Engaging Methuen Readers

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Calling All Local Teens!

No photo description available.Calling All Local Teens!

Have you seen the Nevins Library Young Adult Facebook page recently?

Even when our building is closed, our Teen Services Librarian, Alison, has been working hard to provide you with many online programs, activities, and fun reading suggestions this summer.

Don’t be left out, follow the NL Young Adult  Facebook page to keep informed about upcoming programs, news from the library, new materials to check out, and fun stuff related to YA literature and pop culture.

Recent events have included Netflix watch parties (links provided), a poetry contest, ongoing writing workshops, trivia, and sign-ups for the Summer Reading Challenge.

For any questions on, or suggestions for, teen services, contact Alison at

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Astroids: Friends or Foes?

Asteroids: Friends or Foes?

Wednesday July 24, 2019 at 7pm

This Summer is all about A Universe of Stories.

And so we welcome Kelly Beatty to tell us all about Asteroids and their stories.

What are Asteroids? How are Asteroids and Meteorites related? What can we learn about Asteroids from the missions that NASA and JAXA (Japanese Space Exploration program) are readying to land on asteroids? Not to mention, when might one of them strike Earth with enough force to create widespread damage?

Join us as Kelly Beatty helps us explore the science (and science fiction) surrounding asteroids. Examples of meteorites will be on display as well.

Kelly Beatty has been explaining the science and wonder of astronomy to the public since 1974. An award-winning writer and communicator, he specializes in planetary science and space exploration as Senior Contributing Editor for Sky & Telescope magazine. Beatty enjoys sharing his passion for astronomy with a wide spectrum of audiences, from children to professional astronomers, and you’ll occasionally hear his interviews and guest commentaries on National Public Radio and The Weather Channel.

To register for this program, CLICK here.  For more information, contact Danielle at 978-686-4080 x12 or

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One Minute Book Review: Something Real

Cover image for Something realSomething Real by Heather Demetrios

Ever wonder what it would be like to be famous? To have your own reality television show? Well, according to Bonnie™ Baker, it’s horrible. That’s right, her name is indeed trademarked. Bonnie™ and her eleven siblings have their own reality TV show called A Baker’s Dozen.  Since her birth, the show has been documenting all of their lives, up until her parent’s divorce. Now, Bonnie™ thinks she’s free of the reality (ahem, horror) show and the paparazzi, until she finds out her mom and step-dad sold their rights (again) for a reboot.

More than just a teen drama book, Something Real deals with mental illness, the rights of people, especially children, suicide, and the reality of it all. 

∼ Samm, Library Page

Something Real
by Heather Demetrios
New York:  Henry Holt and Company, c. 2014




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One Minute Book Review: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

Cover image for No-where but hereIn Nowhere But Here, Katie McGarry introduces us to Emily, who just wants life back to normal. Her mother and adoptive father receive a heart wrenching note telling her that Emily’s grandmother on her biological father’s side has passed away. When they travel to Snowflake, a town of motorcycle gangs and bad memories, her little detour turns into a summer trip. Her father is part of the motorcycle club Reign of Terror, as is his family. Katie McGarry does a wonderful job of creating unique characters and settings.

Oz, a Reign of Terror prospect and family friend, is assigned to protect Emily from a rival club who wants revenge against her father. All Oz wants is to become a club member and for Emily to leave so his world can go back to normal. Neither count on their crushes on each other. As Olivia, Emily’s grandmother gets sicker, Oz and Emily grow closer, sharing dreams and secrets. The developing relationships between Emily and her newly found family are entertaining and interesting. As the story plays out, we discover that sometimes family is as much who we choose as who we are born into.

∼ Bistany, Library Page

Nowhere But Here:  a Thunder Road Novel
by Katie McGarry
Don Mills, Ontario : Harlequin Teen, 2015

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Book Review: 1-800-Where-R-You Series by Meg Cabot

Cover image for When lightning strikesThe book series opens on our protagonist, Jess Mastriani, getting into a fight over her best friend, Ruth. Jess is a tomboy, who constantly gets into fights at school, causing her to have detention everyday. While she sees these fights as justified, the teachers and guidance counselors see them as her allowing her temper to get the best of her. She defends those who aren’t able to defend themselves. This is a recurring theme in the series.

At the end of the school day, after her detention, Jess expects Ruth to drive them home. Ruth, however, has decided to walk home. Just as it starts hailing, they take cover under metal bleachers, and Jess is struck by lightning. Thus our story begins and Jess develops extrasensory perception to find missing kids. She wakes up the next morning knowing where two missing kids from the back of a milk carton are. Jess is an all around strong, kick-butt character who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty or handle things on her own.

Her story isn’t without romance though.   Her crush, Rob Wilkins, whom she met in detention, is a bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks and is eighteen, two years older than Jess. And to top it all off, he’s on probation. Ruth comically refers to him as “The Jerk”.

As the series progresses we see Jess save lives, almost gets killed, arsons, and deal with her great aunt Rose. The series has a wide range of locations — from her small town in Indiana, to the summer camp she is a counselor at, to the back woods of her town, to New York and a Military base, and to a biker bar named Chick’s.  Jess is never at a loss for words or adventure, almost always with Rob or Ruth tagging along behind her.

This book series is well written, diverse, and without a doubt one of my favorite book series. I would recommend this series to anyone looking for realistic young adult science fiction or wild adventure.

Bistany, Nevins Library Page

First in series:  When Lightning Strikes by Meg Cabot

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Teen Coding Club

When it comes to computers, I like to think that I know a fair amount. I can troubleshoot with the best of them, and I know that Ctrl+Alt+Del can save the day sometimes. However, when it comes to the inner workings of computers I will be the first to admit that my knowledge falls short. The coding language that makes programs work is a matter I have yet to conquer. That is why I find it so amazing when people – especially young people – are able to learn and build creations out of right combination of keystrokes.

Because of that fascination, I am happy to share our new Teen Coding Camp that will be available to teens in grades 7-12 this summer at the Nevins Library. Led by two high school students who have participated and graduated from their own coding instruction, teens are welcome to come and learn the basics of computer codes like HTML and CSS. The club runs all summer and there is still space to sign up! The club is perfect for the beginner and for those teens who have already dabbled in coding.

Starting July 5th, each Wednesday the Coding Club will meet. One week will be spent learning some coding, which will then be used in a project the following week. It’s a great opportunity to really learn and use the codes.

For more information and registration click HERE or contact Amy at 978.686.4080 ex. 35 or  Be sure to sign up before the classes fill up! I’m so excited to see what will be created through this club!

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African-American Main Characters in YA

If you’ve dropped by any bookstore recently, you may have noticed that American culture has a ways to go yet when it comes to equal representation in literature. From Harry Potter to Septimus Heap, the shelves of the YA section are still largely filled with books starring white protagonists. In fact, in 2014, literally 5% of all children’s books published were about black people. Since the population of the U.S. is 13.2% African American, there’s clearly a lot of room for young black readers to feel left out at the library.

That’s the depressing part. The other side of the coin is that things are moving in the right direction: 5% of children’s books about African Americans is a big improvement over 0.7%, which was the case in 1985. Progress! Today, we’re both celebrating that positive trend and encouraging continued movement toward representative diversity in young adult literature. Here are just a few outstanding Young Adult novels that feature black main characters. Go read!


1290563.jpgAkata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

Sunny is the albino, American-born daughter of Nigerian parents. When her family moves back her her parents’ homeland, Sunny discovers that she possesses magical powers. Unfortunately, so does another new resident: a serial killer.


Black and White by Paul Volponi965250.jpg

Eddie and Marcus are best friends, stars of the basketball team, and in possession of promising futures. But when they commit a crime together, they quickly learn how one bad decision can alter their futures forever…and how different they are in the eyes of the justice system.


1221993.jpgChains by Laurie Halse Anderson

Isabel is a slave…and a spy. The New York couple who owns her know of British plans to foil the American revolution, but Isabel plans to foil them first and win her freedom with the Patriots. The first in a series by a highly acclaimed author!


The Game of Love and Death by Martha Br1596774.jpgockenbrough

Henry, an affluent white boy, and Flora, an ambitious black girl, are destined to love one another. This is because they are the pawns of mightier forces: Death and Love, who have been locked in battle for millennia. Will Love finally triumph this time around? Or will Death take the prize, as always?


329598.jpgHeaven by Angela Johnson

Marley lives an idyllic life in Heaven, OH, where she and her family regularly wire money to her traveling Uncle Jack and his dog. But when a stunning revelation upends her world, she’ll need to reassess who she is and where she belongs.


Jason & Kyra by Dana Davidson890900.jpg

Jock Jason would never have expected to find himself falling for the quiet, nerdy Kyra. But when they’re paired together for a class project, he finds himself telling her things that even his best friends don’t know!


1185909.jpgMare’s War by Tanita S. Davis

Octavia and Tali are about to learn a lot more about their grandmother than they ever knew. Over the course of a road trip, they learn about her escape from the deep South and her involvement in World War II, where she was a member of the Women’s Army Corps.


The Marvelous Effect by Troy CLE1076671.jpg

Louis Proof can’t believe his luck when he finds a secret amusement park hidden beneath his town’s junkyard. But that’s before he falls into a coma, only to wake up to a world where adults have been replaced with passive replicas and a sinister madman tinkers with the human understanding of right and wrong.


683041.jpgMiracle’s Boys by Jacqueline Woodson

Orphaned when their father died trying to save a life, brothers Lafayette, Charlie and Ty’ree struggle to reestablish their lost family connection. But as Ty’ree gives up his college dreams to support the family and Charlie clams up in response to his recent release from prison, Lafayette may have nobody to answer his questions.


Naughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman946546.jpg

In this Romeo and Juliet story, Sephy is a member of the black upper class while Callum is of the poorer white minority. Though they played together as children, the friends’ clandestine relationship is becoming more dangerous by the day, especially when Callum’s father is suspected of committing an act of terrorism.


1154919.jpgThe Skin I’m In by Sharon G. Flake

Maleeka is deeply uncomfortable with her appearance. Her school’s bullies tease her for her dark skin and even Char, who may or may not be her friend, could be taking advantage of her. It’s up to Maleeka to stand up for herself.



Sound by Alexandra Duncan1612702.jpg

All her life, Miyole has watched her mother pilot space ships. Now, she may have a chance to make a voyage herself in the role of a scientific researcher. But when her ship rescues a stranger named Cassia from an attack by pirates, Miyole will find herself caught up in the newcomer’s quest to find her abducted brother.


1580706.jpgThis Side of Home by Renee Watson

Nikki and Maya are identical in every way, and they both love their neighborhood. But when a wave of development sweeps in, only Nikki is excited about the change. Maya misses what her neighborhood once was and worries about the black families that find themselves evicted and displaced, even as she plans to go away for college. A tale that tackles the complexities of gentrification and moving away from home.


Tyrell by Coe Booth1033157.jpg

Life in the homeless shelter is hard enough for Tyrell, but to make things worse, his father’s criminal legacy casts a shadow over his future. As he navigates the usual problems of teenage love and loss, he also struggles with the complications of homelessness, poverty, and remaining true to himself.


1527404.jpgWhen I was the greatest by Jason Reynolds

Ali’s got plenty of great stuff going on in his life, from boxing to good grades. But looking out for his friend, Needles, who has Tourette’s Syndrome, may get Ali in trouble even as they both strive to rise above the violence in their neighborhood.



Remember to ask our teen librarian, Amy Fowler, for more YA recommendations!


For further reading, check out these great blogs!

Black Girls Matter from Stacked

The Brown Bookshelf

Diversity in YA

A Guide to Black Friendly Young Adult Fantasy from the Black Kids Table


For Teens: TAG

I’d like to take a few minutes today to talk to you about Teen Advisory Groups. A Teen Advisory Group might sound like something daunting, but really it’s nothing so extreme! We wind up shortening it to TAG after all. What’s so intimidating about that? Teen Advisory Groups have been helping libraries across the country to create better services and collections for teens and we’re looking to have that happen right here at Nevins Library! The idea is to get local teens who may already be interested in the library to invest some of their time and effort to make something even better. We want to make the teen services at Nevins something that is both helpful and interesting to the local teens. What better way to do that than to ask directly?

Each month the TAG will meet on the fourth Thursday to discuss what we can do to make the library more teen friendly. A meeting might consist of sharing suggestions of what books to order for the teen collection, brainstorming ideas to make more teens aware of what’s going on at the library for them, or creating new programming that teen volunteers can help implement.

If you or someone you know is in high school and is interested in joining the Teen Advisory Group then please join us for our first meeting on Thursday, September 24th at 7pm. We’ll meet for an hour, eat some pizza and figure out how we can make the Nevins Library even better for teens. If you can, please pick up an application for the TAG at the main desk of the library. Otherwise there will be copies available at the first meeting. While we plan to have fun and do great things, this is a commitment that should be taken seriously. Attending the monthly meeting is important to make things happen.

TAG is a great opportunity to get involved in the community, volunteer your time, and have fun with other teens who care about the library. Hope to see you there!