Teen Read Week: Unleash Your Story

This week is the Young Adult Library Services Association’s (YALSA) Teen Read Week , where we librarians like to jump up and down and say, “Hey, we know school just started, but don’t forget how fun it is to read!”  (Okay, maybe we’re not all literally jumping up and down… but a few of us are!)

This year’s theme is “Unleash Your Story,” and there are a few easy ways you can unleash the story inside of you.

First off, you can come check out our online Teen Writing Group.

There you’ll get to practice your creative writing alongside other local teens, and get great feedback and tips from librarians and other aspiring authors. You’ll be able to check out the daily writing prompts for inspiration, and submit pieces to be published on the website.  Teens have written everything from poetry to short stories, to first chapters of their first sci-fi novels.  (This summer was a busy time for our local authors, so be sure to go back in the archives to summer months to get a good taste for how fun and inspiring it is to be part of this group of creative souls.) This is a great way to get your mental juices flowing, and, since it’s online, you can participate whenever you feel inspiration strike.

But if writing isn’t your thing, we’d invite you to unleash your opinion on YALSA’s Teen Top 10 Books of 2017 survey, and tell the world which stories matter to you.  Every year YALSA has teens vote on their favorite books that were published in the past year, and there are some really great contenders in this year’s lineup. Click the video to see the titles, as presented by the stars of the film Everything, Everything, whose book by Nicola Yoon was on the  Teens Top 10 list for 2016.

While we hope that every week is Teen Read Week for you, this week we’d especially love to see you in our libraries this week, picking out fun stuff to read or picking our brains for book suggestions. Happy reading, all!

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Trailer Tuesday: Minecraft

Trailer Tuesday: Minecraft : An Unofficial Guide With New Facts and Commands by ConCrafter

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Readers’ Corner: Books About Spies

I’ve been thinking a lot about spies lately, mainly because I’m in the process of planning a Tween Spy Academy event for later this month. Plus, I just finished reading Liberty: The Spy Who (Kind of) Liked Me by Andrea Portes, which was entertaining and unusual (and I think the book cover is adorable).

So instead of fighting it, this week’s featured teen booklist is Secrets and Lies, Books About Spies.

Sno-Isle Teens Booklist: Books About Spies

You’ll find books that are funny, quirky, far-fetched, realistic, thrilling, serious, and downright heartbreaking (I’m still upset about Code Name Verity, which I loved way too much). Whether you like your teenage spies doing their covert stuff in modern times, historical eras, or dystopian futures, something on this list has you covered.


Happy reading!

Melleny @ Mukilteo Library

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Featured Event: Money Works for Teens

Need to learn more about money? Check out this series of money workshops for teens…

Money Works for Teens: Earning a Paycheck, Budgeting
@ Edmonds Library
Monday, Oct. 2
5:30 – 7 p.m.
Gain real life money skills in these hands-on workshops that use active learning through games, activities, technology and discussion beyond the classroom. Taught by Nationally Awarded Financial Educator at Growing Wealth from The Start. Funded by the Friends of the Edmonds Library.

Week 1, Oct. 2 – Earning a Paycheck, Budgeting
Week 2, Oct. 16 – Good Money Habits & Assets vs Liabilities
Week 3, Oct. 23 – Earned vs Passive Income, Dollar cost Averaging, Rule of 72
Week 4, Oct. 30 – Mutual Funds, 401k options for first jobs, Roth IRA

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Weekend Book Giveaway: Vanilla

This week we’re giving away an Advanced Reader’s Copy of Vanilla by Billy Merrell. This isn’t released until October 10th, but you could be one of the first to read it!

From the publisher:

Vanilla and Hunter have been dating since seventh grade.
They came out together,
navigated middle school together,
and became that couple in high school
that everyone always sees as a couple.

There are complications and confusions, for sure.
But most of all,
they love each other.

As high school goes, though,
and as their relationship deepens,
some cracks begin to show.

Hunter doesn’t mind hanging out with loud, obnoxious friends.
Vanilla would rather avoid them.

If they’re becoming different people,
can they be the same couple?

Falling in love is hard.
Staying in love is harder.


For your chance to win tell us about a time when a friendship of yours changed because you both had different interests. Were you able to stay friends? What happened?

Winner will be picked on Tuesday, October 3rd  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 Right Now: Best Soundtracks to Listen to in the Car

Even if you’re not driving yet, no one can deny how fun it is to sing along to your favorite soundtrack at the top of you lungs while you’re riding around in a car. From Wayne’s World to Carpool Karaoke, singing in the car is a long-loved tradition – so what do you like to rock out to when you sing your head off in the car?

Mukilteo Teen Advisory Board member Brooke B., who sent us this photo of her ridiculously cute dog Emma to use as her profile photo, has some great soundtrack suggestions for you!

Brooke’s doggo Emma is so sweet looking!


So, Brooke, which soundtracks are your favorite to cue up in the car?

Mamma Mia!

Why? “Mamma Mia is my favorite all-time movie!”
(Sno-Isle can help you access a different cast recording of this using our Freegal music streaming/downloading service!)

High School Musical – I know all the lyrics to every song and whenever you have friends in the car, they sing along with you!” (Bonus: You can stream the album on Hoopla right now if you want to!)”

Shrek 2 – For an ogre movie, it has really amazing music.”

(You can also stream this on through Hoopla!)

Thank for your excellent suggestions, Brooke!

Next week, we’ll be featuring a Top 3 Books list from another local teen, Sierra!

Care to share your Top 3 of anything with you friendly neighborhood librarians? Email teens@sno-isle.org and include the following:

  • A list of your Top 3 books/albums/movies that you can get at the library.
  • One or two sentences for each item that describe why you love it.
  • A photo of yourself (or a pet/avatar to stand in your stead).
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College prep planning: all about scholarships

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.

Please give us the most important scholarship deadlines, including for FASFA (Free Application for Student Federal Aid), that we should not miss this year.

FAFSA, CSS Profile and WASFA (Washington Application for State Federal Aid) all open on October 1st.  Earlier applicants who are eligible for financial aid receive the best financial aid packages. The deadlines for financial aid applications-and this is for each college’s institutional aid ad scholarships-vary and students must check with each college for its deadline. Private scholarships, however, open and close throughout the year. Read the application instructions for each scholarship to determine its deadline.

How do I apply for scholarships and which ones should I apply for?

Apply for every scholarship for which you are eligible!  Read the application instructions and follow them carefully.  If the application states “preference will be given to <x-type> students.” and you are not an x-type student, you may still apply-because it’s simply a preference.  If, however, the application states, “applicants must.” and you do not fit that guideline, then you are ineligible to apply-because, in that case, it is a requirement.

Where do I start looking for scholarships? What are some reliable scholarship websites?

Look for scholarship opportunities at school, at places you do business, at businesses where friends/family work, online or in newspapers. Sno-Isle Libraries has a great selection of scholarship books. Washington students can be connected to Washington scholarship providers through theWashBoard.org. In addition to the millions of dollars of scholarship money available through this site, I like it because all the scholarships are vetted for legitimacy and it is spam-free. Other scholarship sites include CollegeBoard.org, Fastweb.com, Niche.com, ScholarshipMonkey, and Cappex.

You can also create your own search for search for scholarships by typing in your major, talent, ethnicity or other variable into a search bar.

Do you have any tips for applying for scholarships?

Never underestimate yourself. Never think that there may be someone more suited to the scholarship than you.  Apply. Read the instructions carefully; follow the instructions precisely and apply on time. Keep in mind that your scholarship application is a professional representation of yourself. Spend the time to ensure your application is completed to the best of your ability. Apply!

How will I know which scholarship is the right one for me?

If you are eligible-then it’s a good one for you. Prioritize the scholarship applications that are your best fit. There are so many different scholarship opportunities.

Any general advice on how to approach them?

Scholarship providers want to support the students who they feel will be academically successful and best represent their organization’s ideals, so research the organization before you write your scholarship application. Know your audience, believe in yourself, proof read the entire application, apply on time and, most importantly-APPLY!


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: Generation One

Trailer Tuesday: Generation One by Pittacus Lore, the first in the Lorien legacies reborn series.

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

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Readers’ Corner: Banned Books

Did you know that this week is Banned Books Week? From September 24-30, we celebrate our freedom to read, write, and think however we like. Free and equal access to information of all types is the foundation of the public library, so we think it’s important to fight against censorship that would silence the great diversity of voices.

This week’s featured teen booklist is, of course, filled with banned books. So check out one of these titles and make up your own mind about whether it’s worth reading. Personally, some of my all-time favorite books are on this list, and I think the world would be worse off without them.

Sno-Isle Teens Booklist: Banned Books

If you’re curious, here are some of the reasons given for challenging books on this list:

Harry Potter series: occult, Satanism

Fallen Angels: violence (in a book about war)

Crank and Go Ask Alice: drugs (in books depicting the perils of drug use)

The Catcher in the Rye: offensive language

To Kill a Mockingbird: racism (in a book exposing and denouncing racism)

Twilight series and Hunger Games series: religious viewpoint

Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian: anti-family, sex education, gambling, cultural insensitivity, depictions of bullying

Thirteen Reasons Why: suicide

ttyl: unsuited to age group

The Perks of Being a Wallflower: homosexuality

Do you have a favorite banned book? You can find lists of the most challenged titles, with the challengers’ reasons, so see what you think of their assessments.

Happy reading!

Melleny @ Mukilteo Library

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Featured Event: Adventures in Bug Eating

At the Coupeville Library this week –

Adventures in Bug Eating
Friday, September 29
1-2 p.m.
Have you ever swallowed a bug? More than 80 percent of the world’s cultures eat insects — why don’t we? According to the United Nations, insects could very well be the food of the future. Raising grasshoppers as a food source could combat world hunger and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 60 percent.

Join David George Gordon, the author of “The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook” for an adventure in entomophagy (eating bugs), and prepare yourself for the next big revolution in food production – using crickets, mealworms, and other eco-friendly alternatives to meat. The program concludes with free samples of edible insect snacks for everyone who attends. For ages 5-18. Funded by the Friends of the Coupeville Library.

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