Wednesday, December 2, 2015

6th Annual Teen Poetry Contest

2016 6th annual themed
at the Hamilton-Wenham Library

Open to teens in grades 6 to 12, who are residents of Essex County, in Massachusetts.
Poem entries must be original work.
Maximum of 3 poems per author may be entered.
THEME: Poem must incorporate theme of: glass (or have an associative metaphor such as: reflection, transparency, shatter, window, mirror, etc.). Points will be deducted from poems that do not incorporate the theme.
Each poem must have a title.
All poems must be submitted before midnight April 30, 2016.
An online entry form must be filled out for EACH poem submitted. 
The link to the entry form is available on the Poetry page.
Contest winners and honorable mentions will be announced at the: 

 Contest Reception at the Hamilton-Wenham Library 
 on Thursday, May 12, 2016, 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM. 

You must be present at the Reception to win. 
All contest winners and honorable mentions are required to read or recite their poem aloud at the Reception. Your poem will be disqualified if you are not present at the reception. Please do not submit a poem if you will not be able to attend the reception. Winning poems will be published on the Library's Informed Teens blog and in local newspaper(s).

Our Poetry Contest Reception speaker will be Nancy Henry: Nancy Henry is the author of three collections of poetry and has been five times nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her poems have been featured on NPR's "The Writer's Almanac", college literature textbooks, and several anthologies. She is a former Assistant Attorney General for Child Protection in the state of Maine, and now lives in Wenham, MA where she has a gardening business called The Garden Nana.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

10 Outdoor Adventure/Survival Tales

Last month when I visited the HWRHS Independent Reading class some of the students asked for books that took place outdoors or survival-adventure stories. So I made a bookmark with ten titles to give out to the class when I see them again next week. Here are the titles with links to our catalog:

Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey, by Nick Bertozzi, 2014. Presents, in graphic novel format, the adventures of explorer Ernest Shackleton in the Antarctic.

The Raft, by S. A. Bodeen, 2012. Robbie's last-minute flight to the Midway Atoll proves to be a nightmare when the plane goes down in shark-infested waters, but the real terror begins when the co-pilot Max pulls her onto the raft.

The Year We Were Famous, by Carole Estby Dagg, 2011. A novel based on the true story of Clara Estby's walk across America with her mother Helga, to save their farm with the 10,000 dollars promised by a New York City publisher-- if they can do it in eight months.

The Distance From Me to You, by Marina Gessner, 2015. McKenna and her best friend planned for over a year to defer their freshman year of college to hike the Appalachian Trail all the way from Maine to Georgia, so when her friend backs out McKenna embarks alone on a physical and emotional journey that will change her life forever.

Adrift, by Paul Griffin, 2015. Working in Montauk for the summer, Matt and Mike meet three girls who invite them to their Hamptons mansion, where the group decides to sail out into the ocean in a small boat, become lost at sea, and must learn to work together to survive.

The Way Back From Broken, by Amber Keyser, 2015. After losing his infant sister, Rakmen's family is devastated. While his parents figure things out, they send Rakmen on a camping trip in the Canadian wilderness with another grieving family. Rakmen is far from thrilled about the trip, and he has to decide whether it's too late to find his way back from broken.

Nation, by Terry Pratchett, 2008. After a devastating tsunami destroys all that they have ever known, Mau, an island boy, and Daphne, an aristocratic English girl, together with a small band of refugees, set about rebuilding their community and all the things that are important in their lives.

Endangered, by Eliot Schrefer, 2012. Sophie is not happy to be back in the Congo for the summer, but when she rescues an abused baby bonobo she becomes more involved in her mother's sanctuary--and when fighting breaks out and the sanctuary is attacked, it is up to Sophie to rescue the apes and somehow survive in the jungle.

The Trap, by John E. Smelcer, 2006. In alternating chapters, 17-year-old Johnny Least-Weasel, who is better known for brains than brawn, worries about his missing grandfather, and the grandfather, Albert Least-Weasel, struggles to survive, caught in his own steel trap in the Alaskan winter.

Peak, by Roland Smith, 2007. A 14-year-old boy attempts to be the youngest person to reach the top of Mount Everest. (Sequel: The Edge, 2015.)

Monday, September 28, 2015

Help Yourself

Feel uncomfortable asking about a topic?

Find it Yourself --Browse the nonfiction shelves. 

Look for these numbers (in the 300s & 600s):

       Topic.... ....Dewey Decimal Number

       abuse/incest......362.76 & 362.76-.78
       abusive relationships...362.8292 & 362.88
       acne/skin care.....616.53 & 646.726
These are not the cats you're looking for...
       birth control...363.9609 & 613.94
       body changes/puberty....612.661
       body image.......306.4613 & 616.852
       bullying...........302.34 & 371.58
       cyberbullying........302.34 & 345.73
       date rape...........362.883
       depression.…616.852, 616.8527, 616.85844
       drugs.....362.292 & 362.2918
       health/hygiene...613.04243 & 613.7043
       lgbtq..........306.766 & 613.951
       pregnancy......306.856, 306.8743, 618.2024
       relationships/dating...305.235, 306.70835, 646.77
       suicide........362.2, 362.28, 362.283

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.