Friday, September 27, 2013

Weekend Book Giveaway: The Beginning of Everything

This week's book is The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider, which sounds pretty darn good to me:

Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for theme"a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: In one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra's knee, his athletic career, and his social life. No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra's ever mete"achingly effortless and fiercely intelligent. Together, Ezra and Cassidy discover flash mobs, buried treasure, and a poodle that might just be the reincarnation of Jay Gatsby. But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: If one's singular tragedy has already hit, what happens when more misfortune strikes? Robyn Schneider's The Beginning of Everything is a lyrical, witty, and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.

For a chance to win a copy of an Advanced Reader Copy of this book (which has 2 people waiting for it already), tell me about an event, big or small, that sent your life in a new direction.

Winner will be selected with Random Number Generator on Tuesday, October 1, 2013. Be sure to leave a name with your entry, and check back to see if you won. To win you must be a teen (6th-12th grade, or 12-18) who uses a Sno-Isle Library. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tech Thursday: Learn to create GIFs

GIFs* are all the rage, from serious-minded tutorials to funny and entertaining videos to current news stories. The most recent news-related GIF I saw was a satellite image showing extreme flooding along the Russia/China border.

Alarming Satellite GIFs Show Russia's Extreme Flooding retrieved from on 9/18/2013

There are lots of really great sites that can teach you how to create these ultra-short movies. The list below is just to get you started: (has a rotating selection of new and popular GIFs) in addition to being able to create a GIF from uploaded pictures (typically how it's done), you can also use makeagif to make GIF vids from your webcam or a YouTube url  This is actually a collection of downloadable resources for creating GIFs. While some have an associated fee, there are also several free programs you can download to your computer -- just narrow down the list by clicking on "freeware":


--> If you create a GIF (or have created one) we'd love to see it -- just put the link in the comments below.

All sites listed above were vetted as "OK" by Norton -- it's a good practice to see reviews of sites to make sure they aren't going to install malicious spyware or adware onto your computer! 

*Note: This PBS video outlines the history and current -- and profound use of -- animated GIFs.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

National Book Award Longlist for Young People's Literature Announced

Earlier this week the National Book Foundation announced the longlist for young people's literature. This is the first year for the longlist. Usually five finalists are announced in October and the winner is revealed in November. This year The National Book Award finalists will be announced on October 16th and the winners will be named on November 20th, so you have plenty of time to read all of them.

This year's longlist of authors include former Printz and Newbery Medal honorees and winners and a lot of familiar faces. The topics in these books range from dark magic and wizards to saving squirrels to raccoon brothers to a post-nuclear-apocalyptic world set inside a a city that is a glass pyramid. Talk about an eclectic mix!

  • Anne UrsuThe Real Boy 

  • There are three other categories for the National Book Awards and they include poetry, fiction and nonfiction. The 2012 winner in the young people's literature category was Goblin Secrets by William Alexander.

    Who do you think will win? Which of these have you read? My favorite is David Levithan's Two Boys Kissing.
  • Friday, September 13, 2013

    Weekend Book Giveaway: Steelheart

    This week's book Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson describes an super-human Steelheart  who appears invincible and the everyday man heroically standing up to this bigger than life human. Sanderson's new thriller comes out this month and already has 13 holds on it.

    Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills. Nobody fights the Epics . . . nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. And David wants in. He wants Steelheart--the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father. For years, like the Reckoners, David's been studying, and planning--and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience. He's seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

    For a chance to win, tell me what superpower you would have if it could be anything and if you would use if for good or evil.

    Winner will be selected with Random Number Generator on Tuesday, September 17, 2013. Be sure to leave a name with your entry, and check back to see if you won. To win you must be a teen (6th-12th grade, or 12-18) who uses a Sno-Isle Library.

    Thursday, September 12, 2013

    Tech Thursday: FIGMENT, Online Younger Writer's Forum

    "Figment is a community where you can share your writing, connect with other readers, and discover new stories and authors. Whatever you're into, from sonnets to mysteries, from sci-fi stories to cell phone novels, you can find it all here." (from website home page,

    Figment allows you to read other young writers' works OR submit your own writing (must have an account) to share with others. Assign your own metadata tags for easy finding. Note that you must sign in to comment (no anonymous comments allowed!).

    Signing up is free, and you can connect your Figment account with your Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblrs account for streamlined sharing.

    Get inspired with figment news.

     Enter contests and win prizes!

    Read through the newest, the most-hearted, or recently updated items, or search for content using keyword tags.

    The Daily Fig is a source for original, editorial content from Figment, interviews with authors, writing advice from professionals, videos, charts, quizzes, polls...

    Book reviews/suggestion from the pros.

    Create a Group or browse existing groups -- groups are your place to meet up with other Figs and talk about the things you love. Ninja's? Sketching? Tolkien? Chat with others who share your interests.

     Discuss writing and books with others at the Figment forumts.

    Invite your friends to join the Figment community.

    Questions? Visit their FAQ page and see if it's there:
    Question not answered on FAQ page? You can contact people directly (how awesome is that?):

    Wednesday, September 11, 2013

    Issues That Matter: Bullying

    What causes bullying? And can we stop it? These are just a few of the tough questions that will be explored during three evenings of panel discussion for our fall Issues That Matter series on Bullying.

    Get in on the conversation and join us:

    THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 7:00pm
    Lake Stevens High School
    2908 113th Ave NE, Lake Stevens

    THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 7:00pm
    Henry M. Jackson High School
    1508 136th St SE, Mill Creek

    THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 7:00pm
    Coupeville High School
    501 South Main St, Coupeville

     We'd love to see you there.  This is an important topic that effects people of all ages.

     And of course, we have lots of great books on the topic too.  Here are some we picked out just for teens:

    BystanderLIEDear bullyHate listThe chocolate warCornered : 14 stories of bullying and defianceRuntBully.comThe Bully BookWonderSome girls areCrossing linesCrackedYaqui Delgado wants to kick your ass

    Tuesday, September 10, 2013

    Trailer Tuesday: The Unremembered by Jessica Brody

    This week's Tuesday Trailer is The Unremembered by Jessica Brody, which looks to be quite the thriller!
    A girl, estimated to be sixteen, awakens with amnesia in the wreckage of a plane crash she should not have survived and taken into foster care, and the only clue to her identity is a mysterious boy who claims she was part of a top-secret science experiment. 

    Who wants to read it?

    Saturday, September 7, 2013

    Vote for YALSA's 2013 Teens' Top Ten

    Have you read any of these books this year?

    1. Albin, Gennifer. Crewel.
    2. Banks, Anna. Of Poseidon.
    3. Cabot, Meg. Underworld.
    4, Cashore, Kristin. Bitterblue.
    5. Cole, Kresley. Poison Princess.
    6. Cooner, Donna. Skinny.
    7. Cross, Sarah. Kill Me Softly.
    8. Damico, Gina. Croak.
    9. Fukuda, Andrew. The Hunt.
    10. Harstad, Johan. 172 Hours on the Moon.
    11. Hartman, Rachel. Seraphina.
    12. Hocking, Amanda. Wake.
    13. Hopkins, Ellen. Tilt.
    14. Kontis, Alethea. Enchanted.
    15. LaFevers, Robin. Grave Mercy.
    16. Lange, Erin Jade. Butter.
    17. Laybourne, Emmy. Monument 14.
    18. Levithan, David. Every Day.
    19. Lowry, Lois. Son.
    20. Lyga, Barry. I Hunt Killers.
    21. McGarry, Katie. Pushing the Limits.
    22. Nielsen, Jennifer. The False Prince.
    23. Picoult, Jodi. Between the Lines.
    24. Rhodes, Morgan. Falling Kingdoms.
    25. Roth, Veronica. Insurgent.
    26. Speer, Scott. Immortal City.
    27. Stiefvater, Maggie. The Raven Boys.
    28. Wein, Elizabeth. Code Name Verity.

    If so, you are qualified to vote for YALSA's Teens' Top Ten!  You have until October 19th, if you want to try and read more of them first.

    Which ones have you read (so far?)

    Friday, September 6, 2013

    Weekend Book Giveaway: Siege and Storm

    This week's book Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo is the second book in this highly anticipated anticipated fantasy trilogy that will leave you wanting more with its blend of action, romance, and of course magic.

    Darkness never dies. Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can't outrun her past or her destiny for long.The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling's game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her - or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

    For a chance to win this book, tell me if you believe in  a "predetermined destiny" or in "free will" and why.

    Winner will be selected with Random Number Generator on Tuesday September 10, 2013. Be sure to leave a name with your entry, and check back to see if you won. To win you must be a teen (6th-12th grade, or 12-18) who uses a Sno-Isle Library.

    Thursday, September 5, 2013

    Tech Thursday: Virtual One-on-One Tutoring

    We all know school started this week, and I'm guessing homework assignments have already been handed out.

    If you ever feel like you need help with homework, there's One-on-One Tutoring available through the Sno-Isle website from 1-10 pm every day. Yes - every day!  And you can submit questions 24/7. 

    If you ever feel that you need help with a subject, just go to the teen webpage, click on thehomework resources iconicon, and then choose HelpNow to connect to live help at brainfuse.

    To register, just put in your email account and gain access to all kinds of things. In addition to Live Help, Writing Labs and Language Labs, you can also:

    • View your past sessions in real time
    • Prepare for exams using practice tests
    • Create and share flashcards
    • Schedule private study questions with friends w/ MEET 
    • Create and share movie-like notes and ideas

    screenshot of brainfuse's "CloudPack"
    And they've just introduced CloudPack - a 'virtual' backpack where you can "create and view class notes, photos, weblinks, and other files".

    Tuesday, September 3, 2013

    Trailer Tuesday: The Program by Suzanne Young

    The Program by Suzanne Young

    In Sloane's world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program. Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane's parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they'll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who's been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone-but so are their memories. Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He's promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it's getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.