WCPL: So much MORE than books!

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Young Adult Wednesday

Tune in [almost] every Wednesday for posts just for teens. Young Adult Wednesday (Y.A. Wednesday) is for West Chester Teens looking for that next book to read (or maybe to avoid) and other posts tailored to teen interests such as library program information, movie information, and more!

The Darkest Part of the Forest Book Review

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black is one of my favorite books from 2015. It can be a hard sell when an excited reader first tries to describe the general plot of the book and Holly Black’s writing style. That conversation goes a little something like this:

“It’s a young adult book about a small town that is a tourist trap and weird attacks and murders start to happen!”

“Oh, really? Well that sounds like a pretty cool book.”

“Yah! And there are Faeries!”

“Faeries… Oh.”

Then you watch as their interest dies, even as you try to backpedal and explain how dark and complex the plot really is. Visions of Tinkerbell dance in their head, and alas, it‘s too late.

So what I want you to do is stop! Right now! Stop thinking about Tinkerbell and come back. Just stay with me a little while longer, because the faeries in The Darkest Part of the Forest are based off Celtic folklore. Trust me when I tell you that those faeries are definitely not Tinkerbell.

The book starts off with a boy asleep in a glass coffin who has been asleep for years. He is oddly beautiful, with horns and ears pointed like knives. Nothing has been able to disturb his slumber, which has been going on for longer than anyone can remember; long enough for the town to become a tourist trap because of him. When the boy suddenly wakes up, the two main characters, siblings Hazel and Ben, are then caught up in the events that surround him.

People start to disappear and die. It is obviously the Faeries doing. The people of the town have lived with the Faeries long enough not to be too concerned; however the secrets that Hazel and Ben hide are starting to catch up with them and every chapter brings more danger and twists.

The Faeries are powerful, mischievous, twisted, and dangerous. One of the main characters is gay and fantastically written. Hazel and Ben’s relationship with their parents is complex and a little bit disturbing at times. The characters are so real and flawed it hurts. You just want to wrap these kids up in blanket and tell them that they don’t have to fight the evil alone. But, of course, they do; and the reader is lucky enough to watch their train wreck of a hero’s quest.

The settings are rich and lend so much to the story. The Forest goes from being a place of fun and fantasy to something darker. The town goes from a safe haven to claustrophobic as the plot goes on. Even the school falls under attack.

The Darkest Part of the Forest is a great example of the mundane and the magical weaving together without flaw. It is complex and satisfying. I would very much encourage anyone to read it!

The Vampire Academy Review

High School is hard. Grades need to be maintained. Cliques must be dealt with.  Romance can lead to heartbreak. Not to mention the sinister vampires who are trying to kill you and possibly make you one of them.

That is the norm, however, for students at St. Vladimir’s School, set in the world of Rachel Mead’s novel, The Vampire Academy. St. Vladimir’s is a secret and special school for two groups of students, the Moroi and the dhampir who are being trained to protect them. The Moroi are a secret race of vampires who can go out in the sun without combusting (or sparkling), have magic powers and only drink blood from willing donors. They also have royal bloodlines that help rule their society. The dhampirs are children of regular mortals and Moroi. They have heightened senses and are natural fighters. Ergo they are trained to protect the Moroi, particularly those of the royal sect. What on Earth do magical vampires who can withstand sunlight need protection from? Well remember the aforementioned “sinister vampires?” They are known as Strigoi and they are the stuff that most legends come from. The Strigoi are like the homicidal “I just want to watch the world burn” crazy family members that the Moroi would really rather not even talk about.

The main character of Vampire Academy is Rose Hathaway a dhampir who is struggling to keep her best friend Vasilisa “Lissa” Dragomir, a royal Moroi, safe. Rose is feisty, stubborn and loyal. I liked her immediately. I also really enjoyed the story. I enjoyed the fact that it focused mostly on two female friends who are trying to keep each other safe and happy. This is difficult because Lissa lost her family in an accident. Shortly after odd things start happening that causes Rose to take extreme measures to protect her friend. Yes there is relationship drama but most of the focus is on their friendship and on how Rose can make herself a stronger person.

The movie was also fun. Yes it was campy and yes it did water down some of the relationships and the danger. But it still hit a lot of the main points of the plot. It gave strong and different female characters a chance to shine and it focused on the friendship of two teenage girls more than the love interest. Of course I have my complaints that some elements of the book where left out. However I feel that the movie kept with the spirit of the book.

In short I enjoyed both the book and the movie. The best part is that the book is a part of a series!

Teens’ Top Ten for 2010

Sometime every summer, a little list slips onto the YA shelves near the School Summer Reading titles. Every once in a while, books featured on that list are on display and teen readers snatch the books up. This quiet little list is actually not that quiet at all. It is a nationally recognized list of books chosen by teens, for teens, and mostly about teens from a variety of genres.

This list is the Teens’ Top Ten Nomination list (compiled by YALSA-American Library Association).

Just by looking at the list this year, there are some really, really popular books everything from titles everyone can’t stop talking about to titles that make you remember “Oh yeah, I wanted to read that.” To me, this year’s list is extra good as I often find that almost everything is checked out!

Have you (or parents, your teen) been reading the titles? Have you read only a handful, but feel they are the best? Vote! Yes, vote for your favorite books and see if they make it to the Teens’ Top Ten List! Voting opened on August 23rd and goes until September 17th! Winners will be announced in October 2010, during Teen Read Week.

Until then, vote and tell your friends to vote, and pass the word! After you vote, check in October 2010 to see which books are the Teens’ Top Ten Books of 2010.

Books-to-Movie News 2010, part 2

Remember this post where we sampled some of what maybe the most anticipated books-to-movies coming out for 2010?

Once again, 2010 is just full of books-to-movies coming out. Some of the latest have been:

  • Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World based on the Scott Pilgrim series by Bryan Lee O’Malley.  (Due out August 13)
  • Flipped based on the book by Wendelin Van Draanen (Due out August 27)
  • It’s Kind of a Funny Story based on the book by Ned Vizzini (Due out September 24)

And some books to TV including the Pretty Little Liars series, which is based off of these books.

In Twilight news, Break Dawn is slated for a two part release, one in November 2011 and another in 2012.

Don’t forget to check the catalog for the books and for the DVDs (when they are released). Some in the previous post may be on DVD now.

Did we forget something you’re looking forward to (such as Beastly based on the book by Alex Flinn which has been pushed from 2010 to 2011)? Let us know in the comments.

The Return of Y.A. Wednesday…

We’re still here! And so is Y.A. Wednesday! We are in full Summer Reading Mode with lots of books being checked out as well as activities for Children and Teens hence why the blog has been quiet. Have you noticed the “Important News” toward the top of the web page? This is where we list upcoming events and closures so if you want to see what we have happening this week, just check that!

With the return of Y.A. Wednesday, I’d like to draw your attention to the Teen Summer Reading Program. Teens (ages 13-18) still have time to sign up if they’d like a chance to win one of the two gift bags we have left or collect Book Dollars for the Big Bash on August 20th! The last day to sign up is August 6th by 5 PM! After that, teens will have 2 weeks to collect Book Dollars for the Big Bash or Raffle Tickets for the last prize bag so there is plenty of time to get something.

If you have signed up for the Teen Summer Reading Club or know a teen who has, but hasn’t been collecting Book Dollars or Raffle Tickets because s/he lost their log in information, contact us!

Happy reading!

April is…National Poetry Month



April is…National Poetry Month. This month is dedicated to poetry in all shapes and forms by authors young and old. How can you participate? Just read a poem! Read one a day or pick up some poem books or read a whole novel in verse (poetry) form. The library has books with poems, books about poets, and books in verse. Just ask!

Check out one of the displays in the library. Look for poetry books on your way up the stairs (or down) from the Children’s Floor or check out the display in our Teen Alcove. Just look for the blue sign that features a black and white “National Poetry Month” sign. If you are on the Lower Level, look to the book shelf beside the desk. We have poetry books for all ages!

Also, check out for resources and to subscribe to their poem a day feature. Lots to explore!

Chester County Library System Needs YOU!

Yes, you!

Chester County Library System is trying to improve customer service and we need your help! Please take the survey found on to tell us what you think.

Teen Tech Week 2010

Teen Tech Week is right around the corner: March 7th until March 13th, 2010.

What is Teen Tech Week? It is a celebration of the technology around you and that the library uses! We’ll have programs, book displays and a raffle during the week to win a cool prize, just for attending our programs! Attend one of the programs below and you are entered into the drawing! (All events are open to teens ages 12-18, in grades 6-12).

Monday, March 8, 6:30 PM until about 7:45 PM – Teen Advisory Board Meeting
Have you visited our  Teen Advisory Board Meeting? Now is a great time to do so and learn about the awesome programming we’re brainstorming for summer.

Tuesday, March 9, 3:30 PM to 7:30 PM – After School Cafe: Mario Kart Wii Practice Rounds
Do you like Mario Kart Wii? Never tried it out? Planning to attend our BIG EVENT on Friday? Here is your chance to stop by and try out Mario Kart Wii against other players! Free snacks! No registration!

Friday, March 12, 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM – Mario Kart Wii Tournament
Play against your friends and see if you are the Mario Kart Champion! Registration required and there will be pizza!

Have questions or want to register? Call us at 610-696-1721 or e-mail us at wcplteens [at] gmail [dot] com!

Friday Feature – Teen Movie Night TONIGHT

Teen Movie Night is happening tonight at West Chester Public Library from 7 PM to 10 PM!

The event is open to any teen ages 13-18 and wants to see a movie on the library big screen, FOR FREE. We’ll also provide the snacks and pizza. Call before 5 PM today to reserve your seat, or take a chance and arrive at our doors at 7 PM as we’ll start the movie shortly.

Call the library to find out the title of the movie or ask your friends and see if they know!

Hope to see you there!

Books to Movies 2010

It seems 2010 is shaping up to be a busy year concerning books being turned into movies.

Titles to look forward to:

  • Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carol (Movie Release: March 5, 2010)
  • Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer (Movie Release: June 30, 2010)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1) by J. K. Rowling (Movie Release: November 19, 2010)
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis (Movie Release: December 10, 2010)
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (Movie Release: April 2, 2010)
  • Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan (Movie Release: February 12, 2010)

These are just a few titles. If you haven’t read the book, stop by the library today and read the book while you wait for the movie! Visit for the catalog!