Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!! We've been busy!

Teens have been singing at the Cookie Exchange, watching and discussing a Christmas Carol, here are David, James, and Hayden doing some improv on the story!  We've had pizza and are making plans for Teen book Jeopardy!! 

We mostly want to wish everyone a very wonderful and Merry Christmas!  More pictures coming soon!!!

Game Console Finale!!

Sorry it took so long, guys, but it's finally here! the thrilling conclusion! Enjoy!
Oh, there's no point of getting a console if there aren't any good games on it! Otherwise, what would be the point of buying them in the first place?
Each console has it's own selection of First-party developed titles. A first-party title is a game developed by the same company that created the console it's being released on.(That includes Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, etc.)because of this, it would be illegal to release a Super Mario game on an Xbox.
A third-party developer is a company that makes games on any console they please, this includes developers such as Sega, Namco, Konami, and, of course, Capcom.
The Nintendo DS has many first-party titles. Some of them would include New Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, Pokemon Black and White (and their sequels), Kirby Squeak Squad, Brain Age, Picross DS, Nintendogs, Mario Kart DS, Animal Crossing: Wild World, and the list goes on and on.
The PSP has quite a number of first-party developed titles as well, such as LittleBigPlanet, Invisimals, The Buzz Quiz series, Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee, Daxter, Ape Escape: On the Loose, WipEout Pure(Not a typo, it's spelt like that,), Patapon, LocoRoco, Twisted Metal: Head On, and others. It's hard to really say which has the better first-party titles, but both Nintendo and Sony put much effort into these games, that's for sure!
Both Systems also have heavy third-party support. Some games come to both Consoles, such as the Lego games, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, the Madden NFL games, Golden Compass (which is actually as very poorly made game, so let's forget that one.), Chrono Trigger, Frogger Helmet Chaos, and others. It's hard to search for games that are on DS AND PSP, so I've only mentioned games that I know of. If you know others, write in the comments below. It would be very nice for me to know.
Of course, sometimes third-party companies will release exclusive to one console, and then release games in the same series on a different console! One of the best examples I can use to describe this is none other than my all-time-no-holds-barred-no-stinkin'-doubt's-about-it video game franchise EVER...(Drum roll)...
The Mega Man games!!!
The DS and PSP both have their own titles in the series. The DS has ZX, ZX Advent, The Mega Man Star Force Trilogy, Zero Collection, and Battle Network 5(DS edition). That's a lot of Mega Man games! Unfortunately, the PSP only has 2 games. Mega Man: Powered Up, and Mega Man Maverick Hunter X. Both of these games are remakes of Mega Man 1 and Mega Man X, respectively.
Honestly, while the DS has more titles in the series, you can tell that Capcom, the developers of the Mega Man games, put more effort into the PSP titles. The ZX and Star Force games just feel like re-hashes of the Zero and Battle Network games, and aren't as memorable. Zero collection is fun, but it's just a compilation, so it isn't a brand new game. Neither is Battle Network 5, it's just a re-release of the original GBA game, which, regrettably, isn't all that good.
The PSP titles, on the other hand, are a much more enjoyable experience. Powered Up takes the original Mega Man, fixes every problem in the game, adds more playable characters, a challenge mode, a level creator, and much and more. Maybe it's just me, but I feel the PSP remakes were made as a thank-you to all the hardcore fans of Mega Man(Me, for example.). That's not to say the DS titles are bad, they just don't feel as good.
Mega Man isn't the only company that's culprit to the "Sequels On DS:Remakes On PSP" formula. The same applies to Castlevania. Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, Order of Ecclesia, and Portrait Of Ruin are on DS, while the only Castlevania game on PSP is Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles, which is a remake of Castlevania: Dracula X, which was originally Japan exclusive(aside from it's inferior port to the SNES in the late '90s.). All four of these games are outstanding, but you should definitely give Dracula X Chronicles a try.
But we're getting a bit sidetracked now. There are tons of other 3rd-party games exclusive to each console. The DS has Sonic Colors, Lego Battles(It's a DS exclusive.), The Professor Layton games, Dragon Quest IX, Drawn to Life, Scribblenauts, The Mega Man Star Force Trilogy(as mentioned earlier), and Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?(Yes, that's the name of the game. don't believe me?!_Why%27d_You_Steal_Our_Garbage%3F! there you go.)
The PSP has Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, Capcom Classics Collection Reloaded, Final Fantasy IV, Gradius Collection, Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Lumines, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, Persona 2, and others.
Despite me leaning on the side of the PSP, both systems have incredible games. It's impossible to say which one has the overall better pick of the crop, so I'm leaving this question in the air.
Winner: Both!
So, after a month of typing this article on my too-cool-fo'-school Windows 8, which one do I think is better?
It just depends on who you are.
If you're a casual gamer and you just want some pick-up-and-play AAA titles and you care about *cough* *cough* internet, then you should go for the DS. If you're a multi tasker and you want a full gaming experience at the cost of fragility, you're top choice is PlayStation's very own PSP.
Me? I prefer the PSP, but these two systems are overall fairly matched. We may still be arguing about this 20 years from now, but who cares? Gaming is about having fun, and that's all it should be.
This is GadgetJax, signing out. *click*

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Why you should care about A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

What's your favorite version of A Christmas Carol?  Some have such beautiful illustrations!

Yesterday's teen book discussion was on this book and we talked about everything from life in the mid 1800's to dreams!!  The story really lends itself to many topics of discussion!  Thanks to all the teens who attended!

On Thursday, December 19 we're going to watch the movie followed by some improv....always a fun activity!!! 

If you want to join in the fun give us a call @ 838-2394, or register on the library calendar

Part 4 - Nintendo vs. PSP

Both consoles have gorgeous looking graphics. Done. However, the PSP trumps the DS in two ways:
1: The PSP, as stated, has quadruple the amount of bits in it's graphics card.
2: The PSP has a 16:9 screen ratio, and is larger and smoother than the DS, meaning graphics can be seen at a higher quality that the of the DS. So, even if the PSP and DS could output the same quality graphics, it would still look better on a PSP. Here's a photo example of the differences between the DS and PSP versions of Lego Batman:

Winner: PSP

Game Suspension:
Ohhhh, boy. I bet you loyal readers don't even KNOW what this means! Game Suspension is a method of pausing a game via the system itself.
I'm going to explain this in the easiest way possible. Once you turn a DS off, it's off. Turn it on again, and you'll be taken to the DS Start-Up menu. However, if you close the system by folding it, the game will pause itself. When you open your DS again, you'll be right back where you left off.
The PSP's method of Game Suspension is a bit different. when you turn the PSP of, it goes into Suspension mode. When you turn it on again, it takes you right back to your game automatically. To shut off the PSP permanently, you have to to Power Switch for about 10 seconds.
The PSP method is a bit better than the DS. You see, in order to keep the system in standby mode, the system has to use a bit of battery life. But, overall, it really is a close call.
Winner: Tie

Online Compatibility:
Both systems have a variety of game that are internet-compatible, but, I'm afraid there's no contest here. First of all, in addition to being able to play games online, the PSP has several applications built-in that make use of internet compatibility, such as a Google search engine, a radio, and more. The DS doesn't have a search engine, so you can't check your e-mail to see if Strong Bad wrote you back yet about your poor spelling.
But the one thing that makes me give this round to the PSP, THE ONE THING...
Is actually getting the DS and the PSP to connect to the internet in the first place.
You see, the DS can't run all internet providers, and sometimes refuses to connect, just because of the smallest changes in the connection encoding. In 2008, my DS was able to connect online perfectly. In (sometime around)2009, my DS couldn't connect to my homes hotspot anymore. It wasn't just my DS. my brothers, Luke and Scott, couldn't connect, either.(It works now, fortunately.) Also, some hotspots require you to go on a special website in order to connect. What's the problem with that? THE DS HAS NO INTERNET BROWSER FUNCTION!!!
I know I shouldn't be so mean to Nintendo, but this is just lazy! Fortunately, they have fixed this problem- well, sort of.
You can purchase a special adapter for your computer(it plugs in via USB) that provides a simple-to-access hotspot for your DS. I don't own one, so I cannot give any sort of recommendation. Victor of this round is obvious.
Winner: PSP
Concluded in part 5

Monday, November 25, 2013

Part 3 - DS vs. PSP

Both consoles have their own unique way of storing game data. The Nintendo DS uses game cards, which can hold 128 MB of data. In addition, game cards are re-writable, meaning that game data can be saved directly on your game, rather than on the console and/or external device. The PSP uses UMD's(Universal Memory Disc), which, in short, are discs, which are used by all current-generation consoles. UMD's can hold nearly 1.8 GB of data(wow!), meaning the PSP is more ideal for developers like Square Enix, who is very popular for many RPG's, such as Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger, and Kingdom Hearts. Unfortunately, UMD's aren't re-writable, meaning game data has to be saved externally on a memory card. Also, the PSP can download games, which can be saved on the memory card. The DS cannot download games because it doesn't have enough memory on the console itself, and has no external memory input.
The DSi(this is not a typo. The I in DSi is lower-cased.), which is an advanced model of the DS, CAN download games, due to an external port for SD cards. But, since the DSi is often considered an entirely different system, we're going to pretend it doesn't exist.
Winner: PSP
Music Quality:
Both consoles have the ability to output MP3 files in games, meaning both consoles CAN(and I use that term freely) output fully orchestrated music. In addition, the PSP has a function which allows you to listen to MP3 files. I'm gonna let that statement finish itself.
Another thing to note is that the DS, due to it's 128 MB limit, couldn't have as many songs in the games soundtracks, meaning the PSP was more ideal for people who wanted a more cinematic sense of gameplay. I'm tipping my hat to the PSP this time, but, otherwise, this one was a pretty close call.
Winner: PSP
Backwards (and Cross) Compatibility:
Backwards Compatibility means a system can play games that were released on previous-generation consoles. The DS has an extra game cartridge slot for Game Boy Advance games, which is awesome. I still use my DS to play the Mega Man Battle Network hexalogy(hexalogy means 6 pieces of media related to each other. e.g. Star Wars 1-6) to this day. Since the PSP is the first in the line of Sony handhelds, there is no previous console for it to emulate.
You CAN download certain Playstation One games off of the PSN store, such as Tomb Raider, Metal Gear Solid, Tekken 2, the Spyro Trilogy, etc.
The DS wins because it can play EVERY Game Boy Advance game, as opposed to the PSP, which can only play select PS1 games. No Tetris Plus here, folks. =(
Winner: DS
Continued in part 4

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Nintendo DS vs Sony PSP part 2

In the next portion of this series of articles, I'll be looking at each individual aspect of the systems. The system that is overall better in that category gets 1 point. I won't be concluding which console is better just by looking at the scores, so if one console ends up with a higher score overall, that doesn't mean it's actually better.
The design of the console is one of the most important things to think about when comparing the console. For starters, both consoles are modeled nicely. The DS has a square-shaped feel to it. It doesn't feel bad, but in really challenging games, it can get pretty uncomfortable.
The PSP, on the other hand, is rounded on the edges, meaning it's easier to grip. While it may seem like I'm try to say the PSP is better, the PSP as a whole is very fragile. Just a couple drops could break it. also, there's nothing to cover the screen, so, unless you purchase a screen protector or some other device. But, while the DS can be uncomfortable at times to hold, it has a clam-shell design, meaning it can close itself to keep it's screen(s) clean. While the PSP may be more comfortable to hold, when you take consideration of the sturdiness of the devices, there is no competition.
The DS wins this one, hands down. There's no competition here, folks.
Winner: DS
Here's where things get complicated. As I stated earlier, the PSP is more comfortable then the DS, but, other than that, there isn't much different about them. Both systems have a control pad, four face buttons on the front of the device, two shoulder buttons on the top of the device, and a Start and Select button. Earlier models of the PSP are horrendous. The control pad is so close to the base of the device, meaning it's nearly impossible to use in side-scrolling games. Fortunately, later models of the PSP have fixed this. I would almost say that the PSP 3000 models have a better control pad than the DS, but that's just my opinion.
However, both devices have their own methods of input. The DS has two screens, and the one on the bottom is a touch screen, meaning nearly endless possibilities for game developers. The PSP doesn't have a touch screen(or a second screen, for that matter.), but there IS an analog nub on the bottom-left of the system, meaning more precise three-dimensional movement in games.
It is nice that the PSP has an additional method of directional input, but the DS touch screen has so many more possibilities.
Winner: DS
Battery Life:
This one is also pretty hard. The DS can hold about 4-6 hours of charge, while the PSP holds only 2-3 hours worth. On the other hand, the DS take about 4 hours to fully charge, while the PSP can rejuice itself in about 90 minutes. This is a really tough one to give a proper comparison, so I'll leave this at a draw.
Winner: Tie
To be continued in part 3.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Holiday Mail for Heroes - Supporting our Military

Thanks to everyone who came to the library last week and created some beautiful and interesting cards, filled with love, for our service men, women, and veterans.  This was done in conjunction the the American Red Cross Program "Holiday Mail for Heroes".  We are sending about 50 cards!

If you are interested in sending cards, the mail deadline is December 6th.  Contact Susan at the library for details or go to

We had a wonderful time making the cards and send our best to our troops and veterans!!

Nintendo DS vs. Sony Play Station Portable

Here's a look at the gaming industry via a famous system rivalry written by GadgetJax!!
The Video game industry is always trying to take one step ahead of the competition by releasing new Game Consoles to combat already-released consoles.
This has happened MANY times. THe whole purpose of the Sega Genesis(Known as the Sega Mega Drive in Europe and Asia)in 1989 was to rival the NES(Famicom in Japan), and it did. It was superior in pretty much every way to Nintendo's current consoles, well, until 1991, when the Super NES (Super Famicom in Japan) was released.
The Genesis and the Super NES had one of the most serious rivalries in gaming history(as of 11/4/2013, PS4 and XBox One may outrival it) and is still talked about and compared by fans to this day.
But I'm Not talking about that today, that's for another article.
Today, I'll be discussing another frequently talked about rivalry, The Nintendo DS and the Sony PlayStationPortable. Both console were handhelds(Meaning they didn't have to be hooked up to a TV, Moniter, etc.), and both were released in 2004(well, in Japan, at least. It took a year for the PSP to reach America.).
The DS was released on November 21 in America, and December 2 in Japan. On the other hand, The Sony PSP was released on December 12, 2004 in Japan, and March 24, 2005. Obviously, this gave the Nintendo DS more time to get acquainted with gamers.
Both systems also had a large number of launch titles available, meaning players wouldn't have to wait long for any blockbuster titles to come out for either system.
The following games were launch titles for their respective systems.

Nintendo DS:
Asphalt Urban GT
Feel the Magic: XY/XX
Madden NFL 2005
Ping Pals
Ridge Racer DS
Spider-Man 2
Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt
Super Mario 64 DS
The Urbz: Sims in the City
Tiger Woods PGA Tour

Ape Escape: On the Loose
Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower
Dynasty Warriors
Gretzky NHL
Metal Gear Acid 
Need for Speed: Underground Rivals
NFL Street 2 Unleashed
Ridge Racer
Spider-Man 2
Tiger Woods PGA Tour
Tony Hawk's Underground 2 Remix
Twisted Metal: Head-On 
Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade
Wipeout Pure
World Tour Soccer

Overall, it seems that both systems had their fair share of launch titles, but launch games don't make the console. Which console sold better?
The Nintendo DS. Hands down.
The DS, as of now, has sold 153.96 million systems. While the PSP only sold 76.3 million. However, we're not comparing which console sold better, but which console is the overall better choice.
So, which one is it?
To be continued in Part 2


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Case of the Cricket

Talk about warm weather in November.....while making holiday cards for our service members, (more on that to come), guess who we found!

And don't worry, Highland staff...the cricket wasn't dumped in the bookdrop!!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Party - Mu ha ha ha ha!!!

The Teen Advisory Board hosted a Halloween party last Saturday for school age kids!  We didn't know if five would show up or if 25 would!  Turns out over 50 attended the party! That didn't include parents who stayed... We had a blast, with all sort of good food...cupcakes, chips, and of course, candy!  These are pictures of the teens preparing for the excitement!!  Missing is Lily, who arrived just on time in a beautiful steam punk costume!  David was there, but escaped having his picture taken...hmmm......! Now that I think of it, Morgan is missing too...she was busy being Zombie bouncer!!

Kids competed for candy by playing all sorts of games including Coffin Bean Bag, Ghost Bowling, fishing for spiders, Ghost Buckets and Witches Pitch!  We listened to a scary story about a dead man and were able to feel his dead brain, heart, hair and more!

Miranda entertained with face painting and everyone took a walk around the library to show off their really awesome costumes!  We were impressed with how great the kids looked!

One highlight for me was a short skit the teens wrote.  It was about the disappearance of Morgan and who the culprit was!  It was interactive, so the kids could help decide on the guilty person !

Then we popped fifty balloons and the person who popped the most by sitting on the balloon was the winner!  We did scare one little girl and felt bad, but otherwise the balloon popping was weirdly fun!!!

Thanks to all for attending and to the teens for their good work!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

GadgetJax reviews Ashfall

GadgetJax Reviews: Ashfall
Horror/Survival books are some of the most popular books in the market, some could even say that they OWN the shelves. But, how do make a book about survival and make it stand out from the rest? Add Zombies? And Monsters? How about neither? That's exactly what Ashfall does. It makes you feel a rush of adrenaline on every page, without having to make use of cliche parts of nearly every survival book to date, though that doesn't mean it's without it's faults.

Let's start with the plot. Alex is a normal, average boy who likes to spend time alone in his room playing MMORPG's on computer. When his family goes on a trip to see relatives, he stays behind, because, what could possibly go wrong?


A super-volcano under Yellowstone Park erupts, turning the lively USA into a barren wasteland, and Alex must travel 200+ miles to find his family. The story is very well written, and not very often would I find a part in the book that didn't make sense, though there are many spots in the book that drag on for too long, which may tempt even the most persistent reader to skip a chapter (or 2).
But if there was one aspect of Ashfall that just takes the cake, it's the fact that everything in this book could happen in real life, there is not a single moment in the book where something impossible occurs. not one. It makes for one of the most realistic survival books i've ever read.
+ Stands out from the crowd
+ Loveable characters
+ A realistic experience
- Moves at a Sloth's pace

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Hovercraft moved!!!

Yes, we were able to make the fan work and although we didn't make the finished product, the fan worked and the base (a paper plate) moved on its own! Here are some pictures from our fun "maker" evening!

Thanks to everyone who attended!!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Big Week Coming Up!!!

October 13 - 19 is Teen Read Week and the theme is "Seek the Unknown @ your library". The library will have a display of some popular award winning Young Adult books.  We'll have bookmarks to hand out.

Mark your calendars as well for Monday, October 14 - More "Break it to Make it"...We are trying to create a moving hovercraft from computer parts.

Jewelry and other useful items will be crafted as well.  Bring safety glasses of you have them!
See you here at the Highland Library at 6:30PM.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Conversation Station - Wimpy Kid 8 - Hard Luck Review

Conversation Station - Wimpy Kid 8Product Details

Ever since 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days', it's been pretty much a tradition for a Wimpy Kid book to be released once a year, around november. And this year, it's no different.
Jeff Kinney has announced that Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck will be released in-stores on November 5th, 2013. The official website teaser goes as follows:

'Greg Heffley’s on a losing streak. His best friend, Rowley Jefferson, has ditched him, and finding new friends in middle school is proving to be a tough task. To change his fortunes, Greg decides to take a leap of faith and turn his decisions over to chance. Will a roll of the dice turn things around, or is Greg’s life destined to be just another hard-luck story?'

You can check out the website here:

This got me thinking; 'will Hard Luck be worth the read? Rowley has ditched Greg (and vice versa) at least 5 times now, and if the story is merely a rerun of what Kinney has previously written, then no thanks. I'd much rather read AshenWinter. It still sounds promising, but I feel that Hard Luck won't as good as the previous books.

What would YOU like to see in Wimpy Kid 8? Leave your comments below.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Thinking Halloween!!!!

Highland teens met last Thursday night to plan the games for our upcoming Halloween party!
We had so much fun!! 
The party will be Saturday, October 26 from 2-4 PM.  All kids Kindergarten and up are invited!  Watch for more details and be prepared for a spooky, fun time!!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Book Review from Lily - The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in our Stars

Review by Lily Wall

Sixteen year old hazel has a life changing diagnosis. She has had terminal cancer since she was thirteen. Her parents have been making her go to a therapy group ever since they decided she was depressed, because of her cancer. She knows depression is a side effect of dying though. She has a terrible time breathing, and has an oxygen tank. One day her friend Issac brings his friend named Augustus to the meeting and though she is weary, they become close friends and later even closer than friends.

This book covers the aspects of tragedy, frustration, and even though its gross, mushy gushy love. The fault in our stars is full of humor and sarcasm though, filling it with happy moments amongst the tragedy of it all. Throughout the entire book Hazel is straight forward about everything in life, never once does she lie to herself. She never even feels scared of dying, but she hates the idea of hurting the people she loves. Why Hazel is so easy for readers to connect with is because everyone fears how the world will continue on without them. “The marks we leave are so often scars”- The Fault in our Stars - John Green, this phrase rings true. In the book this is a common topic. Sometimes people want to mean something so much, yet when they die all they leave are scars.

This book is very straight forward and truthful. It is about the book savvy Hazel’s journey through life and how she copes with all the struggles put in her path.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Here is our Banned Books Display

Thanks to Lily, Zack, and David for the display!!  These books are available for check out.  It was pretty interesting to see the reasons the books were challenged or banned.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Discover what you're missing! Banned Books!

From September 22-28 libraries across the country celebrate Banned Books Week.  The celebration is about the freedom we have to read; to look for any information we want;  and to express our ideas.  This week celebrates freedom from censorship.

This celebration is sponsored by the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom.  You can reach them at

Highland's teens will be stopping in after school to help arrange a Banned Book display. Stop in and check it out!!

MVM's Book Review for Clock Work Angel

The Clock Work Angel by Cassandra Clare.

I thought this book was very intense. It is a new series of books called The Infernal Devices. In Book 1, the story starts in America and moves on to England where Tessa Gray, encounters many scary and unforgettable characters. Memories are formed - such as when her brother goes missing and she them becomes a captive of the dark sisters.

Tessa is a downworld person, and she discovered that she has the power to shape shift into living or dead people. Downworlds are vampires, shape shifters, werewolves, fairies and such. Three of my favorite characters are Tessa, Will, and James. Tessa is the main character and she is brave and confident because whe is willing to risk her life for her friends and family. She is overwhelmed with her new powers because they can be dangerous to people she cares about.

Although this book is fiction, it would be totally creepy if it was real! The pain and suffering that the characters encounter is scary and awesome at the same time. I highly suggest you read this book if you are not easily scared. Getting to know so many cool characters really motivated me to read more!
MVM - Highland Teen Advisory Board

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thursday, September 12, 2013

We need to break more computers!

If you're free Monday night around 6:30 and want to help take apart computers, stop in the library.  We'll be hanging out in the children's room. 
The parts will be used another night to make some good projects that you can take home and use.
We'll provide you some good food to snack on as well.....

The Fault in Our Stars

Good news! John Green's book The Fault in Our Stars, is being made into a movie which is expected to be released next yer.  This is a great book to read, sad but very uplifting!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Highland Library has a teen book club, and you're invited to join.  We meet the first Wednesday of each month at 3:45 PM, so that means tomorrow! It lasts an hour....Don't worry, you didn't have to read a book this time.  We're going to try a version of "speed dating" -- only with books!  It's going to be interesting to see what appeals to us about some books and makes us pass on others!  Snacks are provided!!