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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Playful Craft Ideas for Teens


It's January and you know what that means? It means that the end of the school year is approaching faster than we think. You know once spring hits there's an edgy and spirited feeling in the air for teens, but really, they can't get too distracted because they still have class assignments, backpacks full of textbooks, and their teachers keep loading them up with homework!

Speaking of being playful, I saw this article “How to Bring Playfulness to High School Students” that really inspired me to think about how we can introduce more fun and playfulness since teens have to deal with so much stress in school. The article talks about the pressure that teens are experiencing with school and how teens need to find time to be creative and have fun in spirte of their daily pressures.

I was lucky enough to see this awesome quote "Never lose your sense of wonder" and I feel like I can identify with this quote so much. If we lose our sense of wonder then we are going to be losing out on having fun and all of the amazing possibilities out there in the world. With the ideas of bringing out playfulness and keeping the wonder in teens lives here are a few ideas for some activities that could bring a bit of playfulness in either a library or after school club for teens.

DIY Embellished Animal Ears - Make these adorable animal ear combs and all you will be all set to look super cute in them!

Eye Magnets - These eye magnets will be an awesome addition to any area in your house or even your locker at school. The eyes have it on this fun craft.

Ultimate Guide to Sharpie Mugs - This guide will help you to make a super cool Sharpie mug! We just made these over the holidays and it was so much fun to draw your own characters and add in your own sayings. You don't need to be an artist, just have fun with it.

7 Layer Sculpey Cake - This darling seven layer cake is so much fun to make. You can make a rainbow colored cake, or choose your own favorite colors of Sculpey polymer clay.

Here are two of my Pinterest boards that have tons of great craft ideas for teens:

Crafty & Fun

Cheap Crafts for Teens

Tune in next time for more great teen programming and activity ideas!

Mrs. Librarian Lady


Sunday, January 03, 2016

Happy New Year 2016!


I have been so busy with my Programming Librarian blog and contributing to the YALSA Hub twice a month, I haven't had much time to work on my own blog, so I have decided to try something new this year! I've been thinking about what I really like to do and the idea of pairing books with crafts and program ideas is one of my most favorite things to do. I usually create a Pinterest board to go with my book pairing ideas so I would love to add a link to my boards when I add book pairings. To start the new year and kick off January, I was thinking of starting with recipes that can be found in YA books. The idea of exploring fantasy worlds through their food has been talked about for a long time, sharing recipes taken from the pages of our favorite teen books is truly a fun experience. If you know where to look, you can find instructions for making butterbeer, Dauntless Chocolate Cake, and even Selection Tarts. Fans of Harry Potter have ventured into the world of magic to create recipes for a multitude of treats that are mentioned in the 7 book series. If you are devoted to fictional feasting, you are in luck because major efforts have been made to bring cooking, community, and literature together in one place. Check out a few recipes and fictional recipe lovers websites I have listed below. Here is my Pinterest board :) Tasty YA Book/Films Recipes

"The Selection" by Keira Cass: "May, don't these strawberry tarts just make you want to cry?" America's Strawberry Nutella Tart

"Divergent" by Veronica Roth: "I only came for cake." Tobias Eaton - Dauntless Cake recipe

"Saint Anything" by Sarah Dessen: "Layla's crazy fry eating ritual will leave you wanting to test out the mystery blend method after completing your own french fry gathering trifecta." Layla - Homemade French Fry Seasoning Blend


Epic Reads YA Inspired Recipes This is a great article from Epic Reads that has some really fun YA book recipes.


Harry Potter Recipes
You will find so many cool recipes from the Harry Potter series here!

Fictional Food has a ton of foods and recipes from Hunger Games, Twilight, Willy Wonka, and Game of Thrones


Food in Literature
has recipes from Narnia, Alice in Wonderland, and Sherlock Holmes!

Monday, June 22, 2015

THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST by Holly Black

She Was Forged From Iron - Holly Black's The Darkest Part of the Forest

The Darkest Part of the Forest

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointy as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down and a hero is needed to save them all, Hazel tries to remember her years spent pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

A new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black. Start reading now at http://DarkestPartoftheForest.com


I love Holly Black and am a total fan of faeries. This is why I read everything that Black writes! The Darkest Part of the Forest was an interesting read for me because it is centered in the town of Fairfold, which is a place full of magic and horror. I have studied faeries almost my whole life and am ever so intrigued by the history and fanfare around them. While faeries have been known to humans as the fair ones, it seems that the magical inhabitants that live near Fairfold are not all sweet and adorable like the ones we see in the movies. These faeries are the bad boys of magic and there seems to be some kind of faerie family feud going on that no one can stop. I love the magic and the mystery of the book. Way out there in the middle of the forest lies a beautiful boy and he's in a glass coffin that no one can break. He's mysterious and obviously very hot because everyone is in love with him, boys, girls, moms, basically whoever gazes upon him. I like Ben because he has the magic of music inside him and that comes out when he most needs it for survival. I like Hazel because she's tough and can wield a sword like a medieval warrior. Severin is an interesting character because he's in the glass coffin for most of the book, but when he gets out he's got Hazel and Ben on his side to look out for him. Black weaves in what I would call her magic, which is her expertise in the land of the faerie and her clever way of mixing it in with the human world, which I always love. I had a feeling that The Darkest Part of the Forest might become a series, but it seems like it had a pretty good solid ending. I won't tell you if it was a happily ever after one or not, you have to read it for yourself!

Happy Reading to you!

Mrs. Librarian Lady

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

The False Prince not to be confused with Fresh Prince



"THE FALSE PRINCE is the thrilling first book in a brand-new trilogy filled with danger and deceit and hidden identities that will have readers rushing breathlessly to the end.

In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point — he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage’s rivals have their own agendas as well.

As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.

An extraordinary adventure filled with danger and action, lies and deadly truths that will have readers clinging to the edge of their seats."

I finally read this book after hearing about for so so long. It was one of the Teens' Top Ten nominees and I really loved the cover so I finally got to reading it. I was quite surprised at how good this book is! Right from the start there is action and intrigue. There are orphans who are being rounded up and taken to a secluded castle for who knows what reason? Secrets and a long history of regents trying to scratch their way up to the throne will have you truly spellbound. Ah and it wouldn't be a YA novel without a little bit of true love and romance right? I'm sure you want to know what happens to Sage and his so called orphan buddies right? Well, you will soon find out if you read The False Prince!

My favorite quotes from The False Prince:



"If I had to do it all over again, I would not have chosen this life. Then again, I’m not sure I ever had a choice. Sage

These were my thoughts as I raced away from the market, with a stolen roast tucked under my arm. I’d never attempted roast thievery before, and I was already regretting it. It happens to be very difficult to hold a chunk of raw meat while running. More slippery than I’d anticipated. If the butcher didn’t catch me with his cleaver first, and literally cut off my future plans, I vowed to remember to get the meat wrapped next time. Then steal it. Sage

He was only a few paces behind now, chasing me at a better speed than I’d have expected for a man of his girth. He yelled very loudly in his native language, one I didn’t recognize.

He was originally from one of the far western countries. Undoubtedly a country where killing a meat thief was allowed. Sage about Connor Bevin

It was this sort of thought that encouraged me to run faster. I rounded a corner just as the cleaver suddenly cut into a wood post behind me. Even though he was aiming for me, I couldn’t help but admire his throwing accuracy. If I hadn’t turned when I did, the cleaver would’ve found its target. Sage


And I might have made it, if not for the bald man sitting outside the tavern, who stretched out his foot in time to trip me. Luckily, I managed to keep hold of the roast, although it did no favors to my right shoulder as I fell onto the hard dirt road. Sage

The butcher leaned over me and laughed. “ ’Bout time you get what’s comin’ to you, filthy beggar.” Sage

As a point of fact, I hadn’t begged for anything. It was beneath me. Sage


Saturday, May 02, 2015

Warning Creepy Notebooks May Be Dangerous

Gone Too Far
Natalie D. Richards
Release date: January 6th 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Keeping secrets ruined her life. But the truth might just kill her.

Piper Woods can't wait for the purgatory of senior year to end. She skirts the fringes of high school like a pro until the morning she finds a notebook with mutilated photographs and a list of student sins. She's sure the book is too gruesome to be true, until pretty, popular Stella dies after a sex-tape goes viral. Everyone's sure it's suicide, but Piper remembers Stella's name from the book and begins to suspect something much worse.

Drowning in secrets she doesn't want to keep, Piper's fears are confirmed when she receives an anonymous text message daring her to make things right. All she needs to do is choose a name, the name of someone who deserves to be punished...

Gone Too Far is a really good book. I found it to be thrilling and a real page turner. Piper Woods was a very compelling character and I felt like I knew her really well by the end of the book. While Piper grappled with many issues that teens usually do, this novel touches on the deeper ways that teens can bully each other. Piper doesn't realize that if you don't stick up for those that are being bullied, terrible things can happen. When she finds a creepy notebook with strange code names for her fellow classmates she has no idea what she has stumbled upon. After looking through the notebook, she realizes that one of her classmates has transcribed tons of horrible transactions between her classmates. She even finds herself in the notebook, not wanting to believe that someone could be watching everyone at the school so closely. Things heat up when a tragic accident occurs and Piper thinks that she should avenge the girl that has died. This is where the tables start to turn and things get pretty crazy. I didn't want to believe that there was someone out there terrorizing their very own classmates, but in this story that is exactly what is going on. What I did believe about Piper and her character is that she really did care what happened to others and that maybe she didn't really know the people that she was closest to after all and that includes her own parents. I wanted to keep reading this book and never put it down. I read it in one day and found the author to be a very compelling writer. I just couldn't stop reading chapter after chapter. I would recommend this book to all teens and think that it could possibly open up their eyes to what might be going on right in front of their eyes. And, also to never fall for a blackmailer's tricks ever!

Happy Reading to You!

Mrs. Librarian Lady

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Sophomore Year Is Greek to Me by Meredith Zeitlin - Fun, Fun, Fun

A laugh-out-loud high school adventure set in Greece, perfect for fans of Meg Cabot

High school sophomore Zona Lowell has lived in New York City her whole life, and plans to follow in the footsteps of her renowned-journalist father. But when he announces they’re moving to Athens for six months so he can work on an important new story, she's devastated— he must have an ulterior motive. See, when Zona's mother married an American, her huge Greek family cut off contact. But Zona never knew her mom, and now she’s supposed to uproot her entire life and meet possibly hostile relatives on their turf? Thanks... but no thanks.

In the vein of Anna and the French Kiss, Zona navigates a series of hilarious escapades, eye-opening revelations, and unexpected reunions in a foreign country—all while documenting the trip through one-of-a-kind commentary.

I loved this book! It is very funny, the characters are really charming and it made me really really want to travel to Greece it sounds like such a beautiful place! I am also a big fan of realistic fiction and this book has all of the best impression of the how real relationships work. I loved how the main character Zone goes on a journey to basically find herself and how she realizes just like many others do, that life is not perfect, but if you can trust in yourself and live life to the fullest things will always turn out to be just fine. Just like many teens, Zona finds out that life itself is a work in progress. I am a huge fan of authors like Meg Cabot, Sarah Dessen, and Jenny Han and Meredith Zeitlin is right up there with the best with this novel! I love her writing and can't wait to see if there will be more novels with Zona to come. I recommend Sophomore Year Is Greek To Me to anyone that loves a sweet coming of age story in a lovely setting. Very much like when Lena was in Greece in the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants.


Happy Reading!

Mrs. Librarian Lady

Apocalyptic Dream Awakens an Awesome Idea!

Last night I dreamed that I was watching the night sky filled with massive amounts of shooting stars. In my dream, the entire sky was lit up with lights and I believed that it was an apocalyptic event. Somewhere toward the end of this dream, I was half awake and still half dreaming I remember an idea came to me. I should start a Walking Dead book club at the library! I think three things would bring in teens to join this club. One is they love anything related to zombies, two they think anything apocalyptic is cool, and three we can play the new Walking Dead Monopoly game! I absolutely adore any YA book that features an apocalyptic world gone mad. I have read a lot of dystopic YA novels and one that I think was my first love was Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. I also remember fancying The Giver by Lois Lowry, but not really understanding the impact that this book would have me on much later fostering my love for the dystopic. Most recently, one of the best apocalyptic books I have read is Pure by Julianna Baggot. This book was totally awesome and freaky too. For when then world was ending an explosion occurred and anything that was near a person fused to their body. That meant that people were walking around with doll parts, other people, and bird cages fused somewhere on their persons. Yikes that is freaky! Funny enough, I have never been a big fan of zombies. They kind of scare me and I would hate to be chased by one. I postponed watching the Walking Dead television show on AMC for exactly that reason. After a long period of coaxing, my kids finally talked me into watching the first season and after me walking out of the room a few times during gruesome hoards of zombies feeding I was totally hooked on the show. I power watched to get caught up to the 4th season and now have been following the show and the after show the Talking Dead. After my dream and idea of starting a Walking Dead book club, I realized I should probably try to read the Walking Dead graphic novels by Robert Kirkman. I think it would be a great way to segue into the book club and find out if the new members have them already or plan to read for the club. I will keep you posted on the progress of the Walking Dead book club!


Happy Reading to you!

Mrs. Librarian Lady

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Insurgent Feeds My Soul

I was so excited to see Insurgent in 3D this last weekend! The movie was totally amazing and I was surprised because it was even better than Divergent. It seems like the first movie had a lot of setting up to do and there was like this secret romance going on between Tris and Four. But... in Insurgent the cat was out of the bag and the romance was full on baby! They fought some too and that was cool, but their love shines through all the way. I think Tris and Four are my favorite fictional couple, which is why I am so not looking forward to the next movie Allegiant. I am sorry I won't give anything away, but it is going to be a super cry fest for me for sure. Here is one of my favorite pictures I've seen around on the net that shows the awesome dynamic duo Tris and Four!!!