A Comic-Con to Remember

Improbable Theory of Ana and ZakAna is an A student frantic to stay at the top and have lots of activities on her college applications.  She also has to keep an eye on her thirteen year old genius brother, Clayton, who is in the same grade at Tacoma High School   Zac is a gamer who lives for WashingCon, the annual Sci Fi Comic Book Convention in Seattle. Unfortunately he lifted most of his last Health report from Wikipedia and his teacher is threatening to flunk him unless he joins the quiz team for their tournament in Seattle. The tournament and Washingcon are on the same weekend!  When Clayton sneaks out of the hotel to go to Washingcon, Zac and Ana have to join forces to find him before curfew.  This mad romp of an adventure and unexpected romance will keep you on the edge of your seats.  I recommend the Improbable Theory of Ana and Zac by Brian Katcher to readers in grades seven on up.

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With a cluck cluck here and a cluck cluck there

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry FarmerI think Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones is a totally charming and captivating read.  I may be biased.  I do like chickens. (See some of mine below)  Sophie Brown has never had chickens (in fact, she has never had a pet) Sophie and her parents have inherited Blackbird Farm from Great Uncle Jim. Sophie finds a little white hen hiding in the cluttered farmyard. A little white hen with superpowers! Way out in the country, with no internet, Sophie has to write letters to the Redwood Farm Supply for chicken information (in addition to going to the library, of course).  Sophie also writes to her deceased grandmother as well as Great Uncle Jim.  (They don’t write back)  I loved the illustrations in this book.  I highly recommend this fun summer read to kids in grades five and up.chicken1

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Digital Public Library of America

dpla-logoIf you do any sort of research online, you probably know that many libraries, museums, and organizations have scanned books, photos, and other items and made them available to the public. Our Northwest Room collections of photos and yearbooks are an example of these types of collections. But with thousands of websites like this, how can you find something specific? The Digital Public Library of America is a good place to start. DPLA does not collect or scan items by itself, but it takes the information describing an item from various official hubs from across the country and makes that information searchable in one place. If you search on the main page for Spokane, for instance, you’ll retrieve links to over a 1000 images, full text files, and even a couple of videos, most of them historic. DPLA also has some fun “exhibitions” that gather similar documents together on topics like the transcontinental railroad or women pilots. DPLA is a fascinating website to explore, especially if you are researching history.

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Streaming Media with hoopla

HooplablueDo you hate waiting? Get instant gratification with the library’s hoopla streaming media service. As long as you have an internet connection, you can borrow and instantly watch movies or television episodes, listen to music albums or audiobooks, or even read comics and ebooks online. Download the hoopla app to an iDevice, an Android device, or a Kindle Fire to download your media and use the service when NOT connected to the internet. Library card holders can borrow up to 10 titles a month. You’ll usually have three days to watch videos, one week to listen to an album, and 21 days to read a comic, ebook, or listen to an audiobook. Titles are always available, so there’s no need to be added to a waiting list. Just make sure you have the time to finish your titles since they will disappear from your account when their time expires.

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Book of Storms

Book of StormsFor an exciting, imaginative summer read try the Book of Storms by Ruth Hatfield.  Eleven year old Danny O’Neill is used to his parents jumping in the car, chasing storms and leaving him alone.  The morning after a storm so bad that lighting killed the sycamore tree in front of the house, Danny finds he is still alone.  His parents always come home, but not this time. Danny finds a stick in the destroyed tree.  When he picks it up the tree talks to him, warning him of Sammael and urging him to find the Book of Storms.  Could his parents be trapped in a storm and will the Book of Storms help him free them? I recommend this fantasy to readers in grade five and up.

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Girls with Swords

I am Princess XI really liked I am Princess X by Cherie Priest.  Best friends, Libby and May, created Princess X in fifth grade.  Libby drew the pictures and May wrote the stories.  A few years later, Libby and her mom drive off a bridge into Puget Sound and Libby’s body is never found.  May’s parents get divorced and she is shuttled between Seattle and Atlanta.  May, now sixteen, is spending the summer in Seattle and sees a sticker on a store window.  It is Princess X.  May is convinced that Libby is alive and is determined to find her. I love the way the story alternates with the graphic Princess X story. Even if you don’t usually read graphic lit, I predict you will like this book.  I recommend to readers in grades seven on up.

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Public workshop on the future of Riverside State Park

Washington State Parks and Recreation have planned a public workshop to discuss future projects at Riverside State Park. The meeting is scheduled at Lakeside Middle School on Thursday, June 25 from 6:30 to 8:30. For more details about the meeting and the history of the park see the news release here.


Statewide Earthquake readiness drill begins June 17


The Washington National Guard will be conducting a statewide earthquake readiness drill to begin on Wednesday, June 17. The exercises will involve federal, state, and local agencies from both Western and Eastern Washington. Evergreen Tremor is the name of the weeklong drills. See the details of the drill here.


Cypress Resume

June is summer job season for many people, but some, especially those with less work experience, could use some help creating resumes. To help out, the library subscribes to a service called Cypress Resume that will create a resume for you once you fill in your basic information. Just enter your name, contact information, education, work history, and type of job applying for. Cypress then suggests appropriate job statements that describe your skills and abilities. You can edit or modify the statements to better match your skills. Once your resume is complete, you can download as a pdf or text file, edit or view it online, or even “publish” it to Cypress’ website so that a potential employer can find your resume online. Save it to their website (after entering an email and password), and you can access it anywhere you have internet. Cover letters and reference sheets can also be created for you.

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