Author Archives for Michala Sage

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We are joining the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (5/11/20-5/17/20).

Annamarie’s Reading

Picture Books & Readers:

Everything Else:

Note: More books! Much of this reading is happening because I don’t have a commute anymore–I imagine my reading will have to decrease once I have to wake up earlier than 10 minutes before I want to start work.

This week’s highlights:

  • History Comics – This series will fill a much-needed Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales readalike void.
  • Beetle & the Hollowbones – Gorgeous illustrations mixed with a great fantasy-adventure story with a touch of LGBT romance–this is a definite winner, perfect for fans of Snapdragon.
  • Arlo Pips: King of the Birds – Why have I read two upcoming graphic novel releases about crows? And how are both books actually engaging, good reads?
  • Some Pigtails – Cute first chapter book about a young girl and her fight for the right to have crazy pigtails. I hope this becomes a series.

Michala’s Reading

Note: I channeled my best Annamarie this week and read the last of all the things I had in the house. Because apparently I go

I’m gonna need to grab a brain candy for teen reads next week cause this week was way too heavy on the angst for the times we are in right now. #Ineedfluff

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We are joining the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (4/6/20-4/12/20).

Annamarie’s Reading

First Chapter Books

Everything Else

Note: Same as last week–still plugging through a mix of eBooks (including eARCs) and physical first chapter books I took from work (there may have been quite a few of those). Got some great eARCs and book ideas from the Middle Grade Magic Virtual Conference on Wednesday–did anyone else get a chance to attend?

Michala’s Reading

Note: Yay, I’m back and survived the plague! Not 100% better, but enough that I’m not dying both literally and figuratively in my house. I’m still quarantined, but I’m here! Not gonna lie, even reading is slow for me right now, but I made it through a few books and hope to be back to reading lots of things for the weekly posts (and feeling super chagrined that I never manage to post anything else) very soon!

***I apparently love exclamation points***

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We are joining the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (3/2/20-3/8/20).

Annamarie’s Reading

Annamarie Top Titles include:

Note: I watched Runaways this week, so my reading is still down. I should get through my own massive stack of new release picture books next week though.

Michala’s Reading

Michala’s top titles include:

Note: .

Note: I rolled heavy on illustrated books this week trying to quickly cut down the stack of books at my desk…..it sort of worked.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We are joining the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (2/17/20-2/23/20).

Annamarie’s Reading

Annamarie Top Titles include:

Note: My reading is slowing down a bit…I think I’m going to have to look for some quick, light reads soon. I’ve been reading a lot of books with heavy topics or focusing on murder lately, and I need to balance out my brain.

Michala’s Reading

Michala’s top titles include:

Note: .

Note: Next week will be super light on titles from me as I was on vacay for most of the week.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We are joining the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (1/27/20-2/2/20).

Annamarie’s Reading

Annamarie Top Titles include:

Note: NO MORE AUDIOBOOKS! But really, I’m already halfway through listening to Sadie, because who am I kidding, I wasn’t going to stop with audiobooks now that I’m hooked. It is nice to not feel pressured to listen all the time though. I’m catching up on a lot of books post-conference, and I am looking forward to my ALA Midwinter book haul post later this week. Also, New Kid won the Newbery and therefore all is right in the world.

Michala’s Reading

Michala’s top titles include:

Note: .

Note: Back in the swing of things! Although I leaned heavier on the kids stuff this week for favorites, there were just too many cute books.

What about Bob? -Teen Programming

You may have noticed the retro uptrends lately. 80’s band tees and cartoons, scrunchies, vinyl records, fanny packs, and even the Walkman is releasing an updated version for it’s 40th anniversary. The past is alive and well in pop culture and teens are living for the nostalgia…..even if though they weren’t around for the orininals. One case in point is Bob Ross. He is everywhere. There are Bob Ross puzzles, Bob Ross tee shirts, Bob Ross board games, Bob Ross Halloween costumes, and of course Bob Ross library programs. 

I have successfully run Happy Little Painters, a Bob Ross inspired teen painting programin two unique ways with registration filling up in a matter of days. (I prefer to run programs that do not require registration, however when there are specific material needs I have to know how many kiddos I’ll have coming in.) 

My first Happy Little Painters program took place over the summer out on the front lawn. Each participant received a canvas panel, a paint palette, their choice of tempera paints to use (I always use tempera paints for teens because someone always winds up painting themselves, their friends, their clothes, or their friend’s clothes), a brush, and a cup of water and were let loose to sit on the disposable tablecloths I laid out in the various shady places of our lawn. 

There were no rules on what they should paint, but were encouraged to paint what was around them or use it as inspiration. We have many happy little things that can be seen from the front lawn: trees, flowers, clouds, CVS…. and a lot of happy things were created. At the end of the program each teen was able to take home their work and also got a pin for participating.

The second time I ran Happy Little Painters, we were indoors. I started the program watching the intro and 5 minutes of an episode of The Joy of Painting  to show how quickly speed painting actually goes. I then kept a still of the end picture frozen on the screen and allowed everyone  to create at their own pace trying out their own techniques in recreating the picture. 

Most followed the plan and created a scene reminiscent to the original, however there were a few teens that wanted to create original pieces of art. (While not following the idea of the program teens painting to the beat of their own drum were still actively participating and I am not one to dissuade art, expression, or participation simply because it wasn’t the “assignment”) At the end of the program each teen, once again, got to keep their art and also received a certificate for participation.

Since running these programs I have learned that the Bob Ross company is very litigious about the use of the name Bob Ross and the phrase “happy little trees”, so I foresee a title change going forward with additional programs of this vein for me. However, Bob Ross was not mentioned in any marketing for the program. I was vaguely dressed like a certain bearded, afro-ed, painter of yesteryear and spoke in a more peaceful, dulcet tone than my own voice, but I find painting brings out the more meditative side to me anyway… and really, who doesn’t rock a permed wig to work occasionally?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We are joining the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (11/11/19-11/17/19).

Annamarie’s Reading

Annamarie’s top titles include:

Note: Annamarie serves as chair of the ALSC Notable Children’s Recordings Committee. Due to her position, she listens to and evaluates many audiobooks for children and teens. Annamarie never includes any of the audiobooks she listens to in her “What Are You Reading?” posts.

Michala’s Reading

Michala’s top titles include:

Note: LeVar Burton is indeed proud. I am maintaining a reading streak! On a personal note, I have just secured a new apartment and will begin the crazy fun of moving during the holiday season!

Teen Passive: Coloring

Kids have always been afforded coloring sheets, and then adults realized that “hey this is really relaxing” and the adult coloring book craze began…but somehow teens were, for the most part, left out in the coloring cold. When I inherited my teen department it actually came with a a few coloring books for use in house, but they were not really utilized by our teens.

Our current selection of coloring books in the Teen Room

I could tell there was a want, as many times the books would be looked at, but I think they were tired of the books we had and wanted things that were less intricate to color in. So came my quest for some new fun coloring books!

I started trolling Amazon looking for simple pictures, pop culture references, and random odd things. (This can sometimes be harder than it sounds as when the pictures get simplified they can begin to look very juvenile.) However, once you fall down the rabbit hole you can find an amazing plethora of coloring books such as:

Every other week I do wind up going through the coloring books looking for any inappropriate additions to the books, or as I call “my sweep for Ds and Fs”. Any swear words, social media handles, or genitalia drawn in gets pulled from the books. I also will pull any overly scribbled on pages because when there is a lot of scibblage no one will continue to color on that page. I don’t pull all additions from the book though and sometimes you wind up with some greatness.

Occasionally, I will also have a large coloring sheet printed out and I will tape it to a coffee table that I have in the teen room for some “allowed vandalism”. It stays on the table until it is either colored in, has lost the battle to swear words, penises, and “follow me @s”, or my favorite death, having every square inch covered in Old Town Road lyrics and a rainbow of a million “YEETS”. (Does that make it Yeeted to death? Yoted?)

And sometimes you wind up with some gorgeous, collaborative art.

Teen Passive: Concentrate on Charms

Every month I host a passive activity in the teen room. Sometimes they are repeat styles of something like Book-in-a-Bottle or Book Emoji Storylines where the shredded or emoji explained book will change, but the concept stays the same: identify the title. But in October, something magical happens at the Westerville Public Library…the whole building turns into a school for witches and wizards of all ages and we showcase the magic of the library during the Wizards & Wands Festival.

2018 was the first installment of this festival and the outpouring from the community was enormous! This year with one magical festival under our belt the Wizards & Wands Festival has grown even larger and features all kinds of fun activities around the building leading up to the night of festivities. One of those activities is my October Teen Passive: Concentrate on Charms.

All across the largest wall of my Teen Room are different wand movements for spells from the Harry Potter Universe, each one labeled with it’s name for identification purposes, as we can’t all be Hermione and recognize each swish and flick or the different spells/charms.(Thank you Potterhead superfans and Wizards Unite! game for the wand movements) Anyone wishing to participate can snag an answer sheet from the Teen Desk and wander through the stacks to the bright green wall in the hopes of finding the correct spells and drawing out the wand movements necessary to successfully cast it.


Searching the wall for the correct spells can take a bit of time as I only ask for 9 spells to be identified and there are 30 gracing the wall.


Each person can participate once per day and when their answers are returned to the Teen Desk they are awarded one prize ticket that can be turned in for a raffle style drawing during the Wizards & Wands event. While most of my passive activities are limited to teens only, the W&W Themed passive for October is open to all ages. The Wizards & Wands event will be this Friday (October 25, 2019 5-9pm), but Concentrate on Charms will remain up through the end of the month.

This passive activity has already had over 250 answer sheets returned to the Teen Desk and there are still 8 more days to play (2 more days if you are collecting those prize tickets!)

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We are joining the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (10/14/19-10/20/19).

Annamarie’s Reading

My life is consumed by our library’s annual Wizards & Wands Festival for the next two weeks, so don’t expect many updates from me. I’ll post pictures when I can!

Michala’s Reading

Michala’s top titles include:

Note: Only a couple of chapter books this week. Wizards & Wands Festival is happening this Friday and YALSA the following Friday. The next few week’s will be light from me.