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July TeenTake & Make Craft: BEAD LIZARD

 This month have fun making a super cute Bead Lizard/Gecko you can turn into a keychain or lanyard. My Gecko: Isn't it cute? Kits are av...

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

July TeenTake & Make Craft: BEAD LIZARD

 This month have fun making a super cute Bead Lizard/Gecko you can turn into a keychain or lanyard.

My Gecko: Isn't it cute?

Kits are available to pick up in the Young Adult area of the library, while supplies last. They are going fast so come get one soon.

The kits include beads, cord, keychain or clip, and instructions to make a lizard. I thought it was really fun making the gecko.  I'm not going to say it was easy, as the instructions are somewhat complicated, but if you concentrate and follow along step-by-step you should be able to do it.

If you aren't able to grab a kit at the library, you can download the instructions HERE.  You will need about 34 main color beads, 24 secondary color beads, 2 black beads, and approximately 4 feet of cord or string.  Pony beads work well for this craft. FYI, I did not create these instructions. They were shared with me by a librarian from another library.  

Try it out, and let us know how your gecko came out!

Don't forget to check out all of the teen activities we have going on this summer. Check out our summer flyer below. Find more information and details on our website at victorfarmingtonlibrary.org/teen

Tuesday, June 8, 2021


This month, make one these super cute and fun Rainbow Wish Bracelets!


A wish bracelet is a simple braided bracelet made out of hemp cord and glass beads. The idea behind a wish bracelet is that you make a wish when you tie on the bracelet. While wearing your bracelet you can rub the beads and visualize your wish. In this way, your wish bracelet encourages you to think positively about what you want. Eventually, the hemp will wear out, and the beads will come off.  When all the beads come off your bracelet or your bracelet falls apart, your wish is released and is supposed to come true!


June Teen Take & Make Craft Kits

We have Teen Take & Make craft kits available with all the supplies to make this simple and easy bracelet. Pick one up in the YA area of the library while supplies last. These kits have been going fast, but there are still some left and I'll be putting more out soon. Keep checking back if you don't find one when you visit.

Did you miss getting a kit? All you need is some cord or string and 7 small beads. We used size 6 seed beads, but you could use other beads as well, such as pony beads. Traditionally these are made out of hemp cord, but any string or embroidery floss should work. I've included the instructions below.

Make a Rainbow Wish Bracelet


  • Hemp cord
  • Multi-colored beads
  • Ruler (to measure your cord
  • Scissors (to cut the hemp cord)
  • Tape, clipboard, or binder clip (to hold the bracelet while you work)


  • You will need three strands of cord, each approximately 15 inches long.  Measure and cut your hemp cord.
  • Gather the three strands together making sure the ends are lined up.
  • Tie a knot on one end. Leave enough cord above the knot to be able to tie the bracelet when you are done.
  • Secure the knotted end to make it easier to braid your bracelet. A clipboard works well to hold the cord, or you can tape the end to a table. You can also use a binder clip to clip the end to a notebook or piece of cardboard.
  • Begin by braiding the three pieces of cord. Braid until you have about 2-3 inches of braided cord.
  • Now you are ready to add your beads. You will be adding beads to the cord on the far right, one at a time, as you continue to braid.
    • Add your first bead to the cord on the right.
    • Bring that right cord over to the middle (crossing what was the middle cord). Your bead should now be in the middle.
    • Bring the left cord to the middle, under the bead. The left cord should now be trapping the bead in place.
    • Now add your second bead to the cord on the right, and cross that cord into the middle, and again bring the left cord to the middle holding in your second bead.
    • Remember, when you are pulling from the right, add a bead. When you are pulling from the left, no bead.
    • Keep repeating adding beads to the right cord, until you have 7 beads braided into your bracelet.
  • Once you have all seven beads on your bracelet, stop adding beads and continue to braid just the cord for another 2-3 inches.  You may want to check that the bracelet is the right size for your wrist.
  • When you are done braiding, tie another knot at the end.
  • Tie your wish bracelet onto your wrist using the unbraided cord at the ends. Make sure you make a wish while you tie on your bracelet!
  • If you have extra cord, trim it with scissors.    

Enjoy your rainbow wish bracelet, and I hope your wishes come true!

๐ŸŒžLooking for another craft this month? Join us for Teen Thursday Online 6/17 when we'll make Glass Stone Suncatchers together over Zoom. Register online at victorfarmingtonlibrary.org/teen

Tuesday, May 11, 2021


Stop in at the library and pick up one of our May Teen Take & Make craft kits. This month we have mini clay pots for you to paint and wheatgrass seeds to grow. Grab one soon because they are going fast!

The kits contain the mini clay pot, three colors of paint, a paintbrush, wheatgrass seeds, water beads, and instructions. We even included a pair of googly eyes in case you want to give your pot eyes.

Paint the pot any way you like. Once it is dry, you can plant your wheatgrass seeds. Wheatgrass seeds are really easy and fun to grow. They start sprouting within 2 or 3 days, and in about a week you will have a pretty green plant. The wheatgrass seeds can also be grown using the water beads. Plant them in a clear container and you will be able to watch the roots grow.

If you aren't able to pick up a kit at the library, I've included simple instructions below.  You can find small clay pots and wheatgrass seeds at many garden stores or online through Amazon.


·       Painting and planting in your clay pot:

  • If you want to paint your clay pot, paint it before planting your seeds.
  • Clean the clay pot and let it dry thoroughly.
  • Paint it any way you like using the paint and paintbrush!
  • Let the paint dry completely before adding googly eyes or planting your seeds
  • To add the googly eyes, glue them onto the pot with craft glue or gel superglue.  Superglue is water resistant once dry and may adhere better if the outside of the pot gets wet.
  • Once your paint and glue are dry, you can plant your wheatgrass seeds.
  • Fill your pot with potting soil to about an inch from the the top.
  • Water gently to moisten the soil.
  • Sprinkle seeds evenly across the soil.
  • Sprinkle an even, thin layer of soil over the top of the seeds.
  • Place your pot in an area with indirect sunlight. 

·       To grow wheatgrass seeds in water beads:    

  • Find a small, clear, glass container such as a small jar, vase, or glass.
  • Add the water beads, and fill the container with water.
  • Let the beads sit in the water about 12 hours, until they have expanded fully.
  • Sprinkle a layer of wheatgrass seeds on top of the water beads.
  • Place the container in a place where it will get indirect sunlight.
  • You may have to add water occasionally if the beads start to dry out. 

·       Within just a few days you should be able to see your seeds start to grow! 

What can I do with wheatgrass?

  • Let the plant grow tall and enjoy your wheatgrass for the beautiful plant that it is! It will have tall, bright green leaves that will brighten your room and help clean the air.
  • Wheatgrass is a rich source of nutrients including iron, calcium, magnesium, amino acids, chlorophyll, and vitamins A, C and E. Some people like to juice it and drink it for the nutritional benefits. You can also try adding it to smoothies or salads.
  • Many pets enjoy nibbling on wheatgrass, such as cats, dogs, and hamsters. If you have a pet, you can see if your pet likes the wheatgrass.

Did you try this craft? Let us know how it turned out in the comments. You can send a picture of your plant to Dori at deisenstat@pls-net.org.


Don't forget to sign up for one of our Teen Thursday online programs this month. Join us for an open book discussion at Books & Brownies, Thursday, May 20th. Thursday, May 27th we will be making adorable hedgehogs out of recycled books at our Teen Thursday Online Arts & Crafts. Click the images below for the link to register.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Book Review: All the Stars and Teeth

Hey hey everyone! I'm here today with a quick book review for ya! In the spirit of making a valiant effort to be consistent, I'm aiming to post a book review on the first of each month. Today, I've got an awesome read for you guys, so let's get into it! 

All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

Genre: Fantasy, adventure | Series: Book 1 of 2 | My Rating: 4.5/5 stars

If you love anything to do with pirates, adventure, and magic, give this book a try! You’ll be instantly swept into a vivid, seaside world that glimmers like the ocean. Dive in and meet Amora, the princess of the kingdom of Visidia, and follow her on a twisty adventure throughout her kingdom.

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer — the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder — and more peril — than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

This was one of my favorite reads of 2020, and the second book, which just came out in February, is high up on my TBR. I connected easily to the main characters – they are an excellent cast – and the world-building is stellar. If you can, I recommend reading this book on a beach! Perfect for fans of fairy tales and mythology, this book will sweep you away.

Stop by the library and take home this gorgeous book today!

Read this one? What did you think? Any suggestions for future reviews or things we should read? Let us know in the comments! 
See you next time! 

Friday, February 26, 2021

Teen Book Reviews: The Color Purple and Homegoing

As we finish up Black History Month, I am excited to share these two compelling books by African American authors, reviewed by our teen volunteer Sarah. Sarah wrote these thoughtful reviews on The Color Purple by Alice Walker and Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. 

For more information or to place a hold on these books at the library, click on the title links below. You can also borrow the ebook using the free Libby app or at owwl.overdrive.com

Review of The Color Purple, by Alice Walker

book review by Sarah B. 

      Privilege. Something that many of us have grown up with. In The Color Purple by Alice Walker, it dives into the harsh reality that African American women endured during the 1900's. As it takes place in Georgia and Africa, two sisters, Celie and Nettie, communicate and write their two different experiences with society. Walker depicts the environment and its impacts on each of the women, and although some characters brought damage and unhappiness to their life, the empowerment of the female gender in this book made it truly remarkable.

         As the sisters are directed into two different lives from their abusive and manipulative father at a young age, Celie is forced to marry an abusive man, Albert, while Nettie becomes apart of a kinder family who treats her and what she does for them with more respect than what was 'normalized' during that time. Nettie becomes a part of helping a family, Samuel and Corrine, who adopted Celie's children who she had to give up, Olivia and Adam. Both females act as mother figures either to Albert's children, especially to Harpo who struggles with how to act appropriately and respectfully towards women, or as Nettie towards Olivia and Adam. Celie writes letters to God, expressing her experience with abuse by Mr.      . Yes his last name was used with a blank space which I find quite amazing. It is almost as if he didn't deserve that title because of his abusive actions but Celie would still have to respect his male figure. As Celie meets Shug Avery, she is provided with guidance with finding her voice and strength to live her life freely. Later in the book, Nettie experiences a missionary trip in Africa with her new family and writes to Celie her experiences with this new unfamiliar environment and what she learns from the people she meets. One quote that stood out to me during her time in Africa was, "an African daisy and an English daisy are both flowers, but totally different kinds'' (135). African Americans, including these women, had to find a way to endure through the mistreatment and struggles that were because of the uneducated and inaccurate opinions of the white race. Both characters grow and learn their true selves throughout this book.

         Overall this book made me fall in love with reading about African Americans, especially women, voices and perspectives. I would definitely recommend this book as it was a challenging but very interesting read. These women empowered me as a reader as it showed their strength and leadership they faced in the mean and cruel world and that giving up reflects weakness to a woman's character which allows justification to the male gender with their 'superiority' they feel over women. Other books like this include I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou which is an autobiography of Angelou and her story in overcoming racism and setbacks and Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe that is about African American's perspective and experience with Europeans in the 19th century. It was truly a good read and if you are 16 and over, make sure you grab a copy!


Review of Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi

book review by Sarah B.         

       If you're looking for an engaging book that comes from multiple characters perspectives then I have a book for you! After I completed The Color Purple, I was eager to find more books that revolved around African Americans. Homegoing follows the timeline of generations among a family from the times of slavery to freedom, each member of the genetic line having a different challenge and environment they were living in but at the end finding their way back to their original roots.

         It begins with the separation of two sisters, Esi and Effia. Both were born in the Ghana region where conflict between the Asantes and British were increasing. Esi was put into slavery under the castle where Effia was forced to marry James Collin, a powerful man that allowed this slavery to take place in the dungeon, shut out from the rest of the world. There the story follows the journey of their children, and each generation until the end of the story where Marjorie, from Effia's line of family encounters Marcus, from Esi's line and explores the history of stories that the book dives into. From forced marriages, to escaping the life of the unwanted, to working in dusty coal mines, to the fear of fire and the damage it tolls, and to the life in the city of isolation, Gyasi depicts how each character was transformed and shaped as they embody their peers and environment. I thought it was very fascinating how the book began with the historic feature of the Asantes and the war they were fighting in the country of Ghana against the "white men" and ends with how African Americans were faced with life in Harlem, where they were surrounded by a completely different population of color and how they were impacted with trying to maneuver a way of life and family. The symbolism of fire and the black stone necklace that was carried down to generation played a huge role in representing that change or continuation from their past but also how it reminded them of it leaving a permanent or valuable reminder of their other family and their trials that led them to the life they were able to live. Read about the escape, the growth, and the courage among these characters in this amazing novel.

         This was one of my favorite books I have read. From my past review, I mentioned how much I like reading through African American lenses and voices and it continues with this engaging masterpiece. It is a whole other side of the world that you get to read about and it educates the reader on the different lives that African Americans were faced to live in through the nineteenth century and beyond, conflicting between different areas of the world as well. This book is about growth, independence, and strength as these brave warriors live on through their relatives' experiences and endure new struggles and people on their own. Other books like this include The Vanishing Half and The Mothers by Brit Bennett, two other African American based novels. Another amazing read that I definitely recommend and would be a great read to start during February break!


Have you read either of these books? If not, has Sarah inspired you to pick one up? Let us know in the comments if you have any feedback or any other book recommendations.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Teen Book Reviews: Sadie and The Sun is Also A Star

I'm excited to share these book reviews recently submitted by two of our teen volunteers. Sarah reviews Sadie by Courtney Summers and Olivia reviews The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. I hope you enjoy these, and maybe you'll find your next great read!

Review of Sadie, by Courtney Summers
by Sarah B.

It can be terrifying knowing that we don’t really know anyone. We can establish a feeling of trust with them but their actions can be shocking and gut wrenching, each cell in our body covered with chills at this disbelief. Ultimately it is a game with ourselves. Wondering where we went wrong or what we could have done better to prevent it. Sadie Hunter unravels a world of the unknown in hopes to find answers and validation with regards to her sister’s death. She learns independence and self-worth when fighting this battle alone. In Sadie by Courtney Summers, you get to follow the suspenseful encounters and adventures she faces while at home, a radio host, West McCray tracks her steps trying to figure out what happened to her.

         Sadie Hunter is on the search and is declared missing as she is trying to find her sister’s, Mattie Southern’s, killer. West McCray takes the challenge of trying to find Sadie as worry is rising in Cold Creek, Colorado. Sadie’s mother, Claire, abandoned her and her sister when Mattie was eleven to live through her alcohol addicted reality. May Beth Foster, their “adoptive” mother watched over them but Sadie had an eye like a hawk over Mattie and dictated her whole life solely out of protection and fear that she would lose her to. Sadie unravels many secrets from people of her past and meets people from all different kinds of towns, making friends and enemies along the way. From Ray’s Diner, to Silas Baker in Montgomery and the Bluebird Hotel, danger is a prevalent factor that Sadie endures throughout her journey, keeping an eye out to stay safe physically but also trying to keep hold of her sanity in the process. But the mystery of Mattie’s killer is that motivation factor that never leaves her mind no matter how horrifying it may be.

         In all honesty I decided to tackle this book as it was Barnes and Nobles monthly pick and I heard good reviews about it! I really enjoyed Little White Lies by Philippa East and wanted to read another thriller. This plot really does emphasize how manipulative and mysterious people can be. Putting on a blank face and an act around you and others to hide their darkest intentions. I enjoyed how Summers convinced the reader that it could be one suspect but then had you thinking again when another suspicious character was added to the storyline and their background with Sadie and her family. The ending definitely took a twist and left you more in interpreting what you think happened than being very direct with it. Personally, it was not one of my favorite books but if you are at the age of 14 or 15 and love reading mysterious thrillers, then I would recommend this book to you! According to GoodReads, a book similar to Sadie is Wilder Girls by Rory Power! This book follows a girl searching for her missing classmate escaping the school while they are supposed to be quarantined because of an infectious outbreak and facing the dangers ahead. 

Review of The Sun is Also A Star, by Nicola Yoon
by Olivia O.

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon is about a girl who is trying not to get deported, and a boy who has to tell his parents he wants to be a poet. This is an excellent book because it touches on mature subjects like deportation and illegal immigrants, but explains them in a great way. This story is told from multiple different perspectives, so you can see how it is through another character's eyes. The perspective changes are usually between the two main characters, Natasha Kingsley and Daniel Jae Won Bae, but sometimes through minor characters' eyes, like Natasha’s dad and the Woman at the customs office. I would recommend The Sun is Also a Star to anyone who likes realistic fiction and romantic novels. The age group I would recommend would probably be 12 and above. Overall, The Sun is Also a Star is a great book about romance and deportation, and I would definitely read a second time.


Have you read either of these books? What did you think? Have you read anything lately you would recommend to other teens? Let us know in the comments.  

You can find both of these books in the young adult section of the library. Use these links to place a hold:


The Sun is Also a Star

The ebooks and audiobooks are also available online using your library card through the free Libby app or at owwl.overdrive.com/


Monday, February 8, 2021

February Teen Take & Make Craft - DIY HOT CHOCOLATE BOMB

This month's Take & Make Kit - HOT CHOCOLATE BOMBS!

Have you seen the Hot Chocolate Bombs that have been all the rage lately? They are chocolate spheres filled with hot cocoa mix and toppings, such as marshmallows. Pour warm milk over the chocolate bomb to get an explosion of a rich, delicious cup of hot cocoa! 

Our February Teen Take & Make craft kit gives you most of the supplies to make your own hot chocolate bomb! I had a lot of fun making these, and I hope you do too.  

My first attempt at making a hot chocolate bomb from one of our kits!

As of February 9th, the kits are available in the Young Adult area of the library. Stop by and pick one up before supplies run out. 

If you weren't able to pick up a kit, all you need are chocolate chips, hot cocoa mix, marshmallows, a microwave to melt the chocolate, and something to use for a mold. 

Download our instructions here:
These instructions were based on instructions created by Bailey Randolph of the Grand Prairie Public Library in Alberta, Canada. Thank you Bailey!

The kits include a clear plastic ornament in two halves to use as a mold for the chocolate bomb. The trick to getting the chocolate out of the mold is to make sure it is thick enough so it doesn't break apart. 
Of course, if you have an actual silicone chocolate mold that works too. I have also heard about using an egg for the chocolate mold.  You can cover the egg in plastic wrap, and then dip it into the chocolate half way, to form half the sphere.  After hardening in the refrigerator, peel away the plastic.  

Have fun, and enjoy your hot chocolate treat! 

Did you make a hot chocolate bomb? How did it turn out? Let us know in the comments.