New Non-Fiction

Much as I am fond of novels and post about them often on this blog, our library has plenty of other kinds of books.  Factual books, poetry books, and sometimes just plain ridiculous amusing books.  Like this:

Click the image for a link to this book in the catalog.

That’s right, Zombie Haiku.  New as of today, available in the Young Adult Non-Fiction section.  Look for this and other amusing, informative, poetic, historical or hysterical titles around the corner from the main floor copier.  Some other recent additions to this collection include:

Click on any book cover to look it up in the catalog.

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Erin’s Pick of the Week (or so): Song of the Lioness












I beg you to ignore the terrible 80′s style book covers, because inside is the story of Alanna, lady of knight of Tortall, whose saga of growing up and overcoming obstacles is the equal of any fantasy hero coming into his or her own (think: Harry Potter, and the like).  In these four books we follow Alanna from ten years old, on the day she decides to disguise herself as a boy and trade places with her brother so she can go to the palace and learn to be a knight, until she is an experienced knight and sorcerer.

I am often wary of stories where girls dress as boys to get what they want, but Alanna’s secret is slowly discovered by her closest friends, and eventually comes out to the whole kingdom at the end of the second book when she becomes a knight.  The third and fourth books deal with Alanna as a knight and a woman,  becoming a desert shaman and adventuring in distant lands to bring back an artifact with important magic for her kingdom.  These are stories of action-packed battles, intense sorcery, palace intrigue, fate and destiny,  love and loyalty.  I am fond of Alanna as a person, she is at turns stubborn, wry, insecure, honest, and noble.  She gathers around herself an interesting supporting cast of friends, lovers, knights, tribesmen, and thieves.  If you love fantasy and adventure, Alanna is someone you’ll want to meet.

There are a lot of different, perhaps better, covers if you do a Google image search. I like this one:

In addition to being available on our shelves, the first book is also available through the digital catalog, in E-Audio format and each of these books are available as Audiobooks on CD through the CW/MARS catalog (That’s Central Western Massachusetts Automated Resource Sharing, to you… which means you can order stuff from other libraries). The audiobooks are quite good, read by actress Trini Alvarado, who does a great job of giving each character a unique voice.

If you find you enjoy this series, or other timeless tales of fantasy and adventure, check out this list of Classic Fantasy I made.

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Teens’ Top Ten

Teens’ Top Ten “where teens voice their choice for their favorite books” is sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association.  Teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year! Books are nominated by  members of teen book groups in fifteen school and public libraries around the country. Nominations are posted on Support Teen Literature Day during National Library Week, and teens across the country vote on their favorite titles each year from the end of August to Mid-September. Voting opens on August 22 this year at The winners are announced during Teen Read Week in October.

The list of nominations can be found here, with links to their availability here at the Chicopee Public Library.  In the young adult section, you’ll see bookmarks with instructions for voting and the full list of nominations  sticking out of our copies of the nominated books.  These same bookmarks are also available near the circulation desk.

This year’s nominees include:





click a book cover above to check the book’s  availability in the library catalog.

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You Are Here Teen Video Challenge 2011

Summer Reading is coming up in June.  This year’s theme is “You Are Here.” If you start in Massachusetts, you can travel anywhere in books. The Massachusetts winner of the You Are Here Teen Video Challenge was just announced.  Remi Lamothe of Palmer won $250, and $100 for his library for this video promoting summer reading:

And here’s another video made by Pembroke, MA resident Zach Johnston.

Next year’s summer reading video challenge will begin in the fall.  Will you make a winning video for 2012?


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Erin’s Pick of the Week: The Realm of Possibility

David Levithan takes you inside the secret thoughts of various characters who all attend the same high school in this series of interconnected stories in free verse.  In a short 210 pages we meet teens in love, teens trying to figure out how to relate and how to connect with each other. We meet “the girl who is in love with Holden Caulfield. The boy who wants to be strong who falls for the girl who’s convinced she needs to be weak. The girl who writes love songs for a girl she can’t have. The two boys teetering on the brink of their first anniversary. And everyone in between.”  We meet Jed, the kind of magic boy who connects with everyone by showing up on the fringes of so many stories.  These poems are lovely secrets.

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Links Worth Clicking

Happy Monday, Everyone! Here are four interesting things you want to know about:

To kick off National Library Week a bunch of local librarians had a flash freeze mob at the Holyoke Mall on Sunday.  75 people froze in place reading a book, leaving mall goers to wonder, “What are they doing?” Check out this video:

Spring break is right around the corner. On Wednesday April 20 at 1:00, professional artist, Andy Fish, will be here giving a presentation on manga art and a drawing lesson.  If you like manga, if you like drawing, or if you just want to do something different with your Wednesday, you should definitely check this out. Learn more about Andy here: continues their celebration of School Library Month, with another contest.
This week’s writing prompt is: Romance happens in unusual places. Write a story or poem in fewer than 750 words (short and sweet!) about two people who meet in an unusual or downright bizarre location.
This week’s judge is Alyson Noel, author of the Immortals series (Evermore, Blue Moon, etc.)For more info and to enter this contest, go here:

Last, but not least, Young Adult authors Cassandra Clare and Holly Black will be speaking and signing books at the Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley on Friday April 22 at 7 pm. Each has just released a new book, City of Fallen Angels, and Red Glove, respectively. If you’ve read anything by either of these fantastic authors, you should come to this event. I’m planning to go!

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Erin’s Pick of the Week: Bronx Masquerade

A classroom full of teens in a Bronx High School discover poetry while studying the Harlem Renaissance.  As each student writes and shares their poetry, they learn about themselves and their classmates.  The story is told in short chapters from a variety of different voices. Each chapter includes a bit about the character from his or her point of view and a poem he or she wrote.  These teens are struggling with everything from stereotypes to poverty to teen parenthood to discovering their own identities.  This book has something for everyone.

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April Writing Contests from Figment

In addition to being National Poetry Month, April is also School Library Month.  To celebrate this, the American Association of School Librarians is partnering with, a free online community for teens to create, discover, and share new reading and writing, to present four writing contests over four weeks.  Each contest will begin with a writing prompt for a different genre of fiction, on each Monday this month.  This week’s contest is contemporary fiction and will be judged by Gayle Forman, author of If I Stay.

The writing prompt is: Write a story or poem in fewer than 750 words (short and sweet!) that takes place in the course of one day; somewhere in the story you must include original lyrics. This means that you must include lyrics that you’ve written.

For more detailed instructions on how to enter, go here.

If you decide to enter, let me know.  I would love to read your story. You can send me an email at
Check back next Monday for a new writing prompt.

Figment is also really cool because it has interviews with authors and sneak peaks from books, like this one: Blake Nelson’s Recovery Road. If you like what you see, you can check this book out of the library, or place a hold through the library catalog.

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Celebrate National Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month!

To celebrate, we’re having two poetry programs for teens:

Newspaper Blackout Poems
inspired by the work of Austin Kleon
Wednesday April 13 @ 3:00
Check out Austin Kleon’s website to get inspired!

Book Spine Poetry
Wednesday April 27 @ 3:00
Check out this gallery of book spine poems by 100 Scope Notes:

Here’s a book spine poem I made.

In addition to these two programs, I will be linking poems and other poetry related things all month here on the website and on our Facebook Page.  If you love poetry, stop by and say so, or friend the Facebook page and post on the wall!

Poetically Yours,
Teen Librarian, Erin Daly

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Erin’s Pick of the Week: Foiled

Aliera Carstairs is a fencer. She trains every day after school and on weekends, too, hoping to go to Nationals.  Her Saturday afternoons are reserved for table top role playing with her cousin.  Between school, fencing, and spending time with her cousin, Aliera is pretty busy.  She doesn’t really fit in with any particular group at school, and until recently she’s liked that just fine.  Until recently, when she met Avery Castle, the beautiful new boy who gets assigned as her lab partner in biology.  Avery asks Aliera on a date, and she rearranges her schedule to meet him at Grand Central Station.  Then, things start getting weird.  With her fencing mask on, Aliera can see all kinds of strange people, and creatures… are these, faeries?   What she thought was a fake plastic gem on the end of her fencing foil might be a ruby from the Seellie Court? And what’s really going on with Avery?

Find out in Foiled.

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