New YA Releases in the Nook

New YA Releases in the Nook
Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Have you heard?

A Film and Lit is forming at MPL for high school students! We will meet every other month to discuss a selected adult or higher level YA book, and then we will watch its movie adaptation. Pick up a permission slip at the library. Our first meeting is Thursday, September 19!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Quiz Time!


Do you like to read?

Do you like games?

Do you like food?



If you answered “YES” to the above questions, I have one more for you….





We are gearing up for another year of Nook Book Club at Maryville Public Library, and we want YOU to join! The club is open to sixth through eighth graders, and we meet once a month in the community room of MPL.

This isn’t like school—no homework, no tests—just fun discussion and games about popular YA books that span all types of genres! (And let’s not forget food and prizes! YAY!)


Pick up a permission slip at the library and return it by

Wednesday, September 4 to join the Nook!


Happy Reading!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Case Closed!

MPL's summer reading program has drawn to a close, and the TSI (Teen Scene Investigation) was a HUGE success! We had a record breaking number of 43 teen readers participating this year! For every 500 pages of YA or adult books the teens read, they received an "evidence tag" that could be redeemed for prizes or thrown into one of our awesome raffle drawings. They could also earn bonus green evidence tags by reading from our special Most Wanted TSI Mystery Reads Lists or by attending our Sherlock Holmes movie night or our CSI Game Night. Thirty-six books from the Most Wanted List were read while and additional ninety-one white tags were handed out. That's over 45,000 pages read! WOW!

The following people were the winners of our raffle prizes.

Leticia Tate, Winner of Dinner and a Movie Combo #1 (2 Hangar Tickets and 2 Taco John's meals)
Ashley Riley, Winner of Dinner and Movie Combo #2
Miriam Butler, Winner of the Dinner and a Movie Combo #3
Kylee Dougan, Winner of the Divergent book and t-shirt gift pack

Andy Schmidt, Winner of the Beautiful Creatures book set

Chad Sullivan, Winner of the Hunger Games t-shirt and 2 folder gift set

Not pictured: Jessie Mahoney, Winner of The Great Gatsby movie soundtrack
Thanks to everyone who made this summer a great success!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Notes from the Midnight Driver

Our June book was another of one our favorite author's, Jordan Sonnenblick's, novels. Notes from the Midnight Driver was about a teen who decided to raid his parents' liquor cabinet one night and go for a joy ride. His adventure ended in his neighbor's lawn with a garden gnome fatality. The rest of the book is about him "serving his time" as a mandatory volunteer (that's quite contradictory, isn't it?) at a retirement home. This book was a nice step back into reality. No futuristic dystopian society, no vampires, werewolves, etc. Just normal kids making mistakes like many normal kids unfortunately make. While the group enjoyed the book, we all agreed that Sonnenblick played it a little safe by having no real dire consequences for the teen drunk driver. Not that we wanted to read a tragic book, but it probably would have made more of a lasting impact. That is why I attempted to further the lesson to not drink and drive by setting up an obstacle course in the basement, the first time done with no "handicaps," the second time done while wearing drunk goggles borrowed from South Nodaway High School. Tasks as simple as walking a straight line were suddenly difficult, and for several of us, nauseating. Hopefully our drunk goggles obstacle course left a lasting impression with our Nooksters, and they'll make smart decisions in the future!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Luck of the Draw

Our February read, Dark Life by Kat Falls, didn't provide much Valentine's romance, but we did see some hearts while playing a game of Card Sharks about the book. Nooksters had to prove their Dark Life Trivia knowledge in order to get a chance to "play the cards." In case you don't remember the old game show (and none of the Nooksters didn't because, well, they weren't alive yet), Card Sharks consists of working your way across a row of cards by correctly guessing if the next card will be higher or lower than the previous. (Sounds simple, right? Tell any of the Varsity Nooksters that and they would most likely disagree! The cards were not on their side that night!) Whenever participants didn't know the answer to a trivia question, they got the privilege of wearing a picture on their foreheads of one of the not-so-pretty deep sea creatures featured in the book.  Yuck.

Fortunately, the kids did not say "yuck" in connection to the story itself. In fact, the overwhelming majority loved Dark Life. We found that although this was yet another futuristic, somewhat dystopian novel, it was a world unlike any we'd seen before as the setting was a deep sea civilization that has come into existence after global warming and earthquakes have caused the oceans to rise so high that US citizens are crammed into the "stack" cities that exist on the limited amount of land that remains where high areas such as mountains once were. Pioneers have learned to farm and build homesteads at the bottom of the ocean. One of the most intriguing, and we found questionable, elements of the book was the fact that children who have spent several years subsea have started to develop "dark gifts" that can make them both special and dangerous.

Several of the Nooksters have already started the sequel, Riptide, and are already looking forward to the third book.
Congrats to Hope, our Varsity Card Sharks champion!

Friday, January 25, 2013

What is... the Girl of Fire and Thorns?

January's meeting on the book The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carsen was highlighted by a friendly game combo of Jeopardy meets Scene-It meets Press Your Luck meets Whatever Other Twist Mrs. Emerson Decided To Throw In. Unlike Jeopardy, behind the dollar amounts of each square seen above were game changers such as All Plays where everyone could win the question, Invierno Whammies (read the book and you'll get it) where teams lost their turns and/or their points, bonus points, steal the other team's points,  and even an eating contest. The teams did an outstanding job remembering trivia from The Girl of Fire and Thorns, most likely because they all enjoyed the book so much! (Mrs. Emerson admits she LOVED the book.) This book inspired one of the best discussions we've ever had as it had elements we haven't seen in any of our prior selections such as religion and a medieval times-inspired setting. Several of the Nooksters have already read the sequel, The Crown of Embers, and many of the rest are anxiously awaiting their turn to read it. We highly recommend this book to both teens and adults!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Our last meeting of 2012 was to discuss Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter. The kids took part in a library scavenger hunt that led them to all sorts of different books that the main character, Kat, may have checked out in her adventures around the world. Then to celebrate the holidays, we made Christmas tree ornaments from the rolled up pages of books we've read this year. (Ok, copies of pages- I couldn't tear up a book!) Merry Christmas from the Nook!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

2013-2014 Award Nominees are HERE!

Wait a minute, isn't it still 2012? Sure is, but the preliminary lists of nominees for the 2013-2014 Gateway and Truman Reader Awards are already out! I am happy to report that the Nook has a copy of ALL of these books, so come on in and check them out!

2013-2014 Gateway Preliminary Nominees

Cleopatra's Moon, by Vicky Alvear Schecter. Arthur A. Levine Books.

Rival, by Sarah Bennett Wealer. HarperTeen.

Ashes, by Ilsa J. Bick. Egmont USA.

Anna Dressed in Blood, by Kendare Blake. Tor Teen.

Bitter End, by Jennifer Brown. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

Shelter, by Harlan Coben. Putnam Juvenile.

I'll Be There, by Holly Goldberg Sloan. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

Something Like Hope, by Shawn Goodman. Delacorte Books for Young Readers.

Stay With Me, by Paul Griffin. Dial.

Everybody Sees the Ants, by A.S. King. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

Legend, by Marie Lu. Putnam Juvenile.

Exposed, by Kimberly Marcus. Random House.

Ashfall, by Mike Mullin. Tanglewood Press.

Shine, by Lauren Myracle. Amulet Books.

Pregnant Pause, by Han Nolan. Harcourt Children's Books.

Trapped, by Michael Northrup. Scholastic Press.

Delirium, by Lauren Oliver. HarperCollins.

This Thing Called the Future, by J.L. Powers. Cinco Puntos Press.

Clean, by Amy Reed. Simon Pulse.

Divergent, by Veronica Roth. Katherine Tegen Books.

Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick, by Joe Schreiber. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children.

Between Shades of Gray, by Ruta Sepetys. Philomel.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor. Little, Brown and Company.

The Probability of Miracles, by Wendy Wunder. Razorbill.

All These Things I've Done, by Gabrielle Zevin. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.

2013-2014 Truman Preliminary Nominees

How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous, by Georgia Bragg and Kevin O'Malley. Walker Childrens.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns, by Rae Carson. Greenwillow Books.

Everything I Was, by Corinne Demas. Carolrhoda Books.

The Absolute Value of Mike, by Kathryn Erskine. Philomel.

Without Tess, by Marcella Fleishman Pixley. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.

Cloaked, by Alex Flinn. HarperTeen.

The Eleventh Plague, by Jeff Hirsch. Scholastic Press.

Take Me to the River, by Will Hobbs. HarperCollins.

The Name of the Star, by Maureen Johnson. Putnam Juvenile.

Silhouetted by the Blue, by Traci L. Jones. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.

The Death Catchers, by Jennifer Anne Kogler. Walker Childrens.

Legend, by Marie Lu. Putnam Juvenile.

The Unwanteds, by Lisa McMann. Aladdin.

Ten Miles Past Normal, by Frances O'Dowell Roark. Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25, by Richard Paul Evans. Simon Pulse/Mercury Ink.

Paintings from the Cave, by Gary Paulsen. Wendy Lamb Books.

Here Lies Linc, by Delia Ray. Knopf Books for Young Readers.

Small as an Elephant, by Jennifer Richard Jacobson. Candlewick Press.

Lost in the River of Grass, by Ginny Rorby. Carolrhoda Books.

Okay For Now, by Gary D. Schmidt. Clarion Books.

Tunnel Vision, by Susan Shaw. Margaret K. McElderry Books.

Memento Nora, by Angie Smibert. Amazon Children's Publishing.

The Emerald Atlas, by John Stephens. Knopf Books for Young Readers.

The Running Dream, by Wendelin Van Draanen. Knopf Books for Young Readers.

Variant, by Robinson E. Wells. HarperCollins Children's Books.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Summer Reading Program Winners!

A big THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the teen summer reading program at MPL. I'm glad to see so many teens out there who continued to challenge themselves and keep their minds active during the summer! :) Many prizes were given away to our avid readers, but only five lucky participants won our awesome raffle prizes. Congratulations to the following winners!

Maria Morris and Maggie Bears- Dinner and a Movie Combo

Bethany Christian- The Hunger Games Trilogy

Jordan Wiederholt- Mockingjay t-shirt and book

Leticia Tate- Hunger Games poster and soundtrack

Remember that a new year of the Nook Book Club is starting in September. Any 6th-10th graders who would like to join may pick up a permission slip at the front desk of the library.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Summer's Over??

Walmart may try to tell you that with its school supplies already lining the shelves, but summer is only half over at MPL! Don't forget to keep reading and turning in your time booklets for stamps and time tokens in order to receive prizes and to enter your name in our raffle drawings! Make sure you have your name in by the end of July to make sure you have a chance to win the big prizes.

We will also meet two more times for summer book club. (See times below.) Our July title is Bruiser, and August will be a book-to-movie night featuring I Am Number Four for Varsity and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for JV.

Enjoy the second half of your summer!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summer Nook Book Club

You may be out of school, but Nook Book Club is still going strong in the summer! This would be a great time to invite new members to join us... especially those who couldn't join during the school year because of after-school activities. We will get all of our books through interlibrary loan, so there will be no charge for summer book club. New members will still need to fill out a permission slip, however.

Here are the dates for summer book club. Pay attention- some of the dates/times are a little different than our normal schedule.

**Friday, June 15 2:00-3:30** (This change is to work with the high schoolers in Upward Bound.)
Thursday, July 19 4:00-5:30 (Note that this is the THIRD Thursday.)
Thursday, August 9 ***3:30-5:30*** (NOTE TIME CHANGE- We will be watching a movie that is almost 2 hours long!)

Junior Varsity
Thursday, June 21 4:00-5:30
Thursday, July 12 4:00-5:30 (Note that this is the SECOND Thursday.)
Thursday, August 16 ***3:45-5:30 (This may be the first day/week of school. Don't forget to come to book club too! Note earlier start time to make sure we have time for the whole movie!)

Our June book is Cloaked by Alex Flinn. You may pick up your copy behind the front desk of the library if you haven't done so already. PLEASE let me know if you will not be in attendance at any of our meetings.

Up All Night... Reading!

It's summer! That means it's time for MPL's summer reading program! This year's teen program is called Up All Night.... Reading! Come into the library today to get your log book to keep track of all the books you read this summer. You can earn "time tokens" for every 500 pages you read which can be redeemed for prizes (mostly books-yay!) or you can use them for chances to win one of our raffle prizes. Raffle prizes include two dinner and a movie combos, the Hunger Games trilogy, a Mockingjay t-shirt and hardcover book, and the Hunger Games soundtrack and movie poster.

Hurry! SRP runs from May 29 to July 31! Happy reading!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The End of the Hunger Games

This month was bittersweet as we discussed the final installment of the Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay. There were many mixed opinions as to which of the three books is the best, but one thing everyone could agree on was that the trilogy rocks! We found that our discussions on the conclusion to these books could have lasted days. We managed to to finally cut short our discussions on war, suffering, courage, and of course, the Gale vs. Peeta debate to play a fun Hunger Games version of Catch Phrase. While it's sad that we won't have another Hunger Games book to discuss (or at least that's what we're told), we now have the movies to look forward to! The group is anxiously awaiting the premiere and excited to see it together on March 24.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

See you March 24!

Nooksters will meet at the Hangar on March 24 to view the Hunger Games movie! We are all very excited to see how one of our favorite club books will transfer to the big screen!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Love is in the Air

We didn't mean to pick a romance for our February book (the boys would not like that), but Cupid must have had a hand in things because Matched by Ally Condie proved to not only be another dystopian thriller, but a bit of a lovey dovey novel as well. We should have known. After all, what's a dystopian novel without a love triangle? Surprisingly, it still got nods of approval from the majority of our male Nooksters. In fact, one stated that this was the best book we've read in book club this year. While there were undeniable similarities between this book and the original dystopian blockbuster, The Hunger Games- ruthless futuristic society that controls their citizens, rebellious teen girl standing up to the government, two boys in love with her, etc.- we found that this book had less violence and evoked more questions about human freedoms. In our groups, we made lists of everything that is "wrong" with our world and then discussed how the Society in Matched had "fixed" all of these things. At first glance, the society in Matched really did seem like the perfect society, but what happens when a society goes too far in creating a controlled environment?

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, the kids took part in a Matched matching game. :) They had to match pieces of broken hearts by using their knowledge of the book. The game got pretty intense, and the kids had a blast.

Our next book is the final book of the Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay. The group will get a special treat by going to the movie premiere of The Hunger Games in March. May the odds be ever in your favor!

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Friendly Game of Football... and Quidditch

Our January meetings got a little bit physical with some friendly competition. The Varsity Nook Club read Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have by Allen Zadoff. This story featured an overweight and unpopular high school boy taking his fate into his own hands by joining the football team in order to gain some popularity and hopefully win the girl of his dreams. In the spirit of the football themed story and the upcoming Super Bowl, the entire meeting pitted two teams against each other to battle for... well, bragging rights. :) We began with an exciting game of number trivia. (What did you expect? We are a book club, after all.) Nooksters tested their recall on the most minute numerical details of the book like the number of Andy's school locker and his weight at the beginning of the book. If they got the number right, they could then earn bonus points for their team by throwing a football through different hoops. Luckily, no one was injured. :) The final round of the competition was a pictionary/charades match all about football. Who says book worms don't know anything about sports?

The JV Nooksters read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. For some members, reading this book was nostalgic as they'd read the entire series before. For rookies to the series, it opened their eyes to the magical world of wizards and muggles. The JV group had a similar competition except this competition was between the Hogwarts houses of Slytherin and Gryffindor. They also competed in a numerical trivia game, and this time bonus points were earned through a game a quittitch, the game featured in the book. Quittitch proved to be much rougher than football the week before as those trying for bonus points not only had to get a much smaller ball (the quaffle) through the hoop by hitting it with a baseball bat, but they also had the added challange of the other team hurling other balls (bludgers) at the them in the process. No one was (seriously) injured. The JV also had a Harry Potter themed round of pictionary. And lastly, they searched for the Golden Snitch in a scavenger hunt throughout books upstairs in the library. Everyone had a blast in this competition, but how could we not? It's Harry Potter, after all!

Our next book is Matched by Ally Condie, the first in a new dystopian trilogy. Happy Reading!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Giving Back at Christmas

Our December read was Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick. This book told the story of a teen who had to grow up very quickly as a US Army soldier stationed in Iraq. The story gave the kids a perspective about life "outside their bubbles" and made us appreciate the freedoms we often take for granted. We decided to combine the spirit of the holidays with some patriotic spirit and give back to those soldiers and veterens who have given so much for us. The Varsity Nooksters made holiday cards that were sent to soldiers and their families serving oversees through the American Red Cross. The kids got very creative and took the time to write heartfelt messages. The JV Nooksters decorated Christmas cookies that were delivered to veterens in three different Maryville nursing homes.

I personally found this month's meetings to be two of our best because I was so impressed with how seriously the kids took the subject matter of the book and how eager they were to give back to others. Hopefully we helped to make some people's holidays a little brighter.

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Beastly Adaptation

November meetings are a wrap for the Nook. We discussed Beastly by Alex Flinn and found the book to be deeper and much more thought-provoking than we had expected. Some of the kids who had seen the movie adaptation agreed that the book was much better! (Isn't it always?) In fact, our book covers used a photo from the movie, and the beast looked nothing like that in the book! So we redesigned the covers in a group competition. Topics like bullying, vanity, and compassion were at the core of our discussion, and I challenged the kids to spend the next month "paying it forward" to family, friends, foes, and strangers. Hopefully they will step up to the task!

Our book for December is Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick. We expect this book to be a heavy read as it is about the War in Iraq, but I know my readers have the maturity to handle it.

As first semester comes to a close, we need to collect dues for second semester. Please turn in your $10 by our next meeting either to the public library or to Mrs. Nolte at the middle school library.

Have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Hopefully you can use your days off to curl up with a great book!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

It's a New Nook Year!

We are into month two of year two of the Nook Book Club, and so far I am loving the mix of new and returning members. In September we met for the first time to discuss the book Hate List by Jennifer Brown, a current Gateway nominee about the after-effects of a school shooting on the shooter's girlfriend. Seventeen sixth through ninth graders attended the first meeting, which shows quite a commitment considering how busy teens are... especially our Nook members who are now in high school!

Our October book is After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick, the sequel to Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie which we read in club last year. All paid members received a copy of the book. The eighth and ninth graders met last Thursday, and the sixth and seventh graders will meet this coming Thursday. Prepare yourself for book trivia and discussion along with a little music trivia! (But that's all the info you're getting from me now!)

FYI: Calling the groups eighth/ninth graders and sixth/seventh graders gets a little long and confusing (for me anyway), so I will now be referring to our separate groups by Varsity and Junior Varsity. :) Varsity=eighth/ninth grade, JV=sixth/seventh grade.

VARSITY Nooksters will now be starting club at 4:15 instead of 4:00 to accomodate our high schoolers who are involved in after-school tutoring. Please plan to be here from 4:15 to 5:45. JV will continue to meet from 4:00 to 5:30.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Summer Passport WINNERS!

Congratulations to the following teens who have won our BIG prizes for Summer Passport!
The winners of our Movie Night Extravaganza raffles are.... Hyrum Galbraith and Jessie Mahoney!
The winners of our book trailer competition are... Mariah Patterson (1st place, winner of the pocket video camera!), Leticia Tate (2nd place, winner of a Hangar movie package), and Anna Bagoly (3rd place, winner of a Hangar movie package).
All of our winners may pick up their prizes at the library at any time. Be ready to have your picture taken! :)
Thanks to everyone who helped make this a great summer at the Maryville Public Library! I hope to see many of you in September at our first Nook Book Club meeting. Inquire at the front desk if you are interesting in joining!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Nook Book Club 2011-2012

Our first book for the new year of book club has arrived! We will be reading Hate List by Jennifer Brown. (The Book Thief was unavailable.) This is a current Gateway nominee so I expect that several of you have already read it, but I HIGHLY encourage you to read it again so that it's fresh in your mind. Copies will be behind the front desk and ready to check out Friday morning.

Remember, you must turn in your permission slip along with the $10 fee to come to the first meeting. (This fee covers the entire semester.) If you are new to the club or if you are returning member who missed the last meeting, you can ask for a permission slip at the front desk when you pick up your book. You may bring the slip to the first meeting or turn it in at the library in advance but PLEASE put it in a clearly marked envelope.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Book Trailer 101

Several of you have been coming into the library to make your book trailers this past week. I've been noticing that we are struggling with where to begin. I'm here to help you with the technological aspects such as taking pictures and putting those pictures into movie maker, but I can't tell you what to take pictures of or write the whole trailer for you. :) So here are some simple steps to get you started so that you will have a plan when you come into the library. Remember, book trailers need to be finished by the beginning of August.

Steps for Making a Book Trailer

1. Read the book. (This may sound really obvious, but you cannot start a book trailer until you have read the entire book.)

2. Think about the concepts or the point that you are trying to get across. You want to entice the reader (tease if you please), not tell the whole story.

3. Make a book trailer scene list, scenes from the book that communicate your concept. What is the message you want to send? The trailer should be about the story, NOT the selling of the book or all the awards it has won. Sell the story don’t make a “commercial.”

4. Write a script. Try creating a spreadsheet with columns for subject (for example, man at desk), the photo, video, audio file name as you create them– for example, desk.jpg) and a third column for the description (man sitting at a desk looking bored) of each scene to help me keep focused and stay on track with the story. Stay organized – there are lots of pieces and parts to keep organized.


Create a storyboard. Draw out your trailer frame by frame using short descriptions of what will be in each frame. Draw stick people to give yourself an idea of what you want. Whether you choose to use a script of a storyboard, you must have a PLAN for where you are going with your trailer.

5. Try to keep the trailer as short as possible. Don’t get caught up in telling about every character and every plot detail. It’s not easy but you don’t want to lose your audience. You want your trailer to entice them enough that they want to find out those details on their own by reading the book.

6. Do NOT under any circumstances use any media that you just happen to come across on the Internet. You must create your own images. You can take photos, draw pictures, act out scenes and videotape them… just make them original!

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Hunger Games- Not Your Typical Child's Play/ Book Review by Jill Emerson

I am usually slow to join the literature bandwagon. I avoided Twilight until the third movie was already out and my students’ declaration of its pure awesomeness finally forced me to read it. The Hunger Games trilogy was similar. Suzanne Collins did for dystopian societies what Stephanie Meyer did for vampires… create a new cult following amongst today’s teens, not to mention the equally large group of adult followers. The difference for me, however, was that I finished The Hunger Games trilogy; I quit after book two of Twilight. I just couldn’t force myself to read another 1300 pages of that monotonous vampire/werewolf battle-for-the-girl-with-no-self-esteem.

            The Hunger Games kept me hooked all the way to the last pages of its final installment, Mockingjay. I began the series only because the library’s middle school book club chose it as their February read. I cringed at their choice because I knew the premise: 24 teenagers are placed in an arena where they must fight each other to the death on national television. If you think that the violence must be watered down since it’s a “kids’” book, think again. The violence is graphic, the blood is abundant, and many, many characters—the majority children—die. In the second book, Catching Fire, the torture inflicted upon the characters only heightens, and in Mockingjay, most of our favorite characters perish in an all-out war. The only thing that makes this a “young adult” series is the fact that the main characters are teenagers.  If you can accept the idea of an entire nation following a sixteen-year-old girl in a rebellion, you will find that the series could go toe-to-toe with any adult futuristic war novel, except that like all YA, it gets to the point more quickly.

            You may be wondering why in the world anyone would let their child read this. First of all, Collins doesn’t glamorize the killings in these books. She forces the reader to consider the emotional, psychological, and moral consequences of them as we live through the experiences with main character Katniss. This isn’t like the bloody video games that many teens play daily, desensitizing them to violence. These novels evoked powerful book club discussions including how corrupt government can be in the wrong hands and what we would do if we were forced into a kill-or-be-killed situation. We also noted that, as far-fetched and repulsive as it at first seemed, the idea of watching people fight to the death would, sadly, probably be a hit in our reality-TV-obsessed society. And like any good teen novel, the series had a love triangle that sparked heated arguments over who should win the heart of Katniss who—unlike Twilight’s constant damsel in distress, Bella—was always coming to the rescue of her men. I’ll admit that as much as I thought the love triangle was complete overkill in the first book, I found myself picking a side in the Team Peeta/Team Gale debate and angrily slamming Mockingjay down on the table when Katniss didn’t end up with my favorite.

            YA is emerging into a category for youth and adults alike. The Hunger Games can connect teachers and students as well as parents and teenage children, with whom they often feel like they have nothing in common. Even though the content is intense, the story goes far beyond the entertainment value of war and presents many opportunities for lessons about survival, human decency, and compassion.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

July Book Club Reminders

Be sure you have marked your calendars for Nook Book Club... Summer Edition!

7th/8th grade meets Thursday, July 14 from 3:30 to 5:30. We're discussing the book Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.

5th/6th grade meets the following Thursday, July 21 from 3:30 to 5:30 to discuss Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen.

Please email me if you cannot attend!

Friday, June 24, 2011

The competition is ON!

Summer Passport participants, don't forget that you have been invited to make a book trailer on your favorite summer read. The creator of the best book trailer will win their very own pocket video camera, and runners-up will win movie passes to the Hangar! If you missed the informational meetings but still want to participate, contact me at for a handout of the information.

I will also be at the library next Wednesday, June 29 at 10am if you would like to work on your trailer. Cameras and computers will be available!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Not a little kids book...

Last Thursday, the 5th and 6th grade Nooksters met to watch and discuss The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. The back cover of the book offered no information as to what the book was actually about and the pages of the book never came straight out and said it either. Told from the point of view of an innocent 8 year-old, the book read like a fable with simple words and thoughts. But the keen reader could tell that this book was about so much more than the simple day-to-day events of the main character Bruno. Nooksters soon realized that this book was actually about the Holocaust. The "pajamas" weren't pajamas at all but instead the uniforms of concentration camp captives. I personally think this is one of the best books we have read in book club, and the movie was excellent as well. This is one of those of stories that is heartbreaking and impossible to forget.

Our next book for the 5th and 6th graders is Flipped. We will meet Thursday, July 21 at 3:30.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Kicking off Summer

Last night, the seventh and eighth grade Nook Book Club met to discuss Freedom Writers Diary and to watch the movie adaptation starring Hillary Swank. Kudos to the Nooksters for continuing to read during the summer and for showing up on the right day, at the right time without Mrs. Nolte to remind them at school! :) I was a little nervous that the book would be a difficult read simply because it was broken up into so many different diary entries by different authors, but the kids had no problem with the format. They liked the movie, but they LOVED the book.

I was also pleasantly surprised by how much teens have already been reading for Summer Passport. We have some serious readers in this town! I am thrilled that 24 teens have already signed up for Summer Passport. We are currently out of passport books, but don't worry, more have been ordered. (What a great problem to have!)

Following book club was an informational meeting about the book trailer competition. If you missed it, don't worry, you can also come next Thursday from 5:30 to approximately 6:15. (But remember, you MUST attend one of these sessions to take part in the competition.) We will have a workshop on Wednesday, June 15 to take photos and video for your book trailers. If you have already finished a book in these first 10 days of June that you want to do your trailer on, meet at the library at 10:00 on Wednesday to get started on your project.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Book Your Seat for Summer Passport!

Sign-ups have begun for Summer Passport! Teen age 12-18 are invited to participate. You will receive a passport book in which you will keep track of all books (YA or adult only) that you read in June and July. The more you read, the more passport stamps you will collect. Passport stamps transfer to travel tickets, and travel tickets earn you prizes! (PHEW!) You can also choose to enter your tickets into a raffle for bigger prizes.

As part of the program, you will be invited to create your very own book trailer on one of the books you read during June and July. You must attend one of the instructional meetings on June 9 or June 16 from 5:30 to 6:30 to participate. The person who creates the most outstanding trailer will win their very own pocket video camera! WOW!

Sign up today at MPL for more information. Happy reading!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


In honor of the book Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie, we held our own pie eating contest. (How could we not?) Three brave, or maybe just hungry, kids stepped up in the seventh and eighth grade group to compete. Although the girls made a great effort, Dominic and Chad had no trouble defeating the girls by practically licking their pie plates clean after only ONE MINUTE! The champions were awarded a lovely t-shirt. :)


After the pie eating contest, everyone got to enjoy a slice of delicious pie. But don't worry, we didn't just eat the whole time. We discussed the humorous, yet sad, novel, and we also took part in a Name That Tune Contest since the main character of the book loved music so much.  It was an awesome way to end the Nook year. However, we're not really done. Nooksters wanted to keep meeting during the summer, so we will have meetings in June and July as well.

The next book for seventh and eighth graders is Freedom Writers Diary by Erin Gruwell. We will meet on Thursday, June 9 from 3:00 to 5:30. **Note time change. Fifth and sixth graders will be reading The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne. We will meet on Thursday, June 16 from 3:30 to 5:30. Books for the summer Nook Club were made available through inter-library loan, so please be EXTRA careful with the books and return them in a timely fashion.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Summer Passport Rules and Regulations

  1. Teens ages 12-18 (preferably those going into 6th-12th grade) are eligible to participate.
  2. Each teen will receive one passport book. No replacements will be issued for lost passport books. If you lose yours, you may keep track of your reading on a piece of paper.
  3. You will receive one stamp in your passport book for every 500 pages read. You may only count pages read during the months of June and July, not those read previously. You will keep a running total of pages from all of your books and combine those to get 500 pages. Please do not count table of contents, about the author, index, glossary pages, etc. Only count those pages that tell the actual story. (Just be honest!)
  4. All book selections must be checked out from the YOUNG ADULT or ADULT sections of the Maryville Public Library. MAKE SURE THEY ARE YA OR ADULT BEFORE YOU BEGIN. Young Adult books will have a “YA” in the call number. Adult books will simply have an “F” for fiction or a just a Dewey decimal number for nonfiction. Books in our YOUTH section (marked with a small “y”) will NOT be eligible. (Be careful of this. Books such as Mark Twain nominees like The Lightning Thief, for example, are considered youth books. If younger teens, i.e. sixth graders would prefer to read at this level, they may take part in the children’s summer reading program instead of Summer Passport.)
  5. For every stamp you receive, you may either choose a small prize OR obtain a raffle ticket to be put into our drawing for larger prizes.
  6. You will receive one additional stamp for participating in and completing the book trailer project. There will be an additional award given for the best book trailer.

Friday, April 29, 2011

What are Nooksters Reading?

A Chilling Good Time

On April 14 and 21, the Nook Book Club discussed Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, the story of a teenage girl in love with her wolf, but surprise!-- he's not just a wolf, he's a werewolf! I'll admit that this storyline had a been there, done that in Twilight feel to it when I read the back cover. So as a person who was less than impressed with Twilight, I was kind of dreading reading this book. But I was soooo wrong! In my opinion, this book puts Twilight to shame. The love story is better (not so needy and desperate), the characters are more likeable (the guy has a sense of humor and the girl isn't terminally depressed), and the story more believable (as believable as werewolves can be anyway). But that's just my opinion. The overwhelming majority of Nooksters agreed with me although there were a few who weren't fans of the book. I personally thought the lovey dovey stuff would kill this book as far as my male Nooksters were concerned, but the fifth and sixth grade boys said that was their favorite part! :) In true Shiver fashion, we took part in a trivia contest with questions written on "snowballs" that the kids could throw at each other and then we enjoyed an icy popsicle during our discussion.

Our next, and final, book of the school season, is Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick. Seventh and eighth grade will meet Thursday, May 12, and the fifth/sixth graders will meet Thursday, May 19. Nooksters expressed that they do indeed want to meet over the summer, so we will meet in June and July during our regular times while taking August off. More information to come!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Court Adjourned!

Nooksters found themselves summoned to appear in court... the Nook court that is. Our March book was Monster by Walter Dean Myers, the story of a 16-year-old on trial for his involvement in a murder. Since this book was written in the unique format of a script, Nooksters were given their own scripts to take part in a mock trial at our meeting. Complete with costumes, these middle schoolers really got into their roles in the case of Cindy Charming (a.k.a Cinderella) vs. Wanda, Drizella, and Anastasia Perfect (a.k.a the evil stepmother and stepsisters. We may very well have some future attorneys, or maybe future actors, in our midst. Check out our facebook page for more pics from the night!

Our next book is Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. Seventh and eighth graders will meet April 14, and fifth/sixth graders will meet April 21.

Congratulations to Tyson Jackson, the winner of our Mockingjay drawing. Enjoy your book, Tyson!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Monster Video Trailer

The Nook Hunger Games

The last two Thursdays were SAVAGE at MPL with middle schoolers fighting to the death in our very own Hunger Games. Ok, so maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but we did have fun competing in Hunger Games inspired events. :)

The meeting started with a discussion of the book. We found that splitting the club into two groups made for much deeper discussion and more chances for everyone to be heard. The book evoked discussions about right and wrong, basic human rights, our culture's fascination with "reality TV," and what our future could hold.

After the discussion, we split into two-person districts and competed in the Nook Hunger Games. We started with a physical challenge (wheelbarrow races), and then we competed in a Cornucopia Challenge. Just like in the book, we raced to claim survival items including everything from crackers and water to weapons (don't worry, all plastic) and anti-venom medicine. Wearing flag football belts, we had to be careful to dodge the other tributes. If they stole one flag, you were "wounded." Two, you're dead! Most survived the Cornucopia Challenge, but a few unfortunate didn't survive for the last round, the intellectual challenge. This was a four minute book trivia quiz, and it was HARD! There could be only one winning district. Mariah P. and Shyan D. were the seventh/eighth grade winners while Chad S. and Christina D. won for the fifth/sixth grade. CONGRATULATIONS TRIBUTES!
See you on the 10th (7th and 8th grade) or the 17th (5th and 6th)! And remember, you must FINISH THE BOOK!

Here are a couple pics from the Cornucopia Challenge. Go to the Nook's facebook's page for more!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hungry For More??

Phew! I don't know about you, but I can't get enough of The Hunger Games! I stayed up until 1:00am this morning finishing the second book in the trilogy, Catching Fire. Now it's on to the final book, Mockingjay! Speaking of which, how would you like to have your very own hardcover copy of Mockingjay? Become of a follower of this blog, and your name will be entered in a drawing to win the book. Click "LIKE" on the Nook's facebook page, and you'll be entered twice. The winner will be announced at our March meetings, so enter now!

We had our 7th/8th grade meeting last night to discuss The Hunger Games, and it was a blast! I won't spoil the activites for the 5th/6th graders who meet next week, but let's say that I was impressed by the deep discussions and greatly entertained by our very own version of The Hunger Games. Let's hope next week is just as fun!

Two new members joined last night bringing our total for both groups up to 27! WOW! Who said kids don't like to read? HA! Way to go!

Friday, February 4, 2011

We made the newspaper!

Click here to see the front page article in the Maryville Daily Forum about our book club! (Forgive the awful photo of me!)

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Due to the large number of members in book club, I have decided to split our meetings up by grade. Seventh and eighth graders will meet the second Thursday of the month as usual, but fifth and sixth graders will now meet the THIRD Thursday of the month. We will keep it this way until further notice. Hopefully this will allow for better discussion!


Our next meetings discussing The Hunger Games will be:

Thursday, February 10 for 7th and 8th grade
Friday, February 17 for 5th and 6th grade

May the odds be ever in your favor! :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Our January Meeting is History!

And history is just what we talked about. We found that many kids were a little out of their comfort zone when reading historical fiction, but for the most part, were glad to be introduced to a book they never would have picked out on their own. We were exposed to what slavery was really like- more than just the surface information we learn from our history textbooks. We had some serious discussion, and then we lightened the mood with a competitive trivia game. We ended the night with some Revolutionary War era "turtle soup." :)

Our next book (voted on by YOU) is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I just started it, and I can honestly say that it is a page-turner!

Our next meeting is Thursday, February 10 from 4:00 to 5:30. Happy reading!

Friday, December 10, 2010

First Nook Meeting

Our first book club meeting was a success with 21 kids attending. Even though they had less than two weeks to read the book, almost everyone had finished Harris and Me! Way to go!

The group had a great discussion about the book and played some fun games. Lucky winners received some crazy Christmas prizes. We ended the night with snacks and a vote of what books we wanted to read next. The ballots have been counted... you will find out the results at the next meeting.

We also passed out copies of our next book, Chains, by Laurie Halse Anderson. You can check out its book trailer and book review (written by yours truly) below. If you missed the meeting (and have a good excuse), you must contact me at the library (I work Thursday and Friday) or just e-mail me at in order to receive your copy of Chains. Mrs. Nolte will NOT have extra copies, so don't bug her about it. :)

THE NEXT MEETING IS THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 2011! WE WILL MEET FROM 4:00 UNTIL 5:30.  Please let me know IN ADVANCE if you cannot make it to the meeting (please e-mail). See you then and have a Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Nook Book Club is officially underway!

We had our first informational meeting about the new middle school book club today at the middle school. Over THIRTY kids attended! WOW! It was announced that our first official meeting would be Thursday, December 9 from 4:00 to 5:30 in the basement of the public library. We will be reading the book Harris and Me by Gary Paulsen. This is a hilarious book! If you've already read it, oh well, read it again! (Just don't spoil any key parts for the other kids!) To claim your copy of the book, you must turn in the parent permission slip that was handed out today to Mrs. Nolte by TUESDAY! (We originally said Wednesday, but then I found out that you don't have school on Wednesday.) Mrs. Nolte will make an announcement when the books are in. (I can't order them until I get permission slips in for a final count.)

Happy reading!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Review of Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

I have been a fan of Laurie Halse Anderson ever since I read her first novel, Speak. I had never read a book which so perfectly captured modern teenagers’ sarcasm and angst. When I picked up her novel, Chains, a 2010-2011 Truman Reader Award Nominee, I had my concerns about how well an author who used 21st century teen slang could transition to a historical fiction account of a young slave girl during the American Revolution. I expected a lovable, yet semi-believable heroine dropped into a watered-down version of this time in history.  I underestimated this author’s writing chops.
Anderson proves to be a writing chameleon in Chains, melding her marvelous prose into a 1700s setting as convincingly as she creates her modern-day settings. Anderson didn’t just throw in some 18th century jargon here and there to earn the label of “historical fiction.” By telling the story from the perspective of Isabel, she captured the historical diction in the thirteen-year-old slave’s every thought. Impeccably researched without feeling like a history textbook, she throws the reader into a brutally realistic nation in the grips of war. Chains keeps the reader captivated from page one when orphaned siblings Isabel and Ruth, expecting to be freed as promised upon the death their owner, are instead sold to an affluent and cruel New York couple. My heart broke as their new owner, Mrs. Lockton, treated their physical and emotional abuse as a sport. Anderson does not shy away from showing the brutal ways slaves were treated as some young adult novels may; she shows the truth in a tactful way that no one—child or adult—can take lightly.
I couldn’t read this book without thinking of all the teaching opportunities it held. Each chapter began with an excerpt from an authentic newspaper article, speech, or book from the time period, each foreshadowing what was to happen in the chapter and making the book hard to put down. Chains also made this reader who isn’t a big fan of history want to go out and learn more about the American Revolution. I found myself questioning the role of slavery during the Revolutionary War. When I think slavery, I think Civil War. Anderson teaches the reader that a staggering number of Americans owned slaves during this time that they were fighting for “freedom for all people.” Slaves actually fought for both sides of the war, often promised their freedom for doing so.  It was a harsh reality that neither the British nor the Americans were interested in freeing the slaves for any reason other than helping their side win the war. Can you imagine all the classroom discussions this book would evoke?
Even though it sits on the Young Adult shelf, Chains is a book for any age. It is not just a story about the American Revolution or slavery; it is a book about basic human rights and the difference between right and wrong. Readers will not feel detached from this main character by centuries or skin color; they will simply feel pain for a fellow human being who has lost her family and been deprived of her God-given rights. Chains is one of those books that I will never forget, and it deserves every award it will surely receive.

Coming soon to the library... Forge, the sequel to Chains.