2012’s Best Teen Books


Is it The Fault in Our Stars? Or Such Wicked Intent? Maybe Because It Is My Blood?

What are the best teen books of 2012?

Everybody has their favorites…and now we’re sharing ours. Your favorite librarians have picked their favorite books, and now we’re ready to share them with you.

Now…without further ado, here are our FAVORITE TEEN BOOKS OF 2012:
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So…what do you think? Did your favorites make the list? If not, let us know…make your case in the comments!



What Are 2012’s Best Teen Books?


‘Tis The Season of Giving!


Okay, Bits and Bramblers, we’ve already talked about how we’re in the holiday spirit, right? With the shopping and the decking the halls and the gifts? Well…now let’s talk about the other part of the holiday: giving back. After all, there are a few easy (and awesome) ways to give back to those in need this holiday season.

First, there’s one of my all-time favorite sites: Free Rice. If you haven’t used the site before, here’s how it works: you pick a subject–anything from English Vocabulary to Human Anatomy–and you answer trivia questions. If you’re right, you automatically donate ten grains of rice. The more questions you answer correctly, the more rice you donate. It’s a win/win/win: you get to show off how smart you are, you get to learn new things to impress your family, friends, and teachers, and you donate rice to those in need.

And speaking of those in need, it’s hard not to think about the tragedy that happened last week at Sandy Hook Elementary School-and it’s especially hard not to think about the victims, their families, and their friends. If you’d like to make a donation–and you have your parent or guardian’s permission–consider the United Way of Western Connecticut. They’ve set up the Sandy Hook School Support Fund, which will provide support services to the families and the community that needs them.

It’s strange, isn’t it? With everything that’s happened, the world can seem like a very dark and very sad place. But there’s one surefire way to make it brighter–and that’s helping people. After all…it is the season of giving. So wherever you are, Bits and Bramblers, HAVE A VERY SAFE AND HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON.

And because we could all use a little laughter, here’s the Santa Claus…soap dispenser…drowning in…pudding, with a crazy legs…snowman. (It’ll make you laugh. Just trust me on this one.)
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Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaapy (Early) Thanksgiving!


It’s that time of year again, Bits and Bramblers! It’s time for parades, turkey, stuffing, and pie. It’s shopping in the wee hours of the morning, and eating leftovers in your PJs. But more important than that—than any of that—it’s time to remember all the things we’re thankful for. And here at the library, we have a lot to be thankful for this year.

For starters, we’re thankful for all of our materials—our books, movies, music, and more—because we can lend them to everyone for all kinds of reasons, whether you have to do some research for a big paper, or if you just want to have some snacks and watch a movie. But you know what we’re the most thankful for? In the entire world? We’re thankful for you.
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We’re thankful that you visit us here at the library, that you come to programs, and that you’re…well…you. So thank you for that. And you know what else we’re thankful for? We’re thankful for our traditions, like sharing this awesomely goofy video with you every Thanksgiving. It’s always funny, Bits and Bramblers. It’s. Always. Funny.
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…See? Told you. Always funny. Now…whatever you do this Thanksgiving, whether it involves turkey and pie, or shopping and hanging out in your PJs, have a VERY SAFE AND HAPPY THANKSGIVING! We love you!



Haaaaaaaaaaapy Valentine’s Day!




…Are you filled with warm and fuzzy feelings of true love, Bits and Bramblers? Is it possible to feel those things on a Tuesday in mid-February? Personally, I kind of doubt it.

Maybe if you have…chocolate, or something, it’s possible. Which is good, because…like all the best holidays? Valentine’s Day includes candy.

So grab some of those message hearts, or filled chocolates from a heart-shaped box, and check out this made-of-awesome Valentine’s Day video we made here at the library. It’s another of our Mixed-Up Classics, and this time, we’re taking on Pride and Prejudice.

…Oh, don’t roll your eyes, Bits and Bramblers. Remember, just because it’s a classic, doesn’t mean it’s bad. After all, everybody knows that the love story between Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy is one of the greatest in literary history.

…Maybe. Kind of. Probably…
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‘Tis the Season of Giving!


Okay, Bits and Bramblers…we are definitely in the season. Have you done your shopping? Decked your halls? Baked your gingerbread? ‘Cause like I said, it’s definitely the season. And it’s the SEASON OF GIVING!

Because while you’ve giving gifts to all your friends and family, it’s always good to give a little to those in need, right? And it’s easier than you think. You can…

  • Go to FreeRice. All you have to do is answer some easy trivia questions on English vocabulary, math, geography, and lots of other subjects. For every correct answer, ten grains of rice will be donated to the people that need it the most. And you get smarter. That’s what we call a win-win
  • Check out FreeKibble (because animals need our help, too!) This site is a lot like FreeRice, with one minor difference–it doesn’t matter if you’re right or wrong. All you have to do is answer a trivia question, and ten pieces of Kibble will be donated to animal shelters to help feed hungry dogs. After all, nobody deserves to be hungry over the holidays, not even our furry friends.
  • Head over to the Bread Art Project They give you a piece of virtual bread, and you decorate–or toast it–any way you like. Submit your bread art, and if it’s approved, the Grain Foods Foundation will donate a dollar to Share Our Strength, an awesome organization dedicated to ending Childhood Hunger. And what’s not to love about turning bread into art?!
  • Shift your gift! It’s pretty much exactly like it sounds. Try Shift My Gift! After you get your parents’ permission, you can create a profile, picking different nonprofit organizations that are important to you. Then your friends and family can make donations…and shift your gift!
  • Give back to the Mansfield community. Get your parent’s permission, and make a donation to the Richland County United Way. Every year, the United Way has a holiday fundraiser to help throughout the year. So far, they’ve raised about 57% of their goal…and you still have time to help them reach it, and make a difference here in Richland County!

…See? Told you it was easy. And nothing makes you feel quite so good as helping another person, right? But no matter who you help, or what you do…have a safe and happy holiday season, Bits and Bramblers!



What Are 2011’s Best Teen Books?


‘Twas the _____________ Before Christmas…


…and all through the (NOUN) not a (TYPE OF ANIMAL) was stirring, not even a…

You see we’re going with this, right?

Good. Because let’s be honest, Bits and Bramblers, fill-in-the-blanks games are awesome. And always, always funny. It might be the only thing in the universe that makes adjectives and adverbs fun. Next to old school School House Rock, obviously.

And because fill-in-the-blanks games are so awesome, we’ve created the ‘TWAS THE __________ BEFORE CHRISTMAS CONTEST!

Thaaaaat’s right, all you have to do is pick up an entry form at your faaaaaavorite library during the month of December, fill it out, and turn it in to your faaaaaaavorite librarian. Not only does that automatically enter you to win FREE GIFT CERTIFICATES TO CINEMARK, but you might see your very own Fill-in-the-Blank story here @ Bits and Brambles!

So…what are you waiting for, Bits and Bramblers? Head to your (ADJECTIVE) library in December and grab a (NOUN) and get writing!

Oh, and…not that you need it or anything (because you, Bits and Bramblers, are all wicked smart,) but just in case you don’t have your English book with you, here’s a refresher course in the parts of speech, so you’re not getting your adverbs and action verbs all tangled. Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I think you’re ready. So get ready to fill in the blanks for your chance to win!



Haaaaaaaapy (early) Thanksgiving, Bits and Bramblers!


Thaaaat’s right, Bits and Bramblers, it’s Thanksgiving! Time for turkey, pumpkin pie, shopping in the middle of the night, and a whole bunch of other traditions that make this time of year awesome.

But the most important thing, though, is right in the name. Thanksgiving. It really is time for everybody to think about all the little things they have to be thankful for…and that includes your faaaaaavorite library.

Know what we’re most thankful for? Guess
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That’s right, it’s you! You’re one of the things we’re most thankful for this year.

Know what else we’re thankful for (other than you? You being the most important thing we’re thankful for?) We’re thankful for funny YouTube videos. Now, I know I post this every year, but…that’s because it makes me laugh, every year. John Madden and Christopher Walken as pilgrims? Never not funny. Never. Not. Funny.
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…See? Even if you’ve seen it before, you’re laughing again, aren’t you? You totally want to grab some Bric-a-Brac, or some action figures, and act out the first Thanksgiving. And I totally, totally think you should.

But no matter what you do…Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving, Bits and Bramblers!



Do *YOU* <3 to Write?


…If so, then it’s definitely the day for you. After all, it’s I Love to Write Day! (Which might not be as…let’s say…Chocolate Cupcake Day. But who says you can’t eat chocolate cupcakes while you’re writing? No one. That’s who. No. one.)

And speaking of writing…did you know that I Love to Write Day falls right in the middle of National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo, which is much more fun to say?) That’s right, every November, writers everywhere devote themselves to writing an entire novel in the month of November. Know what? I’m just going to let John Green explain. While playing video games. Which is awesome.
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So…the bad thing is that November is half over, so it might be a little late to start NaNoWriMo. Unless you want to, that is. Unless you have a great idea for a novel, and then every month can be NaNoWriMo. And every day can be I Love to Write Day. And don’t forget…your library is here for you everyday, full of books on how to write, and (obviously) full of novels and stories and movies to inspire you. So what are you waiting for, Bits and Brambers? Grab some cupcakes (yay!) and start writing!