ages 11-18

Winners of the 8th Annual LEGO contest! Congrats to all of them!

Once again our annual LEGO contest was hotly anticipated and the entries were bigger and better! All ages from Preschoolers through Adults participated in the event. There were a total of 188 entries and the contest was held on Thursday, August 8 at the Kensington Court Hotel. There were six age categories and winners were chosen within each age group. The top three finishers and the People's Choice winners received custom LEGO trophies. The top three finishers also got medals and gift cards to Target. Please congratulate the winners! Photos of the winning entries will be added to this post on to our gallery soon.To see the contest guidelines and start planning for next summer click here.

Preschool Winners:

1st Place - Lucas Long
Runner-Up - Iris Brabbs
Honorable Mention - Steve Samuel
People's Choice - Lucas Long

Best Motorized Project - Vicky Kotsis
Best Architectural/Engineering Project - Becca Van Lent
Coolest Robot = Sanchia Gupta
Best Vehicle - Scarlett Williams
Most Creative - Eliza Farr
Most Sophisticated - Sarra El-Tawil
Best Local Interest - Kevin Chen
AADL LEGO Master Builder - Owen TenBroeck

Learning Express Library

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Did you know that you can access dozens of practice tests and 150 e-books by going to the LearningExpress Library from our Research Pages? Just click on the Research Tab and then the click on the link that says "Test Prep". LearningExpress Library is the sole item with that heading. You will need an additional log in to access this database to take practice tests. Once you get there, you'll see all sorts of test preparation resources from the GMAT, the LSAT, the PCAT and the GRE. There's even some basic math skill building, which can be useful for everyone, every day! Can I get an "Awesome" on that? Because it really is awesome!! Tell your friends!

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #420 - Sugar 'n spice and everything nice?

Well, I'll let you be the judge. But seriously, 2 phenomenal debuts from across the pond, with unforgettable young protagonists, not to be missed.

A published poet, and one of Granta's Best Young British Novelists Jenni Fagan knocked it out of the park with her dazzling The Panopticon * *, which has been named one of the best books of the year by the Times Literary Supplement and The Scotsman.

Anais Hendricks, 15 is headed for the Panopticon, the much dreaded last-resort for chronic young offenders after she is found covered with the blood of a police officer. Violent, "permanently whacked on...drug(s)", and the product of foster homes (23 before she turned 7), she is a survivor and a counter-culture outlaw. Though experience taught her to only rely on herself, she finds a sense of belonging among the residents of the Panopticon, and soon forms strong bonds with the other troubled teens. Their struggle is with their keepers, especially when Anais is convinced she is part of a sinister experiment.

"Dark and disturbing but also exciting and moving thanks to a memorable heroine and vividly atmospheric prose."

"Anais's story is one of abandonment, loss, and redemption."

2013 Thriller Award nominee for Best Paperback Original Novel, Alex Marwood's (the pseudonym of a successful journalist) debut The Wicked Girls * * * is "(a) gritty, psychological thriller that asks the question: How well can you know anyone?"

On a fateful summer morning in 1986, 11 year-olds Jade Walker and Annabel (Bel) Oldacre meet for the first time. By the end of the day, they will both be charged with murder. Journalist Kirsty Lindsay, while following leads on a series of attacks on young female tourists in a seaside vacation town comes face to face with Amber Gordon, now a janitor for a carnival where the most recent crime is committed. This is their first meeting in 25 years after spending years in two separate British correctional facilities.

Kirsty and Amber, with new, vastly different lives, and unknowing families to protect, are desperate to keep their wicked secret hidden, and to uphold their probationary condition never to have contact with each other.

Marwood intersperses the contemporary serial-killer story line and hour-by-hour accounts of what happened the day the girls met 25 years ago. "This chilling debut is chock-full of surprises. If Tana French and Gillian Flynn stayed up all night telling stories at an abandoned amusement park, this is awfully close to what they might come up with."

"Gripping and fast-paced", it will appeal to fans of the Academy Award-nominated film Heavenly Creatures and the novels of Rosamund Lupton and Chevy Stevens."

"A suspenseful, buzz-worthy novel offering a sure-footed depiction of two women who lost their childhoods."

* * * = starred reviews
* * = starred reviews

Fabric Coil Coasters!

Join us at our Pittsfield location on Tuesday, August 27th from 6:00-7:00 pm to make fabric coil coasters! We'll be making them out of rope and colorful scraps of fabric. Feel free to bring your own fabric from home if you wish! You'll want to be able to cut really long strips from it.

We will be using hot glue guns, so this is a craft for teens and adults, grades 9 and up.

Try Kundalini Yoga for Stress Reduction

Monday, August 19, 2013 | 7:00-8:30 PM | Downtown Library | Multipurpose Room

Learn about stressors and how they influence our communication, our relationships and our performance.

Then take part in yoga and meditation to release the stress so you can flow with the right voltage and be able to put up with life’s challenges without losing yourself.

Drawing Lab: Perspective

Saturday, August 17, 2013 | 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm | Downtown Library | Multi-Purpose Room

The theory of perspective has been simplified over the decades. It is basically the notion that objects appear smaller the further away they are from the viewer. However, very few artists understand the mechanics of the theory. For the artist, there is a very specific process to follow to accurately represent the illusion of real space.

Illustrator, Joe Foo, will help you unlock the secrets of drawing accurate perspective the same way the old masters did. The tips and tricks will help you improve your landscapes and still life, with a small section discussing drawing figures in perspective.

Paper and pencil supplies will be on hand. Please join us for an afternoon of discovery.

This event is for adults and teens (grade 6 and up)

Storytelling in Comics

Monday, August 12, 2013 | 6:00-8:00 PM | Malletts Creek Branch

You’ll be challenged to improve your visual storytelling skills using a variety of themes. For more ideas about storytelling check out the 22 rules of storytelling according to Pixar.

Collect a special series of video challenges! Become the supreme master of visual storytelling! ALSO, there will be a drawing for awesome items donated by 2013 Kids Read Comics artists!

Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb

Trinity by first time graphic novelist Jonathan Fetter-Vorm visualizes the steps that led to the destruction of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. His art and pacing draws readers into the excitement of discovering the atom and its power, onward through the development of the ultimate weapon, and finally resulting in the horrific outcome of its use upon the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

There are other works about the development and aftermath of the bomb’s use in graphic novels like Fallout: J. Robert Oppenheimer, Leo Szilard, and the political science of the atomic bomb by local author Jim Ottaviani and Barefoot Gen, the heart-breaking manga about Hiroshima by Keiji Nakazawa. Yet this compact 160-page work is worth the read for the science, history, politics and people involved.

Comics: The Importance of Line

Monday, August 5 | 6-8 PM | Malletts Creek Branch

Lines are critical in comics defining characters, moods, actions, motion, and more. This week you will face three exciting challenges to improve your use of lines.

Come every week to collect a special series of video challenges! Become the supreme master of visual storytelling! ALSO, each week there’ll be a drawing for awesome items donated by 2013 Kids Read Comics artists!

Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls

David Sedaris, a comedic author of several bestselling books, recently published Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls. This satirical work of subtle humor makes the reader giggle and occasionally laugh out loud. Much like his previous publications, this book is a compilation of essays about Sedaris' personal life. But the all-new, hilarious stories and ridiculously funny descriptions make it worth your time.

Although the tales of David Sedaris cannot be considered 100% factual, his actual experiences show through the exaggerations with biting realism. In two essays he writes from the perspective of a murderous man followed by a female Tea Party activist -- vehicles he has chosen to convey his political leanings. In his more realistic essays, he describes his frequent visits to the dentist, a lack of support from his father, and his experience abroad when President Obama was elected. In total, these stories give the reader a glimpse into Sedaris' comedic perspective on life and leave one curious about his daily ruminations. Similar works by Sedaris include: Me Talk Pretty One Day, Barrel Fever, Naked, and Holidays on Ice.

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