Saturday, April 11, 2020

Just Keep Swimming

This time out of time (what day is it?) is hard, difficult, scary, and probably boring. We can get through this. Or as a character in a show (and Churchill) I was watching said, "If you are going through hell, keep going.". To help you keep going here are collections of resources I've scooped up for Fun, Inspiration, Study, and Health (FISH). Be like Dory, just keep swimming!

I'm here. I'd love to hear from you. My email is: There is lots of stuff I can still do virtually; for example, helping you with signing up for a Library Card number, helping you access digital downloads and resources, finding resources for a report or paper, or creating a list of personalized book recommendations for you. (Stay tuned for our online summer reading program! There will be challenges, activities, and prizes.)

FISH resources for Teens at Home by kclaire

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Summer Programs for Teens --- We hope.

In January before we had to stay home, wash hands obsessively, not touch our face, and keep 6 feet from other people outside our homes, we here at your public library were brainstorming and planning the summer programs. Now, we won't know until, at best guess, the end of May if we will be able to go ahead with offering any summer programs in 2020. However, I tend to operate on the side of optimism, and thought it might be a ray of something positive to share the free workshops and programs we might be able to offer you this summer. Soooo below are the programs and workshops I had scheduled for tweens, teens, and in some instances also adults. (Please note that with the uncertain circumstances that dates and times could change.) The inspiration for most of the programs is this year's statewide summer reading theme: Imagine Your Story. Each year the Collaborative Summer Library Reading Program (CSLP) sets the theme. Stay well!


Pop Up Art School: Manga Linoleum Block Printmaking
July 6, 2020, 3:30pm - 5:00pm
Learn about Menko, a Japanese card game, printmaking and carve your own linoleum block. The carved block will enable you to print multiple cards to trade with others at the workshop. Students can borrow imagery from anime and manga stories or create their own. Menko cards have been popular since the Edo Period. Over time, the imagery has changed to reflect popular culture. Since World War II, anime and manga imagery has been common. The workshop teacher will provide an easy-cut linoleum made for beginners. Workshop will be taught by a teacher from the Pop Up Art School. For teens entering grades 8 to 12 in Fall 2020

Summer Zine Lab Workshop with Holly Thompson
A three part workshop on these dates:  
July 14, 16, 21, 3:30pm to 5:30pm
Zines are self-published, DIY mini magazines created from poetry, comics, flash fiction, memoir, sketches, lists, advice—whatever! In our Zine Lab, we’ll brainstorm, develop, write, design and create individual mini zines plus a themed group zine (or two!). Bring your ideas and imagination and be ready to experiment with words and art in Zine Lab. Holly Thompson is the author of the three verse novels Orchards, The Language Inside, and Falling into the Dragon’s Mouth, as well as picture books and fiction for adults. A Wenham native and longtime resident of Japan, she received her M.A. in fiction writing from New York University, and teaches creative writing in Japan and the U.S., and visits schools worldwide. You can read more about Holly Thompson at her website, For teens entering grades 6-10 in Fall 2020

If you'd like to start making and thinking about zines here are a few online resources:
Some fiction books where the main character makes zines:

Moxie, by Jennifer Mathieu, 2017. In a small Texas town where high school football reigns supreme, Viv, sixteen, starts a feminist revolution using anonymously-written zines. Ebook available through OverDrive.

The First Rule of Punk, by Celia C. Perez, 2017.
Twelve-year-old Malú reluctantly moves with her Mexican-American mother to Chicago and starts seventh grade with a bang--violating the dress code with her punk rock aesthetic and spurning the middle school's most popular girl in favor of starting a band.
Malú also takes solace in creating handmade zines, which appear throughout the book. Ebook available through OverDrive.

Hard Love, by Ellen Wittlinger, 1999. After starting to publish a zine in which he writes his secret feelings about his lonely life and his parents' divorce, sixteen-year-old John meets an unusual girl and begins to develop a healthier personality. Ebook not available.

Click here for catalog search results for nonfiction about zines.

Introduction to Calligraphy Workshop with Susan K. Gaylord
July 16, 2020, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
This brief introduction to calligraphy will emphasize process rather than product. Mary Oliver wrote, “To pay attention/ This is our endless proper work.” We will focus on paying attention while we explore the basics of Italic calligraphy and handwriting with an edged pen. The goal is to give you a foundation from which to continue on your own. Bring $3 for the pen that you will be using and can then take home. For teens entering grades 9 to12 in Fall 2020 and Adults.

Creating Recipes from Your Imagination - How to Write a Delicious Recipe with Liz Barbour
July 30, 2020, 6:00pm - 8:00pm 
Join cooking instructor and cookbook author Liz Barbour for this delicious program. Liz will tell you where her recipe inspirations come from and how she transforms them into a written recipe. She will explore ingredient lists and explain how to simplify cooking instructions so you can create easy recipes to cook at home. Following the discussion, Liz will demonstrate two of her recipes and offer samples for everyone to enjoy. For teens ages 11 and up, and adults.

Henna Tattoos with Mandy Roberge
August 3, 2020, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Mandy Roberge from Wicked Good Henna will be here for two hours doing henna tattoos. Come chill to some beats, color a mandala, meet friends, & leave with a wicked good henna tattoo. For teens entering grades 6 to 12 in Fall 2020. 

Mini Golf in the Library
August 5, 2020, 11:00am - 2:00pm
Play 10 holes of mini-golf on hills, jumps, bumps, twists, and loops on the first floor of the library. For all ages.

Macrame Workshop with Elizabeth Cook
August 6, 2020, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Macrame is back! Learn the basics of macrame with a modern twist while making a beautiful wall hanging on driftwood. This class will introduce students to common macrame knots and give them the foundation to start creating their own pieces. All supplies are included so participants can take their new creation home and hang it up right away! For teens ages 13 and up, and adults.

Making Autobiographical Comics Workshop with Jonathan Todd
August 10, 2020, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Graphic memoirs are hugely popular among readers. Jonathan will share his approach to creating them, asking students to reflect upon personally meaningful moments in their lives and thinking of precise ways to express these memories—and their significance—in comics form.
For teens entering grades 6-12 in Fall 2020.

North Shore Amateur Astronomy Club Star Party: 
Astrophotography with a Cellphone with Brewster LaMacchia
August 13 (raindate is August 17), 2020, 8:00pm - 9:30pm
There will be a slide presentation on astrophotography with North Shore Astronomy Club's (NSAAC)  Star Party Leader, Brewster LaMacchia. At approximately 8:45pm we will move outside to the field adjacent to the library parking lot for observation and practice through NSAAC telescopes. For ages 11 and up, including adults.

All workshops and programs are funded 
by the Library's fantastic Friends of the Hamilton-Wenham Library.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

March rrrOars

Animal Nonfiction Books by kclaire

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Jason Reynolds is National Ambassador

Young Adult author Jason Reynolds' list of awards and achievements is long and this January the list became even more illustrious when he was named our next (and 7th) National Ambassador for Young People's Literature by the Library of Congress,and it's two partners the Children’s Book Council, and Every Child a Reader. Previous Ambassadors were: Jacqueline Woodson, Gene Luen Yang, Kate DiCamillo, Walter Dean Myers, Katherine Paterson, and Jon Scieszka.

The National Ambassador program was established in 2008. During their two year term each ambassador travels to towns across America to talk with young people. Reynolds believes that everybody has a story, and so he is calling his platform as ambassador: “GRAB THE MIC: Tell Your Story.” The focus will be on empowering students to embrace and share their own personal stories. 

There are a lot of interviews with Jason Reynolds online. I encourage you to check them out, particularly the recording of the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Inauguration. It is long, so if you just want to get to know about Jason and his platform start the video at 35:10. Many of the interviews focus on Jason's journey from reluctant reader to award-winning author. I think the following short clip from a 2018 interview gets at the heart of his message on reading and writing:

Here is a description and recommendation of Reynolds' work from Ebsco's NoveList database: "Authentic characterization drives the work of award-winning author Jason Reynolds. Focusing mainly on African-American teens and kids in realistic urban settings, he crafts characters whose words, actions, and emotions ring true. Reynolds doesn't shy away from portraying painful and deeply moving situations, but presents them in an honest, accessible style that will appeal to all kinds of young readers. Start with Long Way Down (Teens); Ghost (Older Kids)."

Or you could start with Jason's own favorites: Boy in the Black Suit, 2015 (Teens), or As Brave As You, 2016 (Older Kids).
Jason Reynolds' website.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Take Heart

💖 We are wearing our 
     hearts on our counters! 
    Stop by the teen area
     and check out a 
heart titled book this month.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

King wins Printz

As a long time fan of A.S.(Amy Sarig) King's books, it was wonderful to hear last week's announcement from the American Library Association that she won the Michael L. Printz Award for 2020, for her latest book, Dig. Please see all of her books in the slider above. The book covers are linked to our catalog. Click here for the professional reviews of Dig(scroll down). Click here for the reader reviews on Goodreads.
I particularly recommend her books if you enjoy, as I do, character-driven offbeat stories that surprise you with magic realism. In addition to her novels you can find A. S. King in these two short story collections: Dear Bully: Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories (The Boy Who Won't Leave Me Alone, by A. S. King, 2011); Dear Heartbreak: YA Authors on the Dark Side of Love (Own Your Heart, by A. S. King, 2018)  A.S. King only uses the initials of her first two names on her books and has said in interviews and on her blog at, "If ever you've heard that I chose to write under the name A.S. King because it spells "asking" then you heard right.". On her writing journey, King said in an interview she gave in 2009: "It took me 7 novels and 15 years of writing to publish a book.". Like most authors who give advice on becoming a writer, King encourages people to read.
Get to know King a little though this fun reading pep talk she gave in 2016:

The American Library Association's Printz Award has been awarded every year since 2000, for a Young Adult book that exemplifies literary excellence.

Dig, by A.S. King,  2019. Five white teenage cousins who are struggling with the failures and racial ignorance of their dysfunctional parents and their wealthy grandparents, reunite for Easter. Genre: Magical realism. Listen to King read an excerpt from the beginning of Dig here.

The Printz committee also names up to 4 Printz Honor (the silver seals) books each year. (BTW- Please Ignore Vera Dietz, by A. S. King, was a 2011 Printz Honor book.) Here are the 2020 Printz Honor Books:

Beast Player, by Nahoko Uehashi, translated by Cathy Hirano, 2019. Nahoko Uehashi's The Beast Player is an epic YA fantasy about a girl with a special power to communicate with magical beasts and the warring kingdom only she can save.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me, by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, 2019. Upset about her on-again, off-again relationship with her girlfriend Laura Dean, Freddy Riley depends on her friends, a local mystic, and a relationship columnist for help in dealing with her situation. Graphic novel. Genre: Realistic; Romance.

Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir, by Nikki Grimes, 2019. The author recounts her traumatic childhood, with a mother suffering from mental illness, unfortunate experiences in a series of foster homes, and her discovery of her love of writing, which eventually helped her overcome the hazards of her life. Nonfiction. Memoir in Verse.

Where the World Ends, by Geraldine McCaughrean, 2019. In the summer of 1727, a group of men and boys are put ashore on a remote sea stac to harvest birds for food. No one returns to collect them. Why? Surely nothing but the end of the world can explain why they have been abandoned. And how can they survive, housed in stone and imprisoned on every side by the ocean? Genre: Historical fiction.

Want to know more about the Printz selection process? Click here for School Library Journal's articles on Pondering the Printz on Its 20th Anniversary.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Young Adult Page to Screen in 2020

Read the book - then see the movie! 
Click on the book jacket cover below to place a hold. 
What's your not-to-be-missed book to movie?