Teen Review – A Work in Progress

A Work in Progress by Connor Franta

Reviewed by Emily Brenner

A Work in Progress is a heartfelt memoir written by Connor Franta at twenty-two years old. As a YouTuber, Franta has faced a plethora of struggles such as friend drama, sexuality, labels, finding happiness, and finding his true identity in the midst of all the madness—fairly common struggles in today’s society and relatable to a range of readers. Throughout the book, Franta recalls specific memories and events from his past to tell his story and follows with pieces of advice and wisdom he’s learned through the years. His compelling story and the artistic nature of the book draws readers deeper into his story. As an avid photographer as well, Franta also includes multiple photographs from his childhood to tell the story, as well as more recent photographs he’s taken on his adventures across the country. I would recommend this book because the advice given is relative to today’s world and makes you question the way you live your life. Are you truly happy? Are you living to your highest potential? This biography changes your perspective on the world and your outlook on life overall. If you enjoy this book, I would recommend Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom, a novel full of great life advice and a similar feeling. Franta has also just released another book titled Note to Self, where he dives deeper into his individual struggles and how best to deal with them.


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Teen Review – This Is Where It Ends

This Is Where It Ends by Marilee Nijkamp

Reviewed by Emily Brenner

This Is Where It Ends is a suspenseful and riveting novel that takes place at a small-town high school in the midst of a school shooting. In each chapter, four relative students in four different situations around the school tell their story and each find a way to get out or try and stop the shooter. The story takes place over an hour long time period, making it hard for readers to put the book down and leaving them desperate for answers. The author, Marilee Nijkamp, uses heart-wrenching characters as well as fear, trust, and heroism, leaving everyone awe-struck and broken-hearted. I would recommend this book because the compelling story line really makes you question our society today and leaves you thinking about the book long after you’re finished. The characters are easy to fall in love with as well. If you enjoy a chilling, hair-raising novel packed with courage and strength, you won’t be able to put this one down. While Nijkamp currently doesn’t have any other books out, Feral Youth—a similar story of survival—is expected to be released in the fall of 2017 and Before I Let Go—also a similar novel by Nijkamp—will be released at the beginning of 2018.

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What’s Happening at the Library

National Poetry Month

April was National Poetry Month, for those of you who didn’t know. We celebrated here at the library by displaying poetry books for all ages and holding a poetry contest. In this contest you had to use the titles on the spines of books to make up a poem (limit 4-6 books). It went pretty slowly for the first week, but then one morning I was astounded to see my inbox flooded with them. Apparently a local teacher had come across the contest and encouraged her students to enter. The poems were amazing! Ranging from hilarious to dire warnings about the future of our planet.

Our judges were hard pressed to pick just one poem to win. It was impossible. So we decided that instead of just one winner, we’d give prizes to first and second place, as well as two “honorable mentions”. Even then it was hard to choose as everyone had different favorites. But here are the final choices!

First Prize went to “The Triumph of Survival”


Second Prize went to “The Trouble with Animals”

bens sis2

Poem: “Pardon?” Said The Giraffe

What Are You Doing In My Bed?

I’m Really Sorry

Animals Do The Strangest Things

And our two “honorable mentions” were:



Poem: War, Terrible War

My Chlidhood Under Fire

Into a New Country

Built To Last


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Poem: Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!

Dirt on My Shirt

“Don’t Make Me Count to Three!”

The Blessing of Little Boys

We hope everyone enjoyed the contest! May is National Pet Month, so in honor of that we’re doing “Pets Caught Reading.” Does your beloved companion love to nibble on a good story? Take a picture and send it in for a chance to win a great prize! Look at our event links for instructions.

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