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Posts from Muhlenberg Library

"Wildwood": A Review

I was drawn to Colin Meloy's Wildwood for two very superficial yet important reasons.  

First, the cover is spectacular!

Carson Ellis has done illustrations for Lemony Snicket's The Composer is Dead and Trenton Lee Stewart's The Mysterious Benedict Society. In Wildwood, Ellis gives the readers a beautifully illustrated 

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"The Magnolia League" by Katie Crouch

In The Magnolia League, Alex is a free spirit that is forced to move in with her grandmother after her mother’s mysterious death. Alex doesn’t want to leave her commune in California, and Savannah, Georgia seems like a world away from everything she knows. 

What Alex doesn’t know is that she is part of Savannah royalty. She is a rightful, albeit unwilling, member of the Magnolia League, Savannah’s longstanding and mysterious debutante 

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Hand Made Summer Camp: Graphic Tees

Hey there summer campers!

We are working on a great new blog post that includes making your own mini loom! Until then, check out a blog post from last year, Graphic Ts! Enjoy!

Have you ever gone to a trendy clothing store, looked at very cool graphic tees, and said, "I could totally make that!"

I've had these moments a lot (I'm looking at you Urban Outfitters!) and finally decided to become an amateur T-shirt designer, using a fun project that I found in Todd Oldham's easy-to-follow craft book

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Summer Reading Kick-Off: Top Chef Edition

What do you get when you combine 11 teenagers, two brave judges, and a shopping bag filled with after-school snacks? Muhlenberg Library’s first annual “Top Chef” competition!

Last Friday, teens at Muhlenburg Library used everyday food to make extra-ordinary after school snacks. The results were simply delicious! (Most of the time.)

To host a “Top Chef” program, you’ll need a grab bag of snacks (the more random they are... the more interesting the finished products will be!), and a variety of utensils, plates, cups, and 

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Hand Made Summer Camp: Lace Stencils!

Welcome back to Summer Camp! I hope you had fun with Jessica’s paper people — I know I did! This week, we’ll be using lace as a delicate and unique stencil. You can use fabric lace or paper doilies (as I used in this project) on any number of things: t-shirts, paper, or one of the many free tote bags everyone seems to have nowadays.

This week's craft was inspired by a project in the book Print! 25 Original 

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Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

Sunny is accustomed to being different. She was born in New York City but lives in Nigeria. She has the same features as her West African family, but she is an albino. The people in her community don’t know what to make of her, so they stay away or call her names.

In school, Sunny makes new friends in Orlu and Chichi, who reveal that they have magical powers and suspect that she does too. It turns out that Sunny is a “free agent,” someone who’s powers are not hereditary. Usually, people with these powers are from a magical family and 

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Hand-Made Summer Camp: Online Projects

Hi there!  Our next craft will be posted on Tuesday, May 31th  and until then, here are some fun project ideas that we found online: If you liked the checkerboard card project, then you'll love: pop up cards!  I found this project (complete with very helpful pictures) on the blog Oh Happy Day. The project was created by Michaela who has her own great blog ... Read More ›

Hand-Made Summer Camp: Checkerboard Cards!

Hello and welcome to Hand-Made's Summer Camp!

Our first project is making woven cards, adapted from Sarah Swett's book, Kids Weaving.

For me, weaving has always been a summery craft. The summer before second grade my mother took me to visit a family friend in New Mexico who worked on a large loom in her home. She took the time to show me the ins and outs of working with a loom but I 

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Drought by Pam Bachorz

For nearly 200 years, Ruby and her mother have led their group of congregants through years and years of backbreaking work, hoping for the return of Otto, Ruby's father and their leader, to come and save them. They are forced to harvest water, an almost impossible task, and are beaten if they don’t reach their quota.    Ruby dreams of freedom and when Ford, a handsome Overseer, promises to bring her into the modern world, she is tempted to leave. But it is her blood that keeps the congregation alive. Leaving would mean death for the people ... Read More ›

Hand-Made Project: Terrariums!

My favorite way to celebrate Earth Day is to bring more plants into my home.  But sadly, the plants rarely make it to see Memorial Day.  For all of you out there who want to fill their homes with plants, but then have trouble keeping them alive, terrariums might be the answer. 

I've always loved terrariums but they were a mystery to me.  How do they stay alive?  What materials do I need?  Why can't I make them look like the plants I see in magazines or in the

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Book Review: "What Curiosity Kills"

On March 18, Muhlenberg Library was lucky to host a panel of amazing writers who read from their newest books for teens.  Helen Ellis was the first author to arrive at the panel, so I had the chance to get to know her a little bit and meet her mom! The Library had just ordered copies of her first book for teens, called The Turning: What Curiosity Kills, but sadly, didn’t make it in time for the ... Read More ›

Meet Muhlenberg's Staff: Ashley Curran

We've gotten to know a lot of wonderful patrons that come to Muhlenberg and thought that we would return the favor. 

Ashley Curran has been the site manager of Muhlenberg since September 2010 and has already made big changes in the branch. 

How did you get started working in libraries?   Whilst finishing my bachelors in history at Hunter College I took a part time job as a bibliographic assistant at The New York Society Library and was mentored by a number of the ... Read More ›

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month: A Booklist

Dating violence is a problem that is unfortunately all too common in teenagers' lives.  Abuse comes in many forms.  It can be physical as well as emotional, verbal and sexual, and it can happen to anyone.  This week, Marie Hansen, superstar librarian at Jefferson Market, posted a list of resources for people who are either in an abusive relationship or who know someone who is in an abusive relationship. 

YA literature has tackled this difficult subject in 

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Kick-Starting Creative Habits

Have you always meant to start a craft or hobby and froze when faced with a blank canvas, empty music paper or a glowing computer screen? You are not alone. Starting creative projects has always been on my New Year's resolution list. This year, I’m doing some prep work before facing that blank canvas and looking at books about developing your creativity written by people who are established artists in their own right.


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TAG Reviews: Our Favorite Books Right Now

At our last Teen Advisory Group (TAG), I asked members what books they would recommend to other YA readers. After some debate, we put together a list and I learned a few things. The Hunger Games still reigns supreme, Harry Potter is now a classic, and Twilight is so 2010. Enjoy!

Books that Stand Alone:

Lockdown: Escape From the Furnace

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TAG reviews: Mario and Sonic and the Olympic Games

Last Friday, Muhlenberg’s Teen Advisory Group got together and played Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games. Everyone had an opinion and I thought it would be perfect for the very first “TAG reviews” installment. Let me just say that the reviews were very mixed…   Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games (played on the Wii)   Can you play this game alone?   “Yes!” (x3) “No, I need people” “Oh yeah!” “No, its ... Read More ›

Smart Girls

I read an interesting article recently about the lack of strong female characters on television. The article mainly looked at Gossip Girl as a show without any positive role models and then curses the networks that canceled Veronica Mars and My So Called Life. In some ways, I have to agree. I mean, Gossip Girl is just crazy, who visits prison inmates in backless dresses?! And I’m also in the special group of people who still hope for a Veronica Mars movie (time to let that one go I think). Luckily for teenage girls everywhere, YA novels are celebrating smart and ... Read More ›

The Best YA Books of 2010

In December, you can always depend on yearly round ups.  The best movies are debated online and in magazines along with favorite albums and the most entertaining celebrity train wrecks.  I love going through these lists and comparing them with my own personal favorites.  While I was putting together a "Best Books of 2010" display here at Muhlenberg (which was inspired by my need to display our TEN copies of Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins) I came across some "Best of 2010" lists with really great suggestions.  Perfect if 

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Pretty Monsters: A Review

Kelly Link’s Pretty Monsters is a collection of beautiful short stories ranging from fanciful to scary horror. To give you an idea of what the stories are like I'll just tell you about the first one I read.  It’s about a teenage boy who leaves a collection of his poetry in the coffin of his dead girlfriend.  After a few months, he decides that he wants his poetry back and has to dig it up.  The story is called "The 

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Family Ties: A Book List

The holidays are on their way, and nothing says holidays like mandatory time with family! 

Sometimes your family is your rock and sometimes your family is the rock that is chained to your leg after you are thrown in the ocean. Usually they are something in between. I put together a booklist about families; the good, the bad, the creepy and the homicidal. Consider it my holiday gift to you. 

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