90s Teen TV Star Biographies

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Confession: I am completely obsessed with the 90s. The fashions, the movies, the music, and especially the TV shows. In honor of my beloved 90s television, I present you with these wonderful 90s teen tv star bios.

Behind the Bell by Dustin Diamond (aka Samuel Powers aka Screech from Saved By the Bell)
Most shocking revelation: Dustin Diamond is a misogynistic ass. Not sure why I was shocked by this given his performance on Celebrity Fit Club.

Jason Priestley: A Memoir by Jason Priestley (aka Brandon Walsh from Beverly Hills 90210)
Most shocking revelation: Tori Spelling tried to hock his wedding invitation for $5 at a yard sale.

Just Between Us by Mario Lopez (aka A.C. Slater from Saved by the Bell)
Most shocking revelation: Ol’ Albert Clifford lost his virginity at 12!

Melissa Explains it All by Melissa Joan Hart (aka Clarissa from Clarissa Explains it All)
Most shocking revelation: The amount of drugs that MJH did. Girl was trippin’.

Normally, This Would be Cause for Concern by Danielle Fishel (aka Topanga from Boy Meets World)
Most shocking revelation: I don’t yet, because I just checked this one out. However, I am still upset that she got to date Lance Bass and I didn’t. NOT FAIR!

BONUS (not a biography)

Slimed!: An Oral History of Nickelodeon’s Golden Age by Mathew Klickstein
Most shocking revelation: The ingredients to all that green slime they dumped on people.

9 Books to Terrify You this Halloween

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In honor of the impending Halloween holiday, I’ve comprised a list of 9 books that truly terrified me. Enjoy!

The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson – The most famous haunted house case may or may not be true, but it will still keep you hiding under the covers. I read this in the 7th grade and hid the book because it scared me so much. The next day, it was laying on my bed. My mom had cleaned my room, but I was still freaked out.

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix – In an attempt to catch a vandal, a group of employees camp out in a furniture store overnight. What they find is much more menacing. Be prepared for fright-induced insomnia.

The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson – This novel about a murderous sheriff will have you questioning what kind of sickness lies within everyone you know.

My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf – A graphic novel about Jeffery Dahmer’s adolescence written by his high school friend. Dahmer’s transition from disturbed teen to serial killer is unnerving, as is the look into his depressing homelife.

Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin – The horror classic about a woman impregnated with the Antichrist will make your blood curdle.

The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris – If you can read this book without getting scared, then you are not human.

The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule & Unholy Messenger by Stephen Singular – Yes, more true crime. Reality is more horrifying than fiction. These books are about Ted Bundy and BTK – two of the most gruesome serial killers ever. After reading these, I was constantly checking the locks on my door and windows.

The Telltale Lilac Bush by Ruth Ann Musick – This is a compilation of West Virginia ghost stories. Required reading for any kid who grew up in the state (like me). I recommend starting with “The Little Rag Doll” or “Big John’s Ghost”.

So what is the most terrifying book you’ve ever read?

How to Make a Readers’ Advisory Graphic

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A few commenters have asked how I make the RA graphics featured on this blog,  so I’m going to break it down in this post. It’s really not that hard, though it can be time-consuming. I have faith that y’all can do it!

Step 1: Pick a theme – The possibilities are limitless. You can make a genre graphic, readalike graphic, book suggestions based on other media people enjoy, etc… There are plenty of great examples out there. I think that Molly over at Wrapped Up in Books makes some wonderful graphics. Pinterest is also an excellent place to find examples. If you draw inspiration from someone else’s creation (especially if you are reworking something they’ve already done), credit them.

Step 2: Find your titles – Once you’ve picked your theme, you need to decide what titles you will feature on your graphic. You can pull from your own knowledge or use outside sources. NoveList is a great resource for finding readalikes and most libraries have a subscription to it. I will sometimes use lists from sources like Buzzfeed or Flavorwire. If you do that, make sure to credit them in your post.

Step 3: Put it all together – This is the really time-consuming part. I use Publisher because it’s easy to import and arrange images and I have access to all of my own fonts. All of the jacket images I use come from our catalog. I sometimes incorporate Microsoft’s free stock photos and Creative Commons images from Flickr. Again, make sure to credit appropriately if you use a CC image from Flickr. For fonts, I use Fontspace or dafont to find relevant fonts for my graphics. Many of their fonts are free for personal use and some are free for commercial use. Check the license before using any font. Once I have everything set up how I want it look, I group it together and then save it as an image. Occasionally I will upload it to a free, online photo editor to add extra flourishes. My favorites are: PicMonkey, iPiccy, fotor, & befunky. After adding finishing touches, I share the graphic with the world on various social media sites and this blog.

So there you have it – three steps to making an RA graphic! Go forth and create!

Book Recommendations for your Vacation Destination

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Another graphic I created for our library Tumblr page.

Image credits:

Pofu Camp – Northern Circuit” by Gopal Vijayaraghavan on Flickr.

Desert Road” by William Warby on Flickr.

Paris.2012” by Emax-photo on Flickr.

Font Credit:

Confetti Stream” by Jonathan S. Harris on FontSpace.

Spark a Reaction – 2014 Teen Summer Reading Program

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It’s hard to believe that Summer Reading is almost here (or already here for some of you). Teen programs are on hiatus for the month of June at my library because bridesmaid duties are taking over my life, but our Summer Reading Program will start up July 1st. This year I’m doing things a little differently. Instead of using BINGO cards and doing random drawings each week, I’ve created a book log. Teens will keep track of all the titles they read in July (including fan fiction), whoever reads the most books wins the grand prize. If they read five books, they will earn a prize and an invitation to the after-hours awards party.

I’ve also got lots of activities planned: two LEGO robotics classes, crafts, weekly movies, and a video-making club. My book club teens have been begging to make a movie, so I’m making their dreams come true. I have some video-editing experience, but we all be learning together (which is fun).

Here are some of the handouts I’ve created for SRP packets this year:

Calendar of Events

Reading Log

Recommended Reading List

I would love to hear what other librarians have planned for this summer. Tell me in the comments!

Awesome Readers’ Club – Uglies

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This month, ARC is reading Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. This is my second go at Uglies, I didn’t finish it the first time around. I don’t remember why. In addition to discussion, I have a couple other activities planned: the Opening Lines Matching Game and it’s time for us to select more books to read (yay!). For book selections, I generally let everyone write down suggestions to put in a basket and then we pull titles at random. We then look up a description of the titles pulled and vote on whether or not the club wants to read it. We will choose about 6 books at a time. I also put a few titles into the basket (which is how we ended up reading The Name of the Star last year). The teens enjoy this method because everyone gets to be involved in selection and they feel like their voices get heard.

On to the discussion questions. This month I’ll be using questions that Mr. Westerfeld himself wrote (found on his blog).

*WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD*

1. Have you ever had a friend like Peris, who abandoned your friendship after they moved away?

2. At first, did you hope Tally would get the operation? When did you change your mind? (Or did you?)

3. Have you ever found yourself trusting someone more or paying more attention to what they said not because they deserved it, but just because of their looks?

4. In what ways did Tally’s trip through the wild prepare her for what she learned in the Smoke?

5. Would you give up your ability to think independently in exchange for being happy, beautiful, perpetually healthy, and rich?

6. How did David see Tally differently than she saw herself?

7. If Shay could have gone back in time and never have met Tally, do you think she would?

8. Other than the pretty operation, what are the main differences between the pretty society and our own? (Are there any ways in which the pretty society is healthier than ours?)

9. To what extent did Tally decide her own fate, and how much did other people decide it for her?

10. The Rusty civilization collapsed because of its dependence on oil. In what ways is your lifestyle dependent on oil and gasoline? How easily would you survive if it all disappeared one day?