Loft Blog
I'll Give You the Sun / Jandy Nelson PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 03 November 2014 00:00

altAt 13 Jude and Noah, twins, looked out for each other in spite of their differences. Jude was honing her skills picking up guys and being popular, while Noah kept to himself sketching constantly until a new neighbor showed up.  Both Jude and Noah were applying to the local arts high school because their mother thinks it would be the best school for them.  Noah was all about it, his skill for the arts in undeniable, but Jude’s wasn't so keen on the idea and she saw her mother’s favoritism of Noah. 

Flash forward three years. Jude is the only twin enrolled in the arts school.  She’s completely changed her appearance and sworn off boys.  Noah on the other hand suddenly has bunches of friends and hasn’t made a single sketch in three years.  The twins barely acknowledge each other.  What tore them apart and changed their lives so drastically?  A new art project, new teacher and new friend start to send Jude in a trajectory towards repairing things with Noah, but is it too late? I’ll Give You the Sun is a wonderfully written book, with engaging, relatable characters and some great plot twists. 


(Renee, the Loft)

Since You've Been Gone / Morgan Matson PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 27 October 2014 00:00

titleIt’s fair to say that I’m a sucker for Morgan Matson books. I absolutely love Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour andSecond Chance Summer really did make me cry (The Fault In Our Stars, alas, did not). So, when I saw this book on the shelf, I practically ripped the cover off, I tore it down so fast. And I was not disappointed.

Matson’s third book revolves around the perpetually shy and afraid-of-life Emily who has always hidden behind the shadow of her best friend, Sloane.  But when Sloane suddenly disappears at the beginning of summer, Emily is left stranded with nothing to do and no one to hang out with. Meanwhile, Emily’s parents begin work on a play that absorbs their entire attention, leaving Emily and her brother to fend for themselves.

Emily can’t understand why Sloane left with no clues as to why or where. The only thing she left was a random to-do list with things like, “Apple pick at night” and “Kiss a stranger.” Some of the things are easy but some are crazy—things Emily would never do. But maybe that’s the point.

For Emily, getting through the list means conquering a lot of fears. It means finding out things about herself she may not have known.  With the help of Frank Porter, a boy Emily would have never talked to without Sloane present, Emily navigates through summer as her own person.

Since You’ve Been Gone is the sort-of friendship book that shows you how deep friendships run and how friends can be the most important people in your life when you need them to be.


(Ashley, the Loft)


Teens' Top Ten PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 21 October 2014 12:30

What ten titles made the cut? Check this year's Teens' Top Ten!



altEleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits--smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.



altSplintered by A.G. Howard

A descendant of the inspiration for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, sixteen-year-old Alyssa Gardner fears she is mentally ill like her mother until she finds that Wonderland is real and, if she passes a series of tests to fix Alice's mistakes, she may save her family from their curse.


altThe Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

As Wild Chalklings threaten the American Isles and Rithmatists are humanity's only defense, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students learn the magical art that he would do anything to practice.



altThe 5th Wave by Rick

Cassie Sullivan, the survivor of an alien invasion, must rescue her young brother from the enemy with help from a boy who may be one of them.



altMonument 14: Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne

A group of survivors, originally trapped together in a superstore by a series of escalating disasters, has split in two--one group heading to Denver airport on a repaired school bus, the other remaining in the Sanctuary trying to rebuild the community they lost. But the world outside is dark and filled with dangerous chemicals that turn people into bloodthirsty monsters.

altEarth Girl by Janet Edwards

Only the disabled are living on Earth in 2788. Eighteen-year-old Jarra decides she wants to prove to the norms that she is the same as they are.



altThe Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

Sixteen-year-old Malencia (Cia) Vale is chosen to participate in The Testing to attend the University; however, Cia is fearful when she figures out her friends who do not pass The Testing are disappearing.



altSteelheartby Brandon Sanderson 

At age eight, David watched as his father was killed by an Epic, a human with superhuman powers, and now, ten years later, he joins the Reckoners--the only people who are trying to kill the Epics and end their tyranny.



altSiege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Hunted across the True Sea and haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret.



altThe Eye of Minds by James Dashner

Michael is a skilled internet gamer in a world of advanced technology. When a cyber-terrorist begins to threaten players, Michael is called upon to seek him and his secrets out

Pretty Monsters / Kelly Link PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 13 October 2014 19:26

altIt’s October, which means that the days are getting chilly, pumpkins are appearing on every menu, and Halloween is fast approaching. If you’re in the mood for some spooky stories to get you ready for the chills and thrills of the season, Pretty Monsters is for you.

Made up of nine short stories, Pretty Monsters dabbles in fantasy, science fiction, and just plain creepiness. Kelly Link is a master of the unexpected twist--just when you think you know where a story is going, it takes a sharp left into something much weirder and more interesting than you could have imagined. My personal favorites: “The Wrong Grave,” in which a boy attempts to dig up the grave of his recently departed girlfriend to retrieve the poems he buried with her, and ends up with an undead companion for the evening; and “The Specialist’s Hat,” about twin girls who slowly learn about the dark side of the dilapidated mansion their father has moved them to after their mother’s death. All of Link’s stories will keep you thinking about them long after you’ve finished reading. Enjoy!


The Islands at the End of the World / Austin Aslan PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 06 October 2014 00:00

altLeilani has spent her life in Hawaii, but she’s still considered an outsider by many there because she’s half white and half Hawaiian.  On top of that Lei is also epileptic. Lei grew up on the big island of Hawaii, but she and her father are taking a trip to O’ahu to see if a new treatment will work for her epilepsy.   Soon after they leave for their trip, a series of massive natural disasters hit, not just Hawaii but the rest of the world.  There are massive tidal waves, the ocean becomes more treacherous and a loss of power and way to get supplies to the islands puts everyone on edge.  Lei and her father must rely on their survival skills to attempt to make their way back to the big island.  Their voyage is not an easy with challenging and life threatening obstacles around every corner.  Lei is bent on surviving their dauntless journey, but she starts to realize she might have a role to play in the event unfolding in the world around them.  The Islands at the End of World is a real nail biting survival story, filled with pieces of Hawaiian culture and great start to new series. 

(Renee, the Loft)

FUSE: Makey-Makey Explosion! PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 30 September 2014 14:36

titleGummy bears and play-doh everywhere! Talk about a Makey-Makey explosion! If you've never tried your hand at Makey-Makeys, you don't know what you're missing. At last Saturday's FUSE, teens experimented with Makey-Makeys--a board that uses alligator clips to connect to conductive objects in order to create circuits.


Teens created pianos from cinnamon gummy bears, blobs of play-doh and even a banana, as well as controllers for games such as Dance-Dance-Revolution and Tetris. The first step in figuring out Makey-Makeys is figuring out how to make a complete circuit--finding "earth" and becoming "grounded." Once you've got that down, the possibilities are endless.


We explored the Makey-Makey website that is full of tons of great links, helpful tips, and games that can be played with the boards. But you can surf the web to find plenty of games to try with Makey-Makeys. 



 Come and join us every Saturday from 12-2 at FUSE to try your hand with Makey-Makeys or one of our other scientifically-based challenges such as 3D printing or Lego robotics. 

We hope to see you there! 

-the Loft Staff


Half Bad / Sally Green PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 29 September 2014 00:00

altNathan is the son of the most feared and wanted Black Witch, Marcus .  It’s something that makes him an outcast in society, even with his own family at times and also makes him the key to the Council’s plan to eliminate his father.  The Council of White Witches is determined to prove that while, his mother was a White Witch and his father a Black Witch, Nathan is definitely becoming a Black Witch. 

The book opens and Nathan has been living in a cage for quite a while under the “care” of a White Witch. Through flashbacks the reader finds out about everything that Nathan had to go through in order to avoid being captured and how the Council finally trapped him.  Half Bad is a twisted witch story unlike any other.  Nathan’s struggles and obstacles he must overcome in order to become the witch he’s meant to be, keep you riveted in your seat.  There’s action, suspense, mind games and a bit of romance. Sally Green has created a brilliant world of two warring factions of witches and what lengths they’ll go to eliminate each other. 

(Renee, the Loft)
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