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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Book Review - Eon: Dragoneye Reborn

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn (Eon, #1)Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

16 year old Eon has a lot going on - she's hoping to be chosen as an apprentice to one of the 12 energy dragons, she's training to master the martial arts and energy channeling required for that job, and she's compensating for the injury that has left her lame for most of her life. Oh, and she's also hiding the fact that she's a girl, a fact that would lead to her immediate death if anyone finds out.
There's a lot to like about this book. Eon is a strong female character, capable of doing so much although occasionally making some really poor decisions. She is smart, loyal, and strong, even when she doesn't know it.
The world building is rich and imaginative, clearly drawing much from Asian culture and history. The descriptions of the energy dragons are so evocative, I can clearly picture them in my mind!
There's some romance in the story, and some threatened sexual violence which makes me reluctant to recommend to tweens, but it would be a good choice for 7th-9th grade readers, especially those looking for strong female characters and interesting fantasy worlds. Give to fans of Tamora Pierce's Alanna books and Hunger Games.
Marie, Teen Librarian

View all my reviews

Thursday, August 25, 2016

My Thoughts on the Rio Olympics

Hello everyone and welcome back to school! While school took full effect last week, I still made sure to make time to watch my favorite television: the Rio Olympics!

The Olympics were absolutely incredible: over 200 nations cametogether to celebrate the peak of athleticism, which is why millions of us tuned in every night to watch. There are tons of crazy things that go on, but when I'm watching, here are my thoughts:

The people chosen to perform were actually indigenous Brazilians!
1. This opening ceremony and environmental theme is AMAZING.
2. OMG look at how they are moving those weird glowing strings.
3. Giselle Bundchen walking across the stadium is one long moment.
4. Yes! Michael Phelps is the flag bearer that makes me proud.
5. The refugee Olympians are perhaps the most inspiring group of individuals and they SO deserve it!

Jessica Parratto and Amy Cozad compete in the synchronized diving from the 10m platform.
6. It's been 24 hours and Katie Ledecky has already broken a record. Casual.
7. Who is this superwoman Simone Biles and why am I only just watching her now?
8. Yes, Laurie Hernandez is the cutest, spunkiest person to ever grace the world stage.
9. The world has been blessed with the beauty of synchronized diving.
10. OMG that platform is 10 meters and they are FLIPPING off it?!
11. Um, hello judges are you awake because that was a perfect 10!

The "Final Five" are all so talented it's impossible to choose a favorite.
12. Doesn't it hurt your brain to wear two swim caps like that?
13. Why does Michael Phelps always wear those headphones?
14. I think Michael's baby boy Boomer is the real MVP here.
15. You keep killing it Katie Ledecky.
16. So many of these swimmers go to Stanford, my home turf! #fearthetree
17. When a female gymnast is 5'3 she looks like a giant.

Phelps is the legend that makes us proud.
18. Aly Raisman is a returning legend and Simone Biles is the new one. Go USA!
19. Madison Kocian you may have got silver but if it were up to me you'd be the gold ;)
20. Michael Phelps is starting his last individual race - don't cry.
21. Michael is swimming (and slaying) his last relay - don't cry.
22. Michael is at his last award ceremonies and he is crying and now so am I.
23. Honestly how is USA so good at swimming?

Simone Manuel (who attends Stanford University!!!) has this priceless reaction to winning gold in the 50m final.

24. So what are those little statues they get at the medal ceremony? (I did some research on this one. As opposed to giving medal winners flowers as the Olympics have done in the past, Rio is extending their theme of sustainability by giving out these Rio figurines/metal holders instead. Pretty cool!)
25. What's the likelihood they tie when they measure to 0.01 seconds?

Mo Farah and Galen Rupp are friendship goals.
26. Track and Field has started and I'm not looking back
27. You're a true athlete when you fall in the 10,000 meters and still win. (Ahem, Mo Farah).
28. Is it okay that I rooted more for South Africa in the 400 m final than Team USA.
29. They just jumped 7'5" in the high jump, soooo yeah.
30. Usain Bolt has arrived. And he has won it. Again. Go Jamaica!
31. The sportsmanship in the women's 5000 meter prelims is beyond inspiring.

Still a little crazed, to be honest. The Bahamas wins with a dive!
32. When I watch the steeplechase and hurdles I forget that they are running faster than I could ever AND simultaneously jumping over barriers.
33. Oh no the Olympics has just a few days left :(
34. I will keep humming along to the Olympic theme every time it plays.
35. It is now midnight and I have watched five hours of this.
36. Team USA is #1 in medal counts. Rep that red white and blue.
37. Tokyo 2020; I'm ready for you.

What are some of your random observations from the Olympics?
I hope you enjoyed this year's games as much as I did! Also, I invite you to check out my predictions from earlier in the Spring for Team USA to compare to the results!

Written by Katia G., Homework Assistant

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Dive Into Teen!

Next week marks the beginning of the Teen Summer Program series with Dive Into Teen!

Join us to talk about what you've been reading, learn about awesome new books, and play a few games!

Snacks will be provided.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Favorite Documentaries

Girl Rising
What's to love: I've seen this stunning documentary three times, and each time it has managed to re-inspire me. It tells the story of several different girls from around the world as a method for addressing girls' education on an international scale.
See the trailer here
How to Watch: You can download the movie online here

What's to love: Just like Girl Rising, this is a documentary that will take you on a trip around the world. Happy is on a search to determine what makes us, as humans, happy.
See the trailer here
How to Watch: Happy is available on Hulu here
Exit through the Gift Shop
What's to love: Documentaries are a fun way to learn about a topic that is particularly foreign. Herein lies the appeal of "Exit through the Gift Shop", which chronicles one filmmaker's attempt to track down and befriend Banksy, a world renowned street artist who has famously managed to keep his identity a secret.
See the trailer here
How to Watch: Exit Through the Gift Shop is available on Netflix.
What's to love: Babies chronicles the first year of four babies, from San Francisco, to Tokyo, to Namibia, to Mongolia. It's awesome to see how different infanthood is around the world.
See the trailer here
How to Watch: You can stream"Babies" via Amazon here
Chef's Table Episode 1
What's to love: While each of the six episodes that make up Chef's Table is interesting in a unique way, the first of the series was by far my favorite. This installment follows Italian chef Massimo Bottura's rise to prominence in the culinary world. There are also elements of this episode that feel like a romantic comedy so it's a win-win.
See the trailer here
How to Watch: Chef's Table is available on Netflix
The Woman Who Wasn't There
What's to love: File this one under 'weird but strangely engrossing'. IMBD describes this doc as "a psychological thriller that goes inside the mind of history's most infamous 9/11 survivor." What makes Tania Head, the former president of The World Trade Center Survivors' Network, so infamous? Head was never in the Twin Towers on 9/11 and her "epic story of grief was a complete fabrication". 
See the trailer here
How to Watch: "The Woman Who Wasn't There" is available on Hulu
The House I Live In
What's to love: I was really surprised by how engrossing this story was. "The House I Live In" explores America's ongoing "War on Drugs" from the perspective of everyone from the "dealer to the grieving mother, the narcotics officer to the senator". This movie will provide a whole new perspective on one of the US's most pressing domestic issues.
See the trailer here
How to Watch: "The House I Live In" is available on Amazon.

First Position
What's to love: For those outside of the world of dance, First Position provides a fascinating look at the cut-throat daily lives of the world's most elite ballerinas.
See the trailer here
How to Watch: First Position is available on Netflix and iTunes

Post written by Allie, Homework Assistant

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Milk Tea

By now, it is more than likely that you have tried milk tea at least once, with many shops in Mountain View.  If you have somehow never heard of this drink or want to learn more, read on.

What is it?
Milk tea starts off as regular tea (either black or green) that is mixed with syrup and condensed milk. From there, things like powder, fruit, or artificial sweetener can be added for flavor. This allows for specialty flavors like caramel or honeydew. Finally (and most distinctively), mix-
ins like chewy tapioca balls (also known as boba) or fruit jelly can be added for texture.

How Did it Start?
There are many origin stories on the internet but it is widely accepted that milk tea had its start in Chun Shui Teahouse in Taiwan. Liu Han-Chieh, the founder, was inspired to make iced tea after seeing iced coffee on a trip to Japan. From there, product manager Lin Hsiu Hui poured tapioca balls into iced tea on a whim during a boring meeting. Loving the drink, the shop put it on the menu, where it sold very well. The company decided not to trademark the drink, allowing it to spread throughout the world.

Where to Get It? 
As mentioned earlier, milk tea has spread globally. For some local milk tea, check out these Mountain View shops: 

In downtown Mountain View: Teaspoon, Tea Era, Jazen Tea, Verde Tea, Tapioca Express 
Near Mountain View High School: Ocha, Tea Annie 

I hope you find this post informative! Feel free to share some of your favorite milk tea spots in the comments.

Written by Jenna M., Homework Assistant 

Monday, May 23, 2016

International Summer Festivals

With less than a month left in school, summer can't be coming any quicker. While waiting for that lovely time, I began wondering how other countries celebrate summer and what festivities they have. This is what I found:

1. World Bodypainting Festival (Austria)  
This colorful festival takes place in Carinthia, Austria for one week in July. Tens of thousands of people from 40 countries around the world travel there to learn about the craft and enter an intense competition with some of the best bodypainters in the world. The festival is open to the public, so families often visit to see the bodypaint and the accompanying dance performances.

2. White Nights of Summer (Russia) 
"White nights" refer to the extremely long daylight hours in St. Petersburg. The residents of the city take advantage of the lack of night by holding festivities from May to July. One of these festivities is street markets selling ice cream and large, juicy watermelon called arbus. One of the most iconic events of this time is the Stars of the White Nights Festival, which takes place at the Mariinssky Theatre. This festival features daily performances such as ballet, opera, and classical music concerts.

3. Sonar (Spain):
Sonar is a multimedia music festival that takes place in the Museum of Contemporary of Museum Arts in Barcelona for three days in June. This festival features music, fashion, and films. The focus in sonar is in electronica music, but there have been performances from artists in other genres such as M.I.A., Bjork, and the Beastie Boys. There are also performances of more experimental genres such as "digital concert". Clearly, if you are a music lover, this is the place for you.

4. Tanbata (Japan)
Tanbata is also known as the Star Festival and takes place on July 7th. This festival has its origins in traditional Japanese mythology involving the stars Vega and Altair (known as Orihime and Hikoboshi in Japan, respectively). In that story, the two stars were lovers that were separated by the Milky Way, and they can only meet on that day. To celebrate this meeting, people write poetry or a wish onto paper streamers and hang them on either bamboo or a Wish Tree. 

Do you know of any other interesting festivals? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

Written by Jenna M., Homework Assistant 

Teen Summer Reading!!!!

Image result for summer scene
It's almost summer and that means it's time to sign up for Teen summer programs at the library!

We've got some favorites - henna, beaded jewelry, hula - and some brand new programs - folded book art, learn to solder - there's something for everyone!

Registration for programs is open now! Click here to go to the summer program flyer. Click on the name of any program you want to register for and the registration page for that program will open in your browser.

Sign up for as many programs as you want, but only for programs you are going to actually attend!

Questions? Email