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Laser Blast Combat

Teen Summer Reading is kicking-off with a field trip to Ultra Blast Combat Center on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.  The library will provide admission for the teens (grades 7-12) that want to go.  Yeah, we're awesome that way.  But you have to let us know you're coming!  Register online or by phone (444-7826) ASAP.  

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Summer Reading 2016

Everyone's a winner during this year's sports/fitness-themed summer reading program!  On Your Mark, Get Set, READ! is our children's summer reading program for birth through rising sixth grade.  (Make sure you watch the official commercial, starring Mr Justin and Miss Anna Beth and featuring the vocal talents of Mr Steve.)  Get in the Game -- READ! is our teen summer reading program for rising seventh through twelfth grade.

Registration begins Monday, May 23, 2016 and continues through July 18, 2016.  To sign up, simply stop by a Kid Zone or Teen Spot desk.  We ask a couple of questions for our stats (grade, name of school), then we hand you a bag of fun free stuff.  The most important thing you'll find in your bag is your reading log.  Every time you finish a book this summer, add the title to your log.  You'll also want to write down the number of pages in each book.  That's because you earn a ticket for every 100 pages!  These tickets can be exchanged for prizes in our Prize Locker, which opens Wednesday, June 1, 2016.  Prizes cost 2, 5, 10, or 15 tickets.  Teens can also use their tickets to enter into drawings for larger prizes.  Check the summer reading display by the teen desk for specifics.  Children also have a chance to win something big!  Every child who reaches 500 pages will have their name entered into a drawing for a bicycle!  Important thing to remember in all the excitement -- summer reading is not a race to see who reads the most or the fastest.  Read for fun and set a reading goal that's right for YOU!  The final day to redeem your tickets is August 3, 2016.

If you need help finding amazing books this summer, make sure you take a look at our official summer reading lists.  They are filled with our favorite fiction titles about playing sports and having fun.  I'll link to them at the end of this blog, but they are also always available in the Downloads sections of both the Kid Zone and Teen Spot webpages.  If you love nonfiction books, stay tuned to the blog all summer long for our Train Your Brain series.  For a sneak peek at some of the titles on the lists, watch our Summer Reading 2016 books trailer.  

Author Kate DiCamillo thinks you should sign up for Summer Reading, too!  Click here to learn more.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture


I read around 300 books each year.  That's a lot of titles.  And, since I like to read a wide array of genres, it should be quite a diverse list.  But you know what happened recently?  I read two books about the March 11, 2011 tsunami that devastated Japan.  I didn't plan it.  The reading universe took things into its own hands.  Both books were good and each took a different approach to the topic.  So you may want to read both, too.

  • The Turn of the Tide by Rosanne Parry (2016)
    When the earthquake hits in Japan, Kai knows he’s supposed to follow the rules, but he also knows that his beloved grandparents need his help evacuating—and he runs away from his teacher. Many thousands of miles away, Kai’s American cousin, Jet, knows she must check the tides before sailing—each and every time. But she didn’t this time, and her decision has grave consequences. In the aftermath of the tsunami that devastates Kai’s island, his parents send him to stay with his American cousins in Oregon. Both kids must come to terms with the consequences of their decisions. Kai feels tremendous guilt that he was unable to save his grandparents, compounded by the shame of disobeying an adult. He already feels like he doesn’t fit in because he’s half-Japanese. Jet’s family business, piloting ships through treacherous channels, is decidedly male-dominated. There has only been one female pilot, and Jet wants to be the second. She keeps this secret, though, and works twice as hard at everything to succeed. Their summer isn’t an easy one. Kai’s homesick; worried for his parents, who are nuclear engineers in charge of repairing the power plant; and grieving his grandparents. Jet knows her intense competitiveness is off-putting and mourns the loss of her best friend. Parry has created two uniquely flawed main characters that readers will quickly grow to love. She has also crafted a vivid, close-knit community of seafarers who help one another.
  • Up from the Sea by Leza Lowitz (2016)

    Life changes in an instant for seventeen-year-old Kai, sitting in math class in a coastal region of Japan on Friday afternoon, March 11, 2011. He is thinking about skateboarding with his two best friends when the massive earthquake strikes. Lowitz’s free-verse novel sweeps the reader into Kai’s fragmented, rapidly changing consciousnesss. Blocked by fallen trees from climbing a mountainside, the students race to a high bridge only to be swept away in the tsunami. Kai survives but loses his entire family. He has already lost his American father, who abandoned them six years earlier. Taunted throughout childhood as “Hafu,” or half-Japanese, Kai is chosen to fly to New York to meet young people who lost parents on 9/11. Their warmth allows Kai to open up and move past his anger and his grief. When he returns to Japan, incredibly, his old soccer ball has washed up on a beach in Hawaii and is returned. Kai starts a soccer team with the youngsters who have been begging him to teach them. If the ball made it back, can Dad be far behind? And what will Kai choose when offered homes in two countries? Lowitz based her fiction on various true events. It is a moving story of the rebirth of hope in a teen who has lost almost everything. The book is flavored with Japanese customs and legends unobtrusively explained in quick footnotes. But Kai will resonate with teens on a simple human level, just as 3/11 resonates with 9/11.

Don't forget about this Saturday, May 21, 2016!  It's our Book It! 5K and Summer Reading Kick-off event at Veterans Park!  It's also National Readathon Day.  Celebrate the joy of reading AND running with these books!

Cheetah Can't Lose by Bob Shea
Finklehopper Frog by Irene Livingston
The Quickest Kid in Clarksville by Pat Zietlow Miller
The Tortoise & the Hare by Jerry Pinkney

Boris for the Win by Andrew Joyner
Izzy Barr, Running Star by Claudia Mills
Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
Moon Runner by Carolyn Marsden
Relay Race Breakdown by Jake Maddox

Dozer's Run: A True Story of a Dog and His Race by Debbie Levy
Jesse Owens: Running Into History by Elaine Israel
Take Off Track and Field by Robin Johnson
The Wildest Race Ever: The Story of the 1904 Olympic Marathon by Meghan McCarthy
Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World's Fastest Woman by Kathleen Krull

Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
Darius & Twig by Walter Dean Myers
On the Run by Michael Coleman
Runner by Carl Deuker
The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

I'm sure the title of this blog clued you in, but let's make it official.  May is Mystery Month, and the Edgar Award is the most prestigious honor in crime fiction.  It's the perfect pairing!

Footer Davis Probably Is Crazy by Susan Vaught
As fifth-grader Footer Davis and her best friend, Peavine Jones, investigate the shooting of an elderly farmer and the disappearance of his grandchildren, Footer begins to wonder whether she is going crazy like her mother and, worse, if her bipolar mother is a murderer. This suspenseful story, set in a small Mississippi town, explores themes of domestic violence and mental illness in a way that highlights the support of caring parents, neighbors, and other adults. In the course of the second week after the fire that destroyed the Abrams’ house and, perhaps, killed the children, Footer begins to experience what she first thinks are hallucinations and later decides are flashbacks to the night of the tragedy. Her first-person narrative is interrupted by entries from Peavine’s investigative notebooks, Footer’s school essays, and her changing theories. This tightly woven mystery also includes a tender friendship evolving into something more. That Peavine navigates on crutches is so matter-of-factly treated, readers may not even notice. For middle-graders, this is a sympathetic exploration of some difficult issues.

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis
Dumped in an insane asylum by the father who raped and impregnated her, Grace sees no way out until she meets Dr. Thornhollow. But instead of the gift of oblivion that he gives so many other patients, he offers to secret her out of the asylum in exchange for using her observational skills to help him catch murderers. Grace’s new life is better, but a serial killer and the reappearance of Grace’s father force her to grapple with the question of who is really mad and who is simply trapped by circumstance. Readers hoping for high tension may be slightly disappointed, but those interested in thinking about characters’ feelings and motivations will find much here to digest. Though told from Grace’s perspective, the story gives insight into many characters, leaving none of them wholly good or wholly evil. While some of the time shifts are rather abrupt and a few plot twists could use fleshing out, overall, this frank historical thriller features flawed, yet sympathetic, characters and a unique setting.

Eager for more mysteries?  Try one of the titles from Booklist's Top 10 Crime Fiction for Youth list.



Teen Services

Teen Community Service Volunteer Guidelines

Volunteer applications are taken year round, but opportunities are available on a limited basis. During the school year times are available for special programs only. Applications will be held on file until opportunities arise. Volunteers are needed more during the summer to help with the library’s Summer Reading Program.