Category Archives: homepage gallery

Sweet Reads Book Club: The Fifth Wave

Join us at the library on the first Monday of every month for our new Young Adult Book Club! Come for the snacks, to tell us why you loved or hated the book, or to suggest future book club titles. Sweet treats provided at all events!

August 3: The Fifth Wave.

Registration recommended.


August 3rd: Who doesn’t love a good post-apocalyptic novel? Join us for a discussion of Rick Yancey’s The Fifth Wave, a novel set in a world where there’s only one rule: trust no one. Refreshments will be provided, and registration is recommended. Register here. Find a copy of The Fifth Wave here.

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Movie and Pizza Night: The DUFF

Tuesday, August 11th at 7 PM

Take a break from the summer sun and join us at the library for a nightpep_pizza_BIG of movie night and pizza.  We’ll be screening the popular 2015 film, The DUFF, based on the YA book with the same title. High-school senior Bianca has a rude awakening when she learns that her classmates secretly know her as the DUFF — designated ugly fat friend — to her more popular pals. In order to save her senior year from becoming a complete disaster, Bianca must revolutionize the school’s social order. Pizza will be provided.

Registration recommended (and appreciated, so we know how much pizza to buy). Register here.

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End of Summer Party in the Outdoor Amphitheater 8/17

End of Summer Party for high school students (rising freshmen and recent grads)

Monday, August 17th at 7-8 PMSFsquare

Enjoy one last hurrah before school starts! This end of summer party for high school students (including rising freshmen and recent grads) in the Outdoor Amphitheater will have free Sol Food, live entertainment by the Black Trolls, and the raffle drawing for the teen summer reading program. You do not have to have participated in the summer reading program to attend; we will have door prizes in addition to the summer reading prizes. Registration strongly suggested. Register at

Check out pictures from last year’s end of summer party here.

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Summer Reading Program: Trivia Addict

Summer Reading is all about finding that delicate balance between expanding your horizons and letting you choose what you want to read. We know you’ve just spent an entire year (or four) with teachers telling you when and what to read.

We want to help you find new books that you will love, but stay within the confines of what interests you. Also, we have a bunch of prizes to give away, so we’re going to do that, too.

Here’s how it works:

1. Sign up here!

2. Spin the Trivia Wheel (you have to select a “power” level before hitting “spin”)

3. Pick a book that relates–in any way, you’ll see that we’re not picky– to the category you landed on. Dozens of suggestions for each category can be found through the links below. You can also get a Personalized Reading List by going here.

4. After you read a book, submit the title and the category in your online reading log.

5. Come to our end-of-summer party in August to pick up your prize, eat free Sol Food, and listen to live entertainment in the Outdoor Amphitheater. You don’t need to attend the party to win…you’ll just be sad you missed a good time. (Same goes for the party, you can come even if you haven’t done the Trivia Addict challenge). Pictures from last year’s extravaganza can be found here.

6. For extra (and optional) fun times, next time you are in the Library, ask the Reference Librarian for a trivia question. If you get it right, the Librarian will submit your name for an extra chance to win one of the amazing prizes!

Trivia Addict Category Book Lists

(Click on the category name to be taken to the full book list for each category. Or you can see all the lists here).







Wild Card

 Prizes include gift certificates to local restaurants (Grilly’s! Sol Food! Boo Koo!), as well as iTunes gift cards and…a Kindle Fire!


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Urban Introspections by Maxine Flasher-Duzgunes

There is no difference between compassion and rejection. I learn strategically, crossing the street with the rest of them, when the red hand goes up. I was on 17th and Mission, where the bagels smell like shades of memories—warm, uninterrupted—and the people smell, well, like people. We had to wait for a right turn because a one legged man wouldn’t smile and say, “Go ahead”. We had to cover our heads when we walked under a scaffolded building because we were afraid the nails might rain down. Then again, I guess it was just me that was afraid.

We were parked 3 blocks from the studio, and I was confused when the homeless man yelled “pity” at my shoes. My mother passed a drunken man, when she was alone. He was smiling, the euphoric kind, where the lips are too damn high just to say they’re “happy”. I wondered, if I was there: would I feel drunk too?…would 21 greet me at a green light and I’d feel too young to be a child?…would I be drunk if my shopping cart were my suitcase?…if Japanese tourists were my neighbors 25 hours of the day?

My mother said the Mission was never on the city’s restoration list. “Bernal Heights had been checked off,” she told me, “Noe Valley; that was another lucky one.” I nodded, pressing my lips together.

Drained noise, from the insides of the passenger window. The graffiti was ashen, even the murals in the schoolyards. The million dollar apartments, stained with the profanity of strangers (all over garage doors and fire escapes).

We drove down Divisidero. “No traffic,” I said. Despite the construction and the minute hand pointing to rush hour. “The locals keep to the indoors on Wednesdays,” I suggested. Maybe the bachelor didn’t shave his beard. Maybe the hooker didn’t shave her legs. Maybe for once in everyone’s lives, the fog was telling them where to go. I must have been unfamiliar with where it was they were going.

I am astonished at a Golden Gate that would be so much as red if its towers weren’t rusted with the stop and go of foreclosure signs, empty storefronts, and singles protesting social injustice. He stopped us, a white man who brought up starving children and racism all in the same sentence. We were out to lunch, and we said we would come back. “Keep up the good work,” my mom whistled back from an adjoining block. We didn’t come back.

I had a twenty in my pocket—it wouldn’t take much to toss it in a guitar case or a plastic bucket. It wouldn’t take much, I said to myself, to read a cardboard sign that had “God Bless” scribbled in Sharpie. Give a hollow man my takeout. Anything.

But I didn’t. I walked those 3 blocks to the studio. I took class like I was back in Marin County, and I had clothes, and I had an identity that had more or less manifested itself into a journal for 4 or so years. So yes, I am capable of patting an untalented child on the back. I am capable of biting my brother’s arm if he’s watching too much TV. I learned strategically, however, that I cannot ride the MUNI without washing my hands 7 times over after I get off. I cannot stare at a pedestrian without saying that I’ve had a life-changing experience. I cannot observe that green-glass sea without imagining the bodies breathing un-hopefully at the bottom. I cannot live here. I can only look here.

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

creativewritinginstagramSummer is here and it’s time to forget about essays and homework and discover means to truly write creatively at these weekly workshops. In these drop-in, informal, supportive 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, fun 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, including rising freshmen and recent high school graduates only

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Pictures from the Wilderness Survival Workshop

Many thanks to Craig Sloan for a super informative and fun evening!


first we covered the basics…

like how to build shelters in any climate, even the snow!

like how to build shelters in any climate, even the snow!

like this fancy compass i already forget how to use...

and use this fancy compass i already forget how to use…


and all kinds of sneaky things about GPS…

do YOU know how to avoid getting eaten by a bear?

do YOU know how to avoid getting eaten by a bear?

essential gear (no playing with the knife!)

essential gear (no playing with the knife!)

you should probably know how to use one of these...

you should probably know how to use one of these…

whatchoo gonna pack?

whatchoo gonna pack?

here's how you can build a thing

here’s how you can build a thing

that will help you start a fire--no lighter or matches needed

that will help you start a fire-

that will help you start a fire--no lighter or matches needed

-no lighter or matches needed

is that smoke? not to worry, Craig's a firefighter, he wouldn't let us burn down the library....right?

is that smoke? not to worry, Craig’s a firefighter, he wouldn’t let us burn down the library….right?

Wilderness Survivalwildnew                                       New date: Monday, June 15th at 7 PM

Summertime means long hikes around beautiful Mt. Tam, camping trips in the Sierras, and generally relishing in the great outdoors. But nature can be just as dangerous as it is beautiful and it’s important to be prepared for whatever might come your way–be a it mosquito or a mountain lion.

Craig Sloan, a Mill Valley Fire Department firefighter, Marine, and all-around awesome human being is going to teach high school students* the essentials of wilderness survival at this free, hands-on workshop. Learn how to create a shelter, trap and forage for food, and how to avoid getting eaten by a bear. If you don’t like being mauled by large animals, this is the class for you!

*Open to rising freshmen and recent high school graduates, as well as current high school students. For high school students only. Registration strongly recommended and greatly appreciated. Register here.

Craig’s bio:craig

Craig started his fire service career with the Mill Valley Fire Department after graduating from Tamalpais High School in 2002.  Shortly after graduating, Craig enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where he served with honor and distinction for 5 years.  Craig was honorably discharged at the rank of Sergeant and rejoined our department in 2010 as a Firefighter-Trainee.  Craig started his new assignment as a Firefighter on November, 11th, 2011 – Veteran’s Day. 

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I Don’t Know If by Maxine Flasher-Duzgunes

I don’t know if I care that I’m not in their photos, their squad slideshows, their monthly binges at In n’ Out. I’ve never been much for bikinis and car keys at my side. I feel that I’m not a part of something when everyone’s arms are cold by the time they hug me. I’m on another bench, or in another pool, waiting to think of something clever to say. I’m not spontaneous, I don’t laugh at my own face, I’m not someone who walks into a crowd and gets mugged. I might have a light smudge of lipstick on my cheek, or a wrinkle in my shirt, but I won’t be made up. I won’t put on red lipstick or fake lashes. I won’t make fat rolls with my chin. I won’t parade down red carpets as if I had the legs for it. I’m not per say, notorious for my neighborhood.

My name might be mentioned once or twice when I arrive, and I kill the boring streak. Or when I leave, and one more name can be checked off and go stale. I try too hard…I regret it. I’m quiet…I regret that too. I don’t understand why every little piece of information is one-sided, why it’s small…and meaningless. I knew this day would go a certain way. I told myself: there might be a give or take in the end result, but eventually it would take to Maple Street, maybe Sir Francis Drake. It would make me say, “damn” as I took a shower, then again as I went to bed. It would make me satisfied that I predicted the percentage of lonely in my nighttime prayers.

I don’t know if I care that I’m not one of them: the one with the towel and the baseball hat, the one with the funny shirts. Am I too cynical? Are they afraid of me? Is it my hair?

I don’t know, I really don’t know. I’ve tried the lying thing: I guess all them high schoolers are better than me. Everyone is used to lying through their teeth, and puffing smoke, and asking people out like it was just another item on their grocery list.

I’m not used to that: I haven’t done anything. I don’t drive, I listen to drug-ed teachers, I listen to my parents, I don’t drive. I’m not ten anymore, so my art can’t look crappy, and I’m not allowed to wear a damn bow in my hair. I can’t hold my daddy’s hand. I can’t talk about my brother without imagining he was dead and everyone saw me for the first time. You know, the pity kind, where everyone pats your back. Maybe just looks over their shoulder, presses their lips together. Not a pout, but a gentle smile with the lower lip…a pity smile.

It’s because I listen to the right people that I haven’t done anything. I don’t dye my hair, because of the chemicals. I don’t drink Slurpees, because of the chemicals. I don’t talk to kids my age…because of the chemicals.

It’s because I listen to the right people that I’m not in anyone’s pictures, I shove off my mother when she stalks me with her disposable camera, or when my dad comes to school to bring my lunch. The fact is: I’m not interesting anymore.


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Perls: Personalized Reading Lists (PeRLs)

Not sure what to read next? books and mess

Why waste your time reading a book that doesn’t interest you? Let us make you a PeRL: a  list of books you are bound to love, based on your own interests, preferences, and/or strange curiosities.

Do you love books that take place at boarding school? Are you exclusively interested in Science Fiction, Manga, or survivalist memoirs? Whatever you are into, we can come up with a list of books guaranteed to keep you up until the wee hours of the morning.

A well-read librarian (me!) will create a personalized reading list for you, based on books, or even movies and T.V. shows you’ve loved.

Just contact me for an in-person appointment or answer a few questions here and I will get back to you with a list. Open to high school students and recent graduates only.

Adults interested in a personalized reading list, click here; kids in 4th-8th grade click here.

image via:

image via:

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New Books for June!

hspace=2Porcupine of Truth
by Bill Konigsberg
Published 2015 by Arthur A. Levine Books

Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780545648936

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

The author of OPENLY STRAIGHT returns with an epic road trip involving family history, gay history, the girlfriend our hero can’t have, the grandfather he never knew, and the Porcupine of Truth.

Carson Smith is resigned to spending his summer in Billings, Montana, helping his mom take care of his father, a dying alcoholic he doesn’t really know. Then he meets Aisha Stinson, a beautiful girl who has run away from her difficult family, and Pastor John Logan, who’s long held a secret regarding Carson’s grandfather, who disappeared without warning or explanation thirty years before. Together, Carson and Aisha embark on an epic road trip to find the answers that might save Carson’s dad, restore his fragmented family, and discover the “Porcupine of Truth” in all of their lives.

by Sara Shepard
Published 2014 by Harper Teen

Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780062074690

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

You don’t have to be good to be perfect.

From Sara Shepard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Pretty Little Liars series, comes another series full of juicy secrets, nail-biting suspense, and beautiful girls who will do anything to hide the ugly truth.

Ava, Caitlin, Mackenzie, Julie, and Parker are all driven to be perfect–no matter the cost. At first the girls think they have nothing in common, until they discover that they all hate the same person: handsome womanizer Nolan Hotchkiss, who’s done things to hurt each of them. They come up with the perfect plan to murder Nolan–jokingly, of course. They’d never actually go through with it. But when Nolan turns up dead in the exact way they’d discussed, the girls suddenly become prime suspects in his murder. Only, they didn’t do it. So who did? Unless they find the real killer, and soon, their perfect lives will come crashing down around them.

by Matt De La Pena
Published 2015 by Delacorte Press

Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780385741224

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

De la Pena has created a rare thing: a plot-driven YA with characters worthy of a John Green novel. -”Entertainment Weekly “review of “The Living,” A-

Action is first and foremost. . . . De la Pena can uncork delicate but vivid scenes. “The New York Times “review of “The Living”

The sequel to “The Living,” Matt de la Pena s “The Hunted” is a high-energy, action-packed survival story.

When the Big One hit, Shy was at sea in style. The Paradise Cruise luxury liner he worked on was a hulking specimen of the best money could buy. And now it’s at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, along with almost all of its passengers.

Shy wasn’t the only one to survive, though. Addie, the rich blond daughter of a mysterious businessman, was on the dinghy he pulled himself into. But as soon as they found the rest of the survivors, she disappeared.

The only thing that filled the strange void of losing her was finding Carmen, his hot coworker, and discovering a way to get back home. But Shy’s luck hasn’t turned. Not yet.

Back on the dinghy, Addie told him a secret. It’s a secret that people would kill for–have killed for–and she has the piece that could turn everything on its ear. The problem? Shy has no idea where Addie is. Back home in California seems logical, but there are more ways to die back home then Shy could ever have guessed.

And thanks to what Shy now knows, he’s a moving target.


(Fourth book in the Selection series)

by Kiera Cass
Published 2015 by Harper Teen

Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780062349859

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series has enchanted readers from the very first page. In this fourth romantic novel, follow Illea’s royal family into a whole new Selection and find out what happens after happily ever after.

Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon’s heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn’t expect her Selection to be anything like her parents’ fairy-tale love story…but as the competition begins, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she’s always thought.

A new generation of swoonworthy characters and captivating romance awaits in the fourth book of the Selection series!”

by J J Howard
Published 2015 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780399173738

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

In the vein of great box-office blockbusters, the high-stakes romance here sizzles within this page-turning thriller that will leave readers feeling like they are flying through the streets of New York.

Cam has come to accept the rhythm of his life as a bike messenger: racing up and down the streets of New York City from one run to the next. With no family to rely on and a mountain of debts, at least it s an honest way to help pay off his dangerous debtors.Cam s whole world comes crashing down on him one day when he runs into a beautiful stranger. After falling out of the sky and wiping out Cam and his bike, she disappears before he can find out anything about her. When he starts to see her around town, he quickly realizes that she is part of an underground group of teens who have turned NYC into their own parkour playground running, jumping, seemingly flying through the city like it s an obstacle course.Cam becomes fascinated with the sport and the beautiful stranger, Nikki. He falls in with the group, and they offer him the chance to make some extra money. But when the stakes become life or death, Cam is torn between following his heart and sacrificing everything to pay off his debts.”

hspace=2Better Than Perfect
by Melissa Kantor
Published 2015 by Harper Teen

Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780062279231

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

From the acclaimed author of Maybe One Day, Melissa Kantor, comes a poignant coming-of-age story that skillfully captures the singular experience of being a teenage girl. This beautifully woven tale will appeal to fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen.

Juliet Newman has it all. A picture-perfect family; a handsome, loving boyfriend; and a foolproof life plan: ace her SATs, get accepted into Harvard early decision, and live happily ever after.

But when her dad moves out and her mom loses it, Juliet begins questioning the rules she’s always lived by. And to make everything even more complicated there’s Declan, the gorgeous boy who makes her feel alive and spontaneous–and who’s totally off-limits. Torn between the life she always thought she wanted and one she never knew was possible, Juliet begins to wonder: What if perfect isn’t all it’s cracked up to be?

by Amy Reed
Published 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books

Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780062299574

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

The Fault in Our Stars meets Go Ask Alice in this dramatic romance about a teenage girl who survives a terminal cancer diagnosis, only to get trapped in the deadly spiral of addiction. Fans of Gayle Forman and Sara Zarr will be swept away by this gritty romance, the first in a duology.

Evie is living on borrowed time. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer several months ago and told that by now she’d be dead. Evie is grateful for every extra day she gets, but she knows that soon this disease will kill her. Until, miraculously, she may have a second chance to live.

All Evie had wanted was her life back, but now that she has it, she feels like there’s no place for her in it–at least, not for the girl she is now. Her friends and her parents still see her as Cancer Girl, and her boyfriend’s constant, doting attention is suddenly nothing short of suffocating.

Then Evie meets Marcus. She knows that he’s trouble, but she can’t help falling for him. Being near him makes her feel truly, fully alive. It’s better than a drug. His kiss makes her feel invincible–but she may be at the beginning of the biggest free fall of her life.

hspace=2Secrets We Keep
by Trisha Leaver
Published 2015 by Farrar Straus Giroux

Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780374300463

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

Ella and Maddy Lawton are identical twins. Ella has spent her high school years living in popular Maddy’s shadows, but she has never been envious of Maddy. In fact, she’s chosen the quiet, safe confines of her sketchbook over the constant battle for attention that has defined Maddy’s world.

When–after a heated argument–Maddy and Ella get into a tragic accident that leaves her sister dead, Ella wakes up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones who believe she is Maddy. Feeling responsible for Maddy’s death and everyone’s grief, Ella makes a split-second decision to pretend to be Maddy. Soon, Ella realizes that Maddy’s life was full of secrets. Caught in a web of lies, Ella is faced with two options–confess her deception or live her sister’s life.

hspace=2In a World Just Right
by Jen Brooks
Published 2015 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9781481416603

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

Imagination takes on new meaning for a uniquely talented teen in this debut novel that is a breathtaking blend of contemporary, fantasy, and romance.

Sometimes Jonathan Aubrey wishes he could just disappear. And as luck–or fate–would have it, he can. Ever since coming out of a coma as a kid, he has been able to create alternate worlds. Worlds where he is a superhero, or a ladies’ man, or simply a better version of himself. That’s the world he’s been escaping to most since sophomore year, a world where he has everything he doesn’t have in real life: friends, a place of honor on the track team, passing grades, and most importantly, Kylie Simms as his girlfriend.

But when Jonathan confuses his worlds senior year and tries to kiss the real Kylie Simms, everything unravels. The real Kylie actually notices Jonathan…and begins obsessing over him. The fantasy version of Kylie struggles to love Jonathan as she was created to do, and the consequences are disastrous. As his worlds collide, Jonathan must confront the truth of his power and figure out where he actually belongs–before he loses both Kylies forever.

hspace=2Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke
by Anne Blankman
Published 2015 by Balzer & Bray/Harperteen

Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780062278845

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

Acclaimed author Anne Blankman returns to the shadowy and dangerous world of 1930s Germany in this thrilling sequel to Prisoner of Night and Fog, perfect for fans of Code Name Verity.

The girl known as Gretchen Whitestone has a secret: She used to be part of Adolf Hitler’s inner circle. More than a year after she made an enemy of her old family friend and fled Munich, she lives in England, posing as an ordinary German immigrant, and is preparing to graduate from high school. Her love, Daniel, is a reporter in town. For the first time in her life, Gretchen is content.

But then Daniel gets a telegram that sends him back to Germany, and Gretchen’s world turns upside down. When she receives word that Daniel is wanted for murder, she has to face the danger she thought she’d escaped–and return to her homeland.

Gretchen must do everything she can to avoid capture, even though saving Daniel will mean consorting with her former friends, the Nazi elite. And as they work to clear Daniel’s name, Gretchen and Daniel discover a deadly conspiracy stretching from the slums of Berlin to the Reichstag itself. Can they dig up the explosive truth and get out in time–or will Hitler discover them first?

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