June 1st-12th Teen Activities

June 1st-12th Teen Activities

June 1st-12th Teen Activities

Summer Reading

Sign-ups start June 7th in the Community Room

Each year, from June through July, we host Summer Reading. Our program for teens has lots of events and parties. 

The 2021 Summer Reading Theme is “Tails and Tales.” The possibilities are endless!

Teen Short Story Writing Contest
Monday, June 7th at 4:00 p.m. in the Community Room.
  • Participants must be ages 12 – 18 to enter
  • Open to Madison Library District residents only
  • 2,000 word maximum
  • Limit 1 short story per person
  • Must include an animal as part of the main story
  • No photos or illustrations
  • Work must be original, not previously published, and titled
  • Submissions that are deemed inappropriate, culturally inaccurate or possess negative stereotypical characterization will be disqualified


  • Email your original work to Gina Miller or bring a hard copy into the library.
  • Subject line must say: “Tail”ish Tales Contest.
  • Please include your name, age, and phone number in the email.
  • Paste or type your short story in the email itself. Attachments will not be opened.


All entries must be received by Monday, July 26th, 2021.
Winners will be announced on Friday, July 31st, 2020 via Facebook, Instagram and email.


First prize- Scrivener writing software ($50 value).
Second prize- Fat Cat’s movie date pack.
Third prize- Florence’s Candy box of chocolates.

All three winners will receive publication online at www.madisonlib.org and an award certificate.

For more information please email Gina Miller.

Teen action council have a say in what goes on at the library for teens
Teen action council have a say in what goes on at the library for teens
Teen Action Council
Monday, June 7th at 4:00 p.m. in the Community Room.
Have a say in what goes on at the library for teens.
Summer Reading Kickoff: Interactive Movie

Friday, June 11th, 7-9 p.m. in the Community Room

Kick off the Teen Summer Reading program in style. Join us for an interactive movie night—eat gummy worms with Timon and Pumba, coconut candy with Zazu, etc—as we watch Disney’s The Lion King.

September Adult Events

Take a Break Book ClubTake a Break and join our adult book club on Sept. 21 at 6:30 PM! Ages 18+ will meet in the Community Room to discuss Jane Austen’s classic, Sense and Sensibility. Adult MakersFriday, September 15 is Adult Makers! We will be making noodles from...

September Kids & Tween Events

Story TimeJoin Miss Gina, Grace, and Marybeth for Preschool Story Time, Toddler Time, and Book Babies! For September, we will have fun with the letter F and farm animals! Preschool Story Time is for ages 2-5 and meets Tuesdays at 10:30 AM and 6:30 PM or Wednesdays at...

September Teen Events

Hauntings - Library Teen Virtual ConventionTeens are invited to join the annual Library Teen Virtual Convention! Inspired by all our favorite ghost stories, spooky folklore, and mysterious cryptids, this year's theme is HAUNTINGS! The Convention is hosted on Discord...

Open Recitals

Have a piece that you'd like to perform for the public? The library is holding a series of recitals this year. Our next open recital will be held Monday, October 16, at 6:30 pm in the Community Room.  If you would like to participate, please fill out the following...

July Teen Activities

CHESS AND GAME CLUB Learn the art of chess and other games from the master of fun and strategy, Nick Allison. Game supplies will be provided. Mondays from 4:30-5:30 PM in the Community Room. For Ages 9-18TEEN ACTION COUNCIL Teen Action Council gathers to discuss plans...

July Adult Activities

INDEPENDENCE DAY CLOSURE The Library will be closed Tuesday, July 4th in observance of Independence Day. No items will be due but the book drop will remain open. Thank you! "ALL TOGETHER NOW" BLOCK PARTY This is the Block Party everyone will be talking about this...

July Kid & Tween Activities

CHESS AND GAME CLUB Learn the art of chess and other games from the master of fun and strategy, Nick Allison. Game supplies will be provided. Every Monday from 4:30-5:30 P.M. in the Community Room For ages 9-184TH OF JULY CLOSURE The Library will be closed Tuesday,...

June Kids and Tween Activities

SPECIAL STORY TIME Join us for a special story time with local author Ruth Nielson! She is the author and illustrator of I Am Remarkable: A Journey of Self-Discovery. Ruth will lead our little ones in a yoga session, so please bring a towel or mat for your child to...

June Adult Activities

CREATIVE WRITING CLUB Share your writing with other storytelling enthusiasts or join to make friends! Join the Creative Writing Club for ages 18+. We will share your favorite piece of writing and talk about why writing is our passion. Wednesdays, June 14 & 28 at...

“The Yiddish Policeman’s Union” by Michael Chabon

“The Yiddish Policeman’s Union” by Michael Chabon

“The Yiddish Policeman’s Union” by Michael Chabon

The Maltese Falcon meets My Name is Asher Lev in Alaska. An alternate time line puts post World War II Jews in a temporary sanctuary around Sitka. Now throw in a puzzling murder that no one wants to be investigated.

I am amazed, completely amazed by Michael Chabon. I am amazed first by how anyone could come up with the basic setting of this novel with all the built in angst and heartbreak. I’m amazed at the continually surprising plot. I’m amazed by the descriptive and gripping language. I’m amazed by the complex, deep, characters that get under your skin and bore into your head and won’t get out.

I took over two months to read this book. The first 150 pages went quite quickly, and then I realized that if I kept reading, the book would end. The next month was delicious pain as I read a few pages here and allowed myself a few pages there, needing to know what happened next, but wanting the experience to last as long as possible.

I should thank our libary’s GoodReads seasonal challenge for bringing me to this book. A past challenge was to read a Nebula award winner and a Orion award winner. Fantasy and science-fiction are so, so not my thing, so I looked at books that made both lists and found this. I wouldn’t exactly classify it as either, but I suppose the alternate time line thing technically puts it in. -So thanks Madison reading challenge. (But you still haven’t won me over to dragons or lazers.)

“Raven Black” by Ann Cleeves

“Raven Black” by Ann Cleeves

“Raven Black” by Ann Cleeves

Ann Cleeves Brooding Shetland Series Mesmerizes

Ann Cleeves immediately won me over with Raven Black, the first novel in her Shetland Quartet. The novel revolves around a shunned and painfully lonely hermit with a dark past that creates distrust,speculation, and assumptions of guilt in a contemporary murder.  Her characters are some of the most finely painted anywhere in literature! These are amazingly meticulously drawn people that are incredibly sympathetic, likeable, yet deeply flawed. I feel like they’re all people I grew up with. She also creates a very tangible sense of place on a windswept island in the North Sea. The isolation and and quiet become one of the characters continually interacting in the drama.

There are four books in the “quartet.” I’ve read and enjoyed each one. It may be a bit confusing at first glance to see eight listed in the series. There is a definite break between #4 Blue Lightening and #5 Dead Water with some core cast changes. Are the post break ones good? Yes! Are the pre-break ones incredible? Absolutely. Is it a bit confusing? Only till you get to the break and then it all makes sense. Don’t worry about it. Just read.

“The Last Days of Night” by Graham Moore is an Electrifying Read

“The Last Days of Night” by Graham Moore is an Electrifying Read

“The Last Days of Night” by Graham Moore is an Electrifying Read

Everyone should read this book! What are you looking for in a novel?

Legal thriller? – check.
Espionage? – check
Romance? – check
Techno suspense? – check
Dastardly villains? – check
Truly innocent souls? – check
Laugh out loud humor? – check
Gasps of horror? – check
Social commentary? – check
History? – check
Science? – check
A book that makes you smarter? – check
And doesn’t hurt while doing it? – check

An incredibly well written bit of historical faction surrounding legendary figures that most of us know little about. Only a story based in reality could be this weird. Edison vs. Westinghouse joining with Tesla – and sure, why not, let’s get Bell involved as well! I really appreciated Mr. Graham’s brief end notes explaining what was and was not real. (Almost all of it was. The biggest change was condensing the timeline of the events.) This book is a mind-blowing page turner that I would recommend to, literally, everyone! An electrifying read! (Sorry, couldn’t help myself – but it really is.)

“Midwinterblood” by Marcus Sedgwick

“Midwinterblood” by Marcus Sedgwick

“Midwinterblood” by Marcus Sedgwick

Midwinter Blood by SedgwickTold through seven different tales in reverse chronological order, Midwinterblood is a tale as old as time.

The first story, Midsummer Sun, is set in 2073. Eric travels to a mysterious island that is said to be a magical place where people are living far beyond a normal lifespan. Once there, he meets Tor and Merle, and is soon settled in. He explores the island, and as he does so, he begins to forget why he had come there to begin with.

The second tale, The Archaeologist, is set in 2011. Edward, an archaeologist, has traveled with his small digging team to hopefully unearth the remains of a Viking village. During his stay on the island, he meets a young boy named Eric, and his mother Merle. He feels as though he has known them all of his life.

The Airman, the third story, is set in 1944. When his plane is shot down, David manages to land his parachute on a small island, though he breaks his ankle in the process. It is the middle of World War II, and this island has so far removed itself from the fighting taking place throughout the rest of the world. David is rescued by a farmer, Erik, the farmer’s wife, Rebecka, and the farmer’s son, Benjamin. He stays with the family while his ankle heals, but the welcome is far from warm. When war comes to the island, David must try to escape the enemy soldiers.

The Painter is the fourth story in the book, and it is set in 1902. Merle is a young girl, living on a quiet island with her mother, who is known for making a special tea using the mysterious dragon flower found on the far side of the island. When Merle crosses to the other side of the island with her mother to harvest the flowers, she discovers a large house, where a very old man lives. Despite her mother’s order to stay away, she returns to visit, making wonderful discoveries.

The fifth part of the book, The Unquiet Grave, is set in 1848. The Graf twins had a nanny, Laura, who told them a wonderful ghost story full of auspense, a romance about Merle and Eric. The children loved the story, and loved Laura too. But Laura was not who they thought she was.

The sixth tale, The Vampire, is set during the 10th century. The men were late returning from their yearly trip at sea, but return they did, and Eirik and Melle helped the rest of the villagers bring the Viking ships ashore for repair during the coming winter months. Unfortunately, their father didn’t just bring home bounty from a successful Viking expedition – he also brought home a mysterious man, one whom their father is unhappy to have home.

The seventh and final story, Midwinterblood, is set before the record of time.  It has been many years of drought and crop failure, and the people have demanded a sacrifice – one only their king can fulfill. King Eirikr has been brought forth to sacrifice his life blood. Will his death be enough to bring about the desired change?

All seven stories tie neatly together into one overlaying theme. It is a tale of love, of death, and rebirth.

Awards: Michael L. Printz Award 2014, Carnegie Medal Nominee 2013


Sedgwick, M. (2013). MIdwinterblood. New York, NY: Roaring Brook Press.


Midwinterblood is a fairly quick read, with short chapters within the short stories. While confusing at first, once a few of the stories are read, it is easy to get a feel for the writing and following the story backwards through time. It is not often that a book is written in reverse chronological order, so this is a fairly unique concept, and one that makes for a new and interesting reading experience.

I liked the book, and I have several people in mind to recommend it to. I think this is a book that can be enjoyed by all ages, teens and adults. There are a lot of different themes and topics in this book that can be used as discussion points, from Viking lore to reincarnation beliefs to different times throughout the history of the world. It is easy to see why it was awarded the Printz award.

Professional Review:

“*Starred Review* In the year 2073, a reporter named Eric is sent to Blessed Island to research a rare flower called the Dragon Orchid. There he finds an insular community of mysterious villagers, a delicious tea that has him losing days at a time, and a beguiling girl named Merle. In just 50 pages, we reach a shattering conclusion—and then start anew in 2011. An archaeologist is digging on Blessed Island, where he meets a quiet boy named Eric and his mother, Merle. So begins this graceful, confounding, and stirring seven-part suite about two characters whose identities shift as they are reborn throughout the ages. Sedgwick tells the story in reverse, introducing us to a stranded WWII pilot, a painter trying to resurrect his career in 1901, two children being told a ghost story in 1848, and more, all the way back to a king and queen in a Time Unknown. It is a wildly chancy gambit with little in the way of a solid throughline, but Sedgwick handles each story with such stylistic control that interest is not just renewed each time but intensified. Part love story, part mystery, part horror, this is as much about the twisting hand of fate as it is about the mutability of folktales. Its strange spell will capture you. Grades 9-12.”

Kraus, D. (2012, December 1). Midwinterblood [Review of the book Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick]. Booklist, 109(7), 52.

“Snowed Inn” by Kate Palmer, as enjoyed by librarian Vivian Milius

“Snowed Inn” by Kate Palmer, as enjoyed by librarian Vivian Milius

“Snowed Inn” by Kate Palmer, as enjoyed by librarian Vivian Milius

Snowed Inn by Kate Palmer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Three years have lapsed since Jayne watched Forrest board a plane and step out of her life. Imagine her chagrin when he steps through the door of the family ranch restaurant she runs offering to help with the holiday community fundraiser. She lays down some ground rules if they are going to work together.

Romance, mystery, and a good dose of western ambiance make for a quick and satisfying read.

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