Category Archives: homepage gallery

Take Your Rage to the Page

The Subversiveness of Zines and How to Make Your Own

Open to high school students and recent grads only. Registration required, register here. 

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014


Joe Biel, one of Microcosm Publishing’s coolest dudes and one of our esteemed workshop leaders.

What pisses you off? What do you want to say about it? Zines give voice to the silenced and publicize stories that the mainstream media refuses to cover. By taking their rage to the page, zinesters not only find a way to articulate their perspective but also share their vision with the world. 

On Tuesday, September 2nd, the Zine aficionados from Microcosm Publishing in Portland will teach you how to turn the issues you care about into a powerful tool for social change. Or, you can  just learn how to use zines to tell a really good story. Take a look at the awesome time we had with Microcosm Publishing last year.

All participants who register will leave with a blank book to start their zine-making endeavors as well as the Microcosm Zine of their choice.

Don’t know what a zine is? Check out this lovely little film by Jacob Carroll:

Creative Writing Workshops; Wednesday nights from 7-8:30 PM

creativewritinginstagramForget essays and homework; discover what it means to let creativity run wild and write for pleasure at these weekly creative writing workshops. We will read and discuss poetry, fiction, non-fiction, slam poetry, and any other type of writing that strikes our fancy. These workshops offer the opportunity to explore your writing skills in a relaxed, informal environment. Creative Writing Workshops aren’t about getting a good grade or writing a critical analysis, they are about trying new things and creating something exciting to put on a blank page.

313393_283129255049078_100000560186552_1070834_1377457794_nIf you don’t feel like writing, that’s fine too, you are always welcome to just hang out, eat candy, and listen to what others have to say. 

Student writing can be found here.

Like our Facebook page here.

Creative Writing links of interest can be found here.

Contact Katie (workshop facilitator and Young Adult Librarian) here. 

Workshops are open to high school students only

Pictures and Videos from the End-of-Summer Party

UPDATED 8/29: Thanks to everyone who came and enjoyed the fantastic summer evening with Sol Food, poetry, and prizes! Enjoy the pictures and some delightful videos of Billy and Chase killing it on stage (thanks, Clara!). 

I dare you to look at this picture and not get hungry

I dare you to look at this picture and not get hungry




“Surprise” guest, Sally!


I don’t really know what’s happening in this picture, but I love it all.




Our talented performers...

Our talented performers…

billyonstage chasepoem shortfromstage solfood solfoodsquare billynfriends






How to Access’s Premium Content

You may be familiar with’s free study tools, which are endlessly helpful for shmoopeverything from algebra to statistics. With your Mill Valley Library card, though, you can access Shmoop’s Premium content–including test prep for any AP Exam you can think of as well as SAT, ACT, and all of those other fun times standardized tests (scroll to the bottom of the page to see their complete course catalog). There’s also business and career info, writing help and much, MUCH more.

To get started…

1) Just click here

2) You will see something that looks like this:






3) Click “Let’s Go” and you will be taken to a page that looks like this:




4) Where it asks you for a “Magic Word,” enter your Library Card Number (starts with 211110)

5) Create a Username and Password

6) Click “CREATE”

After creating your account, you can log into with your username and password and click on “My Passes” to see your test prep!

*Don’t have a Library Card? Maybe you lost it sometime in the 5th grade? No worries. Just fill out the online application below and stop by the Library to pick up your (free!) card.

Online Library Card Application

What, exactly, do you get with Shmoop’s premium content? Oh, just this:


Health, Physical Education, and Counseling
Technology and Computer Science

A Girl Called Fearless by Catherine Linka

Published May  2014 by St. Martin’s Griffin

368 pages

Avie Reveare is growing up without a mother. This is not an uncommon fate in her time, however, after a hormone in beef wiped out most women in America between puberty and menopause. Avie, now 16, is living an existence that would have been unrecognizable to her before the epidemic–bodyguards, classes at school about how to keep a household, and most of her friends being claimed by marriage contracts–but this is the way it is now. Being a young girl has become one of the most dangerous fates imaginable.

While Avie is not necessarily happy with this turn of events, she has accepted her new sheltered life with the promise of college and more freedom in a few years. Then her father announces that he is arranging a marriage for her with one of richest men in the country in order to save his dying company, and her whole world completely changes–again. With nobody to turn to, and her every move monitored, Avie searches for freedom and a way out in any form. Struggling to determine who she can trust in a world where the Paternalist movement is gaining political traction (no women voters), Avie’s fight is just a different version of the fight women are having all over the world today.

While the premise is relatable, especially for female readers, and the plot is well constructed, pieces of new information that change Avie’s opinion are few and far between. Readers that get impatient when books become slow-moving or dislike books where the main character is uncertain and confused for a lot of the time will probably not enjoy this book. If a reader can stick with it, though, they will be rewarded with plot twists and bold messages that are clearly meant as warnings for modern society about the way women’s issues are treated by the media and government.

Genre: Dystopian Fiction

Keywords: future, feminism, trust, love, freedom

Best Quote: I slammed awake in the middle of the night. I’ll never feel safe again.

Creative Writing Links

Thanks to the weekly Creative Writing Workshop for high school students, I do a lot of reading about writing. It seems selfish to keep such a plethora of knowledge to myself. If I find an article/post/cat gif that I, in my totally subjective way, find pertinent to the craft of writing, I will share it here. Generally speaking, I will only post the title and/or first few lines of something, with a link to the full text. If nothing else, this will be a useful repository for me to collect the interesting writing articles I find and usually promptly forget about. There may only be a few pieces to start, but I promise to continue to add more. If you come across something you think should be here, email me or post it to the Facebook page (which pretty much only I read) and I will repost here.  Read/Write on!


  • I don’t follow Quora much but this showed up in my inbox and if Lois Lowery is talking about the process of writing a novel, I want to read what she has to say.
  • This illustrated version of Charles Bukowski’s “air and light and time and space” is awesome. 
  • I am living by this excerpt from Anne Lamott’s great book on writing, Bird By Bird.
  • I mean, you can be sure I am going to include lots of quotes from my boy Hemingway on this page:

“When I am working on a book or story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write. You read what you have written and, as you always stop when you know what is going to happen next, you go on from there. You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until the next day next you hit it again.” ERNEST HEMINGWAY

  • Although this does not bode well for me, as I am actually the least athletic/exercise-y person alive, I am sure what Rebecca Makkai says is true:

“My cures for writer’s block are alarmingly pragmatic and physical. So pragmatic that they arrange themselves in list form! To wit: 1. Get up and walk around. A few years ago, I realized that the solutions to most of my writing problems would come to me in the bathroom. It wasn’t the bathroom itself, of course, that was magic, but the act of getting up from my desk and walking there, getting the blood flowing, and tearing my eyes away from the computer screen. So now, when I’m staring down a huge plot problem, I take a long walk—without a notepad. It’s nearly always solved by the time I get back. 2. Vitamin B. It’s better than caffeine. It makes you both calmer and smarter. I keep a bottle on my desk. 3. If you can, sleep late. That last cycle of sleep is when the weird dreams come, the ones you’ll actually remember. (And how great is it to say, “I have to sleep late for work?”) 4. Yoga. My point with all of these being: Writing isn’t entirely mental. You’re a physical being, and sometimes when your writing is broken, it’s your body that needs attention, not your mind.”
—Rebecca Makkai via The Millions

  • Finished a draft of something? Here are six questions to ask your reader to ensure they give helpful feedback.
  • Failure is Our Muse by Stephen Marche (good, because one of my stories keeps getting rejected and it’s giving me a sad!)
  • “You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.” JOSEPH CAMPBELL

  • What Writers Can Learn from “Goodnight Moon” by Aimee Bender
  • Fiction Writer's Cheat Sheet by RipleyNox

    Fiction Writer’s Cheat Sheet by RipleyNox

Sarah’s Book Reviews: Nantucket Red by Leila Howland


Published May 2014 by Disney-Hyperionnanred

288 pages

Cricket Thompson is starting her senior year after her summer on Nantucket with a mixed bag of expectations. On the one hand, she is in love. On the other, she is in love with her former best friend’s little brother Zack and now her best friend won’t really talk to her. And Zack has just announced his plans to go to boarding school in order to escape his father and sister who are still grief stricken and listless after the sudden and unexpected death of their mother last spring. Cricket and Zack decide to put their relationship “on hold” for the school year, but that devolves pretty quickly into who knows what and Cricket knows that they’ve broken up and nobody is saying so.

Within the first few chapters, Howland wraps up the school year and then it is summer once again. Cricket still hasn’t seen Zack and her relationship with his sister Jules is on the mend, something she doesn’t want to jeopardize. When she graduates high school, ivy league bound, her stepmother’s parents offer her the opportunity to live in the dorms by paying half if she can come up with the other half by the end of the summer. Cricket knows that her only method of earning that much money is to return to Nantucket once again, where it has been confirmed that Zack has a new girlfriend.

Less than thrilled by the prospect, Cricket nonetheless embarks on another summer of change and growth. Reconnecting with island friends and making more as she goes, including a new boy, Cricket begins to open up to new experiences. As she works her tail off to earn her ticket to the true college experience, she simultaneously begins to doubt her plans for the future.

This book raises important questions about school, life, and how we make decisions. Every high schooler knows that self doubt and anxiety plague the college admissions process. Cricket’s will power, and her willingness to follow her heart, make Nantucket Red a reassuring tale about things turn out well in the end.

Genre: Realistic fiction

Key words: summer, college, future, decisions

Best Quote: “Maybe what couldn’t be named was just as real as what could be. Maybe sometimes love existed in the spaces in between.”


Handpicked August 2014

Science Bookhspace=2
by DK Publishing
Published 2014 by DK Publishing (Dorling Kindersley)
Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9781465419651

Find this book in our catalog.Jacket Notes:

With over 225,000 copies in print, DK’s “Big Ideas” series has struck a chord with readers fascinated-but also intimidated-by complex subjects like philosophy, psychology, politics, and religion.

The newest title in this successful and acclaimed series is “The Science Book,” an inventive visual take on astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, and physics. With eye-catching artwork, step-by-step diagrams, and illustrations that break down complicated ideas into manageable concepts, “The Science Book” will have readers conversant in genetic engineering, black holes, and global warming in no time. Along the way are found mini-biographies of the most well-known scientists, and a glossary of helpful scientific terms.

For students, and students of the world, there is no better way to explore the fascinating, strange, and mysterious world of science than in “The Science Book.”

hspace=2Fat Boy vs. the Cheerleaders
by Geoff Herbach
Published 2014 by Sourcebooks Fire
Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9781402291418Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

 From Geoff Herbach, the award-winning author of the hit young adult novels “Stupid Fast” and “Nothing Special,” comes a tale that will resonate with fat kids, nerds, dorks, gamers, geeks and teen outcasts of all kinds-an authentically funny story for anyone who has suffered from teasing and bullying at the hands of the high school social hierarchy. And decided to do something about it. 

Join a cast of quirky misfits as fat boy Gabe, aka Chunk, goes up against the high school cheerleading team in a battle over control of the school’s soda machine. A marching band geek who drowns his dysfunctional family woes in a voracious soda habit, Gabe relishes his role as class clown, fending off harassment from students and teachers with his own brand of irreverent, self-deprecating humor. But when the cheerleading team takes over the funds previously collected by the band, Gabe will not stand for it. Something must be done. 

It’s geeks versus jocks in an epic battle of the beverages! 

Hilarious and poignant, “Fat Boy vs. The Cheerleaders” will have teen boys and girls alike cheering on this underdog turned unlikely hero. Reluctant readers and fans of Chris Crutcher, K.L. Going, and Andrew Smith’s “Winger” will love Herbach’s straightforward writing style and realism. “One of the most real, honest, and still funny male voices to come around in a while” (YALSA).”

hspace=2Catch a Falling Star
by Kim Culbertson
Published 2014 by Point
Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780545627047Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

A deliciously charming novel about finding true love . . . and yourself.

Nothing ever happens in Little, CA. Which is just the way Carter Moon likes it. But when Hollywood arrives to film a movie starring former child star turned PR mess Adam Jakes, everything changes. Carter’s town becomes a giant glittery set and, much to her annoyance, everyone is starry-eyed for Adam. Carter seems to be the only girl not falling all over herself to get a glimpse of him. Which apparently makes her perfect for the secret offer of a lifetime: playing the role of Adam’s girlfriend while he’s in town, to improve his public image, in exchange for a hefty paycheck. Her family really needs the money and so Carters agrees. But it turns out Adam isn’t at all who she thought he was. As they grow closer, their relationship walks a blurry line between what’s real and what’s fake, and Carter must open her eyes to the scariest of unexplored worlds – her future. Can Carter figure out what she wants out of life AND get the guy? Or are there no Hollywood endings in real life?

 Publishers Weekly 03/10/2014

Carter Moon loves stars the kind in the night sky, not the ones that crash and burn to the delight of the media and the celebrity-obsessed masses. But this summer, while Carter is working at her family’s diner, the manager of one of Hollywood’s most notorious young actors, Adam Jakes, enlists her to pretend she is Adam’s small-town sweetheart to help restore his fallen image. Carter would never normally agree to such a thing, but her brother is in trouble because of unpaid gambling debts, and the faux-girlfriend gig pays well. Culbertson (Instructions for a Broken Heart) is a capable writer, and she gives Carter a good heart that shines through in the way Carter handles her friendships and that also catches Adam’s eye. Fans of recent “Hollywood Blvd. meets Main St.” novels like Cherry Money Baby and This Is What Happy Looks Like will enjoy following Carter and Adam through the familiar cycle of the rom-com relationship, from dislike to like, complication to realization, and finally to love. Ages 12 up. Agent: Melissa Sarver, Folio Literary Management. (May) Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly Used with permission.

hspace=2Ask Me
by Kimberly Pauley
Published 2014 by Soho Teen
Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9781616953836Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

Paranormal gets a Stephen King makeover: An oracle in a small-town Florida uses her troubling gift to stop a murderer–before he comes for her.

Aria Morse is an Oracle, blessed–or cursed–with the gift of prophecy. Ask her anything, and the truth spills out immediately. But Aria’s answers sound like nonsense, even to herself… just as they did at Delphi 2500 years ago.

To cope, Aria has perfected the art of hiding in plain sight–until Jade Price, the closest person she has to a friend, disappears. All of a sudden, everyone around her has questions. The “nonsense” Aria spouts becomes a matter of life and death.

She may be the only one who can find out what happened to Jade. But the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she comes to being the next target of someone else who hides in plain sight. Someone with a very dark plan.

 Publishers Weekly 02/03/2014

Pauley (Cat Girl’s Day Off) updates the conceit of a compulsively truthful, Cassandralike protagonist in this well-executed mystery. Aria, 17, is both mysterious and familiar the girl cringing in the corner, mumbling weird stuff. It’s not awkwardness or a wretched home life that makes her behave this way, though. Aria is an oracle, who must answer truthfully every question she hears. She doesn’t have conscious access to most of this knowledge, and she’s often confused by what she says. After classmate Jade goes missing, it’s Aria who gives the crucial clue that leads to discovery of the body. But when she is drawn into the quest to discover Jade’s killer, the twists of her oracular gift obscure the answer until it’s nearly too late. Pauley’s characterizations are superior, and the startling, sometimes painful things Aria says make for sharp dialogue. The only stumble is in the denouement, when the emotions built over the preceding pages unravel too quickly and superficially. For the most part, however, this is an absorbing and resonant read. Ages 14 up. Agent: Susanna Einstein, Einstein Thompson Agency. (Apr.) Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly Used with permission.

by Kevin Emerson
Published 2014 by Katherine Tegen Books
Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780062133953Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

Kevin Emerson’s Exile combines the swoon-worthy romance of a Susane Colasanti novel with the rock ‘n’ roll of Eleanor & Park. Summer Carlson knows how to manage bands like a professional–minus the whole falling-for-the-lead-singer-of-the-latest-band part. But Caleb Daniels isn’t an ordinary band boy–he’s a hot, dreamy, sweet-singing, exiled-from-his-old-band, possibly-with-a-deep-dark-side band boy. She also finds herself at the center of a mystery she never saw coming. When Caleb reveals a secret about his long-lost father, one band’s past becomes another’s present, and Summer finds it harder and harder to be both band manager and girlfriend. Maybe it’s time to accept who she really is, even if it means becoming an exile herself. . . .

Publishers Weekly 03/17/2014

Emerson (the Atlanteans series) wields his chops as a musician in this series opener about a Los Angeles arts high school rock band trying to make it big. Senior Caleb Daniels’s new band, Dangerheart, has all the components of the next big thing a dreamy singer (in Caleb), a brooding female bassist, and lyrics that make girls swoon. There’s only one problem: Caleb doesn’t want to owe his fame to his biological father, a rock legend who drowned years earlier, and whose connection to Caleb has only recently been revealed. When Summer Carlson Dangerheart’s manager, Caleb’s girlfriend, and the novel’s narrator sets up the band’s breakout tour to San Francisco, the circumstances surrounding Caleb’s legacy grow murkier, including rumors of his father’s three missing songs and a record label demanding answers that no one seems to have. Emerson’s seasoned music references and deep knowledge of the business (including its slimy side) will draw readers in, but it’s the emerging conspiracy theories that give the book its edge and provide the perfect setup for the sequel. Ages 14 up. Agent: George Nicholson, Sterling Lord Literistic. (May) Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly Used with permission.

hspace=2Call Me by My Name
by John Ed Bradley
Published 2014 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9781442497931Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

From former football star and bestselling author John Ed Bradley comes a searing look at love, life, and football in the face of racial adversity. “Heartbreaking,” says Laurie Halse Anderson, author of “Speak.”

Growing up in Louisiana in the late 1960s, Tater Henry has experienced a lot of prejudice. His town is slow to desegregate and slower still to leave behind deep-seated prejudice.

Despite the town’s sensibilities, Rodney Boulett and his twin sister Angie befriend Tater, and as their friendship grows stronger, Tater and Rodney become an unstoppable force on the football field. That is, until Rodney sees Tater and Angie growing closer, too, and Rodney’s world is turned upside down. Teammates, best friends–Rodney’s world is threatened by a hate he did not know was inside of him.

As the town learns to accept notions like a black quarterback, some changes may be too difficult to accept.

by Patricia H Aust
Published 2014 by Luminis Books, Inc.
Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9781935462996Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

A young teen comes of age in an abusive home Miguel’s dad is at it again–physically abusing his mom and sister and terrorizing Miguel for no good reason. But when Miguel’s mom and sister, who have been whispering to one another for some time, decide to stand up to the abuse and decide to move to a women’s shelter, Miguel’s life begins to take turns he never expected. After the family moves out, it isn’t long before Miguel’s dad promises to change his ways before once again becoming abusive; leaving Miguel to summon the courage to stand up to the man he thought he loved. This emotional and stirring novel is told from the point of view of a young man who is torn between the love he feels for his abusive father and the responsibility to protect his family.


hspace=2Killer Instinct
by S E Green
Published 2014 by Simon Pulse
Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9781481402859Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

A teen girl version of “Dexter” meets the high stakes danger and mystery of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” in this riveting debut.

Lane is a typical teenager. Loving family. Good grades. After-school job at the local animal hospital. Martial arts enthusiast. But her secret obsession is studying serial killers. She understands them, knows what makes them tick.


Because she might be one herself.

Lane channels her dark impulses by hunting criminals and delivering justice when the law fails. The vigilantism stops shy of murder, but with each visceral rush, the line of self-control blurs. And when a young preschool teacher goes missing–and returns in pieces–Lane gets a little too excited about tracking down “the Decapitator,” the vicious serial murderer who has come to her hometown.

As she gets dangerously caught up in a web of lies about her own past, Lane realizes she is no longer invisible or safe. Especially after the Decapitator contacts her directly. Now she needs to use her unique talents to find the true killer’s identity before she–or someone she loves–becomes the next victim…

hspace=2License to Spill
by Lisi Harrison
Published 2014 by Poppy Books
Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780316222426Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

Three girls, two guys, five secret journals.

The five most popular students at Noble High have secrets to hide; secrets they wrote down in their journals. Now one of their own exposes the private entries…

“When our parents were growing up they were encouraged to make mistakes. That’s how they learned. But us? Our mistakes go viral. There is no delete button on the Internet. What kind of future do we have if we can’t escape our embarrassing pasts? I must come off as quite the hypocrite; complaining about our overexposed lives in a book of secret journals I have leaked. But these pages hold proof of how this pressure affects the “best” of us… so until the heat’s turned down, keep reading. 

by Charles Higson
Published 2014 by Disney – (Hyperion)
Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9781423165668Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

The Enemy is among us . . .First the sickness rotted the adults’ minds. Then their bodies. Now they stalk the streets of London, hunting human flesh.

The Holloway crew are survivors. They’ve fought their way across the city and made it to the Natural History Museum alive–just barely. But their fight will never end while the Enemy lives, unless there’s another way. . . .

The kids at the museum are looking for a cure. All they need are medical supplies.To get them they must venture down unfamiliar streets, where it isn’t only crazed, hungry sickos who lurk in the shadows.

In this fifth terrifying entry in Charlie Higson’s Enemy series, suddenly it’s not so clear who–or what–the enemy is.

Reflection by Ben Daly

It was dark, so I could only trust the moon. Spending what could have been better days with worse people, who were still so far away. The pale patterned walls saw everything. And when my family made me come to the surface for air, it was artificial. My passions, my hobbies, my ego, even my music. I pretended it was perfect. Like the people, these things could have been closer to me. But unlike the people, I chose to keep them far. And when I could not see the moon in my window, I pondered if anything really was there. It felt like a beautifully decorated stage with no actors. Even the music was there. But no matter how hard I tried, the star would not come on. What was his motivation for this scene? The audience was preoccupied, and the tickets were approaching unaffordable. So I sat on the side of the stage, awkwardly looking to the backdrop of the night sky, hoping I would remember my lines. But it was dark, so I could only trust the moon.