Upcoming February Programs

Come one, come all! (As long as you’re a teen!)

We have some awesome crafty programs coming up that we still have space for!

Cozy Valentine Holder

Use yarn to decorate a small wooden box that you can use to hold your special Valentine’s Day wishes. Grades 6–12

DIY Bots

Build and program electronic roaming robots using Adafruit’s Crickit. Then compete in a race with other teams to see whose robot will be the ultimate victor. Grades 6–12

No-Sew Snow People

Create an adorable snow person using socks, buttons, ribbon and more. Grades 6–12

Sign up using our online calendar or by calling 630.685.4199 today!

Tara’s Top Ten: Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite authors of color, along with one of my favorite books from each of them. For most of them, it was REALLY hard to choose only one! Jason Reynolds, Nnedi Okorafor, Walter Dean Myers, and Kekla Magoon, in particular, all have numerous tremendous titles to their credit!

Tara’s Top Ten African American/Black Authors

The CrossoverKwame Alexander
Notable Title: The Crossover

Dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell. He and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he’s got mad beats, too, that tell his family’s story in verse, in this fast and furious middle grade novel of family and brotherhood. (Goodreads.com)

The Belles (The Belles #1)Dhonielle Clayton
Notable Series: The Belles

Camellia Beauregard is a BelleBelles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. When Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, they discover that beyond the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and when thequeen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia faces an impossible decision.

Dread Nation (Dread Nation, #1)Justina Ireland
Notable Title: Dread Nation

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania—derailing the War Between the States and changing the nation forever. In this new America, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Education Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead.

How It Went DownKekla Magoon
Notable Title: How It Went Down

When sixteen-year-old Tariq Johnson is shot to death, his community is thrown into an uproar because Tariq was black and the shooter, Jack Franklin, is white, and in the aftermath everyone has something to say, but no two accounts of the events agree.

MonsterWalter Dean Myers
Notable Title: Monster

While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.

Akata Witch (Akata Witch, #1)Nnedi Okorafor
Notable series: Akata Witch

Twelve-year-old Sunny Nwazue, an American-born albino child of Nigerian parents, moves with her family back to Nigeria, where she learns that she has latent magical powers which she and three similarly gifted friends use to catch a serial killer.

The Boy in the Black SuitJason Reynolds
Notable Title: The Boy in the Black Suit

Reeling from his mother’s death, his father’s alcoholism, and the bills that keep stacking up Matt takes a job at a funeral home in his tough Brooklyn neighborhood and, while attending and assisting with funerals, begins to accept her death and his responsibilities as a man.

Dear MartinNic Stone
Notable Title: Dear Martin

Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out. (Goodreads.com)

The Hate U GiveAngie Thomas
Notable Title: The Hate U Give

After witnessing her friend’s death at the hands of a police officer, Starr Carter’s life (divided between a tough urban neighborhood and a prestigious, suburban prep school ) is ripped apart as the police, a local drug lord, and soon local news media try to intimidate her in an effort to learn what happened the night Kahlil died.

American StreetIbi Zoboi
Notable Title: American Street

When Fabiola’s mother is detained upon their arrival to the United States, Fabiola must navigate her loud American cousins, the grittiness of Detroit’s west side, a new school, and a surprising romance all on her own.

Happy Reading!





Book Review – Out of the Darkness

Out of DarknessOut of the Darkness
By Ashley Hope Perez
Place a hold.

Goodreads Summary:

“This is East Texas, and there’s lines. Lines you cross, lines you don’t cross. That clear?”

New London, Texas. 1937. Naomi Vargas and Wash Fuller know about the lines in East Texas as well as anyone. They know the signs that mark them.

“No Negroes, Mexicans, or dogs.”

They know the people who enforce them.

“They all decided they’d ride out in their sheets and pay Blue a visit.”

But sometimes the attraction between two people is so powerful it breaks through even the most entrenched color lines. And the consequences can be explosive.

“More than grief, more than anger, there is a need. Someone to blame. Someone to make pay.”

Ashley Hope Pérez takes the facts of the 1937 New London school explosion—the worst school disaster in American history—as a backdrop for a riveting novel about segregation, love, family and the forces that destroy people.

Tara’s Reaction:

Some stories leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy with a rosy outlook on the future and life in general. They make you see the beauty all around you and just make you feel good.

Related image

Me, reading this book.

This is not that story.


This book destroyed my heart. The main characters survive racism, segregation, physical and sexual abuse, alcoholism, death of family members and more. And, as much as I wanted it to end happily, I should have known that people don’t walk away from that kind of trauma unscathed (if they walk away at all).


If you’re looking for a fluffy read to lighten your mood, keep looking. But, if you like books with rich, fully formed characters that feel so real that you cry right along with them – books that reach into your soul and lodge themselves there – then you should definitely check out Out of the Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez!



Anime Recommendation: Zombie Land Saga

zombie land saga

Age Recommendation: 12+

Genre: Comedy / Fantasy

# of Episodes: 12

“A typical morning. The usual music. Their normal lives. The peace these seven girls experience will suddenly be destroyed. By the living dead… zombies. A reality that they never wanted a part of, an amazing and terrifying zombie world. They all share one wish: “We want to live.” These girls will struggle through this saga, in order to achieve a miracle.”


I can honestly say I’ve never seen a zombie-themed media like this before! I’m usually not too big on zombies? Either too spoopy or too cliche, so I usually pass (Shaun of the Dead will always be my only exception, but we’re here to talk anime, not Simon Pegg!).

As you can guess, the main characters in the show are zombies! This isn’t your typical zombie fare—these girls are going to rock the world with their cheerful music! The girls are brought together by a mysterious music director to save Saga Prefecture and put it back on the map! WITH JOY. Of course, since the girls are zombies, things don’t always go….as expected. Can the girls make it big while hiding their true nature? Maybe! I haven’t finished it yet either!

Go log onto Crunchyroll to FIND OUT. It’s only 12 episodes long, so not a huge time commitment, but your view of zombies will be changed forever. They’re just like us! Only…their heads pop off sometimes.  

See more anime like this at our monthly anime nights! Next one is February 4 at 5 p.m!


Lights, Camera, Adaptations!

Hai, frens! It’s a new year and that means… new movies! Keep your peepers peeled for these upcoming YA film adaptations based on some of our favorite books!

**The following summaries are for the books (since some of the movies are still filming and don’t have previews yet) and can be found in our catalog.

Between Shades of GrayASHES IN THE SNOW
Based on Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Release Date: January 11, 2019

In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina, her mother, and brother are pulled from their Lithuanian home by Soviet guards and sent to Siberia, where her father is sentenced to death in a prison camp while she fights for her life, vowing to honor her family and the thousands like hers by burying her story in a jar on Lithuanian soil. Based on the author’s family, includes a historical note.

A Dog's Way HomeA DOG’S WAY HOME
Based on A Dog’s Way Home by W. Bruce Cameron
Release Date: January 11, 2019

Traces the story of Bella, a dog who is drawn to Lucas Ray, only to be separated from him by rules that ban pitbulls from their Denver community, a situation that compels the puppy to travel back to the person she loves.

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1)CHAOS WALKING
Based on the Chaos Walking series, which begins with The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Release Date: March 1, 2019

Pursued by power-hungry Prentiss and mad minister Aaron, young Todd and Viola set out across New World searching for answers about his colony’s true past and seeking a way to warn the ship bringing hopeful settlers from Old World.

Based on Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry, and Tobias Iaconis
Release Date: March 22, 2018

Seventeen-year-olds Stella and Will, both suffering from cystic fibrosis, realize the only way to stay alive is to stay apart, but their love for each other is slowly pushing the boundaries of physical and emotional safety.

The Sun Is Also a StarTHE SUN IS ALSO A STAR
Based on The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon
Release Date: May 17, 2019

Natasha, whose family is hours away from being deported, and Daniel, a first generation Korean American who strives to live up to his parents’ expectations, unexpectedly fall in love and must determine which path they will choose in order to be together.

There are more fantastic films slotted for later in the year so make sure to check back here in June for more film info!

Happy viewing!




Kingdom Hearts Party: January 21



I can’t put into words how hype I am for that. I’ve been a fan of the Kingdom Hearts series since its beginnings! We always knew 3 would happen eventually, unlike Half Life 3 (sorry guys). BUT IT’S FINALLY ALMOST HERE. IT’S DONE, AND THE DISCS HAVE BEEN PRINTED AND SOMEONE EVEN STOLE IT (and then sold it because people are terrible, beware of spoilers yo.)!

So to celebrate! A little over a week before it comes out, we are having a Kingdom Hearts themed party!

kh party
We’ll have Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far on the projector for people to play in its beautiful HD glory, bingo, buttons and vinyl stickers! Also there will be snacks. Gotta have snacks.

So on January 21 from 6:30–8 p.m., join us in our Kingdom Hearts reverie!

Are you excited? Because I am!