Kitsap Teen Reviewers in School Library Journal

Teen groups from Kitsap Regional Library were recently selected to be the “resident reviewers” of brand new YA titles for the next two years for SLJTeen, an online newsletter from School Library Journal which comes out twice a month.

You will be blown away by what some of Kitsap’s most avid teen readers have to say. Their reviews are insightful, hilarious, articulate, and above all, extremely honest.

Here’s the reviews from the latest edition. To see all the Kitsap reviews from past issues, head here and click on the articles that say they are by Kitsap Regional Library YA Book Groups.

School Library Journal has 38,000 online subscribers and is the go-to publication for youth librarians in public and school libraries, so this is a huge honor.

To see these reviews every two weeks, you can subscribe to the SLJTeen newsletter, or go to and under “Teens & YA” go to “YA Reviews.”

The teens who are featured have been reviewing books as part of the Teens’ Top Ten award. Teens’ Top Ten is a national teen choice award, and KRL groups from the Bainbridge Island, Poulsbo and Port Orchard branches review and nominate books for this award. Teens aged 12-18 who are interested in participating at one of these locations can email Stefanie at to learn more.



It’s BBQ time! Need some recipes?

The shining sun and bright blue skies make the spring feel like summer here in the Northwest lately. It’s enough to make me dream of Mom’s barbecue sauce and playing games with family and friends outside while good things to eat are cooking on the grill.

Whenever I ask  Mom for her barbecue sauce recipe, she says, “Oh, a little of this, a little of that…Add some onion finely minced, just a touch.” Hopefully I’ll get it out of her one of these days. In the meantime, I’ve been enjoying some of our newest cookbooks. If you need some summertime inspiration or want to impress someone special with a good meal, check these out!

MarcusOffDutyMarcus Samuellson’s Off Duty: the Recipes I Cook at Home makes my mouth water when skimming the recipes. I’d like to eat all of them. Right now.



LetThemEatCakeHow many of us have family and friends on restricted diets and never know what to bring to a gathering? Try Gesine Bullock-Prado’s Let Them Eat Cake: Classic Decadent Desserts with Vegan, Gluten-free, and Healthy Variations which has plenty of good old-fashioned butter and sugar, as well as great ideas for modifying to accommodate food restrictions.


PersianaMiddle Eastern food is one of my favorite food genres.   I’m often intimidated or flustered when attempting complicated recipes,  but  Sabrina Ghayour’s Persiana is delightful because she makes me believe I can tackle complex dishes with success.


Happy cooking! If you’d rather seek online inspiration, scan my all-time favorite food blog, Smitten Kitchen, in which Deb  recently learned secrets to the Shake Shack burger…Although if it’s barbecue recipes you’re after, Homesick Texan might be a better place to try!

Zoom in to Library eBooks

One of the benefits of reading ebooks is the ease with which you can enlarge the text and/or adjust the lighting of the page.  How you go about doing this depends on your device and the format of the ebook.


If you have a tablet or smart phone and are using the newest version of the OverDrive App, go to the Settings function.

OverDrive READ format opens up in your browser.  To adjust an ebook’s appearance, go to the menu and then click on Readability.

Kindle format adjustments can be made on both the Kindle Fire and the Paperwhite.

Still have questions?

Please contact us via phoneemail, or live chat.


Fjord Fiesta!

That’s right. It’s time to fetch your bunad from the cleaners and polish your sølje.  Bring out your helmets and Norwegian flags.  Poulsbo’s Viking Fest  is this weekend.  Happy Syttende Mai!  You don’t have to be descended from Nordmenn to share in the fun and frivolity this weekend nor to check out these tales from the country most closely associated with Poulsbo.

Here are just a few treasures from the library’s collection to immerse you in the rich folklore of Norway.

D’Aulaires’ book of Norse mythsDaulaires norse myths jacket by Ingri and Edgar Parin D’aulaire

A collection of Norse myths describing the exploits of the Aesir gods and goddesses, beginning with the creation of the world and ending with the day of reckoning. The Caldecott medal winning D’Aulaires once again captivate their young audience with this beautifully illustrated introduction to Norse legends, telling stories of Odin the all father, Thor the thunder god and the theft of his hammer, Loki the mischievous god of the Jotun Race, and Ragnarokk, the destiny of the gods. Children meet Bragi, the god of poetry, and the famous Valkyrie maidens protecting Odin’s Valhalla, among other gods, goddesses, heroes, and giants. Textured illustrations throughout depict the wondrous other world of Norse folklore and its fantastical northern landscape.

Norweigan Folktales Asbjornsen jacketNorwegian folk tales : from the collection of Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe translated by Pat Shaw

Long a treasure in Norway, the folktales collected by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe have been acclaimed for their richness of humor, fullness of life, and depth of understanding since they first appeared in translation more than a hundred years ago. The Norwegian folktales, said Jacob Grimm, “surpass nearly all others.” Within these captivating tales we meet witches, trolls, and ogres; sly foxes and great, mysterious bears; beautiful princesses and country-lads-turned-heroes.

troll with no heart jacketThe troll with no heart in his body and other tales of trolls from Norway told by Lise Lunge-Larsen

This collection of Norwegian folktales all feature trolls, including the familiar “Three Billy Goats Gruff,” the humorous “White Cat in the Dovre Mountain,” and the cautionary “Troll with No Heart in His Body.” Illustrated by bold woodcuts, this fascinating collection brings to life the wondrous, mystical realm of trolls. Those argumentative, repulsive, mischievous, and boastful creatures who can only be defeated by the better parts of our humanity- kindness, persistence, pluck, and courage.

Refresh your Norway knowledge at Encyclopedia Britannica or Culturegrams.  Use your KRL library card to log in.

See the World from Your Easy Chair

Travel books can be so appealing.  You can read about remote places you’d never dream of actually visiting.  You can read about other people slogging through difficult terrain or overcoming all kinds of obstacles—from mountains to jungles to deserts.  You can read about someone setting off on a great adventure which maybe echoes one that you also set out on when you were younger—or perhaps wish you had….

Travel books can be on placed on a spectrum from the sublime to the ridiculous and many places in between.  Because of this, you can find a subject or a point of view that will appeal to every taste imaginable.  Here are a few new titles to consider:

51-yE90l24L__SY344_BO1,204,203,200_The Fault Line: Traveling the Other Europe from Finland to the Ukraine by Paolo Rumiz focuses on the Eastern half of Europe once divided by the Iron Curtain and still defined by the remnants of Soviet influence. Rumiz is an award-winning Italian journalist who presents a different view of lands mostly unknown to Western readers.

midnightIn a similar vein, Midnight in Siberia by David Greene is an attempt to understand Putin’s Russia through the means of a train journey across the vast expanse of Russia. Greene spent several years in Russia as NPR’s bureau chief but felt that he needed to get away from Moscow to gain a more realistic perspective on Russia and its people. With great frustration over the endless bureaucracy but also great admiration for the ordinary people he encounters, Greene is able to shed some light on today’s Russia.

51m-2bTe0VL__SY344_BO1,204,203,200_And now for something totally different:  The Last Unicorn by William deBuys is the tale of a search for the elusive saola first spotted in 1992 and the first new large land mammal discovered in 50 years.  The search took him into deep remote jungles and white-water rivers of Laos. Both an adventure tale and a call to preserve some of the last great wild places on earth, this book is a gem.

For more travel tales, check out this list.

Books to get the Kids Excited About the Great Outdoors

It’s definitely that time of year again with the flowers in full bloom and the weather hinting at an especially warm summer. Maybe you’ve been waiting for a chance to take the kids out to the woods but aren’t quite sure how to prepare them for the elements? Here are just a handful of books in our collection that will surely get your kids interested in an upcoming hiking or camping adventure!

JacketHow to be a world explorer: your all-terrain training manual  will teach you everything you need to know about the outdoors and survival. From finding food and water to fighting off a bear and will even show you the ropes for navigating by stars, starting a fire, taming a camel and escaping from quicksand. Definitely can’t go wrong with this expert guide to fighting the elements!

Jacket (1)Camp out!: the ultimate guide, from the backyard to the backwoods is the essential beginners guide for family outdoor fun with over 174 activities, games, projects, recipes, songs, experiments and crafts. From choosing the right gear to finding the best site to build a tarp tent you will easily find yourself well prepared for the unexpected.

Jacket (2)What camping can teach us: life’s lessons learned from the great outdoors is a perfect place to start for those younger aspiring  outdoor enthusiasts. The book features full-color photographs that evoke the sights and sounds of nature during the day or night. Along with each image are famous quotes on happy campfires, funny animals, cozy tents and tasty meals. Not only will your child be enveloped in these stunning photos straight from the wilderness but will also gain an appreciation for the natural world.

Reminder: Sunday is Mother’s Day!

You should buy your mom a book for her special day. Just sayin’.  If you have not gotten out there yet and bought her the perfect present, here is a great list of books that you can print out and take directly to the nearest bookstore and hand to the bookseller.

You got this! I hope you know what she likes …

American Royalty, perhaps

The ResidenceThe Residence : Inside the private world of the White House by Kate Anderson Brower.
An intimate account of White House life from the perspectives of the service staff from the Kennedys through the Obamas details their friendships, marriages, everyday activities, and elaborate state dinners.

bookofjoanThe Book of Joan : tales of mirth, mischief, and manipulation by Melissa Rivers.
The daughter of Joan Rivers presents an inspiring and intimate tribute to the iconic comedienne that shares insights into her life out of the spotlight, detailing their complicated but loving relationship and the lessons the author learned from her mother throughout their years together.

The Joy of Cooking?

artofbakingblindThe art of baking blind : a novel by Sarah Vaughan.
Five amateur bakers compete in a baking competition, only to discover that the recipe for happiness may not be so easy to follow.


threemanycooksThree many cooks : one mom, two daughters : their shared stories of food, faith & family by Pam Anderson, Maggy Keet, Sharon Damelio.
An acclaimed cookbook author and her two daughters share their journeys through cooking, describing how they learned to bond in the kitchen, and offers family recipes for such dishes as pumpkin-walnut scones, grilled lemon chicken, and carrot cake.

Books about books?

lastbookaneerThe Last Bookaneer : a novel by Matthew Pearl
Near the end of the nineteenth century, two bookaneers–literary pirates seeking authors’ manuscripts to steal–are caught up in a colonial war on Samoa as they compete for Robert Louis Stevenson’s last manuscript and make a fortune before a new international treaty ends the bookaneers’ trade.

First Impressions : a nfirstimpressionsovel by Charles Lovett.
When two customers come in requesting an obscure book by Jane Austen’s friend Richard Mansfield, book lover and Austen enthusiast, Sophie Collingwood is drawn into the mystery of the true author of “Pride and Prejudice.”


Does mom need a little me time?

beautyofgraceThe beauty of grace : stories of God’s love from today’s most popular writersDawn Camp, editor and photographer.
A compilation of encouraging and heartfelt stories of faith from today’s best-loved authors illustrated with stunning photography showcasing the beauty of creation.

livingwithintentLiving with intent : my somewhat messy journey to purpose, peace, and joy by Mallika Chopra.
Drawing on discussions with Andrew Weil, Gretchen Rubin, Daniel Siegel and others, the mom, wife, social media entrepreneur and daughter of Deepak Chopra shares her deeply personal journey to find richer meaning and purpose in each day.

Maybe she just wants to read a good story

hoverHover by Anne A. Wilson.
When she is chosen as the exclusive helicopter pilot for a Navy SEAL team by Eric Marxen, Sara Dennings finds herself at odds with the other pilots, and must find her true self again, overcome her fear and follow the orders of her heart when the training missions become all too real.

Emma : a modern remmaetelling by Alexander McCall Smith.
The best-selling author of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series deftly escorts Jane Austen’s beloved, meddlesome heroine into the twenty-first century in this delightfully inventive retelling.


orhansinheritanceOrhans inheritance : a novel  by Aline Ohanesian.
Inheriting the family kilim rug dynasty when his eccentric grandfather is found dead, Orhan struggles with will stipulations that leave the family estate to a stranger who holds secrets from the final years of the Ottoman Empire.


biglittleliesBig little lies by Liane Moriarty.
An annual school Trivia Night ends in a disastrous riot leaving one parent dead in what appears to be a tragic accident, but evidence shows it might have been premeditated.


OK husbands and children. You’re now armed and dangerous. Go out and buy that present!

Moms, I hope you have a great Mother’s Day!!


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