Graphic Novels You Should Be Reading

I’m going to start off by saying that graphic novels are so much more than just superhero comics or manga (although those are awesome, and you should read those too!). There are a lot of graphic novels out there that don’t get the love and attention they deserve. For this post, I’d like to touch on two graphic novels that are amazing. These are available at our library, so come and check them out!

 

The Undertaking of Lily Chen

By Danica Novgorodoff

 

Let me start off by giving you the premise of this story: in some parts of rural China, people are selling the corpses of females. Why, you ask? Well it’s all part of a custom called “ghost marriages”. In this ancient tradition, husbands and wives are meant to share a grave, and if a man dies unmarried, essentially a piece of him is missing. To solve this problem, families will buy the dead body of a woman, marry the two dead people in a ceremony, and then bury them together. Mhmm that’s right! That’s only the beginning, friends. You can use your imagination to figure out just how people are “collecting” these women. Or you can read this graphic novel and find out for yourself! Part laugh-out-loud funny and part deeply moving and heavyhearted, this graphic novel is also paired with beautiful artwork. I hope you give it a chance; you won’t regret it. In fact, you might check out more than once!

Plutona

By Jeff Lemire, Emi Lenox, and Jordie Bellaire

        Now it’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Jeff Lemire. He’s written some great stuff (Essex County, The Descender and Sweet Tooth series, and a lot more) and Plutona is one of the great Young Adult graphic novels that he has published recently. Not only is the artwork super cool, but the story is just spot on. Speaking of the story, let’s get into that.  Imagine you have a favorite superhero (mine’s Batman) and you and some friends uh, you find him or her…dead. In a forest. You are seemingly the only ones who know this secret. What do you do in this situation? That’s the dilemma that Teddy, Dianne, Mie, Mike, and Ray find themselves in. This is a superhero tale with a twist, and I’m betting you’ll enjoy this graphic novel. It’s one of those that are really hard to put down. Good luck with that!

 

 

 

 

 

2018-2019 Soaring Eagle Nominees–Voting Now Open!

You may have heard the saying ‘those who forget history are doomed to repeat it’ or some variation of it. That being said, not everyone likes to read history text books; a great way to learn historic facts is reading historical fiction and lucky for us there were two great historical fiction novels on this year’s Soaring Eagle list. Let’s take a look at those now!

 

Stalking Jack the Ripper

By Kerri Maniscalso

London, 1888:  In the heat and humidity of late August, a serial killer terrorizes the low-class East End district, Whitechapel, murdering women and brutally dismembering their bodies. He becomes known as “Jack the Ripper” for the gory, bloody murder scenes he leaves behind.

Audrey Wadsworth, raised in an upright Victorian-era family, feels compelled to solve the murders, to figure out the identity of “Jack the Ripper” before he strikes again. Even though the women he kills are viewed as “throwaway” women by most of society, Audrey knows that no person deserves to die in such horrific murders.

As she becomes dangerously involved with the murder investigation, Audrey slowly realizes that “Jack the Ripper” may be closer to her than she thinks.  Could he be her eccentric uncle, who has his own personal collection of human organs and is always seeking more? Could it be the handsome, yet aggravating, Thomas – a fellow student in her uncle’s secret forensic science classes?

Or could it be someone even closer?  Perhaps, even, someone in Audrey’s own home?

 

Projekt 1065

By Alan Gratz

“You do what you have to do, even if it means doing something wrong.”

Michael O ‘Shaunessey is a thirteen year old boy growing up in Nazi Germany. Like any teenager he loathes the grown-up dinner parties, making small talk, listening to adults discuss Hitler and “the War”.

Unlike most teens, Michael has a huge secret. He goes to school daily as part of the Hitler Youth Corp. He is a good soldier by day: doing everything required of him to move up in the corp and prove his loyalty to Hitler and Germany.  At home when he leaves school and the public eye, he keeps his family’s secret: they work for the Allies, feeding information through the Irish embassy they work for to help the Allied Forces.  Although Michael is just a kid and not actually a spy, he finds himself challenged daily not to challenge the evil he sees happening all around. Children were encouraged to turn their family members in for violating any small rule; boys beat each other to just to prove their loyalty to the Fuhrer.

Michael befriends a new boy at school and protects him from the bullies. As he gets to know his new young friend he discovers the secret of Projekt 1065. Michael is determined to somehow get a copy of the plan and pass it on to his parents to send to the Allies. The story keeps you questioning with Michael , what would I do if I had to choose between doing what is necessary and doing something wrong.

 

Now, if you’ve been keeping up you’ve noticed we keep mentioning ten titles but we have only done nine; that’s because some titles don’t really fit well with any of the other books. This year that book is I Will Always Write Back, this is a nonficiton title. Don’t let the fact that it’s nonfiction scare you away, as this book will demand your attention.

 

I Will Always Write Back

By Caitlin Alifirenka & Martin Ganda with Liz Welch

Two people, two very different lives. Caitlin lives in Virginia, while Martin lives halfway around the world in Zimbabwe. Two individuals who by all means should have never met each other quickly become close lifelong friends. Everyone in Caitlin’s class wrote a letter to a penpal in a distant country. Martin is one of the lucky few in his class to receive a letter, which happens to be from Caitlin. As they correspond with each other, they learn how vastly different their worlds truly are. As Martin struggles to find ways to pay for school and feed his family, Caitlin struggles with backstabbing friends and dating. Even with the differences they have, they find peace and understanding through one another. From their first letter all the way to their first meeting, we see how a letter can spark a friendship that lasts decades, a friendship that changes both individuals for the better.

 

There you are –  all ten Soaring Eagle Nominees for 2018-2019. Voting is going on now through Mach 15, for our teens, 7th-12th grade, at your public library or at your school library. If you have read three or more of these books, you can vote for your favorite, as well as nominate another book to be on the list next year! If you haven’t read three,stop by your libraries to check some out, or visit our Libby app. Happy readings!!!!

 

Explore Tech in the Teen Room During Teen Tech Week!

If you were ever curious about the tech options for teens at the library, there are plenty of different technologies for you to explore!

3D pens – Draw awesome 3D objects with our 3D pens! From statues to glasses frames, there are a ton of fun things you can create. Use your imagination! These will be available for you to use in the makerspace for the first couple weeks in March.


Spheros – These round robots are a ton of fun. You can create your own coding system – they’ll go wherever you guide them! You can use a code someone else has created or create your own! Your sphero will dance, have a light show, and make various sounds.

3D Printer – Have you ever used a 3D printer? Now’s your chance to find out how cool they are. You can print out basically whatever you want (besides things outlined in our library policy) and we have a variety of filament colors as well. On Wednesday, March 6 teen librarians will be explaining how to use them and will provide an opportunity for you to print something. During the month of March 3D prints are free for teens, 7th-12th grade!


Ozobots – these little robots follow a code that you put before them and can create a variety of shapes and follow a lot of different paths. You can draw these paths yourself or use a coding system to teach your bots new tricks!

Here in the teen room we have two original ozobots and one Evobot. With light effects, sounds, and a variety of movements, the options are endless!
The teen room also has two iPads, 4 internet computers, more robotics, a computer lab for you to use whenever you need to do homework and much more. Come down and explore all we have to offer! See you during Teen Tech Week March 4-8!

Jennifer A. Nielsen Author Visit!

The end is near! Though there is still time to read a Jennifer Nielsen book!

From February 20-22 at our local junior high schools, catch our visiting New York Times bestselling author, Jennifer A. Nielsen! Jennifer, the author of historical fictions such as Resistance and A Night Divided, will be visiting 8th grade classes at your school soon.  For those who are fans of books that take you to whole new worlds, Jennifer is also the author of the Mark of the Thief and Traitor’s Game series!

Anyone who loves reading, writing, history, fantasy, or just wants to pick an author’s brain will enjoy her presentations.

For those who may miss Jennifer at school, join us at Campbell County Public Library Friday, February 22 at 6:30 pm in the Wyoming Room for a presentation by the author!

If you are interested in purchasing a book, a selection of Jennifer Nielsen’s books will be available for purchase and autograph at all events throughout the week.

See you there!

About the author:

Jennifer A. Nielsen is a Youth Author from Utah who most enjoys writing fantasy and historic fiction. She particularly enjoys writing historical fiction, as seen in Resistance and A Night Divided. She also particularly enjoys writing about characters who are rebellious and strong in the face of oppression. Capturing important messages in characters facing hardship, there’s a Jennifer Nielsen book to capture all ages of readers.

For more information on Jennifer A. Nielsen visit her website at http://jennielsen.com/

2018-2019 Soaring Eagle Nominees Continue

Voting’s coming fast! Have you read at least three of the 2018-2019 Soaring Eagle Nominees?

No?! Fantasy just isn’t your thing? None of the last three caught your eye? Never fear! This week we’ll show you three realistic fiction and one mystery from this year’s list. Realistic fiction is great for readers who want to be taken out of their lives but not taken out of the real world!

Dumplin’

By Julie Murphy

Willowdean is fat.  She’s always been fat.  Her mom – a former beauty queen who hasn’t quite left that part of her life behind – affectionately calls Willowdean “Dumplin.”  But Willowdean doesn’t mind being fat; she actually likes her body, and she doesn’t care what other people think.  Usually.

In Willowdean’s hometown, Clover City, the Miss Teen Bluebonnet beauty pageant is THE measure of a girl’s worth, and nobody even considers someone like Willowdean entering the pageant. Especially not her mom; she diets every year so that she can fit into the dress she wore when she was named Miss Teen Bluebonnet years ago. Her overweight daughter as a candidate in her precious pageant?  Unheard of!

Why should being a certain size determine beauty, Willowdean wonders?  And with that – and with her customary sass – Willowdean sets out to shock the town of Clover City out of its prejudices.  In Willowdean’s words, “I get called a freak everyday.  I might as well make a show of it.” But in the process, it turns out that the person Willowdean is most likely to shock… is herself.

Words in Deep Blue

By Cath Crowley

Rachel’s world is crumbling around her since her brother drowned off the coast of Australia in the ocean she once loved. Mired in grief, she has let everything go, even failing her grade 12 exams. In a final desperate attempt to pull her out of the nose dive her life has taken, Rachel’s mom sends her back to live with her aunt and work for the summer. The only problem? Her aunt lives in Rachel’s old hometown where, years ago in a moment of either insanity or bravery, she confessed her love for her best friend in the pages of his favorite book and he never responded. To make matters worse, her aunt gets her a job in the bookstore his family owns!

Henry works at his family’s derelict second hand book shop, but he loves it. What he loves most is the letter library; a small section of used books where people can mark the pages, leave letters, or send their thoughts out into the future. Things aren’t easy with the failing shop and his disintegrating family life, but at least he has his beautiful girlfriend, Amy … until he doesn’t.  To complicate matters, his best friend Rachel is back in town, after having cut ties with him years ago without any explanation.  She looks different, and worse, acts different. At first, she’s cold and aloof and won’t talk to him, but then agrees to help him try to get Amy back.

As Rachel and Henry catalogue the annotations in the letter library, they find out that even though everything is changing, some things remain the same. They discover that hope and healing are possible for them both IF they can get on the same page.

Long Way Down

By Jason Reynolds

Three rules:

Number 1: No crying

Number 2: No snitching

Number 3: Get revenge

Those are the rules of the neighborhood. When Will’s brother Shawn turns up dead, Will, like so many others, sets out to get revenge. Will thinks he doesn’t care what happens, as long as he gets revenge. Once he hops in the elevator he starts to have second thoughts, and it’s a long way from floor 7 to the bottom floor. It’s even longer when, on each floor, someone new steps on. It’s longer still when those people aren’t supposed to be there anymore.

Jason Reynolds’ newest novel, Long Way Down, is written in verse.

 

Thornhill

By Pam Smy

Torment.

February 1982: Mary lives every day at Thornhill Home for Orphans, beleaguered by a cruel and unpredictable bully. The home has been ordered to close, and while many of the girls are rehoused, Mary finds her world shrinking in on itself. It seems that nobody wants to foster the semi-mute, pale and withdrawn Mary.  The only comfort Mary finds is in crafting detailed puppets and reading in the quiet privacy of her upstairs room. But as the staff and students leave, one by one, Mary finds herself alone with her tormenter until she is faced with a life or death choice.

March 2017: Ella’s story has no words- we only see flashes of her life, punctuated by black pages and interlaced with Mary’s story from decades before. The images come together to give clues to Ella’s isolated life; pictures of an absent mother, notes from an overworked father, and the view from an upstairs window that overlooks Thornhill and the promise of a mystery to solve.

As Ella discovers more about the mystery surrounding the overgrown gardens she begins to see that maybe she and Mary have more in common that she realizes, and that sometimes loneliness is the worst torment of all.

 

 

2018-2019 Soaring Eagle Nominees

  2018-2019 Soaring Eagle Nominees

The fun thing with the Soaring Eagle Book Award program is that it is run almost entirely by teens in Wyoming. Teens each year get to nominate their favorite books. Then a committee of teachers and librarians narrows the selection down to ten. Once the nominees are announced, the YA staff at Campbell County Public Library uses a Campbell County Public Recreation District grant to order sets of the nominated books for county agencies and district schools so that all students have access to them. From February 15-March 15 teens who have read at least three of the nominees can vote for their favorite and nominate new books for next year. The books cover many different topics and genres including romance, horror, historical fiction, non-fiction and many others. Over the next few weeks we will be posting booktalks for all ten 2018-2019 nominees. This week let’s look at a few fantasy/science fiction titles!

 

 

Three Dark Crowns

By Kendare Blake

How many of you have siblings?

What would you do if you were separated from your siblings at a young age, and then told when you turn 16 you must kill them?

In every generation on Fennbirn a set of triplets is born. These sisters are separated at a young age and raised by families who possess coveted magic. The elementals, able to create flames and storms, raise sweet and beautiful Mirabella. The poisoners, able to consume and touch poison, raise plain-Jane Katharine. Finally, the naturalists, able to control any animal, raise the fierce stubborn Arsinoe.  The three are kept away from each other until the night they turn 16. On that night the games begin, and they are life or death. The winner takes the crown. But when outside forces intervene, and secret alliances are being made, the triplets don’t know who to trust. With their lives in the balance, who will survive? Mirabella, Katharine and Arsinoe are pushed to their limits, and the island of Fennbirn never lets go.

 

Rebel of the Sands

By Alwyn Hamilton

Amani will do anything to escape Dustwalk, including pretending she is a boy, getting into trouble with the law and befriending the fugitive Jin, in hopes he will help her out of town. She has no problem using him to get what she wants, thinking he is just a foreign bandit out to take advantage of others.  This begins Amani’s great adventure filled with rebel armies, magic horses, sabotage and finding true family and friendship. Amani is a true adventurer who is afraid of nothing. She is a master with guns and uses her skills to get her out of town and keep her alive. The mysterious fugitive Amani uses to escape her fate in Dustwalk turns out to be a man who takes her on a journey she could not have imagined.  They fight rebel armies, friends and enemies alike who have reasons to want them dead. Amani struggles with trust and loyalty since she has had very few people who have been loyal to her. When she finally meets Jin’s people and discovers his secret, Amani discovers a tribe she wants to be loyal to and the people she is willing to trust.

Dividing Eden

By Joelle Charbonneau

Twins Carys and Andreus are accustomed to certain patterns in their lives in the Palace of the Winds:  Andreus studies and fixes the giant windmills that power their kingdom; romances a new girl every few weeks; and hides his “curse” from the Council of Elders.  Carys suffers the unending criticism of her mother; helps Andreus hide his secret; and suffers punishments for her brother whenever she protects him from the Council. These patterns, for Carys and Andreus, will probably go on forever, as neither of them will rule the kingdom.

Until the day when, in one 24-hour period, both their father and older brother are assassinated, and their mother goes mad.  Suddenly, the kingdom is without a clear leader. The Council of Elders sets up a Trial of Virtuous Succession – a series of tests by which Carys and Andreus will prove that one of them is worthy to lead.  At first, they craft a secret pact about who that person should be…. but as other people become involved in the Trials and plant seeds of distrust in the twins’ minds, the competition becomes more real… and more deadly.

 

Did any of these titles sound interesting to you? Remember all these can be found at your school and public library just stop in and ask! If none of these interest you don’t worry we still have seven more to show you!

CCPL Teen Volunteer applications– Happening NOW!

volunteer

The Library needs you!

Do you:

• Want to help your community?

• Enjoy hanging out with fun people?

• Like to eat snacks?

• Want to gain job skills before applying for the real thing?

• Want to build an impressive resume before graduating?

If you said “yes” to any of these, consider signing up to be a CCPL Teen Volunteer! Applications are available in the Teen Room of the library.  Pick one up, and return, with a parent/guardian signature,  by Friday, September 1, at 4 p.m.  Training and orientation will take place the following week.    Questions?  Call the Young Adult department at 687-9227, or Darcy Acord, Youth Services Librarian, at 687-9229.

 

More Soaring Eagle nominees — and time to vote!

Now through March 15th teens who have read 3 of the 2016-2017 Soaring Eagle nominees can vote on which book they liked best, as well as nominate one for next year!

The best part about the Soaring Eagle books is the fact that these are teen-recommended titles. We’ve been astounded at the complexity and variety of this year’s nominees. This year, teens nominated genres such A magical realism (Bone Gap), non-fiction (Samurai Rising), and historical fiction (Salt to the Sea).

We’re hoping with the following books we can spark your interest but, if we haven’t yet, hold on!  We’ve got four more books on the Soaring Eagle list to discuss!

Bone GapBone Gap

Laura Ruby

Do we really see one another – deep inside? Have you ever felt that the way other people see you becomes the way you see yourself?  That’s how Finn feels: ever since his mother left him, and his older brother, Sean, behind in order to marry a man who didn’t want them, the people of Bone Gap see Finn and Sean as unlucky and pitiable, and they see themselves that way, too.

That is, until Roza comes to live with them. No one knows where Roza came from, or what her story is.  They just know that she brings joy and liveliness to the town of Bone Gap.

But when Roza disappears, the people of Bone Gap just accept it. After all, Bone Gap is a place of gaps — gaps people disappear into, gaps that trip you up. Sean just thinks Roza’s disappearance is more of his bad luck.  Finn, however, knows there’s a reason Roza disappeared — and it has to do with the scarecrow man who stole her.

The problem is, nobody in Bone Gap believes Finn, because nobody really sees him.   Nobody, that is, except his girlfriend, Petey – but when she comes to understand Finn’s deepest secret, even Petey loses her faith in him.

This book is an example of magical realism, a genre which blends a realistic story with elements of magic and fantasy.

Salt to the SeaSalt to the sea

By Ruta Sepetys

As thousands of people fled Germany during the end of World War II, Florian the thief, the pregnant Emilia, Joanna the nurse, Opi the shoe poet and Klaus, the wondering boy, were among them. Together, they have witnessed the horrors of war, death and starvation in freezing temperatures. They believe they have found safety when they are all able to get aboard Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that will take them out of Germany and the invading forces of the Russians.

Twenty-two minus eleven—that’s how many safety boats are on the ship that is thousands of people over capacity. Alfred knows. He’s the German soldier who desperately seeks to earn the recognition of the Nazi’s.

They do not know that they are aboard a ship that will go down in history as the deadly shipwreck, dwarfing the casualties of the Titanic.

Faced with the violence and inhumanity of fighting for their survival, Florian, the thief, will have to decide between his secrets, secrets that could get him hunted and killed by the Germans, and the lives of his newfound friends. Who will make it off the ship alive and who will become nothing more than Salt to the Sea? (*This is a historical fiction: while the story is fabricated, the events are real.)

Samrai risingSamurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune

By Pamela S. Turner

Although he was destined to be one of the greatest samurai in history, Yoshitsune barely made it into adulthood. When he was a baby, his father kidnapped the emperor and tried to force Japanese royalty to acknowledge him as nobility, but samurai were not nobility during this time—they were the people nobility paid to do the dirty work.

Yoshitsune’s father and brothers were killed for his father’s failed coup, but his mother made a desperate plea—let three-year-old Yoshitsune live his life quietly and peacefully in a Buddhist monastery.

However, the call to be a samurai—to train in archery and hand-to-hand combat ran deep in Yoshitsune’s blood and he escaped the monastery at thirteen, disguised himself as a servant and sought warrior training so that he can exact revenge on the men who were responsible for the death of his family.

There are many odds against Yoshitsune—he has begun samurai training far later in life than the other boys, there are many enemies that could kill him on sight if they know who he is and, in Japanese politics, there’s no telling who will remain your friend and who will turn on you. Yoshitsune will face death in battle many times over and danger at the hands of his friends if he is to survive in this non-fiction account.

 

A look back . . . .

As a new year begins, it is time to look back on the activities and fun we had in the Teen Room this past year. 2016 was a crazy year! Here in the Teen Room, we had fun activities each month.

In January, we accepted applications for our teen volunteer program. This program is so important to keep our library running. Every day we have volunteers run our teen clubs. Without teen volunteers, we would not have clubs. They also help with our recycling program as well as our children’s department activities, particularly in the summer months.

In February, we offered a Blind Date with a Book. We wrapped up books and the teens got to pick up a few to take home, unwrap, and read. This display allowed teens the opportunity to choose a book without seeing the cover.

In March, we had our annual Teen Tech Week. For a whole week we had our LittleBits, Legos, Robotics, and our 3D Printer Pens available in the Teen Room Maker’s Space. The teens were able to create things with these various electronic devices—anything from robots to 3D drawings.

April was a pretty quiet month for us. The entire library celebrated National Library Week, a week dedicated to celebrating libraries.

In May, we hosted 6th grade tours. These tours allow us the chance to bring our 6th graders in and emphasize what they can do in the teen room as soon as they ‘graduate’ from sixth grade. We’ve found there are still people who don’t realize the Teen Room exists and by hosting these tours, we hope to remind the young adults that we are here for their recreational and educational needs.

June through August saw our Summer Reading Program. This year’s theme was “Get in the Game.” Our goal was to offer teens information on various life skills every Wednesday. We taught them about looking for a job, personal finance, stress management, and how to take care of animals where a selection of pets were welcome in the teen room (please note: no pets were eaten during this program!).

In September we focused on National Banned Books Week. This year our big attraction was having the teens guess which banned book we shredded. You can read more about this event here http://ccpls.info/teens/2016/10/11/banned-book-week-2016/.

For October we held a few different events, the first being Teen Read Week; for this we hosted a Bring Your Own Book Club. Teens were able to bring any book they loved and talk about it. You can read more about this fun event here http://ccpls.info/teens/2016/10/26/teen-read-week-book-discussion/. Our last event for October was a Tim Burton Movie Marathon. We watched BeetleJuice, Frankenweenie, Corpse Bride, and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

November was International Games Day. We had a ton of fun! We created life-size Jenga and Checkers! Nothing beats watching a stack of soda boxes fall over.

Finally for December, we had a quiet month. We provided a drop-in craft for teens to create a book ornament, and a hot chocolate bar. Nothing says winter spirit like hot chocolate, good books, and great company. As the New Year begins we are excited to see where 2017 takes us, and we are excited that you are on this crazy adventure with us! Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!!

Teen Volunteer Holiday Book Fair

bookfair

For over a decade, the Campbell County Public Library Teen Volunteers have held a semi-annual Scholastic book fair. This book fair is run entirely by the library’s volunteer force, including the adult volunteers who help during the school day. However, after school, Teen  Volunteers run the booth. The holiday book fair is particularly important to the youth of our community. At the end of the fair, the Teen Volunteers receive matching funds scaled according to the book fair profits, which are then used to purchase books to donate to youth service agencies in our community. These agencies include GARF, the Boys and Girls Club, the YES house and many others. This is one reason the fair is very important and why we ask the Teen Volunteers to each take at least one shift. Another is that this is a perfect time for you to do some Christmas shopping! We have a variety of books for you to choose from, for many different readers. Stop by and get some early- or last-minute shopping taken care of! The final reason the book fair is important is you can buy books! What other way would you want to end the year than by curled up by the fire reading a new book?! Join us at the book fair:  Monday, December 5, 5pm-7pm; and Tuesday, December 6 through Thursday, December 8, 10am-7pm.