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Teens

Andy Goldsworthy Ephemeral Works by Andy Goldsworthy

Art and Soul

Posted: January 19, 2018
By: Josh O'Shea, Young Adult Librarian

Art can resonate deeply in our soul. Art can make us laugh, or say “WHAT THE—?!” That’s what’s great about it. Art can tell us something, even if that something it wants to say is “Don’t think about anything ever at all.” Andy Goldsworthy does the first and a bit of the last for me. Goldsworthy

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Author with Rohingya refugees

In My Experience: Visiting Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh

Posted: October 30, 2018
By: Saaniyah S., Teen Blogger

“Saaniyah, do you want to go to Bangladesh with me and your brother to help the Rohingyas?” my father asked me in December. My father is a neurologist working in Chicago suburbs. This would be his third trip to Bangladesh to give medical help to Rohingya refugees. “Sure, that sounds okay,” I agreed. As sure

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Downward spiral of books.

Knowing Only Halfway

Posted: May 18, 2018
By: Josh O'Shea, Young Adult Librarian

I have a tendency to get anxious when I don’t know everything about something I feel I should. Sometimes I become paralyzed by the anxiety, which stops me from beginning in the first place. In college, I’d look for so many different sources trying to understand every little detail of the subject that I left

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Life in the Center

Posted: November 27, 2018
By: Josh O'Shea, Young Adult Librarian

Life is between bark and core. Tree rings show how new layers can grow around the outside of old layers. The hardened center acts as an anchor. And like those layers in a tree, our surroundings affect us. Humans have roots and leaves that absorb the nutrients we live in, forming new layers. The words

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College kids walking down path.

Preparing for College

Posted: April 20, 2018
By: Josh O'Shea, Young Adult Librarian

Preparing for college — it is something many of you have to look forward to and something many of the adults around you have already been through. It’s one of those things were the more you do, the more you find you need to do to feel ready. Want to know a secret? There’s no

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Freshman by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

Prepping for College Book List

Posted: July 20, 2018
By: Josh O'Shea, Young Adult Librarian

Heading off to college this fall? Here are some great, relatable books to read this summer. And, if you do read them, be sure to log them in so they count towards your summer reading. The more you read, the more prizes you receive – and you help make a difference in your community! You

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A young girl alone playing the guitar.

Sing Your Heart Out

Posted: February 2, 2018
By: Josh O'Shea, Young Adult Librarian

Some of us sing and want no one to ever, ever — not in a million years — hear us. Dogs start howling. Cats scream and run. Chickens cluck like they’re possessed. Nearby babies wail. Fish swim deeper. Sounds terrible, eh? (Pun intended!) But what happens to us when we sing is, well, oh so

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State of Mind

Posted: February 23, 2018
By: Josh O'Shea, Young Adult Librarian

Have you heard the phrase “a state of mind” or “just a state of mind”? I’ve seen this phrased used to imply that calling something “just a state of mind” makes it less important than things that are more concrete. But a state of mind is very important, and can have as much influence on

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Two young teens sitting in a park working on laptops.

We Always Influence

Posted: October 3, 2018
By: Josh O'Shea, Young Adult Librarian

Me, influence people? Nah, that doesn’t happen. I’ve never tried to influence anyone… Influence comes to us in different ways and forms. We see Instagrammers using a product or wearing certain clothing, and we might emulate them. We see photos of food from our favorite restaurants on social media, and our stomachs rumble with hunger. The

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What I Just Read: Breakfast with Neruda

Posted: June 22, 2018
By: Keira S. (Teen Blogger)

What I Just Read: Breakfast with Neruda by Laura Moe Summary/Thoughts: Breakfast with Neruda is a fictional novel about two delinquents that form a special bond between each other. Michael, who is living in his car when his mom’s hoarding obsession starts to become too much to handle, is working community service at the school he just got

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Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

What I Just Read: Children of Blood and Bone

Posted: May 4, 2018
By: Josh O'Shea, Young Adult Librarian

What I Just Read: Children of Blood and Bone Summary: Seventeen-year-old Zélie, her older brother Tzain, and rogue princess Amari fight to restore magic to the land and activate a new generation of magi, but they are ruthlessly pursued by the crown prince, who believes the return of magic will mean the end of the monarchy.

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Denton Little's Death Date by Lance Rubin

What I Just Read: Denton Little’s Deathdate

Posted: April 6, 2018
By: Josh O'Shea, Young Adult Librarian

What I Just Read: Denton Little’s Deathdate by Lance Rubin Summary: In a world where everyone knows the day they will die, a teenage boy is determined to outlive his upcoming expiration date. Thoughts: I just finished this one. In the near future, bio-science enables people to know when they’ll die — down to the day. People don’t know

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What I Just Read: Fat Girl on a Plane

Posted: January 14, 2019
By: Megan M., Teen Blogger

In Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly Devos, Cookie Vonn is very passionate about fashion and has dreamed of working in the industry since she was a little girl. Now she is a senior in high school, wondering why she can’t get into Parsons School of Design. Cookie is considered “plus-size,” which makes it

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What I Just Read: Island of the Blue Dolphins (Part I: Historical Background)

Posted: December 10, 2018
By: Nada A., Teen Blogger

Island of the Blue Dolphins is a story about an islander named Karana and is one of my favorite books. Vibrant and realistic, it begins as a mystery and transforms into a spirited tale about resourcefulness and tradition. It is sure to have a lasting impact on readers. Author Scott O’Dell enjoyed the outdoors as

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What I Just Read: Island of the Blue Dolphins (Part II: Summary)

Posted: December 21, 2018
By: Nada A., Teen Blogger

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell begins with an introduction of the narrator and her brother. Karana, or Wonapalei, is a vibrant girl who lives in the village of Ghalas-at with her sister Ulape, her brother, Ramo, and her father, the chief. While collecting roots for the tribeswomen, Karana sees a red ship

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What I Just Read: Island of the Blue Dolphins (Part III: Analysis)

Posted: December 31, 2018
By: Nada A., Teen Blogger

In my AP Human Geography course as a freshman, I read Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies by Jared Diamond. It provided a new perspective on how various peoples can possess different types of knowledge and how this can affect their survival, communication, and societal advancement. In Island of the Blue Dolphins,

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What I Just Read: On the Fence by Kasie West

Posted: August 3, 2018
By: Keira S., Teen Blogger

On The Fence by Kasie West is a fiction book about love, inner beauty, and finding yourself. For 16-year-old Charlie Reynolds, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its benefits. Gage, Nathan, and Jerome have taught her to outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows — including her neighbor and

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What I Just Read: Retribution Rails

Posted: March 23, 2018
By: Josh O'Shea, Young Adult Librarian

Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman is the first western novel I’ve read. Ever. Yeah, it’s weird it’s my first. Sometimes, we never know we like something until we try it. Sometimes, we don’t ever try it until we get a hunger. Then it’s like getting a surprise, and we’re like “Wait, what? I like this?

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What I Just Read: The Hazel Wood

Posted: July 6, 2018
By: Josh O'Shea, Young Adult Librarian

One of the many wonders of fiction is that it can give you an experience you didn’t know you needed. It places you in the shoes of characters who are nothing like you, whose lives are completely unlike yours, and who have experiences you’ll never have. And it shouldn’t be too strange to read that

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A man points to the smiley face.

What I Learned: Teens Reflect on Their Customer Service Leadership Training

Posted: June 15, 2018
By: Josh O'Shea, Young Adult Librarian

In June, the library, in partnership with B.R. Ryall YMCA, held Customer Service Leadership Training for high school students. This program provided seminar-style courses and practicum-style experiences to teens who wanted to be leaders in customer service. Participants learned skills and ideas they could apply in any setting. The training focused on values such as respect,

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What I See: Connecting with Nature

Posted: November 15, 2018
By: Josh O'Shea, Young Adult Librarian

We all live in ecosystems. Each ecosystem has diverse parts that can be similar and dissimilar to others. Together they create an environment that is interconnected and inter-affective. When we realize how these connections influence our individual activities, we’re prompted to want the best relationship within our environment as possible. There are two main partnerships

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A single leaf falling to the ground.

What I See: Observing the World Around Me

Posted: August 31, 2018
By: Saaniyah S., Teen Blogger

A leaf falls upon my window sill in my room. It gives me an idea and I look around. Sketchbook? Check. Wooden pencil? Check. Eraser? Check. With these things in hand, I wrap a sweater around me, step outside, and sit on my front porch. My next door neighbors are playing outside, the kids are

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Teen girl sitting in chair reading a book.

What’s Good?

Posted: March 9, 2018
By: Josh O'Shea, Young Adult Librarian

What is good? When it comes to art, books, movies, or other interactions involving feelings and ideas, the short answer is, we don’t know exactly. Humans tend to make general rules about how we can decide if something is good, such as saying, “The more diversity we have, the better life is.” What we can

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