NSYA Book Group Meets June 18

JUNE_ALL NSYA Book GroupThe Not-So-Young Adult Book Group will meet Monday, June 18 at 7pm in the Robbins Library Conference Room. We’ll be discussing Just One Day by Gayle Forman. Copies are still available at the front desk if you haven’t picked one up yet.

Copies of the next book, Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown, are on their way and will be available to pick up that night.

Don’t miss out or first Monday night meeting with new host, Verónica! See you all soon!

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Our Favorite Books Written For Kids & Teens

Curious George Goes to the Hospital – H.A.Rey
Mr.Popper’s Penguins – Richard Atwater

A list of my favorite children’s and YA books could make up a small book in itself, so I’ll limit myself to the ones I’ve read most recently: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert is an absolute must-read for those who love dark fairy tales and books-within-books. Sharon Draper’s Out of My Mind is the heartbreaking, incredible story of a girl with cerebral palsy (it’s a middle grade novel, so for those who prefer YA, try Cammie McGovern’s Say What You Will). The Boy From Tomorrow by Camille DeAngelis reminded me very much of Richard Peck’s Voices After Midnight, one of my old middle grade favorites – both are well worth reading if you like historical fiction, paranormal, and time travel. Julie Murphy’s new book Puddin’, a companion to Dumplin’, keeps to the same high standard – read both! I could go on…but suffice to say, YA and children’s lit is bursting with more books than anyone could read in a lifetime…

My favorite juvenile fiction books are part of His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass). I read them when I was in college and fell in love with the stubborn, strong, clever, manipulative, and adventurous main character, Lyra, and her daemon, Pantalaimon, a loving companion who often takes the shape of a white ermine. It was refreshing to see a young, imperfect girl take the reigns to save her friend who is kidnapped by child abductors called Gobblers. As the story continues, revealing a beautiful and dangerous world with witches and armored bears, we learn that Lyra is part of a bigger scheme involving prophecy, parallel universes, and power-hungry people. I think my favorite book of the three is The Subtle Knife, which is where Lyra meets a boy from another world named Will and they both join forces to find his missing father, a powerful knife capable of opening up doors between worlds, and the meaning behind Dark Matter and Dust. Pullman didn’t write the book with an audience in mind, so even though it’s marketed for younger readers, adults will find that along with the fantasy, the author weaves in concepts such as theology and physics.

Here’s a quote from The Amber Spyglass that makes my heart ache every time I read it:
“I’ll be looking for you, Will, every moment, every single moment. And when we do find each other again, we’ll cling together so tight that nothing and no one’ll ever tear us apart. Every atom of me and every atom of you… We’ll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams… And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they wont’ just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me, we’ll be joined so tight…”

The Bloody Jack series by Louis Meyer
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Anything by Holly Black
The Hired Girl by L. A. Schlitz
The Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Ms Marvel series by G. Willow Wilson

Miss Twiggley’s Tree – This picture book was one of my favorites growing up. An odd, shy lady lives in a willow tree, has a very talented dog who does her shopping, and invites bears over for tea. The story deals with acceptance of differences, and forgiveness of ignorance. Wonderful illustrations, and a very sweet story.

Red: a crayon’s story – This one is much more recent, discovered it within the last few years. The characters are crayons, drawing pictures according to their color/label. One crayon is labeled “red”, but is completely unable to draw any red pictures. It’s obvious in the pictures that this crayon is actually blue, but they keep trying to be red because that is what they are “supposed to be”. Again, it deals with acceptance, with some wonderful imagery.

Tiffany Aching series – This series by Terry Pratchett deals with a young girl becoming a witch and growing into her power. She is aided on her adventures by the Nac Mac Feegle, a rowdy clan of tiny blue Pictsies (not pixies). They are incredibly strong and fast, and very loyal.

My favorite children’s book is Ferdinand by Leaf. A story about an animal that was kind and calm even when those around him expected a fierce fighter hit really close to home for me as a child. I always felt like a lamb in the guise of a lion so Ferdinand was just one more story to see myself in.

My favorite YA book (at the moment) is Six of Crows by Bardugo. I loved this book so much that I waited in misery for Crooked Kingdom but then put off reading it for months because I didn’t want to let the characters go. That being said, I love anything by Patrick Ness, too.

 I don’t think any books had greater impact on me as a child than the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I know much more about her family now and see it all from a new perspective, but I still love those stories about what life was like in those days – where they lived, what they ate, the games they played. I still re-read them every now and then.

One of my favorite teen books is The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart, in which a young woman at a boarding school infiltrates an all-male secret society and manipulates them into pulling off large-scale pranks that she organizes without them finding out who she is. And if you like feminist-themed books like this one, I also highly recommend Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu and Beauty Queens by Libby Bray.

The Cahill Witch Chronicles by Jessica Spotswood is SO underrated. I can’t believe this series about witch sisters in an alternative version of early New England isn’t more popular.

Another series I love is The Selection by Kiera Cass, which is sort of like a cross between The Hunger Games and The Bachelor.

Sometimes I really enjoy a creepy book, and my two favorite teen books in this genre are Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics and My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier.

I don’t read a lot of children’s books, but here are a few of the most recent teen books I’ve read and loved:

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Next Robbins Library Book Discussion Group | 7/9

The Robbins Library Book Discussion Group will next meet on Monday July 9 at 7 pm in the Robbins Library Community Room.

The group discusses “The Casual Vacancy” by  J. K. Rowling. New members are welcome. Book will be available at the Circulation Desk after June 4.

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2018 Summer Reading Challenge: Libraries Rock!

Social Media_ Adult summer reading challenge 2018Looking for something to keep you occupied during the summer? Look no more! Participate in this year’s summer reading challenge from June 16 until September 1 and win prizes! This year’s theme is “Libraries Rock!” and prizes will include gift cards from Ticketmaster, iTunes, and The Book Rack. All you have to do is register online (teens register here!) or at the reference desk, and we’ll give you a double-sided bingo sheet and your first raffle ticket.

You can earn more raffle tickets by doing the activities listed in the bingo squares, including reading, attending programs, listening to music, etc. Continue reading

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Reel Queer Watches… Pariah

The Robbins Library QBG and the Arlington Council on Aging are excited to bring you a screening of the film that’s been called “the female Moonlight“, director Dee Rees’ Pariah.

“A lesbian teenager unsuccessfully juggles multiple identities to avoid rejection from her friends and family. Mounting pressure from home, school, and within wears the line between her personas thin with explosive consequences.”

This film is rated R & has a runtime of 1 hour & 26 minutes.

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Happy Pride!

Happy Pride Arlington!

Come check out our Pride display this year to learn a little bit about Boston area queer history, courtesy of The History Project.  While you’re there, pick up some of our book & DVD lists too!  We’ve got a little something for everyone, regardless of age or interest!  You can also check out our Goodreads queer shelf online, available year round, for the latest queer books our staff has read!

Can’t make it in to grab a our book & DVD lists?  We’ve got you covered!  Click on any of the lists below to see the full size version!

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Rockin’ Robbins Book Cart Drill Team Wins Another Trophy!

Yesterday was the 10th annual Massachusetts Library Association Book Cart Drill Team competition & the Robbins Library Rockin’ Robbins Book Cart Drill Team snagged another first place trophy!

This year we were inspired by the 2017 solar eclipse (& the eclipse glasses that were in high demand!) and performed to Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart!

This year’s entries were judged on technical ability (uniformity, organization, precision, degree of difficulty, unique moves), artistic impression (choreography, music, crowd appeal, costumes, cart decor), and videography (creative shots, angles, timing).

What is a Book Cart Drill Team? From the DEMCO website: “People from all over the United States put together drill teams to represent their libraries. From just three people to as many as sixteen, librarians practiced dance moves with the aid of their book carts! Fun formations, music and crazy costumes made the competitions spectacular!”

We had so much fun making the video & hope you ❤ watching it!

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Next Not-So-Young Adult Book Group (June 18)

12842115The next NSYA group meeting will take place on Monday, June 18 at 7pm in the 4th floor’s conference room. We’ll be discussing Just One Day by Gayle Forman.

Goodreads description:
When sheltered American good girl Allyson “LuLu” Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left.

Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

Copies of the book are available at the front desk.

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QBG Listens To… Nancy

QBG/Social is listening to & discussing the podcast Nancy for our May meeting!

“A critically-acclaimed podcast featuring queer stories and conversations, and hosted by two best friends, neither of whom are named Nancy. It’s a podcast about how we define ourselves, and the journey it takes to get there.”

Please feel free to bring any quiet crafting, knitting, etc. to work on while you listen! We’ll provide some coloring books!

Queer Book Group / Social reads great LGBTQ-themed books, both fiction and non-fiction, and hosts LGBTQ-themed social events. New members are welcome!  Come make some new friends & expand your community!


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NSYA Book Group Meets on May 16

The Not-So-Young Adult Book Group will meet on Wednesday May 16 at 7pm in the Robbins Library Conference Room. We’ll be discussing The Girl is Murder by Kathryn Miller Haines. Copies are still available at the front desk if you haven’t yet picked one up.

Copies of the next book, Just One Day by Gayle Forman, are on their way and will be available to pick up that night.

We’ll be voting on our next several books, and we’ll have a special guest – your new host, Verónica, who will be running the group starting in June. So it will be an extra-fun meeting that you won’t want to miss!


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