Give Back This Holiday Season

The holiday season has come again, and it’s a great time of year to remember those in need. Volunteering your time is a wonderful way to help out the community and make a difference in someone’s life. There are several organizations in Louisville that rely on volunteers: The Kentucky Humane Society, Norton Healthcare, The Louisville Zoo, The Kentucky Science Center, The Louisville Nature Center, and The Louisville Free Public Library all offer volunteer opportunities for teens. Make sure to call them ahead of time to see when they are accepting volunteers as some of these organizations only have opportunities seasonally.


Check out this and other titles on Volunteering

Remember that there are many ways to help others everyday too. You can do something for an elderly neighbor such as taking out their garbage or raking the leaves in their yard. Most grocery stores are taking donations of food, clothing, and toys to prepare for the holiday season. The Red Cross is always in need of blood donations, especially of rare blood types. If you see a need that is not being met you can even create your own charity, like 16 year old Maddy Beckman who fashioned Coat-A-Kid to help keep kids warm in the winter.

Spread the spirit of the season by finding your own unique way of giving back!

-Lynn, Children and Teen Services, St. Matthews and Westport Branches

November is NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month

Nano Rhyme oh logo

This organization encourages everyone to become a writer and write a novel during the month of November. I have big dreams of writing an epic tale myself, and maybe someday I will get more motivated to start! But hey, maybe you feel the same as me and this can be your month to start!

We know life as a teen can get super busy. You have school, friends, family commitments, part-time jobs, and more to fill up your time. Maybe writing a novel right now isn’t an option. But I encourage you to write something. Writing can be so fulfilling and a creative outlet. It can help you let out stress by writing your feelings down in a journal, or just writing down an inspirational quote, poem, or song lyrics. They don’t even have to be your own words. Just remember to give credit! A few minutes a day will help get your creativity flowing and improve your writing ability for those ACT and SAT tests. So go ahead! Start writing! I dare you.

Be sure to check out the National Novel Writing Month’s website for more info about their Young Writers Program. http://ywp.nanowrimo.org/

-Mallory, TeenServices, Bon Air Branch

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making: a Review

12-year-old September is bored.  She’s bored with Nebraska, bored with washing tea cups, bored with her mother, bored with her dog. She wants an adventure, and an adventure finds her with the fast talking Green Wind, who whisks her off to Fairyland where she must retrieve a spoon from an evil Marquess.  Along the way, she encounters a lively and wonderful cast of characters that would put the Wizard of Oz and Wonderland to shame;  including a wyvern ( like a dragon) named A-through-L who loves books (my kind of dragon) and a mysterious blue boy (he’s the color blue, not sad…) named Saturday.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland book cover

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente

Fairyland is in disorder, and it’s up to September and her newly acquired tribe of misfits to make things right.  September is given a warning before entering Fairyland concerning fairy food…but does she listen?

This book is beautiful.  And charming!  Entrancing!  Thoughtful!  Marvelous! Superb writing.  It’s imaginative, a bit odd and absurd in places and yet perfectly lovely. It might make you tear up in places….most excellent-est Young Adult novel EVER! In this teen librarian’s humble opinion.  :)

If you enjoy Terry Pratchett, Philip Pullman, Patrick Ness, Neil Gaiman or Madeleine L’Engle you’ll love The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland.  Try it out, you won’t regret it.

-Heather, Children and Youth Services, St. Matthews Branch

Bone Chilling Books

When I was in the 2nd grade, Stephen King’s IT was made into a TV movie. I’m pretty sure the movie wasn’t targeted to seven and eight year-olds, but everyone I knew stayed up late and somehow or another snuck a way to see the movie. If you don’t know, IT is about 7 kids who are being terrorized by what appears to be a clown who wants to kill them.  I may be over-blowing the importance of the phrase (I was seven), but I have some serious memories of this creepy clown poking his head out of a sewer and beckoning to a little boy that “they all float down here”. “They” being the bodies of the dead that he–Pennywise– killed, and “here” being the sewer.

Stephen King's It  book cover

A few years later, I became obsessed with the show, Are You Afraid of the Dark? which introduced me Zeebo the clown. Creepy right? So, if you happen to meet a person of a certain age and they mention over the course of the conversation that they suffer from coulrophobia, it is possible that they may have spent some time hiding under the covers because they were traumatized in their youth.

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Coming Soon: Banned Books Week!

Celebrate your freedom to read by participating in Banned Books Week from September 21-27. Banned Books Week began in 1982 in response to thousands of books being challenged in libraries, schools, and stores. Books are challenged for many reasons including: use of language, unsuited to age group, political viewpoints, and religious viewpoints just to name a few. In order for a book to be banned from a public library it must be put through a formal review process where several librarians read the book to determine if its content reflects the complaints made against the book. Keep in mind that it is rare for a book to be banned from a public library because it is the library’s mission to provide everyone with equal access to information.

These are the top ten most challenged books from 2013:

1. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison

Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence

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Free ACT Test Prep and Practice Tests at LFPL

School is back in session, and for many of you that means it’s time to start thinking about life after high school. One of the first steps to future success is the ACT, and the library is here to help you improve your score and reach your academic goals! Listed below are the ACT prep programs we offer at the Louisville Free Public Library.

Don’t forget to take advantage of the free practice tests and resources available through the Learning  Express Library! 

KAPLAN ACT Test Prep Book Cover

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Coming Soon: Fall/Winter Series Preview

If you’re looking to discover a new series before the school year starts, it’s not too late. In fact, being slow to jump on the bandwagon for trending series has its perks. For example, chances are the waiting list at your library is subsiding. Meaning you go from being number 237 on the wait list to suddenly finding the book on the shelf at your branch the moment you want it. No wait! And speaking of waiting, you no longer have to agonize over cliffhanger endings (sometimes for years) before the next installment is published. We all know how excruciating that can be, so check out some of the newest titles that will hit the library shelves at the end of this year, and get caught up on these fantastic series.

Raven Boys book cover

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3) by Maggie Stiefvater

Publication date: October 21, 2014

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DIY Pedicure

The sun’s out and the feet come next! Ladies, this blog is directed towards you (but fellas you should do it too)! You do not want to be caught in the streets with worked over heels and toes while wearing the latest footwear and strappy sandals. Tell me who doesn’t like clean, pretty and healthy feet? Some people choose not to bother with their feet because who cares right? Wrong. People do care, I care. I want you to always put your best foot forward both figuratively and literally. One of the greatest setbacks for many of us females when it comes to our life long pursuits is our self-esteem.

Buzz on Beauty Book Cover

During this time of your lives, you want to grow, experience, trail blaze, fit in, have fun, love and be loved. In amidst of all of that, your confidence, self-respect and healthy self-esteem will take you anywhere you want to go. In order to do so, your image should reflect all that you want to be and are. In other words, your hair, skin and nails should be healthy and well maintained. Now, maintenance can come at a cost. But being well put together does not mean going to spend $50 plus on a spa pedicure and full set manicure at a beauty salon. Everything I needed cost me less than $7 at the store, and some of the items you may already have at home. So, let me get off my soap box and get you all started on your do-it-yourself feet beautification routine!

Recommended Reading

The Buzz on Beauty: A Girl’s Guide to Looking and Feeling Your Best By Amy Gelman

You Glow Girl By Dianne York-Goldman and Mitchel P. Goldman, M.D. 

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