Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Shaking Out Third Quarter Favorites

Catching my breath here from all the 5th, 6th, and 8th grade field trips and class visits to recommend ten favorite reads from the past few months.


The Caller, by Juliet Marillier, 2014. In the final book of the Shadowfell trilogy, Neryn, the rebels, and the Good Folk must work together to survive their final confrontation with King Keldec.

Eleanor, by Johnny Worthen, 2014.  Shapeshifter Eleanor lives the life of a teenager in rural Wyoming until the only person who knows her secret shows up and challenges her existence and everything she hopes to be.

The Stepsister's Tale, by Tracy Barrett, 2014.  A retelling of "Cinderella" which takes the viewpoint of the supposedly evil stepsisters and turns the story inside out.


Grandmaster, by David Klass, 2014.  Daniel Pratzer. a freshman and a newbie to chess—or patzer in chess lingo—is approached by the senior chess club co-captains of his high school. A father-son weekend tournament is coming up, and Daniel and his father are more required than requested to be there. First prize is $10,000, but Daniel’s father doesn’t play chess. At least, that’s what Daniel thinks.

100 Sideways Miles, by Andrew Smith, 2014. Finn Easton, sixteen and epileptic, struggles to feel like more than just a character in his father's cult-classic novels with the help of his best friend, Cade Hernandez, and first love, Julia, until Julia moves away.

Stupid Fast, by Geoff Herbach, 2011. Just before his sixteenth birthday, Felton Reinstein has a sudden growth spurt that turns him from a small, jumpy, picked-on boy with the nickname of "Squirrel Nut" to a powerful athlete, leading to new friends, his first love, and the courage to confront his family's past and current problems.
Tangerine, by Edward Bloor, 1997. Twelve-year-old Paul, who lives in the shadow of his football hero brother Erik, fights for the right to play soccer despite his near blindness and slowly begins to remember the incident that damaged his eyesight.

Science Fiction

Partials, by Dan Wells, 2012. In a post-apocalyptic eastern seaboard ravaged by disease and war with a manmade race of people called Partials, the chance at a future rests in the hands of Kira Walker, a sixteen-year-old medic in training.

Adult Books for Teens

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.

Universe Versus Alex Woods, by Gavin Extence, 2013.  Alex Woods was struck by a meteorite when he was ten years old, leaving scars that marked him for an extraordinary life. The son of a fortune teller, bookish, and an easy target for bullies, he hasn't had the most conventional childhood. When he meets curmudgeonly widower Mr. Peterson, he finds an unlikely friend. Someone who teaches him that that you only get one shot at life. That you have to make it count. So when, aged seventeen, Alex is stopped at Dover customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of ashes on the passenger seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he's fairly sure he's done the right thing.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Summer Program Highlights 2014

Summer vacation is nearly over, and the spectacular line up of teen summer programs has come to end. We had a drawing workshop, a photography workshop/exhibit, a forensics workshop, a collection development shopping trip, a European swords program, a robots program, a planetarium show, and movies, plus the Minecraft Club met every week, and the Teen Think Tank met twice.  Below are some pictures from a few of the programs that were here this summer. The trip to Barnes & Noble with the Teen Think Tank was great fun, and we will probably do it again next summer. Each TTT member chose books for the Library's collections that were of interest to them, most of which have been checked out. If you think you might like to be on the Teen Think Tank (the Library's teen advisory board), just let me know - we are looking to add more members.
Programs coming up:
There will be no Minecraft Club meeting the week of August 25th. The final Tuesday night meeting for summer Minecraft is August 19th. The Minecraft Club will be moving their meeting time back to Wednesday afternoons, starting on September 3rd.
There is a free PSAT practice test provided by Kaplan, scheduled for Saturday, September 20. Register online at Kaplan Test Prep.
Coming up September 25 & 27, we will be showing the movie, The Fault In Our Stars (see movie page on this blog for more information).
Also, there is a free College Financial Aid workshop scheduled for Thursday, October 23, at 7 PM.
Check back on this page for news about our Science is Everywhere grant STEM program line-up beginning January 2015.

Thank you Friends of the Hamilton-Wenham Library
 for funding teen programs at the Library! 

Historical Swords: 
Western European 


goes shopping for the Library.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Teen Summer Programs

2014 Summer Programs 
for Teens at the 
Hamilton-Wenham Public Library

Registration is underway for the Library's teen summer programs, and they are filling up fast, don't miss out.  All programs are free; paid for by the Friends of the Hamilton-Wenham Library.  Sign up for your spot in a program at the Reference desk, or call: 978-468-5577, to sign up by phone.

6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
The Teen Think Tank is the Library's teen advisory
board, for ages 11-18.  We meet 11 times a year, on the first Thursday of the month (except July), for 90 minutes.
The Teen Think Tank works with the Young Adult Librarian to improve the library's teen collections (books, audiobooks, music, and films), and to create programs and services designed specifically for teens.
Come share your bright ideas! 
Earn community service credit.
Interested in becoming a member of the Teen Think Tank?  
To participate in the TTT stop by the library and talk with Kim Claire, Young Adult Librarian, or send an email stating your interest to: kclaire@mvlc.org.

TUESDAYS,  5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Play Minecraft at the Library!  During the summer, starting Tuesday, June 24, the Minecraft Club will meet on Tuesday evenings, 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.
For all ages who play well with others. No griefing EVER. Bring your own laptop and have an active Minecraft membership. The club is run by a member of the Teen Think Tank (the Library's teen advisory board). Beginners and advance players welcome.

On Tuesday, July 29, at 5 PM, the Minecraft Club will meet in the large meeting room on the first floor for a presentation from Bailey Sostek:  Bailey will demonstrate some of the mods that he has made for Minecraft, and then he will demonstrate what that has enabled him to do independently with the different games he has made. He may also do a walkthrough of how to create a simple base modification to Minecraft. He will conclude with showing the links and programs that he used to create the mods and to learn java.

THURSDAY, JULY 10, 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
(meet in the Gymnasium next door to the Library)
Narrated by actor Liam Neeson, this production features high-resolution visualizations of cosmic phenomena; the formation of the early universe, star birth and death, the collision of giant galaxies, and a simulated flight to a super-massive black hole lurking at the center of our own Milky Way Galaxy.  Currently in distribution to more than 100 theaters worldwide,Black Holes: the Other Side of Infinity is one of the most successful full-dome shows ever produced.
Audience size is limited to dome capacity.  To attend please register at the Reference Desk located on the 2nd floor of the Library, or call the Reference Desk at 978-468-5577. 

THURSDAY, JULY 17, 2:30pm - 4:00 and
THURSDAY, JULY 31, 2:30pm - 3:30pm

  Join Toni Carolina for a two part 
photography workshop for teens.

1st part meets on:
Thursday, July 17, 2:30pm to 4:00pm
This session will focus on forced perspective photography; a manipulation of objects to look big or tiny without the use of Photoshop.  For example: making a person look as though they are floating in air.  Let your imagination be your guide with the help of your digital camera to create optical illusions.   Bring a camera and a tripod or a couple of bags of rice or beans to steady the camera shots.

2nd part meets on:
Thursday, July 31, 2:30pm to 3:30pm
This session bring your printed optical illusion images to the Library, where you will mount and hang them in a show in the Young Adult area of the Library.
Open to teens 12-18 years old, or to students entering grades 6-12 in 2014.  Limited to 12 participants.  There is no charge to attend. Register at the Reference desk, or call 978-468-5577.

SATURDAY, JULY 19, 9:30 PM to 12:30 PM 

The Library's teen advisory board will be going to Barnes & Noble to shop for items, that the Library does not already own, to add to our teen collections.  To participate in this trip you must have attended at least one previous Teen Think Tank meeting.
Parent/guardian permission forms are due by June 30. 
THURSDAY, JULY 24, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM 
a PASTEL WORKSHOP for Teens and Adults 

A hands-on experience of basic pastel painting, as well as advanced techniques, using professional grade materials with award-winning artist, Gregory Maichack.
Extensively researched, Maichack teaches participants by lecture, revealing anecdotes, historical context and demo of techniquesThis workshop is designed for beginners to advanced participants. Maichack, a faculty member of the Springfield Museum Studio School, will explain concepts and then start you off by sharing a fearless approach to drawing. Participants will use photos of famous “Sunflowers” artwork by van Gogh, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Monet, and also Maichack’s reference photos, to create their unique sunflower pastel painting.
This workshop includes all materials:  Indigo paper, white charcoal pencils, black paper, Rembrandt soft pastels, Nupastels, French and English pastel pencils, assorted colored mid-toned Canson pastel paper and other materials.
Class size limited to 30 participants.   Open to teens ages 12-19, and to adults.
To attend register at the Reference desk on the 2nd floor of the Library, or call 978-468-5577.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Hamilton-Wenham Cultural Council, a local agency, which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.


TUESDAY, JULY 29, 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM 
iROBOT visits the Library

Curious about robots? A representative from iRobot will bring their robots to the library.  Enjoy a presentation and hands-on demonstration of robots used both in the home and by soldiers and emergency response teams.

For ages 10 and up. No registration required.

7:00 PM to 8:30 PM

This presentation is a combination of lecture/discussion and physical demonstration given by Jeff Goodhind and Jeff Lord. Seeking a correlation between the book and the sword, they include material from the earliest known combat manual (MS I.33 from the early 14th century) to Alfred Hutton's Cold Steel (a manual from 1890) covering over half a millennia of the history of the sword in Western Europe and its use.  This program will include:
  • A chronological presentation of several different eras of sword use, including a physical demonstration of the use of several different types of swords (It is all choreographed and practiced in advance and they only use blunt steel swords.).
  • A question and answer "mythbusters" segment where they discuss the common misconceptions about swords.
  • Some images from historical works (PowerPoint).
  • An introduction to historical interpretation which includes some audience participation (Usually they provide two audience members with foam swords and have them work through a historical combat sequence.)
This program is for all ages. There is no registration required.
    SATURDAY, AUGUST 2, 10:15 AM to 2:00 PM

    Take a practice SAT/ACT (half SAT, half ACT) test, complete with results, provided free of charge by
    Kaplan Test Prep.  A proctored SAT/ACT practice test shows students what to expect in a test-like environment. Students will receive a comprehensive analysis of their performance from Kaplan, detailing individual strengths and weaknesses.
    Bring #2 pencil and a calculator to use during the test. The College Board sets the policy for calculators, here is the link to the policy:http://sat.collegeboard.org/register/calculator-policy
    Limited to 24 participants.  Register at Kaplan Test Prep
    or go to the Reference desk on the 2nd floor of the Library.

    THURSDAY, AUGUST 14, 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM

    Engage in the mystery and the science of a Crime Scene Investigation Forensics Lab. From traditional fingerprinting techniques to DNA sampling and analysis, students will have the opportunity to explore methods used by scientists and detectives to properly identify suspects wrapped up in criminal investigations.

    A small amount of cell biology will be discussed as students extract DNA from fruit cells or their own cheek cells. Historic and modern techniques of fingerprinting will be used as students make their own fingerprint charts and dust for latent prints using magnetic and UV powder.  A microscope and two stereoscopes will be available for further investigation. Students can: identify significant markers on latent prints, study their own fingers and magnify sampled DNA. To end the investigation two - three real crimes that used covered practices will be discussed.
    Open to teens 12-18 years old or to students entering grades 6-12 in 2012. 
    Class size is limited to 14.  Register at the Reference desk on the 2nd floor, or call 978-468-5577.

    Monday, June 9, 2014

    Summer Reading Lists 2014

    Copies of Miles River Middle School, and Hamilton-Wenham High School, summer reading books are available through the library's catalog. Click on the title below to place a hold. There are also book bags set up for each grade for easy selection and request of more than one title.
    Find the item you want, then click: Place Hold . You will be prompted for your library card barcode number, and your PIN (the last 4 digits of your telephone number unless you have changed it). If all H-W copies are out, and the book is available at one of our consortium libraries, it will take about 3 days for it to travel here to the H-W Library.  You will be notified by phone call, email, or text when your book arrives.  To change your notification method sign in to your library account.  After notification you have 7 days to check out the book at the circulation desk before it is sent back to the owning Library.

    Frequently Asked Questions:
         I can keep my books all summer, right?
         You may keep them out for 3 weeks.
         Hamilton-Wenham copies of summer reading books are not renewable.
         The golden rule applies here (Do unto others as you would have....).
         Where are the books?
         During the summer the books are on the 2nd floor on the counters
         under the Young Adult sign. 
         Are these books available in audio or eBook format?
         Many of the summer reading titles are available as audio books or eBooks. 
         The books may be on CDs or Playaways for physical check out,
         and/or they may be available digitally in OverDrive to download
         Not all titles have been made into audio books or eBooks.
    If you have other questions - just ask!  We will do our best to answer your question, so don’t be shy.
      M i l e s  R i v e r  M i d d l e  S c h o o l   
    2 0 1 4   S u m m e r   R e a d i n g   L i s t
    Entering Grade 6 
    All incoming students must read:
    and at least two of the following titles:
    You may choose only one of the short story collections as one of your two fiction books:

      In addition to the above required fiction, you must read at least 
      one non-fiction book about a subject that interests you.  
      You may choose your nonfiction book, here are some suggestion found on this blog's non-fiction page, and here are some non-fiction suggestions from your 6th grade teachers:

      Entering Grade 7

      All incoming students must read: 
      then read one or more of the following books:

          Entering Grade 8

          All incoming students must read:
          plus two more books from either the nonfiction or fiction lists below:

          Nonfiction Titles: 
          Fiction Titles:

          H a m i l t o n - W e n h a m  H i g h  S c h o o l
              2 0 1 4   S u m m e r   R e a d i n g   L i s t    
          Entering 9TH GRADE :                                              

          9 Honors: THREE books required.
          Must read:
          9 College Prep: TWO books required.
          Must read:
          *The choice book is totally open-ended, as long as it is a book that the student has not read before and is not part of another department's summer reading requirement.  Feel free to choose either fiction or non-fiction.  Consult a librarian, lists of award-winning books, family members, friends, and teachers.

              Entering 10th Grade :                                               

              10 Honors: THREE books required.
              Must read:
              10 College Prep: TWO books required.
              Must read: 
              • Zeitoun, by Dave Eggers 
              • and one more book of your choosing*
              *The choice book is totally open-ended, as long as it is a book that the student has not read before and is not part of another department's summer reading requirement.  Feel free to choose either fiction or non-fiction.  Consult a librarian, lists of award-winning books, family members, friends, and teachers.

                Entering 11TH GRADE :                                            

                11 Honors: THREE books required. 
                Must read: 
                11 College Prep: TWO books required.
                Must read:
                • 1984, by George Orwell
                • and one more book of your choosing*
                *The choice book is totally open-ended, as long as it is a book that the student has not read before and is not part of another department's summer reading requirement.  Feel free to choose either fiction or non-fiction.  Consult a librarian, lists of award-winning books, family members, friends, and teachers.

                    Entering 12th Grade :                                               

                    12 Advanced Placement: FOUR books required. 
                    Must read:
                    12 Honors: THREE books required. 
                    Must read: 
                    12 College Prep: TWO books required. 
                    Must read: 
                    • The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri
                    • and one more book of your choosing*
                    *The choice book is totally open-ended, as long as it is a book that the student has not read before and is not part of another department's summer reading requirement.  Feel free to choose either fiction or non-fiction.  Consult a librarian, lists of award-winning books, family members, friends, and teachers.