Teen Events

Build A Better Website: Submit your work to the Teen Art Contest this Summer!

Looking for a way to build your portfolio? Help us Build a Better Website this summer by creating original artwork for hcplteenscene.org! We will accept original  artwork ranging in size from 4″ x 6″ to 8.5″ x 14″. Submissions will be accepted all summer long! Click here to download contest guidelines and an entry form, and read on for more info about submitting art and prizes for contest winners – you could win a $100 Barnes and Noble gift card!

We’re looking for artwork to help us BUILD A BETTER Teen Scene website!
Create a work that captures the awesomeness of being a teen in Henrico. The winning design will be featured prominently on hcplteenscene.org.  Entries will be accepted at any Henrico County Public Library location between Thursday June 1 and Thursday, August 31, 2017 – or you may send a digital copy to teenlibrarian@henricolibrary.org

What types of artwork are eligible?
Entries should be at least 4” x 6” and no larger than 8 ½” x 14”. Entries are the property of HCPL and will not be returned.
All designs must be the original work of the entrant.
Designs should be in color. Computer-generated images may be used, but all components must be completely original. You may not use any copied images
Entries are limited to two (2) original pieces, digital art, or scanned art per student with a completed entry form attached to each; no staples please.

What are the awards?
Prizes are sponsored by the Friends of Henrico County Public Library.
First prize: $100 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
Second prize: $50 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
Honorable mention: $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card

Who can enter?
This contest is open to students in grades 6-12 (or equivalent) who are Henrico County residents, or students who hold a Henrico County Public Library card.

Are there Different Entry and Prize Categories by Age?
No. All entrants must be entering grades 6-12 (or equivalent) at the time of submission.

Books, Teen Reviews

Read + Review – Watched by Marina Budhos


Naeem is far away from being a normal teenager. Being an immigrant from Bangladesh, he has always been expected to do well in school and be a good student, but that is just not what Naeem is. He doesn’t want to be noticed by his hard-working parents or by their gossipy neighbors, but everyone knows that there are more people watching: mosques being infiltrated…Cameras on poles…Everybody knows: Be careful what you say and who you say it to, anyone might be a watcher. Naeem always thought that he could charm himself out of anything, but suddenly, all of his mistakes catch up to him and the cops offer him a dark deal. Naeem thinks that he can become a hero by doing this, like in his brother’s comic books. But what really is a hero and how can Naeem become one?

Overall, this is the first realistic fiction book that I have read in a while that I have actually liked. Naeem, the protagonist, is really relatable for me because of his personality. At one point in my life, I also thought that I could escape everything in my life and that they would never come back and haunt me. It eventually did catch up with me like it did with Naeem and I felt as though that experience was very relatable. I also liked how each and every character had a lot of depth to them and how they had multiple sides to their personalities instead of being really shallow.

The most memorable thing for me in this book were the characters. Each and everyone of them have great in-depth personalities and backgrounds that make the story much better, because backgrounds and personalities create depth to the story and help us visualize how people became what they are.


Reviewed by Aswin, Grade 7, Twin Hickory Library

Books, Teen Reviews

Read + Review – The Amateurs by Sara Shepard


Helena, the mysterious teenage sister of Aerin’s, has vanished. The police can find no leads, and as five miserable years slip away, her sister is still gone. One day, she reaches out to the internet with a fading hope of answers, and in response, Seneca, Maddox, and Brett show up at her door. The group dives into the case only to find deeper and deeper layers of secrets. On the way, they pick up a few friends who have all lost someone close to them and, like Aerin, are dying for the truth.


I found that The Amateurs was a good read and easily pulled me through to the end. The characters were deep, realistic, and well-developed, and the plot was very intricately thought out. I also found the writing style on the duller side, but the plot was so intriguing that the writing didn’t need to be too dressed up to be interesting. It could certainly turn a fantasy enthusiast into a crime novel reader. I’m glad that I gave it a chance, and I hope to read more by this author in the future.

The most memorable part of the book is the way that the characters’ pasts brought them together through striking similarities. They were a different and distant bunch, but they were able to heal with each other’s presence.


Reviewed by Leah, Grade 7, Twin Hickory Library

Books, Teen Reviews

Read + Review – The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, Young Adult Edition


World-famous museum curator Jacques Saunière has been found dead in the Louvre Museum of Paris. After taking a bullet to his stomach, he has had 15 minutes left to live. And when he died, a 2,000-year-old secret would have been lost forever. To save one of the deepest secrets of the world, he created a series of strange codes that lead to the truth.
At the same time, Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor on a trip to Paris, is having an uneventful journey until one night, the police take him to the scene of the crime. He is mystified by what he sees and gains several leads, but suddenly, he realizes that he is the main suspect. With the help of Sophie Neveu, a French cryptologist, he escapes and attempts to decipher the clues. However, he finds obstacles at every turn and everything seems to be acting against him. In the end, if Langdon cannot solve the riddle on time, the secret will be lost forever.

I found this to be a very good novel, quite different than anything I have read before. The plot is both intricate and easy to follow, and the different characters are developed very well. The twists and turns keep the audience at the edge of its seat, waiting to discover what happens at the end. The suspense is very well done, and the story gives enough information to the readers so that they can form their own ideas and see if they were correct. Although this is mostly a serious book, there was some humor which increased the quality of this read. Overall, this was an amazing tale, and I would highly recommend it to a friend.

One of the most unbelievable aspects of this book was the use of riddles and codes. The author creates a variety of riddles, puzzles, and anagrams which lead to a long and difficult quest. I was surprised at the creativity and knowledge involved in those clues, which are highly developed and make one ponder over them.


Reviewed by Shivram, Grade 9, Gayton Library

Books, Teen Reviews

Read + Review – The Fixes by Owen Matthews


Eric Connelly is the man. Or at least that’s what his dad, a powerful senator, wants him to be. Eric lives in Capilano, CA, like Hollywood and Beverly Hills, but better. Everyone here is very rich and very powerful. Everyone, except Eric. But, he’s over that. Eric’s going to change and he going to change with an explosion, literally. With his new friends, called the “Suicide Pack,” things turn from mildly insane to deadly in an instant. Matthews takes us onto the journey of our lifetime as we explore the town of Capilano.

I thought that the book was quite well written. With 365 chapters, the book is a bit over 500 pages, with lots of pages half-empty. Chapters are either two pages or less. Still, Matthews managed to put on an impressive show. The book was well constructed, and even though it seemed a bit far fetched, it was also very relatable. The plot, however, was very fast-paced and might not fit all readers. There were plenty of surprises, but there were no major loopholes or craziness. I did enjoy the book, but it was not necessarily in my comfort zone.

With this book being so unique in numerous ways, it is difficult to settle on one thing. However, what’s really different about this book is that Matthews breaks the fourth wall (which means to talk to the audience directly). This is a rare feat that Matthews pulled off wonderfully. With Matthew’s vibrant storytelling style, we get to know the main characters more personally.


Reviewed by Eric, Grade 7, Twin Hickory Library