Parman Teen Book Review: “Matched” by Allison Condie

Posted in book review, teen volunteer on November 20, 2015 by parmanlibraryteens

Matched is the first novel in a trilogy concerning a highly restrictive dystopian society, much like The Hunger Games and the Divergent series; however, this novel is not nearly as violent. The protagonist is seventeen-year-old Cassia Reyes, and the story starts off with her getting ready for her Match Banquet, a ceremony in which boys and girls are Matched together, similar to an arranged marriage. Cassia ends up being matched with her best friend Xander, and she excitedly heads home to read the micro card given to her at the Match Banquet, containing information about her Match. Cassia is content with her Match and excited to find out if she will discover anything about Xander that she does not already know in the micro card, but her whole life changes when the micro card displays an image that it should not have – for a brief moment, instead of displaying Xander’s face, it showed Ky Markham. Cassia knows Ky from school, and she also knows that Ky is an Aberration: someone who is not a citizen of their society because they, or someone related to them, has committed a “crime.” Cassia knows that the image was a mistake, and the Officials have told her it was, but she cannot help but wonder who her true match is: Xander or Ky? As the novel progresses, Cassia struggles to realize where her heart lies, especially as she begins to see the goodness in Ky and the lack of courage in Xander. Matched is an interesting novel with a feminine touch that I would suggest to readers who enjoyed The Hunger Games and Divergent trilogies. Niraja, 16 Parman TLLC



Parman Teen Book Review: “And then there were none” by Agatha Christie

Posted in Uncategorized on November 12, 2015 by parmanlibraryteens

And Then There Were None features the story of eight people who are invited to an island for various purposes, who are met by a cook and a butler. Altogether there are only ten people on the island, all of whom do not know who invited them there, and even though this is a pretty sketchy scenario, the people decide to stay and discuss the abnormality of the whole scenario. Interestingly enough, after a drink one of the guests chokes and dies, and it is found that his drink had been poisoned with potassium cyanide. One by one the guests begin to die, and it becomes clear that there is a murderer on the island. The guests begin to fear one another, desperately attempting to figure out who the culprit is, who the next victim will be, until they are the victim… This novel is by far my favorite mystery, because it was truly suspenseful and filled with red herrings. I did not anticipate the ending at all, which was what made the novel very satisfying and thrilling for me. Christie is obviously a very talented writer, and this novel has encouraged me to explore some of her other works too. I would definitely recommend this novel to people of all ages.

Niraja, 16 Parman TLLC


Parman Teen Book Review: “Go Set a Watchman” by Harper Lee

Posted in Uncategorized on November 3, 2015 by parmanlibraryteens

haper lee

This is only the second novel by Lee, released this July, 55 years after her award-winning debut novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, was released. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my two favorite novels of all-time (the second one is Charlotte’s Web), and Go Set a Watchman is just as exhilarating. This novel, although the original manuscript of To Kill a Mockingbird, can be thought of as a sequel to the novel. It features Jean Louise “Scout” Finch in her 20’s and follows her experience when she visits her father and Maycomb County after living in New York for some time. A lot is the same – her Aunt Alexandra is still nagging her about being a lady, and her father is just as loving. We are introduced to a new character in this novel, Henry “Hank” Clinton, who is supposedly Scout’s childhood friend who is now infatuated with her and plans on marrying her. However, a lot has changed. Jem has passed away from a cardiac arrest, the same reason their mother died in her 30’s. Calpurnia does not work in the Finch household anymore. Worst of all, Scout realizes that her father Atticus makes mistakes too, which is much different from the perfect, godlike father she had worshiped throughout childhood. Overall, this was a beautiful  novel that touches upon the fact that nobody is perfect and that it is important to stand for what you believe in, and ends on a pleasingly optimistic note.

~Niraja, 16 Parman TLLC

Make Your Own Specimen Jars!!

Posted in Uncategorized on October 30, 2015 by tobin at oakwell library teens

Tobin teens made specimen jars using creepy-looking foods like lychee, bamboo shoots, hominy, noodles, dried chile peppers, cauliflower, and baby corn. We put the “specimens” in glass jars filled with water and added two or three drops of food coloring. We also had dark soda on hand to make the water a bit murky. Then, we labelled the jars based on what the specimens looked like. You should find most of the food items in an international food store. Making specimens is VERY simple and cheap, so try it at home to creep out your family and friends on Halloween!
IMG_0079 IMG_0080

IMG_0091 IMG_0086 IMG_0088  IMG_0074 IMG_0084IMG_0075 IMG_0078

Teen Anime Club: Spooky Edition

Posted in Uncategorized on October 26, 2015 by encinolibraryteens

Halloween is just around the corner! Even though Halloween isn’t widely celebrated in Japan (although it is starting to become a little more popular, mostly among teens!), this time of year just calls for all kinds of spookiness. So the teens at the Encino Library decided that we needed a special edition of our Teen Anime Club…

Thus, the Teen Anime Club: Spooky Edition was born!


Do you dare read more?  Continue reading

Parman Teen Book Review: “Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher

Posted in Uncategorized on October 23, 2015 by parmanlibraryteens

13reason why Thirteen Reasons Why is a very emotional novel involved with heavy topics such as suicide and depression. Clay Jensen is a high-schooler who finds a package on his doorstep one day after coming home from school. The package contains seven tapes recorded by his former classmate and love interest, Hannah Baker, who recently committed suicide. Clay realizes that these tapes have been passed around by twelve people – twelve people that Hannah says are the reasons that she committed suicide. Clay listens to these tapes and finally understands all the hardships that Hannah has been through, and Hannah mentions how much she liked Clay and how she felt like he was a really nice person, but was not sure if she could trust him because she mistrusted guys in general after being treated poorly by them. Clay feels guilty about not doing anything to help her, and at the end of the novel corrects his mistake to the best of his ability. This novel is eye-opening because it demonstrates that people often wear masks that hide their true feelings. Sometimes they cry out for help like Hannah did, and they are ignored, which leads to them extremes like taking their own life or hurting themselves in other ways. This novel really showed me how it is necessary for us to be kind and considerate towards those around us, because we may never know what is going on with their lives.

Niraja, Parman TLLC

Teen Anime Club presents: Anime Iron Chef!!

Posted in Uncategorized on October 19, 2015 by encinolibraryteens


Teens love food.

Teens love anime.

Teens love food and anime.

After assessing all of these groundbreaking facts, we decided that we needed to find another way to have an awesome time making food during our Teen Anime Club at the Encino Library after our successful day of candy sushi last month. What we ended up coming up with was…having an Anime Iron Chef competition!

Inspired by the popular Japanese TV show Iron Chef, we broke up into small teams (three teams of 2 and one team of 3) and had about an hour to create three meals:

  • Lightning Appetizer: we had 10 minutes to use only three ingredients to create a bite-sized appetizer!
  • Next was our Culinary Curveball: we were asked a trivia question and the first team to guess it correctly had the ability to choose an ingredient that only that team could use for the next round (Question: What is the highest grossing film in Japanese history? Answer: Spirited Away! Team Kuhaku got it right and selected a bowl of chocolates.)
  • Main Course & Dessert: we had 30 minutes to use as many ingredients as we needed to create a main course dish as well as a dessert.
  • Finally, we were given a few extra bonus minutes to do any final adjustments to our meals, as well as preparing our statements on the reasoning/themes behind our meals.

Our ingredients cart contained all kinds of different delicacies…

  • candies such as gummy worms, jelly beans, and chocolates
  • snacks such as pocky, graham crackers, and marshmallows
  • savory items such as cheese crackers, cheese bites, and ham
  • fruits such as apples, bananas, and black berries
  • and some oddities…like seaweed!

Once the competition was over, our teams sat down in front of our lovely panel of judges and waited to be scored on three key elements: presentation (how it was displayed on the plate), creativity (how inspired was the mixture of ingredients), and taste (how the combination of ingredients tasted together)? Yeah, that’s right, we couldn’t just throw stuff together—we had to make sure it looked good and tasted delicious!

Want to see the awesome photos, as well as find out who won??  Continue reading


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