Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Holiday books to curl up with over break

Now that the holiday season is fast approaching, you've no doubt been bombarded by Christmas carols, seen countless holiday lights and Christmas trees and menorahs, felt the chilly winter air and the wonderful Hannukah gifts you've received, slurped down a tasty peppermint mocha, and smelled the fresh happiness in the air. That gets all 5 of your senses in the holiday spirit, but what about your arguably most important 6th sense? Your... BOOK SENSE?

Here are a few books that will keep you warm this holiday season and give you an excuse to not talk to your weird uncle at Christmas:

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited and with a story by Stephanie Perkins
Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris (not strictly a teen book but VERY entertaining nonetheless)
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Let it Snow: Three Holiday Romances  by John Green, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Ex-mas by Kate Brian
Decked with Holly by Marni Bates
Winter's Kiss: Two Romantic Comedies to Cozy Up to by Jennifer Echols and Catherine Hapka
Winter Town by Stephen Emond
The Theory of Everything by J.J. Johnson
Truce: The Day the Soldiers Stopped Fighting by Jim Murphy
The Rifle by Gary Paulsen
Dream Soul by Laurence Yep

I really tried to find some Hannukah themed YA books but came up tragically empty-handed. Any Jewish writers out there?

Happy Holidays!!


Do you like Oscar-nominated documentaries? Do you like true stories? Do you like talking about race in America? Do you like Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr.? And most of all, do you like Samuel L Jackson's voice?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, come watch I Am Not Your Negro, an "Oscar-nominated documentary is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. It is a film that questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond. And, ultimately, by confronting the deeper connections between the lives and assassination of these three leaders, Baldwin and Peck have produced a work that challenges the very definition of what America stands for.”

PG-13, Dec 18, 2018 @ 6:30-9:00 PM   EVERYONE WELCOME

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

New Items in the Teen Space!

Check out the cool new items Robbins just got in!

GRAPHIC TEEN FIC LOCKJAWKibblesmith, Daniel,Lockjaw :;who's a good boy?
GRAPHIC TEEN FIC UKAZUUkazu, Ngozi,Check, please!.;Book 1,;#Hockey!
GRAPHIC TEEN FIC VENOMWells, Zeb.Venom.;Dark origin
SPEED READ TEEN FIC HAN, J.Han, Jenny,Always and forever, Lara Jean
SPEED READ TEEN FIC THOMAS, A.Thomas, Angie,The hate u give
SPEED READ TEEN FIC YOON, N.Yoon, Nicola,Everything, everything
TEEN CD-BOOK FIC BARRBarr, Emily,The one memory of Flora Banks
TEEN CD-BOOK FIC BLAKEBlake, Kendare,Two dark reigns
TEEN CD-BOOK FIC KEPLINGERKeplinger, Kody,That's not what happened
TEEN CD-BOOK FIC OLIVEROliver, Lauren,Broken things
TEEN FIC PINBOROUGH, S.Pinborough, Sarah,The double-edged sword
TEEN PS4 ADVENTURE TIME: PIRATES OF THE ENCHIRIDIONAdventure time :;Pirates of the Enchiridion
TEEN PS4 DRAGONBALL XENOVERSE 2Dragonball xenoverse 2
TEEN PS4 KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.8: FINAL CHAPTER PROLOGUEKingdom hearts HD II.8 final chapter prologue
TEEN READERS' ADVISORY REF 016.8093 FICFichtelberg, Susan.Encountering enchantment :;a guide to speculative fiction for teens
TEEN SWITCH LEGEND OF ZELDA. BREATH OF THE WILDThe Legend of Zelda.;Breath of the wild
FIC FISCHER, N.Fischer, Nancy Richardson,When elephants fly
TEEN FIC BOWMAN, A.Bowman, Akemi Dawn,Summer Bird Blue
TEEN FIC CALETTI, D.Caletti, Deb,A heart in a body in the world
TEEN FIC DERISO, C.Deriso, Christine Hurley,Things I'd rather do than die
TEEN FIC FARIZAN, S.Farizan, Sara,Here to stay
TEEN FIC GOODLETT, E.Goodlett, Ellen,Rule
TEEN FIC HEIDICKER, C.Heidicker, Christian McKay,Attack of the 50 foot wallflower
TEEN FIC HESSE, M.Hesse, Monica,The war outside
TEEN FIC HOUCK, C.Houck, Colleen,The lantern's ember
TEEN FIC HOYLE, M.Hoyle, McCallMeet the Sk
TEEN FIC LONDON, A.London, Alex,Black wings beating
TEEN FIC ZOBOI, I.Zoboi, Ibi Aanu,Pride
TEEN SS FIC UNBROKENUnbroken :;13 stories starring disabled teens

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

This is Halloween!

Join us for a wicked cool Halloween Party! Come in costume or just as yourself to enjoy candy, a movie, cider, and maybe some spooky surprises. We love Halloween here in the Teen Space, so come celebrate with us!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Love, Simon

Come join Reel Queer to watch a great movie! And afterward, put a hold on the book that inspired it, Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens. 17-year-old Simon Spier is in the closet and is falling in love with an anonymous person he's been emailing with. Trying to solve his problems prove complicated and life-changing.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Girls Who Code!

That's right! Girls Who Code is BACK for it's third year running! There will be an Open House on October 4th for interested girls. Girls Who Code and the Robbins Library define 'girl' as anyone who would take that identity for themselves so if you call yourself a girl, you are welcome here! The Open House includes a lottery drawing for club participation so attendance is mandatory for those who want to join the club. Please contact Katy if you have circumstances beyond your control that prevent you from attending.

Can't wait to see you there!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Back to School? More like Back to the Robbins for FUN TIMES!

At the Fox
Sept 6 @ 3pm: Vine Watching Party
Sept 21 @ 3pm: Middle School Movie

Teen Space!
Sept 28 @ 3pm: Food Friday

And don't forget to sign up for the Writing Workshop for Teens!

See the Event Calendar for more details!

Friday, August 24, 2018

Needle is Disappointed by At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun Hutchinson

At the Edge of the Universe
by Shaun Hutchinson

“Don't get so focused on where you're going that you forget the people you're traveling with. There's no point reaching a destination if you arrive alone.”

WARNING: This book is often pretty dark and discusses sensitive topics including rape, self-harm, drug use, child abuse, homophobia, racism, and violence.

After having read and fallen in love with one of Hutchinson’s other books, At the Edge of the Universe was one of the titles that I was most eagerly looking forward to reading. Unfortunately, while I certainly enjoyed the book, it didn’t quite live up to my (admittedly perhaps unfairly high) expectations.
Ozzie and Tommy had been elementary school friends then boyfriends since middle school and relied on each other for everything. Then one day, it’s as if Tommy had never existed. None of Ozzie’s classmates remember Tommy having ever gone to their school and even Tommy’s own mother’s history has been altered so that Tommy was never born. As the days go by, Ozzie realizes that Tommy’s erasure was just the first step in an ongoing shrinkage of the universe and that only he remembers the way things used to be.
The book is about Ozzie’s search for Tommy, and even more so about his relationships with the others around him. It’s dark and gritty, and readers should definitely not expect an easy, adventure-filled sci-fi experience. While the premise seems really cool, here’s where I start to have a few complaints. As a non-white member of the LGBT community, I wholeheartedly agree that it is important to have diverse representation in books. However, it sometimes rubs me the wrong way if it seems the author is trying too hard. Ozzie himself is a white, gay male, Tommy is half black, Ozzie’s best friend Lua is genderfluid and alternates between she/her and he/him pronouns, a character is presumably bisexual, and late in the book a Chinese-American character is revealed to be asexual. Maybe it’s just me, but while I appreciate Hutchinson’s attempt to include diverse and less mainstream identities, it felt a little forced.
My biggest complaint, however, is the similarity between this book and We Are the Ants, Hutchinson’s other augmented-reality/sci-fi novel. When reading At the Edge, I was at times reminded of the beautiful, existentialist poetry that I loved so much in Ants, but the similarity of the plot and feel dulled the vibrancy of these moments for me. The messages in At the Edge also seemed just a little more heavy-handed than in Ants, leaving me with an overall feeling that I had just read a slightly worse, slightly clumsier, less original version of We are the Ants.
So, if you like sci-fi or realistic fiction or a little of both, and if you can only read one of the two books, I would definitely recommend We Are the Ants over At the Edge of the Universe, but I overall recommend both. Also, if you liked E. Lockhart's We Were Liars, I think you’d probably enjoy At the Edge for reasons that I cannot say without spoiling both books.

Are you interested in reviewing for the Robbins Library? Check out our How to Volunteer Page!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Steven Universe! Meet the New Teen Librarian!!

The new teen librarian, Katy (who uses they/them pronouns), will be at the Steven Universe program coming up on Tuesday! Come meet them and sing along to the best show ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Needle Recommends 'The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons' by Sam Keane

The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: The History of the Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness, and Recovery by Sam Keane

“Above all, we know that there’s a physical basis for every psychological attribute we have: if just the right spot gets damaged, we can lose just about anything in our mental repertoire, no matter how sacred.”

In my last review of a nonfiction book, I wrote that I rarely read nonfiction. Recently, however, books like this one have helped reduce the internal stigma I held toward nonfiction reading. I started this book for school, but only needed to read the 3 chapters for the assignment. Originally, I read the three required chapters then cast the book aside and moved on to other assignments, but I found myself wanting to finish it on my own time.
The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons is an examination of the human brain and the connections between the physical aspects of our bodies (lobes, neurons, muscles, etc.) and the less tangible aspects of our existence like our thoughts, personalities, and our free will (if it exists at all...). Keane uses many different historical cases and patients to explore the various ways that the brain can be damaged and/or changed, be it through disease or injury. Some of the cases he talks about are pretty well known, like Phineas Gage, who is often called the father of modern neuroscience ever since a massive pointy rod went through his head and he exhibited no obvious symptoms -- he didn’t even lose consciousness -- except mysterious changes in personality visible only to those closest to him. Many of the people he talks about, though, are fascinating examples of how intricate and mysterious the brain really is.

Keane’s writing is compelling and colorful, which really helped me stay engaged. His voice shines through in almost every page, and there is an extensive appendix offering extra information and funny additions to the text at the end. Although there is a lot of sciencey speech, he makes most of it familiar enough that normal people can follow along and have at least a pretty good idea of what he’s talking about. I really liked how the book was based around historical anecdotes and personal stories, because it helped me get into the book in the same way I would with a work of fiction. I recommend The Tale of Dueling Neurosurgeons to anyone interested in learning or thinking about how we, as humans, think and behave, as well as fans of more niche characters in history. This book is probably best for fans of science since there is quite a bit of scientific language and concepts, but even if you don’t like science this book will probably still interest you with its quirky and mysterious stories.

Are you interested in reviewing for the Robbins Library? Check out our How to Volunteer Page!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Needle recommends 'The Talented Mr. Ripley' by Patricia Highsmith

The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

“If you wanted to be cheerful, or melancholic, or wistful, or thoughtful, or courteous, you simply had to act those things with every gesture” (182).

Throwback Thursday! (or whatever day you might be reading this on)! Patricia Highsmith, author of The Price of Salt (the book that was later turned into Oscar nominee Carol) wrote The Talented Mr. Ripley in 1955 yet unlike some books that are over 60 years old, this one felt barely dated. It is well written and not overly old-fashioned in style, so it’s not difficult to read in any way. 

The Talented Mr. Ripley is a psychological thriller/mystery about a young man, Tom Ripley, who is asked to visit an old acquaintance in Italy and convince him to return to the US. Charmed by his friend, a wealthy and spoiled man named Dickie Greenleaf, Tom’s intrigue turns into infatuation which quickly turns into a terrifying obsession. Threatened by Dickie’s girlfriend and the notion that Dickie may be growing tired of him, Tom falls deeper into his obsession and his desire for living the lavish life that Dickie leads. 

The book is told from Tom’s point of view, although he is hardly a protagonist. In fact, the most interesting thing about this book is that the story is told from such a clearly unreliable narrator, but his reasoning, no matter how flawed, is honest and his emotions are true, despite the fact that they lead to… well, I won’t spoil it. 

There are plenty of mystery books out there, and if you’re looking for a truly suspenseful story where you have no idea what happens next, this may not be the book for you. There is suspense and mystery, yes, but the real charm of the book is observing the twisted, horrifying inner workings of the narrator’s brain and thinking about how easily his mundane feelings of jealousy, greed, and infatuation, which are all relatable to some extent, turn horribly, horribly sour. Thematically, this book reminded me heavily of A Separate Peace because of the corrupting power of the narrator’s jealousy and admiration toward a more successful, more handsome peer. If you liked A Separate Peace or if you’re just a fan of mysteries and psychological stories, definitely check out The Talented Mr. Ripley.  

Wednesday, May 16, 2018


We've had a few questions via email regarding this weekend's DRAG PROM! We can't believe its finally here! At any rate, we've put together a list of what we think may be questions you have or have already asked us! 
  1. Q: Do I have to pay to come to the event? 
    • A: No, like most things that happen at the library, this is a FREE EVENT.
  2. Q: Is it required that attendees dress in drag? 
    • A: No, you can absolutely come as yourself! If you change your mind, we'll have plenty of materials to fit the persona-clothes and makeup, you envision. 
  3. Q: Do I have to be queer/LGBTQIA+ identifying to attend the prom? 
    • A: No, as long as you're a teen from 12 to 19, that respects and considers yourself an ally to the queer community, you're more than welcome to attend! 
  4. Q: Will there be food and drinks at the event? 
    • A: Yes, we'll have food and drinks for people to enjoy. 
  5. Q: Can I come to the event late? 
    • A: Yes, you can show up late, but you cannot leave and come back to the prom. 
  6. Q: Are middle schoolers welcome to attend? 
    • A: Yes, middle schoolers are more than welcome to attend! 
  7. Q: Are teens outside of Arlington allowed to come to prom? 
    • A: Yes, absolutely! We want teens to meet new teens and enjoy an alternative prom experience. 
  8. Q: Will there be adults at the prom? 
    • A: Yes, there will chaperones that have had background checks for the event. 
  9. Q: Where is Drag Prom being held? 
  10. Q: Will the Drag King and Queen do a number for everyone? 
    • A: Yes! They will do an opening sequence as well as a performance during the prom.
  11. Q; Can I just come to dance? 
    • A: Yes, absolutely. We've got a solid DJ to help you have a fantastic time! 
  12. Q: Will there be a photographer? 
    • A: Yes, there will be a professional photographer that will be there to take 'prom pics' for teens! The pics will be uploaded to a private online gallery.
  13. Q: Will I need to bring a date?
    • A: No date necessary! You're more than welcome to come stag or with friends! 
If you have other questions, please feel free to reach out and contact us! We'll be here, and we're happy to make this queer prom season wonderful! 

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Needle SORT OF Recommends 'Jaya and Rasa' by Sonia Patel

Jaya and Rasa: A Love Story by Sonia Patel

This retelling of Romeo and Juliet is about two teens living in Hawaii. Rasa is of mixed race, the daughter of a neglectful prostitute and forced to delve into prostitution herself after she was raped at a very young age just to keep her and her younger siblings alive, and when she and her siblings are put into foster care, she ends up under the control of a manipulative, violent pimp. Jaya is an Indian, transgender boy from a wealthy family that, despite looking like the perfect family from the outside, is being destroyed by his father’s cheating and his mother’s eating disorder. The characters meet and feel an instant attraction, are kept apart by their families/pimps, you get the idea.  

Jaya and Rasa is one of those books that’s just chock-full of diversity: while many authors (and especially filmmakers) seem to believe that “diverse traits” can only appear one at a time and are mutually exclusive, this book does NOT have that problem. Now, I’m about to start talking about what I didn’t like: if you already are planning on reading this book, please do and skip along to the last paragraph. I’m almost afraid to jinx it by typing this but… I think Patel went just a little TOO above and beyond with her diversity quota. The story feels rushed and the characters underdeveloped: they are supposed to be 16 or 17 but unfortunately Patel’s immature writing ends up portraying them in an unsophisticated and immature light. In my opinion, she would have done her characters more justice by focusing less on making her book a poster child for diversity through tons of cliched, textbook situations of abuse, mental illness, and general bad situations. Instead, I wish she’d taken the time to develop her characters as people, as teenagers, with more original, nuanced, and deep representations of the effects of horrible life situations.  

But the truth is, I don’t want to bash this book and I still think you should read it. Unfortunately, we still struggle to see tabooed real-life issues in media, and it’s incredibly important to have book and movie characters that help reflect issues that teens all over might face, and start the conversation about these topics that will hopefully lead to support and understanding for victims of abuse, sex trafficking, neglect, racism, homo- and transphobia, eating disorders, and the many other problems people still fight against daily but are rarely discussed in the media. So yes, Jaya and Rasa was far from perfect as a novel, but I still support it because of the topics it deals with and the ever-present need for more books that aren’t afraid to deal with hard topics. 

WARNINGS: This book is very dark and deals heavily with sexual and physical abuse, rape, homo- and transphobia, eating disorders, attempted suicide, and neglect. If you are particularly sensitive about these things this book might not be for you. 

Thursday, April 26, 2018


First come, first serve! Want to learn more about CHOCOLATE?! Experience the world of chocolate with special guest, Kim Larkin! You’ll learn about the history of chocolate, partake in some chocolate trivia, and last but not least, MAKE and TAKE your CHOCOLATE creations home! This event is for grades 6 to 12.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018


In keeping with National Poetry Month, Thursday, April 26th is Poem In Your Pocket Day! Poem in Your Pocket Day intends to unite people in a day of celebration for poetry! Stop by the Poem Display on your way in the Robbins Library where you can pick up a poem to place in your pocket! Take a printed poem or write your own poem to keep or share!
Want to know what poem I'll have in my pocket?!


Let Evening Come by Jane Kenyon

Let the light of late afternoon
shine through chinks in the barn, moving
up the bales as the sun moves down.

Let the cricket take up chafing
as a woman takes up her needles
and her yarn. Let evening come.

Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned
in long grass. Let the stars appear
and the moon disclose her silver horn.

Let the fox go back to its sandy den.
Let the wind die down. Let the shed
go black inside. Let evening come.

To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop
in the oats, to air in the lung
let evening come.

Let it come, as it will, and don’t
be afraid. God does not leave us
comfortless, so let evening come.

While the poem is definitely about the sadness of life ending, it always reminds me to appreciate the natural world as well as the brevity of life. Jane Kenyon lived in my hometown and was married to National Poet Laureate, Donald Hall. There's a Bill Moyers PBS documentary on the couple from the early 90s. CHECK.IT.OUT. As with her later poems, this one took a darker turn as she succumbed to her leukemia.

The nerdy part regarding this poem pertains to our middle-high school band playing an arrangement of this poem. Like the poem, the musical arrangement was sad but accepting of the circumstances of life. Feel free to hit up youtube for some sound middle school arrangements!

Jane's work has been compared to Sylvia Plath's and has been praised for its use of rural description, which was no doubt inspired by her Northern New England surroundings!

Let Evening Come stayed with me over the years, and that's why it'll be in my pocket!



PS. What poem will/would you put your pocket?!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Celebrate National Poetry Month with BLACKOUT POETRY

Blackout Poetry
Wednesday, April 25th

3:00 pm to 5:00 pm 

Teen Area 

In celebration of National Poetry Month, we’ll be providing pages to make your own unique erasure poetry! With existing text, blackout poets isolate then piece single words or short phrases to create poems and in some cases, magnificent artwork! While the initial pages of text won’t be unique, the framing and creating of your personal poem and artwork will be! Be loud and be heard! Happy National Poetry Month!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Needle Recommends 'From Here to Eternity' by Caitlin Doughty

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty

“I have come to believe that the merits of a death custom are not based on mathematics (e.g., 36.7 percent a "barbarous act"), but on emotions, a belief in the unique nobility of one's own culture. That is to say, we consider death rituals savage only when they don't match our own.”
I rarely read nonfiction. So rarely, in fact, that my parents felt the need to get me this book as a gift to “expand my horizons.” Needless to say, I was hardly thrilled with the prospect of starting it but I ended up enjoying it more than I expected.

From Here to Eternity is a recounting of author/mortician Caitlin Doughty’s travels through different cultures and the different ways people deal with the death of their loved ones, and often more importantly, celebrate their lives even long after they have died. Each section of the book is dedicated to a different funerary custom from around the world, including cultures in Indonesia, Mexico, Spain, Japan, Bolivia, and even a few non-traditional practices in the United States.

The topics she explored were very interesting and were definitely the highlight of the book, which I guess is to be expected from a work of nonfiction. Doughty is supposed to be funny, and unfortunately her style of humor and writing in general wasn’t doing it for me. It felt just a little too immature and like she was trying too hard, but the fascinating subjects and exploration of different customs were just enough to make up for the somewhat lacking writing.

I was also worried that this book would be overly depressing, since it is literally all about death. However, it is important to know that the tone is overall very uplifting. While she does discuss the nitty-gritty of various funerary practices, the real emphasis of the book is the importance of family, celebration, and remembrance of those who have passed.

I recommend this book to anyone who, like me, is looking to dip their toes into the realm of nonfiction writing, or anyone who is perhaps already submerged and is interested in learning about different cultures and family practices from around the world.

Doughty, Caitlin. From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good in Death. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2017.

Review written by Needle, Teen Volunteer

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Teen Vacation Events!

Hey Teens!

Are you around this fine April vacation week?! We'd love to see you for the events we're hosting this week!

Tuesday, April 17th
Teen Movie - Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
1:00 pm to 3:30 pm
Robbins Community Room

Wednesday, April 18th
Teen Drop-In Video Games
WiiU or PS4. Nintendo Switch COMING SOON.
3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Teen Area

Thursday, April 19th
Teen Drop-In Wanderlust Crafts
Map Magnets & Bracelet Cuffs
3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

All these events are for grades 6 to 12. Please check out our events calendar for more information on each individual event!

Thanks for your time and support, and have a fantastic vacation!

See you around!


Sunday, April 8, 2018

Want to Listen to a Book?

Climbing statistics from 2017 demonstrate that LISTENING to books is a THING. A THING. According to the Pew Research Center, about three-quarters of Americans picked up a book in the last year. The shocking change revealed that about one in five Americans listened to a book! SAY WHAT?! Furthermore, one in four 'young adults' listened to an audiobook! With these promising stats, we have a lot of LISTENING TO DO in 2018!

As someone who frequents audiobooks, I want to address some common misconceptions for commanding adults and teens alike...
  1. Audiobooks are bulky in CD or Playaway form. 
    • FALSE: You can listen to books on your smartphone with the help of a little app called Libby. Like an audiobook physically in the library, you may have to place a hold and wait for an available copy. However, its free and worth the wait! 
  2. Audiobooks via apps take up a lot of my phone's storage.
    • TRUE: If you continue to download files via the elder app, Overdrive, yes, it will take up some space for a bit of time.
    • WORKAROUND: If you download Libby, the flashy younger sibling to Overdrive, it will be quicker, and you won't have to store said files!
  3. Audiobooks take forever to finish.
    • TRUE: Yes, some audiobooks take forever!
    • WORKAROUND: You have 30 minutes to commute to school...Guess what you could be doing with those 30 spare minutes?! YESSSS, you could be listening to a book!  
    • WORKAROUND 2: Choose some teen audiobooks - most max out at around 10 hours. Think about that commute back and forth. You'll complete a book in 10 days! 
  4. Audiobooks are kind of like continuous podcasts.
    • TRUE: If that's how you want to consider it, YES. You could basically listen to a mystery and finish it, not having to wait for the following episode! WHAT?! 
  5. Regarding comprehension, listening to audiobooks just doesn't compare to reading books.
    • TRUE/FALSE: There are no real conclusive findings that demonstrate what works for each individual. According to psychologist Daniel Willingham, there's really no difference in the mental processes that are involved in listening and reading to a book. In other words, they're both beneficial! 
    • TRUE/FALSE: Your teacher tells you audiobooks are not comparable to physical books. Again, if we look at Willingham, it depends on your individual strengths!
    • HONESTLY, it depends on how you like to take in information! Do you enjoy listening to stories or would you instead immerse yourself in words on a page?! Similar to the books you choose to read, genres and topic habits, it depends on what you enjoy! 
Give yourself the time to read one book, and then try listening to another book. Compare & contrast how you retained the information from each book - the plot, characters, world-building, info from specific chapters, etc. See what happens! Surprise yourself or better yet, confirm what you already knew! 

Ultimately, we're here to help, and we look forward to finding you your next great book or audiobook! ;) 

See you soon! 


PS. We have at least a few listeners on the Reference Desk, and we'd all be happy to recommend an audiobook that fits your needs! 

Thursday, March 29, 2018


Teen Nail Art
Tuesday, April 3rd
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Robbins Community Room

Local teen and nail art extraordinaire, Natasha Colman, will walk teens through how-to make your own nail art! For each patron, she will paint one accent nail, and let you create your own art!  She will also discuss being a content creator for social media outlets like Instagram! Join us for an afternoon of nail artistry!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Varun Recommends 'Scythe' by Neal Shusterman

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Recently I read the book Scythe by Neal Shusterman. In the book, there are two teens, Rowan and Citra. They live in a world where humanity has conquered death. As a means of population control, specially chosen men and women called scythes carry out random acts of murder, known as gleaning in the post-immortality world. The only way to truly die without a scythe gleaning you is to be burnt alive. A scythe known as Faraday, visits Citra’s home. He also visits Rowan, and suggests they both train to become scythes. They both accept with some reluctance and begin their training. During it, however, tragedy strikes and the two are forced into very different paths.

Overall, I think the book had some very strong parts and some not so strong parts. One thing I found that did annoy me was the relative predictability of the plot. Compared to some more spontaneous books, Scythe was definitely much easier to guess what would happen next. Also, a very large part of the book was covering the training of Rowan and Citra, and while I do agree it is important to show that they were training, and that they were working to become good scythes, I think too much of the book was more a training montage than filled with action scenes.

However, the book had many great things about it as well. The most interesting part about it would have to be the concept that the book explored. The concept of a post-immortality Earth, where people cannot die, where the act of killing is a necessity, and must be done by someone is a very chilling, yet interesting one. Another thing I really liked about the book was the character development and change over the book. We learned lots about all the characters from their actions, from Citra’s stubbornness, to Rowan’s easygoingness. Also, many of the characters changed across the book, them, and watching that development is very interesting.
especially the two main characters. Citra went from a cold, stubborn person to a much nicer, understanding person. And Rowan went from a joke-cracking, grinning person, to a much sadder, colder person. Their differing paths change

Overall I would probably give the book 3 out of 5 stars. While its concept and characters were very creative and interesting, the simple plot and lack of high-intensity thriller scenes made it lose two stars. I would, however, still recommend it to read, as even though it is a longer book, I think it is definitely one to read if you are a fan of dystopian, future books. It has similar themes to The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, so fans of that book will enjoy this one as well.

The first review written by teen volunteer, Varun! Thank you and welcome, Varun!

Friday, March 23, 2018

6th Grade Book Club Reads 'Bronx Masquerade' by Nikki Grimes

6th Grade Book Club

Thursday, April 12th

4:30 pm to 5:30 pm 

Robbins Conference Room (4th Floor)

For our April edition of 6th Grade Book Club, we'll be reading a novel in verse to celebrate National Poetry Month.

Enjoy reading and talking about books? Looking to continue reading throughout the school year? Join us for our 6th Grade Book Club! Every month we’ll read a new book, discuss the present book, complete a papercraft activity based on the book, and choose a book for the following month. Refreshments will be provided! You can sign up HERE via Eventbrite.

Our selection is Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes - while studying the Harlem Renaissance, students at a Bronx high school read aloud poems they've written, revealing their innermost thoughts and fears to their formerly clueless classmates.

Please pick the book up at the Circulation Desk of the Robbins Library or at the Fox Library and bring it to the meeting held in the Robbins fourth-floor Conference Room!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


We're ECSTATIC that we can now share all the information for our LGBTQIA+ Alternative Prom! Please refer to the Drag Prom 2018 page for more information on all the lead-up events and the ULTIMATE event, DRAG PROM! :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Middle School Advisory Board - THIS THURSDAY!

Hey Middle Schoolers!

We're having our second Middle School Advisory Board meeting this year, and we'd love for you to join us! We find that middle schoolers have a unique perspective and place in our library! If you looking to help the library, recommend items for us to purchase, or just hang out in the Teen Area, this group is for you! Drop-in to our meetings to help create fun events, meet new people, and get involved with the Teen Area and its future. There will be pizza and refreshments for attendees!

Have questions?! Please feel free to email Megan, Teen Services Librarian at

Thanks for your time and support, and we look forward to seeing you! 


Sunday, March 11, 2018

Feed the Pig!

There's this PIG we have in the Teen Area that takes suggestions. The PIG likes to know what you think we should offer for events, how the Teen Area can evolve, and what things we may be missing in our collections that you want to see!

The PIG lives on the laptop bar in the Teen Area. The PIG enjoys being feed every now and then...We look forward to hearing your feedback so we can have the Teen Area be a place for everyone to feel safe and comfortable! :)

Monday, March 5, 2018

Teen Early Release Tomorrow Afternoon @ 2:00 PM

Looking for something to do after school tomorrow?! Experience 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' on the big screen! Written and adapted by author Stephen Chbosky, the film is a coming-of-age story exploring themes of mental health, friendship, and empathy for others in a time of need. It will make you laugh, cry, and feel infinite! Sound interesting? We'll have snacks and drinks for a 2:00 PM start! This event is for grades 6 to 12.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

What is a Zine?!

Zines are independently made “magazines” about whatever you want! Zines are a way to express yourself and to read about topics that aren’t addressed in 'officially' published books. YOUR voice matters and zines are an excellent opportunity to express yourself and share your experiences with the world! In short, zines can be about whatever you want! 

According to Dawn Stahura, resident Zine Librarian at Simmons College, a zine is...
  • Self-published and the publisher (you) doesn't answer to anyone
  • Small, self-distributed print run
  • Motivated by desire to express oneself rather than to make money
  • Outside the mainstream media 
  • Low-budget - no special equipment necessary! 
  • Support DIY culture/ethos - you write the stories that need to be heard 
Want more information, including a history, refinement, cataloging, and description of why you should make zines? Click HERE to take a look at Dawn's recent presentation for Simmons students!  

Want to learn even more about zines and zine libraries? Check out Dawn's guide HERE

Sound interesting?! Join us for an afternoon of Zines with zine enthusiast and librarian, Des Alaniz, to physically construct and build narratives for your zine! In addition to zine supplies and paper, we'll also have zine related and adjacent books!

Teen Zine Workshop
Tuesday, March 27th 
3:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Robbins Library Teen Area 

We look forward to seeing you! 

Monday, February 19, 2018

STOLEN: Dare to Share for the Talking Chair!

For National Poetry Month, we'll be hosting poems from you, the people of Arlington! Want to submit a poem?! Check out this stolen post HERE! Teens can submit their poems to the following address

We look forward to hearing your poems! :)

Tuesday, February 13, 2018



GAHHHH. It's that time of year! Just like film, library award season is upon us! Yesterday, the following awards relating to the teen and young adult world we announced: the Coretta Scott King Book Award, William C. Morris Award, Michael L. Printz Award, Stonewall Book Award, and the Alex Award. Below, you will find the winners and the honorees for each award along with a link to each in Minuteman catalog! If you're curious about the winners and honored books from previous years, please click HERE to look at Minuteman's listing of all awards. If you'd like to know more about the American Library Association's Youth Media Awards, please click HERE for this year's press release.

Coretta Scott King Book Award recognizing African American authors and illustrators of
outstanding books for children and young adults.

Piecing Me Together by RenĂ©e Watson

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas 
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author for teens. 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Devils Within by S.F. Henson
Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali
Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman 

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults.  

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas 
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor 

Stonewall Book Award for children's and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience.

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert
The 57 Bus by Daska Slater

As The Crow Flies written and illustrated by Melanie Gillman

Alex Awards for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences.

All Systems Red by Martha Wells
The Clockwork Dynasty by Daniel H. Wilson
Electric Arches by Eve L. Ewing
Malagash by Joey Comeau
Roughneck by Jeff Lemire
She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper
Things We Have in Common by Tasha Kavanagh

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Learn about the 'Insides' of a Computer!

Deconstruct a Computer!
Tuesday, February 27th
5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Robbins Library Community Room 

Ever wondered what was inside our technology? Well, more specifically a Central Processing Unit? Join us to take apart a CPU, and learn what lives inside it! We’ll use tools to take a computer apart, look at its brain, and talk about the different components! This event is for those in grades 6 to 8. Please sign up via Eventbrite HERE.

Here's a sneak peek of some of the computers that are just begging to be taken apart by some lovely middle schoolers!

Have questions? Feel free to email, Megan, Teen Services Librarian at