Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best YA Books of 2013

As 2013 comes to a close, list-making has gone into overdrive. Lists are so popular that they've even gotten their own buzzword.  So, without further adieu, here are some "listicles" about the best young adult books of the year:
From TeenReads.com
From Amazon.com
From Goodreads.com
From PopCrush.com
From TheChildrensBookReview.com
From NovelNovice.com
Happy 2014!
Lisa U.
CC Library

Monday, November 18, 2013

Teen Penny Auction

Want some cool stuff by spending just a few pennies?  Come to the Teen Penny Auction at Chester County Library!  Bring one roll of 50 pennies, and you can bid on great prizes such as books, DVDs, sports merchandise, gift cards to Game Stop and Wawa, and much more.  No one goes home empty-handed, and all money raised will go to charity.

This FREE teens-only event will happen on Friday, December 13th, from 6:30-8:00 pm in the Struble Room at Chester County Library. 
Online registration is required.  To register online, go to www.ccls.org > Find an Event > Chester County Library > On the calendar, find December 13 and click on Teen Penny Auction > Fill in your information.  For more information, you can call 610-280-2632.  Hope to see you there!
Lisa U.
CC Library

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Books to Movies

This November, you have many choices at the movie theater, including three that are based on popular books.  Here's the rundown from www.imdb.com:

How I Live Now
Release Date:  11/8/13
SYNOPSIS: An American girl sent to the English countryside to stay with relatives finds herself fighting for her survival as the UK turns into a violent military state.
STARS: Saoirse Ronan, Tom Holland, George MacKay, Harley Bird
The Buzz: Kevin Macdonald hitches himself to the world of YA lit with this adaptation of Meg Rosoff's popular novel, which has some inescapable similarities to the saga of one Katniss Everdeen.                  

The Book Thief
Release Date:  11/15/13
SYNOPSIS: While subjected to the horrors of Word War II Germany, young Liesel finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. Under the stairs in her home, a Jewish refuge is being sheltered by her adoptive parents.
STARS: Sophie Nelisse, Geoffey Rush, Emily Watson, Ben Schnetzer
The Buzz: Sophie NĂ©lisse, who made her debut in art-house hit Monsieur Lazhar, will expand her fanbase as the star of this how-exactly-do-you-approach-it adaptation of the young adult novel that features Death as its narrator. "Downton Abbey" Emmy-winner Brian Percival takes his second turn in the movie director chair.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Release Date:  11/22/13
SYNOPSIS: Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem.
STARS: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Philip Seymour Hoffman
The Buzz: The Hunger Games was the most satisfying franchise-starter in some time; a true measure of its success were the positive reactions from people who had yet to read the novels before seeing the movie. We love that the sequel was filmed in Hawaii, an ideal setting for the beautiful harshness of the Quarter Quell. Cast and crew wise, we're less concerned about any choices made by director Francis Lawrence and more worried about Sam Claflin as the knot-tying/Katniss-wooing Finnick Odair, because he displayed an innate talent for making time stand still in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Snow White and the Huntsman.

Lisa U.
CC Library             


Monday, September 30, 2013

Teen Movie Night - 42: The Jackie Robinson Story

Join us for Teen Movie Night on Friday, October 25, 6:30-8:30 pm here at Chester County Library.  We will be showing 42: The Jackie Robinson Story.  SYNOPSIS: In 1946, Branch Rickey signed Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking Major League Baseball's infamous color line and forever changing history.  Starring Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford.  Rated PG-13. 
Of course, there will be FREE popcorn!  This FREE event is for students in Grades 6-12.  You must register ONLINE for this event.  Go to www.ccls.org > Find an Event > Chester County Library > On the calendar, go to October 25 and click on Chester County Library Teen Movie Night > Fill in your information.

Hope you can make it!

Lisa U.
CC Library


Monday, August 26, 2013

Book Review: Discovering Wes Moore

Have you ever wondered how your life might have turned out if you made even one different choice?  Have you thought about all the people, circumstances, and outside influences that have shaped your life, for better or worse? In his book, Discovering Wes Moore, author Wes Moore does just that. 
The text on the book's inside cover grabbed my attention:
   Even as a young boy, Wes Moore knew that his parents expected him to be a good kid.  But after his father died suddenly, Wes's family moved to a new neighborhood and things changed.  Wes started to skip school and hang out on the street, and he ran into trouble with the police.  His mother intervened and sent him to a military academy, much to Wes's dismay.  It wasn't an easy adjustment, but thanks to his mother's love and his own hard work and discipline, Wes got his life on track.
   Years later, when Wes was a senior in college, he read a newspaper article about a man who shared his name.  This Wes Moore, who had also grown up fatherless in a nearby Baltimore neighborhood, was serving a life sentence for murder.  Compelled to write to the other Wes Moore, Wes was surprised weeks later to receive a reply.  Letters led to visits, and so began a friendship between two men who seemed to have little in common besides their name.
   "The chilling truth is that his story could have been mine," Wes says.  "The tragedy is that my story could have been his."  How did two boys, initially alike in so many ways, end up taking such divergent paths?  In this gripping account, Wes Moore reflects on how struggles can define us and explores the choices that made all the difference between two lives.
Discovering Wes Moore was adapted from his first book, The Other Wes Moore, because the author wanted to tell his story for young adults who may be going through the same struggles that he did as a teen.  As he says in the introduction, "I particularly wanted to help that young adult who is on the brink of an important decision.  One step can determine what a person's tomorrow will look like; I wanted to help make sure that step was the right one."   This book reminded me that my actions, even small ones, have consequences that can't always be anticipated. 
I highly recommend Discovering Wes Moore -- it's a fast read that will really make you think.
Lisa U.
CC Library

Monday, July 15, 2013

Hello to our readers around the world!

Hello to our blog followers around the world!  I've been looking at who is reading this blog lately, and while the majority live here in the United States, there are also a number of you who live beyond our borders.  
Here is where many of our our international followers live:
United Kingdom
I'd like to ask you some questions:
-- Why are you reading this blog?
-- Have you ever visited Chester County Library here in Exton, Pennsylvania?
-- What do you like and dislike about this blog?

 I would love to hear from you!  Thanks so much for reading this blog!
Lisa U.
CC Library

Monday, July 01, 2013

Teen Ice Cream Adventure

Thanks to all of you who joined our Teen Ice Cream Adventure here at CCL on Friday night!  There were 43 teens at this Summer kick-off event, and they made a 30-foot-long ice cream sundae (a Chester County record).  There was enough ice cream, chocolate sauce, M&Ms, caramel, peanut butter sauce, and whipped cream for a feeding frenzy, and the fact that everyone helped to clean up afterward was an added bonus!  :)
Our next event is a Teen Scavenger Hunt on Friday, July 12, at 4:00 pm in CCL's Youth Services Department.  Online registration is required. You can register online by going to www.ccls.org > Find an Event > Chester County Library > On the calendar, go to July 12 and click on Teen Scavenger Hunt > Fill in your information.  Hope to see you soon!
Lisa U.
Teen Event Coordinator
CC Library

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

2013 Teen Summer Reading Club

Summer 2013 has arrived! Beginning Monday, June 10th, you can register for Teen Summer Reading Club at your local library and receive your Summer Reading Calendar.

Here at Chester County Library, you can mark your calendar each day that you read or listen to books for 60 minutes or more. Prizes will be awarded when you complete 20, 40 and 60 days of reading. Each time your calendar is checked by a librarian, your name will be entered in the Teen Summer Raffle, which will be held on September 6th.  This year's theme for Teen Summer Reading Club is Beneath the Surface.

Mark your calendars for four Friday teen events! Online registration is required. You can register online for these events starting on June 10th by going to www.ccls.org > Find an Event > Chester County Library > On the calendar, find the event date and click on event name > Fill in your information.

Ice Cream Adventure
Friday, June 28 
6:30-7:45 pm
Struble Room
Get “the scoop” on all things ice cream, then help to build Chester County’s biggest ice cream sundae!

Scavenger Hunt
Friday, July 12
4:00-5:30 pm
Youth Services Department
Want to find out what lurks beneath the library shelves? Come to the scavenger hunt and dig up some treasure!

Journaling – Explore Beneath the Surface
Friday, July 26 
4:00-5:30 pm
Struble Room
Express yourself! We’ll give you a journal and some prompts to get you writing. Then “dig deep” and write down your thoughts. You can share what you’ve written with the group, or keep it private – it’s your choice.

Movie Night: Hugo
Friday, August 3 
6:30-8:30 pm
Struble Room
Set in 1930s Paris, Hugo is an orphan who lives in a train station and tries to solve a mystery involving his late father, an automaton (mechanical man) and a special key.  This movie is based on The Invention of Hugo Cabret: A Novel in Words and Pictures by Brian Selznick.

This year we’re offering two new weekly events, which also require online registration.  You can register online for these events starting on June 10th by going to www.ccls.org > Find an Event > Chester County Library > On the calendar, find the event date and click on event name > Fill in your information.

Teen Trivia Tournament
Fridays 2:00 to 3:00 pm
June 28, July 5, July 19, August 2
August 9 (Championship Round)
Struble Room
Compete against other teens from Chester County to test your knowledge of book, library and general trivia at our summer-long Teen Trivia Tournament! Come as often as you can to our four events and see if your cumulative score gets you into the final Championship Round on August 9th.

Chicks (and Guys) with Sticks + Book Talk
Tuesdays 7:00 to 8:00 pm
June 25, July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, August 6
Youth Services Department
Learn how to knit or work on your own knitting project while the group chats about books!

We hope you'll join Teen Summer Reading Club and visit CC Library this summer, whether you’re checking out great books, movies or video games, or attending an event. Looking forward to seeing you!

Lisa U.
Teen Event Coordinator
CC Library

Friday, May 24, 2013

Book Review: See You at Harry's

Cover image

How would you like living in a crazy family where your father runs a restaurant and your little brother Charlie is the three-year-old darling of the family?  In See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles, Fern, 12 years old, feels for her older brother Holden who is the target of mean kids on the bus.  Sara, her older sister, acts more like the mother in the family than their mom.  Fern must come to terms with so many feelings about family, especially after the unimaginable happens.  Be prepared to cry and to love these characters.
Anna Marie B.
CC Library

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Book Review: In the Shadow of Blackbirds

In Cat Winters’ In the Shadow of Blackbirds, World War I rages across Europe, and the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918 has killed tens of thousands across America. For her own safety after her father is jailed for anti-war activities, Mary Shelley Black is forced to leave her home in Portland, Oregon, and take the train to San Diego, where her maternal Aunt Eva lives. Soon after her arrival, she learns the unthinkable: her childhood love, Stephen Embers, who ran off and enlisted, died on the front lines in France. An act of desperation leaves her with the ability to hear and see his ghost. He tells her something's wrong--and can't stop talking about looming, murderous blackbirds. So Mary is on a mission to discover what really happened to Stephen, and to find a way to rest his soul in peace.

From our own fears of what new pandemic might be lurking around the corner, to the nightly news of wartime atrocities and PTSD, this book reminds us that, sadly, everything old is new again. Mary is a likeable character, with her psychic interactions with Stephen all the more potent because she still retains her natural and healthy skepticism of the Spiritualist community, which history showed was filled with quite a few hucksters. Stephen's warnings not to trust everyone around her sets us up to keep our eyes open for duplicity, but even then we're horrified by the conclusion to Stephen's sad tale. It's a well-plotted and tidy story with a satisfying ending (given the circumstances), and for those who never knew or understood the times of the first World War, are left all the richer for it.

Though not with the supernatural flair of Blackbirds, other books about teens struggling during the times around World War I are Hattie Big Sky and Hattie Ever After by Kirby Larson, and After the Dancing Days by Margaret Rostkowski.

Debra B.
CC Library

Friday, April 12, 2013

Teen Bake-Off Winners

Congratulations to everyone who brought their homemade goodies for the library's Teen Bake-Off on March 22nd!  The judges had a very difficult time choosing a winner among 28 entries -- everything was delicious!  Here is a list of our winners:

First Prize: 
Raspberry-Chocolate Babka Bread, made by Vandana Ashtakala, who won a gift card to Panera Bread!
Second Prize:
Amazing Peanut Butter Cup Cookies, made by Matthew Downing and David Schabdach, who won a gift card to Chick Fil-A!
Third Prize:
Chocolate Cake Pops, made by Natalie Ahern and Dana Bubka, who won a gift card to TCBY!

Other Bake-Off entries included a Kit Kat cake, cheesecake Oreo cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, blueberry pie, mind-blowing cupcakes, chocolate cake balls, Italian cookies, gluten-free French apple pie, funfetti cookies, chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, whoopie pies, brownies, snickerdoodles, and pumpkin muffins. 

Because of this year's success, we will be hosting another Teen Bake-Off next year!

Lisa U.
Teen Event Coordinator
CC Library

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Teen Bake-Off at CC Library!

Do you like to bake?  Do people compliment you on your cookies, cakes or other baked goods?  Come to our Teen Bake-Off!  Bring your baked goodies to Chester County Library on Friday, March 22nd, and our judges will decide who has the best stuff.  Top prizes include gift cards to Panera Bread,
Chick Fil-A, and TCBY.

Here are the rules of the Teen Bake-Off:
-- You can bake by yourself, or in a team of 2 or 3 people.
-- You should bring the following quantities:
       24 individual items (for example: cookies, brownies, muffins)  or
       1 large item (for example: cake, pie)
-- Bring an index card - Write what your baked item is and your
-- Bring one sheet of 8.5 x 11 inch paper - Write or type your recipe.
-- Bakers must be 11 to 19 years old (no adults or younger students,

This FREE event will be held in the Youth Services Department at Chester County Library on Friday, March 22nd, from 4:30 to 5:30 pm.
You must register by Monday, March 18th, in person at the Youth Services desk, by emailing tlc@ccls.org, or by calling 610-280-2632.  When registering, please include your name, age, telephone number, and what your baked item is. 
If you have any questions, please call 610-280-2630.  Bon Appetit!
Lisa U.
CC Library

Friday, February 08, 2013

Duct Tape Craft Night

Have you heard about duct tape crafts, but didn't know where to start?  Come to Chester County Library's Teen Duct Tape Craft Night on Friday, February 22nd at 6:30 pm! 

We'll show a video on how to make some cool crafts, and then you can try it yourself.  We have lots of tape colors and patterns, so you can create your own masterpieces.

To register for this FREE event, call 610-280-2630 or email tlc@ccls.org by February 21st.  Hope to see you there!

Lisa U.
CC Library

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Anti-Valentine's Day books

Anti valentines day badgeIs the thought of flowers, cards, and candy this Valentine’s Day making you gag? Yeah, we’ve been there. So we present to you.....the Anti-Valentine’s Day book list. Maybe you’ll like John Green’s An Abundance of Katherines, where child prodigy Colin is dumped by his girlfriend right after high school graduation—the 19th Katherine to go with the other 18 he's dated (or otherwise been involved with) in his life. To console himself, he allows himself to be dragged off on a road trip to Tennessee, convinced along the way that he can work out a math theorem that predicts the duration of relationships.
Or maybe you can relate to the unrequited love between John and Marisol, two high school zine writers in Ellen Wittlinger’s Hard Love. Not even their shared family dysfunctions and love of writing can overcome the obvious: John’s straight while Marisol’s gay.  E. Lockhart’s The Boyfriend List is the first in a series about 15-year old Ruby “Roo” Oliver, who starts suffering panic attacks after her boyfriend dumps her, her friends abandon her, and she becomes the pariah of her prep school. A bulleted list—prompted by her shrink—helps us learn the events and reasons behind Ruby’s anxiety and fall from grace.
So grab one of these books, break up some heart-shaped cookies to munch on while reading, and enjoy!

Deb B.
CC Library

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Teen Movie Night at CC Library!


A FREE movie about a cute dog and FREE popcorn.....what's not to like?  Come to Chester County Library's Teen Movie Night on Friday, January 25, at 6:30 pm to see "Marley & Me," starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson.  It's a story about a young couple who adopts a Labrador puppy that fails obedience school but steals their hearts.

Remember, this is a FREE event for students in 6th grade and older.  To register, please email tlc@ccls.org or call 610-280-2632. 

Lisa U.
CC Library