Wednesday, September 27, 2017


Just a quick update! Our Girls Who Code open house is tomorrow. Need more information?! Check out this link to find more details! We look forward to seeing all prospective coders and parent/guardians!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

6th Grade Book Club

6th Grade Book Club
Thursday, October 12th
4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Robbins Conference Room 

Enjoy reading and talking about books? Looking to continue reading throughout the school year? Join us for our first 6th grade book club! Every month we’ll read a new book, and choose a book for the following month. Refreshments will be provided. This is not a series. Each participant will have to sign up monthly via Eventbrite. In our first meeting, we’ll be reading Ghost by Jason Reynolds. Sign-up for the first meeting here.Please pick up the book in the Teen Area at Robbins or at the Circulation Desk at Fox, and bring the book to the meeting on October 12th at 4:30 pm.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Teen Coffeehouse

Teen Coffeehouse

Friday, September 29th
3:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Teen Area 

In recognition of National Coffee Day, we’ll be providing a coffeehouse-style afternoon for teens! We’ll have several coffee flavors as well as juice and a few snacks! This event is for grades 6 to 12.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Needle Recommends: The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith

The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith

“There’s not a single thing on this planet – not an organism, a sea, a river or lake, and even the weather that surrounds us, that hasn’t been changed by human beings. For good or bad, we’re in charge of the rate at which everything changes now. Every living thing and the majority of nonliving systems too. We’ve become our own God, I suppose" (263).

This not-your-average YA dystopian is undeniably weird. It tells the story of Ariel, a 15-year-old boy who is brought to a semi-dystopian America to live with a foster family after his war-ridden home in the Middle East is attacked. The story is told in several different sections that are interspersed throughout the book then connected at the end: the primary narrative is a first-person account by Ariel about his time at a summer camp that offers to separate teenaged boys from technology. This narrative is broken up by sections detailing Ariel’s hardships during the time between the attack on his village and his arrival in America, told to his foster brother Max (another teenaged boy who talks almost exclusively in euphemisms for masturbation), sections about Leonard Fountain, the melting man, who hears Joseph Stalin’s voice in his head, and logs from an expedition on a ship named the Alex Crow in the 1880s. Other relevant topics are biotech, the process of reviving extinct animals, and the role of masculinity in society.

This was a fast read for me, the story is captivating and well-written
yet very chaotic: things are treated in a matter-of-fact way in some of the sections, so very little is explained for much of the book. Readers must be patient and accept the fact that they will be confused for the vast majority of their time reading The Alex Crow.

Like some of Smith’s other books, the characters are predominantly male teenagers and behave pretty much how you’d expect, so if you’re looking for strong, women-centric stories, this book may not be for you. If you liked Grasshopper Jungle, also by Andrew Smith or Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner, you might enjoy this book (conversely if you liked The Alex Crow, you might like those other two).

Warning: there is a fairly graphic rape scene.

Smith, Andrew. The Alex crow. NY, NY: Speak, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, 2016.

Review written by Needle, Teen Volunteer

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Teen Writers Workshop - Spaces Still Available!

Teen Writers Workshop

This workshop will occur o the following Mondays from 6:00 to 7:30 pm: 9/18, 10/2, 10/16, 10/30, 11/13, 11/27 with a presentation on 12/10.

Work with Lynette Benton, published writer and writing instructor, to begin or move forward on your writing projects (poetry, short story, novel excerpt). Ms. Benton will inspire and guide you on your writing journey. If you’d like to, bring writing you’ve been working on (this is not required). For ages 12-18. Register now via Eventbrite

Saturday, September 9, 2017


Library of Things Petting Zoo   

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017
3:30 pm to 5:00 pm
Teen Area

Did you know that you can check out 'things' from the library? Stop by the Teen Area to learn more about board and lawn games, kitchen gadgets, a record player, outdoor screen to watch your favorite movie, or a kit to learn a new skill or craft! A staff person will be present to assist teens in learning more about things to check out from the library. This event is for people in grades 6 to 12.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


Hey Everyone!

For the second year, the Robbins Library will be hosting a Girls Who Code club open to girls in grades 6 through 12. The club will meet Wednesdays October through May from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. We invite interested girls and their guardians to an Open House to learn more about the club and to be entered into a lottery to receive one of the 24 available spaces.
The first part of the evening will go over club specifics and introduce the girls to our volunteers. The second part of the evening will be a lottery for the 24 available spaces in the club. Attendance at the open house is mandatory for lottery participation.
Please attend the meeting with a personal email address that the participant can use to create an account for the Girls Who Code software!
Register for the Open House at Go to to learn more about the organization and other programs in the area.
Please use the Eventbrite sign up as a way to demonstrate your interest for the Open House. Spaces will not be drawn on the evening of the event. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me, Megan, Teen Services Librarian, at 

Thanks for your time and interest! We look forward to seeing everyone on the 28th! 

Friday, September 1, 2017


Children who read just four books over the summer fare better on reading-comprehension tests in the fall than their peers who read one or no books. We are challenging everyone in Arlington to choose four books to read over these summer months! We'll be sharing the 4 titles from some of our staff and community members this summer to inspire you! Share your selections on social media. Use the hashtag #WhatsYourFour?

In this post, our Head of Adult Services, Linda, will be sharing her four for this summer! As we're edging towards the end of summer, Linda may have already completed some of her picks. Like Jenny, Linda reads a lot of teen books, as she also runs our "Not So Young Adult" Book Club for adults that like to read young adult books! 

Linda, Head of Adult Services

A Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee: Think of this as an18th-century take on the road trip novel. Two teenage boys embark on a grand tour of Europe, as was the fashion at the time. Monty and Percy are best friends and are super excited about taking this long trip before they have to deal with the realities of their adult lives. Monty's sister Felicity is coming with them for part of the trip and will be dropped off at a finishing school along the way. They're also accompanied by a chaperone (boo!) But of course, the trip is complicated by many things: Monty is in love with Percy. Percy has a medical condition he's been keeping secret. Felicity would rather go to medical school than finishing school. And Monty steals something along the way that changes the course of their trip - they are attacked by highwaymen, captured by pirates, and have a very different sort of adventure than they had planned!

The Good Braider by Terry Farish: Written in verse, this short novel follows a teenage girl as her family flees war-torn Sudan, settles in Cairo for a couple of years, and finally arrives in Portland, Maine. Viola's life in Sudan was hard and dangerous, and they risked their lives to come to the United States. Once here, they have a more comfortable life than they're used to, but some parts of American culture are very different. Do they give up their Sudanese heritage to fit in, or stay in their close-knit community of people from their homeland? This book is very short and quick to read, but is so vivid and filled with emotion!

A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman: This is another novel in verse, but this time it takes place in India! Veda is a dance prodigy, who lives and breathes dance and has dreams of becoming famous. But then she's in a horrible accident, and one of her legs is amputated below the knee. Everything she has lived for is now lost. But maybe Veda adjusts to her new prosthetic, she also starts taking beginning dance lessons, determined to continue doing what she loves most. When she meets a young man who sees dance as a spiritual pursuit, Veda gains a whole new perspective on what dancing truly means to her.

Allegedly by Tiffany Jackson: What the media reported is that a white baby died under the care of a church-going black woman and her 9-year-old daughter, and that becomes the only story that matters. Mary doesn't speak out in her own defense and is sent to a juvenile detention center for 6 years. When she is moved to a group home, she soon has a boyfriend and her own baby on the way. Now that she is threatened with losing custody of her baby, Mary must finally tell the truth about what happened. This is a gritty novel about truth and the failures of the American justice system.