Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

Title: Walk on Earth a Stranger 
Author: Rae Carson
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (an imprint of Harper Collins)
Publication Date: September 22nd, 2015

26183396_952765984874865_5612646709608841216_n
Photo Credit: @stephanieleannebookish

There’s something so charming about Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson. At first, I was captivated by the plot and how the story opens. So, it’s 1849 and the Gold Rush is in full swing, but our main character, Leah Westfall, has an impossible secret. Leah has the magical ability to sense gold and it seems someone may be onto her secret after all.

The story opens with the death of Leah’s parents and the discovery that her Uncle, the only living person to know of Leah’s secret, has swiftly come into town to take ownership of her home, her rights, and her “witching” powers. So, Leah changes her identity and hightails it West to California.

Now, I thought this story would read more like a fantasy novel, but it reads more like a historical fiction with a magical realism twist. Leah’s magical ability is what causes the plot to move forward, but overall the story is rich with historical detail and the gruesome realities of traveling across America in search of Gold.

While I could spend a deal of time discussing how much I enjoyed the plot, though admittedly slow at times, the characters are what makes this series worth reading and ultimately what kept me engrossed. I lived for these characters, even the characters who nestled under my skin. I continued to root for each character and hope for their well being in the end.

I have read a total of five YA Westerns and have come to the realization that fleshed out and flawed characters paired with character development is what makes or breaks a Western. Yeah, you can have a thrilling shoot ‘em up, but what about the parts in between when the characters have to spend three months crossing a boring desert? That’s right, you get to know the characters, and Carson does an amazing job fleshing out and developing her characters. I am so attached to almost every ‘good’ character we meet that I feel as if I know them and I continue to think about them every day… and truly I don’t cry easily, but lord help me this book had me shedding a tear left and right!

A solid 4/5 ⭐️ read!

-Steph (Assistant Teen Librarian)

Everless by Sara Holland

Title: Everless
Author: Sara Holland
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: January 2nd, 2018

“What if the person to be feared is me?”

26318883_331501570700159_3390563061680046080_n
Photo Credit: @stephanieleannebookish

Everless by Sara Holland was an interesting read, but not my favorite. The world building is a bit lacking, so what I will say is our main character Jules lives in a world where time is currency (much like that Justin Timberlake movie In Time) and one never truly knows how much time they have left. Jules and her father used to live on a wealthy estate in Everless as a blacksmith and servant, but one day Jules saves Roan after his brother, Liam, pushed him into a fire, and everything changes for Jules and her father. Years and two different towns later, Jules and her father are in dire need of time and she must go back to Everless to help serve at the royal wedding, but once Jules arrives back in Everless she is wrapped up in a mystery that might explain everything about her past.

As I said, the world building is a bit all over the place and it took me a bit to piece together what was what, but it didn’t take away from the main point in the story, which was figuring out Jules past. Everless is shrouded in mystery and it’s what kept me so engaged, I wanted to know what was happening just as much as Jules.

As for characters, I actually like Jules and her determination. It never felt like she had the wrong motivations when it came to why she chose to go back to Everless and essentially put her life in danger in order to get closer to the Queen. Only once did I question her decisions, which is saying a lot. I do feel that the characters were fleshed out for the most part, but I wouldn’t say I connected with any of them, even Jules. I liked a few of the characters, but most of them were forgettable. Even Roan, who Jules gushes on and on about, is a cardboard cut out of a character. Though I will note that due to the ending of the book this could serve an overarching purpose, but as it stands I couldn’t care less about his character or if he develops an actual personality.

Although Everless reads like your typical YA fantasy and falls into some of the trope traps, Holland does a beautiful job of twisting tropes and conventions that made the story seem fresh. I mean TIME AS CURRENCY, what a horrific thought. Overall, the story fell flat for me and I am afraid over time I will stop caring about the plot and the characters (not that I cared about the characters much, to begin with).
So this ended up being a 3/5 for me.

-Stephanie (Assistant Teen Librarian)

The Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely

Title: Gunslinger Girl
Author: Lyndsay Ely
Publisher: James Patterson
Published: January 2018

26182350_192944431298261_6056002461154410496_nPhoto Credit @stephanieleannebookish

“Welcome to Cessation, Serendipity Jones. The last place on the continent where you can do whatever the hell you want.”

I am not sure what has come over me, but Westerns are my jam right now and it all started with The Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely! The story itself is actually set in the future, though we aren’t given a concrete time, it’s a time that has surpassed technological advances (think Westworld).

Basically, the story is set in North America after the country went through a devastating Civil War. After the war and a shift in power, a new government was established called CONA and they forced the inhabitants of America to live on separated communes, women are sold for large sums of money due to a high infertility rate, and the world resembles the old west once again. Our main character Serendipity “Pity” Jones is a sharpshooter with big dreams, but her abusive father wants to sell her off. As you can imagine, Pity isn’t having it and she runs off to Cessation, a city considered the seedy underbelly of the world, thus our plot begins to unfold!

I highly recommend this to anyone who is apprehensive about Westerns because it doesn’t read as you’d expect. The beginning is a tad slow, but it’s worth it in the end. The plot moves quickly and there are twists and turns around every corner, you never know who to trust, and the political intrigue is unbelievable. At the same time, this story is quirky and full of imagination. Everyone in Cessation must work for their keep and Pity is tasked to join the theater and use her sharpshooting as the star act. While this sounds epically cheesy, it is so much fun.

My personal favorite aspect of this story? The characters! Each character was fleshed out and unique. I lived for the banter and the theater performances and felt like I wanted this band of misfits as my friends. Did I mention that there is a slow-burning and sweet romance?

Overall I gave The Gunslinger Girl a 4/5 and would highly recommend for anyone looking for an action-packed and thrilling read.

–Steph (Woodland Public Library LTA)

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Title: An Ember in the Ashes
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Publisher: Razor Bill an imprint of Penguin Random House
Publication Date: May 2015

24127162_189630938253992_81536221787979776_n(1)Photo Credit: @stephanieleannebookish

“All the beauty of the stars means nothing when life here on earth is so ugly.”

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir is a dual perspective desert fantasy. Our first perspective is Laia, and Laia is a Scholar. Scholar are essentially slaves to the empire, although they have some agency within their lives they must live by strict rules of the Empire enforced by the Black Cliff Army or the Masks. Our second perspective is Elias, who happens to be a Mask in training, but he wants to flee the academy as soon as he graduates. And thanks to some unthinkable events, both Laia and Elias are forced to make some hearty decisions which bring them together as one and alter the course of their future for good.

I loved this book. While I know AEITA is very much a foundational book there is no lack of raw grit, emotional turmoil, and realism to the overall plot. Despite the fact that there is a magic system developing and we are seeing small fragments of that system unfolding, AEITA focuses on the intricacies of the relationships established and developing, rather than trying to info dump an entirely new and complex magical system.

Speaking of relationships there’s are a lot of love circles(?) happening within the story, though I will admit it didn’t bother me as much as the typical love triangle. Mainly due to the fact that the love aspect didn’t steal the spotlight, rather the motivations and politics were a more compelling plot point. And if anything the storyline and brutality stole my attention.

As for characters, I loved them all, good or bad, and how they interacted with one another. It says a lot when you’re dying to see what the villain of the story is going to do next. For me, a story needs to have both compelling and complex characters as well as an interesting storyline, although if there are a whole cast of well fleshed out characters I am okay with a lacking plotline, and honestly, AIETA nailed the complex characters as well as character development.

Overall this was one of the best YA fantasies I’ve read and I recommend this to all my fantasy lovers, bearing in mind this is a foundational book.

I gave An Ember in the Ashes a 4.7/5

–Steph (Woodland Public Library LTA)

the princess saves herself in this one

This poetry book written by Amanda Lovelace is an empowering read for women and girls everywhere. With poems ranging in size, the words are captivating and can be interpreted in many ways. The Princess Saves Herself in this One is based off of some of Amanda’s own experiences, thus bringing the words to life.

Best for older teens as it deals with mature themes and topics.

19672502 flat,1000x1000,075,f 

If you are a fan of Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey, check out this poetry book!!!

Summer 2017

We started with a graduation ceremony for our senior TAB members in June and throughout summer held various events and activities for teens and children.

18620187_1326792624070511_1729393964991886656_n

A popular activity was our Teen Paint Day, where we had one of our TAB members, Amber, teach other teens how to paint.

Teens logged in over 150 hours of volunteering during the Summer Reading Party, Thursday Maker Days, Farmers Markets, Performance Set-up, Homeless Shelter Dinner, Window Display, and Square One Opening.

We appreciate all of you and thank you so much for helping build a better world in your community!

Teen Book Review: Seeker

Seeker by ARWEN ELYS DAYTON

Quin Kincaid has been trained all her life to become a Seeker: someone who protects the weak and less fortunate to keep peace in the universe. She has trained beside her two best friends, John and Shinobu, and the three of them plan to fight as Seekers together. The best part is that Quin will be with the one she loves, who also happens to be one of her best friends.

The night of her Oath to become a Seeker however, she finds that being a Seeker is not what she thought at all- and neither is her family, or the one she calls her true love.

Seeker is a fast paced novel filled with action, romance, and betrayal; it is the first of three books, highly recommended for fans of science fiction!

Review by,

Anoushka Sharma

Former TAB member and current Library Page

745.5 Square One!

The Teen Advisory Board helped out during the library’s grand opening of Square One!

On Sunday, July 2, from 2-5 pm, the Woodland Public Library opened 745.5 Square One, a nearly 2000 square foot makerspace and community learning lab located on the ground floor of the Library.

A makerspace is an area dedicated to education through creation where users can imagine, explore, and collaborate in hands-on learning, design, and production. The Makerspace Movement has gained momentum in recent years worldwide as a creative, collaborative space outside home, school, and work to explore and learn. This movement aligns with the library’s mission to provide education and literacy to the community. “Libraries have always been on the forefront of providing public access to emerging technology that isn’t readily available to most consumers,” stated Greta Galindo, Woodland Public Library Director.

The name of the space, 745.5 Square One, refers to the Dewey Decimal classification (how the library sorts nonfiction books) for ‘handcrafts’ (745.5) and to the place people return when they need to rethink an idea or try again (Square One).

Square One will provide the opportunity for patrons to learn important skills that can be used in the workforce—from drafting and design to the hands-on work of crafting circuit boards. Square One is designed to be a modular space to bring together the community to share knowledge and collaboratively problem solve. The central design hub, sponsored by Sunrise Rotary, consists of a dozen laptops and 8 work tables that can be rearranged for classes, large projects, or smaller group work. Surrounding the design hub are 5 work areas: a prototyping area, an art and textiles area, an enclosed wood shop, an electronics bench, and a digital arts station. These areas have all been created to be flexible spaces that can expand or contract as classes, presentations, and use require.

The Prototyping area, sponsored by the Dowling family, features a laser cutter for cutting and engraving plastics, wood, and some metals, as well as 2 3-D printers, large and small computer controlled cutting devices, and supplies to design and create projects. The Art and Textiles area, sponsored by the Thordsen Family and Woodland Sewing and Vacuum Center, consists of two portable self-contained sewing machine units, jewelry-making supplies, and other fiber arts. The wood shop contains a CNC-router, panel saw, drill press, band saw, and a full complement of hand tools for woodworking projects. The Electronics Bench, sponsored by Luna Vista Rotary, holds 3 vented soldering stations and supplies for projects ranging from introduction soldering to advanced robotics. The Digital Arts corner, also sponsored by Luna Vista Rotary, holds 2 computer workstations outfitted with myriad programs and applications for designing objects to be produced in the prototyping and wood working areas as well as for audio and video editing. This area also features video and still cameras for use.

This Open House marks the culmination of two years of work, planning, construction, and collaboration with numerous organizations. This project was funded through Measure E and J funds, and the generous financial support of the California State Library and the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), the Dowling Family, Dan Chervinskas from American Industrial Coatings, the Thordsen Family, Luna Vista Rotary, Sunrise Rotary, Meg and Tom Stallard, and Pavel and Alla Tkachuk at the Woodland Sewing and Vacuum Center. The Woodland Public Library thanks our generous community for their support of Square One.

Alex and Eliza: A Love Story

51dKyfgX6xL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_       Alex and Eliza: A Love Story is the perfect read for anyone obsessed with the musical Hamilton. This cute and romantic book written by Melissa de la Cruz explores the relationship between Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler.

     This is a fictional novel, even though some of the characters are real people and there is real places mentioned. The story switches perspectives, so you get to see what both Eliza and Alex are thinking.

    If you want to know more about the love story of Elizabeth and Alexander, pick up this book!

“Not very much is know about Alex and Eliza’s romance, except that they fell hard and fast and were so in love that Eliza carried a poem he wrote for her in a necklace she wore until the day she died.” -Melissa de la Cruz, page 358: Acknowledgments 

 

Woodland Public Library Facilities Maste

Woodland Public Library Facilities Master Plan Community Meeting
The Woodland Public Library will hold its final community meeting regarding the Facility Master Plan on Wednesday May 17th at 6:00PM in the Library Leake Room. The facility master planning process will assess the current state of facilities; analyze community and library use demographics; create a common vision based on community input; and consider new library service possibilities. The planning process began in February 2017 and will conclude in June 2017. Community input was solicited through community meetings and surveys. The Library anticipates that the Facility Master Plan will form the foundation of a future building program for the expansion and/or renovation of the existing library to meet the community’s learning needs, abilities, demographics, and changes in technology.
Please join us to learn more about the library’s future in our community.
For more information please contact: Greta Galindo, Library Services Director at 530-661-5980 or library@cityofwoodland.org http://ow.ly/i/umEIR