Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Athena the Reada

Inspired by the superhero summer reading theme, the Teen Think Tank created a video for the library:

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Power up with a Superhero Booklist

In honor of the 2015 superhero teen summer reading theme, here is a book list to assist you in leaping the library in a single bound.  And, if the science of superheroes intrigues you...then, kapow: 
Register for one of our airplane, glider, rocket, metamorphosis, or astronomy workshops coming up in July and August.

Quantum Prophecy: the Awakening, by Michael Carroll, 2006. First book in Quantum Prophecy series. Ten years after the disappearance of superhumans--both heroes and villains--13-year-olds Danny and Colin begin to develop super powers, making them the object of much unwanted attention.

Sidekicks, by Jack D. Ferraiolo, 2011. Batman has Robin, Wonder Woman has Wonder Girl, and Phantom Justice has Bright Boy, a.k.a. Scott Hutchinson, a middle schooler by day and Justice's super-fast, super-strong sidekick by night. Life isn't easy for Bright Boy...especially after an embarrassing incident involving his tight spandex costume. And, even worse, B.B. is starting to see signs that his boss may not be entirely on the up-and-up.
The Adventures of Superhero Girl, by Faith Erin Hicks,  2013. "What if you can leap tall buildings and defeat alien monsters with your bare hands, but you buy your capes at secondhand stores and have a weakness for kittens? Cartoonist Faith Erin Hicks brings charming humor to the trials and tribulations of a young, female superhero, battling monsters both supernatural and mundane in an all-too-ordinary world" -- from publisher's web site. Graphic format.
Vindico, by Wesley King, 2012.  First book in Vindico series. When supervillains of the Vindico realize they are getting too old to fight the League of Heroes, they kidnap and begin training five teens, but James, Lana, Hayden, Emily, and Sam will not become the next generation of evil without a fight.

Illusive, by Emily Lloyd-Jones, 2014.  First book in Illusive series. "After a vaccine accidentally creates superpowers in a small percentage of the population, seventeen-year-old Ciere, an illusionist, teams up with a group of fellow high-class, super-powered thieves to steal the vaccine's formula while staying one step ahead of mobsters and deadly government agents"-- Provided by publisher.
Hero, by Mike Lupica, 2010.  Fourteen-year-old Zach learns he has the same special abilities as his father, who was the President's globe-trotting troubleshooter until "the Bads" killed him, and now Zach must decide whether to use his powers in the same way at the risk of his own life.

Battling Boy, by Paul Pope, 2013.  A twelve-year-old demigod is sent to help the people of Arcopolis, a city infested with monsters. Graphic format.

I Am Princess X, by Cherie Priest, 2015. Years after writing stories about a superheroine character she created with a best friend who died in a tragic car accident, 16-year-old May is shocked to see stickers, patches, and graffiti images of the superheroine appearing around Seattle.

Shadoweyes, by Campbell Ross, 2010. First book in Shadoweyes series. After getting knocked unconscious on her first mission, aspiring vigilante Scout Montana discovers that she's able to transform into a blue superhuman creature, and with this new body she becomes the superhero Shadoweyes. Graphic format.

Hero, by Perry Moore, 2007. Thom Creed's father is an ex-superhero who was disgraced in a terrible tragedy, so when Thom begins to develop superhuman powers, he doesn't tell his dad. He secretly begins training with the League of Superheroes. But after a series of hero-murders threaten not only the League but world security, Thom and his team realize it's up to them to save the day. -- Description by Ellen Foreman.

V is for Villain, by Peter Moore, 2014. Brad Baron, and his friend Layla, discover dangerous secrets about the superheroes who are running their society, a finding that pulls them into a web of nefarious criminals, high-stakes battles and startling family secrets.
School for Sidekicks, by Kelly McCullough, coming August 2015. "Superhero geek Evan survives a supervillian's death ray, and is sent to the Academy for Metahuman Operatives. Unfortunately, instead of fighting bad guys, Evan finds himself blacklisted, and on the wrong side of the school's director. Can he convince his semi-retired has-been mentor to become a real hero once again?"--.

Steelheart, by Brandon Sanderson, 2013.  First book in Reckoners trilogy.  At age eight, David watched as his father was killed by an Epic, a human with superhuman powers, and now, ten years later, he joins the Reckoners--the only people who are trying to kill the Epics and end their tyranny.

Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson, 2015. First book in Nimona series. Lord Blackheart, a villain with a vendetta, and his sidekick, Nimona, an impulsive young shapeshifter, must prove to the kingdom that Sir Goldenloin and the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't the heroes everyone thinks they are. Graphic format.

Ms. Marvel. Vol. 1, No Normal, by Willow Wilson, 2014. First book in Ms. Marvel series.  Kamala Khan, a Pakistani American girl from Jersey City who lives a conservative Muslim lifestyle with her family, suddenly acquires superhuman powers and, despite the pressures of school and home, tries to use her abilities to help her community. Graphic format.

The Shadow Hero, by Gene Luen Yang, 2014. In the comics boom of the 1940s, a legend was born: the Green Turtle. He solved crimes and fought injustice just like the other comics characters. But this mysterious masked crusader was hiding something more than your run-of-the-mill secret identity: the Green Turtle was the first Asian American super hero. The comic had a short run before lapsing into obscurity, but Gene Luen Yang has revived this character in Shadow Hero, a new graphic novel that creates an origin story for the Green Turtle. Graphic format.

Perhaps you have an interest in the cape swirling adventures of a particular superhero? Here are catalog links to a few favorites: 

Or, maybe you would like to create your own superhero comic:

How to Draw Superheroes, by Andy Fish, 2011. Tools, techniques, and basic skills -- Developing style -- Types of superhero bodies -- Good, evil, and supporting characters -- Emotion and motion -- Costumes -- Super environments -- Glossary.

How to Draw Supernatural Beings, by Andy Fish, 2011. Tools, techniques, and basic skills -- Goblins and demons -- Ghosts and ghouls -- Werewolves and shapeshifters -- Vampires -- Voodoo priests and zombies -- Legendary humanoids -- Mythical creatures -- Settings and environments.

Draw Comic Book Action, by Lee Garbett, 2010. A guide to drawing comic book superhero characters emphasizes techniques for drawing the body in movement and putting these poses to work to portray action scenes.

Stan Lee's How to Draw Superheroes, by Stan Lee, 2013. Demonstrates how to draw superhero characters in the style of Marvel favorites, demystifying specific tools and techniques while sharing advice for also creating villains, sidekicks, and monsters.

DC Comics: The Ultimate Character Guide, by Brandon T. Snider, 2011. A compact, alphabetic reference profiles the heroic and villainous characters that make up the DC Universe, from Aquaman to Zatanna, providing fascinating details about their powers, weaknesses, enemies and more. Other DC Comics Guides.

The DC Comics Guide to Digitally Drawing Comics, by Freddie E. Williams, 2009. Examines the entire process of making digital art, from creating a template to establishing a digital file, with step-by-step directions, detailed illustrations, timesaving shortcuts, and more from one of the industry's leading digital artists.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Winning Terror Poems Announced

On Tuesday evening we held our 5th annual poetry celebration reception, with as always, a fantastic speaker. This year's speaker was Edgar Allan Poe. At the end of the reception, during the refreshments, many who attended asked to have their picture taken with Poe, and/or for his autograph on their poetry award certificate.  

To read the winning poems go to the poetry page on this blog.
Following are the winners of this year's Teen Poetry Contest:

Best Entry Grades 6-8:
Rory Haltmaier, for “The Bracing Light”

Best Entry Grades 9-12:
Savannah Panjwani, for “My Non-Life”

2nd Place Grades 6-8:
Lily Knudsen, for “When I Was Four”

2nd Place Grades 9-12:
Fiona Worsfold, for “Pinned”

Honorable Mention Grades 6-8:
Oz Reyes, for “War”

Honorable Mention Grades 9-12:
Savannah Panjwani, for “They Came in the Night”

Director’s Choice Award:
Nathan Giarnese, for “The Annual Witch”

Friday, May 8, 2015

Teen Summer Programs 2015

Registration for the Library's teen summer programs begins May 26th. Sign up at our Reference desk, or call us at: 978-468-5577. All programs are free of chargeThis summer's programs are funded by the Science is Everywhere grant we received from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and through the generous assistance from the Friends of the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library.

 M.A.G.E. CLUB at the LIBRARY 
(Minecraft & Assorted Games for Everyone)
On Tuesdays, 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM: 
June 23 to Sept. 1
M.A.G.E. is run by teens, for all ages who play well with others. Bring your own laptop and have an active Minecraft
membership. Beginners and advance players welcome. 
One Rule: No griefing ever.
Teen Think Tank Meeting
For ages 11 to 18. Thursday, June 11, 6:30 to 7:55 PM

The Teen Think Tank is the Library’s teen advisory board. They work with the Young Adult Librarian to improve library collections, and to create programs and services designed specifically for teens. Come share your bright ideas! We meet 11 times a year.  Earn your volunteer service hours
To participate, stop by the library and talk with Kim Claire,YA Librarian, or send an email stating your interest to:, or call 978-468-5577 x14.

Settlers of Catan
For all ages. 
Wednesday, June 17, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Led by expert gamer Tim, and friends. Come to learn how to play or just play. Bring a game if you have one. No registration required.

CAD1 (Computer Aided Design) 
with Jeffrey Walsh
For ages 11 to 15. Saturday, June 20, 10:30 to Noon

An introduction to the world of three-dimensional design using a free program called Tinkercad. Learn how to use Tinkercad and build your first 3-D object. Participants must bring their own laptop for this workshop.

Catapults with Jeffrey Walsh
For ages 11 to 15. Thursday, June 25, 3:30 to 5:30 PM 
Create a mini, wooden catapult. The first half of the workshop will be spent crafting the catapult. In the second half you will be testing your catapult and improving your design.

Bicycle Mechanics with Jeffrey Walsh
For ages 11 to 19. Saturday, June 27, 10:30 to noon
Discover simple tricks to keep your bicycle in tip top shape. You will learn how to fix a flat tire, & the best ways to avoid a flat tire in the first place. Bring your bike to the workshop.

Youth Book Sale and Two Movies
Wednesday, July 1, 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Stock up for the summer with excellent bargains at this one-day-only youth book sale, organized by the Friends of the Hamilton-Wenham Library. 
Two movies will be shown: 
Toy Story,  1:00 PM - 2:20 PM, (1995, rated G)
Big Hero 6, 3:30 PM - 5:15 PM (2014, rated PG)

Motion Photography with Toni Carolina
For ages 11 to 18. This is a 2-part workshop:
1st part meets Thursday, July 9, 3:00 to 4:30 PM
2nd part meets Wednesday, July 29, 3:00 to 4:00 PM

On July 9, bring a camera, a tripod or 2 bags of beans (to steady your shots), and learn how to capture motion in your photos. Return July 29, with prints of your captured motion shots to create an exhibit in the Young Adult area.

Teen Think Tank shopping trip to Barnes &Noble
Saturday, July, (day TBD), 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM

Each participant will have a budget to choose books for the library’s collections.  To participate you must have attended at least one previous Teen Think Tank meeting. To attend, call Kim Claire at 978-468-5577 x14. Parent/guardian permission forms are due by June 30.

Airplane Workshop with Jeffrey Walsh
For ages 11 to 15. Thursday, July 16, 
3:00 to 5:00 PM 
Build an elastic powered airplane from balsa wood and paper. How long can you keep it in the air? Learn how adjusting different parts can change the way it flies. Find out what is actually happening when an airplane takes flight.

Walk Along Glider Workshop with Phil Rossoni
Thursday, July 23,  2 sessions:
Ages  9 to 11,  at 2:00 to 3:00 PM
Ages 12 to 15, at 3:30 to 4:30 PM    
Build and pilot a tumblewing paper airplane. There will be duration competitions to hone your flying skills. Experiment with wing loading and how an airplane is trimmed for optimum gliding. You will have opportunities to fly gliders of varying size and weight.

Metamorphosis-Pastel Painting with Greg Maichack
For ages 11 to adult. Thursday, July 23, 6:00 to 8:00 PM 
Metamorphosize! Become an artist in this hands-on pastel painting workshop. Greg will incorporate fabulous reference photos of insects from his trip to Montreal’s Insectarium. Professional grade pastels, paper, and materials are included.  

Rockets Workshop with Jeffrey Walsh
For ages 11 to 15.  Thursday, July 30, 2:30 to 5:00 PM
Create your very own chrome rocket that can soar up to 800 feet in the air. Once the rockets have been built, you will take them outside to the field and prepare for take off.

Teen Think Tank Meeting
Thursday, August 6, 6:30 PM to 7:55 PM
Come share your bright ideas! We meet 11 times a year on the first Thursday of the month.  To participate, contact Kim Claire at or call 978-468-5577 x14.

Boston Museum of Science STARLAB: 
One Sky, Many Stories:  For ages 5 to 15
Three sessions on Thursday, August 13, at: 
2:30 PM, 3:15 PM and 4:00 PM. 
People around the world have interpreted the night sky for centuries, creating a rich collection of constellations and star stories. Within a portable planetarium, you will tour the solar system and beyond while learning useful tips to navigate the evening sky and hearing different cultural explanations for the cosmos. Registration for this program will be in the Children’s Room.

North Shore Amateur Astronomy Club Star Party
Best for ages 10 to adult. 
Thursday, August 20, 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM
A short astronomy program inside, followed by observation of the night sky through club telescopes on the field behind the library. If there is rain or heavy cloud cover, the back-up date is Tuesday, August 25.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ask the Tank

At the April meeting of the Teen Think Tank (the Library's teen advisory board), I asked the members in attendance what their genre strengths are, and what titles they could recommend. They said their strengths were science fiction; zombie/survival apocalypse; trashy romance; historical fiction; heavy books; versatility; and science-fantasy. So, here, straight up from the Tank, are a few titles they recommend you read: 
Daniel  recommends   :

Red Rising, by Pierce Brown, 2014. A tale set in a bleak future society torn by class divisions follows the experiences of secret revolutionary Darrow, who after witnessing his wife's execution by an oppressive government joins a revolutionary cell and attempts to infiltrate an elite military academy.

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline, 2011. Immersing himself in a mid-twenty-first-century technological virtual utopia to escape an ugly real world of famine, poverty, and disease, Wade Watts joins an increasingly violent effort to solve a series of puzzles by the virtual world's creator.

Jumper series, by Steven Gould, 1992-2014. Jumper, first book in series: Blessed with the unusual ability to "jump"--to teleport himself to any place on Earth that he has been to before--Davy is determined to locate others like himself, but interference from the government could prevent him from doing so.

Game Slaves, by Gard Skinner, 2014. "A highly intelligent group of video game enemy non-player characters (NPC) begins to doubt they are merely codes in a machine. Their search for answers leads them to a gruesome discovery"-- Provided by publisher.

Ella recommends  :

Ashes trilogy, by Ilsa J. Bick, 2011-2013. Ashes, first book in trilogy: Alex, a resourceful 17-year-old running from her incurable brain tumor, Tom, who has left the war in Afghanistan, and Ellie, an angry eight-year-old, join forces after an electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky and kills most of the world's population, turning some of those who remain into zombies and giving the others superhuman senses.

The Girl With All the Gifts, by M. R. Carey, 2014. Not every gift is a blessing. Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite. But they don't laugh. Melanie is a very special girl. 

Walking Dead series, Robert Kirkman, 2009-2015. Police officer Rick Grimes is shot on the job and wakes up a month later to find that the world that he knows is gone. Zombies have taken over and are killing and eating those who are still alive. He sets out toward Atlanta in the hope that his family is still alive and endures many horrors along the way.

Monument 14 series, by Emmy Laybourne, 2012-2014. Monument 14, first book in series: A group of kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves, as a series of disasters, from a monster hailstorm to a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world apart.

Benny Imura series, by Jonathan Maberry, 2010-2013.  Rot & Ruin, first book in series: In a post-apocalyptic world where fences and border patrols guard the few people left from the zombies that have overtaken civilization, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura is finally convinced that he must follow in his older brother's footsteps and become a bounty hunter.

Jeffrey recommends :

The Night She Disappeared, by April Henry, 2012. Told from various viewpoints, Gabie and Drew set out to prove that their missing co-worker Kayla is not dead, and to find her before she is, while the police search for her body and the man who abducted her. Realistic fiction, Suspense.

Winterspell, by Claire Legrande, 2014. To find her abducted father and keep her sister safe from the lecherous politicians of 1899 New York City, 17-year-old Clara must journey to the wintry kingdom of Cane, where Anise, queen of the faeries, has ousted the royal family in favor of her own totalitarian, anti-human regime. Historical Fantasy.

Josh  recommends  :

V for Vendetta, by Alan Moore, 2005. In a near-future Britain ruled by a totalitarian regime, Evey is rescued from certain death by a masked vigilante calling himself "V," a beguiling and charismatic figure who launches a one-man crusade against government tyranny and oppression. Suspense, graphic format.

Watchmen, by Alan Moore, 1987. Exceptional graphic artwork brings to life the story of the Watchmen as they race against time to find a killer, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Suspense, graphic format.

Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi, 2003. The great-granddaughter of Iran's last emperor and the daughter of ardent Marxists describes growing up in Tehran in a country plagued by political upheaval and vast contradictions between public and private life. Autobiography, graphic format.

Slaughterhouse-Five: or, The Children's Crusade : A Duty-Dance with Death, by Kurt Vonnegut, 1969. Billy Pilgrim, a chaplain's assistant during the Second World War, returns home only to be kidnapped by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore, who teach him that time is an eternal present. Science Fiction.

Nathan G. recommends  

My Friend Dahmer: a graphic novel, by Derf Backderf, 2012. In graphic novel format, the author offers an account of growing up in the same schools as Jeffrey Dahmer, who went on to become one of the most notorious serial killers and cannibals in United States history. Biography.
Avatar Chronicles series, by Conor Kostick, 2006-2011. Epic, first book in series: On New Earth, a world based on a video role-playing game, fourteen-year-old Erik pursuades his friends to aid him in some unusual gambits in order to save Erik's father from exile and safeguard the futures of each of their families. Science Fiction, Dystopian.

Forgotten Realms. Icewind Dale trilogy, by R. A. Salvatore, 1988-1990. The Crystal Shard, is the first book in this trilogy, which is within the larger Forgotten Realms series.  Bruenor, a dwarf, Drizzt, a dark elf, and Wulfgar, a barbarian warrior, try to unite the people of Ten-Towns to face the dangerous magic of the crystal shard. Fantasy

Lockstep, by Karl Schroeder, 2014. 17-year-old Toby wakes from hibernation to find himself lost in space. Welcome to the Lockstep Empire, where civilization is kept alive by careful hibernation. Here cold sleeps can last decades and waking moments mere weeks. Toby wakes to discover that he's been asleep for 14,000 years, and is shocked to learn that the Empire is ruled by its founding family: his own. Science Fiction; Space Opera.

Skinjacker trilogy, by Neal Shusterman, 2006-2011. Everlost, first book in series: When Nick and Allie are killed in a car crash, they end up in Everlost, or limbo for lost souls, where although Nick is satisfied, Allie will stop at nothing--even skinjacking--to break free. Fantasy.

Trust Me I'm Lying, by Mary Elizabeth Summer, 2014. Having learned to be a master con artist from her father, Julep Dupree pays expenses at her exclusive high school by fixing things for fellow students, but she will need their help when her father disappears. Suspense.

California Bones series, by Greg Van Eekhout, 2014-2015. California Bones, first book in series: Years after swallowing a kraken bone fragment and then witnessing the killing of his magician father, Daniel endures a life of thievery until his crime-boss uncle compels him to steal his father's sword and fight a corrupt regime. Urban Fantasy.

Nathan M. recommends 

The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane, 1895. Henry Fleming, a young Union soldier, struggles with his conflicting emotions about violence, death, and the nature of bravery in this ironic, skeptical account of the Civil War.

The Fort: a novel of the Revolutionary War, by Bernard Cornwell, 2010. After the British establish a fort on the Penobscot River, the Massachusetts patriots--among them General Peleg Wadsworth and Colonel Paul Revere--mount an expedition to oust the redcoats.

The Things They Carried, by Tim O'Brien, 1990. Heroic young men carry the emotional weight of their lives to war in Vietnam in a patchwork account of a modern journey into the heart of darkness.

All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque, 1929. The testament of Paul Baumer, who enlists with his classmates in the German army of World War I, illuminates the savagery and futility of war.

The Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara, 1974. Book 2 in the Civil War trilogy by Shaara. Robert E. Lee and James Longstreet tell the Southern view of the battle at Gettysburg while Colonel Joshua Chamberlain and General John Buford present the Northern view.