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Attention Middle Schoolers: Inklings Book Contest

Attention Middle Schoolers: Inklings Book Contest

Do you love to write? Submit your story or poem to the Society of Young Inklings Book Contest!

This contest is only open to students in 8th grade or below, and it closes on March 15th. Contest winners will receive two sessions with a professional writer and a copy of the Inklings Book 2017 with their story published in it.

Click here to learn more and submit your work!

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Readers Without Borders: International Literature Reading Challenge

Readers Without Borders: International Literature Reading Challenge

Introducing the 2017 Castilleja Library reading challenge!

black and white picture of books

This year, we’re broadening our collection and your reading experience even more by challenging you to read books published outside the United States. Read a book from each continent!

If you read three books from three different continents, you get a prize! If you read books from six different continents, plus one book from a First Nations author, you get another prize!

Books must be new to you, and must be originally published outside the US or written by an international author. They can be read in the original language, or in translation.

Castilleja Library has over 200 internationally published books for you to choose from, so you’ll have no problem finding things to read. A short list of books we think are awesome can be found here, and a Pinterest board is here. A complete list of relevant books in the collection is available here as a sortable spreadsheet.

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January Author and Literary Events

January Author and Literary Events

Susan Dennard and Alexandra Bracken
Come see the authors of Truthwitch and Passenger at the release of their sequels! Windwitch is the sequel to the exciting high fantasy Truthwitch, and Wayfarer is the sequel to the time travel adventure Passenger.

Friday, January 13, 2017 – 7:00 p.m.
Kepler’s Books
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025
RSVP here



Will Schwalbe, Books for Living
“Why is it that we read? Is it to pass time? To learn something new? To escape from reality? For Will Schwalbe, reading is a way to entertain himself but also to make sense of the world, to become a better person, and to find the answers to the big (and small) questions about how to live his life.”
Tuesday, January 24, 2017 – 7:30 p.m.
Kepler’s Books
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025




Colson Whitehead, author of The Underground Railroad, in conversation with Alexis Madrigal
Wednesday, January 25, 2017 – 7:30 pm
Nourse Theater
275 Hayes Street
San Francisco, CA 94102



YANovCon Kickoff Party at Opera Plaza Books Inc!
“Not Your Mother’s Book Club proudly presents a star-studded panel as a kick-off event for YANovCon! Joining us for this fun event will be Gretchen McNeil, author of I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl; Jessica Brody, author of A Week of Mondays; B.T. Gottfred, author of The Nerdy and the Dirty; and Martha Brockenbrough, author of The Game of Love and Death.”
Friday, January 27, 2017 – 7:00pm
Books Inc.
601 Van Ness
San Francisco, CA
Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 10.36.11 AM



YANovCon at the Milbrae Library
“This free half-day celebration includes panel discussions, author hangouts, and book signings with the following YA novelists (and more!): Neal Shusterman, Andrew Smith, Jessica Brody, Mariko Tamaki, Alexis Bass, Martha Brockenbrough, I.W. Gregorio, Ann Jacobus, Stephanie Kuehn, and Gretchen McNeil.
YANovCon also has a Teen Short Story Contest: “This year, we are asking teens to write a short story (500 words or less) that deals with ‘mental health awareness’ and helps readers empathize with a character who has a mental illness.” Submit short story entries here by Tuesday, January 17, 2017. Stay in touch with us and receive the latest author updates by following #YANovCon on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.”
Saturday, January 28, 2017 – 1:00pm
Millbrae Library
1 Library Avenue
Millbrae, CA



Stephanie Garber, author of Caraval, in conversation with Stacey Lee, author of The Secret of a Heart Note
Tuesday, January 31, 2017 – 7:00 p.m.
Kepler’s Books
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025
RSVP here
 Header picture: “Frost” by Tara Schmidt, licensed under CC BY 2.o

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Four to Read More: Criminal Families

Four to Read More: Criminal Families

From confidence tricksters to thieves to magicians, the families of these protagonists are not going to win any awards for good citizenship.

White Cat by Holly Black

Cassel comes from a family of curse workers, people who can change your looks, your feelings, your luck with the touch of a hand. Cassel has no powers–or so he believes. When he starts having nightmares about a white cat, the world he thinks he has starts crumbling apart (3 book series).


Heist Society by Ally Carter

Sick of her family’s life of art theft, Katarina scammed her way into a boarding school and left it all behind. But when her father is blamed for stealing from a mob boss, Kat is dragged back to steal back the stolen treasures before her father is the mob’s next hit (3 book series).


Lies I Told by Michelle Zink

When your family cons people for a living, you have rules to keep from getting caught. #1: Never fall in love with your mark. But for Grace…that may be easier said than done (Has a sequel).

all these things

All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin

In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, water is scarce, and New York is wracked with crime. Thanks to her father’s illegal chocolate business, Anya doesn’t have to worry about much. Until her ex boyfriend turns up poisoned by her family’s chocolate, and she’s the prime suspect (3 book series).

Want more recommendations? Check out our Pinterest page!
Header picture: Remembering by Rubén Díaz licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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