Book Spotlight: Seize the Story

seize.jpg Seize the Story by Victoria Hanley
Do you like to write?  Do you want to write your own book?  You might want to check out this handy guide geared towards teens who enjoy writing.  This book gives you 14 chapters of tips, facts and information to get you started.

Chapter One:  Freeing Your Imagination
Chapter Two:  Creating Characters
Chapter Three:  Beginnings
Chapter Four:  Setting
Chapter Five:  The Heart of a Writer
Chapter Six:  Writing Dialogue
Chapter Seven:  Showing and Telling
Chapter Eight:  Plotting and Scheming
Chapter Nine:  Conflicts, Middles and Ends
Chapter Ten:  Polishing Your Writing
Chapter Eleven:  Point of View
Chapter Twelve:  Into the Future
Chapter Thirteen:  Interviews with Authors
Chapter Fourteen:  Questions and Answers

Book Spot Light: A Teen’s Guide to Creating Web Pages and Blogs

web.jpg A Teen’s Guide to Creating Web Pages and Blogs
By:  Benjamin Selfridge, Peter Selfridge and Jennifer Osburn

Do you want to create your own web page or blog?  Do you want to create an unique myspace or facebook profile?  This book will help you get started.  It has everything from the very basics of HTML to Cybersafety to Blogging and Social Networking Sites.  It even explains terms that may be foreign to you.  Here is what this book has to offer you:

1.  Getting Started:  Your First HTML Page
2.  Fun with Fonts:  Creating an Online Journal
3.  Interesting Images:  Creating a Web Photo Album
4.  Likeable Lists and Terrific Tables:  Making Your Page Look Really Cool
5.  The Really Fun Stuff:  Using Links to Design a Complete Web Site
6.  Publishing Your Work on the Web:  Showing the World what You Can Do
7.  A Little Bit of JavaScript:  The Power of Programming
8.  What’s Next?
9.  Meeting and Greeting on the Web:  Building Great Pages on Social Networking Sites (SNS)
10.  Spilling Your Guts:  Blogging and the Creating of Weblogs
11.  Watching Your Back:  Cybersafety

Book Spotlight: 97 Things to Do Before You Finish High School

97.jpg   97 Things To Do Before You Finish High School
By:  Steven Jenkins and Erika Stalder

Often we get caught up in our day to day routine of getting up, eating breakfast, going to school, doing homework, talking to friends and going to bed.  If you want to spice things up you should check out this book.  This gives you 97 positive ideas of what you can accomplish before you leave high school that doesn’t involve school or school work.  If you find a goal you would like to try this book will you tips on how to accomplish that goal.  The book is divided into nine sections:
One:  For Your Personal Development
examples:  Start a Collection, Attend a Theater Performance, Connect with a Role Model
Two:  With/For Friends
examples:  Host a Film Festival, Correspond with a Pen Pal in Another County
Three:  With/For Family
examples:  Research Your Family Tree, Plan a (Cool) Family Outing
Four:  For Your Body
examples:  Determine Your Blood Type, Study Food Labels, Plant an Herb Garden
Five:  To Get to Know the World Around You
examples:  Visit Your State Capital, Hike to a Mountaintop
Six:  To Express Yourself
examples:  Create a Comic Strip, Paint Your Room, Write Your Manifesto
Seven:  To Benefit Your Community and Environment
examples:  Go Green, Feed the Needy, Write an Op-Ed
Eight:  Because You Should
examples:  Make and Follow a Budget, Learn Basic Car Maintenance, Learn CPR
Nine:  Because You’re Only Young Once
examples:  Try a New Hairstyle, Get an Astrology Reading, Bury a Time Capsule

What goal would you like to accomplish before leaving high school?

Book Spotlight: I Can’t Keep My Own Secrets

secrets.jpg I Can’t Keep My Own Secrets:  Six-Word Memoirs by Teens Famous & Obscure Edited by Smith Magazine
Smith Magazine came up with a concept:  tell your memoir in six words.  This started with the book Not Quite What I Was Planning, where hundreds of adults submitted their six word memoirs.  When that book became successful Smith Magazine asked teens to submit their memoir in six words.  There are over 600 memoirs in this book.  Some are funny, some are sad and some are interesting.

“Read the thesaurus on the toilet” by Dan R. (page 97)
“Only born because older sister died.” by Lyra W. (page 97)
“Learned that sometimes friends aren’t forever.”  by Victoria L. (page 101)
“Note to all boys:  I quit.”  by Lauren A. (page 48)

You can submit your own six-word memoir at

I created my own six-word memoir in honor of this book.
“Whatever I do is with passion.” by Tiffany, Librarian, Rincon Valley

Smith Magazine is asking their readers “Everyone has a story-what’s yours?”

Book Spotlight: Emily Post Teen Manners

emily.jpg Emily Post Teen Manners by Cindy Post Senning, ED.D & Peggy Post
You may be wondering, who is Emily Post?  Why does she care about manners?  Emily Post, who died in 1960, opened the Emily Post Institute in 1946 to teach manners.  Today its operated by third generation family members.  The Post family has published several titles from weddings, table manners, business etiquette to raising polite children.

In this small book, Emily Post Teen Manners:  From Malls to Meals to Messaging and Beyond , the Post family creates a manual for teens.  This book has it all:

  • Why Etiquette
  • Keeping in Touch
  • The Manners and Art of Mealtime
  • School Daze
  • Getting a Job or Getting into College
  • Social Savvy
  • Out and About

Emily Post Teen Manners does a good job of explaining why we need etiquette, what it is, and how you can achieve it.  The passage on the history of the word etiquette is very interesting.
“A French Word From Yesterday for Today
In the seventeenth century King Louis XIV had a magnificent chateau with beautiful gardens and parks all around it.  Often, when he hosted parties, people would walk all over the grass, pick the flowers, wade in the fountains, and leave litter behind.  They didn’t have formal gardens and parks at their own houses and didn’t know how to behave.  The head gardener went to the king in great distress and asked what he could do to keep things nicer.  They decided to put up little signs all the over the place:  Keep on the Paths, Enjoy the Flowers, But Please Don’t Pick Them, Stay Out of the Fountains, Please don’t Litter.  The French word for “little sign” or “ticket” is etiquette.”  (Page 2)

Book Spotlight: The Teen Guide to Global Action

The Teen Guide to Global Action:  How to Connect with Others (Near & Far) to Create Social Change by Barbara A. Lewis Do you want to make a difference in the world?  This book will point you in the right direction.  It gives you facts, a plan of action, and websites to help you get started.  Take a peek into the chapters of this book: Introduction:  What's Happening Around the World?;  Why More Youth Today Are Involved in Service and Social Action; How to Use  This Book; Make Your Difference 4 Steps to Global Action Connecting with Others Human Rights Hunger and Homelessness Health and Safety Education Environment and Conservation Youth Representation Peace and Friendship Place a hold on it today and start changing the world tomorrow!

Book Review: The Oxford Project

indexaspx.jpg   The Oxford Project by Peter Feldstein & Stephen Bloom

Review by Rachel, Librarian, Healdsburg Branch

2009 Alex Award Winner
     “The Alex Awards are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18.” (YALSA)

Back in 1984, a college professor with a passion for photography moved to the small Midwestern town of Oxford, Iowa. With a population or under 700 people, Stephen Bloom wanted to get to know his new neighbors in a very real way. He decided to send a letter to everyone in town, asking them to come to his studio for a portrait. After making the right friendly connection with one of Oxford’s elders, Bloom was able to photograph all but 7 of the town’s residents. From near new born babies to elders in their nineties, the people of Oxford came to the studio and were photographed as they were. Some were walking their dogs, others coming from the grocery store. One man brought his pet 300 pound lion (no joke!). Satisfied with his work, Bloom put all the negatives from the Oxford Project into a filing cabinet and forgot them. Jump ahead to 2007. Bloom and his colleague Peter Feldstein decided to re-photograph everyone they had seen in 1984. Feldstein interviewed Oxford’s residents about their lives and their relationships to each other. What resulted is a fascinating look at a town and it’s evolution from 1984 to today. Imagine if someone came to your class room or town to record everyone as they are right now. What would you look like in 25 years? See what happened to the people of Oxford, Iowa by reading The Oxford Project by Peter Feldstein and Stephen Bloom.