Tag Archives: summer

Why summer camp is (literally) the best thing ever!!!!

I’m sure that most of us have as least one traumatic memory from our first time at sleep away camp. Don’t you vividly remember the horror of being sent away alone for several nights amongst prepubescent strangers like yourself? I know I do. I catch the first whiff of the briny breeze as I step out of the car at the ferry terminal in downtown Seattle. The air is chilly at 8 am despite it is the middle of July.  Greeted by swarms of kid and teenagers alike, all of them here for the same reason as I am: to be cast away for 7 dreadful days to Vashon Island.  Destination: Camp Sealth.

camp sealth

There is a flurry of duffel bags and sorting out boat tickets and hugs and kisses goodbyes to parents as each of us solemnly depart. We are practically stepping off into the abyss towards the great unknown, A.K.A. a white ferry on Puget Sound. There are tears; there are protests, yet exhausted parents still must shove their reluctant children aboard, a twinkle of guilt along with relief in their tired paternal eyes. I float among these hectic crowds; my dad is already gone. I’m yet to cry. Instead I am a speck of dust being herded like a sheep, backpack and Northface duffel in tow, my only company the novel Legend by Marie Lu.  Guided aboard a packed vessel where I will feel incredibly alone. Continue reading

We Were Liars: Wealthy Amnesiac Liar Seeks the Truth

wewereliarsTItle: We Were Liars

Author: E. Lockhart

Six Word Review: Wealthy Amnesiac Liar Seeks The Truth

Summary: During the summer, Cady lives on a private island owned by her family. She is a Sinclair, a mantra drilled into all members of the family from the day they were born. Sinclairs have blond hair and square jaws, they are ambitious and driven, and most of all, they are normal. But they lie. Cady tries to be normal and fit in with her family, but her severe migraines that developed after a mysterious head trauma two summers ago make it difficult to remember exactly what happened. Whatever it was, she knows it was awful, but no one will tell her the truth. When the story takes place, she is 17 and her parents have finally allowed her to return to the island after keeping her away the previous summer. With the help of her two cousins and a family friend (a group she nicknames the “Liars”), she sets out to remember her past, however terrible the truth may be.

I liked the lyrical descriptions of the island and Cady’s eccentric family members.

I hated how sometimes the story would be written in straightforward, first person prose and then suddenly
with no explanation
it would be
like this
with punctuation…

I rate this book 6.5/10 stars, because the suspense kept me interested and I liked the unexpected twist but I really got annoyed by the random poetry thrown in.

I kept reading because there was a ton of suspense built up and I really wanted to see what dreadful thing had happened to Cady that she couldn’t remember.

Anything else? There is a surprise ending! The entire book basically builds up to the last few chapters. When I found out the truth, everything fell into place but I was still left with some unanswered questions. I liked that this book kept me guessing and really made me think.

— Gabriella, Ballard Teen Blogger

Seattle Pride 2014

pride-flagWhat is Gay Pride? And why do we celebrate it with a Parade? Where did that Rainbow Flag come from? Was it really inspired by “Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz? And what about those Pink Triangles? Ever wondered? Check out the above links for more detailed info, history of the gay rights movement & emblems that just may shock you.

Here in Seattle, there are tons of events going on this weekend to celebrate Pride. Visit the folks over at Seattle Pride for a complete listing of activities and performances. The big event, of course, is the Pride Parade on Sunday, starting at 11 a.m. We highly recommend it. Well, admittedly we’re a little biased because the awesome Seattle Public Library Bookineers are in it once again, but the whole parade is a joy to watch!

This year’s theme is Generations of Pride and will honor those who fought the early battles and those continuing to advocate for equality in changing times.  George Takei of Star Trek (and social medias) fame is this year’s Celebrity Grand Marshall!

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The Pros & Cons of Summertime

pros_consPro: You have time to relax!

After a long school-year, summer has just begun and you can finally have a bit of time for yourself.  It is around this time that you can begin planning exactly what it is that you want to do to relax.  Whether that means finding a spot to lay in the grass and read or catching a few extra hours of sleep—you’re now free to do as you wish when it comes to relaxing!

Con: Your sleep cycle can become irregular.

The majority of people that I know have the ability to stay up late if they try and often don’t even have to try.  During the summer, when one isn’t constantly thinking about school, this can means that one can be subject to staying up late on a regular basis.  Sometimes, one can be distracted by surfing the Internet, reading a book or simply losing track of time—either way, this can become a pattern that is hard to break.

Pro: You have time to explore and experience new interesting places.

Due to an increase in free time you’re able to go out an explore at your leisure.  You can go to a park and discover trails or go on a picnic and discover nature first-hand.  If you’re a tea or coffee person, you can search for new fun tea/coffee places.  If you’re an artsy person, why not take the time during the summer to plan out a few museum days?  With Seattle’s wide-range of awesome museums you’re bound to discover something interesting! (You can even get free tickets for many of them from the library!) Continue reading

Four on a Theme: Summer After Senior Year Road Trip

icon-books The summer after the senior of high school can be a tumultuous time. You may be looking forward to college, starting a new job, traveling, or just figuring out what’s up next in the queue of life. With all this forward thinking, there is still a reverence for the past, to spending some last days with friends and family before parting ways. In the following four books these recent graduates decide to spend their summers on the open road with some familiar friends before the next step begins. Continue reading

Summer Bliss–Submit your own short fiction

Submit your short works of fiction to be published right here on Push To Talk.  Email entries to pushtotalk@spl.org.

Summer Bliss

The curious child peeks around the corner and cautiously looks into the pale pink room. The bright fluorescent lighting shines on the stark white counters. The pots and pans hanging on the wall sparkle in the light coming through the open window. Outside the grass is a luscious green and the sky is a pure blue. A few puffy white clouds are in sight. The bees float lazily along, drunk on the air heavy with pollen and the scent of honey.

The child creeps up to the big silver double doors. She opens the left one and pulls out a colorful cardboard carton. Plastic covers the precious contents. The child rummages around in a drawer for awhile and pulls out a gleaming pair of green scissors. She rips off the plastic and then pulls a spoon from another drawer. She digs her spoon in and samples the cold creamy goodness.

Looking around she sneaks out of the room with her treasure under her arm. Back around the corner, through the house, out the back door, and up to her tree house, she samples the ice cream the whole way.

 Finally satisfied she lays back and feels the cool summer breeze wash her cares away. The empty carton and a sticky spoon lay next to her.

Then her mother calls her from the pale pink kitchen window.

Simone, Teen Advisor
Northeast Branch

Where to Go for Summer Vacation: Oregon Sand Dunes

Last August my family and I drove down to Florence, Oregon. It’s a small town across the river from part of the Oregon Sand Dunes. It is also right next to the ocean, but it is really windy there so I don’t recommend swimming. If you do go I would bring a jacket, though you can still wear shorts. Continue reading

Why you should be excited to go back to school

It always hits me about halfway through August: school is in only a few short weeks, and I desperately don’t want to go back. Summer is still in full swing—no leaves falling from the trees yet—and I’m completely lost in the flow of carefree, lazy summer days. Who would want something like school to mess up this perfect paradise? At times like these, I have to remind myself why I really do love school, and why the pros of the school year starting outweigh the cons—if only just barely.

Reason 1: I’m bored. Staying up late, sleeping in until noon, and spending the rest of my time sitting around the house can be fun for a while, but at some point enough is enough. It’s hard to admit it, but I can tell that I need something to do with myself after I’ve watched reruns of Law & Order for a week straight. And let’s face it: school is probably the most useful thing I can do with my life right now, so I really should get to it.

Reason 2: I miss my friends. I do see them occasionally throughout the summer for movies, shopping, or hanging out at the beach, but it’s nothing like seeing them every day at school. They’re the reason why my boring classes are tolerable, and studying with them in the library saves me from failing my tests. It’s hard to realize how much I rely on my friends until I don’t see them for a while, but I value them more than I can say. The sooner I get back to school, the sooner I can spend time with them.

Reason 3: School is actually sort of… Fun. Everyone has those moments while they sit in their favorite class and suddenly understand a tricky concept, or when they finally finish the problem they’ve spent an hour puzzling over, or when they can help a friend with a hard bit of homework. I know I have, and it’s those moments that make going to school every day worthwhile—it’s those moments that I will be able to use in the future, in real life.

Just to be clear, I’m not one of those crazy, school-obsessed kids who spend every spare minute studying. I love summer, I love having free time (especially when I can hang out and read books from the library!), and I love the wonderful weather, but all good things have to come to an end. When I consider all the reasons that I’ve set forth, it’s clear that, while school may be sometimes annoying and difficult, it is a truly valuable opportunity. I know that I will always choose to take advantage of this opportunity I have to learn, and I can have fun while I’m at it.

Want to relive the sounds of summer?  Check out this Summer 2011 Playlist compiled by Seattle Public Library patrons on Facebook.  Or, if you’re more interested in diving into Fall and the new school year, here’s a list of classics put together by Seattle Public Library staff.

Susan, Teen Volunteer
Northeast Branch

Getting to know your librarians – Wendy


What should we call you?

Where can we find you?
Beacon Hill

Why teen services?
The first class I took in library school was Young Adult Literature.  We read Scott Westerfeld, David Levithan, and a lot of graphic novels and manga.  I was hooked!  Now someone pays me to read my favorite books and sometimes I get to play video games at work!

Favorite reference resource (print and/or online)?
Novelist (scroll down & click on Novelist) and is a great online database that lets you find new books based on books or authors you already know you like.  After I finished the Hunger Games Trilogy, I typed in “Mockingjay” and found my next book: Exodus by Julie Bertanga.

Favorite book of all time and favorite book right now?
Picking my all time favorite book is pretty much impossible.  I’ve read Matilda by Roald Dahl probably more times than I can count so that’s at the top of the list along with When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.  My favorite books that I’ve read recently are Beauty Queens by Libba Bray and Paranormalcy by Kiersten White.

You live in Seattle – To umbrella or not to umbrella?
I’ve lost every single umbrella I’ve ever owned, so none for me!

The best thing about living in Seattle is…
Is it ridiculous to say the weather?  I love the short but gorgeous summers we have here and that it never gets too cold.  I lived in Texas where it could be 110 degrees for the entire month of August, and in Illinois where it could be -10 in January. I’ll trade that for a little rain!

We know you love Seattle but where would you most like to live?
New Zealand (the prettiest place on the planet)!


What is your favorite word?

What is your motto?
I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. (Margaret Mead)

College Help: Narrowing Your List

If you are a soon-to-be-senior planning on applying to colleges, you’ve hopefully been doing some research by now. (If you haven’t started your college search, check out this post: http://blog.spl.org/yablog/2011/03/15/college-help-getting-started/).

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