Loft Blog
Fangirl / Rainbow Rowell PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 14 July 2014 18:16

titleCath Avery hates meeting new people. She hates having to act friendly around anyone who isn't her twin sister, Wren, and navigating social customs she doesn't understand. She gets anxious and uncomfortable, and she’d much rather spend her time on the internet.


You see, Cath is obsessed with Simon Snow, a Harry Potter-like book series with a huge online fandom. Cath has written fan fiction for the books since she first read them, and she's gotten pretty good at it, too--her current story regularly gets 20,000 hits per chapter online. Cath feels happiest when writing about Simon and Baz (the main characters in her stories) with her sister and taking care of her Dad in Omaha.


That all changes when Cath goes to college. Cath not only has to deal with new people and unfamiliar social situations, but has to do it without her twin sister. Wren wants to branch out and party hard while in college, leaving Cath on her own for the first time in their lives. Cath soon has to deal with an intimidating new roommate, difficult classes, and a family that seems like it’s crumbling while attempting to become as comfortable in the real world as she is in fictional ones.


Cath is a character you can't help but root for--anyone who's ever felt anxious or socially awkward can see themselves in Cath's sometimes bizarre behaviors. However, every character in Fangirl is interesting enough to be the star of their own story, and their interactions with Cath are delightful. The book also intersperses Cath's story with excerpts from both Simon Snow and her fan fic, and the fictional world they paint is so much fun you understand why Cath is enchanted. If you're well-versed in fan culture, you'll get a kick out of Cath's fannish internet adventures. However, the story also speaks to universal problems of fitting in and moving on that anyone can relate to.


(McKenna, the Loft)

High School Summer Reads PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 12 July 2014 10:38

This Spring, Loft librarian Renee gave several book talks to classes at ETHS. Here are a few of the books she recommended for high school summer reading:

FlightFlight (Volume One)

Twenty-three short stories in graphic format by various authors and artists, including Enrico Casarosa, Kean Soo, and Chris Appelhans. - See more at:

Twenty-three short stories in graphic format by various authors and artists, including Enrico Casarosa, Kean Soo, and Chris Appelhans.



He Said, She Said He Said, She Said by Kwame Alexander

When a popular football 'playa' and ladies man and the smartest girl in school lead a school protest, sparks fly as their social media-aided revolution grows.



Being Henry David

Being Henry David by Cal Armistead

Seventeen-year-old 'Hank,' who can't remember his identity, finds himself in Penn Station with a copy of Thoreau's Walden as his only possession and must figure out where he's from and why he ran away.  




Armistead, Cal
Maker Corps PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 11 July 2014 10:18

altAfter the incredible success of our first Pop-Up Program: Origami and Paper Airplanes, we have decided to embark on journey of MORE Pop-Ups! We began this week with a Pop-Up Project making bookmarks. We had three different kinds, with different challenges. The first bookmark we all made were transparent drawings, which made it look like pictures were flying over the pages of our books. We also made beaded bookmarks, and wire-animals. They all turned out great, and it seemed like all of our lovely patrons had a blast (we definitely did!).

Also, in the land of Pop-Ups was Duct Tape. Duct Tape seems to always be a favorite at the library. We made flowers, reusable coffee cozies, bow bracelets, and little wallets. Like our other Pop-Up’s Duct Tape seemed to be a hit with Makers of all ages, we can’t wait for the next one!

In the past few weeks, we’ve also had a few workshops throughout the many library branches. Our first program was felties. As described in our last blog post, felties are small sewn felt creatures, and are always popular. We love felties, and it seems many other makers agree, so we were excited to have another program making them. alt

From an old favorite to a new experiment - our other program this week was a brand new adventure at the library. This workshop was rockets and catapults (after much campaigning from Grace). We had the teens make one of three catapults, all out of pretty common household materials. Using plastic spoons, bottle caps, newspaper, and a bunch of rubber bands, we made catapults of all different shapes and sizes. The rockets (after being engineered by the teens) were launched with a PVC pipe launcher and empty soda bottle. Some of them made it as high as the third floor. All in all it was a great time. 

(Ruth and Grace, Loft interns) 


From Teens For Teens: The Hobbit / J.R.R. Tolkien and Speechless / Hannah Harrington PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 11 July 2014 00:00

The Hobbit, Or, There and Back AgainThe Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien 

5/5 stars 

Bilbo Baggins, a Hobbit, must go on a quest to find the lost treasure of a dwarf companion. It is being guarded by a dragon. They meet many dangers along the way.

(Max J., Evanston teen)




Speechless by Hannah Harrington

4/5 stars 

I thought Speechless was really good. It was realistic and the reader could connect to the main character. I liked it a lot. 

(Louisa E., Evanston teen)


He Said, She Said / Kwame Alexander PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 07 July 2014 00:00

altOmar “T-Diddy” Smalls is the star quarterback of the West Charleston High School football team.  He loves getting all the girls, partying with his friends and has his sights set on attending the University of Miami in the fall.  Claudia on the other hand writes for the school newspaper, is passionate about social causes and has been accepted to Harvard.  Claudia and T-Diddy are definitely not star crossed lovers. Or are they?

Omar and Claudia’s stories are told through alternating chapters with Facebook posts and comments interspersed throughout the book.  After Omar sets his eyes on the unattainable Claudia at a party he’s determined to get with her and of course he made a bet with his friends that he would succeed.  Claudia doesn’t have time from Omar’s games, until they find a cause they both feel strongly about.  All of the arts programs are going to be cut at their failing high school, including the band that gets everyone revved up at the football games.    Omar ensures Claudia that he’s going to rally all the students and get the funding back. But is Omar really passionate about the cause or just getting a piece of Claudia? He Said, She Said is a great realistic read about two teens that seem worlds apart, but really start to see a new side to each other once they find some common ground.


(Renee, the Loft)

From Teens For Teens: To Kill A Mockingbird / Harper Lee PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 04 July 2014 00:00

To Kill A MockingbirdTo Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

4/5 stars


The beginning of this book was dull but began to pick up around a fourth of the way through. The court case in this Depression era book really drew me in, I just had to see what would happen. The ending really made this book worth reading. I can now say I know why it's a classic.


(Lily S., Evanston teen)

The Lost Boy / Greg Ruth PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 30 June 2014 00:00

altNate has just moved into a new house and soon he stumbles upon an old cassette player and some tapes hidden beneath his bedroom floor boards.  As he pops in a tape he begins to hear the story of Walt, a boy who lived in the house years ago and who mysteriously disappeared. Walt narrates his creepy and bizarre story on the tapes describing discoveries he made around town and in the surrounding forest.  Turns out the town is hiding some secrets – like talking dolls, insects with an agenda of their own and someone who’s bent on getting to Walt. 

Nate soon finds out his new neighbor is also intrigued by Walt’s story and together they try to follow the clues to figure out just what happened to Nate. As they dig deeper they started seeing odd things and have strange visitors from the forest at night.  The Lost Boy is an eerie graphic novel with luscious black and white illustrations and is highly recommended for graphic novel fans or anyone looking for a great mystery with a fantasy twist. 


(Renee, the Loft)

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