Top 3 Right Now: Superhero Movie Edition

What is the best Superhero film you’ve ever seen? We’ve seen an explosion of superhero movies being made in the past 10 years, so there are certainly a lot to choose from!

Marta – the Teen Librarian at our Marysville community library – has been kind enough to give us her top 3 right now (though she notes she’s pretty excited to see Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther in the coming months).  So, Marta, what are your top 3 Superhero Movies and why?

Wonder Woman: It felt like I waited my entire life for this movie. I saw it twice at the theater and would go again. Sno-Isle Libraries has over 90 of the DVDs on order. The DVD will definitely be worth the wait. Meanwhile, gear up for the Amazon princess by streaming the Wonder Woman: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (composer Rupert Gregson-Williams) using the library’s Hoopla service. Cue up Track 8, “Wonder Woman’s Wrath” first and you’ll be ready to take on No Man’s Land all yourself, even if you don’t have a magic lasso.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Get “Hooked on a Feeling” watching the movie that seriously doesn’t take itself too seriously. While the fate of 12 billion people lies in the hands of criminals, look for all the ways the filmmakers poke fun at the superhero movie tropes, especially during the power walk when Gamora pops her jaw and Rocket is his uncouth but lovable self. You can stream the awesome mixtapes that make up the soundtracks for Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 at the library’s Hoopla service. You could also make your own awesome mix using the library’s Freegal service, where you can legally download 3 MP3 files every week.

Captain America: The First Avenger This movie has everything a more-traditional superhero movie has: An origin story steeped in mad science, Nazis, Red Skull and Hydra vs. Cap, Bucky and the indomitable Agent Carter. The action scenes will keep you on the edge of your seat, Chris Evans brings heart and kindness to the role, and the special effects with Cap’s vibranium shield are tons of fun to watch.”

What do you think, readers? Does your Top 3 list look like Marta’s at all?

Next week we’ll be featuring a list of the Top 3 Soundtracks to Listen to in the Car!

If you’d like to submit your favorite soundtracks, email and tell us:

1- The title of 3 Soundtracks you love,

2- A sentence or two about why you love that particular soundtrack.


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College prep planning: all about the FAFSA part two

Financial aid for college can be confusing. Sno-Isle Libraries is partnering with Andrea Main of Main Education Consulting to provide a series of free college preparation planning programs at the MarinerMukilteo, Granite Falls and Snohomish Libraries this fall. Andrea provides personalized advisory services to individual high school students, and their families, as they navigate the college admissions process. She has over nine years of experience as a college admissions adviser. In 2017, Main Education Consulting was awarded Best of Everett’s Educational Consultant award.

In advance of the college preparation programs, Sno-Isle teens brainstormed their best questions about college and Andrea answered them. Each week we feature new questions.

List the top three reasons why we should get a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

  1. Federal, state and institutional grants/scholarships (money you do not need to pay back)
  2. Federal loans:
    1. Subsidized loans: for students with need: you do not pay loan interest while you are attending school or for a 6-month grace period after leaving school, and
    2. Unsubsidized loans: available to students with no demonstrated need, students must pay interest for the entire length of the loan.
  3. Work study –students with a predetermined level of financial need may be eligible for part-time paid work on campus.

How long is the process to filling out the FAFSA?

If you have all your documents on hand, allow 1 hour to complete FAFSA.  FAFSA is reasonably straight forward.  You should never pay someone to assist with completing your FAFSA—it is a FREE Application for Federal Student Aid.  If you need help, College Goal Washington offers free assistance in October and November for families completing financial aid applications.

Where does FAFSA money come from?

The FAFSA is used to determine the amount of financial aid available to a student in need.  The aid provided to the student comes from federal financial aid programs, state financial aid programs, and institutional aid.

My friend at Everett Community College did not graduate high school, but she is in a program similar to Running Start where her classes count as college and high school credits. Since she does not have a high school diploma but she is enrolled in EvCC, does she qualify for FAFSA? If you have a GED instead of a high school diploma, can you still qualify for FAFSA?

Running Start or other dual enrollment students are not eligible to apply for federal or state aid through FAFSA. Students with a GED who are applying to an eligible degree or certificate program can apply for financial aid through FAFSA.  Since there are some “ability to benefit” alternatives to having a high school diploma or GED, it is always prudent to check with the financial aid department of your prospective college to determine eligibility.

How will FASFA help me in the future?

The FAFSA form is used to calculate a student’s eligibility for federal, state and institutional financial aid.  It helps students with financial need afford college or eligible certificate programs.  Attaining a higher level of education typically improves a person’s employability, earnings, promotability and ability to sustain employment.

When is the due date?

FAFSA opens October 1st for all students who plan to attend college the following fall.  Each college will set its own financial deadline, check their websites.  Students are encouraged to apply to FAFSA as early as possible to get their best possible financial aid package.

What are the things that are being changed this year from past years?

There were two big changes in FAFSA that occurred for the 2017/20118 filing.  FAFSA now opens on October 1st of each year and families use income data from the “prior-prior” year (this year’s FAFSA filings will use information for 2016).

If you have been homeschooled through high school or earlier, can you still apply? How would that work?

Home schooled students who are applying to eligible degree or certificate programs can apply for financial aid through FAFSA.  They should select the “Home schooled” high school completion status on their FAFSA forms.

Come to the Sno-Isle Libraries’ college planning series at one of our community libraries.

College Planning: Fundamentals of Financial Aid and Scholarships with Main Education Consulting to learn more about the FASFA.

College Planning: Touring a College

And check out College Planning: Getting an Early Start

You can also find more information about college planning on our life after high school page!

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Trailer Tuesday: Allegedly

Trailer Tuesday: Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

Contact Marta @ the Marysville Library with book trailer suggestions or post in the comments below.

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Readers’ Corner: Romance

Everyone could use a little more love in their life, especially as we head toward chilly weather and grey skies. This week’s featured teen booklist is will add some romance to your life. Do you like your romance realistic? Set in a fantasy world? In graphic novel format? Do you like to go back in time, or travel to another country, or just enjoy something local and homespun? The variety of titles on this list has got you covered. There’s even one about a romance between two teens being used as pawns in a supernatural wager in 1930s Seattle. And it’s an amazing book.

Sno-Isle Teens Booklist: Romance

Or if you’re looking for something a little more specific, try one of these other romantic booklists:


Happy reading!

Melleny @ Mukilteo Library

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Featured Event: College Planning: Fundamentals of Financial Aid

Need to know more about college financial aid? Perhaps this program will help –

College Planning: Fundamentals of Financial Aid
The rising costs of college and increasing levels of student debt are regular news items. A college education is often a family’s second largest investment—behind the purchase of a home. Andrea Main, of Main Education Consulting, will teach you how to choose a college that fits your family’s financial profile and avoid overwhelming debt. Learn how to find colleges that offer need and/or merit based scholarships, understand how need-based aid is applied, and know how to use the new timelines for financial aid to your best advantage. For families with students in 8th – 12th grades.

@Mariner Library
Thursday, September 21
5-6:30 p.m.

@Snohomish Library
Saturday, September 23
2-3:30 p.m.

@Mukilteo Library
Saturday, September 30
2-3:30 p.m.
Please pre-register for this session here.

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Weekend Book Giveaway: Before I Let Go

This week we’re giving away an Advanced Reader’s Copy of Marieke Nijkamp’s Before I Let Go. This won’t be published until next January, but you could be one of the first to read it!

From the publisher:

Days before Corey is to return home to the snow and ice of Lost Creek, Alaska, to visit her best friend, Kyra, dies. Corey is devastated―and confused. The entire Lost community speaks in hushed tones about the town’s lost daughter, saying her death was meant to be. And they push Corey away like she’s a stranger.

Corey knows something is wrong. Lost is keeping secrets―chilling secrets. But piecing together the truth about what happened to her best friend may prove as difficult as lighting the sky in an Alaskan winter…

For your chance to win tell us about a city or town you love to visit and what makes it so special! Or tell us about a city or place you would like to visit and why you want to go there!

Winner will be picked on Tuesday, September 19th with the assistance of Random Number Generator. Be sure to leave a name with your entry, and check back to see if you won. To win you must be a teen (6th-12th grade, or age 12-18) who uses a Sno-Isle Library.

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Top 3 Soundtracks to Help you Stay Awake While Studying

This school year, we’re changing up our “Top 3 Right Now” recommendations to include all kinds of media – television shows, movies, music, and, of course, audiobooks and books in general.  We’ll be featuring recommendations from our community librarians, YA authors, and YOU (if you should choose to take on the challenge).

Today’s list of “Top 3 Soundtracks to Help you Stay Awake While Studying” comes from Lynnwood’s teen librarian, Jocelyn.

So, Jocelyn, what albums do you suggest our students listen to while they’re studying?

“Whenever I needed to study, movie soundtracks were the perfect accompaniment. Why? Well, I found that if I listened to music with words I’d begin singing along, or inadvertently writing the words to the song, rather than focusing on my homework. If this scenario sounds familiar, you may want to try listening to soundtracks too! Here are my top 3 suggestions to try out – and you can listen to all of them for free using our library’s digital music services, too!


The Lord of the Rings Soundtracks – any of them, really!

The soundtracks to the Lord of the Rings movies contain softer moments interspersed with intense musical selections. Perfect for keeping you awake!  (Follow the links below to listen to them for free using our Hoopla digital music service!)

The Fellowship of the Ring

The Two Towers

The Return of the King


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Part 2
As a huge Harry Potter fan, hearing the theme song for the series imparts a sense of happiness and comfort. The soundtracks for The Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2 are two of my favorites, and will, hopefully, put you in a positive frame of mind, even if your homework is proving challenging or tiresome.


The Last of the Mohicans

This soundtrack is full of music that is by turns intense and stirring, and sweeping and beautiful. It will easily fade into the background, until the change in tone startles you into re-focusing on your studies.”


What do you say, readers? Do you like to listen to soundtracks when you study, or do you prefer jamming out to your favorite band while you study? What soundtracks are your favorites?

Next week: Top 3 Superhero movies!

Submit your top 3 superhero movies to (along with a couple of sentences about why you think they’re the top 3), and we’ll see how it compares to Marta from our Marysville library’s list.

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College preparation planning: all about the FASFA part one

Financial aid for college can be confusing. Sno-Isle Libraries is partnering with Andrea Main of Main Education Consulting to provide a series of free college preparation planning programs at the Mariner, Mukilteo, and Snohomish Libraries this fall.

In advance of the college preparation programs, Sno-Isle teens brainstormed their best questions about college and Andrea answered them. Each week we feature new questions.

Will I need to fill out the FAFSA every year?

Completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the starting point for need-based financial aid and must be completed each year. While each college has its own deadlines, the FAFSA application opens on October 1st each year for the following school year. That means, this year’s high school seniors, college freshmen, sophomores and juniors will complete their FAFSA application in October of 2017 for college they will attend in 2018/19. By submitting your application early, you maximize the amount of aid you can get.

What’s the difference between FAFSA and EFC?

The FAFSA  is the application for federal student aid. The FAFSA is used to determine a family’s EFC (Expected Family Contribution) and, consequently, a family’s eligibility for need-based financial aid (federal, state and institutional).  The EFC is the least amount a family will pay for college, usually they will pay more. Since families must apply for federal need-based aid each year, a new FAFSA must be filed each year and the EFC is recalculated each year.

Even if I don’t think I’m eligible for financial aid, should I still fill out the FAFSA? I have heard that only low-income students are able to receive money.

The FAFSA will determine if you are eligible for federal aid.  However individual schools and states may use the information from your FAFSA to award their own aid.  If you are applying for merit-based aid (where family income is unrelated), your prospective college may still require that you submit a FAFSA to be eligible to receive that award.

Who is eligible to apply for federal aid through the FAFSA?

In general terms, to be eligible for federal student financial aid, you must

    • Be a citizen or eligible noncitizen of the United States.
    • Have a valid Social Security Number.
    • Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate, or have completed homeschooling.
    • Be enrolled in an eligible program as a regular student seeking a degree or certificate.
    • Maintain satisfactory academic progress.
    • Not owe a refund on a federal student grant or be in default on a federal student loan.
    • Register (or already be registered) with the Selective Service System, if you are a male and not currently on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.
    • Not have a conviction for the possession or sale of illegal drugs for an offense that occurred while you were receiving federal student aid.

For more specific details regarding eligibility visit the FAFSA website.

If you are ineligible for federal student financial aid due to immigration status, you may be eligible for Washington State financial aid through the free WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid) application. To determine your eligibility for WASFA, check here.

My parents are divorced. Do I need to report both of my parents’ incomes for the FAFSA?

No, you only need to report the income of the custodial parent—the parent with whom you lived for most of the previous 12 months (typically the parent who claimed the student as a dependent on his/her tax return).

My parents want to know if their retirement savings will count against us on the FAFSA?

While money in qualified retirement plans is not reported as an asset, pre-tax contributions to retirement (traditional 401k, 403b, IRA, etc.) are considered parental income as they are made with untaxed income. However, contributions to a Roth 401k or Roth IRA not added back into parental income as these are made with post-tax contributions.

Come to the Sno-Isle Libraries’ College Planning: Fundamentals of Financial Aid and Scholarships with Main Education Consulting to learn more about the FASFA.

You can also find more information about college planning on our life after high school page!

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Trailer Tuesday: House of Furies

Trailer Tuesday: House of Furies by Madeleine Roux

Contact Marta @ the Marysville Library with book trailer suggestions or post in the comments below.

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Readers’ Corner: History

Despite the evidence that may be presented in your school textbooks, history is a fascinating topic. This week’s featured teen booklist includes non-fiction historical accounts that will make you excited about history again. These books vary in time and place, but they will all capture your interest and imagination.

Sno-Isle Teens Booklist: History Non-fiction

It’s not just about names and dates. History as presented in these books is about strong personalities, heartbreaking conflicts, and quirky details. And there’s even a book on this list about the important and devastating historical event that happened 16 years ago today.


Happy reading!

Melleny @ Mukilteo Library

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