Category Archives: Teens

Romance titles that TEENS will LOVE

By Erin Holt, Teen Librarian

There’ve been so many times that our Teen staff have been asked for “safe” romance novels for their teens, starting at the age of 12. So we decided to create this awesome list of safe teen romance titles.  Check it out!

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han 51vsd5j8hXL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_– What would happen if all your crushes received your love letters…at the same time?

The Summer I Turned Pretty, It’s Not Summer Without You, We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han – Follow Belly on her journey over several summers, including a best friend, two love interests, and a love triangle

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith – When four minutes changed everything in 24 hours.

Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins – Companion novels revolving around friendship, love, and travel.5231173

The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg – What happens when Penny decides to give up boys and dating…

All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin – NYC in the year 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal and teen Anya’s mafia family is accused of poisoning chocolate that they have been distributing

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler – BFFs Frankie and Anna spend a 20 day vacation together, making a bet that they can meet one boy per day.

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn – A sweet fun read involving books, New York City, and teen love interests.

71LkLmxqgjLSloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty – Follow Jessica Darling as she navigates through school, boyfriends, and more after her BFF, Hope, moves away.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – A beautiful love story, taking place in 1986, between 2 misfit teenagers.

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen – A story about a girl…and the cute guy next door…

Just One Day by Gayle Forman – The lives of Allyson and Willem is transformed in just 24 hours

*See the Teen Library staff for a complete list of titles*

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It’s Durin’s Day!

By Howard Shirley, Teen Library Assistant

“Then what is Durin’s Day?” asked Elrond.

The first day of the dwarves’ New Year,” said Thorin, “is as all should know the first day of the last moon of Autumn on the threshold of Winter. We still call it Durin’s Day when the last moon of Autumn and the sun are in the sky together. But this will not help us much, I fear, for it passes our skill in these days to guess when such a time will come again.”                                                          

The Hobbit, ‘A Short Rest’

Fortunately, while it may pass the skill of Thorin and Co. (who clearly spent more time looking for gold underground than looking up at the heavens), it does not pass our skill to discover the date of Durin’s Day. All one needs is a copy of The Hobbit, a good lunar calendar, and an understanding of what is meant by the terms “Autumn” and “Winter” in the mind of an expert on Medieval English Literature, which Tolkien himself was.

Lunar calendars are easy. Most calendars today already depict the moon’s phases, and if not, the Internet provides easy access to lunar information for any region and day on Earth. At this point, we need only consult The Hobbit to see what characteristics of the lunar cycle are associated with Durin’s Day.

From Thorin’s conversation with Elrond we see that “Durin’s Day” assumes that the moon and sun are visible at the same time in the sky. Such an event is not unusual; indeed throughout the year both the sun and the moon will be visible in the sky together, sometimes at dawn, sometimes throughout the morning or the afternoon, and sometimes at sunset. But which of these moments is meant by Thorin’s description? And since this happens many times in the traditional “Autumn” months of September, October and November, which month is meant and which phase is being described? If we go merely by Thorin’s description, Durin’s Day could cover many days in the year, and potential several days in a row! Yet clearly in the story Durin’s Day is indeed a specific day that happens only once a year (and if you read the story, that fact is crucial to the plot). So any given day when the moon and the sun are seen together is not necessarily Durin’s Day, even if it’s Autumn and even if it’s about to become Winter.

 


 Which Moon Is It?

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Click to Enlarge

The first thing to determine is which phase of the moon applies. As it circles the Earth, the moon undergoes different phases depending on the amount of sunlight or Earth-shadow which strikes the moon’s surface. Although the progression is gradual, these are typically referred to as a New Moon (when the moon is on the sunlit side of the Earth and cannot be seen either during the day or at night), a waxing crescent (when the moon is only visible as a crescent shape; waxing means that shape is becoming more lit), a half-moon (equal parts light and shadow, appearing as a semi-circle), a waxing gibbous moon (meaning more than half is lit, sort of like a squished circle), and a Full Moon (all sunlight and no shadow). From this point the lit portion of the moon grows smaller, or “wanes,” giving a waning gibbous moon, a half-moon, a waning crescent moon, and finally back to New Moon again. In this context, “the last moon of Autumn” is not the last night that a moon can be seen before it “disappears” as a New Moon, but rather the entire cycle from New Moon to New Moon. This is important to consider, as this means that Durin’s Day comes as the moon’s cycle overlaps the “threshold of Winter” (the meaning of which we will examine later). Whichever full cycle of moon is in the sky on the last day of Autumn and the first day of Winter before becoming a New Moon again is therefore the “last moon of Autumn.” So the relevant moment of Durin’s Day therefore is when that moon first appears after the New Moon, not when it disappears for the New Moon. (Why isn’t Durin’s Day the date of the phase called the New Moon? Because the moon has to be visible in the sky with the sun in order to be Durin’s Day. The New Moon phase is never visible, so Durin’s Day is never the exact date of the New Moon.)

This is further echoed by The Hobbit when Durin’s Day arrives in the book:

If he lifted his head he could see a glimpse of the distant forest. As the sun turned west there was a gleam of yellow upon its far roof, as if the light caught the last pale leaves. Soon he saw the orange ball of the sun sinking towards the level of his eyes. He went to the opening and there pale and faint was a thin new moon above the rim of Earth.                                                                                   

The Hobbit, ‘On the Doorstep.’

Later in that same scene the book reads:

The gleam went out, the sun sank, the moon was gone, and evening sprang into the sky.

Thus, moonset and sunset occur together in this passage. What we are left with is a visible “new moon—“ obviously the silver sliver of a waxing crescent, not the invisible New Moon—which sets either just before or just after the sun.

6757624729_15ba3d650f_bVisibility is a debatable issue here, but in general anywhere from 24 to 36 hours after the New Moon the fresh crescent phase will reveal a visible arc. You and I might strain to see this in our overly-lit cities, but in Bilbo’s time and place—sitting on the slopes of the Lonely Mountain, far from any city lights or even the sight of Laketown, that fingernail of moon would be clear to the keen-eyed hobbit.

So, for the moon in question we have the first visible crescent after a New Moon, for the cycle that overlaps with the “threshold of Winter” as the beginning of Durin’s Day. But we’re not done yet…

 


When’s the Threshold?

This is the single largest point of confusion about dating Durin’s Day. What did Tolkien mean by “Autumn on the threshold of Winter?” Various arguments have been put forth for this. Some go with the date of Winter being the Winter Solstice, placing the “last moon of Autumn” as being the moon cycle that precedes the moon cycle that coincides with the Winter Solstice (usually around December 21st; the date varies each year). Such arguments place Durin’s Day as occurring in the last weeks of November or the first weeks of December.

However, this idea is based on assuming that the Winter Solstice marks the start of Winter. It does not. Rather the Winter Solstice is actually the mid-point of Winter. This may seem odd when you think about things like freezing temperatures and snow, which in the Northern Hemisphere range typically from December through February. But those are merely the climatic effects of the season, not the markers of the season itself. The day of the Winter Solstice is the shortest day and longest night of the year. While the effects of winter are just building up steam, as it were, the Earth and Sun are actually progressing back towards Spring!

The text of The Hobbit goes further to suggest that a late November or early December date for Durin’s Day simply doesn’t fit. The “doorstep” of the Lonely Mountain is described as being a hidden, pleasant area adorned with a carpet of grass, and the valley below it as having grass “for the ponies to eat” (The Hobbit, ‘On the Doorstep’). Obviously, this implies living, green grass, as can still be found in middle and late fall, not the dead brown grass of early winter, which would not be refreshing to either ponies, dwarves, or a lone hobbit. Keep in mind, too, that The Hobbit is set in an environment analogous to early 20th century rural Europe, the climate Tolkien was familiar with, where late November and early December are marked by mostly barren and dead vegetation, if not snow-covered ground. Since Tolkien himself drew the mountain as having a snowy peak, presumably year-round, this implies that the lower slopes of the mountain themselves have a significant elevation, and thus would be subject to colder temperatures fairly early in winter. Yes, that’s a supposition, but the likelihood of green grass thriving on a mountain slope in December or even November remains on the thin side. But note also that Bilbo can still see the pale leaves of Mirkwood, even from the heights of the Mountain. Given the distance from forest to mountain, it’s unlikely even a sharp-sighted hobbit could discern leaves on mostly barren trees, as would mark late November. So these natural details imply a climatic season more in line with October or very early November than the onset of climatic winter in December.

So what then determines the “Threshold of Winter” for the dwarves? A clue can be taken from the very nature of Durin’s Day. The key elements of Durin’s Day are not the progress of climate or the changes of the seasonal cycle—neither of which the dwarves would much note, living their lives largely underground—nor even the progression of the stars (as would fascinate the elves), but rather the position of the sun and moon, the sole sources of natural light that would enter the dwarves’ underground halls.

If the progression of the sun and moon are then the method for determining Durin’s Day and the Dwarven New Year, then the progression of sun and moon are probably the determining factor in their dating of the seasons. We can see this significance in the earlier passage where Durin’s Day is first mentioned—when Elrond spies the magical “moon-letters” on Thror’s Map in Rivendell, and notes:

“They can only be seen when the moon shines behind them, and what is more, with the more cunning sort it must be a moon of the same shape and season as the day when they were written… These must have been written on a midsummer’s eve in a crescent moon, a long while ago.”                                                                                   

The Hobbit, ‘A Short Rest’

Clearly for the dwarves, the position of the moon is significant in everything to do with their calendar.

So wcountry-road-autumn-mountain-sunsethat does this mean for Durin’s Day and the “threshold of Winter?” It means that the threshold of Winter is based on the position of sun and moon, not on weather. You or I might call it “Autumn” when the first chill hits the air, and we begin to notice the color of the fall leaves begin to rise amid the green. But not a dwarf. A dwarf calls it “Autumn” when the sun and moon say it is Autumn, and Winter when they say it is Winter. We must then go back to look at events like the Summer and Winter Solstices as our marking points. Using these as our guideposts, knowing that the dwarves would define these events as the midpoint of Summer and Winter, we see that the other seasons would be similarly defined. So, are there any solar and lunar events that mark Spring and Autumn? Yes—the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes.

The Equinoxes mark the days of the year in which day and night are exactly the same length—clearly an event of significance to dwarves when it comes to the light entering their caverns! The Autumnal Equinox occurs in mid-September, usually around Sept. 21st. Like the Winter Solstice, it marks not the beginning of Autumn, but rather the mid-point of it.

7000954491_b90f823e4a_bSo, to the dwarves, if the Autumnal Equinox is the mid-point of Autumn, and the Winter Solstice is the mid-point of Winter, what then is the “threshold of Winter?” Why, it is naturally the point when the sun is mid-way between Autumn and Winter, occurring sometime in late October or early November. In fact, we celebrate this very point in time today—Halloween. In the original pagan cultures of Celtic and Germanic Europe, the halfway point between the Autumnal Equinox and the Winter Solstice marked the time when Winter rose to claim control over the world. It was also a time when the Underworld supposedly opened—an idea whose echoes we see when the last light of Durin’s Day reveals the secret passage into the depths of the Lonely Mountain! (Tolkien, who held the Chair of Medieval Literature at Oxford, knew his mythology.) So is Halloween Durin’s Day?

No. Because while Halloween might be “the threshold of Winter,” it is not necessarily the date when “the last moon of Autumn and the sun are in the sky together.” But it is the moon cycle that overlaps Halloween which points us to Durin’s Day. One therefore need only determine what cycle of the moon coincides with Halloween, and then look for the day on which that cycle is first visible in the evening sky—the first night of the new crescent moon, shining alongside the setting sun. This day is Durin’s Day.

And what does that mean for us? Well, according to The Farmer’s Almanac, in 2014, the first visible crescent moon* after the New Moon, with a cycle that overlaps Halloween (“the threshold of Winter,”) is listed by the U.S. Naval Observatory as occurring on October 25, with a moonrise time of 7:39 AM, CDST**, and a moonset time of 6:25 PM, CDST. Sunset occurs at 5:01 PM, CDST. Thus, our Durin’s Day this year is Saturday, October 25th.

So, on that evening, go out and look westward for the thin moon in the early evening sky. And as the sun sets, have your key ready– for a thrush may knock nearby, and the last light of Durin’s Day might reveal a passageway to dwarven gold.e16d6b6e-6001-436d-b597-cf02d43ddd05

 


Notes:

*Although the New Moon is on October 23rd, the following evening of the 24th only 1% of the surface is technically illuminated, which is invisible to the naked eye—even a hobbit’s. On October 25th, the illumination rises to 4%, which is readily visible as a thin crescent, low in the western sky. Moon phase visibility data from Stardate.Org

Moonrise, moonset, sunrise and sunset data from the United States Naval Observatory. You can look up this information for any year using their online table creator.

** Central Daylight Saving Time

All text and illustration references: The Hobbit, or There and Back Again by. J.R.R. Tolkien, 70th Anniversary Edition with illustrations by J.R.R. Tolkien, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2007, Copyright 1995 by The J.R.R. Tolkien Trust Company.

Zombie Transformation

By the Library Reference Assistantzombie

backstory

  •  WHO WERE YOU AS A HUMAN? WHEN DID YOU LIVE?
  • OR DID YOU CLAW YOUR WAY OUT OF A GRAVE?
  • ARE YOU FRESHLY TURNED, WEEKS UNDEAD
  • WAS IT A CURSE?
  • DID YOU CATCH A RAGE VIRUS?
  • WERE YOU BITTEN?

 

supplies

  • LIQUID LATEX
  • TOILET PAPER
  • WHITE CREAM FACE PAINT
  • FLESH-COLORED CREAM FACE PAINT
  • AN ARRAY OF CREAM FACE PAINT IN WOUND COLORS (BLUE, PURPLE, RED, BLACK, YELLOW, ETC.)
  • PAINTBRUSHES, COTTON BALLS AND/OR COTTON SWABS
  • FAKE BLOOD
  • MILK CARTON (OPTIONAL)

 

wounds

  1. APPLY LIQUID LATEX AND RAGGED TOILET PAPER FOR DEEP GASHES. RIP OPEN ONCE DRY.
  2. FOR SHALLOW CUTS, APPLY THIN LAYERS OF LIQUID LATEX, ALLOW TO DRY AND TEAR OPEN.
  3. BLEND WHITE OVER WHOLE FACE.
  4. FILL WOUNDS WITH RED AND BLACK. BLEND OUTWARD WITH BLUE, PURPLE AND DASHES OF YELLOW FOR A ROTTING EFFECT.
  5. BE SURE TO APPLY DARK COLOR UNDER YOUR EYES FOR A SUNKEN LOOK.
  6. APPLY FAKE BLOOD TO WOUNDS AND MOUTH.
  7. FOR ADDED EFFECT, USE MILK CARTON CUTOUTS AND LATEX TO SIMULATE BONE.


Helpful Links


shamble

 

Calling Teen Artists

artistDo you like to draw, paint or sculpt? The Teen Department of the Franklin Main Library invites you to join our Teen Artists Club. This club is open to any Williamson County resident, age 12-18, with an interest in the visual arts, including drawing, painting, sculpture and more. To kick off this new club, we’ll be hosting Nashville artist Susan Eaddy and author Julie Hedlund presenting “Turning Words Into Art,” the story of creativity and collaboration behind their new book My Love For You Is the Sun.

Susan Eaddy is an accomplished artist and graphic designer, known for her three-dimensional clay “paintings,” which she then photographs to create unique illustrations. Together she and Julie Hedlund will discuss how they worked together to turn Julie’s beautiful poetic story into an equally stunning book. Combining the skills of sketching, painting, sculpting and photography, nearly every aspect of the visual arts comes into play in this amazing tale.

The Kick-off Event is open to everyone, and will be held downstairs in the Children’s Activity Room in the Children’s Department, this coming Thursday, October 9, at 4 p.m.. We hope to see you there!

About Our Artist:

Susan Eaddy is an award-winning illustrator and art director, who received a Grammy nomination for her CD cover art design (Los Super Seven, 1998), and has created numerous illustrations for children’s books and magazines.

Susan Eaddy; “ One of the reasons I enjoy clay so much is that I don’t really know how to do it.  Each illustration is a discovery process as I study nature and animals and try to figure out how to bring them to life in clay. My finished clay critters live in pizza boxes, and I suspect that they play at night while we slumber.“ (from her website, ClayThings, www.susaneaddy.com.)

About Our Author:

Julie Hedlund left a career in banking to become a full-time children’s author. She began with the award winning storybook apps A Troop is a Group of Monkeys and its sequel A Shiver of Sharks. A Troop is a Group of Monkeys was later published as a hardback picture book. Her latest book is My Love For You is the Sun with artist Susan Eaddy.

Julie Hedlund: “People often ask me why I write for children. I write for children because I want to make their lives better through books. Yes, books educate children, give them adventures, escape, and entertainment. But books also give children hope. And what could be more important and profound than that?” (from her website, http://www.juliehedlund.com)

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

IncarceronBy Howard Shirley, Teen Library Assistant

Finn doesn’t know who his parents are, or even if he ever had any. All he remembers is waking up inside the terrible prison of Incarceron, a prison so vast it seems to be a world all of itself. Finn doesn’t know how he came to the prison. The one thing he does know, is that he doesn’t belong here, and unlike all the other prisoners, he’s certain there was a time when he wasn’t inside Incarceron. And that he must escape. But there is no escape from Incarceron. The prison sees to that— because Incarceron is alive, with a mind of its own, and eyes that watch his every move, and powers that defy understanding.

Claudia knows who her parents are (or were). She knows where she is and who she is. She is the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, the mysterious prison which no one has ever been to and no one can find, except the Warden. Claudia may not be imprisoned, but her life is far from free. Her entire future has been planned out for her, from birth on. She has been promised in marriage to the heir to the throne, to be the Queen of a rather odious future King, and the pawn of whatever power game her cold and sinister father is playing. Claudia’s desire to escape is every bit as strong as Finn’s—and to do it, she knows exactly what she needs to do: find Incarceron and fling wide its hidden, impenetrable doors, sparking a revolution.

But neither escaping from or finding Incarceron are going to be simple tasks; indeed, they may both be impossible. Because Incarceron is not what it seems to be, nor what it was meant to be, and the secrets behind it all are beyond either Finn or Claudia’s wildest imaginings.

Part fantasy, part science fiction, Incarceron is a grand adventure inside (and outside) a fantastic world unlike any other. Full of twists and turns and unexpected revelations, it’s a book that’s as hard to predict as it is to put down—you may guess some of Incarceron’s secrets, but you won’t guess them all. And unlike Finn, once you enter Incarceron, you won’t want to escape.

CALL NUMBER: YA F FIS

Recommended for all readers.

 

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

71GXQFa+RRLBy Robin Ebelt, Reference Department

I can’t imagine living in a world where birds no longer fly, plants and animals are difficult to keep alive and the weather is even more unpredictable than living in middle Tennessee! The Reestablishment has tried to fix things but they are not being too successful. Seventeen year old Juliette has been locked up in prison and is on the verge of starvation! Now the Reestablishment wants to use her as a secret weapon!

As the plot enfolds, this dystopian/romance definitely entertains. My favorite character is Adam, the love interest, because I love the background story that connects him to Juliette. What intrigues me about this novel is the clever style in which Tahereh Mafi wrote the book. I love the way she crosses out Juliette’s initial thoughts and follows them with a more vanilla version. It is a neat way to hear the truth see what the character is thinking. The book is packed with metaphors and imagery—perhaps a bit overboard but I survived.

I would have to say that I liked this book. I’m still not completely certain of what special “superhuman” power Juliette possesses. How did she get it? How will the Reestablishment try to use it? Why does it affect some people and not others? Will she learn to control it?

I guess that’s what the sequel is for. I just hope it doesn’t veer into the comic hero genre.

Summer Reading at WCPLtn

TEENSRP2014By Erin Holt, Teen Librarian

What a great summer we’ve had at the Library! Our Teen Department had over 450 book reviews submitted and 13 awesome teens won various prizes, including an iPad Mini, Kindle Fire tablets, and Barnes & Noble gift cards! Everyone beat the heat at the library, stopping by our 2nd floor Teen Fiction room to cool off with a good book, play on the computers, and meet up with friends. We’re looking forward to fall and have some exciting new programs including Lego Mindstorm, Minecraft, and Wii gaming! Keep reading and we’ll see you at the Library!

News from our Teen Department

ErinHWe are pleased to announce that Erin Holt is the new Teen Librarian at the Main Library in Franklin. Erin brings with her a Masters in Library Science from Queens College (New York), experience working with teens at the New York Public Library, a love of all things social media, a flare for collection development, and fresh and exciting programming ideas for the teens and tweens of Williamson County. You may know Erin if you’ve stopped by the Reference desk, as she has been with WCPLtn for the past 4 years. Erin can’t wait to connect with the teens both in person and online with various programming initiatives set to launch this year. First up? The new “Imagination Station,” which includes Nintendo Wii, Minecraft, Lego Mindstorm, and other multi-media programs. Between this and other upcoming ideas, Erin plans to turn the Teen Department into a community hub for Williamson County teens. Keep yourself in-the-know & follow @wcplteen14 on Twitter. See you at the Library!

The Pros of Chess

0225By Robin Ebelt, Reference Department

What game gives you constant feedback, shows your psychological strengths and weaknesses and gives you great possibilities for self-improvement? It’s chess, of course. You don’t play? No problem! It’s never too late to learn how to play chess. The Williamson County Public Library has a Chess Club that meets monthly in the Young Adult fiction room. All levels are welcome!

Why should you play chess?

  1. Chess is cheap!
  2. Chess is a game for people of all ages.
  3. Chess develops logical thinking.
  4. Chess develops memory.
  5. Chess improves concentration.
  6. Chess develops analytical, synthetic and decision-making skills, which they can transfer to real life.
  7. Chess shows that success rewards hard work.
  8. Chess is part of the curricula in nearly 30 countries. In Venezuela, Iceland, Russia and other countries, chess is a subject in all public schools.
  9. Chess is always changing. There is always new theory, new players, new puzzles and ALWAYS new game.
  10. Chess is fun!

Come join us! The Chess Club will meet August 2 at 2:00 PM in the Young Adult fiction room. All levels are welcome!

Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

By Robin Ebelt, Reference Department

hushhushI love a good young adult trilogy, so several of my librarian friends encouraged me to read Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. This weekend, I finally plowed through it although I felt like I was reading Twilight again. I understand that Hush Hush is a book about the paranormal but this one didn’t do it for me.

Nora Grey, a sixteen year old sophomore, lives pretty much alone. Her father was murdered last year but we are given no details about that. Nora’s mother is on the road with her job leaving her teenaged daughter at home for days at a time. Sure she has a housekeeper/cook throughout the day, but she’s alone at night. Really?

In biology class, the teacher pairs her with the dark mysterious “fallen angel” Patch who literally gets in her head. Thus ensues the reluctant romantic relationship between Patch and Nora. Another creepy guy, Elliot, shows her some interest and hostility without a clear purpose. Even Nora’s best friend, Vee, gets swept along with the excitement of some attention from the new guys at school.

I have to admit that while I didn’t feel connected with the book, I was intrigued enough to finish it. I had to read on to find out who really was the bad guy and I needed some resolution to the weird things that were happening in Nora’s life. I wonder if Nora’s father’s murder might be connected to some of the paranormal activity in this book. I guess I’ll have to read the sequel to find out.

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