World Poetry Day

Today, Saturday March 21, is UNESCO’s World Poetry Day. A day to take stock of how poetry affirms our common humanity. Poetry may be song or prose. It may be read or spoken. But no matter its form, it connects us to our deepest internal experiences, dreams, desires, hopes and aspirations through the words of another … giving us confirmation that we are indeed never alone, no matter how much we may feel that we are.

“Every form of poetry is unique, but each reflects the universal of the human experience, the aspiration for creativity that crosses all boundaries and borders of time, as well as space in the constant affirmation of humanity as a single family. That’s the power of poetry!”

—  Audrey Azoulay, Director-General UNESCO, on the occasion of 2019 World Poetry Day

So, consider taking a moment to write a poem or to read a poem or to simply lose yourself in your favorite song and know that in so doing you are tapping into an energy that unites us all.

We invite you to enjoy the following poem by Kurt Vonnegut and come check out the poetry books we have here at the library.


True story, Word of Honor:
Joseph Heller, an important and funny writer
now dead,
and I were at a party given by a billionaire
on Shelter Island.

I said, “Joe, how does it make you feel
to know that our host only yesterday
may have made more money
than your novel ‘Catch-22’
has earned in its entire history?”
And Joe said, “I’ve got something he can never have.”
And I said, “What on earth could that be, Joe?”
And Joe said, “The knowledge that I’ve got enough.”
Not bad! Rest in peace!


Kurt Vonnegut

The New Yorker, May 16, 2005

Recommended Poetry Books:

Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein

For Everyone, Jason Reynolds

Shout, Laurie Halse Anderson

Imperfect: poems about mistakes: an anthology for middle schoolers, Tabatha Yeatts, editor

Dizzy in Your Eyes: Poems About Love, Pat Mora

The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One, Amanda Lovelace

Light Filters In: Poems, Caroline Kaufman

Teen Technology


Hello again teens! Spring is in the air and it is time we start the buzz around Summer Reading! You have a lot of fun activities to look forward to this summer! But in order to best utilize our Teen Room supplies, this month we are having a Technology Fair! It is important to know what resources we always have on hand for teens to play around with, especially because a lot of our technology is stored in the office. This post is about the different technologies we have available for teens that you may not have known about. Also, we will be showcasing these technologies at our upcoming Teen Technology Fair on Wednesday, March 18, 1:30-5pm! Let’s jump into it!


For those of you who have never seen one, a Sphero is a little BB8-like robot that you control on the iPads. These programmable robots are a STEAM-based educational tool that transform the way kids learn, create and invent through coding, science, music and the arts. We have two of them in the Teen Room along with Sphero obstacle course equipment, so they are really fun to explore with a friend!


Ozobots are like itty-bitty Roomba (minus the vacuuming) that follow lines. These little guys are much more than that, though. They will follow any line you make and help educate you about coding concepts. This is an awesome little robot for someone who enjoys problem solving, as it is excellent at showing how to work through things like cause/effect and debugging. Ozobots are yet another great hands-on robot!


If you have not played around with LittleBits, boy are you missing out! These little doodads are so much fun and so easy to use! They are preprogrammed gadgets that you put together to make different customizable inventions. Each LittleBit says what it does, then you connect the bits together till you make the invention you desire. And the best part is that they’re magnetic, so if you’re worried you might get lost or hook something up wrong, you can’t! The magnets won’t let you! You should absolutely fidget with this next time you visit the library!


Thames and Kosmos Robotics are a fun spin on your basic DIY robot. With 8 sample projects of different robots to build, these robots are great for anyone who loves building things. The twist on these robots is in the power supply. The motor uses ultrasonic technology so that it can sense movement and sound. Plus, you can connect it on the iPad and control its programming and movement even more!

3D Pens

These cool little gadgets don’t need much introduction, as the name is in the title. 3D Pens! These awesome pens allow you to draw on and off the page. Draw vertically. Draw horizontally. The sky is the limit! 3D Pens work like a hot glue gun, but with fast-cooling plastic. The possibilities are endless!


Lego Robotics

Let your inner builder unleash the creative powers of Lego Mindstorms! Build robots that walk, talk, think and do anything you can imagine. These retro robots are an awesome resource for those of you who have Lego nostalgia.


Soaring Eagle 2019-2020-Voting now open!

Over the last few weeks we have shown you six of the ten Soaring Eagle nominees for 2019-2020. Hopefully you’ve read about at least one that sounds interesting to you but if not, we’ve got four more to show you. This week’s theme: series! The beautiful thing about a series is you get to see your favorite characters over the course of several books instead of just one. This makes getting attached to characters a little easier. Without further ado, here are our last four titles.

An Ember in the Ashes

By Sabaa Tahir

“As long as there is life, there is hope.”

Laia tries to live by these words, repeated by her grandmother, Nan, often as she was growing up.  But in the Martial Empire, hope is difficult to come by … because life, especially Laia’s life, is seen as cheap and exhaustible.

When Laia’s grandparents are brutally murdered and her brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a deal with an underground group that is working against the Empire; she must spy on the Empire from within the walls of its martial training academy, putting her own life and her own freedom at stake.

There, Laia meets Elias, a young soldier who is training for the Empire’s most elite force, but who lacks the drive – or the ruthlessness – that his fellow soldiers possess.  In a battle to become the emperor’s “Blood Strike,” Elias must choose between what is expected of him and what his soul tells him to do … and his choice forces him to flee the Empire, with only Laia as his ally.

An Ember in the Ashes combines adventure, magic, intrigue and unspeakable cruelty in an epic tale of friendship and, ultimately, hope. This is the first title in a trilogy; the other titles are A Torch Against the Night and A Reaper at the Gates, both of which are available for checkout.

Defy the Stars

By Claudia Gray

What would the world look like if robots took over all jobs? Not just the jobs that humans don’t want to do, but all jobs.

An interstellar war has broken out between the planets, Genesis and Earth. Earth has pushed the laws of mankind, creating machines to do everything and essentially stripping humans of their humanity. On the flip side, Genesis has seen the evils of what mankind can do and has not advanced their technology in hundreds of years. With the Earth’s advanced tech, Genesis must do whatever they can to gain more time. Out of options, Genesis starts preparing to delay the war by launching the Masada Run: a mission that will kill almost everyone who participates. Noemi is willing to die for her planet and in three weeks she will be joining the Masada Run. She’s come to terms with her imminent demise, until by accident, she stumbles upon Abel. Abel is a mech, a robot, who was abandoned in space for years. The unlikely duo team up to delay the war, if not stop it entirely. As Noemi and Abel travel to the other inhabitable planets, they start to question how much of what their home planets told them is true and how much is a lie.

Defy the Stars is the first book in the trilogy; the other titles are Defy the Fates and Defy the Worlds, both are available for checkout.

Onyx & Ivory

By Mindee Arnett

Kate and Prince Corwin were once childhood friends, until the day Kate’s father tried to assassinate Corwin’s father. Since then Kate has been living in exile, working as a courier for the Relay, a group of riders tasked with delivering various items and information to other villages. Kate is always careful to make it back home before night falls and the nightdrakes come out to feast. On one errand Kate runs into a massacre: problem one, the only survivor is Corwin; problem two, the drakes attacked during the day. With the threat of the night creatures being able to attack during the day, Kate and Corwin must put their past aside before Rime falls.

Their friendship is also strained because of Kate’s secret: she is a wilder, a person who possesses forbidden magic. Magic she can use to help save Rime, if she doesn’t get caught

Onyx & Ivory is the first book of the Rime Chronicles. The second and final book, Shadow & Flame, is available for checkout.

One of Us is Lying

By Karen M. McManus

On Monday, four teens meet with nothing in common, minus the fact that they all ended up in detention and watched Simon die. Now Yale-bound Bronwyn, homecoming princess Addy, all-American boy Cooper, and bad boy Nate are all being accused of conspiring against, and murdering, Simon.

The motive?

Simon runs “About That”, on online blog that exposes secrets you don’t want exposed, and on Tuesday he was going to post the next set of secrets, secrets about Bronwyn, Addy, Cooper and Nate. Secrets they all wish would never see the light of day. Simon wasn’t the only one who knew their secrets; the murderer knows them as well and won’t stop until the lives of the four are ruined forever.

Now the unlikely four must find the killer before one or all of them go to jail for a murder they didn’t commit… or did they?

One of Us is Lying is the first book in the Bayview High series. The second book, One of Us is Next just came out and is available for checkout.

There you have it: all ten Soaring Eagle Nominees. A reminder that voting for the Soaring Eagle Book Award is open now through March 15. You can vote at your public library or your school library. We hope that you found one book you are interested in reading. However, if you did not, stop by the library and we’ll hook you up with one you’ll love.

Soaring Eagle 2019-2020 Continue

Have you ever read an author that you really loved? You know- an author whose work you enjoy so much you can’t read just one of their books? Some authors just grab us with their writing style or characters. That’s why some authors show up on the Soaring Eagle list multiple times. This post will cover the three books by authors who have appeared on the list in the past.

 What If It’s Us

By Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

What If It’s Us is the story of two boys; Arthur and Ben, who meet at the post office in New York City. Ben is a New York local who is trying to move on and return a package of things left behind by his ex. Having been hurt before, Ben doesn’t trust the universe.

Arthur is a theater kid who’s only in New York for the summer, interning with his family’s law firm. Being in the city that has places like Broadway, Times Square, and so much diversity and theater culture, it’s a dream opportunity; but with no one to explore it with, Arthur feels stuck. Looking for a sign from the universe on how to get out of his loop of the same daily grind, Arthur meets Ben.

They have an epic first meeting in the middle of a flash mob proposal at a New York post office. Meeting at a time when both boys are at their lowest, it feels like fate to Arthur, but before he can make a move, Ben disappears.

Arthur is left feeling like the universe just sent him a big wakeup call and opportunity. So, with that, Arthur makes it his mission to test fate and find Ben again…in the middle of New York City… with no name or contact information… before the end of summer.


In 2017-20 18 Becky Albertalli stole our hearts with Simon Vs. the Home Sapiens Agenda. To read either of these or her other titles check out our What’s Hot Now display in the Teen Room. We also have more by Adam Silvera on the regular shelves.


Little White Lies

By Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Sawyer Taft is 18 years old, and accustomed to life as she knows it:  she lives with her single mom in a rented apartment, goes to school, works as an auto mechanic, and deflects the regular advances of the “good ole’ boys” who live in her small Southern town.

She’s also accustomed to her mom falling in love every other week, and often leaving for days with her newest romantic interest. So, when her mom texts her that she is leaving once again, Sawyer thinks nothing of it.

That day, however, a well-dressed elderly woman – who is clearly out of place in Sawyer’s small town – shows up at her front door.  She introduces herself as Sawyer’s grandmother, her mom’s mom, and offers Sawyer half a million dollars to come live with her for a year … with a catch.

Sawyer must participate in “the season”  – a series of balls, charitable events, and other public appearances that go along with being one of high society’s debutante girls – a Southern tradition full of glamour, money, and prim & proper behavior … something Sawyer’s always struggled with.

We meet Sawyer and her other debutante friends in a jail cell, dressed to the nines in ballgowns and elbow gloves. What follows is the month-by-month backstory of family secrets, skeletons in the closet, and covered-up crimes that landed the four of them there.

Jennifer Lynn Barnes terrorized us in 2017-2018 with her book The Naturals, the first book in a series of four. Little White Lies is the first in the Debutantes series; the second book, Deadly Little Scandals, is also out and available for checkout.



By Marissa Meyer

Renegades is the story of Nova, a girl in a world of exceptional people with exceptional powers. Born with the power to never sleep and to make everyone she touches fall asleep, Nova is amongst a group of hero prodigies.

The Renegades are a powerful group of superhumans who strive for peace and order; serving as heroes, police, and lawmakers in their dystopian world. Since childhood, Nova has held a grudge against the Renegades and has made it her mission to take them down. Training with her uncle and his villainous gang of superhumans called the Anarchists, Nova works to overthrow the Renegades.

Then, in the middle of a mission she meets Adrian, the adopted son of two famous Renegade council members. Little does she know that the two of them have met before, as Adrian also has a secret identity he’s hiding from the Renegades. When Nova starts to become closer with her new team, she struggles to understand what she’s truly fighting for and just where her loyalties lie.


2015-2016 introduced readers to Meyer’s first book, Cinder, a steampunky-cyborgy retelling of Cinderella and the first book in the Lunar Chronicles. Readers can find The Lunar Chronicles on our All Time Favorites display; her other books can be found on the regular shelves.


We hope that one of the books in this post has caught your attention; however, if none of these sound interesting to you, don’t worry; we have four more titles to share. Don’t forget voting opens February 15. If you haven’t read three or more of the titles, all of them can be found at your school and public library. Happy reading!

Soaring Eagle 2019-2020

It’s just about the time of year where the winners of the Soaring Eagle Book Award are announced! For those of you who might be unfamiliar with the Soaring Eagle Book Award program, let me give you a bit of a run down. Every year, teens in Wyoming have the chance to nominate their favorite books to appear on the list. A committee of teachers and librarians narrow those titles down to a final list of ten. Then the nominees are announced. Over the next few months, here at Campbell County Public Library, the staff members in the Teen Room read through all the nominated titles and create book talks for them. At the beginning of each school year we then present those book talks to the 7th and 8th graders at Twin Spruce and Sage Valley junior high schools. From February 15 – March 15 teens throughout the state who have read three or more of the titles have the chance to vote for their favorite and nominate new books for the next year. The titles cover many different topics including horror, science fiction, romance, non-fiction, graphic novels and so many others. Over the next few weeks we’ll present the book talks for the 2019-2020 nominees! This week we’ll go over the three stand-alone titles on the list. A stand-alone is a book that is not part of a series.


The Hate U Give

By Angie Thomas

For sixteen-year-old Starr, life is difficult to navigate. Starr struggles with being herself when she feels like she has to act like somebody else, depending on where she is and who she’s with. Living in a poor, gang-ridden neighborhood, she’s seen as “being better than everybody else” because she attends a fancy, suburban prep-school. Then at school, where she’s the only African American student, she has to try to act “formal” enough, so she doesn’t get stereotyped as a hood rat. It is mentally exhausting.

This balance between her two worlds becomes even heavier after she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed, making the incident national news and putting Starr as the key eyewitness to the trial.

In the heat of the Black Lives Matter movement, Starr has to decide how to best get justice for Khalil when she is the only person alive who knows the true story. But what Starr does—or does not—say could enrage her community, or even endanger her and her family.


Hey, Kiddo

By Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Jarrett J. Krosoczka has written and illustrated over a dozen different books. With success like this you might be thinking he’s had an easy life, but you couldn’t be more wrong. As a child he was adopted by his grandparents due to his mom constantly being in and out of rehab and jail due to her drug addiction. His father wasn’t in the picture either; Jarrett never even knew his father’s name until he was a teenager and stumbled upon his birth certificate. His only escape from the darkness that was his life was through art and drawing, so he threw himself into classes for graphic design, drawing and basically any other forms of art. His passion for graphic novels helped push him to publish his first book, Good Night, Monkey Boy in 2001. Jarrett is a great example that it doesn’t matter where you come from; all that matters is your drive. This title is a graphic novel.


A Land of Permanent Goodbyes

By Atia Abawi

Tareq, a teenager living in a small city in Syria, is enjoying a typical evening at home with his family: his mom is fixing dinner; his dad is still at work at the family store; his younger siblings are playing; and his grandmother is helping with his twin baby brothers. Just a typical family evening that might happen in any country, right?

Typical until an air strike bombs Tareq’s city, destroying his home, his family, his past. In an instant, Tareq’s world is gone, replaced by a new reality – one that includes becoming a refugee to escape the war that is destroying his country.  In his journey to find a new life, Tareq will face starvation, unemployment, human traffickers, and the dangers of crossing the Mediterranean Sea to what he hopes will be safety and a new life for himself and his baby sister.  He will also find moments of breathtaking courage and human kindness in its purest form.

Written by a news journalist and based on the very real events of the Syrian war and refugee crisis, A Land of Permanent Goodbyes shows us that Tareq’s story could be any teenager’s story, if it is your destiny to live in a country devastated by war.


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 titles interest you, don’t worry. We still have seven more to show you!

Introducing Teen TED and Talk

TED Talks are awesome. They inspire and motivate and inform. They connect us with ideas and people and ourselves. They give us new perspective and insight and validation. They are like books …. books that have been condensed into 20-minute time slots.

This is what birthed the idea for TED and Talk, a book club-type encounter in which participants watch a TED Talk instead of reading a book. Reading a book is a major time commitment and time is a precious resource. Watching a TED Talk commits a fraction of the time a book does but provides equal opportunity for discussion and wonder and growth. And these are exactly the kinds of opportunities we strive to facilitate for you, the teens that we serve here at the library.

So please join us for our trial run of TED and Talk on January 21st at 1:30pm. We will be watching a talk by Sarah Kay, discussing the ideas, and, of course, enjoying snacks. If you’d like to check Ms. Kay’s talk out in advance, follow this link:


100 Books in a Year

Hello, teens! It is I, your humble teen librarian, Ashley! This blog is a synopsis of my year, where I challenged myself to read 100 books. 100 books! I thought it sounded crazy at first also, but that’s why I kept telling as many people as would listen about my reading challenge. Constantly telling others that “I AM” doing this was a great way for me to hold myself accountable. Now December is here, and I’ve read 93 books! I hope my 100 book reading adventure will inspire you to read more!

Why I decided to make this my goal

This was such a great experience. I know I sound like a broken record with the whole, “23 year old librarian discovers reading” narrative, although I realized that in and after college, I don’t remember reading a single book for fun. Working in the Teen Room changed that for me.

With recommending books as such a big part of my new job, I really wanted to read more and know the collection of books I had around me. With all of the new YA books, manga, and graphic novels coming in every month, I started accumulating name after name of books and authors I wanted to read.

Not to mention, at this time in 2018, my favorite Youtuber Pewdiepie was also doing monthly book reviews and talking about all the great experiences he was having from reading again. After his book review video in December, “720 Books in a Year” (which was clickbait; he read 72 books in the year), I was amazed at the idea of somebody reading 70 books in a year when I hadn’t even read one. I thought to myself, “If the person with the biggest channel on Youtube can find time to read 70 books, I’ve got to be able to read 100”.  And so I had a New Year’s resolution; in 2019, I was going to read 100 books.

How I managed my reading

By doing some simple math, I calculated if I monitor myself and keep on a schedule where I read about 7-10 books a month, I would make it to 100 by January. So that’s what I did. Just like you teens do with summer reading, I logged everything, kept track of what I have read and still want to read with a continuously growing “want to read” list. And now it’s December, and I will meet my goal.

I bet you’re still wondering how I made time to sit down and read about 9 books a month. My secret? I didn’t. In case you haven’t been keeping up with these blog posts, a library has so many more resources than just your standard books. We also have audiobooks, eaudiobooks, Playaways, graphic novels, manga, NoFear classics, along with graphic novel classic remakes.

The app I used to listen to most of my eaudiobooks was Libby, which is amazing and free to anyone with a library card. On Libby, you can read or listen to the most recent audiobooks wherever you want, at the speed you set, without fines, and without using data after downloading your book. For those of you who say that they don’t have time to read, I would respond with, “you likely have time to listen”. I listen to books everywhere! Any little downtime where I have a quiet break when I’m alone, I always have a great story to listen to.

To address some more assumptions, before you think that all I did was listen to books, that’s not true either. I happen to be a rather audible and visual learner, so eaudiobooks work really well for me along with graphic novels. Don’t get me wrong, I can sit down and binge a chapter book when I want to, but with holding myself to such a tight schedule it was a lot easier to listen to eaudiobooks in my down time.

One more note on my reading schedule: with 100 books at about 9 a month, you may think I was reading constantly; but again, not the case. I mainly binged through some really captivating books on the weekends, then throughout the week I’d just listen to a book or read when I felt like it; but by all means, I had a lot of time to still do the regular stuff I enjoy doing. I could still binge shows and anime with my friends, and the pressure of 100 books was never too overwhelming. My reading goals were always on my mind, but it really didn’t make too much extra work for me or take away from my day to day tasks. I found that making a “want to read list” really kept me on track and excited about what was next to come. It’s a small thing, but the feeling of crossing a book off of your list once you’ve read it is so satisfying.

You can too!

I know with so many different social media platforms out there and so much new content readily available, reading seems to be a thing of the past for a lot of people, or something strictly done for academics; but I’m here to remind you that it’s not. Reading is still amazing and easier than ever to get in touch with, not to mention it’s free to all with a library card!

This year, I read so many books that I always wanted to read, and I am so happy for that. I got to get in the minds of teens, kids, and some of the best authors I’ve had the pleasure of being introduced to.

My favorite kinds of YA books to read are historic fictions, remade classics, autobiographies, books with characters of different diversities, books in verse, and books with the topic of mental health.

Some of my favorite books I read were The Poet X, Ban This Book, The Disaster Artist, To Kill a Mockingbird, Fish in a Tree, Grenade, and Mary’s Monster.

I’m super happy I am going to reach my goal of 100 books in a year, although next year I’m going to give myself a little break and tone it down to 50 books. On that note, when was the last time you read a book for fun? Between school, homework, and whatever other events you are involved with, I know you can get pretty drained; however, I highly encourage you to try to find a book to read for fun. Whether it be a manga, graphic novel, biography, audiobook, etc., there is an amazing book out there waiting for you to find it. And a great place to start is the library!


Teen Volunteer Book Fair

Do you or someone you know like the smell of new books? Are you procrastinating buying gifts for the holidays? Well you’re in luck, next week will be the annual Teen Volunteer Scholastic Book Fair!!!

This book fair is run entirely by the library’s teen volunteers; not only do they run the fair, but they receive matching funds according to the profits from the fair. They use the money raised to purchase books from the fair to donate to various youth service agencies in our community. These agencies include GARF, Boys and Girls Club, the YES house, and many other agencies. The fair is a great time to shop for gifts for others or for yourself! There is a wide variety of books for you to choose from, making this a great place to stop by and get some early- or last-minute shopping taken care of. We have a ton of holiday books to choose from and a ton of stocking stuffers!

Join us in the lobby of the library:

Monday, December 9, 5-7pm

Tuesday, December 10, 10am-12pm, 3:30-7pm

Wednesday, December 11, 10am-12pm, 3:30-7pm

Thursday, December 12, 10am-12pm, 3:30-8:30pm. The Children’s department will host Santa in the Wyoming Room  from 5:30-7:30pm

Friday, December 13, 3:30-8:30pm. Craig Johnson will be speaking in the Wyoming Room at 6:30pm.

What would you like?

The Teen Room is a place dedicated to the teens in Gillette. That being said, we want to know if we are not meeting your expectations. Is there technology you are using in school and would like to continue to use here? Or some technology that you’ve heard of and want to try here? Maybe what you want isn’t technology, maybe it’s something else, like video games or board games. Whatever it might be, we want to know. Drop a comment in the comment section; come down and talk to us; or put an anonymous suggestion in our suggestion box in the Teen Room.

Guess who’s coming…

We are so excited it’s November. Why? Because Ellen Hopkins, that’s why!

November brings with it the remarkable opportunity to meet, listen to and speak with the New York Times bestselling author of 14 young adult novels.

If you are familiar with Ms. Hopkins’ works, we know you are as excited as we are. If not, let me tell you why you should be.

Ms. Hopkins’ brutally honest portrayals of drug addiction, suicide and sexual abuse have gotten her books both banned and chosen as required reading in high schools and drug court programs.

She writes in verse, like Homer, but a bit more relatable….proof that it is not the quantity of words that paints the pictures, but the quality. If the contest was “paint the most vivid visual imagery in the fewest words possible,” Ms. Hopkins would win every time.

Ms. Hopkins wants to meet you and speak with you. She writes these evocative novels because she wants to evoke conversation about these heavy and important topics, topics that need to be talked about, that need to have a bright light shined on their dark corners.

So, if you are in high school, don’t be absent November 14. Ms. Hopkins will be at your school ready to connect with you. If you are not in high school, don’t fret. She will be here at the library that evening at 7 pm. Join us and be ready to be inspired, motivated and moved.

The Library will have several of Ms. Hopkins’ titles available for purchase and signing, at the low price of $10 for a paperback book. You may purchase books at either of the high school visits, or at the public program on November 14. Books will also be available at the CCPL Teen Room from November 12 through 15.