Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Terrific Teens Tell TAB Tales!

Forest Public Library started a Teen Advisory Board (TAB) this year. It was first offered to seniors with the incentive of a $1000 scholarship provided by the Forest Friends of the Library. TAB has been a wonderful experience for the librarians to plan and execute programs with this great group of teens. 

Senior members were required to write a one-page paper describing their experience while serving on TAB. The experiences they have written about have been of fun times and learning that libraries go beyond just books. As the days come to an end for our senior members their endless ideas, help, and support will always be appreciated and remembered. Below are some excerpts from a few of the papers.

“We have done some great things together, and I have met many people that I now call my friends.”

“Being part of the library family has really given me a new outlook on what the library is really about.”

“I have learned so much and gained new friends, and that is really all I need to be successful in life.”

“I would most definitely recommend any upcoming senior to join the TAB group!”

“I’ve realized the library tries to do so much to give back to the community and gets everyone to be involved, by having different activities and programs going on for different age groups. Being a part of a group that’s trying to make a difference not only at the library but in the community gives a really good feeling.”

“This group has done so many great things together, I wish that we could continue doing all these amazing things at the library, but there comes a time when all good things must come to an end.”

“I can’t wait to see what the future generations of TAB are going to do and the impact that they are going to make on the library and community.”

Youth Services Librarian Brandi Parker has seen the benefits of having teens involved in the planning and execution of programs. The number of teens participating in activities has increased significantly with the starting of the TAB. “It is exciting to see how personable the membership has become for each of the teens. I have enjoyed getting to know and work with each TAB member,” Parker states. 

The Beverly Rhodes – Forest Friends of the Library Scholarship will be awarded on Friday, May 17, and one terrific teen will have an exciting tale to tell!

Friday, March 8, 2019

What's New With Brandon

Hello Teens!

We have so many awesome things going on at the Brandon Library right now!

First, as you can see in the picture, we have just created another "Musical Message" guessing game. The way this works is that every season, a new piece of music that relates to that season (in some way, normally...depending on how you interpret my sarcastic sense of humor) appears above the Young Adult section in the library. Your mission is to determine which song the piece of music belongs to. I do have some mercy, so there are a few hints as to what it is. Whoever accomplishes this mission will receive a prize. Don't worry: the next piece will not appear until Summer Reading, so you have plenty of time to puzzle it out...if you can.

For Teen Tech Week, I was able to share some of my expertise with creating game shows with those lucky enough to attend. Since most of my game shows use PowerPoint, it was easier to break down to something that could also be used to give a presentation just a little spice. And you never know, maybe there will be a project that requires a game show one day. For the next program, we will be having our semi-regular game night. This will be mostly for middle graders, but high schoolers are still welcome. However, this program will be on a Thursday, March 14 at 5:00 pm instead of our usual Monday programs.

Also, our monthly Whose Line Is It Anyway program will be Monday, March 25 at 5:00 pm. This program is made up of a collection of improv games allowing you to unleash your inner comedian. These games change from month to month and occasionally have a theme. Act out silly suggestions on the spot with your friends, even dare them to match your skills. Also, feel free to add to our suggestion containers throughout the month for any willing victims--volunteers, I mean, to act out on the day of the program. Come join the hilarious shenanigans!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Teen Read Week Short Story Contest

National Teen Read Week was October 7th – 13th. To celebrate, the Magee Library again asked for original short stories based on this year’s theme, It’s Written in the Stars. Students at Magee High School were encouraged to participate through their English class. Entries submitted were judged on originality and enjoyment. The winning entry was titled, The Galactic Runaway, by Preston Grim.
Preston is a tenth grader at Magee High School. The 15-year-old is new to the area as he and his family moved to Magee this past summer. Preston enjoys writing and got ideas for his story by talking with his friend. He entered the contest in his English class taught by Pam Rodgers.
The Magee Library would like to thank all the teens that submitted stories, the English teachers at Magee High School for their support, and the Magee Courier and MageeNews.com for publishing the winning story.

Written in the stars: The Galactic Runaway
It was an unusually starry night in Austin, Texas. 16 year old, Brett Ellis, is up late playing Fortnite with his friends. Breo glow under his bed. He puts his hand under the bed, and he starts to pull out a medium-sized metal orb. The orb is about the size and weight of a soccer ball. The orb starts to hiss again, and then "POP!" The orb opens. Once all the smoke clears from the orb, Brett passes-out, fore he had just seen an Alien.
tt's parents went out of town the other night, leaving him home alone with his dog, Chelsea. Brett finally decides to call it a night and heads upstairs to his room. When he steps in his room, he sees glass all over the floor. He instantly thinks there is another person in the house, and he isn't wrong, but it's not a person.
He starts to hear a "hiss," but it wasn't from an animal. It sounded more like it was from a machine. He looks and sees something starting tBrett woke up thinking he just had a weird dream. He stnads up and looks on his bed to see a small alien sleeping in his bed. He yells, and his dog, Chelsea, runs up and jumps on the Alien. The Alien wakes up, and screams with a loud pitch. Once the alien stops screaming, Brett pulls out a baseball bat and starts to swing at the alien.
"Wait, Wait, Wait," yells the Alien. "Let me explain myself."
Brett is amazed by the fact an Alien is speaking fluent English. He lowers the bat, but doesn't put it down.
"My name is Notserp, I am from the planet Ippississim. I'm just running away from home, because I am tired of my father's stupid rules. I encountered troubles with my ship while trying to make out of the universe and crashed into the Milky Way Galaxy, again. We have about 2 days before my father comes to bring me back home. I hope he doesn't do what he did last time. "
"What happened last time?" asked Brett.
"Well, last time I crashed into planet Earth, I crashed into Antarctica, and let's just say it wasn't always barren." explained Notserp.
Brett thought of all his friends and family and decided to help Notserp find his ship. He packed his stuff and brought food and water for himself and Chelsea. "So, where are we going first?" Brett asked.
"Well, according to my calculations, my ship landed at the coordinates 30.50904 0 N, 97.67722 0 E," said Notserp.
Brett pulls out his phone to type in the coordinates. Notserp climbed in Brett's backpack and caught a bus. The coordinates brought Brett to the city of Round Rock, Texas. Notserp had said the ship had auto-landed in the middle of Cedar Ridge High School's courtyard. When they arrived, the school was shut down by the U.S Government. Notserp and Brett thought of many different ways to get the ship back. By the time they were done strategizing, it was night time. Brett decided to call a friend he knew in the area, and they were able to spend the night at his friend's house.
When he arrived to his friend's house, he was kind of nervous about telling him why he was talking to his backpack. When he finally summonded the courage to do so, someone started banging on the door to the house.
"FBI OPEN UP," screamed the FBI officer just before he knocked down the door leading in a swarm of officers. Brett grabbed his bag and jumped out the back window. He starts running as fast as he could. He wasn't thinking of anything else; he just ran.
Meanwhile in Austin, Texas, Brett's parents arrived back home from their vacation. They call his name asking him to come downstairs. There is no reply. His parents go upstairs to see a broken window, and there son, gone.
Brett finally stops running after realizing Chelsea is hungry and tired. His phone starts buzzing; it's his parents calling. He answers the phone and tells his parents he spent the night at Brandon's house. When they asked about the broken window, he just told them some kids were throwing around a baseball. His parents believed his story. He hung up the phone and opened up the bag only to find homework. He had grabbed the wrong bag. He instantly thinks everything is over. He gives up, and waits for an alien invasion to happen.
The FBI had taken Notserp and started to analyze him. Notserp's father was only hours away.
Brett uses the rest of his money to buy a bus ticket back to Austin. His parents are glad to see him, but he tells them what's about to happen. They think he is just speaking nonsense. Then a few hours later the news came on...a massive UFO was entering Earth's orbit.
As Notserp's father's ship enters Earth's orbit, Notserp's father prepares the ice beam. As he prepares to destroy Texas, a loud "clunk" was heard outside the ship. The ship's screen says identified ship in loading dock. It was Notserp's ship.
A little while earlier in Round Rock, Texas, Notserp had escaped from the FBI, and had gone straight to the school. He assumed since so many FBI officers were at Brandon's House that only a few would be at the school guarding his ship. He was right. Stealing his ship back, he flew straight to his father's ship.
Notserp's father still mad was still bound and determined to fire the ice beam and make Texas a barren state of ice. Notserp tried to run over to his father before he could do it, but he was too late.
Brett and Chelsea are outside playing. He looks up into the sky and sees a white beam. Coming right towards Austin, Texas..
Brett gasps as he woke up, startled from the wildest dream ever. Chelsea jumps on his bed trying to get him to come outside. He goes to open the door, and when he opens it, he sees snow and ice everywhere. In the middle of summer.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Book Review: The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo

If you are a fan of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse books, you will not want to miss this collection of short stories set in Grisha. Bardugo relates that these folk tales and fairy tales are of the sort the characters in her Grishaverse novels might have heard when they were growing up. No worries if you haven’t read the Grishaverse novels, but this book might lead you to them.

Six tales, each magical and mysterious in its own way, await you. The Witch of Duva is a tale reminiscent of Hansel and Gretel but much edgier. In The Too-Clever Fox, a hunter is traveling throughout the countryside eradicating the animals in the forest. Koja, a clever fox thinks to outsmart the hunter. Can the less-than-perfect second daughter of a poor family save the village from the ravenous monster, who is a second son of the king? Read  Ayama and the Thorn Wood to find the answer. If you are into mermaids, When Water Sang Fire will be one not to miss. 

All six of these tales capture the imagination. Some will teach a valuable lesson. As you turn the pages, do not miss the ever-changing illustrations in each story. They are almost as interesting as the stories.