2017 Teen Poetry Contest Winners!

It is always a joy to judge the KCLS Teen Poetry Contest, but the joy is always mixed with a bit of trepidation: What if nobody submits a really great poem? (Somebody always does.) I've included brief notes from the judges below each entry (italicized and marked with an *) as well. 2017 WINNERS   "Mi familia" […]

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Teen Poets Wanted!

There once was a writer from Issasquah... A melancholay Puget Sound poetess... There was a Young Lady whose Rhymes... Hmmm. Writing poetry isn't as easy as it looks. But WAIT! It doesn't have to rhyme! Teen poets may submit their verse (whether it rhymes or not) to the annual RHYME ON Teen Poetry Contest from April 1 through […]

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“What books can I share with kids about a dying pet?”

Collie sitting and looking up expectantly

One of the hardest topics for parents to talk about with children--especially young children--is death.   Death is sometimes scary. It's mysterious, and often sad. Most of us want to protect the children we love from scary, sad, and mysterious situations. However, if you live a life with animals as I do, you need to know about […]

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Road-Rage Busters: Great Audiobooks to Make Traffic (Seem) Less Horrible

You know how the book is always better than the movie? Well, it doesn't work that way with audiobooks! Some books are great reads, and some are also great to hear. Some are--gasp!-- even better heard than seen.  Also: audiobooks written for young audiences are often delightful for adult listeners, and audiobooks written for an older […]

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Book Review: Ghosts

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier Catrina and her family move to Bahia de la Luna because Cat's little sister Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool salty air from the sea. Soon the girls and their family learn that the town and nearby mission is haunted--and the townspeople welcome the ghosts. They even throw a big […]

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Better than underwear: book gift suggestions for teens

"On the First Day of Shopping, Old Santa said to me..."   Want to give your favorite teens and tweens a gift more fun than underwear?  Here are some suggestions:   Mighty Jack (graphic novel) by Ben Hatke Mighty Jack I thought that nothing would ever supplant my fangirl love of Hatke's Zita the Space Girl, but Mighty […]

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How do you KNOW it’s a hoax? (or: How to outsmart the Internet)

Animals laughing

Whether it's the latest rumor about Facebook stealing your photos or the warning you got from a friend-of-a-friend about razorblades in the Hallowe'en candy, how do you know if it's bogus, outdated, or just plain wrong?   Here are few tips to help you OUTSMART THE INTERNET: 1. Consider the distance from the source, (or: Where did […]

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What is NaNoWriMo?

NaNoWriMo logo coat of arms with viking horn hat, coffee mug, laptop computer, pens, and notepads

National Novel Writing Month: a marathon of authorship, a crazy pell-mell excursion into composition, a headlong dive into WRITING THE FIRST DRAFT OF A NOVEL IN 30 DAYS! I speak from experience when I say that you probably won't write a great book in a month. First drafts are rarely great. But once you have a first draft, why, […]

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Do you wanna read something SCARY (but not too scary)?

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I love scary books. But I don't like being scared. It's kind of a problem. When kids at the library ask me for "scary books," I push back a little. How scary? Do they want spooky, or creepy, or yukky? Would they prefer horrifying or shocking? Or would eerie and strange be better? I offer the following list as suggestions for middle-grade readers who like […]

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Wanna hear something REALLY scary?

Do you know the one about the time some guys picked up a hitchhiker...but when they got to their destination, the hitchhiker had vanished? Or the one about the lady who always wore a red ribbon around her neck? When I was growing up, everybody told scary stories. Kids told them to younger kids. Teachers told them to […]

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