All posts by Sara Dempster

Check out our NEW Virtual Storytime Offerings!

We may not be able to gather together inside the library, but we’re still gathering virtually, and we’d love to see you! Join us online from the comfort of your home to read, sing, and move along with a librarian on Facebook and Zoom! Facebook Live Storytime videos will be available for a full day after the live broadcast.

April -May 2020 Virtual Storytime Schedule

Facebook Live Storytime with Deborah

Mondays & Fridays at 11 AM

A lively time of sharing rhymes, songs, and a few books!

Facebook Live Sing-Along with Sara

Wednesdays at 11 AM

A morning of movement and song for the whole family! Enjoy favorite tunes and discover new songs you will love in English and a variety of world languages.

Facebook Live PJ Storytime with Marty

Thursdays at 7 PM

Put on your PJs and grab your dinner or a bedtime snack and join Marty for an evening of stories and songs!
Zoom Baby Storytime with Deborah

Fridays at 9:30 AM – Registration Required

Join Deborah and fellow new parents on Zoom for a wonderful introduction to early literacy. Caregivers share parenting experiences with one another and bond with their babies through lap bounces, nursery rhymes, songs, and board books.

Make sure that if you’re going to participate your phone or computer’s microphone and camera are enabled. We will send you the link to the Zoom meeting space before the program at the email address that you provide at registration.

Facebook Live Dads & Donuts Storytime with Amy

Saturday, May 9th at 11 AM

Bring your own donuts to your computer as we do Dads and Donuts on Facebook Live! A storytime especially for dads and children ages 2 and up. Moms and other caregivers are always welcome.

We can’t wait to see you at storytime! And while you’re waiting, check out The Big List of Children’s Authors Doing Online Read-Alouds & Activities. Read along with authors like Mac Barnett and Dan Gutman, draw along with Mo Willems and Jarrett Krosoczka, sing along with James Dean, and more!

Awesome YA Webcomics You Can Binge Read Today!

Are you running out of reading material while you can’t get to the library? Is everything you want to read on OverDrive checked out? Don’t worry! We’ve got your back with some of our favorite webcomic recommendations for teens. Check these out by visiting their websites linked below!


Agents of the Realm — Mildred Louis Agents of the Realm, by Mildred Louis

Shortly after starting their first year at Silvermount University, five young women discover they’ve each been chosen to protect our world and a newly discovered sister dimension. Volume 1 begins at the start of their first year of college as they learn about this new responsibility and try to find out exactly what’s going on. Join Norah, Adele, Kendall, Paige, and Jordan as they navigate the complexities of college and discover that they have more strength than they’ve ever imagine. (Recommended for grades 9+) As the Crow Flies (9781945820069): Gillman, Melanie: Books As the Crow Flies, by Melanie Gillman

A story about Charlie—a queer, Black 13 year old girl who finds herself stranded in a dangerous place: an all-white Christian youth backpacking camp. The graphic novel version of this webcomic was published in 2017 by Iron Circus Comics, and was named a Stonewall Honor Book by the American Library Association in 2018. (Recommended for grades 6+)

240 Free Avas Demon music playlists | 8tracks radio Ava’s Demon, by Michelle Czajkowski

Follow Ava Ire, a young girl tormented by a demon who seems to be determined to ruin her life. However, the demon has much more history than Ava thinks. (Recommended for grades 8+)

Breaking Cat News: Cats Reporting on the News that Matters to Cats ... Breaking Cat News, by Georgia Dunn

Breaking Cat News is a webcomic drawn and written by illustrator Georgia Dunn, based on her real cats Elvis, Puck, and Lupin. Who is Georgia Dunn? What are these cats like in real life? How did they come to live with her? Is Puck missing a leg or did Georgia just forget to draw it? (Recommended for grades 5+) Check, Please! Book 1: # Hockey (9781250177957): Ukazu ... Check Please, by Ngozi Ukazu

Eric Bittle—former Georgia junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and amateur pâtissier—is starting his freshman year playing hockey at the prestigious Samwell University in Samwell, Massachusetts. And it’s basically nothing like co-ed club hockey back in the South. For one? There’s checking. It’s a story about hockey and friendship and bros and trying to find yourself during the best 4 years of your life. (Recommended for grades 9+)

Cucumber Quest: The Doughnut Kingdom: D.G., Gigi: 9781626728325 ... Cucumber Quest, by Gigi D.G.

A comic about bunny kids going on adventures and having fun. (Recommended for grades 5+)

Everblue | The Digital Ink Critique Everblue, by Michael Sexton and Ines M. Bravo

In a world of endless ocean, a young shipwright named Luna meets an odd and cheerful drifter when he crashes his flying boat on her city’s dock. When strange circumstances force Luna to leave her home, her once quiet life quickly takes a turn for the unpredictable. In an instant she is swept up in an adventure that will take her beyond the bounds of the charted world and into the Everblue, following the path of an ancient legend with the potential to change the world forever. (Recommended for grades 7+)

Gunnerkrigg Court Vol. 5: Refine - (EU) Comics by comiXology Gunnerkrigg Court, by Tom Siddell

Tells the story of Antimony Carver, a young girl who has just started attending a school at a strange and mysterious place called Gunnerkrigg Court, and the events that unfold around her as she becomes embroiled in political intrigues between Gunnerkrigg Court and the inhabitants of the Gillitie Wood, a forest outside the school. (Recommended for grades 6+)

Homestuck - Wikipedia Homestuck, by Andrew Hussie

This webcomic centers on a group of teenagers who unwittingly bring about the end of the world through the installation of a beta copy of an upcoming computer game. The comic consists of a combination of static images and instant message logs, as well as animations and games. (Recommended for grades 11+) Strong Female Protagonist eBook: Mulligan, Brennan Lee ... Strong Female Protagonist, by Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag

With superstrength and invulnerability, Alison Green used to be one of the most powerful superheroes around. Fighting crime with other teenagers under the alter ego Mega Girl was fun until an encounter with Menace, her mind reading arch enemy. He showed her evidence of a sinister conspiracy, and suddenly battling giant robots didn’t seem so important. Now Alison is going to college and trying to find ways to help the world while still getting to class on time. It’s impossible to escape the past, however, and everyone has their own idea of what it means to be a hero. (Recommended for grades 7+)

Unsounded | Webcomic Wiki | Fandom Unsounded, by Ashley Cope

Some dead men tell tales, and some little girls have tails. Daughter of the Lord of Thieves, Sette Frummagem is on a mission, and she’ll lie, cheat, and steal to make sure it’s a success (she’ll lie, cheat, and steal anyway). Condemned to aid her in her rotten endeavours is a rotten corpse who seems oddly talented with the supernatural, and oddly not laying motionless in the dirt. The road is long and no one is what they seem. Never trust a thief, and never trust anyone who won’t let you look into their eyes. (Recommended for grades 11+) The Wormworld Saga Vol. 1: The Journey Begins ... Wormworld Saga, by Daniel Lieske

A young boy finds a magic painting that transports him into another world. (Recommended for grades 5+)

April is Poetry Month!

We love poetry here at the library, and our staff have spent the month sharing some of our favorites with you! Here is Sara (and her dog Cooper), sharing some of their favorites for kids from The Pet Project: Cute and Cuddly Vicious Verses, by Lisa Wheeler. Be sure to check out the library’s Facebook Page to find more of our wonderful staff reading their favorite poems!

Were you inspired? Write a poem about your favorite animal (or anything else), and share it at our Annual All Ages Poetry Slam! Our youngest poet ever was about 5; our oldest poet spent the evening of her 90th birthday at one of our Slams!

We may not be able to gather in the library this year, but we’ll be getting together on Zoom to share our poetry and, as ever, to vote on our favorite poems read that night!

How to Participate

There will be two categories: one for written submissions, and one for poems read LIVE on Zoom! If you are interested in sending a written submission, please email your poem, its title, and your name to Sara at And if you’d like to participate in or watch the live poetry slam, be sure to sign up here! When you register, please email us with your name and the title of your poem so that we can add it to the program.

Kids’ Reading Recommendations Available Now!

Stuck inside and can’t get to the library? We’ve still got you covered! Check out these new recommendations all available on Hoopla (available by creating a free account with your library card). There are plenty of early readers featuring your favorite characters available, too–just check out the search function! And the best thing about Hoopla? No wait times! Borrow each of these titles (and more) right away.

Don’t have a library card? Chelmsford residents may sign up for a library card here!

Picture Book Recommendations

Such a Good Boy
Such a Good Boy, by Marianna Coppo

Meet Buzz the dog. He’s such a good boy. Buzz seems to have a perfect life… and a lot of very well-behaved friends. Buzz would never dream of being anything other than good. Right, Buzz? Buzz . . . ?

The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors
The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors, by Drew Daywalt

From acclaimed, bestselling creators Drew Daywalt, author of The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home, and Adam Rex, author-illustrator of Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich, comes a laugh-out-loud hilarious picture book about the epic tale of the classic game Rock, Paper, Scissors.

Stick and Stone
Stick and Stone, by Beth Ferry

When Stick rescues Stone from a prickly situation with a Pinecone, the pair becomes fast friends. But when Stick gets stuck, can Stone return the favor?

A Girl Like Me
A Girl Like Me, by Angela Johnson

Empower young readers to embrace their individuality, reject societal limitations, and follow their dreams. This inspiring picture book brings together a poem by acclaimed author Angela Johnson and Nina Crews’s distinctive photocollage illustrations to celebrate girls of color.

My Ocean Is Blue
My Ocean is Blue, by Darren Labeuf

“This is my ocean,” the young girl begins as she heads over the dunes with her mother. Then, passing the day at the seaside, she lyrically describes her ocean in simple, sensory detail. It is both “slimy” and “sandy,” “sparkly” and “dull.” It has wonderful sounds, as it “splashes and crashes and echoes and squawks.” And there are so many colors, from “rusted orange” to “polished green.” Though “mostly it’s blue.” Nothing escapes the girl’s careful observations. And at day’s end, she can’t wait to for her next trip to the beach.

A Trapezoid Is Not a Dinosaur!
A Trapezoid is Not a Dinosaur, by Suzanne Morris

Shape up, shapes! Triangle is hosting auditions for all the best shapes to be in his play. Circle, Square, and Star each get a part. But Trapezoid just doesn’t “fit in.” Is he even a shape? The others think he sounds like a type of dinosaur. Determined to show off his usefulness, Trapezoid tries to act like the other shapes, to no avail. Eventually, though, Trapezoid celebrates his own distinct shape properties in order to become part of the performance.

¡Vamos! Let's Go Eat
Vamos, Lets go Eat, by Raul the Third

Little Lobo is excited to take in a show with wrestling star El Toro in his bustling border town. After getting lunch orders from The Bull and his friends to help prepare for the event, Little Lobo takes readers on a tour of food trucks that sell his favorite foods, like quesadillas with red peppers and Mexican-Korean tacos. Peppered with easy-to-remember Latin-American Spanish vocabulary, this glorious celebration of food is sure to leave every reader hungry for lunch!

Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug
Tiny T-Rex and the Impossible Hug, by Jonathan Stutzman

Tiny T. Rex has a HUGE problem. His friend Pointy needs cheering up and only a hug will do. But with his short stature and teeny T. Rex arms, is a hug impossible? Not if Tiny has anything to say about it! Join this plucky little dinosaur in his very first adventure-a warm and funny tale that proves the best hugs come from the biggest hearts.

Mabel, a Mermaid Fable, by Rowboat Watkins

A silly read-aloud tale for kids about being yourself! Mabel isn’t like the other mermaids. Lucky isn’t like the other octopuses. But when they find each other, they discover that true friendship isn’t about how you look, and that sometimes what we are searching for is right under our noses.

A Map into the World
A Map Into the World, by Kao Kalia Yang

As the seasons change, so too does a young Hmong girl’s world. She moves into a new home with her family and encounters both birth and death. As this curious girl explores life inside her house and beyond, she collects bits of the natural world. But who are her treasures for?

3rd-4th Grade Recommendations

Hazel's Theory of Evolution
Hazel’s Theory of Evolution, by Lisa Jenn Bigelow

Hazel knows a lot about the world. That’s because when she’s not hanging with her best friend, taking care of her dog, or helping care for the goats on her family’s farm, she loves reading through dusty encyclopedias.
But even Hazel doesn’t have answers for the questions awaiting her as she enters eighth grade. What if no one at her new school gets her, and she doesn’t make any friends? What’s going to happen to one of her moms, who’s pregnant again after having two miscarriages? Why does everything have to change when life was already perfectly fine?
As Hazel struggles to cope, she’ll come to realize that sometimes you have to look within yourself-instead of the pages of a book-to find the answer to life’s most important questions.

Efren Divided
Efrén Divided, by Ernesto Cisneros

Efrén Nava’s Amá is his Superwoman-or Soperwoman, named after the delicious Mexican sopes his mother often prepares. Both Amá and Apá work hard all day to provide for the family, making sure Efrén and his younger siblings Max and Mía feel safe and loved. But Efrén worries about his parents; although he’s American-born, his parents are undocumented. His worst nightmare comes true one day when Amá doesn’t return from work and is deported across the border to Tijuana, México.

title Zoe and Sassafras (Series), by Asia Citro

With magical animals, science, mystery, and adventure–Zoey and Sassafras has something for everyone!

Kitty and the Moonlight Rescue
Kitty (Series), by Paula Harrison

Kitty is special. Her mother is a superhero with catlike powers that Kitty and her little brother Max will someday inherit. But being a superhero involves going on daring adventures at night, and Kitty doesn’t know if she’ll ever be brave enough for that! One night though, Kitty finds a sleek black cat with white paws waiting at her window. When he introduces himself, Kitty is shocked to realize she can understand him-her powers have arrived!

The Best at It
The Best at It, by Maulik Pancholy

Rahul Kapoor is heading into seventh grade in a small town in Indiana. The start of middle school is making him feel increasingly anxious, so his favorite person in the whole world, his grandfather, Bhai, gives him some well-meaning advice: Find one thing you’re really good at and become the BEST at it. Those four little words sear themselves into Rahul’s brain. While he’s not quite sure what that special thing is, he is convinced that once he finds it, bullies like Brent Mason will stop torturing him at school. And he won’t be worried about staring too long at his classmate Justin Emery. With his best friend, Chelsea, by his side, Rahul is ready to crush this challenge…. But what if he discovers he isn’t the best at anything?

Willa and the Whale
Willa and the Whale

When her mother dies, twelve-year-old Willa feels lost and alone except when she connects with things her mom loved about the wonders of the ocean as a marine biologist. While on a whale-watching excursion with her dad, who is trying to cheer her up after Willa is sent to live with him and his new family, Willa is alone on one side of the boat when she sees a humpback whale. Her awe and wonderment about this massive and beautiful creature turns to shock when the whale communicates with her, introducing herself as Meg and exchanging small talk. Willa asks if they can talk again, and Meg tells her that if she goes to the edge of the shore and calls out to her, she’ll reply.

The Dragon Egg Princess
The Dragon Egg Princess, by Ellen Oh

Jiho comes from a long line of forest rangers who protect the Kidahara-an ancient and mysterious wood that is home to powerful supernatural creatures. But Jiho wants nothing to do with the dangerous forest. Five years ago, his father walked into the Kidahara and disappeared. Just like the young Princess Koko, the only daughter of the kingdom’s royal family. Jiho knows better than anyone else the horrors that live deep in the magical forest and how those who go in never come back. Now the forest is in danger from foreign forces that want to destroy it, and a long-forgotten evil that’s been lurking deep in the Kidahara for centuries finally begins to awaken.

Starfell #1: Willow Moss & the Lost Day
Willow Moss and the Lost Day, by Dominique Valente

Willow Moss’s small magic has always seemed unremarkable. But when the most feared witch in the land of Starfell appears on the Moss family’s doorstep looking for help, it’s not Willow’s talented sisters she seeks, it’s Willow. Because Willow is a finder of lost things-and Moreg Vaine says that last Tuesday has gone missing. Willow and Moreg set out on a perilous journey across the wilds of Starfell, looking for what they’ve lost. If they don’t discover what happened to the missing day, the repercussions could be devastating for the entire kingdom. Can Willow find the day to save the day?

High and Dry High and Dry, by Eric Walters

Dylan lives on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest with his parents, but when they have to go to the mainland, his grandfather weathers a storm to come spend time with him. Grandpa’s brought Dylan a number of gifts, and one comes in handy the next day while they are exploring the coast. In fact, this gift leads the duo to a dangerous discovery: a young orca got stuck on the rocks during the storm. Racing against the sun and the heat, Dylan and Grandpa need to work together to figure out how to save the calf while his pod circles nearby.

Find Your Voice: Enter the All-Ages Poetry Slam!

Stuck inside the house but still feeling inspired? Write or share an original poem at the library’s annual poetry slam! Everyone is welcome, no matter your age. Our youngest poet was about 5; our oldest poet spent the evening of her 90th birthday at one of our Slams!

We may not be able to gather in the library this year, but we’ll be getting together on Zoom to share our poetry and, as ever, to vote on our favorite poems read that night!


How to Participate

There will be two categories: one for written submissions, and one for poems read LIVE on Zoom! If you are interested in sending a written submission, please email your poem, its title, and your name to Sara at And if you’d like to participate in or watch the live poetry slam, be sure to sign up here! When you register, please email us with your name and the title of your poem so that we can add it to the program.



New and Recommended YA Reads (Accessible on Hoopla!)

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve been able to go to the library, and if you’re anything like us, you might have already sped through all your books while you’re at home! Well, here are some ebooks that were released within the last year that we’re excited to recommend–and they’re all available on Hoopla!

You can access books on Hoopla by visiting the webpage and creating a free account using your library card number. You can read books (and access audiobooks, tv shows, movies, and music) on your computer or from the Hoopla app on your mobile device. Every month, you have up to 15 downloads available.

And best of all, using Hoopla means NO WAITING! You can read (or watch, or listen to) anything you find on Hoopla right away. So check out these books and use Hoopla to download them instantly! (Please scroll down for high school recommendations.)

Recommended for Middle School

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe (Sal and Gabi, #1)
Sal and Gabi Break the Universe, by Carlos Hernandez

In order to heal after his mother’s death, thirteen-year-old Sal learns to reach into time and space to retrieve things–and people–from other universes. But when Sal Vidon meets Gabi Real for the first time, it isn’t under the best of circumstances. Sal is in the principal’s office for the third time in three days, and it’s still the first week of school. Gabi, student council president and editor of the school paper, is there to support her friend Yasmany, who just picked a fight with Sal. She is determined to prove that somehow, Sal planted a raw chicken in Yasmany’s locker, even though nobody saw him do it.

Redwood and Ponytail
Redwood and Ponytail, by K.A. Holt

Told in verse in two voices, with a chorus of fellow students, this is a story of two girls, opposites in many ways, who are drawn to each other; Kate appears to be a stereotypical cheerleader with a sleek ponytail and a perfectly polished persona, Tam is tall, athletic and frequently mistaken for a boy, but their deepening friendship inevitably changes and reveals them in ways they did not anticipate.

Cover image for Dragon Pearl
Dragon Pearl, by Yoon Ha Lee

Min, a thirteen-year-old girl with fox-magic, stows away on a battle cruiser and impersonates a cadet in order to solve the mystery of what happened to her older brother in the Thousand World Space Forces.

Cover image for From the desk of Zoe Washington
From the Desk of Zoe Washington, by Janae Marks

Avid baker Zoe Washington receives a letter on her twelfth birthday from her biological father, who is in prison for a terrible crime.

Cover image for Tristan Strong punches a hole in the sky
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, by Kwame Mbalia

Seventh-grader Tristan Strong feels anything but strong ever since he failed to save his best friend when they were in a bus accident together. All he has left of Eddie is the journal his friend wrote stories in. Tristan is dreading the month he’s going to spend on his grandparents’ farm. But on his first night there, a sticky creature shows up and steals Eddie’s notebook. Tristan chases after it, and a tug-of-war ensues between them underneath a Bottle Tree. In a last attempt to get it away from the creature, Tristan punches the tree, accidentally ripping open a chasm into the MidPass, a volatile place with a burning sea, haunted bone ships, and iron monsters.

Cover image for Dear Sweet Pea
Dear Sweet Pea, by Julie Murphy

Thirteen-year-old Patricia, widely known as Sweet Pea, navigates her parents’ unconventional divorce and finds herself in the unlikely role of her town’s advice columnist

Cover image for Pax
Pax, by Sara Pennypacker

Pax and Peter have been inseparable ever since Peter rescued him as a kit. But one day the unimaginable happens: Peter’s dad enlists in the military and makes him return the fox to the wild. At his grandfather’s house three hundred miles away from home, Peter knows he isn’t where he should be-with Pax. He strikes out on his own despite the encroaching war, spurred by love, loyalty, and grief, to be reunited with his fox. Meanwhile Pax, steadfastly waiting for his boy, embarks on adventures and discoveries of his own.

Cover image for Race to the sun
Race to the Sun, by Rebecca Roanhorse

Nizhoni Begay has been able to detect monsters, like that man in the fancy suit who was in the bleachers at her basketball game. Turns out he’s Mr. Charles, her dad’s new boss at the oil and gas company, and he’s alarmingly interested in Nizhoni and her brother, Mac, their Navajo heritage, and the legend of the Hero Twins. Nizhoni knows he’s a threat, but her father won’t believe her. When Dad disappears the next day, leaving behind a message that says “Run!”, the siblings and Nizhoni’s best friend, Davery, are thrust into a rescue mission.

Cover image for Cog
Cog, by Greg Van Eekhout

After an accident leaves him damaged and separated from his scientist caregiver, a young android recruits four robot accomplices and embarks on a cross-country road trip to reunite with her.

Cover image for Other words for home
Other Words for Home, by Jasmine Warga

Jude never thought she’d be leaving her beloved older brother and father behind, all the way across the ocean in Syria. But when things in her home-town start becoming volatile, Jude and her mother are sent to live in Cincinnati with relatives. At first, everything in America seems too fast and too loud. The American movies Jude has always loved haven’t quite prepared her for starting school in the US — and her new label of “Middle Eastern,” an identity she’s never known before. But this life also brings unexpected surprises–there are new friends, a whole new family, and a school musical that Jude just might try out for. Maybe America, too, is a place where Jude can be seen as she really is.

Recommended for High School

Cover image for With the fire on high
With the Fire on High, by Elizabeth Acevedo

Ever since she got pregnant in her freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making tough decisions. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen. Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it’s impossible. Yet once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free.

Cover image for The beckoning shadow
The Beckoning Shadow, by Katharyn Blair

Terrified of her magical power after a horrifying incident resulting from her lack of control, teenage runaway, Vesper Montgomery, enters a dangerous tournament for a chance to rewrite the past and reverse the mistakes that have changed her forever.

Cover image for Let me hear a rhyme
Let me Hear a Rhyme, by Tiffany Jackson

When a young black teen is murdered, his two best friends decide to keep his memory alive by promoting his music–rhymes that could turn any hangout into a party–with the help of his younger sister, Jasmine, who is out for justice. As the buzz builds, it forces Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine, to each confront the death in their own ways.

Cover image for Reverie
Reverie, by Ryan La Sala

While recovering from an attack that leaves him without his memory, gay teenager Kane Montgomery stumbles into a world where dreams known as reveries take on a life of their own, and it is up to Kane and a few unlikely allies to stop them before they spillover into the waking world.

Cover image for Loki :
Loki: Where Mischief Lies, by Mackenzi Lee

When Loki and Amora cause the destruction of one of Asgard’s most prized possessions, Amora is banished to Earth, where her powers will slowly and excruciatingly fade to nothing. She was the only person who ever looked at Loki’s magic as a gift instead of a threat; without her, he slips further into anguish and the shadow of his universally adored brother, Thor. When Asgardian magic is detected in relation to a string of murders on Earth, Odin sends Loki to investigate. His journey in nineteenth-century London leads to more than just a murder suspect–it puts Loki on a path to discover the source of his power–and who he’s meant to be.

Cover image for Tigers, not daughters
Tigers, Not Daughters, by Samantha Mabry

The Torres sisters dream of escape. Escape from their needy and despotic widowed father, and from their San Antonio neighborhood, full of old San Antonio families and all the traditions and expectations that go along with them. In the summer after her senior year of high school, Ana, the oldest sister, falls to her death from her bedroom window. A year later, her three younger sisters, Jessica, Iridian, and Rosa, are still consumed by grief and haunted by their sister’s memory. Their dream of leaving Southtown now seems out of reach. But then strange things start happening around the house.

Cover image for Out of Salem
Out of Salem, by Hal Schrieve

Genderqueer fourteen-year-old Z Chilworth has to adjust quickly to their new status as a zombie after waking from death from a car crash that killed their parents and sisters. Always a talented witch, Z now can barely perform magic and is rapidly decaying. Faced with rejection from their remaining family members and old friends, Z moves in with Mrs. Dunnigan, an elderly witch and befriends Aysel, a loud would-be-goth classmate who is, like Z, a loner. As Z struggles to find a way to repair the broken magical seal holding their body together, Aysel fears that her classmates will discover her status as an unregistered werewolf.

Cover image for The exact opposite of okay
The Exact Opposite of Okay, by Laura Steven

Eighteen-year-old Izzy O’Neill knows exactly who she is–a loyal friend, an aspiring comedian, and a person who believes that milk shakes and Reese’s peanut butter cups are major food groups. But after she’s caught in a compromising position with the son of a politician, it seems like everyone around her is eager to give her a new label. Izzy is certain that the whole thing will blow over and she can get back to worrying about how she doesn’t reciprocate her best friend Danny’s feelings for her and wondering how she is ever going to find a way out of their small town. Only it doesn’t.

Cover image for Ordinary girls
Ordinary Girls, by Blair Thornburgh

In this retelling of Sense and Sensibility, fifteen-year-old Plum and her older sister Ginny find their relationship tested by family finances, personality differences, and the secrets they are keeping from each other.

Cover image for How to be Remy Cameron :
How to Be Remy Cameron, by Julian Winters

Everyone on campus knows Remy Cameron: he’s the out-and-proud, super-likable guy who friends, faculty, and fellow students alike admire for his cheerful confidence. Under pressure to write an A+ essay defining who he is and who he wants to be, Remy embarks on an emotional journey toward reconciling the outward labels people attach to him with the real Remy Cameron within.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

Are you ready to go on a bear hunt?

Chelmsford residents are displaying bears in their windows all over town! Hunt for them with your family in a car or on foot–and don’t forget to give your teddy their moment to shine, too. And, of course, see if you can spot the library teddy waving hello from our windows!

Zoom in on our town on the Google map below to see where our community is displaying bears, and don’t forget to add your own, too!



Our Favorite Podcasts You’ll Actually Want to Listen To

Are you dying for something new to do while stuck at home? Try a podcast! You can find the podcasts below on their official websites (linked below), Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other mobile podcast apps.

The Adventure Zone

Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy from (also recommended) podcast My Brother, My Brother and Me have recruited their dad Clint for a campaign of high adventure. Join the McElroys as they find their fortune and slay an unconscionable number of… you know, kobolds or whatever in… The Adventure Zone.


Are you in the mood for something creepy? Spooked features true-life supernatural stories, told firsthand by people who can barely believe it happened themselves.

Stuff You Missed in History Class

Stuff You Missed in History Class is a bi-weekly podcast that brings you the best (and weirdest) stuff you might never have learned about! From poison control to pandemics, you’re sure to learn something interesting from every episode. Try searching the archives for topics that interest you to learn something new!

Welcome to Night Vale

Welcome to Night Vale is a twice-monthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events.

Who Would Win?

Get ready to put on your thinking caps and use your imagination as hosts James Gavsie and Ray Stakenas avoid actually fighting with each other, while debating the strengths and abilities of their chosen weekly champions. Each week there is a different set of combatants and new guest judge, usually coming from somewhere in the comic book community.

Join us on Facebook for Virtual Storytimes!

We may not be able to gather together inside the library, but we’re still gathering virtually, and we’d love to see you! Join us online from the comfort of your home to read, sing, and move along with a librarian on Facebook! Storytimes will be available for a full day after the live broadcast.

April 2020 Virtual Storytime Schedule

Storytime with Deborah

Mondays & Fridays @ 11 AM

A lively time of sharing rhymes, songs, and a few books!

Merrily we Sing Along

Wednesdays @ 11 AM

A morning of movement and song for the whole family! Enjoy favorite tunes and discover new songs you will love in English and a variety of world languages.

Dads & Donuts Storytime

Saturday, April 11 @ 11 AM

Bring your own donuts to your computer as we do Dads and Donuts on Facebook Live! A storytime especially for dads and children ages 2 and up. Moms and other caregivers are always welcome.

We can’t wait to see you at storytime! And while you’re waiting, check out The Big List of Children’s Authors Doing Online Read-Alouds & Activities. Read along with authors like Mac Barnett and Dan Gutman, draw along with Mo Willems and Jarrett Krosoczka, sing along with James Dean, and more!

Reunited and it Feels So Good!

The librarians had so much fun taking care of everyone’s stuffed animals at the Stuffed Animal Sleepover! Thanks for entrusting your friends to us for two whole days. They had tons of fun while they were at the library–and tons of wild adventures, too! But we’re sure they’re happy to be back with the kids who love them the most.

Check out all the fun they had at the library in this slideshow. Feel free to save the photos for yourself to preserve the memories of all your stuffed animal’s adventures, and we look forward to seeing you at next year’s sleepover!

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