Coming in November, the very first Verde Valley GameCon!
On November 9 Camp Verde Community Library will transform into a convention hall hosting games of all sorts. Presented by CVCL and Game On of Prescott, GameCon aims to have something for everyone. Want to try a new board game? Want to take on your friends in a Mario Kart or Super Smash Bros. tournament? Have you ever wanted to play as an elf scout or a wizard casting arcane spells in Dungeons and Dragons? Do you have a competitive or casual Magic: The Gathering deck, or just want to learn how to play?
GameCon will have all these and more, including vendors and food trucks. Hours are 9am-4pm, and admission is $5, or $2 plus canned food donation. Children under 10 get in free.
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YALSA's Teen Book Finder App & Database: a free online database and app to help teens, parents, librarians and library staff, educators, and anyone who loves YA literature access nearly 4,000 titles recognized YALSA's awards and lists on their smartphone.
YALSA's Teens' Top Ten: Young Adult Library Services Association is a list created for teens, by teens
06-13-2019 We Regret to Inform You by Ariel Kaplan
So you took four years of AP classes and sweat bullets studying and tests. You joined organizations you had not interest in. You sucked up to teachers and administrators in order to get that great letter of recommendation. Still, every college you wanted to attend sent you letters of rejection. What in the world happened to the beautiful life you dreamed of for the past four years? You just can't figure out how to tell your mother who is looking for a second job to help pay the tuition. You're not dying, but anger, denial, bargaining, depression, and acceptance are emotions in your immediate future. But what if an unlikely gang of hacker chicks, a newly discovered boyfriend, and a sense of outrage at the digital hanky-panky intervene in your situation? Well, you get this amusing tale of good (mostly) girls gone bad (slightly) in the pursuit of redemption for the wrongly wronged. It's a quick read. You can use the break.
04-13-2019 A Thousand Sisters: the heroic airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II by Elizabeth Wein
Women throughout the world encounter a "glass ceiling" preventing them from rising to the same level as their male counterparts. In the Soviet Union at the outbreak of World War II, Soviet women bombed and strafed that glass ceiling when they joined the men in bombing and strafing the invading Nazis. As Russians struggled to create a new world to replace the century-old rule of the Czars, men and women were declared equal in every respect. This equality encouraged women's dream of flying which they pursued in state-sponsored flying clubs, where they learned to fly and became instructors. When war came in the massive invasion of Russia by Nazi Germany in June of 1941, the women who flew were ready to fly against the invader. As it turned out, they not only had the Germans to fight but their own bureaucracy. Equality wasn't as good in reality as it was on paper. The courage, strength, and perseverance of a woman named Marina Raskova finally changed things so women were allowed to join in armed combat with the men of the Soviet Air Force. This book is the story of Marina and her thousand sisters who made up the 588th Night Bomber Aviation Regiment. It is the story of women who flew these open-cockpit biplanes at night with no radar in the middle of Russian winters to drop bombs on the Germans to both kill them and destroy their morale. Many were decorated with Russia's highest medals and many were buried in the steppes of the Motherland. They fought the good fight while women in other warring countries were grudgingly allowed to ferry airplanes from place to place. And like warriors from time immemorial, the women who flew, maintained and armed the aircraft themselves, they became the thousand sisters.
03-16-2019 The Track Series by Jason Reynolds
Jason Reynolds wrote a series of four books featuring four different characters who are rookie members of a track team. Each book features the story of one of them. The backstories for each person on the team are revealed bit by bit. The books don't need to be read in order, but Lu must be read last to discover what all of the running around means. The books in order are:
Ghost: The boy called Ghost is a runner. He has called himself Ghost since the night he had to run for his life. He runs from lots of things. His mother, a hard-working woman who wants to do right by her boy, is trapped in a life of hard work with little reward. Ghost is a baller. He wants to be on the court, but when he challenges a member of the track team to a race he discovers a new field and a new coach. Life on the track team is hard and Coach makes no bones about the way to success. Impulsively, Ghost makes a terrible mistake and attempts to hide it from the coach and all of his new teammates. He is found out. What will the aftermath be? Where will salvation lie? On the track?
Patina: Patty, known to one and all as Patina, lives with her aunt and uncle. She can't live with her mom since her mom lost her legs to the "sugar." She must also take care of her little sister. She has never really had the opportunity to be a child herself. Because she runs for her mother, who can't run, she hates to lose. If she loses, the "sugar" may come to take the rest of her mother. Her troubles at the fancy school she attends have to with her drive to win and the kids who are happy to let her do all the work so they can share in the credit. Then the coach changes her race from one she has always won to one she has never run. Find out what the waltz has to do with the 800-meter relay.
Sunny: He is always happy. He's first with a joke and first in line to support a fellow teammate. All the while, he considers himself a murderer because his mother died giving birth to him. He does not have a healthy relationship with his father because of it. His dad insists that Sunny call him Darryl, not dad. Sunny comes to the conclusion that he runs to make his father happy, and he is all about making his father happy. But running doesn't make him happy. So he quits running in the middle of a race. Needless to say, there are repercussions from his dad, from the coaches, from his teammates, and from himself. What makes him happy? Dancing. Music. Where on the track field does that happen? Coach finds it for him on the infield, not on the track.
Lu: Lu is the young star of the track team. Like many who are gifted and called to lead, Lu discovers that being a talented leader is learned, not given. Lu has a major life problem. In a neighborhood and family of Black people, he is an albino. He is different and not in a good way. When he seems to have overcome this handicap the coach suddenly wants him to learn and compete in a new track event right before the final meet of the year. He discovers a dark secret about his beloved dad's past that fills him with anger and shame. That secret involves his dad, the coach, the coaches dad, and a gold medal. At the surprising conclusion, Lu, Ghost, Patina, and Sunny will learn there are gold medals that you hang around your neck and gold medals you carry in your heart.
03-10-2019 Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
This is not a new book. The target audience for this book wasn't even born when it was published in 1999. But the book is as timeless as the anxiety and distress a young girl beginning her freshman year in high school feels. Melinda Sordino is the poster girl for all of these fears. Some fears are justified, some not, but all are very real to her. There is an event in her life that everyone knows about and nobody forgives her for. They just don't know why she did it. That is a secret she refuses to reveal. The result of her decision makes her an outcast. There is no group that will accept her. Her defense is silence. She ceases to speak because nobody wants to listen to her. They all - parents, teachers, counselors, peers, and the cop on the beat - are willing to tell her what to do to make them happy, but no one will listen to what might make her happy. In spite of the situation and Melinda's struggle to get by, this is a funny book...laugh out loud funny. Will Melinda reveal the nature of her secret? Will she ever speak again? The answer is for you to discover. I will not speak it.
03-04-2019 The War Outside by Monica Hesse
Here is the story of two young girls who meet under excruciating circumstances. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt signed an order leading to the incarceration of 122,000 Japanese citizens in concentration style camps. To be born Japanese was their crime. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) ran another, dramatically different camp for "enemy aliens" who had been charged or were suspected of being actual spies. There were both German and Japanese citizens interned there, the only mixed camp in the nation. The story the book tells is the accidental meeting and relationship between a German and a Japanese girl. They meet secretly in an ice house to talk about their pasts and what they hope will be their futures. Their intense relationship is affected by the circumstances of their parents' backgrounds and attitudes. The story has two voices, one for each girl. Their stories do not match. Someone is lying and someone will be repatriated to a country where she has never lived because of a terrible betrayal. Or was it a betrayal? There is a sense of hope and the future beyond the barbed wire and the machine gun towers. There is also a huge sense of despair, both personal and social. Which of the girls will go and which will stay...and why?
02-02-2019 I, Claudia by Mary McCoy
This tale is a twist on the PBS series, I, Claudius translated to rich kid's high and presented as conversations between Claudia and her analyst. It is the story of a young woman who has a speech impediment, a limp and is not particularly attractive. Her older sister, on the other hand, is quite attractive and has many friends who are influential members of the prestigious high school they both attend. When Claudia begins her freshman year, her sister, Maisie, is her conduit to the social circle and The Honor Council. The Honor Council is the final student arbiter of behavior and conduct. The student senate is subservient to them. That is the setting. Claudia is a big fan of history and this story is presented as her version of the history of the ruling students and their relationships with the adults at the school and each other. It is telling to note that the principal characters in this saga are named: Augustus, Marcus, Ty, Livia, and Claudia. There is much skulduggery, backstabbing, stealing of loves, and lying to be found here. You might need a program to tell all the players. Is there any honor at all in The Honor Council?