The Library Ninja Blog

SYNC: Young Adult Lit for Your Earbuds

School is out but Summer Reading Club is in full swing! Remember, all you have to do is read 5 hours to be eligible for prizes and you have the whole summer to do it.

This summer, SYNC, presented by AudioFile, is providing two, free audiobook downloads to everyone all summer long. Every week this summer, SYNC will release one current Young Adult book and pair it with a classic. The classics can often be found on the required reading list for secondary schools.

Simply sign-up to get notifications by visiting or text syncYA to 25827.

Important Details:

  • Downloads are in MP3 format, hosted by OverDrive, and are Mac and Windows compatible.
  • Downloads will operate through the OverDrive app.
  • Most listening devices are supported.
  • Each SYNC audiobook will be available for download for a period of 7 days (only).
  • Titles, once downloaded, are yours to keep.

With SYNC's audiobooks, you will be finished with your 5 hours no time!

Some of this summer's titles include:

The complete list of titles with their release dates can be found here.

Q&A With Kristen McGuire; Manga Artist and Anime Voice Actor

For a second year, the Arlington Public Library is happy to host a workshop with mangaka (comic book artist) Kristen McGuire. This year’s workshop will be on Saturday, July 11, 2015. Kristen will teach you everything you need to know on how to start creating manga characters. Or if you’re a seasoned artist, (think Bakuman-levels here), she’ll give tips on how to hone your skills and answer questions on publishing and getting your work noticed. Plus, she’ll give a little insight into what it’s like to be a voice actor for FUNimation!

In the meantime, enjoy reading this Q&A from Kristen about all the fun she had at this year’s A-Kon, which anime inspired her growing up and all the people in her life that continue to encourage her throughout her artistic career.

Q: So you just wrapped up going to A-Kon 26! Tell us a little bit about the panels you were on and what fans got to see and experience from you.

A: A-Kon 26 was a blast! There are so many people there, it’s crazy fun! In a turn of events, I did mostly voice acting panels this year. I got to do a really fun panel, with Amber Nash (from Archer), Caitlin Glass, and up and coming VA Linden Carello … .  [On Saturday June 4] I participated in the Lip Sync Battle. I’ve never danced or performed live like that before, so I was pretty nervous, but I was excited that I won the first round. I lost in the second, but we were all having so much fun that it didn’t really feel like losing… . [Sunday June 5] I did a manga panel.

Q: From looking at your cast announcements, 2015 has shaped up to be busy year for you. Before you did more background vocals, but now you’re doing series regular characters, such as: Hinano Kurahashi from Assassination Classroom, Vera from Maria the Virgin Witch, and Yuriko from Mikagura School Suite; what has this experience been like? Do you do any research after you’ve accepted a voice-acting role to get an idea of the character’s voice/mannerisms?

A: Yes, I'm still in a lot of shock about how this year has turned out! It's hard to do research because all of these titles are what we call "Broadcast dubs" meaning that we're only a few episodes behind what is being aired in Japan. If anything, I am learning about these characters slowly one week at a time. I will watch ahead if I have the time because it makes it a little easier to understand when I'm in the booth and they are explaining a scene to me. 

The experience has been really amazing. Last year I was lucky to be going into FUNimation every couple of months, and now I'm up there on a weekly basis. Mostly I'm just trying not to take it for granted and savor these moments. In the meantime I continue to take weekly voice over lessons and improve my acting as much as I can. 

Q: We’re discussed this before, but for any new fans out there; tell us your mangaka/voice acting origin story? When did you go from “This is a medium of storytelling and illustration that I enjoy, to I want to do this as a career”?

A:  I've always wanted to be an artist, and I've always wanted to do it as a profession. I loved drawing comics and I always hoped it would be a full time job one day. It still isn't a full time job, but every year it creeps closer to being that way. I cut my day job down to 20 hours a week about a year and a half ago because I couldn't handle all the hours from drawing comics and voice acting on top of a full time job. This year I started working as a coloring assistant on the popular Dark Horse comic, "Elf Quest". I've learned so much, and it's not a job I could have taken on if I were still working full time hours. 

Voice acting is a different story. I never imagined I would one day consider this my career. My dreams were always about drawing comics, and I never thought I had a shot as a voice actor. I loved acting in high school and did quite a few shows, and I always wanted to pursue but wasn't sure how. When I started guesting at conventions as a comic artist I met all types of actors, and one of them told me I should try out when FUNimation had their open auditions. I thought I had nothing to lose, the least I could do is try. The worst they could tell me was no. I submitted my inquiry e-mail and five months later they asked me to come in for open auditions. I did some voice acting research and practiced reading out loud in different voices. I got called back about two weeks after open auditions to work on the anime, Haganai. I suppose the rest is history! 

Q: The Summer Reading Club Theme this year is very rooted in American superheroes and comic books. What was it about Japanese comic books and animation that drew you in more so that American comics? Or do you love them both equally?

A:  Honestly American comics never really interested me, unless you count comics like Garfield or Calvin and Hobbes. I liked the idea of American comics, but superheroes just didn't interest me. (Though I love the Marvel movies!) When I was a young teen my brother showed me the anime RG Veda. I was instantly obsessed. I loved how expressive anime was and loved the style. When I watched Sailor Moon for the first time, I loved the idea of how characters could fight evil with the power of friendship and love. Japanese Manga doesn't have very many limitations, and that appealed to me. A manga can be about anything, from a swim club to online games that trap the user inside, and I think that's what got me hooked.

Q: Another questions related to that is who are your favorite anime/manga heroes or superheroes? Why did you become affectionate towards them?

A: A: When I was younger I really loved the character Sakura from "Cardcaptor Sakura." She was always friendly and helpful. Even though she was only ten she had a lot of responsibilities. I also loved Miaka from Fushigi Yugi because I thought we had very similar personalities. 

Right now some of my favorite heroes are Kirito and Asuna from Sword Art Online, and of course I love Hinano Kurahashi from Assassination Classroom, but I'm a bit biased on that one, haha. 

Q: Who are your real-life heroes that inspired you to pursue this as a career or that inspired you growing up?

A:  There are a few artists who really took me under their wing when I was young. I was able to go into the studio of Jo Chen as a teenager, and it was so cool to be able to talk to her one on one and see what a real artist's work space looked like. I also went to a panel in 2007 hosted by Brian Denham who worked for Marvel at the time drawing Iron Man. Even though my style was very different, he looked through my entire portfolio which also consisted of the first chapter of Enchanted at the time. He looked at me and said, "You should be publishing this. Why aren't you?" And that was the push I needed to publish the first chapter and start selling it at cons. I also met Robotech artist Bruce Lewis. I gave him a copy of my comic and he really liked it. He got me to start doing panels with him and even vouched for me when it came time for my first guest appearance at AnimeFest in 2012. He also throws published work my way from time to time, and I'm very grateful to have met him. I also enjoy working with Sonny Strait, who many people know as the voice of Krillin from Dragonball Z. Sonny is a very talented artist and he is the one who approached me about being an assistant colorist for him on the Elf Quest comics. We give each other a pretty hard time, but I have learned a lot from him in terms of voice acting and drawing. I'm very blessed that I met so many people who felt the need to encourage me and help me succeed, and I hope that I can pass that on one day to future generations of artists. 

**The workshop is on Saturday, July 11th, and you can register for it here!**

Written by: Amina D., YTC Intern

6/30/2015 Add a Comment Share this:
Topics: Movies/TV

So Who’s Going to be the New Spidey? Your Guess is As Good As Mine...

Photo taken by Gage Skidmore  Found on Flickr.

If you didn’t already know, it’s been decided by the powers that be that Spider-man is finally coming home to the mainstream Marvel movie universe (where we all knew he belonged). The character will now be standing alongside the rest of the Avengers and all of Samuel L. Jackson’s awesomeness as S.H.I.E.L.D.’s former director, Nick Fury. 

With that said, Spidey is also set to star in his next big solo film sometime in summer 2017. Even better, the plan is that we’ll get to see our favorite neighborhood web slinger way earlier in the upcoming Captain America film, Civil War, which is a monumental event that will impact all Marvel movies to come!

So, things are all good right? Well, they would be if wasn't for the fact that the two production studios are crrently in the middle of a stand-off  …

What’s the hold up?

Aside from the new Captain America movie, it seems the production teams behind the new Spider-man film franchise are involved in a bit of a civil war of their own…

Now that Andrew Garfield is officially out of the picture as the “Amazing” Spider-man, the hunt for the next Peter Parker is on. So far, neither Sony nor Marvel can quite get on the same page as to who’s the next perfect young actor to put on the red and blue tights this next go round.  

Good news: It’s now only down to TWO… allegedly

Countless hopefuls have auditioned for the role, even some well-known names, but rumor has it that it’s now down to only two actors! Again, what’s the hold up? Sources claim that Sony already has their pick in mind for who they want to be Spider-man. Meanwhile, Marvel is determined to have the other young actor in the running.  So that's happening…

So who’s still in the running to be our next possible Peter Parker?

Standing in Sony’s corner… we have 18 year old The Impossible’s  actor Tom Holland.

And from Marvel’s corner, we have Boardwalk Empire’s Charlie Plummer, also 18.

For the longest time, it was rumored that Asa Butterfield was set to take on the role of Spider-man. However, during these past few weeks, it’s been rumored that Asa is no longer in the running to be the next web slinger. Again, all of this is still up in the air.

So who do you guys want to be the next Spider-man?

6/24/2015 by EJ A. Add a Comment Share this:

Teen Zone Summer Field Trips

Teen Zone Summer Field Trips

Join us! It’s free! Field trips will take place every Friday starting June 26 (with the exception of July 3).

We will be visiting:

  • Fort Worth Museum of Science and History (Friday, June 26, not the 24; please note the error in the form below)
  • Perot Museum
  • CR Smith Museum
  • 6th Floor Museum
  • Dallas Zoo
  • Fantasy in Sand: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Arlington Public Library received a grant from the Texas Literacy Initiative in order to provide opportunities for teens to visit a wide range of educational institutions during the summertime.

In order to be eligible for these field trips, teens must attend a TLI school such as: Sam Houston High School, Lamar High School, Bowie High School, Nichols Jr. High, Workman Jr. High, Barnett Jr. High, Carter Jr. High and Shackelford Jr. High.

The following forms are needed in order to attend a field trip and should be turned in by Thursday, June 18:

These forms can be downloaded here and returned to the Northeast Branch Library (1905 Brown Blvd.) They can also be picked up at the Northeast Branch Library.

If an interested teen is not from one of these schools, they are still eligible to ride the bus for free but would be required to pay their own admission tickets.

We have limited room so we will be notifying everyone about their eligibility the week prior to the field trip.

For more information, please contact Raquel Reyna at

6/15/2015 by Raquel Reyna 1 Comment - Add a Comment Share this:
Topics: Technology

Teen Review by Ta'Quell M...The Winner's Curse

Publisher's Summary: They were never meant to be together. As a general's daughter, seventeen-year-old Kestrel enjoys an extravagant and privileged life. Arin has nothing but the clothes on his back. Then Kestrel makes an impulsive decision that binds Arin to her. Though they try to fight it, they can't help but fall in love. In order to be together, they must betray their people . . . but to be loyal to their country, they must betray each other.

Set in a new world, The Winner's Curse is a story of rebellion, duels, ballroom dances, wicked rumors, dirty secrets, and games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

This book was beautifully written. There is an underlying suspense that doesn't overwhelm the mood of the book but also keeps you intrigued long enough for you to want to know what happens. The relationship between Kestrel and Arin is complicated but leaves you optimistic.

In the end, I truly believe that this book should have been called Karma of Secrecy. I believe the explosive ending is caused by so many secrets. Marie Rutkoski, the author, did amazing job at resolving the huge conflicts of the Valorian's society but also creating more problems for the next book. Overall this book is amazing, just be ready for everything you thought to be wrong.

4 Stars - Great. Definitely Worth It

Written by Ta'Quell M.

6/13/2015 Add a Comment Share this:

Unmask A Reading List Fit for a Hero

Summer Reading Club 2015 has officially started and this summer's theme is Unmask! As everyone knows by now, heroes come in all shapes and sizes, male or female with or without supernatural powers.

Here is a list of some hero-themed books from classic Superman to Groot to Scott Piligrim to Amouteru of The Young Elites to Bones from Luminous:

Who is your favorite superhero or villain? Comment below!

Live-Action Adaptation of Bakuman Out This Fall!

Since this year’s Summer Reading Club theme is all about comic books and superheroes, let’s not forget to show some love to Asia’s version of comic books, manga.  And what more exciting manga news is there then to find out that your favorite manga is becoming a live- action adaptation(…or distressing news, depending on how you feel about live adaptations of comic books and manga)!

We’ve already talked about the excitement surrounding the live-action version of Attack on Titan, and if that’s not enough for you, be prepared for a live-action television series based on that mega hit manga as well. Next up, from Anime News Network, is the news that there will be a live-action film based on Bakuman, the popular manga series about becoming a manga artist. Bakuman, the movie is set to hit theaters in Japan this October.

Bakuman was first serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump in August of 2008, created by Ōba Tsugumi of the popular manga series Death Note and drawn by Obata Takeshi (All You Need Is Kill). The series follows Moritaka Mashiro, a 14-year-old third year junior high school student who has resigned himself to the straight and narrow path that he feels he’s supposed to take. This life path includes; passing his high school entrance exams to get into a good school, making it to college, and then finally getting a stable position as a white-collar worker. Mashiro’s plans change when he teams up with fellow classmate Akito Takagi to live out their dreams and create a successful manga series that gets featured in Weekly Shonen Jump. Mashiro is also able to marry his long time crush Miho Azuki, who dreams of becoming a voice actress.





(From Anime News Network, the poster features artwork from Obata Takeshi.)

Above is one of the first posters released in association with the film that features the actors set to play Moritaka Mishiro and Akito Takagi. The two young men areholding respective drawings of themselves. The orginal artist, Obata Takeshi will also be lending a hand to the movie, doing the artwork that represents the manga the two main characters create throughout the film. There’s also a teaser trailer of the film below. I’m curious as to how things will play out on the big screen given that the trailer is so ridiculously over-the-top that it feels like a fight scene is around the corner.



So what do you think? Are you excited at the idea of a Bakuman film? Have you watched any other films adapted from manga, how did they turn out for you? Until then, don’t forget to pick up the Bakuman manga at your closest library branch so you can read the entire series before the film comes out and ready your inner movie critic.

Written by Amina D., YTC Intern

6/6/2015 Add a Comment Share this:
Topics: Movies/TV

Unmask your Creativity

Teen Fine Arts SRC Programs

Finally school is out! Summer Reading Club (SRC) has begun. Unmask your creativity and join us for some fun this summer in the creative arts.

Photography School for Gifted Youngsters June 9-30, 4-6 p.m.| Southeast 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015, 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Tuesday, June 16, 2015, 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Tuesday, June 23, 2015, 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Tuesday, June 30, 2015, 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Open Mic Night

Thursday, June 25, 2015, 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm | Southeast 

Thursday, July 30, 2015, 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm | Southwest

Drama Camp  July 20-25 |Lake Arlington

Monday, July 20, 2015, 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Tuesday, July 21, 2015, 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Thursday, July 23, 2015, 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Saturday, July 25, 2015, 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Manga Artist Workshop with Kristen McGuire
Saturday, July 11, 2015, 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm| Southwest


Video Boot Camp for X-traordinary Teens (7th-12th Grade only| Southeast 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Tuesday, July 14, 2015, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Tuesday, July 21, 2015, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Tuesday, July 28, 2015, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

UTA’s Fab Lab Demo

Wednesday, June 24, 2015, 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm| East

Wednesday, July 29, 2015, 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm| Northeast

Japan Otaku Day

Saturday, June 27, 2015, 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm| Northeast
Saturday, July 25, 2015, 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm| Northeast


Join the fun and win prizes for reading. Many of our Summer Reading Club programs require registration prior to attending.

Be sure to check or website for more information.

Arlington Public Library


Click below to get an exclusive view of teen programming offered this summer.


Just a friendly reminder The YTC @ Northeast is closed for the summer.

Summer hours for The Lab @ East are:

Monday -Thursday  - 1 - 9 p.m.

Friday -  12 - 6 p.m.

Saturday - 12 - 6 p.m.

Sunday - Closed

6/5/2015 by LaTonya Lynch Add a Comment Share this:
Topics: Digital Media

Mini Gaming Day Recap

For those of you who might have missed it last month, the library hosted a Mini Gaming Day at the East Arlington Library Branch. Some of the activities that we hosted included a Super Smash Brothers Brawl tournament in which there were a multitude of contenders each vying for a shot at the fabulous prizes on offer. In the final round of the tournament, we had a great match which included two of our regulars at the Lab, Alejandro and Trent. To start out the match Alejandro selected the well-balanced Ike character while the Trent ended up selecting the more defensive Link. After seven long, hard-fought rounds, the winner was finally decided and Alejandro came out on top. For his prize he chose a Funimation DVD to which he was overjoyed about.

The next event of Mini Gaming Day was a Monopoly tournament that not only tested the teen’s skills in negotiating, long term financing, and strategy, but also ended up testing some friendships like any good monopoly game does. The game went by at a normal pace until one of the teens used a surprising and interesting strategy. This player chose to spend all his money in one turn knowing he was nowhere near the Go space and was facing an onslaught of property spaces owned by the other players. Even with all of the odds stacked against him, the risk-taking player somehow managed to avoid the other players’ properties. Within the next few dice rolls he eventually, through the use of this risky strategy, decimated his competition and for that he truly deserved his winner’s prize.

While the multi-player tournaments went on, more teens were partaking in other activities, such as playing Minecraft and Attack on Titan with each other on the laptops in a LAN party, building with Legos, and various other board games. All in all, the event was huge success with the teen participants. The group enjoyed every aspect of it and some of them even made some new friends. But don’t fret guys the event might be over but there are tons of other teen programs scheduled for this summer for you to check out. Hope to see you at the next event, until then have fun!!

Written by Miguel M., YTC Intern

5/31/2015 Add a Comment Share this:
Topics: Gaming, Contests

Summer Reading Club Teen T-Shirt Design Challenge Finalists

For this year’s Summer Reading Club, the library challenged Arlington teens to design the Summer Reading Club 2015 teen t-shirt. The design contest ran in January of this year and we received some incredible entries. The designs are so great, we’re showcasing the finalists from the contest. The winner will be revealed soon, along with a sneak peek at what the Summer Reading Club 2015 teen t-shirt will look like. The winner is one of the featured designs below, so take a guess and see if can spot which design won!





It's now official! The design chosen to be on every teen Summer Reading Club 2015 t-shirt is:


5/28/2015 by Miranda Want Add a Comment Share this:
Topics: Contests