Friday, December 23, 2011

The Wonder That Was 2011 Wordily Wrapped Up

As 2012 approaches, let's all wish 2011 a fond farewell. These 365 days have been eventful to say the least, with natural and nuclear disasters, political uprisings, grassroots revolutions and national protests. We see the world's swift, dramatic changes and are reminded that we are the agents of change, and if that's not awe inspiring, I don't know what is. So, I dedicate this blog post to change.

Emerging literary trends of 2011 and the future: Didn't I tell you last year it would be mermaids? I did, and I was so right. Lots 0f mermaid books came out this year, and y'all have been checking them out heartily. We've also continued to see a lot of fallen angels, and I highly recommend Daughter of Smoke and Bone for an engaging blend of action and forbidden angelic romance. As for the future, I expect to start seeing historical, realistic fiction set in the 80's and 90's. With the 30th anniversary of MTV this year and all us Gen Xers entering our 30s and getting editors, our time of nostalgia has come, and you will be subjected to our weepy tributes to the era of hot pink parachute pants (leading somehow into flannel) and moody garage music. Bwah hah hah!

Teen Library Council Evolves: TLC changes every year in wonderful ways. When Council began last year, we had lots of new, young members whose creative energy (and crocheting skills) were instrumental as we filmed our series of hilarious videos featuring Pencil Paul (and a lot of bloopers.) Now, folks have gotten older and new members have joined, so there are six seniors on Teen Library Council. Their leadership and ideas have been invaluable, and I'm so excited for their transition into college next year! (Not really. Just between you and me, I'm secretly making space in our storage room where I plan to keep them hostage.)

Best In Media: Well, see, there's this Netflix thing, right? And you can hook your TV to it and stream movies and TV shows with no commercials? And, well, the thing is, that's pretty much all I did this year. If I was mathematically oriented, I could create a pie chart of the time I spent watching TV this year verses the time I spent reading and, as the great Mitch Hedberg would say, compared to the pie chart of what most people would do with the money if they won a million dollars, the TV wedge would be equal to "Keep It" and the reading wedge would be equal to "Give it to Charity." And yes I am ashamed. But, that said, considering the amount of Doctor Who references I kept coming across, it became essential to my foundational understanding of pop culture to keep up with The Doctor and his work. And of course, no other figure in television represents the concept of change quite as thoroughly as The Doctor (Team Tennant FTW!). Now, apparently, I need to read H.P. Lovecraft since I keep hearing about Cthulu everywhere. Oh, I just realized something...I'm a nerd. Just kidding, I definitely already knew that.

Also, Amanda Palmer. Just. Amanda. Palmer.

Best Library Moment: Again, too many to quantify. In the dynamic world of teen library services there is one constant: Teens are awesome. The pregnant Zombie Doll was incredible and creepy. The Voodoo Doughnut feast was culinarily educational. The hula hooping at the manga marathon was lengthy and hilarious. The summer capoeira workshop was beyond awesome. Finally, sharing Pee Wee Herman's Big Adventure with the uninitiated and having them insist on watching more Pee Wee so we watched an episode of the TV show and OMG it was hilarious and I forgot that Laurence Fishburn played the cowboy...That was good too.

We have a lot to look forward to next year, including an entire extra day in February, the Hunger Games movie and new books from John Green, Kristin Cashore, Paolo Bacigalupi, Julie Kagawa and many others. See you in 2012!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Letters About Literature

Letters About Literature is an annual contest for which participants write letters about books that have been influential in their lives as if they are writing to the authors. Last year, Oregon kids and teens submitted over 900 letters! Let's beat that number this year and send our magnificent Oregonian letters to compete at the National level. The deadline for the contest is January 6, so get writing! You can find out more here:

Also, I think it's important that we make up some captions for the picture above, because, you know, what's going on there? My submission: "Ugh, these sudden attacks of hair-commercial-itus make it so difficult to use this typewriter." Submit your caption in the comments.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Everybody Sees the Ants


Yesterday (Veteren's Day), I finished reading A.S. King's Everybody Sees the Ants. It was a fitting read for the holiday. The hero is Lucky, a 15-year-old who was named after his grandfather, a soldier who went missing, along with thousands of others, during the Vietnam war and has never been found. Lucky doesn't want anyone to think he's crazy, so he's never shared the fact that he conducts nightly rescue missions to help his grandfather escape from the jungle. He's had these dreams since he was seven years old, and since he was seven years old he has woken up gripping artifacts from the dreams, things that shouldn't exist in Pennsylvania, like giant Vietnamese mosquitoes. Now, he enjoys the dreams more than real life, because in real life, a bully is turning his life into a living hell, his parents are barely getting along, and he's closely watched at school because everyone thinks he's suicidal. He has spent his life trying to repair the past by rescuing his grandfather, and now he's having trouble enjoying the present or even imagining a future. Nothing that lap-swimming, the Grand Canyon, yogurt marinated chicken and a shampoo commercial ninja can't fix, right? Read Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Who is this Masked Man?

Nacho Libre visited the Puett Room for the Teen Haunted Mini Game Fest last Saturday. Who is the man behind the mask? Any guesses? (Hint: It's not Jack Black.)  Comment below.

Monday, October 10, 2011

My favorite Band Does Not Exist

Idea Deity created a fake rock band, Youphoria, as an Internet hoax. He knows the hoax is going well when he starts to see people wearing Youphoria band t-shirts.

Youphoria front man Reacher Mirage is on the edge of stardom, but he can't figure out why his band is so popular, considering they've never played in public or recorded a single song. And who is this Deity guy who claims to have invented them?

Idea has a blonde girlfriend with a brunette face tattooed on the back of her head. Reacher has a brunette girfriend with a blonde face on the back of her head. Idea is headed to Maysville, Kentucky, where the grass is green and the sky is blue. Reacher is headed to Maysville, Pennsyltucky where the grass is pink and the sky is green. Both guys are reading the same book, and it seems to be leading them to each other. Sound weird? Well, it is, and it's also a great read. Check out My Favorite Band Does Not Exist

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The right to assemble books!

As you may know, citizens of cities across the country, including Portland, are occupying the streets in demonstrations sparked by the Occupy Wall Street movement. No matter where you stand in your beliefs, you gotta admit it's impressive to see democracy in action. The organizers of these protests have created libraries that are busy social and educational centers in their make-shift communities. The website of the Occupy Wall Street library provides a fascinating look into what it takes to protect and organize books in the great outdoors.

Hey, you have a voice, even if you're not old enough to vote. We have lots of suggestions of books and other resources you can use to get organized and be heard. Stop by the library to learn more!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

And another one bites the dust...

This month for Tigard Reads we're celebrating all things space. BookTRON just met and discussed Laika, the first living Earth creature to be sent into space. So by now you all now that, as with most books that prominently feature a dog, Laika's story does not end well. At least not for Laika, though she does represent one of the giant steps human-kind took in order to reach the moon and beyond. So, what if Laika's fate had been different? Author/artist Nick Abadzis couldn't resist imagining a few alternate endings. Take a look. It may make you feel better.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Then Things Fell Apart

Keek is having the worst summer of her life so far. It's the summer of her 15th year, and her parents are splitting up because her dad cheated on her mom with Keek's best friend. She and her boyfriend had a fight and he may be not speaking to her or he may just be unable to reach her because her phone is broken (she may have thrown it against a wall). She is stuck at her grandmother's with a wicked case of chicken pox and there is no Internet access. All she has is a 103 degree fever, a typewriter and a well-loved copy of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar. In her isolation, Keek has plenty of time to think about her life, and the insights she comes up with are both enlightened and hilarious. Read And Then Things Fall Apart for a tender, realistic, laugh-out-loud story of a teen forced by circumstances into an extended period of introspection.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Stump Your Librarian

I challenge you. Are you bold enough to accept this challenge? Intelligent enough? Sassy enough?
The answer is yes, you all share these wonderful qualities. But that doesn't mean you will win. Why?
 Because. I. Rule.

Stop by the Young Adult Desk during the month of September and try to Stump Your Librarian. If we can't answer your question within 10 minutes, you win a book of your choice. I'm not too worried about losing a lot of books, though I wouldn't mind being wrong.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Don't Miss Destination College Savings

As you're wrapping up Summer Reading and getting ready for school, don't forget to submit your entry to win a saving account from the Oregon College Savings Plan. 15 lucky winners will receive $1000 accounts! Stop by the library to pick up a submission form if you haven't already, and make sure your submission is postmarked by September 2.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Akata Witch

Sunny has just burned off most of her hair. She was staring at a candle when suddenly she sees in the flame a vision of the end of the world. Yikes! From that moment she is introduced to another world of juju knives, Leopards and Lambs, and her hidden powers.

Sunny is an albino, born in America to parents from Nigeria; and now she and her family have moved back to Nigeria. Sunny finds out that her family are Lambs, those who have no idea of the magical world. Sunny is a free agent, a Leopard, one born with magical abilities but no family members with powers. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor mixes the reality of being a middle schooler with the fantasy of spells and dark magic.

Monday, August 8, 2011

MTV makes me feel old

Before MTV was all Snookie all the time, it was Music Television. And it was revolutionary. The TV was just a few feet from my front door, and when I got home from middle school I could not get to it fast enough. My finger would be poised to press the power button before I'd finished opening the door, and the set was always tuned to...what channel was it? Geez, I never thought I'd forget that. Anyway, that was then. When I would put up with all the Guns n' Roses videos in order to watch Tori Amos, Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2 and my beloved Pearl Jam define the 90's. And then, of course, there was Nirvana. This band's signature stamp on music is indelible, and most of us 30-somethings will never forget the day we learned that Kurt Cobain was dead. Well, now MTV is turning 30, and Nirvana's Nevermind is 20, and 90's nostalgia seems to be popping up all over. We may soon see a resurgence of flannel and combat boots.

While I'm blasting through my musical past, think about your musical present. The bands you love now may still be around in 20 years, but their music will be different. What music do you love now? What bands, singers, rappers and songwriters define you? Now, please share! When I order music for the teen collection, I try to keep on top of what's hot today, but I rely on your suggestions to ensure that your faves are available at the library. Email me, or leave a comment below.

Now, I'll leave you with a couple of MTV's video highlights of 90's: Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and Weird Al's "Smells Like Nirvana."

Friday, August 5, 2011

Don't Forget to be Awesome

I see Nerdfighters. They're everywhere. Walking around like regular people. They definitely know they are nerds.

In 2007, YA author John Green and his musician/NASA fan/professional blogger brother Hank decided to cease all text-based communications and send each other videos via YouTube, which were, of course, available to all of us unsuspecting viewers as well. Before long, a community gathered around the Vlogbrothers and the Nerdfighters were born (though some would argue that the Nerdfighters already existed and just didn't realize they needed to be labeled.) Nerdfighteria is swiftly and cheerfully taking over the Internets with a gleeful surge of activism and global connection. Wear your Nerdfighter flair with pride and you will meet kindred spirits wherever you may travel, all of you sharing the same creed: "Don't forget to be awesome," and the same ultimate objectives: Increase Awesome and decrease World Suck.

In the video below, John Green lists just a few of the remarkable accomplishments of the united Nerdfighters, including getting his next book on bestseller lists many months before it's actual publishing date, getting his brother's indie album to chart on Billboard, and helping people all over the world. You can join this community too! Just don't forget to be awesome, and, if you like, watch the videos and join the forums. I'll see you there. And look for John Green's new book, The Fault in Our Stars, coming out in January.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Wrapped in Mystery

Agnes is cutting away the wrappings of a mummy, not at an archaeological dig or at a museum, but at a 19th century garden party. It's one of the first parties of her debut year and Lord Showalter seems to fancy her. Among the wrappings Agnes finds a small iron jackal, which she hides away. Moments later she's followed by a mysterious waiter who ends up dead. Is it a mummy's curse or something more sinister? Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury is a fantastic historical mystery, with plenty of intrigue, danger and suspense (and an awesome cover - I didn't notice an important part of the picture until I finished the story).

Friday, July 29, 2011

Not to be Missed!

Local musician Colin Meloy of Decemberists fame and illustrator Carson Ellis are married, which is convenient as they've been working on an amazing project together: A new series of books set in the wilds of a fantastical Portland and Forest Park. The first book Wildwood is due out August 30th. I'm almost done reading an advance copy (professional perk), and I can't tell you how difficult it was to put it down after my break today. Check out the book trailer below:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Martial Arts of Brazil

Next week we're doing something we've never done at the library before: We've invited a Capoeira instructor and his students to demonstrate and workshop their art at the library! On Thursday, August 4 from 3-4:30, Contra Mestre Pedro Cruz of Capoeira Raca will share this incredibly vibrant and musical martial art/dance style with all of you. Teens will be able to participate, and folks of all ages are welcome to watch the demonstration. Don't forget to dress in comfortable clothes (pants, preferably), because you will be up and moving! Check out this video to see what Capoeira is like. The first time I saw this art (and every time since), I was left with a feeling of happiness. The rhythm, the music, the dancey feeling of collaboration, and just the amazing ways human bodies can bend. This is not to be missed!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Anime Fest!

It's time for Anime Fest, this Thursday, July 28 from 3-6 p.m. in the Community Room! In addition to tasty teas and treats, watching some anime and making bento, we'll be folding some nanibirds (like the cool paper stuff in this book) and having fun with haiku. For extra fun, you can cosplay as your favorite globetrotting anime character.* It should be excellent!

*If you have extra ideas, send them my way...because I've got no clue for this one. Help?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Reading for School?

Do you have a summer reading assignment for your school? Have you checked out (or read) the book yet? If not, don't wait! There may be a waiting list. Stop by the Young Adult Desk or give us a call (503-718-2652) to see if the book you need is available.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Book Buzz

So even though it's summer (and actually a warm day today), I have goosebumps. I just watched the book trailer for what looks like an amazingly creepy story, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. *Cue haunting music* There's already a long list of people who have it on hold (I'm definitely one of them). See for yourself....

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What next?

Listening to the radio on the way to work this morning, it occurred to me that there is no better Death Eater anthems than Nine Inch Nails' "Head Like a Hole." (Click the link to a music video that demonstrates that instruments covered in debris can still sound good and there is nothing more fun than whipping water around with your dreadlocks.)

Now, for the uninitiated (are there any of you out there, still?), the Death Eaters are followers of the dark side in the Harry Potter universe. Where Harry and his cronies embody all that is good and loyal and human, the Death Eaters are cruel, cowardly and smelly, though often fashionably clad in leather corsets.

As you all know, the newest film release is the last we are likely to see of Harry's world, with the exception of Pottermore of course, whatever that may be. I didn't start reading about Harry until I was in college, when The Sorcerer's Stone was assigned in a class. And I read along with the rest of the world as the books became more popular and JK Rowling became richer than the queen. I left the theater this weekend and noticed people openly weeping, and I assumed they grieved not only over events in the film but for the end of an era. (OK, I might have been crying too, but don't tell anybody.) However, I'm comforted that we will never see the end of these books. I'm confident people will be reading them in life-support pods as they zoom towards colonies in far-reaching branches of the galaxy.

So, lets all support each other as we transition into a world without Potter newness, a world of re-reading and re-watching. Please share your thoughts in the comments about how HP has impacted you and what you think will come next. Also, lets get to work on an awesome playlist. What songs do you think embody the themes and people of the Potter universe?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Red Riding Retold

Wolves attack and kill Grandma, but little else is familiar in the retelling of the Red Riding story in Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce. As children Scarlett and Red survive a fenris or werewolf attack that kills their grandmother and horribly scars Scarlett. Now teenagers the girls are avid fenris hunters, which is a good thing considering that fenris attacks seem to be on the rise. The wolves are hunting for a Potential, one of the rare humans that change into wolves when bitten, to add to their pack. The girls, along with their woodsman friend Silas, head to the city to track the killers. Drawing from folklore and mixing in some modern day action and romance, Sisters Red is an engaging read (and an awesome bookcover!).

Saturday, July 16, 2011


One of my favorite books of the last few years was Brian Selznick's brilliant and Original The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Martin Scorsese has made an already cinematically beautiful book into a movie, due out in November. Check out the trailer below:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Earth to Library...

I learned something today: It takes 5 stamps to mail a postcard from the capital of Siberia to Tigard, Oregon. On June 17, teens created postcards that they sent to distant lands via Postcrossing, and we're already starting to get postcards back, one from Siberia and one from Australia. They'll be in display on the bulletin board behind the YA Reference Desk. Come on by and check them out!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

On the Map

I have a mission for you.

Next time you're in the library, look for the map on the bulletin board behind the Young Adult Reference Desk.

Now, find a pin to the left of the map and mark a place that you have traveled this summer, whether in reality or through books. Fantasy and science fictional realms are included.

So far the map indicates that you are all quite worldly, though only one person so far has traveled south of the equator.

I dare you to go even more exotic. Try one of these great books:

A teenaged boy encounters one comedic calamity after another when his train strands him in the middle of nowhere, and everything comes down to luck.

Keeper by Peet Mal:
In an interview with a young journalist, World Cup hero, El Gato, describes his youth in the Brazilian rain forest and the events, experiences, and people that helped make him a great goalkeeper and renowned soccer star.

Spud by John Van de Ruit:
In 1990, thirteen-year-old John "Spud" Milton, a prepubescent choirboy, keeps a diary of his first year at an elite, boys-only boarding school in South Africa, as he deals with bizarre housemates, wild crushes, embarrassingly dysfunctional parents, and much more.

The Conch Bearer by Chitra Divakaruni:
In India, a healer invites twelve-year-old Anand to join him on a quest to return a magical conch to its safe and rightful home, high in the Himalayan mountains.

The White Darkness by Gereldine McCaughrean:
Taken to Antarctica by the man she thinks of as her uncle for what she believes to be a vacation, Symone--a troubled fourteen year old--discovers that he is dangerously obsessed with seeking Symme's Hole, an opening that supposedly leads into the center of a hollow Earth.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Your Summer Travel Log

The Summer Reading Program is rolling right along! Don't forget to turn in your submissions for the Teen Travel Journal. We're looking for writing, artworks and photography about places you've visited, either in person or through books. You could have your work published in our summer journal, and with each submission, you choose a prize drawing you want to enter. The prize options include a Book Lovers bag with lots of books and a Barnes & Noble gift card, a Get Creative bag with Joann's gift card and art supplies, or the chance to have a donation in your name made to Heifer International.

Now, let me tell you something about Heifer International. This is a charity that takes money and turns it into financial and nutritional independence for families around the world. How? Cows, goats, bunnies, chickens, and geese. That's right, if you win this prize drawing, you can change someone's life with farm animals. Awesome.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

What fiction would you call home?

This just in via Bookshelves of Doom: Author Jeff VanderMeer is working on a book called If You Lived Here: The Top 30 All-time Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Worlds, and you can help. Just click through to this website and fill out the form nominating your favorite fictional realm. Don't forget to share your pick in the comments: We want to hear about it too!

If I got to choose a fantasy realm in which I would live out the rest of my days. I would definitely go for Terry Pratchett's Discworld. From Ankh Morpork to the Chalk, there's no place I'd rather be, especially if I got to hang out with Granny Weatherwax and the Feegles.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Supervillian Reject

Golden City has an unusually high population of heroes and villians. Thanks to a genetic virus, both heros and villians become marked on their 16th birthday, when the thumbprint changes to reveal H or V. Damien, son of Mistress Mayhem, has eagerly awaited the announcement of his villian nature. Except on his birthday, his thumbprint changes to a X, leaving his status unknown. Horrified that he might be a superhero and *gasp* be able to fly (no self respecting villian would fly), Damien hides his X while he figures out his future. The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea M. Campbell is for fans of graphic novels, superheroes (and villians) and fun science fiction.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Magic for Muggles

Attention Muggles! Don't miss an opportunity to learn some tricks from the world of wizards at our Magic for Muggles program, Thursday, June 30 from 4-6 p.m. in the Community Room. You can bring the whole family to enjoy trivia, search for the Deathly Hallows, visit Honeydukes, make a potion, hone your quidditch skills and more! We encourage you to come in costume, and we'll be dressed up too!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Are You an Odd-Fish?

If you loved Roald Dahl (Matilda, James and the Giant Peach) as a kid, you'll probably love James Kennedy's The Order of Odd-Fish. Jo has grown up in the desert with her eccentric and forgetful Aunt Lily. Jo showed up in Aunt Lily's laundry room with a note declaring her "dangerous." On Christmas Day a Russian colonel and a large cockroach (he walks on his hind legs) show up and Jo's ordinary life becomes bizarre. Soon they are all on the shores of Eldritch City, where fantastic creatures roam the streets, knights battle in insults and apologies, and a dark, gloomy and mysterious cloud hangs over Jo's existence. For fans of alternate worlds, silly stories and great mysteries.

Friday, June 10, 2011

You Are Here

Teen Library Council presents yet another episode in the life of Pencil Paul. Stay put for the bloopers, because they're really the best part, and don't forget to stop by the library to sign up for Summer Reading!

You Are Here from Tigard Library on Vimeo.

Carpe Pisum...

...which I'm pretty sure means "Seize the Pea," is a truly impressive short film made by students of Tigard High who have also been known to frequent the library. Watch it:

Friday, June 3, 2011

Your Private IOA (Pronounce it like the state. Get it?)

Summer Reading has begun, and with it the sun has decided to make an appearance. (Oh Sun, please stay with us for a good long while...We've missed you so!) Celebrate with us on Saturday, June 4 from 2-3 at the library gazebo when Portland band IOA will be rocking a concert for all ages. Show up to sign-up for Summer Reading, get sticky with Otter Pops and soak in some vitamin D.

Find out more about IOA's unique, experimental jungle rock sound here:

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Get Your Motor Running...

Summer Reading starts June 1!
Stop by the library to register, either in the Children's or Young Adult Room, and start reading your way towards prizes!

While you're in the YA Room, add a pin to the map on the bulletin board, marking a place you will be visiting this summer whether in reality or through books. The map is already up, and marked locations so far include Australia, Dubai, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Minnesota and Las Vegas! You are certainly a worldly bunch of peoples.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Briony has no feelings, no heart because she is a witch. She tells us from the first page that she deserves to hang because she is guilty. From there the story unfolds with a horrible beauty as she tramps through the soggy earth of Swampsea. Her stoic nature is tested again and again by her child-like sister Rose and a lion-like youth Eldric. Briony wants to save her sister from the swamp cough and to do so must confront the swamp and the Old Ones who dwell there. Chime by Franny Billingsley slowly unwinds with all the tension of a horror story and the heartache of a love story.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Want to volunteer?

We're looking for a few good teen volunteers to help the library this summer. Jobs include shelving (lots of shelving!), helping with programs and other activities. If you're interested, check out the facts here. Volunteering is great for your resume and college applications. Plus, library work is fun, says the librarian!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Study Time

Cramming for finals? Want a quiet place to study? Our study rooms can be reserved for two hours a day, giving you a table and white board and, hopefully, some study motivation! Just stop by the Reference Desk upstairs or call 503-718-2517 to reserve your room. Now get to studying!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Another Reason Why Libraries Are Awesome

Oh, to be in New York City tonight, when 500 lucky folks will stay up all night at the main branch of the New York Public Library playing a "Find the Future" scavenger hunt. Watch the game trailer below, and log on here to play the game yourself online (starting May 21).

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Be a Frood

As you know, the Boy Scout and intergalactic hitchhiker's motto is "Always be prepared." And there is nothing in the universe more massively useful than a towel. As the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy proclaims:
"You can wrap it [a towel] around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

Hence a phrase that has passed into hitchhiking slang, as in "Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There's a frood who really knows where his towel is."

So, if you're hoopy enough to celebrate the life and works of Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy among other froody books, carry your towel with you on Wednesday, May 25 (Towel Day) to honor his memory. Stop by the Young Adult Desk with towel in tow between 3 and 7 p.m., and you can pick out the button of your choice.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

If You Were Mayor...

What would you do if you were the mayor? All it takes is an essay or video (depending on your grade) with your ideas, an entry form and you're set! See the rules and application here. The deadline is approaching...May get creative! Did I mention prizes?!

Friday, April 15, 2011

We Geared Up

The Steampunk Stravaganza has come and gone, and yes, we had fun. Give me any excuse to dress up and I'm there. Check out the picture below and the other to the right to sneak a peak at some of our steampunk gear.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What is Steampunk?

Steampunk is an emerging genre that has been around for a couple of decades but is now bursting out of the underground. Steampunk has many trailblazing predecessors, like Jules Verne and H.P. Lovecraft. Today's Steampunk authors write books that are often set in an alternative version of the Victorian era, or have a Victorian feel. In the Steampunk world, emerging technologies are not smart phones and GPS devices, but steam powered airships and mutli-spectrum binoculars. There is often an element of the supernatural, as in Gail Carriger's books, and/or some past historical event that caused the loss of technology as we know it today, as in Phillip Reeve's Fever Crumb.

Basically, Steampunk is costumes with corsets, top hats, and poison darts hidden in parasols. It's dystopic worlds where the government keeps big secrets and engineers contemplate "ancient" technologies. It's steam power used creatively to win wars, escape prisons and see the world. It's a whole lot of fun, which would explain Steampunks huge cult following of people who like to dress up, create art and, of course, LARP.

Come to the Steampunk Stravaganza on Thursday, April 14 from 4:30-6:30 to make your own jewelry, masks and boxes out of Steampunky ingredients like watch parts, wire and chain. There are two free copies of Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan ( the art above, by Keith Thompson, is from the book) remaining. Stop by the Children's Reference Desk to sign up for BookTRON and get your copy of the book. In the mean time, become a fan! Try reading some of these fabulous books:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fare-thee-well, Diana Wynne Jones

This Saturday we had to say goodbye to a wonderful author, Diana Wynne Jones, who died on March 26 at age 76, leaving behind many, many wonderful books. Jones began writing fantasy books for children and teens in the 70s, and is known for her rich imagination, sense of humor and ability to write complex, engaging characters. Some of the most well known of her 40 or so books include Howl's Moving Castle and The Chrestomanci series.

Lots of people on the Internets are writing their remembrances. I particularly enjoyed this comment from Emma Bull, author and blogger at

"[Diana] was passionate about what children want and deserve from their literature. Adults would approach her at signings, wanting to know why she wrote such difficult books. In one case, when a woman protested, the woman’s young son spoke up and assured Diana, “Don’t worry. I understood it.” She believed in the flexiblility of her readers’ minds, their willingness to puzzle things out, and to wait for clues to anything they couldn’t yet puzzle."

I didn't discover her work until I was an adult, but I have loved what I have read, and I look forward to the pleasure of reading more. Thank you, Diana, for your beautiful legacy!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Please Ignore Vera Dietz

Vera Dietz was best friends with her neighbor Charlie most of her life. She kept all his secrets, and he had some really big secrets. Then suddenly, during their Junior year, Charlie started to change. His hair, the way he dressed and the people he hung out with were different, as well as the way he treated Vera. He ignored her, when he wasn't being downright mean to her, and he started doing what she never imagined he would do: telling her secrets, and to all the worse people. After tearing their friendship down completely, destroying Vera's trust in him, Charlie did the worse thing yet: he died. He died in a cloud of controversy that made the whole town hate him. But Vera knows the truth. The question is, can she get over her grief and resentment enough to redeem him? Charlie hurt her more deeply than she knew was possible. Does he even deserve redemption?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Put a Bird On It

Want to make something into art? Then, put a bird on it! Follow this link to watch Portlandia's hilarious sketch and put a bird on your favorite website.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Guerilla Art Kit

Hello all ye artists! You can start your own artistic revolution, even without being really arty or revolutionary. The Guerilla Art Kit is packed with advice and suggestions for quick art projects that you can make to beautify the world and make people think. For example, if you live near an ugly industrial park or pit, you can create seed bombs to green up the landscape. Or, try creating your own biodegradable stickers to modify signs around town. Give a flier a mustache! It's all good natured and mostly legal.

Friday, February 25, 2011

You Choose

Oregon's got a new award...the Oregon Reader's Choice Award, or ORCA for short, and you can vote for the winner. Just read at least two of the books in your grade group and you can vote on your favorite. Check out the full list here. We'll have a voting area set up in the Children's Room March 1-15 to submit your choice. There are a lot of good ones to choose from!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ready for College?

If you're getting ready for college, don't forget that the library offers free online study guides and practice tests through Learning Express. Just use your library card and you can get started! We've also got a great selection of book guides to the tests, colleges and universities and the application process. Just stop by the Teen or Adult Reference Desks and we'll help you find what you need.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Blinged out Bookcart

Come by the YA Room today to check out the gorgeousness and gorgeosity that is this teen-decorated bookcart!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Get Scratched and get published!

I just learned that a teen whose artwork and writing has been known to grace the pages of our teen zine and has since abandoned us for college just had an illustration published in an online University of Oregon journal. Way to go Julia! Check out her work here. That definitely looks just like Brad Pitt, right?

The new edition of Scratched, the Tigard Library zine created by teens, for the world is here. Stop by the Young Adult Room to pick up your copy today!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Paranormal Can Be a Good Thing

Evie has worked for the agency since she was eight. Her ability to see through the glamours of paranormals has made her an international asset to the cause of neutralizing harmful others. Now she's a teenager and tired of her isolated and regimented life.

Things begin to change after a break in to the agency and reports that something is killing off large numbers of paranormals. Add to that a prophecy, a cute and mysterious shapeshifter and a creepy faerie and things get even more interesting. Great dialogue and action make Paranormalcy by Kiersten White a fun fantasy to read.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Take that, Chuck Norris.

Sci Fi author Jim C. Hines has compiled a list of 20 indisputable facts about Neil Gaiman (see below.) Intrigued? Then stop by the Children's Reference Desk and pick up your free copy of The Graveyard Book when you register for BookTRON. You will learn that Gaiman is, indeed, who the Ghostbusters call.

20 Neil Gaiman Facts

  1. Neil Gaiman once wrote a Nebula-winning story using only the middle row of his keyboard.
  2. Harper Collins has taken out a 2.5 million dollar insurance policy on Neil Gaiman’s accent.
  3. If you write 1000 words and Neil Gaiman writes 1000 words, Neil Gaiman has written more than you.
  4. Neil Gaiman does not use Microsoft’s grammar-check. Microsoft uses a Gaiman-check.
  5. Neil Gaiman once did the New York Times crossword puzzle in pen. In fifteen minutes. He won two Hugo awards for it.
  6. Neil Gaiman is who the Ghostbusters call.
  7. Most agents charge a 15% commission. Neil Gaiman’s agent pays him an extra 15% for the privilege of saying “I’m Neil Gaiman’s agent.”
  8. William Shakespeare once came back from the dead to ask for Neil Gaiman’s autograph.
  9. Neil Gaiman is the reason nobody teaches “I before E except after C” anymore.
  10. Some writers take inspiration from the muse. The muse takes inspiration from Neil Gaiman.
  11. Neil Gaiman once groped Harlan Ellison.
  12. The pen is mightier than the sword; Neil Gaiman has mastered fourteen different styles of penmanship.
  13. Rumor has it that a NY editor rejected Neil Gaiman’s first book. This can not be confirmed, as the editor in question was never heard from again.
  14. Neil Gaiman can tweet 175 characters.
  15. Neil Gaiman’s personal library includes an autographed copy of the Necronomicon.
  16. Hitler actually won World War II. Then Neil Gaiman wrote an alternate-history story in which the allies won, and reality was too intimidated to argue the point.
  17. Some authors write in omniscient point of view. Neil Gaiman lives it.
  18. Neil Gaiman’s next novel is expected to win the Nebula, the Hugo, and the Heisman Trophy.
  19. In any given week, 7 of the top 10 books on the NYT Bestseller List are by pseudonyms of Neil Gaiman.
  20. Neil Gaiman has never written a deus ex machina ending. However, God once wrote a Gaiman ex machina ending.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Got Fines?

Overdue fines...almost everybody has them at some time! Help your Tigard neighbors in need and reduce your library fines at the same time with our Food for Fines Drive, Sun. Feb. 6 thrugh Sat. Feb. 12. Every two food items donated will equal $1 in overdue fines. All the food collected will be donated to the Tigard St. Vincent DePaul food pantry. Check our website for a full list of acceptable donations.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Whatcha Thinkin'?

Every year the Tigard Library likes to check in with you, dear library people, to find out what you think about your library and the things we do. Yep, it's survey time, January 30 through February 12. Make a stop at the tables on your way in to the library and answer a few questions. We just want to know how we can make things better.

What do you like?...wish we did? wish we had? get the idea! (Have your grownups, siblings and friends share their thoughts too!) See you at the table!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Book Letters in Your Inbox

Are you always looking for your next great read? There are several good cures for that condition. One is to stop by the library and have Anna and I book talk in the aisles for you, or you can pick up one of our fabulous booklists, or you can sign up for the teen BookLetters page and have a list of recommendations sent to your inbox monthly. Your Washington County teen librarians make the lists, so you know they're good!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Replacement

While other suburbs around them have had their share of hard times, Gentry has always prospered. Sure kids die there on a regular basis and there are certain areas where you don't play and no one really leaves, but it seems a small price to pay.

Mackie, allergic to iron, blood and consecrated ground, works at being unnoticed. He wasn't supposed to live; a sickly creature left in place of the healthy baby that is stolen. He's sixteen now, but he's starting to feel worse every day. Another baby's just died and Tate, the surviving sister, is after Mackie for answers. Will Mackie ask the questions no one else does? Can he find out what's happening to him before it's too late? With a little help from his friends and family, Mackie digs into the whispers of a town and it's people.

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff is a creepy story with a great mystery.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

News from the world of publishing

I just read here that, much as Eoin (pronounced Owen) Colfer was authorized to write the sixth book of Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy "trilogy," Anthony Horowitz of Alex Rider fame is slated to write a new Sherlock Holmes book. Groovy.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Katla, who is always cold, finds herself in Minnesota with her mom after her parents' divorce. Yep, not the best place to live if you have the shivers. To make things even more exciting, she's managed to start the school year off having annoyed the two most popular guys at school. Oh, and every now and then her head itches a lot. Either she's hallucinating or she's now part of a group called the Icelandic Stork Society, a bunch of old women who like birds and deliver the souls of babies. Yep, it's a pretty exciting way to start the school year.

Some mystery, weird dreams and boy drama make Stork by Wendy Delsol an excellent wintery read.

Friday, January 7, 2011

For Football Fans

Want to catch the big game on the big screen? Watch the Oregon Ducks take on the Auburn Tigers in the college national championships on Monday, January 10 starting at 5:30 p.m. Bring your friends and watch the action in the library's Community Room.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Awesome, the Ugly, the meh: 2010 in Review

Well, another year has ended, another decade has begun, and it's time to reflect back on the last 365 days and pick out my favorites and my not-so-much. There are many such lists appearing on the Interwebs these days, so I want you all to know that this one is the most important and authoritative. This is best list of all the lists. It is at the very top of the list of lists. There's really no point in looking at any other list. Ever. But if you'd like to, you might want to start with this blog-o-lists:

1) Best literary trend: Unicorns! And not necessarily the rainbow-tailed variety with healing powers and vampire-like sparkling abilities. I'm talking hard core, sweaty, smelly, man-eating unicorns, like those in Rampant. Zombies may have been all the rage last year, but I have to say, in the eternal debate of Zombies vs. Unicorns, I'm rooting for unicorns all the way. Next stop: Mermaids!

2) Best of the library in the 21st century: TPL joins Facebook. Have you heard of this? It's like this website, right, and you can join and tell it all this stuff about yourself. Then you get your own page with, like, pictures, and games you can play. And you can find all your friends, even people you haven't seen in years, and you all take part in these great conversations about, like, what you're planning to make for dinner, and how awesome Betty White is. Anyway, it's really cool. You should try it out, and then become our fan.

3) Best in gaming: We spent the year gaming our brains out for the Minds at Play series. Some of my favorite gaming events included racing across the electronic Oregon Trail, and medieval Blind Man's Bluff, but nothing beats the new Xbox Kinect games. This thing is crazy cool. Come to a Game Fest to try it out.

4) Best in new vocabulary: I enjoy the terms "Internets," Interwebs" and "Made of Awesome" so much, that I use them way too often. In a few months, when these words are as uncool as "bling" you can blame me. I also enjoy all the unnecessary yet delightful pluralizing, as in "sads" and "hells yes." Thank you Diablo Cody and lol cats.

5) Worst in new vocabulary: The items I just mentioned in number four on my list probably already suck. It happens that fast.

6) Best on the Internets (nope, still rules): The It Gets Better Project and literal videos like this one. I also enjoyed watching kids react to viral videos.

7) Best library moment: Again, too many to pick just one. Coaching librarian body language for the filming of Teen Library Council's soon-to-be-released video was great fun, as was the incredible feat of getting 20 teens onto one chair (see the picture on your right). And while it's always sad to see you fabulous teen people go away, seeing several of you off to college and one to Japan was so exciting. Also, the guy who made the fleece Katy Perry at the needle felting workshop is my hero. Wherever you are, guy, I salute you.

8) Best movies: Well, True Grit barely qualifies as it was released at the end of the year, but it was truly gritty and quite good. Also, just the hallway zero-g fight sequence in Inception with the dreamy Joseph Gordan-Levitt deserves every award, including an Oscar, Grammy, VMA, Pulitzer, and Nobel prize.

9) Most meh movies: OK, maybe it wasn't a terrible movie, but, hello Hot Tub Time Machine, how can you be a movie with John Cusack about returning to the eighties and not have any references to Say Anything? Also, it's not really fair to criticize a movie for not being as good as the buzz made it out to be just because the main actor is always good, but Jesse Eisenberg, you were amazing as always in The Social Network, and your amazingness is so consistent that it no longer surprises me, therefore your film left me sort of affect-less. Not your fault, I think it was all the deposition-style exposition, but I think the only thing you can do to surprise your audience at this point would be to deliver a sucky performance. Or to quit acting and become a politician. By the way, when are you going to play Woody Allen in the movie about Woody Allen? Wait, all of Woody Allen's movies are about Woody Allen...

10) Best books: The Replacement for spookiness and one of the best covers ever. Shades of Milk and Honey for being oh-so-clever, Salem Brownstone for originality, and Folly gets the incredibly un-boring historical fiction award. And one of my favorite books of the year was, surprisingly, non-fiction: Packing for Mars by the funny and thorough Mary Roach.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Relax with Spa Crafts

Winter's winds can be harsh and school stressful. What better way to relax than to create your own spa treatments? Teens can stop by the library Thursday, January 6 from 4:30-6 p.m. to make bath salts, body glitter and other luxurious spa creations to enjoy at home. Find out how easy it is to relax and craft!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 WCCLS Teen Summer Reading Art Contest

Hey, guess what! We're already thinking about summer, because that's how we roll, people. So, now you can start thinking about what you would like to submit to this year's WCCLS teen summer reading art contest. The winner will get a Powells gift card and have their art displayed throughout the county (see last year's winning submission above.) Your submission should portray the teen summer reading theme, You Are Here. You can pick up submission forms at the library, and find out more here:



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