Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Teen Tuesday Pick: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

In a world divided by blood--those with common, Red blood serve the Silver-blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities--seventeen-year-old Mare, a Red, discovers she has an ability of her own. To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. But Mare risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard --a growing Red rebellion--even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction.
My thoughts:
A Teen dystopian, that reminds me of a "Selection" on steroids. Instead of a reality show where a bride is chosen for the prince by popular vote, the daughters of the each of the houses in the land demonstrates her lethal powers to win the Prince. The world in Red Queen is divided by the color of blood - the "Reds", the poor, working class, and the "Silvers" the rich, powerful rulers. A red girl, Mare, is called to work at the castle where during the "Queens Trial" a freak accident reveals that she has a super power that is similar to the Silvers. The novel blends intrigue, romance (a classic love triangle - Mare is betrothed to one noble brother, but secretly loves another), and uprising. If you liked either The Hunger Games, the Matched Trilogy, or The Selection series, this book is for you. With the cliff hanger ending, I am sure volumes two and three are in the writing queue.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Announcing our Teen Haiku Contest Winners!

This year over 36 haikus were entered by 13 teens in our annual Haiku Contest.  Without further ado, here are the winning entries! 

Our winner was Rowan Humphries, a senior at Aquinas Institute.  Rowan wrote about friendship:

My Faraway friend
time's swept us apart again
when will you be back?

Second place was awarded to Paul Suflita of Greece, who wrote on the topic of social justice:

The rich overlook
The multitudes of needy
Two sides of one coin

Third place winner Alissa Frame from Pittsford wrote about spring:

Deer in the forest
Graceful steps, nose in the air
Desire for loved spring

We had two honorable mention awards this year - sisters Christina and Crystal Lee of Greece. 

Christina wrote "Lions":

Large ferocious beasts
The fierce King of the Jungle
blaring mighty roars

Crystal (who was our first place winner in 2014) wrote "Wild River":

Fast rapid currents
Dancing over the rocks
Spraying in your face.

First place winner Rowan Humphries

Third place winner:  Alissa Frame

Honorable mention winners:  Crystal and Christina Lee

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Time to Apply for a Summer Volunteer Postion!

Do you:
1.  Like working with children and families?
2.  Have basic computer skills and enjoy teaching others?
3.  Have a friendly, helpful attitude?
4.  Enjoy interacting with the public?
5.  Are you dependable, prompt, and adaptable? 
6.  Enjoy crafts and games?

If you answered yes and are between the ages of 13-19, it is time to get your applications in for a summer volunteer position at the Greece Public Library.  Access the application on our website here, or at the information desk in the library (information desk and children's desk).  Please answer each question completely and return this form to the library no later than June 8, 2015. Volunteer forms will NOT be accepted after this date. There is a mandatory volunteer meeting either Wednesday, June 10 or Thursday June 11 at 3:30 pm. You MUST attend one of these meetings in order to volunteer for the Summer Reading Program- NO exceptions!  This application is also mandatory if you are interested in becoming a volunteer for our Tech Tutor program.
Volunteering makes you feel great, is wonderful to put on your college applications, and is good to have if you want to apply for a job. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Teen Tuesday: The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie

check the catalog here
Based on the wildly popular YouTube channelThe Haunting of Sunshine Girl has been described as " Gilmore Girls " meets " Paranormal Activity " for the new media age.
Shortly after her sixteenth birthday, Sunshine Griffith and her mother Kat move from sunny Austin, Texas, to the rain-drenched town of Ridgemont, Washington. Though Sunshine is adopted, she and her mother have always been close, sharing a special bond filled with laughter and inside jokes. But from the moment they arrive, Sunshine feels her world darken with an eeriness she cannot place. And even if Kat doesn’t recognize it, Sunshine knows that something about their new house is just ... creepy.

In the days that follow, things only get stranger. Sunshine is followed around the house by an icy breeze, phantom wind slams her bedroom door shut, and eventually, the laughter Sunshine hears on her first night evolves into sobs. She can hardly believe it, but as the spirits haunting her house become more frightening—and it becomes clear that Kat is in danger—Sunshine must accept what she is, pass the test before her, and save her mother from a fate worse than death.

Monday, May 4, 2015

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

check the catalog here

Wow.  An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir has drawn me right in!  When I saw this book had been chosen an Amazon Editor's "Best Pick of the Month" and it already has over 2,000 ratings on Goodreads - I was compelled to pick it up.  Here's a summary of the book from Goodreads:

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

Here's my favorite review quote:  “An Ember in the Ashes mixes The Hunger Games with Game of Thrones...and adds a dash of Romeo and Juliet.”—The Hollywood Reporter

So far I am really enjoying this - a little violent for my personal tastes, but it does fit in well with the storyline.  I do like the characters, the espionage angle, and the way the story is unfolding.  I am also glad it is not a futuristic setting - I was tiring of the same dystopian themes.