Category Archives: homepage gallery

First Thursday: The Art of Screen Printing Workshop

Thursday, November 6th mvpl2-1024x903

7 PM

Learn what it takes to turn your sketches into clothing designs or make a concert poster into a work of art! Our friends from Chromaculture Screen Printing and Design are back and ready to teach you the fundamentals of screen printing. You’ll learn everything from how to create the artwork to the process of printing. Everyone who attends will leave with their own screen printed shirt. Space in this hands-on workshop is limited and registration is required.

Register here

Check out pictures from our last screenprinting workshop here.

Please like & share:

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

Please like & share:

How to Access Shmoop.com’s Premium Content

You may be familiar with Shmoop.com’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:

shmoopgo

 

 

 

 

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

shmooplogin

 

 

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 shmoop.com 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:

COMPLETE COURSE CATALOG

Health, Physical Education, and Counseling
Technology and Computer Science
Please like & share:

Stars by Clem Grace

We turn to the stars
for comfort
We think those bright little pin pricks
those holes in the atmosphere
can somehow steer us
in the right direction

Because stars surely know
up from down
stars must realize they’re
suspended, indefinitely,
light-years away from each
desperate pair
of searching eyes

They must realize how
superior they are
to us inferior beings
us creatures who succumb
to the force of gravity

Stars never touch ground
just float
effortlessly, tauntingly, above us,
above our heads

So at times
when our head space seems
too expansive
for the minuscule reality
which is our existence

We turn to the stars
because at least they know
their place in the universe

But the truth is
even stars know no directional boundaries

Because if Pythagoras was right,
if the world is truly round,
suspended in dark infinity,
suspended in a blanket of sky,
then what lives above our heads
must also live below our feet

The high and mighty stars, therefore, surround us
that glittering blackness
encompasses us
We search for meaning so high
above our realities
when perhaps we could just be
peering over the edge of the earth.

And I don’t know if the
surrounding constellations,
the sometimes supernovas,
are a comfort or a warning

A protective shield
from galaxies unknown
or a reminder
that our lives are ultimately insignificant

But I know that some stars
are 100 times more powerful
than the sun
the most powerful thing we know
in this not quite geocentric universe
So if the stars know their place
We must know our place as well,
a place within them
a place within the stars.

Please like & share:

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

Warning: Contains spoilers about the Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus series

Published October, 2014 by Disney-Hyperion

502 Pages

Disclaimer: I am writing this at the beginning of what will no doubt be a very long mourning period. The Lightning Thief stole my heart in fourth grade, and I have loyally followed the series, through its many ups and downs, since then until this very last book. There is very little I can say about this book, because if you have made it this far, you are obviously a devoted fan who will read it anyway and form your own opinion. index

Here is what I will say: This book was in many ways a good ending to a marathon of myths, humor, couples, and cliffhangers. The characters stayed true to themselves and maintained their unique voices. The plot was intense and and only semi-predictable (I don’t typically find these books to be predictable at all, but since it’s the last one, there was only so many ways it could go). It was just as funny as ever, and especially in this book I could see Riordan catering a second level of humor to his older readership, with references to Doctor Who and The Hunger Games. My biggest complaint, one I know many readers will share, is that Percy and Annabeth don’t narrate any piece of this book. They are obviously highly involved in the action, and it is also fun to see other characters observing them. But since it’s the last book in the series, I am disappointed that I didn’t get one last chance to be inside their heads, especially Percy, since he narrated the entire first series.

While this book is clearly written for a younger audience than myself (I saw several websites that recommended it to readers ages 9-12), I still found it laugh out loud funny and heartfelt. Old jokes are remembered and new ones are told. At this point, I write more about who said what and Buford the Wonder Table, but I think it’s time to say goodbye. I love these characters, and after over 3,000 pages, this era is finally over. Goodbye, my friends.

Genre: Greek Myths

Keywords: Final chapter, Greek mythology, Percy Jackson, my childhood

Best Quote: “‘What if we promoted, like, Adidas shoes?’ Percy wondered. ‘Would that make Nike mad enough to show up?’ Leo smiled nervously. Maybe he and Percy did share something else – a stupid sense of humour. ‘Yeah, I bet that would totally be against her sponsorship deal. THOSE ARE NOT THE OFFICIAL SHOES OF THE OLYMPICS! YOU WILL DIE NOW!’”

Please like & share:

Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

Spoiler Alert! Contains information about the Shiver trilogy! 

Published July 2014 by Scholastic Press

357 pages

Like many other fans of Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver trilogy I was surprised and overjoyed to discover that Stiefvater published an unexpected fourth installment of the series in the form of a companion novel three years after the last book, Forever, was released. This book takes place several years later as well, in Los Angeles, and features two of the main characters from the original story: rock star druggie turned werewolf Cole St. Clair, and emotionally damaged beauty queen Isabel Culpeper.index

The book starts with Cole flying to L.A. to get Isabel back after their possible romance was snuffed out years earlier when her parents moved her back to California. He has also decided to come out of hiding and face his fans, while keeping his lupine secret, of course. Stiefvater easily revives the character’s voices and, after all these years, kindles a romance that readers will root for until the very end.

This book possesses a lot of the stylistic qualities as Shiver, Linger, and Forever. Stiefvater brings back her humor in full force, poking fun at fame, Hollywood, and reality TV. Isabel’s stunningly witty and emotionally detached inner monologue when it comes to the state of her ruined family is as shocking as ever.

Sinner is best suited to people who loved the original series because although the plot is entertaining, Cole and Isabel slip right back into their emotional incompetence. For readers who aren’t already invested in the characters, I would imagine their antics to be frustrating and tiresome, rather than endurable. For those like me, who adored the first three books, this novel was like a gift–an opportunity to visit a world once thought to be closed forever and get some much needed closure.

Genre: YA Romance/Fantasy

Keywords: fame, love, family trauma, commitment, loss

Best Quote: “My father looked up sharply. He hadn’t heard what I’d said because he had been busy cutting the throat of my good mood on the center island. Luckily the granite had been chosen to provide a wipe clean surface for blood, orange juice, and disappointment.”

Please like & share:

Creative Writing Links and Wisdom

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!

~Katie

  • All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.– ERNEST HEMINGWAY

  • 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

Please like & share:

New and Handpicked Books October 2014

Push Girl1push

by Chelsie Hill

Published 2014 by St. Martin’s Griffin
Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9781250045911

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

An inspiring, real, and fresh novel about how life can change in an instant co-authored by Hill, one of the stars of Sundance Channel’s unscripted series “Push Girls, ” based on her own life.

White Space2white
(First book in the Dark Passages series)
by Ilsa J Bick
Published 2014 by Egmontusa
Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9781606844199

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

In the tradition of “Memento” and “Inception” comes a thrilling and scary young adult novel about blurred reality where characters in a story find that a deadly and horrifying world exists in the space between the written lines.

Seventeen-year-old Emma Lindsay has problems: a head full of metal, no parents, a crazy artist for a guardian whom a stroke has turned into a vegetable, and all those times when she blinks away, dropping into other lives so ghostly and surreal it’s as if the story of her life bleeds into theirs. But one thing Emma has never doubted is that she’s real.

Then she writes “White Space,” a story about these kids stranded in a spooky house during a blizzard.

Unfortunately, “White Space” turns out to be a dead ringer for part of an unfinished novel by a long-dead writer. The manuscript, which she’s never seen, is a loopy “Matrix” meets “Inkheart “story in which characters fall out of different books and jump off the page. Thing is, when Emma blinks, she might be doing the same and, before long, she’s dropped into the very story she thought she’d written. Trapped in a weird, snow-choked valley, Emma meets other kids with dark secrets and strange abilities: Eric, Casey, Bode, Rima, and a very special little girl, Lizzie. What they discover is that they–and Emma–may be nothing more than characters written into being from an alternative universe for a very specific purpose.

Now what they must uncover is why they’ve been brought to this place–a world between the lines where parallel realities are created and destroyed and nightmares are written–before someone pens their end.

Latitude Zero3lat
by Diana Renn
Published 2014 by Viking Children’s Books
Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780670015580

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

“”I have to run,” said Juan Carlos. “You will call? Please? It is very important.” “

“”Yes. I will call. Definitely. At two.””

That’s what Tessa promises. But by two o’clock, young Ecuadorian cycling superstar Juan Carlos is dead, and Tessa, one of the last people ever to speak to him, is left with nothing but questions. The media deems Juan Carlos’s death a tragic accident at a charity bike ride, but Tessa, an aspiring investigative journalist herself, knows that something more is going on. While she grapples with her own grief and guilt, she is being stalked by spies with an insidious connection to the dead cycling champion. Tessa’s pursuit of an explanation for Juan Carlos’s untimely death leads her from the quiet New England backwoods to bustling bike shops and ultimately to Ecuador itself, Juan Carlos’s homeland. As the ride grows bumpy, Tessa no longer knows who’s a suspect and who is an ally. The only thing she knows for sure is that she must uncover the truth of why Juan Carlos has died and race to find the real villain–before the trail goes cold.

Transgender Lives: Complex Stories, Complex Voices4trans
by Kirstin Cronn-Mills
Published 2014 by Twenty-First Century Books (CT)
Library Binding, English. ISBN: 9780761390220

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

Seven young transgender individuals share how they came to understand, accept, and express their gender identities, as well as the sorrows and successes they experienced. Readers will explore the challenges transgender Americans face, including discrimination, prejudice, bullying and violence, unequal access to medical care, and limited legal protections.

llegal: Reflections of an Undocumented Immigrant 5illegal
by Jose Angel N
Published 2014 by University of Illinois Press
Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780252038310

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

A day after ‘N’ first crossed the US border from Mexico, he was caught and then released onto the streets of Tijuana. Undeterred, he crawled back through a tunnel to San Diego, where he entered the United States forever. In this book, he details the constraints, deceptions, and humiliations that characterize alien life amid the shadows.

Camp Utopia: & the Forgiveness Diet6camp
by Jenny Ruden
Published 2014 by Koehler Books
Paperback, English. ISBN: 9781940192314

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

Sixteen-year-old Baltimore teen Bethany Stern knows the only way out of spending her summer at Camp Utopia, a fat camp in Northern California, is weight-loss. Desperate, she tries The Forgiveness Diet, the latest fad whose infomercial promises that all she has to do is forgive her deadbeat dad, her scandalous sister, and the teenage magician next door and (unrequited) love of her life. But when the diet fails and her camp nemesis delivers the ultimate blow, Bee bids sayonara to Camp-not-Utopian-at-all to begin what she believes will be her “real” summer adventure, only to learn that running away isn’t as easy–or as healing–as it seems.

Her wry and honest voice bring humor and poignancy for anyone, fat or thin, tired of hearing “you’d be so pretty if…[insert unwelcome judgment about your appearance from loved one or perfect stranger].”

Bird Dream: Adventures at the Extremes of Human Flight7bird
by Matt Higgins
Published 2014 by Penguin Press
Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9781594204654

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:
A heart-stopping narrative of risk and courage, “Bird Dream” tells the story of the remarkable men and women who pioneered the latest advances in aerial exploration–from skydiving to BASE jumping to wingsuit flying–and made history with their daring.

“Bird Dream” shows that recent decades have witnessed an unprecedented revolution in human flight. By the end of the twentieth century BASE jumping was the most dangerous of all the extreme sports, with thrill-seeking jumpers parachuting from bridges, mountains, radio towers, and even skyscrapers. Despite numerous fatalities and legal skirmishes, BASE jumpers like Jeb Corliss of California thought they had discovered the ultimate rush. But all this changed for Corliss in 1999, when, high in the mountains of northern Italy, he and other jumpers watched in wonder as a stranger–wearing a cunning new jumpsuit featuring “wings” between the arms and legs–leaped from a ledge and then actually flew from the vertiginous cliffs. This dude’s flying, thought Corliss with a start. This changes everything.

What Corliss had witnessed was a wingsuit, an innovation more flying squirrel than bird or plane. Wingsuits were not new; they had fascinated men for centuries. Yet a modern design had improved safety and performance, allowing wingsuit pilots to leap from a helicopter or high cliff and soar for miles–using little more than their bodies–before deploying a parachute to reach the ground safely. The best pilots could fly close to the earth, rapidly navigating narrow canyons and mountain ranges. Still, colossal dangers remained, and the beauty of exploring human flight with such unprecedented grace would exact the ultimate cost for some pilots–they would pay with their lives.

Drawing on intimate access to Corliss and other top pilots from around the globe, “Bird Dream “tracks the evolution of the wingsuit movement through the larger than life characters who, in an age of viral video, forced the sport onto the world stage. Their exploits–which entranced millions of fans along the way–defied imagination. They were flying; not like the Wright brothers, but the way we do in our dreams.

Some dared to dream of going further yet, to a day when a wingsuit pilot might fly, and land, all without a parachute. A growing number of wingsuit pilots began plotting ways in which a human being might leap from the sky and land. A half dozen groups around the world were dedicated to this quest for a “wingsuit landing,” conjuring the pursuit of nations that once inspired the race to first summit Everest.

Given his fame as a stuntman, the brash, publicity-hungry Corliss remained the popular favorite to claim the first landing. Yet Bird Dream also tracks the path of another man, Gary Connery–a forty-two-year-old Englishman–who was quietly plotting to beat Corliss at his own game. Accompanied by an international cast of wingsuit devotees–including a Finnish magician, a parachute tester from Brazil, an Australian computer programmer, a gruff hang-gliding champion-turned-aeronautical engineer, a French skydiving champion, and a South African costume designer–Corliss and Connery raced to leap into the unknown, a contest that would lead to triumph for one and nearly cost the other his life.

Based on five years of firsthand reporting and original interviews, “Bird Dream” is the work of journalist Matt Higgins, who traveled the world alongside these extraordinary men and women as they jumped and flew in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Offering a behind-the-scenes take on some of the most spectacular and disastrous events of the wingsuit movement, Higgins’s “Bird Dream” is a riveting, adrenaline-fueled adventure at the very edge of human experience.

 

Rule of Thoughts 8rule
by James Dashner
Published 2014 by Delacorte Press
Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780385741415

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

From the “New York Times” bestselling author of the Maze Runner series that’s soon to be a major motion picture from Twentieth Century Fox comes “The Rule of Thoughts,” the exciting sequel to “The Eye of Minds.” Fans of the Divergent series by Veronica Roth and “The Hunger Games” will love the new Mortality Doctrine series.

Michael completed the Path. What he found at the end turned everything he’d ever known about his life–and the world–completely upside down.

He barely survived. But it was the only way VirtNet Security knew to find the cyber-terrorist Kaine–and to make the Sleep safe for gamers once again. And, the truth Michael discovered about Kaine is more complex than they anticipated, and more terrifying than even the worst of their fears.

Kaine is a tangent, a computer program that has become sentient. And Michael’s completing the Path was the first stage in turning Kaine’s master plan, the Mortality Doctrine, into a reality.

The Mortality Doctrine will populate Earth entirely with human bodies harboring tangent minds. Any gamer who sinks into the VirtNet risks coming out with a tangent intelligence in control of their body.

And the takeover has already begun.
College 101: A Girl’s Guide to Freshman Year9college
by Julie Zeilinger
Published 2014 by Prufrock Press
Paperback, English. ISBN: 9781618211774

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

College 101: A Girl’s Guide to Freshman Year is a comprehensive and authentic guide for girls to everything related to the college process. Unlike other college guides, College 101 is written from the honest, humorous, and relatable first-person perspective of a young woman who recently experienced the process, while also offering the advice of experts and unique experiences of other college-aged women. This guide shows girls what to really expect from the college planning process as well as their first year of college, including pro tips and common pitfalls to avoid. From test-taking tips, to finding the right college for you, to how to make the most of your freshman year, this book answers all young women’s questions, including those they didn’t even know they had! Presented in a dynamic and varied format, College 101 imparts seriously valuable information and secrets about the process in an extemporaneous and entertaining way.

Schizo10schizo
by Nic Sheff
Published 2014 by Philomel Books
Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780399164378

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

The fascinating, shocking, and ultimately quite hopeful story of one teen’s downward spiral into mental illness by the bestselling author of “Tweak.”

Miles’s little brother Teddy is missing. The police believe he drowned at the beach–the very same day Miles had his first schizophrenic episode. But Miles knows better–Teddy is alive. Kidnapped. There was even a witness! Fueled by guilt, Miles sets off to rescue Teddy.

There is so much to overcome, though. The endless pills he must take. The girl who steals his heart and plays with it. The black crows that follow him.

As seen through Miles’s distorted perception, his world closes around him as he pushes to keep it open. What you think you know about his world is actually a blur of gray, though, and the sharp focus of reality proves startling.

The “New York Times” bestselling author of “Tweak” offers a fascinating and ultimately quite hopeful story of one teen’s downward spiral into mental illness.

 

Please like & share:

First Thursday: Taking a Gap Year on a Budget (Pictures and Information)

Thank you to Sam and everyone who came out to the Gap Year Workshop! Pictures of the event below. You can download a PDF of Sam’s handout here: Sam Bull Gap Year Resources

slide1

robinelephantln

A slide from Sam’s presentation…

 

SC

GY1

October 2nd, 2014rose with elephant 2

There are a million great reasons to take a gap year between high school and college…and one big, expensive reason not to: money. Is it possible to have an exciting, fulfilling gap year without needing an endless flow of dollars? YES! But don’t take our word for it, come to this workshop and find out for yourself.

One of our guests is Sam Bull, who has been a gap year consultant since 1994. He will be talking about how to set up your own, low cost gap year. Other guests will include students who have recently taken gap years and are excited to share their information and experiences with you. Additionally, we will have tons of resources and information for you to take home, so you can explore even more gap year on a budget options on your own.

Registration for this event is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Register here.

This event is open to high school students and recent graduates only.

 

Please like & share: