Category Archives: homepage gallery

First Thursday: Tam High Drawing and Painting Exhibition

May 7th, 7 PM
Lower Level Gallery and Creekside Room

Celebrate the talents of Tam High’s Drawing and Painting Students at this exhibition opening and reception. These portraits focus on members of the community, as seen through the eyes of these talented young artists. The exhibition opening will feature a discussion with the artists and their subjects. The paintings will be on display through the end of May.

Open to all ages. Registration recommended and appreciated (we will be providing snacks and beverages). Register here.

Check out the pictures from last year’s exhibit and reception!

Tam High Art Show-41 Tam High Art Show-42 Tam High Art Show-9 Tam High Art Show-19 Tam High Art Show-28 TS3 TS4 TS6 TS5

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Sweet Reads Book Club

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!

June 1st: Paper Towns; July 6: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks; August 3: The Fifth Wave. Registration recommended. Registration links to come

June 1st: Did you know that another amazing novel by John Green is being turned into a movie? Paper Towns, a smart and surprising mystery about a missing girl and one boy’s quest to find her, will be out in theaters this July. Join us for a discussion about the book (accompanied by a delicious snack, of course) so that you can be properly prepared for the movie debut this summer. Register here. Find a copy of Paper Towns here.

July 6th: Frankie Landau-Banks does not take no for an answer, especially when she’s excluded from an all-male secret society at her boarding school. Join us for a discussion about E. Lockhart’s great book, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks. Refreshments will be provided, and registration is recommended. Find a copy of The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks here.
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. Find a copy of The Fifth Wave here.

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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

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Late Night Study Halls: June 8th-10th

9-11 PM; Main Reading Room

Late Night Study Hall at the Mill Valley Library!

During finals week all you want is some place where coffee1you can study (either in groups or alone) after school closes, refuel (with sweets and coffee), and take a break every now and then to catch up with your friends. Well, you’re in luck! The Mill Valley Library will be staying open, just for high school students, an extra two hours: from 9-11 PM. Grab a friend and a cup of coffee and get your finals-acing self down to the Library. Contact Katie with any questions.

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Wilderness Survival-NEW DATE: Monday, June 15th

Wilderness Survival

New date: Monday, June 15th at 7 PM

Do you think you have what it takes to survive in the wild? Craig Sloan, a Mill Valley Fire Department firefighter, Marine, and all-around awesome human being is going to teach us the essentials of wilderness survival at this hands-on workshop. We will learn how to create a shelter, trap and forage for food, and how to avoid getting eaten by a bear. So if you don’t like being mauled by large animals, you should definitely come to this workshop!

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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Summer Reading Program: Trivia Addict

June 22nd-August 18th54dc08794fae1.image

You’ve played the addictive game, Trivia Crack, now broaden your summer reading horizons using the same method. Spin the Trivia wheel and land on one of 7 categories. If you land on Art, the next book you read must have some reference (even if it’s only a peripheral one) to art; if you land on geography…well, the next book you read must be located in a place. Any place (we’re not exactly strict about the criteria). We will have lists corresponding to each category if you need some help, otherwise whatever you read is up to you…and the trivia wheel.

You’ll have the chance to answer trivia questions and win prizes throughout the summer.

More details to come, but register to participate here!

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New and Handpicked Books for April!

Game Seven
by Paul Volponi
Published 2015 by Viking Books for Young Readers Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780670785186

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

My name is Julio Ramirez Jr. and baseball is my whole life.

Since he was ten, Julio has lived in the shadow of his famous father. Not just because Julio Senior is a pitcher for the Miami Marlins, but because he fled Cuba to play professional baseball, leaving his Julio and his mother and sister branded as the family of a traitor.

Now sixteen, Julio dreams of playing for Cuba’s national team–until he finds out his father’s defection may destroy his chances. When he’s given the opportunity to flee Cuba, he has to make the toughest choice of his life. Can he abandon his family, just like his Papi did? Will freedom be worth the perilous journey and risking prison if he’s caught? Will his Papi be waiting for him on the other shore–or, with the Marlins in the World Series against the Yankees, has Julio Senior forgotten about his son?

Set against the backdrop of the Series on which everything depends, “Game Seven “is a suspenseful story of loyalty, survival, and baseball.

by Derek E Sullivan
Published 2015 by Aw Teen Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780807507278

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

Henry “Biggie” Abbott is the son of one of Finch, Iowa ‘s most famous athletes. His father was a baseball legend and his step-dad is a close second. At an obese 300+ pounds though, Biggie himself prefers classroom success to sports. As a perfectionist, he doesn’t understand why someone would be happy getting two hits in five trips to the plate. “Forty percent, that’s an F in any class,” he would say. As Biggie’s junior year begins, the girl of his dreams, Annabelle Rivers, starts to flirt with him. Hundreds of people have told him to follow in his dad’s footsteps and play ball, but Annabelle might be the one to actually convince him to try. What happens when a boy who has spent his life since fourth grade trying to remain invisible is suddenly thrust into the harsh glare of the high school spotlight?

Geek Girl
(First book in the Geek Girl series)

by Holly Smale
Published 2015 by Harper Teen Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780062333575

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

Geek + runway = a runaway UK hit! Geek Girl is the first book in a hilarious, internationally bestselling series that’s perfect for fans of Louise Rennison and The Princess Diaries.

Harriet Manners is a geek. She always has been, and she thought she always would be–but when she’s discovered by a modeling agent, she leaps at the chance to reinvent herself. There’s only one problem: Harriet is the definition of awkward. Can she transform from geek to chic?

Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story
by David Levithan
Published 2015 by Dutton Books for Young Readers Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780525428848

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

“Tiny Cooper stole our hearts.” –”Entertainment Weekly”

” “

“Especially for those of us who ordinarily feel ignored, a spotlight is a circle of magic, with the strength to draw us from the darkness of our everyday lives. ”

Watch out, ex-boyfriends, and get out of the way, homophobic coaches. Tiny Cooper has something to say–and he’s going to say it in song.

Filled with honesty, humor, and “big, lively, belty” musical numbers, “Hold Me Closer “is the no-holds-barred (and many-bars-held) entirety of the beloved musical first introduced in “Will Grayson, Will Grayson,” the award-winning bestseller by John Green and David Levithan.

Tiny Cooper is finally taking center stage . . . and the world will never be the same again.

Liars, Inc.
by Paula Stokes
Published 2015 by Harper Teen Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780062323286

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

A dark and twisted psychological tale that will keep readers guessing, perfect for fans of I Hunt Killers and Gone Girl.

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money. So with the help of his friend Preston and his girlfriend, Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something, and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about it. But then Preston never comes home. And the evidence starts to pile up–terrifying clues that lead to Preston’s body.

Terrifying clues that point to Max as the killer….

Not Otherwise Specified
by Hannah Moskowitz
Published 2015 by Simon Pulse Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9781481405966

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

From the award-winning author of “Break “and “Teeth” comes a raw and honest exploration of complicated identities in a novel about a girl living on the fringe of every fringe group in her small town.

Etta is tired of dealing with all of the labels and categories that seem so important to everyone else in her small Nebraska hometown.

Everywhere she turns, someone feels she’s too fringe for the fringe. Not gay enough for the Dykes, her ex-clique, thanks to a recent relationship with a boy; not tiny and white enough for ballet, her first passion; not sick enough to look anorexic (partially thanks to recovery). Etta doesn’t fit anywhere–until she meets Bianca, the straight, white, Christian, and seriously sick girl in Etta’s therapy group. Both girls are auditioning for Brentwood, a prestigious New York theater academy that is so not Nebraska. Bianca might be Etta’s salvation…but can Etta be saved by a girl who needs saving herself?

Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania
by Frank Bruni
Published 2015 by Grand Central Publishing Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9781455532704

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

Over the last few decades, Americans have turned college admissions into a terrifying and occasionally devastating process, preceded by test prep, tutors, all sorts of stratagems, all kinds of rankings, and a conviction among too many young people that their futures will be determined and their worth established by which schools say yes and which say no.

That belief is wrong. It’s cruel. And in WHERE YOU GO IS NOT WHO YOU’LL BE, Frank Bruni explains why, giving students and their parents a new perspective on this brutal, deeply flawed competition and a path out of the anxiety that it provokes.

Bruni, a bestselling author and a columnist for the “New York Times,” shows that the Ivy League has no monopoly on corner offices, governors’ mansions, or the most prestigious academic and scientific grants. Through statistics, surveys, and the stories of hugely successful people who didn’t attend the most exclusive schools, he demonstrates that many kinds of colleges-large public universities, tiny hideaways in the hinterlands-serve as ideal springboards. And he illuminates how to make the most of them. What matters in the end are a student’s efforts in and out of the classroom, not the gleam of his or her diploma.

Where you go “isn’t “who you’ll be. Americans need to hear that-and this indispensable manifesto says it with eloquence and respect for the real promise of higher education.

Silent Alarm
by Jennifer Banash
Published 2015 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780399257896

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

Alys’s whole world was comprised of the history project that was due, her upcoming violin audition, being held tightly in the arms of her boyfriend, Ben, and laughing with her best friend, Delilah. At least it was–until she found herself on the wrong end of a shotgun in the school library. Her suburban high school had become one of those places you hear about on the news–a place where some disaffected youth decided to end it all and take as many of his teachers and classmates with him as he could. Except, in this story, that youth was Alys’s own brother, Luke. He killed fifteen others and himself, but spared her–though she’ll never know why.

Alys’s downward spiral begins instantly, and there seems to be no bottom. A heartbreaking and beautifully told story.


Vanishing Girls
by Lauren Oliver
Published 2015 by HarperCollins Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780062224101

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver delivers a gripping story about two sisters inexorably altered by a terrible accident.

Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara’s beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged. When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked. Now Nick has to find her sister, before it’s too late.

In this edgy and compelling novel, Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other.

Alex Crow
by Andrew Smith
Published 2015 by Dutton Books for Young Readers Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780525426530

Find this book in our catalog.

Jacket Notes:

“Andrew Smith is the Kurt Vonnegut of YA . . . [Smith's novels] are the freshest, richest, and weirdest books to hit the YA world in years.” –”Entertainment Weekly”

Skillfully blending multiple story strands that transcend time and place, award-winning “Grasshopper Jungle “author Andrew Smith chronicles the story of Ariel, a refugee who is the sole survivor of an attack on his small village. Now living with an adoptive family in Sunday, West Virginia, Ariel’s story is juxtaposed against those of a schizophrenic bomber and the diaries of a failed arctic expedition from the late nineteenth century . . . and a depressed, bionic reincarnated crow.


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TBT: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Published May, 2013 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

475 pages

How do you rid the earth of humans? You rid the humans of their humanity.

Cassie Sullivan is on the run. Months ago, an alien mothership ominously appeared in the sky, and at first there was nothing. But then, the waves started. The first wave fried all electronics and motors–cars, phones, planes, emergency sirens. The second wave caused the sea to rise up and destroy every coastline on earth. The third wave was a disease that killed off almost everyone who remained. The fourth wave was a group of special trained alien assassins–silencers–released to pick off the remaining humans. Nobody knows that the fifth wave will be.index

Cassie Sullivan is on the run. Silencers look just like humans, so to stay alive, she has to stay alone and stay on the move. Told in fragments and flashbacks, and from multiple points of view, The 5th Wave paints a ragged picture of earth over the course of a slow and grueling apocalypse. For Cassie, there is no last fight, no final battle field. There is only kill or be killed, and her one rule: Trust no one. Which works well, until it doesn’t.

As a character, Cassie is complex and interesting. She isn’t a brat who spends the whole book whining about how unfair her life is, nor is she the model citizen who is convinced that her moral high ground will bring her victory over evil. She is just a teenage girl trying to survive in the woods. She has character flaws and selfish wishes and hopes for herself. She is brutally honest about the possibility of her own survival.

Yancey’s writing style is equally compelling. The book reads a little bit like a train of thought, and the way Yancey weaves together plot and memories to advance the story leaves the reader wanting more of both. While some of the technical parts of the science fiction are less interesting or even confusing, for the most part this book portrays the best and worst of humanity–how we cling to the past, and how far we will go to save our loved ones.


Genre: Science Fiction

Keywords: aliens, family, apocalypse, trust, love

Best quote: “We’d stared into the face of Death, and Death blinked first. You’d think that would make us feel brave and invincible. It didn’t.”

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Video from the Slam Poetry Competition 2015

Thank you so much to everyone who came out and made the Slam Poetry Competition such an amazing evening! Video of the performances can be found here. Pictures of the event can be found here and the hard copies of the poems are coming soon!

Big thanks to Chinaka Hodge for being our fabulous emcee and for Kate Axelrod, Ryan Kawamoto, and Tamarah Phillips for doing a great job as judges.

Watch the video of the 2014 Slam Poetry Competition here.

See pictures from the 2014 Slam Poetry Competition here.


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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!


  • 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

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