Monday, December 19, 2011

Mandy's Book of the Week (12/19)

I made a New Year's Resolution today.  In 2012, I'm going to ROCK these book of the week segments.

This week, my book of the week wasn't written for teens, but I bought it and stocked it in our section anyway.  The main character is 15 years old, so it fits I think.

This book takes place roughly 30 or so years after the zombie apocalypse.  I'm really into zombie books right now, can you tell?

The main character is Temple, who is 15 years old and a drifter.  Her parents are dead and she was taken in by a stranger after the child care center she was in was "eaten up by meatbags."  She came to regard this stranger as a father and the boy who was also taken in by him as her brother.  Unfortunately, the man is bitten by a zombie eventually and infected, leaving Temple and her "brother" with no place to call home.

Early in the book, Temple stumbles upon a community that is set up in some old skyscrapers and, while she doesn't feel totally comfortable there, she thinks it would be a great place to rest for a bit before getting back on the road.  On her first night there, a drunk man, who had been leering at her for quite some time that evening, comes in her room and attempts to sexually assault her.  He doesn't get anywhere with it, mainly because Temple is a warrior and ends up killing him, although it is completely accidental.  The fact that it was accidental doesn't matter to the man's brother, however, who then sets off after Temple (who gets out of there as fast as she can after the incident) with the purpose of killing her.

This is basically the story of Temple running and the things that happen to her along the way in this really screwed up world.

There is some language and sex (although nothing I'd call explicit at all), so be warned.

This book is written so beautifully and it was a real pleasure to read.  I enjoyed it immensely.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

December's Second Saturday

I have to admit that I've not done the greatest job about getting the word out about our newest ongoing program: Second Saturday.  The second Saturday of every month during the school year, we'll be doing some sort of activity from 1-3pm.  In October, we had an origami workshop.  In November, we celebrated National Gaming Day.  And in December, we had an art workshop.

I'm really lucky that one of the kids on the Teen Library Council is a very talented artist.  He volunteered to come and host our Second Saturday this month and I was glad for it.

A cool new thing that I'm seeing pop up on the Internet is melted crayon art.  I actually created one on canvas several months ago for my house.  So when Steven told me that is what he wanted to do for Second Saturday, I was really excited.

A few pieces of foam board, four blow dryers, a bunch of crayons, and one blown out fuse later, we had some really unique pieces of art for our participants to take home.

Clean-up was difficult, to say the least.  Getting melted crayons off those chairs was tough.
We had a really great time and hope to see you at our next Second Saturday in January!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hello Again!

I'm not exactly sure where November went and here we are, smack in the middle of December.  My sincerest apologies for not blogging last month!  I didn't realize that I'd skipped out on my job until I logged in today and saw that my last post was on Halloween.  I'm so embarassed.

In the spirit of playing catch-up, here is what has been going on in the Teen Library:

Teen Read Week Read-a-Thon

Held at the end of October, the Read-a-Thon was a smashing success.  Teen Library Council members, along with anyone else who wanted to participate, raised money in support of teen programs in 2012.  $204 this year, rock on!  Fueled by a lot of pizza and cokes, they came and read from 7pm-1am.

I gave them time to take a break about every hour and a half.  And what do they do?  Go play tag in the freezing weather!

National Gaming Day

This year was the first year that we celebrated National Gaming Day and it was so much fun.

We had board and card games set up all over the library for free play.

We also had the multipurpose room set up with the Wii and XBox 360 w/Kinect.  I'd never set a system up on our big screen before; I have to say it was really cool.

After watching their kids play, mom and dad had to have a go!

We also participated in a National Gaming Tournament against libraries from all over the United States.  In the whole state of Arkansas, it was just us and the public library in Fayetteville who participated.  Fortunately, there were tons of other libraries involved.  I'll spare you the details of how long it took me to enter in all the friend codes.  We ended up ranking 15th out of about 36 libraries.  Not to shabby for our first year!

Amy and a few of the people who participated in the tournament.

We've been having a blast! 

Be sure you join us for our Ugly Sweater Party coming up December 20th!  Whoever comes wearing the ugliest sweater will leave with a $20 gift card to Hastings.  Hope to see you then.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Mandy's Book of the Week (10/31)

Happy Halloween!  I hope everyone is ready to go out and have some nice Halloween fun tonight.  And I hope you have an awesome costume.

I have been terribly remiss in posting my books of the week.  October has been CRAZY around here and, quite frankly, I just had trouble finding the time.  But I have all kinds of things to post about in the upcoming weeks, so hopefully I'll be able to slide in books as well.

In honor of Halloween, my book of the week this week is a zombie book.

Well, when I say zombie I mean that in the loose sense of the word.  In the sense that the people eat other people.

Anyway, this book takes place in Britain.  A virus has unleashed itself and everyone over the age of about 16 is affected.  When you first get the virus, you get sick. A lot of people simply die, but some get worse and worse: fever, aches, and eventually pus pockets that burst and seep.  Your brain gets infected and you lose the ability to stay focused or speak coherently.  And then you get hungry, but not for food, for flesh.

This book follows a group of young survivors who have holed up in a grocery store called Waitrose.  It has been months since the virus broke out and now they've pretty much run out of food and supplies; they are going to have to relocate.  Of course, this is dangerous with the packs of infected adults roaming about.

At this point, a young man who says that he's from a group that is hiding out in Buckingham Palace comes onto the scene.  He says they have gardens and weapons and that it is safe.  Is it really?  Can he be believed?  And can the Waitrose kids survive the trip?

This book was a great read and it kept my heart pumping, for sure.  We got the prequel, The Dead, in a few months back and the final book in the series will be out soon.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Our New Library Council, Banned Books Week, Olympians Week, and Second Saturday

Be warned!  This is a post FULL of information, pictures, and other good stuff!  I've practically been too busy to blog, so I'm cramming it all here so I can call myself caught up.

First off, last month we took 6 new members onto our Teen Library Council: Megan Rodriguez, Bailey Brown, Jonah White, April Daugherty, LaDonna McNutt, and Nicole Grover.  It has been great working with them so far and I hope they have even more to contribute as the months pass.  I took one of these pictures on the day that they first joined us for a meeting and the second was taken at David's Trail where we participated in the C3 Challenge a few weeks ago.

Four of our six new members: April Daugherty, Jonah White, Bailey Brown, and Megan Rodriguez.

Next up, we have our celebration of Banned Books Week, which is our September Teen Tuesday.  Participants read a passage from a banned or challenged book on stage and each time they did they were entered into a drawing for a "I read banned books" bag.  They also had a little quiz based on the books I had rotating on a screen above the stage and, if they got all of the answers right, they got their name put into a drawing for a $20 Pizza Hut gift card.

Olympians Week was super busy and a total blast.  For four days, we had events leading up to the release of Rick Riordan's new book, The Son of Neptune.  We had a drawing and gave away three signed copies of the book (and we are selling 10 more signed copies with proceeds to go to the Humane Society), we ate Greek food, we did trivia, and watched the Percy Jackson movie.  I was so crazily busy that I didn't even think to pick up the camera until the last day.  I wish I'd have gotten pictures of the Library Council dressed up at our Oct. 1 event.

These pics are all from our Tuesday event, which was our release party.  I had them randomly number off and divide into "cabins."  Then they had to name their cabin and create a flag.  After that, we had some trivia.

This month, we started a new program that, I hope, will end up being permanent.  Second Saturday will be held (guess when?) the second Saturday of each month from 1-3pm and, each month, we'll have a different activity or workshop.  This month, we did origami.  The turn out wasn't great, but that's ok for a first meeting.  Our Children's Librarian snapped a photo of the participants doing their paper folding and me reading a book.

Up next, we have our Teen Read Week Read-a-Thon, which everyone is welcome to come to (Oct. 21, 6pm-1am), a Harry Potter themed Teen Tuesday (Oct. 25, 5-7pm), and a scary movie marathon (Oct. 28, 6pm-1am). 

We're having a blast; come join us!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mandy's Book of the Week (10/3)

The name of the game is busy.  Whew!  Happy Olympians Week!  We are in the middle of having a GREAT time gearing up for the release of Rick Riordan's new book, The Son of Neptune.  I hope you've gotten the chance to join us for an event or two!

In honor of his new book, it only makes since that its predecessor is my book of the week this week.

It will help if you read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series first.  I didn't and I was confused.  The book was still great and I still was able to follow it, but there were certainly some references that went over my head.

The book opens amid confusion.  Jason has woken up and he has no clue where he is or who these people are.  He is lost.  Eventually, some monsters come along and who shows up to rescue his little group but Annabeth and another camper from Camp Half-Blood.  Turns out that Jason is a half-blood, but there is a little bit of a twist involved.  It is hard to reveal too much but rest assured, there is TONS of action and lots of mythology not yet seen from the previous books.

Now that book two in this series is out, book one may be a bit harder to come by.  But we've got all of the Percy Jackson books on the shelves right now, so if you need to start the series, we've got you covered!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mandy's Book of the Week (9/19)

Welcome back to our Book of the Week segment!  I was hoping to start these back up with the start of school, but that was a no-go.  It has taken me this long to get re-organized for the school year!

My selection this week isn't a new release, but it is made of total and complete awesome so I wanted to feature it anyway.

Fun fact: It is also one of the most frequently banned or challenged books in the United States.

This book is about Junior, a Native American growing up on a Spokane, WA Reservation.  For those of you who don't know about life on an Indian Reservation, it isn't pretty.  Statistically, the people are very poor and alcoholism runs rampant.  You see both of those themes prevalently in Junior's story.

Basically, Junior has a lot of aspirations.  He is a budding cartoonist (and you see lots of his drawings in the book) and a fairly decent basketball player.  He's also a pretty good student, but his school leaves a lot to be desired.

He makes the decision, which when you read the story you discover how truly brave he was to make it, to leave the Reservation's school and travel the 20 miles to the nearest public school that is off the Reservation.  This decision has far-reaching ramifications.  For example, how is he going to get to school?  There isn't a bus and his parents don't have the gas money to get him there on a consistent basis.  And what happens when the new school plays his old school during the basketball season?

This story is funny and sad at the same time and I LOVE stories like that.  It is also a book that is great for girls AND guys.

Come and get it!

Image via Little, Brown and Company

Monday, August 15, 2011

Teens' Top Ten

I like books.  Did you know that about me?  Because I really like them.

If you read this blog, you probably like books too.  Yeah, books!

Starting today, voting for the Teens' Top Ten awards is open.  What is the Teens' Top Ten, you ask?

Basically, sixteen or so different groups are picked from all over the US to read YA (Young Adult aka Teen) books.  Let me tell you, I'm crazy jealous of these teens; book publishers send them what are called galleys, basically books that are coming out but not yet published, and the teens in turn give the publishers feedback.

So these teens read the books, give feedback, pick their favorite 25 books, and then they release the titles for voting to everyone else.

This year's nominees are:

Drought by Pam Bachorz
I Am J by Chris Beam*
You Killed Wesley Payne by Sean Beaudoin*
Zombies vs. Unicorns by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier*
The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card*
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare*
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins*
Love, Inc. by Yvonne Collins*
Matched by Ally Condie*
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer*
Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
Lies by Michael Grant*
Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins*
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins*
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa*
I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore*
Red Moon Rising by Peter Moore*
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson*
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver*
The False Princess by Ellis O'Neal*
Angel: A Maximum Ride Novel by James Patterson*
Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce*
Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith*
Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld*
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White*

*We already have it! We rock so hard!
*We've ordered it, but it isn't here yet.
*We've already placed it on a list and will be ordering it in October.

So, as you can see, most of these books are here and ready for you to read.  I'm embarrassed to say I've only read four books on the list, so I really need to get to it.

If you'd like to vote for the Teens' Top Ten, it is super simple.  Go to and vote!  Easy as can be.

Winners will be announced during Teen Read Week, October 16-22.

What are you waiting for, go vote!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Summer Reading Program: The Winners Edition

So, I'm about to give away a lot of stuff.  A lot!

I would like to thank everyone that participated in this year's summer reading program.  When I started, I asked the previous Teen Librarians how many passports that I needed to print up.  They said that, generally, they gave out between 30 and 50, so I printed 50.  Then I had to print 50 more.  And then 25 more after that.  That's right: we gave away 125 passports this year.  AMAZING!  So a great big thanks to all who made this summer such fun for me and Amy.  We love handing out prizes.

For those of you who made it up to levels 4 and 5, the drawings are now complete.  I'll be giving you a call sometime this week, but if you see your name here feel free to pop on over and pick up your goodies.

Level 4 Winners

$15 iTunes gift card: Summer Webers

Lunch for 2 at Dusit Thai Cuisine: Lanie Benefiel

Sauna Session from Beauti Central: Tracy Connelly

$25 gift certificate to Brent's Rib House and Catering: Otto Blum

Medium Pizza from Domino's: (1) Hannah Bristol (2) Morgan Jenkins (3) Tyler Brown and (4) Justice Helton

Congratulations, level 4 winners!

Level 5 Winners

$10 Amazon gift card: Noelle King

Bags from Stage: (1) Carolyn Crane and (2) Darby Sproul

$15 iTunes gift card: Gavyn Pennington

$25 gift certificate to Brent's Rib House and Catering: (1) Bruk Sproul and (2) Hannah Brown

$20 Hasting's gift card: Zoe Bodishaugh

Sauna Session from Beauti Central: Trinity Bristol

Congratulations, level 5 winners!

We also had several people enter their passports for consideration because they read more than me this summer.  Well done, you guys!  I read 25 books this summer for a total of just over 9,000 pages.

The winner of the $20 Hasting's gift card for beating me in page volume is April Daugherty!

Don't forget that I'm accepting Teen Library Council applications (which can be picked up down in the Teen Library) until August 31.  I'm looking to take up to 7 new people this year, so get your application in!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Middle Eastern Cuisine and Crafternoon #3

I come to you picture free today, which is a bummer, but I was way too busy at each of these events to even think about finding the camera much less take any pictures.

On July 16, we held our second International Food Day of the summer.  This time, we were experiencing (and enjoying!) different foods from the Middle East.

All but one of the recipes can be found in The Multicultural Cookbook for Students by Carole Lisa Albyn and Lois Sinaiko Webb, which is a part of our Teen Reference section.  You can't check the book out, but you are welcome to make copies of any recipes you think you'd like to try.

First up, we had Imam Bayildi, which is a vegetarian stuffed eggplant and originates from Turkey.  The eggplant is stuffed with diced tomatoes and sauteed onions, green peppers, and eggplant.  Delicious.

We also had Nan-e Lavash, a flat bread from Iraq.  There was no sugar in this bread, but it kind of had a sweet taste to it.  This recipe was time consuming but not difficult.

Next up, from the country of Israel, we had chicken soup with knaidlach, which is essentially just a matzo ball soup.  You make the broth with lots of chicken and veggies and then pull all that out and cook the matzo balls in the broth.  FYI, if you decide to make this, Harp's is the only place I found with matzo meal.

From Egypt, we had kosheri, which is a mixture of lentils, rice, and macaroni then topped with onions and/or a red spaghetti type sauce.  While I was making this, I kept thinking how bland this would be.  I was so wrong!  This was actually my favorite dish of the day.  Once you top it with the red sauce, it is full of flavor.

We had two different desserts, both of just general Middle Eastern descent.  The first, made by the very awesome Amy, was date bars.  Dates are a huge industry in the Middle East.  My husband served in Iraq and said he once had a meat dish with a date sauce on top, so they are pretty versatile as well.  We wanted to use them on a dessert basis, though, so the date bars are what came to fruition.  We also had something called Umm Ali, which is the only recipe that is not from the cookbook.  I have a friend who used to live in the United Arab Emirates and said that she looked forward to Ramadan all year because they would serve this once the fasting for the day broke.  You can find the Umm Ali recipe here.

All in all, I think the day was a huge success!

We also had a great time at Crafternoon #3, which I decided I should've called "Advanced Craftmaking 101."  We made things out of duct tape and I had NO IDEA that it would be so difficult!

(Duct Tape Patterns)

But lots of people walked out with completed items that looked really cool, so I'm calling it a win.

I've had such a blast hosting these events and I'm so glad that I've been given the opportunity.

We only have a few more days until our summer program comes to a close, so if you still have a reading packet and want a prize, come on in!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Crafternoon #2

We hosted our second of three Crafternoon sessions last week here at the library and, I gotta say, it was super fun.  I even got to get in on the good times during this session and I made myself a super cute picture frame.

Another big thanks to Hunter Clayton who came out to play hostess.

See, guys?  We can make crafts manly.

One of the many completed projects.

Our next and final Crafternoon will be on July 22 and there are still spots available!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Facial Recipes

I hope everyone's summer is off to an amazing start!

Here at the library, we are diving deeper into our summer activities.  Yesterday, we had our first of three "Teen Crafternoon" craft sessions and it was lots of fun!  Hunter Clayton, who is an incredibly talented young lady and will be a senior in high school next year, came and led the workshop.

I'm re-posting the recipes here so that the participants (or you, if you so choose) can recreate them.

Yogurt Honey Mask (for all skin types)

1 Tablespoon Plain Yogurt
1 Teaspoon honey

For Oily Skin, add a few drops of lime juice.
For Dry Skin, add 2 teaspoons of honey instead of one.

Leave on 15 minutes then rinse off with warm water.

Apple Facial

1/4 apple (mashed with fork)
1 teaspoon of oatmeal
1 teaspoon of honey

Leave on face until mixture dries thoroughly then rinse with warm water.

Hunter's Scrub

2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon honey

Mix until it is a paste.  Leave on face for 10 minutes.  Rinse with warm water.

German Chocolate Cake Scrub

2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Teaspoon cocoa
a sprinkle of sweetened coconut

Leave on face for 10 minutes.  Rinse with warm water.

Even the dudes had fun (and there were more than this).  I think they took the stuff home to their moms.

Our next crafternoon will be on July 6 at 2:00.  It does require you to register prior to the event and space is limited, so head on over and REGISTER!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mandy's Book of the Week (6/6)

Welcome to the last Book of the Week for the school year (well, Mtn. Home's school year, anyway). 

Today I am pleased to bring you the story of Ava and her inner turmoil.

Ava is from a super liberal family; she calls her parents by their first names and when she declared herself a lesbian, her parents literally broke out the champagne.  Ava has a girlfriend, dyes her hair a deep black, and wears very little color.

But Ava has a secret: she longs to be a girl who wears pink.  She loves the color.  She also loves skirts and dresses and kitten heels, she just doesn't feel that she can get away with wearing those things.  In order to get a fresh start, she transfers to a private school and, on the first day, wears a pair of fitted jeans and a new pink, cashmere, argyle sweater that she just adores. 

Even though she's struggling a bit with the new, heavy course load, she feels that she's off to a great start.  She's fallen in with a good crowd who conspire to hook her up with a boy named Ethan (Ava thinks she might like boys as well, so she's totally ok with this).

Things start to get dicey, though, when she auditions for (and completely makes a fool of herself while doing it) the school musical.  She ends up signing up to work with the stage crew, or Screw, as they call themselves, which Ava's new cool friends think is just awful.  At this point, you get to see how very confused Ava is about a lot of things in her life.

This book is relatively new to our collection, but I think it will be one that sticks around for a while.  It was great!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Mini-Book Talk

I wanted to take you guys quickly through a few new(ish) books that we have here at the library.  I'll actually do another one of these next week maybe; our cataloger has a ton of new books back in her office getting them ready to go.

Some of these books are the same as the books I chatted about in my classroom book talks, but some of them are different.

Hope you come get a book or two!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Are you ready for summer?

I feel like summer should be in all caps.  SUMMER!

It is coming.  For some of you, namely Cotter and Norfork peeps, it is already here.  Mountain Home has four more days to go.

Here at the library, we have a packed schedule for you.  There is something for everyone. 

Want to watch a movie?  We've got you covered. 

Just want to play a video game?  We've got that too. 

Feeling artsy?  We've even got crafts. 

Feeling smart?  Come join one of our book clubs.

At the very least, especially for you that really enjoy reading and know you'll be doing lots of it, I'd encourage you to come do our summer reading program.  You can pick up your "passport" next Wednesday, June 8, and you'll get prizes starting when you hit the 10 hour mark and working up from there.  The more you read, the bigger the prizes get.  Eventually you could be the winner of Hastings gift cards, iTunes gift cards, Thai food gift certificates, and a lot more.

We also have a side contest going on for what I'm calling the "volume readers."  I can read a whole lot in a small space of time, so if you think you can beat me, page-wise, bring it on. ;-)  If you do, we'll enter you in a separate prize drawing.

I am excited for summer!  And I also don't think you can read more than me.  Bring it on!
Pamphlets with all of our summer activities can be found either on the Teen slat wall (it is over the search computer in our area) or we can give you one at the Teen Desk.

Registration opened today, so hop to it!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mandy's Book of the Week (5/23)

Last week was crazy, which you could probably have guessed by the lack of a Book of the Week.  To make up for it, I'm going to give you a 2-for-1 deal this week.

Image courtesy of
If you've not read this book, do yourself a favor and GO READ THIS BOOK!  I read a ton and this book (or I should say this series, since it is followed by two other books) is easily my favorite in the last year.

The Hunger Games takes place in what they describe as the ruins of North America.  There have been floods, fires, and famines, among other terrible things, and what came out of it all was Panem: a country with a wealthy, posh Capitol city and 12 districts where life is hard.

Every year, the Capitol requires each district to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to fight to the death on national television.  The book opens on the day of the reaping (when the kids are chosen) and you follow Katniss, who is 16 and nervous about it all.

This book is what kicked off the huge amount of dystopian novels that are popping up in the Young Adult (i.e.-teen) book market these days.  And I, for one, am not complaining b/c I am loving it.

Image courtesy of

This book is one that is set in real life.  There aren't any faeries, ghosts, demons, werewolves, aliens, or any other supernatural force at work.  That is a real novel concept at this point in time.

This book follows Francesca, who is one of a small number of girls attending a school that used to be an all boys school.  She came from an all girl's school, so she's having some adjustment issues.

Top that off with the fact that her mother, who is the rock of her family, has suddenly lost her marbles, or so it seems, and the only other girls that she knows at her school are girls that she doesn't really want to be friends with.

She feels kind of lost, to say the least.

I really enjoyed this book.  It wasn't amazing or shocking or anything, but it was a nice read.  The author recently put out a follow up book called The Piper's Son which picks back up with the same characters 5 years after the end of Saving Francesca.  I haven't read it yet, but it is on my list for sure.