Loft Blog
Fallout / Todd Strasser PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 14 April 2014 00:00

altIt’s the middle of the Cold War between Russia and the United States.  Tensions are at an all-time high and Russia has nuclear missiles aimed at the United States. War could break out at any moment.   In Fallout, a historical fiction book with a twist, that’s the world Scott, the narrator, finds himself in.  The twist happens in the first few pages, a nuclear bomb is dropped. Scott and his family rush to their fallout shelter in their back yard as fast as possible. Friends and neighbors are clamoring to be let in too, but there just isn’t room.  Only 10 people make it in.  With limited food, water, medical issues and no contact with the outside they have to wait out the blast and radiation. No one knows when it will be safe to open the metal door and what awaits them outside. 

Fallout alternates between high stress chapters in the fallout shelter and chapters detailing the events leading up to the bombing.  Scott’s trying to reconcile everything going in the world, like his dad’s decision to build a fallout shelter, while others think it’s a waste of time and the trials  of being a teen at the same time.  This is an excellent book, loosely based on some of Strasser’s own experiences and once you start you’re not going to want to put it down. 


(Renee, the Loft)

From Teens For Teens: We Are So Crashing Your Bar Mitzvah / Fiona Rosenbloom and Dark Lord: The Early Years / Jamie Thomson PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 11 April 2014 00:00

We Are So Crashing your Bar Mitzvah!We Are So Crashing Your Bar Mitzvah! by Fiona Rosenbloom

4/5 stars


Stacy comes home from her sleepaway camp thinking that she has become all cool and mature. She and one of her two best friends went to camp together. When they came home they thought they would fill in their third best friend on all the new fashion tips they had learned. Turns out their other best friend had become one of the popular girls. Stacy and Lydia are gonna have to work to get Kelly back.


(Ruth S., Evanston teen)



Dark Lord, the Early Years

Dark Lord: The Early Years by Jamie Thomson

5/5 stars


Dark Lord was the leader of the Dark Side until he fell into Earth. He became a boy named Dirk Lloyd.  He makes friends, gets good grades and soon he goes back to the Dark Side.


(Jamaari T., Evanston teen)






Book Spine Poetry / Teen Advisory Board PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 April 2014 00:00

The Arrow Finds Its MarkThe Arrow Finds Its Mark: A Book of Found Poems edited by Georgia Heard 

Words gleaned from calendars, memos, road signs, book titles, and Facebook status updates make for surprisingly effective poems in this primer on found poetry. Susan Marie Swanson takes the dictionary definition of the word "light" and creates a lovely poem on understanding. Betty Edwards' instructional Drawing On Both Sides of the Brain becomes Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's "Artist's Advice," an inspirational call for the exploration of "everything and anything." The idea that anything can be a poem is liberating and will resonate with anyone who is intimidated by poetry.


Check out the Found Poems written by the Teen Advisory Board using the titles of books found in the Loft:  


I don't want to kill you


I am not a serial killer

Whatever doesn't kill you











If we kiss

Kiss me again




What Are You Reading? PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 00:00

Here's what teens at Nichols Middle School are reading:


Wolf Brother Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver

6,000 years ago, twelve-year-old Torak and his guide, a wolf cub, set out on a dangerous journey to fulfill an oath the boy made to his dying father--to travel to the Mountain of the World Spirit to destroy a demon-possessed bear that threatens all the clans.



Treasure IslandTreasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

While going through the possessions of a deceased guest who owed them money, the mistress of the inn and her son find a treasure map that leads to a pirate fortune as well as great danger.




More Than This More Than This by Patrick Ness

A boy named Seth drowns, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying. So how is he here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighborhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust, and completely abandoned. What's going on? And why is it that whenever he closes his eyes, he falls prey to vivid, agonizing memories that seem more real than the world around him? Seth begins a search for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, trapped in a crumbling, abandoned world.


The Haunting of Gabriel Ashe / Dan Poblocki PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 07 April 2014 00:00

altWhen a game becomes real things start to get creepy and that’s exactly the case in Dan Poblocki’s most recent book, The Haunting of Gabriel Ashe.  Gabe and his family have recently moved in with his grandma in her home near a dark forest.  Gabe quickly becomes friends with Seth, who lives on the other side of the forest with his mom.  Seth invites Gabe to play a game where they’re fighting the terrible and evil child eating creature call The Hunter to survive.  While Gabe finds the game a little odd and childish, he’s just glad to have found a friend.  Plus, Seth used to play the game with his older brother before he mysteriously disappeared, so Gabe feels even more obliged to take part.

Things start to get interesting once school begins and Gabe makes new friends, who aren’t huge fans of Seth.  After Gabe and Seth get into argument over Gabe’s new friends, Seth tells him The Hunter is going to get him.  Soon after, Gabe starts noticing a dark figure in the shadows of the forest and freaky frightening things start happening at school to Gabe and his friends. Everyone is quick to point a finger at Seth, but Gabe’s not sure whether it’s Seth or The Hunter.  As the suspense mounts you’re never quite sure who or what  is really behind everything that’s happening and you’ll guessing  be until the very end. 


(Renee, the Loft)

From Teens For Teens: Tales from the Secret Annex / Anne Frank and Last Flight / Amelia Earhart PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 04 April 2014 00:00

titleTales from the Secret Annex  by Anne Frank

5/5 stars 

This book wasn't Anne Frank's diary, but some other things she wrote about her experiences, the other people in the annex, or things she thought about the world--nothing scary or depressing--and short stories and fables that she wrote. There is also the beginning of a novel that she was writing. Anne Frank seemed to have some really clear ideas about the world, which were expressed in her short stories. I really liked it! 

(Sarah B., Evanston teen)



titleLast Flight by Amelia Earhart

5/5 stars 

The book Last Flight was an amazing book about Amelia Earhart. She wrote it personally. The book included all her letters, poems, flight records, etc. from before she went on her last flight over the Pacific Ocean in hope that she would be the first woman to fly all around the world.

(Halima M., Evanston teen)
Spring Break! PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 04 April 2014 00:00

alt Going anywhere great for Spring Break? Road trip? Mexico? Grandma's house? Or just taking it easy on a Staycation?


Maybe you want to climb Everest 

Sail around the world

Or even drive to a vampire quarantine--you know, normal Spring Break stuff.


Whatever your plans, check out our Epic Journeys booklist and have some amazing adventures wherever you are!


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