KC Public Library Blog

Weekly Teen Book Review Roundup!

Every week here on the Teen Blog, we’ll be posting a roundup of the previous week’s Summer Reading book reviews submitted by our KCPL teens. To find out how you can get your reviews posted, check out the Teen Summer Reading page. And stay up with what’s going on this summer on our KC Library Teens Facebook page.

And without further ado, the latest batch of book reviews…

Outrunning the Darkness by Anne Schraff
My favorite character is Jaris. I love that he sticks up for himself and his pop. –A.S. @ Central

Featured Authors

Download an E-book Copy of Tom Sawyer for The Big Read

Astonish your school by grabbing a Tom Sawyer e-book.

The Kansas City Public Library is bringing back The Big Read this year, and you needn’t plunk down cash to buy in. You can download e-book versions of this year’s selection, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain from the Library’s website to keep and use on your e-reader free of charge. 

Book Reviews

John Ransom's Andersonville Diary

Andersonville Diary

For July, I thought something quintessentially American was called for, and as this is the sesquicentennial of the start of the Civil War, John Ransom’s diary of his 14 months as a P.O.W. in the Confederate prison system seemed a natural choice. 

Learn Something

10 Ways to Research the History of Your Home

Whether you hang your hat in gingerbread Victorian or a warehouse loft, the Library has the tools to help you uncover the history of your home. The Missouri Valley Special Collections contain a wealth of historical records in print, on microfilm, and online.

Book Reviews

Little Bets by Peter Sims

Last winter I experienced Disney World’s animated production It’s Tough to Be a Bug. I use the word experienced because no senses were left untouched. Wow, what imagination went into this nine-minute piece of entertainment! I walked out of the theater with all kinds of questions about creativity.

Off-the-Wall: More than Just a Game

It is a casual gesture – but when John Malkovich grabs a poker to stoke a fire warming his palatial estate, he also grabs filmgoers by issuing a sinister yet off-hand threat to Ray Winstone: "Do you want to tell me what you want, or do you want a truffling pig to find you dead in a month or two?"

Local History

Looking Back: Independence Day, 1915

KC Times flag raising

In 1915 the Fourth of July fell on a Sunday, and for this reason that year’s Independence Day celebrations were extended over a two day period, Sunday the fourth and Monday the fifth. The largest of the events on either day was a massive community celebration in Swope Park on Monday, when an estimated 90,000 people turned out to commemorate the founding of the United States.

Book Reviews

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

What happens when people fall through the cracks? The dispossessed, the crazy street people, the runaways – they have to be running somewhere. In Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, we follow just such a person into just such a place

Library Life

Summer Readers, Summer Jokers at the Plaza Branch

In the summertime, the Library is more than just a place to read a book and cool off. It’s also a great place for talking gibberish. No, the heat hasn’t gotten to us quite yet – gibberish is just one of the ways theater instructor John Mulvey gets teens to think on their feet.

Learn Something

How to Learn a Foreign Language Fast Online

If you’re traveling abroad this summer, chances are pretty good that wherever you’re going, the people there speak English. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun – and improve your chances of making new friends – by learning some essential phrases in the language of the country you’re visiting.

Book Reviews

Huck by Janet Elder

For seven years Michael Elder begged his parents, Rich and Janet, for a dog. Their answer was always a predictable no. Then Janet received a surprise breast cancer diagnosis. It was a moment that changed her life forever and also her mind about having a family dog.

Book Reviews

The Desires of Her Heart by Lyn Cote

For Dorritt Kilbride, her mother, and her younger sister Jewell, a comfortable and affluent life in New Orleans high society is about to come to an end when a deceitful, irresponsible stepfather forces them to relocate to the untamed Spanish colony of Texas.

Library Life

Reading by Touch: Visually Impaired Volunteers Read for Kids at the Library

When Chad Rohr lost his vision following an ATV accident at the age of 13, he never thought one day he'd read aloud to children. But last week at the Southeast Branch of the Kansas City Public Library, that's exactly what he did.

Featured Authors

Socially Conscious: 13 Books on Marketing for the Digital Age

Three years ago, Blendtec CEO Tom Dickinson came up with a simple but highly effective means of advertising his product online to millions of people without spending millions of dollars. The secret formula: Household Object + High-end Blender = Supreme Entertainment for the Folks Online.

Book Reviews

Cookbook Review: My Father's Daughter by Gwyneth Paltrow

Delicious recipes, family stories, and an inseparable bond between parent and child make My Father’s Daughter by Gwyneth Paltrow a touching standout from other recently-published celebrity cookbooks.