by Captain Lyaf Yarr

Plenty of kids that I know find the library to be intimidating. I know that it’s not the case at all. Perhaps this is because my sister over the past few years has ensured regular visits. It’s not unexpected to find us there everyday after school. Libraries are not places of dead silence or bat-like librarians who hover menacingly in the background. With those little myths busted here are five great reasons to head to your nearest library pronto!

  1. Plenty to Choose From. Libraries usually have any kind of book you could possibly desire. Interested in fantasy, science fiction, romance, or horror? The library has it!
  2. Help on Hand. If you can’t find a certain book, a library has librarians. Use them! They’re there to help you. Just go ask for help instead of leaving empty handed.
  3. Closer Than a Store. I fully except that this might not be true in all cases but in my particular case the library is closer to home than a bookstore. It’s easy to get to and hassle-free.
  4. Read and Return. If you’re like me you don’t have a very big allowance. Going to a library is cheaper than buying books, especially if you’re not sure you like them yet. You only pay money to a library if you forget to keep up with your due dates, but even so overdue fees are cheaper than the cost of a book.
  5. Activities. There’s so much going on at a library besides the books on the shelves. Most have wi-fi, movie rental, games, computers to work/play on, and events. My library just polled on what us kids would like to do for a Twilight themed party. How cool is that? I’m way excited! I hope we do the spaghetti dinner and art show.

So how about it? Will you go?

Online Stores


by First Mate Keira

The diplomatic response to this question is yes and no. I have no way of knowing what fandom your child is reading in or what stories they’re finding. And the scary thing might be that neither do you. The question then is what to do and to examine how you feel about the situation as a parent. Here are some basics about fanfiction to help you decide:

What is Fanfiction?

Fanfiction is a story based on the characters and world that belong to someone else.

Fanfiction is usually shortened to fanfic and can be based on movies, books, television shows, games, etc. The most popular book fandoms are easily Harry Potter and Twilight as there are thousands of fanfics based on them.

As fanfiction is generated by fans, there’s literally no telling what the writer will do when it comes to language (is there cursing?), adult situations (sex, drugs, etc.), and violence (how graphic is it?).

Most every fanfiction website has a format for rating the stories. These ratings are applied by the story’s writer and could be misleading. Generally however I have found writers to be fairly good at rating their stories for the appropriate audience.

Another concern is grammar and spelling. Most writers will have somebody else read their story first to help them get rid of any errors, but these things will slip through and sometimes writers could hardly care less about the quality of fanfic they’re delivering. Fanfic is not as polished as a published novel and that is something you should be aware of if you let your child read fanfic.

Does Your Child Read Outside of Fanfics?

Another important question to consider is how much time your child devotes to reading outside of fanfiction. Obviously, they’ve very into something and want more of it and are reading fanfic to get it.

If the fandom they’re reading is based on a book or book series, chances are your child is doing plenty of reading on and off the computer.

However, if your child is not an active reader and is very reluctant about starting new books and series, perhaps letting them read fanfiction is the best thing you can do for them because they are reading.

In-Progress fanfics could really boost your child’s reading pleasure, because they’re not facing a whole book, but one new chapter whenever the writer updates. Smaller chunks of writing might be easier to digest.

In the End I Suggest You Talk with Your Child

If you decide reading fanfiction is okay, the next step is to talk with your child to find out what fandoms they like and what type of stories they’re reading. Explain to them your concerns and talk to them about what ratings your okay with them reading. Set up ground rules and pay attention to what they read. You can do this by checking web browser history, looking at their fanfiction site profile and discovering what stories they like, and by asking directly. Perhaps you can even read the same fanfics together as something to do.

If you decide that you want to keep your child away from fanfiction you will have to have a talk as well. This time you will be explaining why you’ve come to the decision you have and be prepared to back it up (like citing a story you caught them reading and don’t approve of). Also be prepared to have your kid continue behind your back as it’s very easy to hide what they’re doing on the internet by clearing web browser history, deleting and creating a new profile, and using private browsing.

Your Turn: Where do you stand on fanfics and why?

Online Stores


Review: Eragon by Christopher Paolini

by cookcutlery November 25, 2014
Review: Eragon by Christopher Paolini

by Cook Cutlery, guest reviewer Title: Eragon Author: Christopher Paolini Format: Papberback Page Count: 497 Reading Grade Level: 7th-9th Grade Summary: A normal farm boy was hunting in the forest and when he saw a huge flash of blue light. An invesitagtion led to a big sapphire stone which he brought home. But it wasn’t […]

1 comment Read the full article →

Review: Taken at Dusk (Shadow Falls, Book 3) by C.C. Hunter

by First Mate Keira November 24, 2014
Review: Taken at Dusk (Shadow Falls, Book 3) by C.C. Hunter

Reviewed by First Mate Keira Title: Taken at Dusk (Shadow Falls, Book 3) Author: C.C. Hunter Format: Trade Paperback Page Count: 400 Pages Grade Reading Level: Ages 14+ Summary: Kylie Galen wants to know what she is more than anything and the answers are so frustratingly close. With help from friends, she tracks down her […]

0 comments Read the full article →

Review: Above the Veil (Seventh Tower, Book 4) by Garth Nix

by Quartermaster Alyx November 23, 2014
Review: Above the Veil (Seventh Tower, Book 4) by Garth Nix

Reviewed by Quartermaster Alyx Title: Above the Veil (The Seventh Tower, Book 4) Author: Garth Nix Format: Paperback Page Count: 248 Grade Reading Level: 3rd-5th Summary: Running from Sushin, Tal and Milla meet up with Ebbitt and the rebels, who call themselves the Freefolk. Once safe, Milla takes her leave and goes back to the […]

0 comments Read the full article →

5 Free or Discounted Things to Do with Your Library Card

by First Mate Keira November 22, 2014
5 Free or Discounted Things to Do with Your Library Card

by First Mate Keira Did you know there’s more you can do with a library card other than check books and movies out? Depending on where you live and what your library and county (and state) programs are there are five other things a library card is good for! 1. Museum Passes: You can get […]

3 comments Read the full article →