Monday, February 19, 2018

Amazing Audiobooks

Did you know that your library card gives you access to more than 2,500 digital audiobooks through a partnership with OverDrive and Hoopla? This is an incredible 24/7 resource, especially considering The Hub has recently released their 2018 Amazing Audiobooks Nominees. Not familiar with The Hub? The Hub is a teen collections blog for YALSA, the Young Adult Library Services Association.

The mission of The Hub is to “provide timely information about emerging and new practices for evaluating, selecting and curating materials; raise awareness about appropriate YALSA tools to facilitate innovation in teen collections; and provide resources for members and the library community to support their efforts to continuously improve their teen collection and content curation.”

Here are some of the nominees:

Solo by Kwame Alexander with Mary Rand Hess
Kwame Alexander’s and Mary Rand Hess’s YA novel in verse comes alive in this audio edition of Solo, narrated by Kwame Alexander, which also contains five original songs performed by musician Randy Preston. Seventeen-year-old Blade endeavors to resolve painful issues from his past and navigate the challenges of his former rockstar father’s addictions, scathing tabloid rumors, and a protected secret that threatens his own identity.

Kill All Happies by Rachel Cohn
This is it. Graduation. Vic is going to throw the most epic party this town has ever seen. She’s going to give her friends and everyone’s favorite restaurant, Happies, a proper send-off. All she needs to do is keep it all a secret so that Miss Thrope, the town’s nightmare councilwoman and high school economics teacher, doesn’t ruin it.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Henry “Monty” Montague doesn’t care that his roguish passions are far from suitable for the gentleman he was born to be. However, as Monty embarks upon his Grand Tour of Europe, his quests for vice are in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
Living on a violent planet where everyone develops a unique power meant to shape the future, Akos and Cyra, youths from enemy nations, resent gifts that render them vulnerable to others’ control before they become unlikely survival partners.

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Everything is about to change. Until this moment, Sal has always been certain of his place with his adoptive father and their loving Mexican-American family. But now his own history unexpectedly haunts him, and life-altering events force him and his best friend, Samantha, to confront issues of faith, loss, and grief.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around – and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself and he has to seize the chance or lose his dream forever.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
After witnessing her friend’s death at the hands of a police officer, Starr Carter’s life is complicated when the police and a local drug lord try to intimidate her in an effort to learn what happened the night Kahlil died.

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Natasha, whose family is hours away from being deported, and Daniel, a first generation Korean American who strives to live up to his parents’ expectations, unexpectedly fall in love and must determine which path they will choose in order to be together.

Monday, February 12, 2018


Bremen Public Library has been awarded a Community Read grant of $1,000 from Indiana Humanities to participate in a statewide read of the classic novel “Frankenstein.” More than 60 other communities will be reading the book as part of One State / One Story: Frankenstein.

BPL will host at least three community programs tied to the book during 2018, including a book discussion. It will also receive up to 50 books and assorted collateral (bookmarks, posters, etc.) to promote the programs. The $1,000 project funds can be used for a variety of purposes, including to book speakers through a special “Frankenstein” speakers bureau.

Written by teenage Mary Shelley in 1818, “Frankenstein” tells the story of a young scientist who created a grotesque living creature through a scientific experiment and was horrified by what he had made.

“'Frankenstein’ is a powerful book that raises big questions about right and wrong, how we treat other people and the relationship between science and society,” said Keira Amstutz, president and CEO of Indiana Humanities. “That’s what makes it such an important book to read as a community and as a state. We want to catalyze those serious conversations, but we want Hoosiers to have a little fun with the book, too.”

One State / One Story: Frankenstein is an initiative designed by Indiana Humanities, in partnership with the Indiana State Library and Indiana Center for the Book, to encourage Hoosiers to read the classic novel as it turns 200 in 2018. More than a dozen programs – including a digital gaming workshop, a sci-fi and horror writing festival for teens, community reads and read-a-thons, and college and university partnerships – will bring Frankenstein to life all over the state. One State / One Story: Frankenstein has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

I'm thrilled to take part in One State / One Story as it provides an additional venue by which to connect with patrons and potential patrons alike. In a time when some debate the need for our institutions, we must continue to evolve and show relevancy.

The libraries of my youth were the whisper-quiet, shush and not be heard, variety. Today, libraries are vibrant community centers. Yes, we are still books. However, we are books and so much more! From movies to music, computer classes, hangout spaces, and programs. My goodness, the programs are essential.

Through programming personally conducted, I've come across people who had not stepped through our doors once. Not a single time. By offering something of interest, though, they adjusted their calendar and stepped beyond our four walls. In doing so, it enabled us to share the wealth of resources that exist at Bremen Public Library. To show them what they've been missing out on.
That part to me is special. Especially when they return time and again. A program did that! The goal for One State / One Story is for thousands of Hoosiers across the state to have the opportunity to participate in engaging, meaningful discussions. Our mission statement may seem rather simple, yet it's critical:  "We link our community to the world: past, present and future."

It is imperative that libraries continue to be a part of, to serve as a cornerstone of, each and every neighborhood.

Learn more at:

This event highlight brought to you by Chris Scandling, YA Librarian.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Getting to Know ... Johanna

Introducing another valuable member of our YA Volunteer Team, Johanna Grace Feitz! A 16-year-old sophomore, Johanna has accumulated 30.75 volunteer hours since April. 

FAVORITE BOOK GENRES:  Futuristic or dystopian
FAVORITE TV SHOWS:  Steven Universe and How It's Made
ROLE MODEL: Her friend Sasha
HAPPY PLACE: In a blanket fort under her desk
INTERESTING FACT:  She loves animals
FUTURE CAREER: Engineer or technician
FAVORITE QUOTE: "'Reckless' is my middle name. And my only name." Captain Carswell Thorne, From Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Monday, January 29, 2018

Book Review

Spy School by Stuart Gibbs

Ben Ripley is 12 years old and has Level 16 math skills. When Ben gets home from school one day, he finds a strange man in his house. Ben gets a scholarship to St. Smithen’s, a science school which is really a cover for an institution that trains CIA agents. On the first night, he has to sleep in the ‘Box’, a cell for criminals that come on campus. His friends are Jawa, Warren, Zoe, and Erica. His friend from home is Mike, who wants to spring him from the “lame” science school.

I really liked the action in the book and that it has a lot of unexpected turns. I’ve always loved spy stories and would recommend this selection to those who enjoy them as well.

Rating: 4.3 out of 5

This review brought to you courtesy of YA volunteer, Maggie.

To see if this item is currently available to check out, click here!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Recently Added to the YA Bookshelves

Since taking over the acquisition portion of BPL's Young Adult materials in October 2017, my goal has been to build and strengthen our collection. Selecting items is not an exact science and the process is continual. It takes factoring in bestsellers, award winners, popularity of genre, classical merit, community appeal, national appeal. Please know that I'm working hard to develop an assortment of titles to span the subject interests of all. As your needs are a priority, don't hesitate to pass along suggestions/recommendations to myself or any staff member. With that being said, let's take a look at some of the most recent additions gracing the shelves of our YA department.

Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

Will teenaged Norah, who is struggling with agoraphobia and OCD, accept that she could be the right one for sweet, funny Luke?

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

Alex Craft knows how to kill someone and she doesn't feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

Abducted by aliens periodically throughout his youth, Henry Denton is informed by his erstwhile captors that they will end the world in 144 days unless he stops them by deciding that humanity is worth saving.

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

Alice loves Teddy, her best friend, but has never told him. When she buys him a lottery ticket that turns out to be a winner, their lives are changed forever and their friendship is put to the ultimate test.

The Devils You Know by M.C. Atwood

Separated from their class during a senior trip to the infamous Boulder House, five teens confront their darkest selves and band together to escape the terrors of a Wisconsin landmark.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

In a near-future New York City where a service alerts people on the day they will die, teenagers Mateo and Rufus meet using the Last Friend app and are faced with the challenge of living a lifetime on their End Day.

These Violent Delights by Victoria Namkung

At Windemere School for Girls, Dr. Gregory Copeland is the beloved chair of the English Department. A married father with a penchant for poetry and impressionable teenage girls, he operates in plain sight for years. That is, until one of his former students goes public with allegations of inappropriate conduct.

A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo

When teenager Jess Wong's best friend Angie falls in love with a girl from the nearby boarding school, Jess expects heartbreak. But when everybody's secrets start to be revealed, the stakes quickly elevate from love or loneliness to life or death.

Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff

As thirteen-year-old novice Maresi awaits the call to serve in one of the houses of the idyllic Red Abbey, a new arrival with a dark past requires Maresi to act in order to protect her new sister and the Abbey.

All Rights Reserved by Gregory Scott Katsoulis

In a world where every word and gesture is copyrighted, patented or trademarked, one girl elects to remain silent rather than pay to speak, and her defiant silence threatens to unravel the very fabric of society.

This update brought to you by YA Librarian, Chris.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Coming to Theaters

At the conclusion of 2017, debate swirled on the success (or lack thereof) of movies at the box office. Were we treated to duds or delights? Please, discuss amongst yourselves while I cast an eye on the multitude of films set to appear in 2018. Why so eager? A slate of what are sure to be blockbusters await, as if the Hollywood stars are aligning perfectly. If you're not completely giddy after this glimpse of what's in store, please consult a physician to have your pulse checked. 

Ten on the watch list…

Maze Runner: The Death Cure

Young hero, Thomas, embarks on a mission to find a cure to a deadly disease known as the "Flare".
One reason to cheer: Part of the bestselling series written by James Dashner.

A Wrinkle in Time

After the disappearance of her scientist father, three peculiar beings send Meg, her brother, and her friend to space in order to find him.
One reason to cheer: Newbery Medal Winner brought to the big screen.

Ready Player One

The story is set in a virtual world called Oasis, in which a teenager finds himself competing in a treasure hunt against ruthless foes after the game's founder dies and offers his fortune as the grand prize.
One reason to cheer: Directed by the iconic Steven Spielberg.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix

Jean Grey begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix. Now the X-Men will have to decide if the life of a team member is worth more than all the people living in the world. 
One reason to cheer: Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique.

Avengers: Infinity War

The Avengers have triumphed over Loki, and they'll face Ultron, but nothing cold prepare them for the menace of Thanos.
One reason to cheer: More A-list stars than you can shake a stick at.

A Star Wars Story: Han Solo

Han Solo and Chewbacca's adventures before joining the Rebellion, including their early encounters with Lando Calrissian.
One reason to cheer: Ron Howard taking over directorial duties.

Mary Poppins Returns

In Depression-era London, a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, along with Michael's three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss.
One reason to cheer: A much-anticipated follow-up to the 1964 classic.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Dinosaurs. People running. Rinse and repeat. Joking. Kind of.
One reason to cheer: Dr. Ian Malcom returns.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2

Magizoologist Newt Scamander joins forces with wizard Albus Dumbledore to battle the devious Gellert Grindewald in 1920s Paris.
One reason to cheer: Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindewald.

Deadpool 2

The wise-cracking mercenary returns!
One reason to cheer: Josh Brolin as the time-traveling soldier, Cable.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Official Top Ten

Holiday decorations taken down and boxed away, egg nog all consumed, it’s time we put last year in the rearview mirror and embrace a fresh new start. Yet it feels as though one last order of business needs to be addressed before rolling out the carpet on 2018. Oh yes! The final results of the Teens' Top Ten Titles of 2017.

Teens from all over the world voted in the Young Adult Library Services Association campaign, with the selected recipients announced during Teen Read Week. How many of the winning titles have you read?

1. Don't Get Caught by Kurt Dinan
2. Scythe by Neal Shusterman
3. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
4. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
5. This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
6. Heartless by Marissa Meyer
7. P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
8. Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
9. Genius: The Game by Leopoldo Gout
10. If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

Make sure to follow A Series of Fortunate Events for all the latest in YA happenings, including YALSA's nominations for Teens' Top Ten Titles of 2018.