Teen Read Week

Celebrate Teen Read Week October 17 – 23, 2010. Visit your local library and check out many great books just waiting to be read.  What genre do you read? Fantasy, Romance, Dystopian, Paranormal, Mystery, Realistic, Science Fiction, Non-Fiction. Whatever the genre or subject, we have something for you!   

It Gets Better Project

I hope you are all aware of the horrific deaths of 9 young men in the month of September due to bullying regarding their sexual orientation. Nine young people who did not have the support of their communities to make them feel safe and loved for who they are, without regard for their sexual preference. There is a project on YouTube called It Gets Better begun by advice columnist Dan Savage. This project involves videos made by members of the LGBTQ community telling young people that the junior high and high school years will be over soon and they have rest of their lives to live free of bullies. Their lives will get better.
If you know a young person who is having trouble with bullying due to their sexuality or who needs support going through sexual identity issues, refer them to Positive Images, a Sonoma County nonprofit that for 20+ years has been home to LGBTQ youth and their families.  www.posimages.org
Thank you to Rachel, Library Associate @ Healdsburg and Central, for the information in this post.

Hogwarts online?!

OK, some people have too much time on their hands … but lucky for the rest of us, much entertainment is the result! 

When HP and the Sorcerer's Stone was written, way back in 1997, all of the social media hoopla that people take for granted nowadays wasn't even thought of yet.  Jump forward 13 years… the final book is finally being released as a movie (ok, only part one, but… countdown to November!), it seems that almost everyone has a Facebook page, and sites like youtube, twitter, etsy, and foursquare are part of our cultural identity.   Dan Kois, of NY Magazine's Vulture News, created these fun screencaptures of Harry's Facebook page, Draco's Twitter page, and more! 

Hogwarts Finally Hooks Up to the Internet

Enjoy, and click through to the original page, to read more of Hogwarts in the 21st century!

Banned Books Week: Celebrate the Freedom to Read!

Banned Books Week is a national celebration of the freedom to read, and it occurs every year in the last week of September.  During this week, we take the time to consider the harmful effects of censorship by taking a close look at books that have been banned or challenged across the country.  Also, we celebrate the fact that we (and our parents) are able to make our own decisions and choices about what is right for us to read.

Books are challenged for a lot of different reasons — someone may think a book is too violent, has inappropriate sexuality, uses foul language, or displays racism.  Many of the books that people object to are books written for children and teens — likely because they want to protect young people from being exposed to what they consider inappropriate.  However, what is inappropriate for one family does not mean that another family cannot choose to read it, and in our country that right (to choose for ourselves) is protected.

According to the American Library Association, the top ten challenged books last year are the following:


View full image 1.  ttyl, ttfn, l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs
View full image 2.  And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Reasons: Homosexuality
 View full image 3.  The Perks of Being A Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Anti-Family, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide
 View full image 4.  To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Reasons: Racism, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
 View full image 5.  Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group
 View full image

6.  The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

 View full image 7.  My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult
Reasons: Sexism, Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide, Violence
 View full image 8.  The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
 View full image 9.  The Color Purple, Alice Walker
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
 View full image 10.  The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group


Have you read any of these books? How would you feel if someone decided for you that you could not read them? Discuss!

Meet Authors AND a Poetry Slam!

Am I dreaming?  BOTH these events in the same place on the same day?!  YES WAY, TED!  These two awesome events are both taking place at this year's Sonoma County Book Festival!

First:  Meet the Authors at a special Teen Author Panel

This is your chance to get up close and personal with three exciting authors of teen fiction!  The Teen Author Panel will be at Cafe Azul in Santa Rosa, from 2:00-3:00pm on Saturday, September 25.  A panel discussion is fun because it's usually a pretty informal presentation, not a canned speech;  the authors can relax and joke with the audience.  They might talk about things like how they got started writing, or how they come up with their stories — things you want to know if you are an aspiring writer yourself!

Sounds good, right?  Well, if that wasn't enough reason to mosey your way to downtown Santa Rosa, then THIS will be!  Immediately after the Author Panel will be a TEEN POETRY SLAM with cash prizes for the winners!!

The Teen Poetry Slam starts at 3:00pm, but participants must check in by 2:30pm.  Participation is open to teens ages 13-19.  Blah, blah, blah, there are a few rules to follow, but that's only to be expected for a serious competition.  Not a poet, and you know it?  That's ok — come anyway to cheer them on!  Judges are selected from the audience, and plus it'll be fun to see how creative your fellow Sonoma County teens can be.  See below for links to the Registration Form and Rules.

Hope to see you there!

Teen Book Review: Zeitoun

 Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

Review by Marbeya, Northwest Branch

This book is about a Syrian-American, Abdulrahman Zeitoun, and his experience with Hurricane Katrina.  He has 4 kids with Kathy, who turned to Islamic traditions after her divorce, and owns a contracting company.  He convinces Kathy to take the children to safety without him, and stays behind to protect the house of any immense damages, going against the city officials warnings to evacute the city.  Once he witnesses the unsettling and surreal results of the hurricane he grabs his canoe and sets out to see the damages done throughout New Orleans.  He helps the local dogs, helps people still trapped inside their homes, and delivers water to people in need, all while trying to survive.  There are plenty of twists to the story including misjudgments that will shock the readers.

This is definitely one of my favorite books because the story is so touching and humbling.  I couldn't put it down, therefore managed to read it in a couple of hours, to my surprise.  Also, I love how easy it was to read so people of all ages will be able to enjoy this incredible journey.  I learned a lot about the tragedy with this first-hand insight and was shocked to find out how the situation was sadly handled.  This is a great book and recommend it to everyone looking for a story not only about the Hurricane Katrina but the American governement.

Marbeya is one of our teen book reviewers!  Do you want to submit your own book review?  Its easy just email teenspace@sonoma.lib.ca.us!

Book Spotlight: Shift

Shift by Jennifer Bradbury
Review by Tiffany, Librarian, Rincon Valley & Sebastopol

Christopher and his best friend, Win, decide to take a bike trip across the country the summer after they graduate high school.  They are on the open road for several weeks when Win disappears.  Christopher is angry and confused but goes home to start his freshman year in college.  He is at college for a couple of weeks when he discovers that Win's parents are so desperate to find him that they send a FBI agent to question Christopher.  Christopher decides its time to find out what happened to Win or his family will pay the consequences for Win's disappearance. 
Why I picked it up:  When it first came out I read several good reviews about it.  One day I found myself without a book and decided to browse the shelves.  I was in a mood for a fast paced, good mystery and that is what I found.
Why I finished it:  The book started off good, right away I wanted to know what happened on the cross-country bike trip and Win.  The chapters switch from past to present, which kept me hooked.
I'd give it to:  Anyone who enjoys a fast paced mystery book, with a little bit of adventure.