November Teen Social Roundup

November Teen Social Roundup

Did you know that the Library has an Instagram account JUST for teens? We post fun things like craft ideas and book recommendations along with announcements for special programs. Here is a round up of some of the topics and events we posted in November, if you like what you see, give us a follow at so you do not miss out!


Comics and Cookies

Comics and Cookies, our virtual graphic novel book club, resumed this month. We read and discussed This Place: 150 Years Retold, an anthology of stories by Indigenious authors.

In December we will be reading and discussing Sleepless Vol. 1 by Sarah Vaughn, you can access a copy instantly on Hoopla!

a drawing of two librarians in front of the cover of the book This Place


We Need Diverse Books

We highlighted some new November YA books to keep an eye out for by Asian, Black, and Latinx authors:

An Image titled New November YA Books by Asian Authors with the covers of The Ever Cruel Kingdom, The Surprising POwer of a Good Dumpling, These Violent Delights, Super Fake Love Song, White Ivy, and Tent a Boyfriend on it.
An Image titled New November YA Books by Black Authors with the cover of Rebel Sisters on it.
An Image titled New November YA Books by Latinx Authors with the covers of A cuban Girls Guide to Tea and Tomorrow, Tales of the Feathered Serpent, and Here the Whole Time on it.

Staff Mini Reviews

Looking for a good book to read? Here are two recommendations from our teen staff!

An Image titled Mini Book Review Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger with a picture of Lizzy given the book 4 stars and saying An adventurous, supernatural murder myster that is steeped in Lipan Apache culture. I love this reimagined world where all types of monsters are real and ghost dogs are your best friends!
An Image titled Mini Book Review This Place:150 Years Retold with a picture of Macklin giving the book 4 stars and saying This anthology of graphic short stories cover the last 150 years of Candian history from an Indigenous perspective. It contains psychic battles, space travels, and rebellion against unjust authority.

Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month, here are some of our favorites! If you’d like to see a full list of books by Native American authors, check out our Stories by and About Indigenous Peoples book list here.

An Image titled Native American Heritage Month Reads with the covers of Elatsoe, This Place, Hearts Unbroken, In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse, The Marrow Thieves, Strangers, Love beyond Body, Space, and Time, and Give me Some Truth on it.

Transgender Awareness Week

Each year between November 13 – 19, people and organizations around the country participate in Transgender Awareness Week to help raise the visibility about transgender people and address issues members of the community face. This all leads up to Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20. To learn more, go to

Here are some of our favorite books with trans characters!

An Image titled Transgender Awareness Week with the covers of Pet, Felix Ever After, Cemetery Boys, When the Moon was Ours, Gender Queer, The deep & Dark BLue, All OUt, and The Spire on it.

Want to join in the fun on our Discord server? Anyone aged 13-19 who lives in Monroe County can sign up for Discord here.

Staff Picks: Go with the Flow

What’s worse than being bullied the first week at your new school? Getting period on your white pants!

Thankfully, new sophomore Sasha Chen is whisked away by three friends, Brit, Abby, and Christine, who help Sasha and welcome her to their friend group. United over friendship and periods, the girls tackle the problem of the feminine product vending machines constantly being empty by appealing to the administration to keep the machines restocked or, even better, provide period products for free. Will the friends succeed on their mission?

Go with the Flow is the perfect book to demystify menstruation – it educates readers about various issues surrounding menstruation helping to break down common feelings of shame surrounding this natural part of life. Go with the Flow also provides facts about periods, a period history, and other resources for readers. It is a great book for fans of graphic novels like Shannon Hale’s Real Friends and Svetlana Chmakova’s Berrybrook Middle School series, or Kim Harrington’s novel Revenge of the Red Club. Appropriate for ages 9+

Reviewed by Kim B.

Health Insurance Marketplace Assistance with ASPIN

person using a computer

Open enrollment for the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace is available now through December 15, 2020 for coverage beginning January 1.

Affiliated Service Providers of Indiana (ASPIN) uses certified Navigators who are dually trained as Community Health Workers (CHWs) to help consumers and families with the following from anywhere in the state using secure and convenient technology:

  • Enrolling and re-enrolling individuals in Federal Marketplace plans, Medicaid, Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP), and Children's Health Insurance (CHIP)
  • Assisting in updating insurance profiles
  • Assisting enrollees with questions about health plan coverage
  • Providing education on utilizing health insurance benefits
  • Conducting public education and outreach activities through Zoom or Skype to raise awareness about health insurance

ASPIN navigators are working from home but you can set up an appointment by calling toll-free 877-313-7215 or visiting their website. All services are free of charge. Check out the video to get answers to frequently asked questions and to learn more about ASPIN.

The ASPIN Health Navigator Project is supported by Funding Opportunity Number CA-NAV-19-002 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Race to the Sun

Nizhoni Begay is a young Navajo girl. Her mom left their family when she was just a toddler, leaving Nizhoni, her dad, and her younger brother Mac on their own. Though she has aspirations to become famous and make something of herself, Nizhoni considers herself to be a pretty standard kid—until she begins to see monsters, that is. Things become more dire when Nizhoni sees her dad's new boss for what he truly is—a monster. When her dad disappears suddenly, she, her best friend Davery, and brother Mac must make a run for it. Through their journey to recover their father, Nizhoni and Mac discover their true identity as Monster Slayers.

This middle grade fantasy novel centers on the Navajo legends of the Hero Twins, bringing in legendary cultural characters such as Spider Woman and Rock Crystal Boy. It's a much needed representation of Navajo and first nation stories and culture; however, adapting the cultural information into a fantasy narrative presents a large creative license taken by the author. Ultimately, it finds its value as a spin off variant of some of the traditional legends, not necessarily a firm example of the true legends. The fast pace, adventure, humor, and snark are sure to please fans of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series or Robert Beatty's Serafina series. Appropriate for ages 8-12.

Reviewed by Ginny H.

October Teen Social Roundup

October Teen Social Roundup

Did you know that the Library has an Instagram account JUST for teens? We post fun things like craft ideas and book recommendations along with announcements for special programs. Here is a round up of some of the topics and events we posted in October, if you like what you see, give us a follow at so you do not miss out!


We made some Spooky Crafts, including Halloween Popcorn and Painted Mason Jar Lanterns!

Halloween Popcorn

Making your popcorn Halloween themed is easy! You just need some candy melts and sprinkles to spookify this easy to make treat.

Banner for Popcorn Craft
image with the text you will need: 1/2 cup orange candy melts, 1/2 cup black candy melts, 12 cups plain popcorn, halloween sprinkles
you will need: microwave safe bowls, spoons, tongs, pan lined with parchment paper
step one: melt your candy melts in microwave according to the instruction on the bag. Spread the popcorn out onto the pan
step two: use a spoon to drizzle the candy melts over the popcorn. Use tongs to coat the popcorn
step three: add sprinkles before candy hardens. Let sit for 20 minutes.
You're Done!

Take and Make

Our October Painted Mason Jar Lantern Take and Make kits were very popular, we ran out within the first four days of putting them out! If you missed the kits, we do have a list of supplies and instructions in the caption for our corresponding YouTube video if you’d like to make them at home.

librarian holding take and make kit
contents of take and make kit

Keep an eye out for our November Take and Make kit announcement!


We Need Diverse Books

We highlighted some new October YA books to keep an eye out for by Asian, Black, and Latinx authors:

image of book covers of new october YA Books by Asian Authors. The books pictured are The shadow Mission by Shamin Sarif, This is All Your Fault byt Arniah Mae Safi, My Heart Underwater by Laurel Flores Pantuzzo, God Storm by Coco Ma, Broken Wish by Julie C. Dao, The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen, and Monstress by Marjore Liu.
image of book covers of new october YA Books by Latinx Authors. The books pictured are The Cup and the Prince by Day Leitao, Come On In by Adi Aisaid, and Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz
image of book covers of new october YA Books by Black Authors. The books pictured are Class Act by Jerry Craft, Daughters of Jubilation by Kara Lee Corthron, Rebel Sisters by Tochi Onyebuchi, and the Deep Blue Between by Ayesha Haruna Attah

Spooky Books

Looking for a good spooky read?

Mini Book Review of Cemtery Boys by Aiden Thomas. 4 and a half stars. This book is full of fun, ghost filled adventures in LA, perfect for the October season! It also is about strong friendships, living as your true self, and that traditions can be altered to make room for others. Review from Lizzy
image of book covers titled spooky reads. The books pictured are Through theh Woods, by Emily Carroll, Odd & True by Cat Winters, Contagion by Erin Bowman, The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones, Wilder Girls by Rory Power, Scarlett Hart by Marcus Sedgwick and Thomas Taylor, Dread Nation by Justina Ireland, and The Lost Coast by Amy Rose Capetta
Mini Book Review of The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh. 4 stars. Set in 1872 New Orleans, this book follows Celine as she navigates the dangerously beautiful underbelly of the city known as the Court of the Lions. Read this one for gruesome murders, vampires, and romance. Review from Macklin
Mini Book Review of Through the Woods by Emily Carroll. 5 stars. A spooky graphic novel of short stories that will get you in the mood for Halloween. I loved the beautiful artwork and the dark fairy tale-like stories. Get ready for cellar monsters, creepy houses, and pitch dark woods. Review from Jen

Witchy Books

We also made this handy flowchart for finding your next witchy read:


Witchy Reads image description

If you’d like to see a full list of witchy reads that we recommend, check all our witchy reads out here.

Want to join in the fun on our Discord server? Anyone aged 13-19 who lives in Monroe County can sign up for Discord here.


Can someone write a funny book about a 12 year old with cancer?

Rob Harrell, the author of the Life with Zarf series, manages to do just that as he translates his own experience with a tumor that could have blinded him into a story about Ross, a 7th grader growing up right here in Bloomington, Indiana! Middle school is hard enough without being the "cancer kid" with an eye that won't stay open, goopy eye drops, hair loss, and ongoing radiation treatments. Ross just wants to be normal. With humor and compassion, the real story is built around the relationships in his life, good and bad, and the risks he takes to make his life worth living.

Despite the serious subject matter, this book will appeal to anyone who has ever felt overwhelmed or underwhelming but keeps trying anyway. Including comic panels and spot art, with chapters averaging 10 pages each, even reluctant readers will find this book engaging and enjoyable. Appropriate for ages 10+

Other Community Quaranzines

Other Community Quaranzines

During quarantine, many people either created, or submitted creations to, a Quaranzine! The Library and our community created our own quaranzine, and thank you all so much for your lovely contributions. We wanted to take the time and create some space to highlight other Quaranzines made by people from elsewhere in the world. Here are some of our favorites. We hope you enjoy them!

Minnesota Youth Collective’s Quaranzine

What This is a Picture Of

An amazing Quaranzine! A collection of photographs, poetry, prose, and artwork, this zine is something to behold. Made by Minnesota Youth Collective.


Quarantine Zine

What This is a Picture Of

This zine is shown through a long series of photographs of the zine - and they are beautiful and wildly creative! Showing feelings, thoughts, artwork, and poetry/prose, this zine truly shows what a community can create.


Public Collector’s Quaranzine

What This is a Picture Of

Public Collectors is a long running project based out of Chicago dedicated to archiving ephemera from public institutions, and during the quarantine lockdown, its creator, Marc Fischer, collaborated with writers and artists from around the world to design and publish 100 daily issues of a one page zine/newsletter each of which addressed a different topic or idea.


Rutherford County Library System’s Quaranzine

What This is a Picture Of

The August issue highlights beautiful artwork created by people of all ages, while the June issue showcases a felt hat that is absolutely stunning. These short zines show great creativity and craftsmanship.


Podcasting 101

Podcasting 101

Have you ever had an idea for a podcast and not known exactly where to begin? Looking for answers online turns up a variety of resources, but it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you see extensive lists of gear, software, and production techniques.

Fortunately, the Library is a great first step to learning the tools of the trade! The Library’s Digital Media Expert’s recommendation for anyone who asks about audio editing or making a podcast is Audacity, a free open-source audio-editing application.

The great thing about Audacity is how feature rich it is, while remaining fairly accessible. There are also plenty of great tutorials online, such as this Lynda course introducing you to the basics of getting started. In this course, you can observe how to download and install Audacity on both Mac and Windows, import and play existing audio files, and record original audio, including multitrack audio projects. You can also view how to perform basic editing tasks like copying and pasting audio and splitting clips, as well as some more advanced tricks like automating volume changes across a project.

Speaking of Lynda, they also have a great course on podcast production in general and one on using Audacity to clean up your sound files

Finally, if you are looking to jumpstart your production watch this podcasting overview by B&H Video which provides some quick and easy tips for getting started

New Kid

Jordan is disappointed to start a new school. Instead of the art school he wanted to go to, his parents are making him go to Riverdale Academy Day School - the best school in town. Jordan’s new school is very different: he doesn't know his way around, the kids all dress differently, and the biggest difference of all is that nearly everyone at his new school is white, which isn’t really a problem except that Jordan keeps experiencing microaggressions and some more direct racial bullying which the teachers tend to ignore. How will Jordan navigate life at his new school while remaining true to himself?

New Kid, winner of the 2020 Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Award, is an engaging, quickly paced graphic novel with an important message about friendship, racism, and being true to yourself. Fans of graphic novels like Raina Telgemeier’s Sister series, Cece Bell’s El Deafo, and Shannon Hale’s Real Friends, would enjoy this award winning book. Appropriate for ages 9+.

Quaranzine, Vol. 5

Quaranzine Vol. 5

Welcome to the fifth and final edition of MCPL’s community Quaranzine!

There are two different versions––one is for reading on a screen, and the other has been imposed so it can be printed at home, folded, stapled, and read in that fashion. Select short-side binding on most printers to print correctly.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this zine. Now that the library, and county/state are reopening, we are discontinuing our Quarantine Quaranzine. We hope that everyone remains safe with all the reopenings.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our Quaranzines - we appreciate you greatly!