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: @stephaniebookish

“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 story line, although if there are a whole cast of well fleshed out characters I am okay with a lacking plot line, 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

-Stephanie, Teen 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.

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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.

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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

Open Mic Night March 31, 2017

Tab’s Open Mic Night was a great success! We had over 40 people attend and share their talents, ranging from reading poetry, playing the guitar and singing. Everyone had a lot of fun in the spotlight and we look forward to hosting another Open Mic Night!

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Open Mic Talent Show

Teen Book Review: The Sword of Summer

“The Sword of Summer” is the first installation in Rick Riordan’s series, “Magnus Chase and the gods of Asgard.” The book is set in modern day Boston where a homeless orphan learns that he is the offspring of a powerful Norse god. His adventure begins with his questionable ‘courageous’ death after which he is taken to the Norse afterlife where he learns he has to save the worlds from doomsday. He meets several characters in his journey: dwarves; elves; gods and goddesses; and even very big scary monsters during his quest.

Having read many of Riordan’s books, I can say that this book does not fall short of being a great writing like his other works. I highly recommend reading this book and every other book of the series to be struck by how awing an imagination can be. This book is not just fiction, it is a way of learning new things and perspectives like most books are.

Review by,

Moye, 12th grade

TAB’S MARCH UPDATE

TAB had it’s first all day training for the year on Saturday, February 25 from 8:30-2:30 in the Leake Room. 28 TAB members earned 6 hours of community service as they learned the following skills; leadership, public speaking, event planning and time management.

UC Davis’s Early Academic Outreach Program volunteered 6 Student Assistants to facilitate the training including, Maryam Irfan who was instrumental to the success of the Yolo Youth Rally. 

What made this year’s training special was that we had our TAB members; Abbigail, Anoushka, Amber, Rosaamelia and Mia assist with the training by talking about how they utilized their skills in TAB, school and life. These young ladies have been active in TAB for over 2 years and were able to share their experience and knowledge to new TAB members.

Anoushka describes the training;

This past weekend, TAB had its first training of the new year, and I was privileged to have been a co-facilitator, alongside UC Davis students from the Early Academic Outreach Program. I helped lead the welcome, then led parts of the leadership section and then led an activity called ‘Outburst’. I liked how this training went; I think it was much better than the previous trainings because it was entirely student-led, which gave room for personal stories and a change of voice. 

I think for the next training, senior TAB members should have slightly larger parts that they can take over themselves, and they can practice before hand to make sure they know their parts. I think student-led trainings can be more effective in cases like these, and it would be great to see that for TAB in the future. 

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All of TAB is gearing up to use these skills for upcoming events that include;

  • Open Mic/ Talent Show
  • Teen Pool Party
  • Teen Summer Reading Program/ Book Club
  • Homeless Shelter Dinners

We are meeting today to continue planning these events! Stay tuned! If you would like to get involved, sign up and I will contact you.

We meet every FIRST WEDNESDAY of the month at the library. Our next Saturday Training is March 25th, 8:30-2:30 at the Yolo County Office of Education at 1280 Santa Anita Court, Woodland.