Meet the new Teen Services Librarian!

Hi! My name is Sara and I am the new Teen Services Librarian/Teen Advisory Board Advisor for the Woodland Public Library. I’m so excited to be here and I can’t wait to meet you all! I moved here from Redding, CA, but I am from Michigan, specifically the Metro-Detroit area (I can show you on the hand map, which all Michiganders learn from birth).

Here’s some quick facts about me!

  1. My favorite book is: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. I’m currently reading: Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  3. My favorite color is: Blue or sea foam green
  4. My zodiac sign is: Libra
  5. My favorite movie is: The whole Lord of the Rings Trilogy, but if I had to pick one, it would be Return of the King.
  6. My Hogwarts House is: Slytherin
  7. My favorite place I’ve lived is: Burlington, Vermont.
  8. I can’t wait to visit: New Zealand!
  9. What I’m looking forward to as the Teen Services Librarian: To meet TAB members, plan some really fun events, and help the community!
  10. If I could have a fictional character as a best friend, I would choose: Gandalf, probably. Although, Cassian from Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J Maas is a contender.

I hope to see you all at our meet and greet event on May 27 at 4:00. You can always email me via the contact page or at

QuaranTEEN Book Review by Lydia

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas, this book, simply put, is a masterpiece. Dumas writes so elegantly, with unexpected plot twists, well-rounded characters, and great literary devices, and this book is a must-read for the sense of adventure, wonder, and themes of revenge woven throughout the book.

Not only did I get a great grasp of the characters, but their heartaches and triumphs resonated deeply with me, and I couldn’t put it down. The only downside to this book is the different narratives following each character, and many character’s stories do not tie together until the end, which can make this book a little hard to follow.

That being said, The Count of Monte Cristo is hands down the best book I have ever read. It combines a genius plot line with amazing themes, such as mercy, love, revenge, hope, and the characters have such depth to them, and truly come across as human beings, making rash mistakes, falling short of their potential, crying and, for some of them, rising to make the most of a difficult situation.

This book will always be treasured and is a must-read for its depth.

QuaranTEEN Book Review by Lydia

I loved this book. Classified as a romance novel, Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson, was not solely based alone on the romance angle of the plot, with some action intermingled with character development.

I grew to appreciate the characters for themselves and wanted to cry when they did something stupid and scream happily when they overcame a fault. For me, that is the crowning jewel of the book, if I cannot relate to the character’s struggles or there is no development in their moral character, I lose interest, but that was definitely not the case with this book.

All of the main characters had some visible faults, some overcame them and some let it rule and dictate who they were. This book is a keeper for sure, with the plot moving at a greater speed than some of the original romances like Jane Austen, and is perfect for readers who need quickly moving plots to hold their attention.

QuaranTEEN Book Review by Brianna

This book was honestly one of the best books I’ve ever read. It was really intriguing, and when I started reading I couldn’t put the book down. I read Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus before this one and it’s the reason I chose One of Us is Lying.

This book in my opinion was even better than the one I read before which makes me want to read more of her books. In this book they are trying to figure out who killed Simon and I like how each person has a reason why they would want him dead, which makes them all suspects.

In my opinion this makes the story even more interesting because you start trying to put the pieces together but because there are so many people who don’t like him, it makes it harder to solve the mystery and leaves you wanting to read more.

I also really like how they tell the story from each character’s perspective because you get a different idea from each person and what they say sometimes changes your opinion or idea of some of the characters in the book. That being said, I definitely think this book is great and worth reading especially if you love mystery books.

QuaranTEEN Book Review by Thomas

Crime Travelers Book 1: Brainwashed by Paul Aertker is rated five out of five stars.

Lucas Benes, 13 years is a crime fighting super spy! Living in a hotel and being hotel-schooled is very boring. That all changes the day he is on a roof and sees a abandoned baby in a shopping cart.

He is kidnapped but then strangely is set free. Lucas, his sister Astride and three of there friends travel to Paris in France, to try and stop the villainous Siba Gunnero, and her horrible Good Company. Will they be able to stop the kidnapping and brainwashing or will they fall victims themselves?!?!?!

I thought this was a outstanding book! I love books with super spy action and adventure. This book had both. This book is great for ALL ages. Also all ages will love it. ( ALL AGES). It has a perfect combination of spy, action, adventure, mystery, comedy, teenager(ish) power with a healthy dose of French. I recommend this book for anuone and everyone. #GreatBook!

Covid Chronicles from Woodland’s Teen Librarian

Plans before COVID-19. The last thing we were able to do (thankfully) was the SAT Prep Camp, which the SAT scores won’t even matter anymore (so not thankfully but also thankfully, lol this was a point of contention with some of my TAB teens).
I’m still going to plan for TAB graduation celebration because I have over 10 graduating seniors that deserve to be recognized! Aside from our virtual Shout Outs and Grad Video, I’m wondering if I can have them still come to the library and stand 6 feet apart in the library’s Rose Garden, for a short socially distant ceremony… Probably not feasible but a nice thought!

Our library staff and TAB group are all big on bullet journaling, everyone from our director to the TAB members own bullet journals. However, I must admit that once the pandemic hit, I have rarely used my bullet journal. I am actually a big writer (a librarian that likes to read and write!?) so I’m kind of shocked at myself for not writing as much, especially since it has always been therapeutic and a productive activity for organizing my life (GSD).

I even encourage (force) my own two teen sons to write in their journals for at least 15 minutes a day, and have encouraged my TAB teens to journal for stress relief. But honestly, I think the real reason I’ve been avoiding journaling (besides my horrendous handwriting) is that it’s kind of depressing to see all the things we had planned for the Library and the Teen Advisory Board.

I mean look at all those annual events that we’ve put on in previous years and excitedly planned for…. Which just makes me really feel for my graduating seniors and all the activities they will miss out on. Yes, I know that grandpa had to leave for WWII right out of high school when he was a teen (much respect), but that doesn’t take away from the sadness and disappointment from our current students.

Like many librarians, whose libraries have shut down due to #covid19, I have moved all my programming to online platforms like Zoom, Instagram and Facebook. Our TAB members have been meeting every Wednesday and we even joined forces with our neighboring TAB group at Solano County Library to talk and brainstorm ideas to engage teens online. Yet, nothing beats being able to hang out with your friends, peers, teachers, and library folks in person. These online meetings are really only the next best thing.

Sometimes, our meetings are lively and fun, other times we discuss how anxious and stressed we are feeling. We still have AP tests and finals to study for, in between bouts of boredom and getting lost in the latest Manga series. It’s been nice to see each other face to face, and for the most part we have had a consistent attendance and everyone has joined at least one meeting (there are 30 TAB members). While the plans we had before Covid have been cancelled, we are learning to adapt.

We can still have that game night, talent show, graduation celebration, and Summer Reading Program through virtual and socially distant means. Keep up to date with our plans on IG @WoodlandPublicLibrary or Facebook (for the parentals). As we move to slowly and partially reopen the library (no official date on that yet) our teens are resilient and want to share this message with the world:

-Rhea Gardner

Teen Services Librarian for Woodland Public Library

QuaranTEEN Book Review by Jane

The book The House Next Door by Darcy Coates is about a young woman who lives next to a haunted house: Marwick House.

Over the years many have lived in this house and all have left after a mysterious sighting. The last family left in the middle of the night leaving all of their belongings behind. Eight months later a young woman moves in all by herself. Josephine the main character, greets her new neighbor and learns a bit about her.

This book is not your typical ghost story. I loved this book because from the beginning and throughout all the following chapters it kept me guessing what was going to happen next. Almost every ghost story tells the same thing, but in this one I never knew what to expect.😃

QuaranTEEN Book Review by Eryn

ember in the ashes

The book An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir is a wonderful read!

It has a very unique story line and very interesting imaginary lands. Thanks to Sabaa’s amazing illustrations you can see where the story takes place and what the protagonist is seeing. You can imagine the layout of under ground secret tunnels, a school built on violence and cities full of rebels.

This book has horror, adventure, romance, and mystery all mixed up in one fantasy realm where monsters lurk around every corner taking on different forms and appearance were Laia (a free-born Scholar) has to work her way through a maze of finding herself, saving her brother, and figuring out who to trust in a world that is made on darkness and lies.

I would recommend this book to teens who want to shake up their reading list because it puts the reader in a totally new and unexpected experience.

QuaranTEEN Book Review by Ariana

Spaced out

The book “Spaced Out” by Stuart Gibbs was very intriguing.

I read the first book in the Moon Base Alpha series “Space Case” and when I found out there was more I immediately wanted to read it. As soon as I did, I was not disappointed.

The book is science fiction and mystery. The quote “I had a sudden flash of inspiration. Some things that had baffled me all day was starting to make sense” had left me wanting to read more. This book was very funny and interesting.

As I was reading the book in my mind I kept thinking of what was going to happen next and trying to predict it, so if you like books that keep you guessing then this is a good book for you.

Black History Month

As we celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and approach Black History Month, I wanted to curate a list of books focused on own voices books.

Though I am of the opinion that we should be reading as diversely as possible generally, considering that diversity is not a box we should be checking off for reading challenges.  I’d like to challenge all of you to step outside of your possible comfort zone and check out some of these amazing books that range in genre and message. I’d even suggest participating in the black-a-thon hosted by Jesse from the booktube channel Bowties & Books

Here are the details regarding the black-a-thon:

Black-a-thon will take place in February and is a celebration of black history, community, identity, and future. Join myself and my co-hosts as we read some fantastic own voices books with black protagonists!

Twitter Challenge: Movie watch along & IG/Twitter discussion on @Blackathon1 twitter DATES: FEBRUARY 7 @ 6PM CST: Coming to America (Comedy)
FEBRUARY 14 @ 6 PM CST What Men Want (Contemporary)
FEBRUARY 21 @ 6 PM CST Love and Basketball (Romance)
FEBRUARY 27TH @ 6 PM CST Black Panther (Celebration)

Twitter Blackout Dates. Black folks will post a selfie with hashtag #blackathon2020. YES mixed race/light skinned folks count! Feb 7th Feb 14 Feb 21 Feb 28th

Instagram Challenge: February 15 – 21nd
Day 1 – Mirror Image: Cover recreation or homage
Day 2 – Slept On: a book no one talks about
Day 3 – Call and Response: A Community Recommendation
Day 4 –
#BlackBoyJoy: A lighthearted comfort read
Day 5 –
#BlackGirlMagic: SFF with a black protagonist
Day 6 – POSE: Black LGBTQIA+ author or character
Day 7 – My Kitchen: Book covering black mental health or disability

Hashtag: #Blackathon2020 **MUST tag me in these IG posts (Lauren isn’t doing this challenge so just tag me)
If you post for all 7 days you can win our
#blackathon2020 giveaway!

Youtube Challenge:
Janelle Monae: LGBTQIA+ SFF book with black protagonist.
Nnedi Okorafor: A work of Afrofuturism centering a complex and advance society Feel free to use this Goodreads list for recs…
David F Walker: A SFF comic/graphic novel by a black author with a black protagonist Dhonielle Clayton: A SFF book with a cunning and ambitious black protagonist

Bassey Ikpi: A work exploring the intersection of mental health and/or disability in black folks
Marlon James: A work that isn’t set in the United States and does not center the black American narrative
Alexa Martin: A lighthearted work that doesn’t center “the struggle” (racism/poverty/drug use) and features powerful romantic or platonic bonds
Akwaeke Emezi: A work where a black protagonist challenges preconceived notions of blackness and what “black” means; a black revolutionary character

Blackathon Tag: (Same questions as the IG challenges)
Q1 – Mirror Image: Cover recreation or homage
Q2 – Slept On: a book no one talks about
Q3 – Call and Response: A Community Recommendation
Q4 – #BlackBoyJoy: A lighthearted comfort read
Q5 –
#BlackGirlMagic: SFF with a black protagonist
Q6 – POSE: Black LGBTQIA+ author or character
Q7 – My Kitchen: Book covering black mental health or disability

Afrocentric Books:…
Afrofuturism Goodreads Shelf…
Googledoc of all the challenges:…


Here’s a list of books I’ve enjoyed or would like to read this year!