Tuesday, December 23, 2008

You asked for it!

The third computer in the teen area is no longer just for searching the catalog. Now you can sign up to use the computer on the lower desk in the back of the department. A librarian will still need to log you in but this should shorten wait times for checking e-mail, writing papers, and catching up with your friends on MySpace. Any other suggestions for things to change? Send me an e-mail at sjohnson@osterhout.lib.pa.us and let me know!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

More new books for December

Stop by the library and check out our new book display in the teen department!

Hijuelos, Oscar. Dark Dude.

In Wisconsin, Rico could blend in. His light hair and lighter skin wouldn't make him the "dark dude" or the punching bag for the whole neighborhood. The Midwest is the land of milk and honey, but for Rico Fuentes, it's really a last resort. Trading Harlem for Wisconsin, though, means giving up on a big part of his identity. And when Rico no longer has to prove that he's Latino, he almost stops being one. Except he can never have an ordinary white kid's life, because there are some things that can't be left behind, that can't be cut loose or forgotten. These are the things that will be with you forever.... These are the things that will follow you a thousand miles away.

Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games.
Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat's sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.

Abdel-Fattah, Randa. Ten Things I Hate about Me.

"At school I'm Aussie-blonde Jamie -- one of the crowd. At home I'm Muslim Jamilah -- driven mad by my Stone Age dad. I should win an Oscar for my acting skills. But I can't keep it up for much longer..."

Jamie just wants to fit in. She doesn't want to be seen as a stereotypical Muslim girl, so she does everything possible to hide that part of herself. Even if it means pushing her friends away because she's afraid to let them know her dad forbids her from hanging out with boys or that she secretly loves to play the darabuka (Arabic drums). But when the cutest boy in school asks her out and her friends start to wonder about Jamie's life outside of school, her secrets threaten to explode. Can Jamie figure out how to be both Jamie and Jamilah before she loses everything?

Koja, Kathe. Headlong.

The Vaughn School. Home of domed ceilings, gleaming checkerboard floors, and the Vaughn Virgins: the upper stratum of girls who have perfect grades, perfect lives, and perfect friends. Lily Noble is a lifer – she knows all the rules. Then sophomore year, Hazel Tobias arrives as a scholarship student, with her model’s looks and unconventional family, and shows Lily everything she’s been missing. Can you ever fit in someplace you don’t want to be? As Lily befriends Hazel, both girls discover what it means to dive deep beneath the surface – of friendship, of commitment – and to live life with all their hearts, with all they are, headlong.

Stoffels, Karlign. Heartsinger.

Smee was born with a great gift: the ability to sing other people's stories and heal their pain. But Smee also carries his own pain -- his failure to reach his deaf mother and heal her grief at his father's death. As he travels the country, he eases many people's sorrows, but he cannot connect with anyone himself. Mitou also has a gift: spreading joy through a few notes from her accordion. When she hears about Smee--who was born on the same day she was--she knows that surely they belong together, each of them helping others through their music. They finally meet on the way to the king's castle to sing for the beautiful Princess Esperanza. But will Mitou's hopes be fulfilled--or is the pain of the past too great?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

New books for December

New books are here! Stop by the Y.A. department and check them out.

Collins, Yvonne and Rideout, Sandy. Girl v. Boy.

Sixteen-year-old Luisa Perez is not looking to win any awards for school spirit. In fact, she and her friends make it a point to avoid all activities considered "extra-curricular." So when her English teacher volunteers her to be an anonymous columnist for the school paper, Luisa's first impulse is to run. But, unlike her high-school dropout sister, Luisa does want to go to college--it may be her only ticket out of a life spent working at the cowboy-themed diner where she waitresses part time--and it would be nice to something on her applications.

Her first assignment is to cover her high school's latest fundraiser, which pits the girls against the boys. Luisa will cover the events from the female POV, while another anonymous writer provides the male perspective--or, at least, that's how it begins. The two columnists soon find themselves engaged in an epic battle of the sexes--a battle that Luisa is determined to win. Just who does this guy think he is, encouraging his peers to act like Neanderthals with their girlfriends? And why can't Luisa shake the very sinking feeling that her new unidentified nemesis might also be her new boyfriend?

Journalism and battle of the sexes not your thing? Check out one of these other new books instead ...

Sheinmel, Courtney. My So-Called Family.

Leah, who was conceived
through a donor bank, decides that even though she loves her mother, stepfather, and stepbrother, she wants to find out if she has any other siblings, and sets out to investigate without telling anyone what she is doing.

Ryan, Amy Kathleen. Vibes.

Kristi, a sophomore in an alternative high school, is aware that nearly everyone dislikes her--even those obsessed by her large breasts--but begins to doubt her psychic insights after learning long-held family secrets and some classmates' true feelings.

Falling Hard.

The poets are straight, gay, lesbian, bi, or transgender. They live next door or across an ocean; they are innocent or experienced; their lyric explorations range from new love to stale love, obsession to ennui, ecstasy to heartbreak, and every nuance in between. Whether the romantic escapades described are touching, comical, or tragic, whether the feelings expressed are tender and sweet or brutal and biting, readers will find the love these young poets openly share to be exquisitely, excruciatingly, endlessly fascinating. Here is a collection to turn to again and again, because life and love keep on changing.

Stiefvater, Maggie. Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception.

On the day of an important music competition, talented but painfully introverted and nervous Deirdre Monaghan is helped to perform by the compelling and enigmatic Luke Dillon and finds herself inexorably drawn into the mysteries and dangers of the faerieworld.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Favorite Stephenie Meyer book

OK, everyone, I know I've been remiss in posting. But I'm on page 500 and something of "Breaking Dawn" and everything is crazy. Bella! Edward! Werewolves! Volturi! Imprinting! I have to admit, I almost didn't finish the saga. And I'm having a much harder time getting engrossed in this book. So tell me in the comments - - which book was your favorite?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanks to everyone who showed up for our bookend painting project. It was a lot of fun and they turned out awesome!

Next month we'll do origami (December 6) and candymaking (December 20)! Send me an e-mail if you want to sign up: sjohnson@osterhout.lib.pa.us

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Painting and vampires

Hi everybody! I'm sure next week will be busyy as everyone gets ready for Thanksgiving so I just wanted to mention two programs coming up soon.

On Tuesday, we're going to be doing an art project where we paint the bookends in the library. Drop by and create your masterpiece and we'll use it to decorate (and well, to hold up books) in the YA department.

Paint Your Library
Tuesday, November 25, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

And then next Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, we'll also be planning a trip to see Twilight at the theater. Because this is an off-site event, you'll need to have a signed permission slip. Send me an e-mail [sjohnson (at) osterhout.lib.pa.us] and I can e-mail you a permission slip to print and have your parent sign. We have discounted tickets of just $5 per person (bring money with you that day) and we only have three spots left so e-mail me or call me (570-823-0156 ext. 217) to register and reserve your spot!

Twilight the Movie
Friday, November 28, 1:15-4:30 p.m.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Twilight readalikes

Are you finished with the Twilight saga and looking for something to read next? The library has a couple new books that might be popular with Twilight fans.

Whitcomb, Laura. A Certain Slant of Light.
In sensuous prose, Helen, who has been dead for 130 years, describes what it's like to live as Light, clinging to a human host, then reentering an empty human body and becoming physically and emotionally attuned to the world. James, too, is Light, but he has taken over the body of Billy, who almost overdosed on drugs. Their joy at finding one another turns quickly to love, and James helps Helen locate an empty body that she can inhabit.

Hahn, Mary Downing. Look for Me by Moonlight.
Cynda has just moved in with her father after her parents divorced. Her father runs a remote inn in Maine and Cynda is bored and lonely until she befriends a new guest at the inn. He seems to understand her completely, but Cynda finds out he may not have her best interests at heart.

Dunkle, Clare B. By These Ten Bones.

After a mysterious young wood carver with a horrifying secret arrives, Maddie gains his trust--and his heart--and seeks a way to save both him and her townspeople from an ancient evil.

If you still haven't satisfied your thirst for books like Twilight, send me an e-mail [sjohnson (at) osterhout.lib.pa.us] for more suggestions!

Test prep

Turkey, stuffing, and standardized tests. Yeah ... Unfortunately, it's the time of year to start thinking about what tests you'll need to take. The library has a new online resource to make preparing for the tests easier. And best of all, it's free. There are books available online through the site to help you study as well as practice tests. Check out the Testing and Education Reference Center.

Working on your GED? Read review material and test prep info and take practice tests online

Taking Advanced Placement courses? Check out the resources and sample tests for AP exams.

Thinking about college? Try a sample PSAT, SAT, and ACT!

Considering a career in the military? Take a practice ASVAB.

The library has a free trial of this site until December 5, 2008. Check out the site, and then please fill out a quick survey letting us know if you liked it. This will help us decide if we should subscribe to the site permanently. Also feel free to stop by the library for books and other resources to help you prepare!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wiiiiii (and Xbox too!)

Thanks to everyone who came to open mic night! Next up is National Gaming Day @ Your Library. We're using this as a kickoff for our new gaming equipment - an Xbox 360 and a Wii! Teens ages 11-18 are invited to stop by this Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. to race in MarioKart, jam in Guitar Hero, rock out in Rock Band 2 and more! Hope to see you then!

Monday, November 10, 2008


Everyone knows that Melvil Dewey created the Dewey Decimal System. But did you know about his other idea that never quite caught on? Phonetic spelling. From Wikipedia:

In 1906, Dewey was one of the 30 founding members of the Simplified Spelling Board, founded by Andrew Carnegie to make English easier to learn and understand through changes in the orthography of the English language. His theories of spelling reform found some local success at Lake Placid: there is an "Adirondac Loj" in the area, and dinner menus of the club featured his spelling reform. A September 1927 menu is headed "Simpler spelin" and features dishes like Hadok, Poted beef with noodls, Parsli or Masht potato, Butr, Steamd rys, Letis, and Ys cream. It also advises guests that "All shud see the butiful after-glo on mountains to the east just befor sunset. Fyn vu from Golfhous porch."

Most of that didn't stick, although we do spell the word catalog the way we do (instead of the British catalogue) in part because of him.

Hav a butiful day!

Friday, November 07, 2008

New books this November, part 2

We've got more new books! If none of these catch your eye, leave a comment or send an e-mail (sjohnson (at) osterhout.lib.pa.us) telling me what kind of books you'd like to see more often!

Blundell, Judy. What I Saw and How I Lied.
In 1947, with her jovial stepfather Joe back from the war and
family life returning to normal, teenage Evie, smitten by the handsome young ex-GI who seems to have a secret hold on Joe, finds herself caught in a complicated web of lies whose devastating outcome change her life and that of her family forever.

Bray, Libba.
The Sweet Far Thing.
At Spence Academy, sixteen-year-old Gemma Doyle continues preparing for her London debut while struggling to determine how best to use magic to resolve a power struggle in the enchanted world of the realms, and to protect her own world and loved ones.

Downham, Jenny. Before I Die.
Tessa has just months to live. Fighting back a
gainst hospital visits, endless tests, drugs with excruciating side-effects, Tessa compiles a list. It’s her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is Sex. Released from the constraints of ‘normal’ life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up. Tessa’s feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, and her new boyfriend, all are painfully crystallised in the precious weeks before Tessa’s time finally runs out.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

This could be you!

Kelsey, at the last teen party, rocking her awesome hippie hair

Sound like fun? Come to our next event!

Open Mic Night

Wednesday, November 12, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Open Mic Night is an intimate venue for poets and musicians. Whether you sing, speak, or rap, come and share with fellow artists. Feel free to perform your own material or the work of someone you admire. Not up for performing? Every show needs an audience.

Any questions? E-mail Sarah (that's me!) at sjohnson (at) osterhout.lib.pa.us

New books this November

We just got another shipment of new books! Stop by the young adult department and check these out these new titles:

Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson

Another New York Times bestseller from Laurie Halse Anderson! High school senior Tyler Miller used to be the kind of guy who faded into the background. But since he got busted for doing graffiti on the school, and spent the summer doing outdoor work to pay for it, he stands out like you wouldn’t believe. His new physique attracts the attention of queen bee Bethany Milbury, who just so happens to be his father’s boss’s daughter, the sister of his biggest enemy— and Tyler’s secret crush. And that sets off a string of events and changes that have Tyler questioning his place in school, in his family, and in the world.

The Patron Saint of Butterflies by local author Cecilia Galante

Agnes and Honey have always been best friends, but they haven’t always been so different. Agnes loves being a Believer. She knows the rules at the Mount Blessing religious commune are there to make her a better person. Honey hates Mount Blessing and the control Emmanuel, their leader, has over her life. The only bright spot is the butterfly garden she’s helping to build, and the journal of butterflies that she keeps. When Agnes’s grandmother makes an unexpected visit to the commune, she discovers a violent secret that the Believers are desperate to keep quiet. And when Agnes’s little brother is seriously injured and Emmanuel refuses to send him to a hospital, Nana Pete takes the three children and escapes the commune. Their journey begins an exploration of faith, friendship, religion and family for the two girls, as Agnes clings to her familiar faith while Honey desperately wants a new future.

Everything Beautiful in the World by Lisa Levchuk

The only good thing about having a mother with cancer is that people are willing to let you get away with pretty much anything. Like failing a Latin test. Or being late to class. Or skipping tennis practice. But there’s one thing Edna’s fairly certain even she can’t get away with – her burgeoning romance with Mr. Howland, her fourth-period Ceramics teacher. That day when Mr. Howland kissed her in his office, she felt like she was floating, like she could levitate right out of her skin. It’s Mr. Howland, with his tousled blond hair and his beautiful guitar and his spot-on impression of Dracula, who makes Edna feel happy for the first time in a long time. But what does Mr. Howland want? And how does Edna really feel – about her mother, about Mr. Howland, about moving forward? Set in New Jersey in the 1980s, this is a piercing story about decisions both heart-wrenching and wonderful, and how life and love so often lead us down unexpected paths.

Dear Julia by Amy Bronwen Zemser

Elaine Hamilton has never wanted to be the center of attention. She'd like nothing more than to cook quietly in her kitchen, mastering French cooking with the recipes of the great Julia Child. So how did she end up with cameras zooming in on her and a crowd cheering her on? Well, it involves an eccentric best friend named after a font, five lively brothers constantly asking, “What's for dinner?,” a rotten fig and a weakness, a feminist congresswoman mother, a yoga-practicing father, a chest full of unsent letters, and many, many roast ducks.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hello, world!

My name is Sarah Johnson, and I'm the new teen librarian. This blog hasn't been updated in awhile, but I thought I'd post something introducing myself. I'm originally from Indiana (it's a lot flatter there), but I'm enjoying exploring the area and getting to know everyone.

We're having a teen halloween party tomorrow night, 5:30-7:30 p.m., so stop by and say hi!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Summer Reading Kick-Off!

Friday, June 20th from 2-4:00 p.m. will be our sign-up session for the 2008 Teen Summer Reading Program. The 2008 theme is Metamorphosis @ your library, and we'll have several transforming programs available to all teens! Sign up for the 25-hour reading challenge and pick up your tracking calendar. Enjoy some of our snacks, games, and prizes, and meet some new people!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Anonymous workspace

For all you shy but talented writers and poets...There will be a slot designated "Anonymous works" in the new Poetry Corner located in the Young Adult Area. Items submitted will be read aloud at the monthly Open Mics, held every third Tuesday of the month from 5-6:30p.m. If you're shy, just show up and listen. We'll keep our fingers crossed that maybe one day you'll read aloud!

Teen Open Mikes

On Tuesday, May 20th, we kicked off a New Season of Teen Open Mikes, which will run every third Tuesday of the month from 5-6:30 p.m. Favorite or original poems, songs, readings, jokes, magic tricks are all welcome. Following is an excerpt from Robin Davis' "Beyond the Shadow," a poem inspired by the works of Edgar Allen Poe:

Beyond the shadow of death and the grave
Awaits a person hoping for a save
Their life seems pointless and without a sense
But they must look back both past and present tense
Search now deep within your heart
Don't stop until you have a new start
As you go on remember those who care
But, innocence and ignorance is something we all share...

Thanks, Robin!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Recommended Literary Sites

At their last meeting, members of the Teen Library Focus Group reviewed a list of literary websites and chose four favorites. Here they are, along with some of their features:

www.teenink.com- "You can read articles, interviews with celebrities, and book and music reviews, and find out about summer programs."

www.teenspoint.org- "On this supercool library website, you can read music, movie, and book reviews!"

www.itvs.org/poeticlicense- "Read poems by other teens and post your own on the website."

www.poetry.com- "This website features plenty of poems, contests, and a page on publishing your own book!"

What do you think?

In Gary Paulesn's Hatchet, Brian Orbeson spends months on an island with only a hatchet after a terrifying plane crash. To hear his story, come to our Teen Read Aloud hours, starting June 16th at 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.


Your pilot has a heart attack mid-flight, forcing YOU to land the plane, and leaving you stranded on an island to fend for yourself for months... Alone.

What two things would you want with you?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Meet Barbara Weisberger

On February 5th from 4:00-5:30 p.m., the Osterhout Free Library is proud to present: Meet Barbara Weisberger, creator of the nationally known Pennsylvania Ballet in Philadelphia, and of the Carlisle Project, the pacesetting center for the development of choreographers and dancers. The scope of the discussion will be determined by the audience. The program was created for young people ages 11 and up, and two written questions for Ms. Weisberger will serve as a ticket for entry to the discussion. There will be a reception afterwards until 6:00 p.m. Please call to make a reservation at 823-0156, extension 217.

Harry Potter Discussion Group

Merlin's Beard! The excitement about young Potter has not died down yet, that's for sure. Join our newly extablished Harry Potter Discussion Group each fourth Wednesday of the month. Wednesday, January 23rd, 6:00-7:30P.M. will be our third meeting, and we're starting to really get into the swing of things.

Teen Media Club

Join us on Thursday, January 24th (5:00-7:00P.M.) for Teen Media Club! We get together twice a month to share and discuss various types of media; books, plays, videogames, poetry, movies, TV, internet, you name it. Or, we pick a theme and use all of the above! At the next meeting we're doing just that witha pirate theme. "So come on me hearties, dig up yer pirate booty from yer Davy Jones Locker; we'll weigh anchor up in the Gates Lab, splice the mainbrace (non alcoholic o'course), and tell a few tall tales an'all. Arrr!"