Starting Your Own Book Club

Winter weather keeping you hibernating indoors waiting for spring? Fight cabin fever while you’re trying to stay toasty by forming your own book club. Book clubs are a great way to try out something new with your friends and share ideas. The Louisville Free Public Library has many Book Discussion Kits to choose from with a wide range of authors, genres, and topics. These kits have a longer check out time, so your group has plenty of time to read the book.  The kits also come with discussion questions to help guide you. You can turn your book discussion into a party with a theme using decorations, costumes, and foods that reflect the story. The best part about book clubs is that you can express any opinion you would like to about a book.

There are many resources to help you find books for your club to read. Besides browsing the library’s catalog to see what book kits we carry, you can also turn to bestseller lists to see what’s currently popular or has been recently popular. The website Goodreads is an excellent source for book ideas. Many readers create lists of books on the site that you can search for by keywords, and they are often quite reliable. Goodreads is also a superb way to keep track of the books you’ve read and the ones you want to read.

An example of one of the book discussion kits the library carries for teens is Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer. This book is written as journal entries from the point of view of Miranda, a sixteen year old who is struggling to survive after a meteor strikes the moon. This event causes worldwide disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and severe climate changes. How will she survive in a world with such an uncertain future? Have your book club read the book to find out.

-Lynn, Youth Services, St. Matthews/Westport Libraries

It’s Time Once Again for the SWON Teen Reading Challenge!


Every year from February through April, library staff in Kentucky and Ohio gear up for summer programming by reading as many young adult novels as possible. I have participated for several years, and I am ready to jump back into it. (Go Team Louisvillains!!!) For three months, I will be swimming in young adult titles.

I thought I would share some of the new books on my desk.

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Paving the Way for Equality

In honor of the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday and in celebration of the latest historic film, Selma, I would like to dedicate my article to those who paved the way for equality. Bloody Sunday is a reference to the unprovoked attack on March 7, 1965 by state troopers on peaceful marchers crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, en route to the state capitol in Montgomery. Many of the lifestyles we live today would not be possible if it weren’t for these courageous, respectful and honorable individuals.

Mississippi Trial, 1955 by Chris Crowe

All of the known and unknown people who gave life and limb during the Civil Rights Movement 1954-1968 are heroes. Everyone involved were from different races, economic backgrounds, nationalities, ethnicities and religious denominations. It didn’t matter where you lived and how much money your family had, they all risked their lives in order for African-Americans to share in the same rights as everyone else and to be able to do so without fear of violence.

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Something for Everyone in Five Comics Books

Whether you have always loved comics or you never picked one up in your life, if you want to read about cape-and-tights heroes or curl up with something trendy and artsy, then this list has something for you.

The Arrival – Shaun Tan

The Arrival is proof that a good story doesn’t even need words. A stunning narrative of an immigrant’s experience in a new and alien land, it’s like having someone play solos about hope and isolation on your heartstrings.

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Looking to volunteer at your library? The Middletown branch has a unique opportunity exclusively for middle school and high school students. Volunteens is a group comprised of teen volunteers who meet on the second Monday of every month to assist with a variety of tasks that vary depending on the daily needs of the library.

Middletown Library

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Ready to Get Serious with ACT Prep?

High school juniors, the March ACT test is fast approaching! Ready to get serious? The library has ACT prep programming to help you prepare before the big day! Here are all of the library’s ACT programs leading up to the March test date.

Be sure to check out our large collection of ACT Test Prep manuals in our online catalog.

KAPLAN A.C.T. test prep book 2014

ACT Practice Test

Southwest, 9725 Dixie Highway
Call to register: (502) 933-0029
Saturday, December 6, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Iroquois, 601 W. Woodlawn Ave.
Call to register: 601 W. Woodlawn Ave.
Saturday, January 17, 10:15 AM – 1:30 PM

Middletown, 200 North Juneau Drive
Call to register: (502) 245-7332
Saturday, January 17, 1:00 – 4:30 PM

Main Library, 301 York St
Call to register: (502) 574-1724
Saturday, January 31, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Saturday, February 14, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Jeffersontown, 10635 Watterson Trail
Call to register: (502) 267-5713
Saturday, January 31, 10:30 AM – 2:00 PM

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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.

-Mallory, TeenServices, Bon Air Branch