to contact me at awaters@gepl.org, 630-790-6737.
Summer Meals
Posted in GEPL Kids

GEPL Teens: Teens Review – Pride & Prejudice

Teens Blog BannerBlog Entry 131 - ImageNow when I say the title Pride and Prejudice, you have probably heard of the classic bestseller, but you most likely are unaware of the characters or the plot itself. Well recently I have been introduced to this novel in my English class, and instantly fell in love with it.

The setting of this novel is the early 19th century in a small town called Longbourn, England. The main character, Elizabeth Bennet (Lizzie), lives with her father, mother, and 4 sisters. This novel follows Lizzie and her sisters on their journey of finding love. In this age women could not inherit any money or land from their father, it rather goes to the next male relative, making it the job of every woman to find a man to marry. Getting married gave the women the confidence that they would have their necessities met such as: food, shelter, a husband to protect them, and a place to raise their future children.

Now the exciting part, when Elizabeth and her family attend a ball in town a visitor attends as well. His name is Mr. Bingley, he is a good looking, rich, and I should mention single man. During the ball Mr. Bingley and Elizabeth’s sister Jane instantly fall in love. Also, Mr. Darcy, Mr. Bingley’s friend and Elizabeth herself had this slight tension between them. Is the tension out of aggression? Disagreement? Or love? I don’t want to give anything away but things get pretty darn dramatic and compelling. One of the biggest things to remember is that people born into higher ranks or the higher class rarely ever marry lower than their class. This comes into play when Jane and Mr. Bingley start to fall in love. Bingley is of the higher class, and Jane is of the lower class. Bingley’s friends don’t agree with his decisions and try to persuade him out of his planned engagement. Will love prevail, or will pride get in the way of true happiness? You will most definitely be on your toes throughout this novel.

Pride and Prejudice includes love, drama, family problems, and hope for the future. I am going to warn you, that girls/women will love this book but most guys just don’t understand what the big deal is. This story is the ultimate chick flick in a novel. That is the only way I can explain this story. If you are interested in reading this novel you should pick up a copy at the library, or I bet your mom most likely has a copy lying around the house too! Happy Reading!

-Ashley M.

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Tweens: Movie Blockbusters to Welcome Spring


By: Christina Keasler, Tween Librarian

If you haven’t noticed from previous blog entries, I am looking forward to spring. I am contemplating packing up my thick winter socks, and busting out the sandals. Yes, it’s early. Yes, it’s likely it’ll snow again. Do I care? Not at all. To me, nothing says warm weather like a movie blockbuster. I have made a list of movies that will get you ready for the warm weather, even if Mother Nature has other things in mind.



The Secret Garden (G)

When spring finally shows itself, the scent of flowers will be everywhere. When you watch this movie, you can almost smell all the flowers of the gardens. Maybe spring will get the hint from this movie and bring us some real flowers soon.



The Sandlot (PG)

Spring means baseball, so I had to include one of the best baseball movies ever. Even if you’re not a normal baseball fan, you will find this movie entertaining. You’ll be quoting this movie FOR-EV-ER.




Holes (PG)

Shia LaBeouf is in trouble and has to go dig holes in the desert. While there’s much, much more to this great book-to-film adaptation, the desert scenes should be enough to get you in the warm weather mood.




The Big Year (PG)

This movie appeals to the slightly older tween crowd. When the snow starts to melt, and the birds are all about, I always like to pretend like I’m a birder, even though I don’t know anything about birds other than what I learned in elementary school. This movie will inspire viewers to go out into the world and observe the little things that you would normally take for granted.




Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008) (PG)

While it’s not the case in this movie, you would normally expect to find magma at the center of the Earth. And magma’s nothing if not hot. In fact, when the temperature rises throughout the movie, you may find yourself getting warmer as well.



Dante’s Peak (PG 13)

Didn’t I just talk about magma? Well where Journey doesn’t have too much magma representation, Dante’s Peak more than makes up for it. Lava. Everywhere. Be careful, as there are some pretty gruesome scenes, but this movie is one of the classics of nature’s destruction.

Posted in GEPL Tweens

GEPL Teens: Women’s History Month – Part I

Teens Blog BannerMarch is Women’s History Month, which is a pretty awesome celebration of pretty awesome women.  But my favorite “history” has always been historical fiction, so in honor of Women’s History Month, I put together a list of some books featuring women at some important moments in 20th century American history.  If you’re more of a world history or earlier history fan, or prefer your history with a touch of the fantastic, don’t worry – I have more lists planned for this month!

Blog Entry 130 - Image 1The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters – Oregon is entering the 20th century, and Olivia is eager to move forward as well.  Unfortunately, her father believes that the women should be quiet and subservient.  He is furious to find out that Olivia has attended a suffragette rally.  In response, he finds Henri Reverie, a famous hypnotist, and pays him to hypnotize Olivia to see things as they really are. And she does.  She begins to see the ugliness that lurks below the surfaces of her world.  As Olivia struggles with the horrifying realities she now sees and the bonds imposed by her father, her personal struggle dovetails with the struggle of the suffragettes in this exciting and powerful book.

Blog Entry 130 - Image 2The Fire Horse Girl by Kay Honeyman – In 1920s America, immigrants were channeled through Ellis Island on the east coast – and Angel Island on the west coast.  After the charming Sterling Promise convinces them to embark on the long voyage from China, it is Angel Island where Jade Moon and her father are detained trying to immigrate to the US.  Despite the fact that she was born under the Fire Horse zodiac sign, an unlucky year, Jade Moon is determined to use her stubbornness and passion to find a way to get to the US.   Although less well-known than Ellis Island, Angel Island holds its own stories, and The Fire Horse Girl beautifully tells one of them.

Blog Entry 130 - Image 3Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith – During World War II, things were hard enough for a woman or black man who wanted to be a pilot.  But for a black woman, they were impossible.  So even though Ida has always dreamed of being a pilot like her father, and is thrilled to discover that the army has created the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), she finds her hopes crushed at every turn.  So to make her dreams a reality, Ida turns her back on her family heritage and “passes” as white to enter the WASP.  But lying about herself is tough, and eventually, Ida must decide if she can continue to do it.

Blog Entry 130 - Image 4Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley – School integration was an important moment in our history, and the powerful Lies We Tell Ourselves tackles the issue from two sides.  Sarah is a black student, bullied by her white peers and teachers in a formerly all-white school, taken from honors courses to remedial classes, and forced to work together on a project with Linda.  Linda is angry at being made to work with Sarah, since she and her family are vocally in support of “separate but equal.”  But as the two girls are pushed together, they slowly get to know each other and learn more about race, love, and the power imbalances that divide them.

Blog Entry 130 - Image 5I’m Glad I Did by Cynthia Weil – Set in that all-important decade, the 1960s, I’m Glad I Did tackles music, justice, romance, civil rights, and much more.  Songwriter JJ is desperate to pursue a music career, even though her parents want her to become a lawyer like them.  So the summer she is 16, she secretly takes a job (unpaid, so more like what we would call an internship today) at the Brill Building, where rock and roll songwriting is just taking off.  There she finds herself embroiled in mystery, money, and a possible murder.  This book is for anyone interested in the 60s music scene, the civil rights era, mysteries and intrigue, and more.

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Tweens: Tween Movie Review – Ironman (Animated)


What’s your first name and school? : Arnold Logan Glencrest

What are you reviewing? : Ironman (Animated)

What did you review? : A movie

What did you like about it? : I loves the animated series of it showing more of his father and then some weird things about a madrain an the rings of power than its showing the dark and spooky back story of iron man of a exosuit of ironman.

Who would like this? : people that like animated

On a scale from yuck to best ever, how much did you like it? : meh it about a great

Posted in GEPL Tweens, Tweens Reviews

GEPL Tweens: Tween Movie Review – Flushed


What’s your first name and school? : Arnold Glencrest

What are you reviewing? : Flushed

What did you review? : A movie

What did you like about it? : I liked how it showed a rats point of view of a dirty sewer rat and how a nuisance they can be and I like how they showed a nice upstanding rat as a pet can be treated including the big theme of it.

Who would like this? : people that like animals point of view

On a scale from yuck to best ever, how much did you like it? : 10

Posted in GEPL Tweens, Tweens Reviews

GEPL Tweens: Tween Book Review – TTYL


What’s your first name and school? : Brianna Hadley Jr High

What are you reviewing? : TTYL

What did you review? : A book

What did you like about it? : I liked that TTYL was a kind of a girly book and it wasn’t boring. The author tries to connect with the readers. The best part about the book is the ending. They were all still really good friends. I love this book.

Who would like this? : girls

On a scale from yuck to best ever, how much did you like it? : best ever

Posted in GEPL Tweens, Tweens Reviews

GEPL Teens: Teens Write – The Outsiders, Book vs. Movie

Teens Blog Banner

Blog Entry 129 - Image 1Blog Entry 129 - Image 2
The Outsiders is “for teenagers, about teenagers, and written by teenagers.” The story is a realistic fiction novel based on the rivalry of two gangs during the mid-1960’s, the Greasers and the Socs. The book was published in 1967, leading to a movie to be filmed based on the popular novel in 1983.

The movie follows the storyline accurately, given that a few changes and alterations were made to fit the 91-minute film. Viewers aren’t able to see into the background life of characters such as Soda, Darry, and even Dally. The focus of the movie revolves around events such as the “big rumble” and the death of Johnny Cade, who is also portrayed as a weaker character in the film than he was in the novel. Minor directional changes appeared in the movie as well when the conflict, in the book, of the poor east side versus the rich west side became the poor north side versus the rich south side in the movie. The movie also fails to incorporate as many details as the book gave the reader, and the characters aren’t a true fit to the descriptions given in the book as well.

Still, the movie accurately resembles the book with many similarities. Conflicts along with their end results are the same as they were in the narrative. Key events such as Johnny murdering the Soc, and fleeing to an abandoned church on a hill and the big rumble where the Greasers fight for their victory against the Socs are the same, as well as the setting of the story.

Despite the differences between the movie and the novel, both depict the adventurous lifestyle of the 14-year old Ponyboy and his struggles with right and wrong in his society.


Posted in GEPL Teens