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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Literary Playlist: Beautiful Music for Ugly Children

At the start of Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, Gabe's neighbor hooked him up with the gig of a lifetime: his own radio show. Gabe's going through his own stuff right now--transitioning, fighting off feelings for his best friend, trying to finish high school in one piece, dealing with his not-so-supportive family--but the radio show is his favorite part of the week. And it leads to new things for Gabe. Some of them aren't so great, and most of them scare the heck out of him, but Gabe's hopeful they'll lead to a new life for him.

Gabe is the new Elvis because he's ready to start his real life.

Read Beautiful Music for Ugly Children and listen to his Elvis-filled playlist:

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Earth Day + Recycled DIY Crafts Event!!!!

On Earth Day (April 22), we'll be making super-awesome DIY crafts using discarded trash! That's right, trash!! Here are the deets:

Recycled DIY Crafts

Celebrate Earth Day by creating cool crafts with recycled products, Wednesday, April 22, from 6-7 PM! Make a duct tape wallet, soda box pencil case, book safe, and more! Enjoy snacks and book paper origami, too.

Main Library - downtown Harrisonburg

And while you're here at the library, be sure to turn in your essay and/or artwork for the Honored Teachers Contest!

Honored Teacher Essays/Artwork Due

All students, K-12th grade, are eligible to enter the Robert B. and Gladys Hopkins Strickler Honored Teachers Writing and Art Contest. Essays/artwork are due today.
Main Library - downtown Harrisonburg

And finally, how perfect is this compilation of 2014's greatest hits using household items? We are so going to watch this on repeat during the Recycled DIY Crafts event.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Prim Dances!

If you're a THG fan who watches Dancing With the Stars, you may have gotten a treat. In this week's challenge, contestants had to commemorate their most memorable year in dance. Willow Shields, who plays Prim in The Hunger Games movie series, themed hers around THG!!! Check it out below:

Monday, April 6, 2015

MRL YA March Mayhem Book Bracket WINNER!!!

...And the winner is... The Giver! 

(Wow, you guys must like the classics! The Giver was the earliest-published book on the bracket and it took the cake!)

Thanks to everyone who voted!

Friday, April 3, 2015

April Book Club Post!

Title: The Boy in the Black Suit
Author: Jason Reynolds
Copyright: 2015
Call Number: YA Fiction REYNO

It's the beginning of senior year, and Matt has already missed the first few weeks. His mom was sick--cancer--and passed away. And now Matt has to go back to school. Classes aren't bothering him--he's done well in high school, so he only has to go half a day--it's the other kids. They're looking at him like he's broken or different. And he is different; he's had to grow up fast, and now he's changed, probably for forever. His boy Chris is still trying to treat him normal, but his dad is getting lost in a bottle. Matt doesn't even want to cook anymore, since that was something his mom did with him.

To fill his time, Matt decides to get a part-time job. He expected to walk out of the Cluck Bucket with a job on the fryer, but he ends up leaving with an offer to work at Mr. Ray's funeral home. He's always known Mr. Ray as the guy who survived cancer twice and is now trying to inform others of the disease. Now Mr. Ray is looking out for him: paying him to help set up for funerals, picking him up from school, and helping when Matt's dad goes off the deep end. 

The one thing Matt loves about his new job is going to funerals. He wants to see someone go through what he went through with his mom. It makes him feel better, as strange as it sounds. One of those people is Lovey. She'll be the first one to roll her eyes at any joke you have about her name. She just lost her grandma--Matt was at her funeral--and as they help each other through that pain, they realize they have more in common than they thought.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Literary Playlist: I'm Glad I Did

The year is 1963. JJ Green is only 16 years old, but she already graduated from high school. She's going to college in the fall, but for the summer, she gets a job at Good Music, in the same building in which her "music industry no-goodnik" Uncle Bernie works. Her mother cuts her a deal: If JJ can get the label to buy a song of hers in three weeks, she'll allow her to continue working toward her songwriting dream. If not, she has to become a lawyer.

JJ loves her new job at Good Music. She can be close to professional songwriters--and hopefully their talent will inspire her own songwriting. She's working on a song when she meets a music icon: Sweet Dulcie Brown, who happens to be working there as a custodian. She and Dulcie spend nights working on JJ's song. She also gets surprising help from an aspiring lyricist, Luke Silver, son of the recently departed George Silver, music producer extraordinaire. They eventually cut a demo of "I'm Glad I Did," which will hopefully

JJ gets tied up in the lives of those she meets: Dulcie, Luke, music producer Bobby Goodman, elevator operator Nick, her estranged Uncle Bernie, and his young wife, Marla. When one of her new friends turns up dead, she doesn't believe it was a suicide. JJ has no choice but to find the killer--and unravel the lies behind the music industry.

Hit play to set the mood for I'm Glad I Did by Cynthia Weil:

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Books + YouTube???

Young Adult books have found a new outlet: YouTube! Tons of kids, teens, and adults are reading YA books and posting video reviews in all forms.

Some people have even gone further with book videos. Book trailers are great new ways of giving the plot of a book in a video. Even book publishers are releasing official book trailers! Here are some great examples.... (Can you tell the official trailers from the fan-made ones?)

(Do you have a book trailer or an idea for one? Send it to us!)

It's not just book trailers and reviews that go online. Authors make videos and post them. Some are related to their books (before its release, John Green read chapters of The Fault in Our Stars--and it's hilarious hearing him talk about how cuuuute Augustus Waters is). Other videos are just for the fans. Maggie Stiefvater (who was born in Harrisonburg, thank you very much!) posted a video about how a car looked in her book The Dream Thieves:

One channel, with over 100 million views, is itself a YA book! Nick Hagen and Mercedes Rose released a video series called The Haunting of Sunshine Girl. It's about a girl who finds out she lives in a haunted house--and tries to fight off all the scary, terrible things that happen to her. Now they've adapted it into a book, which was released this month, and the Weinstein Company will be adapting that into a movie series! That's a lot of adapting. Here's the first video of the first season, but--WARNING!--it's a seriously scary series, so watch at your own risk!

And speaking of adaptations on YouTube, check out the Paper Towns trailer (which just released today!!!):

So there you have it: YouTube is the new library. (Just kidding! Please don't stop coming to the library!)
Have fun--and be safe!--on the Interwebs!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Bonus Post: Paper Towns Movie Poster!!


via E! Online

And here's a behind-the-scenes look about the photoshoot, from the director's (Jake Schreier) Instagram--
A video posted by Jake Schreier (@jakeschreier) on

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month! What does that mean? All month long, organizations across the nation will be advocating and celebrating people with developmental disabilities. There is a local organization--The Arc of Harrisonburg-Rockingham County--that offers support, help, and programs for people with disabilities. You can even visit their website and volunteer!

They're holding two events this month for DD Awareness Month:

A book that was on a lot of best-of lists for 2014 features two girls with different types of "dys." Quincy and Biddy graduate from high school and are put together in a home with 61-year old Elizabeth. She needs help getting around and fixing meals, so Quincy cooks and works at a grocery store while Biddy cleans the house from top to bottom. As the three women learn more about each other, they realize they're not as different as they seem. If you can't make it to the HR-Arc's events this month, celebrate DD Awareness Month by checking out Girls Like Us.

You could also go to DisabilityinKidLit.com! Read reviews and articles for books about people with disabilities of all types.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Teen Tech Week!!!!!

Happy Teen Tech Week!!! We had an awesome kick-off party on Saturday. Thanks to everyone who showed up!

And now...the moment you've all been waiting for (even if you didn't know it): The YA March Mayhem Book Bracket is online! Vote for your favorite YA books online or at Main. Each week we'll narrow down the favorites until only one book is left standing! It's like The Hunger Games, only much less violent and much more...well...literary! I'll update this post each week with the new voting link.