Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

This story takes place in a private school called Niveus Academy where only the prestigious and elite kids go to. Two students named Devon Richards and Chiamaka Adebayo look forward to their senior year in the school as they were both selected to be Senior Prefects, something that puts them both in a position of being valedictorian. But soon, their year starts to take a dark turn when someone named Aces exposes secrets to everyone online about the two of them that could destroy their perfect plans for college and their futures in total. At first, the entire thing seems to be a silly prank but then it evolves to the endangerment of these two children’s lives as they battle to expose Aces and get their lives back to normal. But who exactly is Aces? And why do they target Devon and Chiamaka?

Contemporary is usually not the genre I would like to read but books such as Ace of Spades became an exception for me. I heard a little bit about this book from my friends and Tiktok before actually reading it and it exceeded the expectations I had about it, which I taught would be impossible. This book is not for everyone as it has some very triggering language and scenes that turned my stomach. But this book has shown me a new outlet to how the world could be and how some people in this world need to fight just to exist peacefully in this world. The plot twists that occur in the middle and the end of the book captured my attention and I couldn’t put the book down for hours at a time. I believe that everyone who can read this book should as it explains many complexities within life and within our society as well. I would say that this book is one of my favorite reads of this year!

Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé is available to checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It is also available to download for free from Libby.

Name That Tune: Disney Edition by MVL: July 23, 2021

Hello trivia enthusiasts! I am sure you were enjoying the fun, zoom-based, summer season of pop culture trivia series, hosted by Mission Viejo Library. 

Our 3rd trivia, hosted on July 23, Name that Tune: Disney Edition was as exciting as it sounds. Our enthusiastic and knowledgeable trivia host covered an array of nostalgic Disney movie tunes. The trivia was designed in three rounds. Every round had 10 mind scintillating tunes. The host played every tune three times for the trivia enthusiasts. The host went through every round twice: once for the clips and once again for the answers. If the attendees didn’t know the tunes, they had an option of guessing the movie name. Our generous host then challenged his audience more with a bonus round based on Disney TV tunes. The bonus round had 4 questions and had the same rules as the regular rounds.

Here are some of nostalgic tunes/ movies he covered:

  • “When will my life begin”: TANGLED
  • “Almost there”: PRINCESS AND THE FROG
  • “Un Poco Loco”: COCO
  • “Kiss the girl”: LITTLE MERMAID
  • “You’re Welcome”: MOANA
  • “You can Fly”: PETER PAN
  • “Everyone wants to be a cat”: THE ARISTOCATS
  • “Friend like me”: ALADDIN
  • “Topsy Turvy”: THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME
  • “Theme song”: PHINEAS AND FERB

I would totally recommend participating in fun family friendly events like these!

-Anya P.

Heroes and Villains Trivia by MVL, July 16, 2021

Hello readers! I hope you have already read my writeup on the first of the four zoom-based Summer Trivia Programs hosted by Mission Viejo Library in July 2021. By now, I hope you know how exciting and fun this summer season of pop culture trivia was!

Today I am writing about the second zoom based Trivia night that I attended on July 16, 2021. It was about Heroes and Villains! It consisted of some fun trivia questions from some of my favorite movies from Marvel and more: the Iron Man series, the Spider-Man series, the Batman series, and the Harry Potter series.

These were some of the questions. See if you can guess the answers yourself before checking the answers:

  1. In the film Captain America: The First Avenger, what is the name of the top secret project that turned Steve Rogers into a super soldier?
    • Project Rebirth
  2. In the Back to the Future trilogy, Marty McFly is antagonized by a member of the Tannen family. Name each iteration as they appear in the trilogy?
    • Biff Tannen, Griff Tannen, and Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen
  3. Which Hogwarts instructor was revealed to have erased the minds of witches and wizards while taking credit for their accomplishments?
    • Gilderoy Lockhart
  4. What is Dr. Octopus’ real name?
    • Otto Octavius
  5. S.T.A.R. Labs has a prominent role in numerous DC properties. What does S.T.A.R. stand for?
    • Scientific and Technological Advanced Research

These were some of the many fun questions we got to answer! The trivia nights consist of 3 rounds, and each round has 12 questions.

-Anya P.

Magic Journey: My Fantastical Walt Disney Imagineering Career by Kevin Rafferty

As an aspiring Imagineer myself, Magic Journey: My Fantastical Walt Disney Imagineering Career was an amazing book. Kevin Rafferty, a legendary Imagineer tells the story of his life, and what led up to him working for the famous Walt Disney company.

Having to have worked from the very bottom to one of the most respected Disney Imagineers is something that is very difficult to do. Mr. Rafferty talks about his challenges and what brought him to where he is today, now working with other legends that worked with Walt Disney himself. He explains numerous projects that are now at the park, including Car’s Land, Toy Story Mania, Tower of Terror, and the new ride coming to Disneyland soon, Mickey’s Runaway Railway! As I prepare to work towards the goal of becoming an Imagineer, Kevin’s book was very informative, filled with funny anecdotes at the Walt Disney Company, and so much more! If you are a Disney fan, I would 100% recommend this book.

It was especially interesting because I had the chance to hear Mr. Rafferty speak at 2019’s D23 Convention which is a Disney convention where avid Disney fans get together and listen and meet the biggest Disney stars. This book is filled with life lessons, advice and a sense of magic, provided by one that is behind the fantasy of what happens at the Disney parks around the world.

– Amandine K.

Creative Writing: Forest Kitten

This is a little creative writing piece exploring imagery and setting. I hope you enjoy!


A snowy white kitten slinks through the grass that sparkles with pearls of dew in the soft dawn light. Droplets of water slide from the gently bent grasses onto the cat’s fur and sit like tiny gemstones on its pallid coat. Thin sprigs of thyme and sage brush rustle lightly at the disturbance of the soft, padded paws. 

As the cat swiftly shoots beneath an overhanging heliotrope bush, the cluster of little purple flowers dips and showers his pale pink nose with dew. Green eyes determined, the cat continues his flight through the underbrush, shaking off the glimmering droplets that shine like lost diamonds on the forest earth behind him. The woody scents of damp bark and soil lose prominence as the cat reaches a thin creek whose crystalline body streams like liquid glass over stones smoothed and mossy due to years, perhaps eons, of running water. 

After leaping from the soft muddy bank onto a weathered stone protruding from the center of the stream, the cat pauses to lick his left paw before jumping delicately to the other side. The only thing to indicate his crossing of the river are small prints on the surface of the river stones where his padded paws lifted the frost that curls over the gray and dusty pink surfaces. 

When he reaches a wall of dense ivy, the cat slows and dips his head beneath the dark leaves. The vines of ivy sway and rustle for several moments as the cat crawls towards the meadow beyond. Then the vines are still, and the only bits of white left visible in the forest are the reflections of dewdrops on leaves and some star lilies dusted with frost.

– Mia T.

A New Craft Kit Appears!

The Mission Viejo Library wants you to create art and no experience is required! Teens are invited to pick up a Bad Art Kit and come up with beautiful, thought provoking pieces of fine art using random stuff we found in our craft room!

Kits are available upon request and can be picked up during the library’s curbside service hours (Tuesday through Saturday, 12pm to 5pm). When you’re done, take a picture of your incredible creations and send it to libraryprograms@cityofmissionviejo.org!”

Black History Month Reading List!

Greetings!

This is your friendly neighborhood Teen Librarian and I wanted to share that I’ve set up a new page link just above this post. The library’s Teen Advisory Board has put together a list of books, films, and notable figures to celebrate Black History Month! If anything catches your eye, follow the links on the page to put them on hold 😀

Thanks, everyone!

Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Amazon.com: Love & Gelato (9781481432559): Welch, Jenna Evans: Books

If you are looking for a cute romance novel to read, I have the perfect book for you! Love and Gelato was written by Jenna Even Welsh in 2016. It falls into the categories Romance and Young Adult Fiction. The story follows young Lina, who moves from Seattle to Florence to live with her father after her mother passes away. There’s only one problem- Lina has never met her father. And she does not want to. 

However, Lina promised her mother she would make an effort to get to know him right before her mother passed away, so she doesn’t really have a choice. Although Lina is moving to a foreign country to live with her absent father she has never met, she tries to make the most of it. 

However, her plan to stay positive comes to a crashing halt when she learns her father lives in a cemetery. But when things seem as though they can not get any worse, Lina is given a journal that her mother kept while living in Italy. It was Lina’s final chance to connect with her mom now that she is gone. Lina travels all over Florence with Ren, the boy next door. She meets tons of new people and tries all sorts of new things. She visits different parts of the city, including all her mother’s favorite parts. Once in Florence, with Ren, Lina finally feels like she can be happy without her mother-she starts to find herself again. But, the best things she finds in Florence are Love and Gelato!

This book makes for a great quick read. Once you start it, you will not be able to put it down! Trust me, I have read it three times! Not only is it a romance novel, but it has a great plot with countless twists and turns. You will be kept on the edge of your seat while also rooting for your favorite couple!

-Hidaya R.

Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.

Avatar the Last Airbender: TV show review

When I heard Avatar the Last Airbender (ATLA) was added to Netflix I was ecstatic. Like so many other teens, I had watched the show as a little kid and loved it. So obviously, I had to watch it again.

Watching it again as a teenager, I realized that the show was even better than I remembered. It was so original and progressive. As it well it was quite refreshing with its childish comics instead of dark humor or drama. There are so many references to issues that one would not think would be in a children’s TV show. It is these references that really make the show stand out. For example, there is the idea that the fire nation ( the big enemy in the show) is constantly making new technological advance weapons, using them for mass destruction and with them destroying nature. This sound familiar? This very idea was happening when the show created and is still a problem now. These are ideas that as a teenager, I can more fully understand and is a reason why I strongly suggest other teens to rewatch the show.

This show is centered around the idea that the fire nation is trying to take over all the other nation: Earth, Water, and Air. They had already wiped out the air nation and are trying to take over everything else. There are four characters that are trying to stop this, the Avatar Aang, the Water Bender Katara, Sokka a warrior, and the Earth Bender Toph. The avatar is supposed to be a special person who has control over all four elements, fire earth water and air. They are the one supposed to save the world. Throughout the entire show you follow these characters, watching them grow.

I loved this show and would recommend it to everyone. It is perfect for binging, watching slowly, watching with a family, or taking a break from the stress of the pandemic. As well, the nostalgia it brings might bring you makes the show better

-Ava G.

One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus

One of Us is Lying is about four high school seniors, who are all quite stereotypical people in a high school, the jock, Cooper Clay, the prom queen, Addy Prentiss,  the “nerd”, Bronwyn Rojas, and the delinquent, Nate Macauley. However, when the four of them meet in an unfair detention, along with Simon Kelleher, the self-proclaimed “omniscient narrator” and person in charge of the gossip app named “About That”, which talks about the school’s gossip, although only using initials. 

However, the detention quickly turns into a crime scene when Simon dies due to a peanut allergy, with all the epi-pens in the nurse’s office mysteriously gone. All four of them are later questioned, when the police find that Simon had drunk a large amount of peanut oil prior to his death. They all deny knowing anything, though. Later, all four students are separately called to the police station and told that before his death, Simon had queued up a post which details each of their secrets- Cooper used steroids for his baseball performance, Bronwyn stole tests, Nate is dealt drugs, which violates his parole, and that Addy had cheated on her boyfriend. With the police putting pressure on them, and more and more media coverage, the four of them band together and take the investigation upon themselves. 

The novel is very interesting, and I thought that there were many plot twists and it’s quite fun to try to piece together the mystery as more and more information is revealed. It’s also enjoyable to see the different characters grow as people, seeing Addy become her own person, and see Nate and Bronwyn grow closer together. I definitely recommend One of Us is Lying for those who enjoy murder mysteries and those who enjoy piecing together different pieces of information throughout the book.

-Kelsie W.

One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive