Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Best Teen Reads of 2014

According to the reviewers from Voice Of Youth Advocates, here are a few titles of the best books for teens in  2014. Find a complete list of the best books for teens in our catalog.

Why are these books so great? The answer can be found here.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Word Games

Word-gamers unite!  Yes, I am a word nerd, and you might be too if you've played (and by played, I mean you've been obsessed with winning) Words With Friends, Lexulous, and the ever-faithful, but slightly cumbersome, Scrabble.
Haven't there have been times when nothing in your hand will spell anything you can place on the board? At this point in the game, the only thing that will save you from losing is an abundance of two letter word options. What happens when if, be, am, an, and so just aren't enough? You turn to the delightfully funny and cleverly illustrated 101 Two-Letter Words by Stephin Merritt, illustrated by Roz Chast.

This book offers more than your average two-letter words like my, on, in and up. It's there for you when you're staring and nothing but X, K, and a whole mess of vowels. Take for example the word Aa. Yes, it is a word! Use it and when opponents question you, you can say, "What do you mean? It's obviously the jaggedy kind of lava."
Have T in your hand and nowhere to play it but a U? Put that T on the board and sing, Oui, oui. Ut, re, mi as the French say.
So many more wonderful two letter words, I could Mm.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Gracefully Grayson

When 6th grader Grayson looks in the mirror, "he" doesn't see the shiny athletic pants and long, baggy t-shirt everyone else sees. Instead, he imagines a shimmery, flowing skirt. But as he gets older, it is getting harder and harder to envision himself on the outside the way he feels on the inside. Something's gotta give. He has always been the quiet, serious kid who eats lunch by himself in the library and who the teachers call on if they need someone to give the right answer. Despite a shy nature, when his school puts on the play, Persephone, he comes to a crossroads. For the first time, he feels he may be able to express his, or more accurately, her true self in the title female role. But are her classmates ready to see "him" as a "her"? How will her aunt and uncle (with whom she has lived since the age of 4 when her parents were killed in a car crash) respond? Will she be able to reconcile the relationship with her cousin who has become antagonistic toward her over the last few years? Gracefully Grayson, by Ami Polonsky, is a sometimes heart-wrenching, sometimes heart-warming read about courage, friendship and family love.
reviewed by Holly

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Are you there, readers? It's me, Ed Grimley.

I just erupted in giggles while at my very serious job at the Young Adult Reference Desk. Now, erupted is a very strong word that evokes imagery that, on close inspection, may make the reader suspect that I exaggerate a bit when I describe myself giggling. And to the reader I say, calm down. It's a common expression. Let's not get sidetracked. 

Here's what caused my mirth: I was browsing through Amazon's best books of the year according to celebrities, looking for gems I may have missed while ordering books for the YA collection. Of course, I had to click through and see what Martin Short had to recommend. Martin Short, for those of you who were not born in the 80s, have never seen season 10 of Saturday Night Live, or generally don't pay attention to the important things in life, is an actor, comedian, and skilled musical theater performer. I'm telling you this because he's only tweeted 126 times and most of those are re-tweets, so he may as well not exist.

Anyway, I was looking at Martin Short's recommendations and there, right there, was We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. We Were Liars is an incredible YA book I can't tell you too much about because of reasons. You should just believe that it's good and read it now. It involves boats, aunts, grandpas, love, private islands, pain, more pain, and ice cream. So Martin Short has read We Were Liars and liked it so much he recommended it to the dozens of people at least who read Amazon's book lists. Martin Short reads teen lit. This makes me giggle because it never occurred to me I could have something in common with Ed Grimley, except maybe for morning hair. And it makes me happy for many reasons: 1) Martin Short is not afraid to declare his affection for a teen book. He shouldn't be. E. Lockhart's book is literary and masterful. It pulls off writerly things that are very difficult to do. Being a teen book doesn't make it less than an adult book, in my estimation it makes it more. 2) We Were Liars is not a funny book. I like being reminded that funny people do not pursue laughter all the time. I think we expect our comedians to always be on, always make us laugh, pressure that can make healthy people overwhelmed, and sad people sadder. 3) I recently brought a box of beautiful, brand new YA books to a family event and invited my loved ones to pick one to keep. Strangely, they were all reluctant, pawing through the books tentatively and repeatedly asking me for reassurance that they were worthwhile in spite of being YA. The teen lit prejudice affects my work at the library where I'm faced with countless opportunities to defend YA against doubters and haters, but I've never had it strike so close to home. Thank you, Martin Short, for restoring my faith in grown-up human readers. Now people, listen to Uncle Marty- Go forth and read YA!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


The Forces is strong Saturday, October 11, from 2-4.
Two years ago in a library not far, far away we celebrated Star Wars Reads Day for the first time. Now you can join the party once again with games, crafts, trivia, prize drawings and The Clone Wars on the big screen. We encourage costumes and photo-ops with with members of Cloud City Garrison (a legion of dedicated fans with film-authentic costumes).
This is an all ages program!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

November Book TRON

Come join the fun at the Teens Read Outrageously Now! Or better known as Book TRON book club.
Stop by the reference desk in the Children's Room to sign up and get a free copy of November's Book.You can call to register, too! 503 718-2656. Pick your book up later.
We discuss, do stuff and snack.in the Burgess Community Room from 4:30-6:00, November 17.
The Lions of Little Rock, by Kristin Levine is our November book. It received starred reviews in School Library Journal, Kirkus, and Publisher's Weekly. It's about two friends in 1958 during integration in the deep south. Publisher's Weekly called it "riveting."

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Teen Summer Reading Art Journal

The 2014 Spark Art Journal is done. Many thanks to all of the teens who submitted their artwork. We couldn't have done it without you.

Come pick up your copy today!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Oregon Battle of the Books 2014-2015

If you're looking for the Oregon Battle of the Books list for grades 6-12, look no further. You've come to the right place. We have the list linked to the WCCLS library website.

For grades 6-8, click here. Then click Find It.

For grades 9-12, click here.  Then click Find It.


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