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Favorite Stuff


Yay YA! Book Boxes

Sign up to receive a Yay YA! Book Box including two surprise YA books and an assortment of fun goodies. Keep the goodies and the box; please return the books. Email with the subject line “Yay YA! Book Box” to register. Themes change every two months.


Streaming & Downloads

Hoopla Check out movies, TV shows, music, audiobooks, and comics. Watch/listen/read on any of your devices.

Kanopy Stream documentaries, movies, and TV shows. Choose from a great collection of independent and international films.

OverDrive/Digital Library of  Illinois Check out ebooks & audiobooks and download them straight to your chromebook, laptop, phone, or tablet.


Award Lists

Read books from these lists to compete in fun team competitions, vote for your favorites and earn prizes, or just 'cause. Contact your Teen Librarians for all the details at

Abraham Lincoln Book Award Illinois High School Readers’ Choice Award. Read four books or more to participate in voting. Form a team to compete in the Lincoln Cup in February!

Read for a Lifetime Statewide reading program for Illinois high school students. Read four books to participate. Participate all four years of high school to earn a certificate from the state!

Teens Top Ten National teen choice list.

What Should I Read Next? Browse lists of recommended reads from teen librarians Donna and Rachel.


Book Websites

Book Riot The largest independent editorial book site in North America, designed around diverse readers and across all genres.

Epic Reads Teen book site from Harper Collins Publishers.

Fierce Reads Teen book site from Macmillan Publishers.

LitPick The latest in YA lit, reviewed by a community of young adults.

NOVL Teen book site from Little, Brown and Company.

Penguin Teen Young Adult site from Penguin Books.

Reading Rants Booklists for anyone who needs a good read, but are wondering if there’s life after their favorite author.

Riveted Teen book site from Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Social Justice Books The best selection of multicultural and social justice books for YA.

We Need Diverse Books Check out the movement's list of sites that offer recommendations for diverse titles.

WEBTOON Amazing free source for original comics - romance, comedy, action, fantasy, horror, and more from big names and big names to be!


Writing Communities

A03 Archive of Our Own (AO3) is a fan-created, fan-run, nonprofit, noncommercial archive for transformative fanworks, like fanfiction, fanart, fan videos, and podfic.

Get Underlined Join a community of readers and writers. Connect, share and discover new stories!

NaNoWriMo National Novel Writing Month began in 1999 as a challenge: to write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days. Now it hosts more than a million writers, serving as a social network with author profiles, personal project libraries, and writing buddies. 

Polyphony Lit A student-run, international literary magazine for high school writers and editors.

Teen Ink This teen-made website is chock full of original poetry, fiction, nonfiction, art and photography as well as book reviews.

Wattpad The world's most-loved social storytelling platform Wattpad connects a global community of 80 million readers and writers through the power of story.



Stuck in a musical rut? Try out some of these free services…

Boil the Frog Create a seamless playlist between any two artists, from Spotify.

Google Play Music Free music, tailored to your tastes Sign in with your Google account. Listen to your favorite music online, get recommendations, and discover new favorites.

Music-Map Expand your listening horizons with this music mapping website. Search for a band, and similar bands will pop up.

Pandora Listen to free Internet radio; register to create your own unique stations.

Tunefind The best source for music from TV and movies: 124,100 songs by 44,400 artists from 55,000 episodes/movies.


Make & Share

ccMixter A community music site where you can listen to, sample, mash-up and interact with music however you want. To get songs to use in your video soundtracks or just to put on your ipod, go directly to Huge collaborative database of audio snippets, samples and recordings released under Creative Commons licenses that allow their reuse.

Kompoz Join a social workspace for musicians and songwriters. Record & upload your own tracks.

SoundCloud Find the music you love. Discover new tracks. Connect directly with your favorite artists.


Music News & Reviews

Alternative Press A leader in rock music & pop culture news.

AV Club The web's smartest take on music and lots more.

All Shopping, news, podcasts and more on lifestyle & personalities.

Fuse Exclusive interviews, news and reviews.

Pitchfork Get the latest music news, reviews, and interviews.

Yo! Raps Find news, reviews, personality profiles and more on Hip-Hop and R&B.


There’s a Bathroom on the Right…Wait, Huh?

Can’t decipher all the lyrics to your favorite new song? Try one of these sites.

Rap Genius Everything is hip-hop. Read and contribute annotations to your favorite songs.

Song Lyrics Know the words and stun your friends at Karaoke.

Song Meanings Debate song lyrics and their meanings with other music fans.


Movies & TV

Viewing Suggestions

Crackle Free, hand-picked action, sci-fi, horror, crime & comedies

Crunchyroll Watch 10,000+ hours of anime, Korean drama and live-action shows.

Funimation and Viz Stream and Interact with your favorite anime shows.

Tubi The world’s largest ad-supported video on demand service with over 20,000 movies and television shows from nearly every major Hollywood studio.

What Is My Movie Get movie recommendations by searching keywords, titles, actors and more. Try zombie romance, or alien dystopia.

News & Reviews

AV Club Pop-culture news, features and interviews: the web's smartest take on TV, film, music and lots more.

Hypable Breaking entertainment news by and for fans.

The Mary Sue A Guide to Girl Geek Culture; for entertainment geeks, female or otherwise. Coverage includes movies, comics, tv/movie fandom and other cool stuff.

The Nerd Daily A platform for nerds to share their love of nerdy things - such as books, TV shows, movies, and writing - with thte world!

Variety Entertainment news & reviews galore!

Down the Rabbithole

WARNING: Once you venture onto these sites, you may have trouble finding your way out. See you on the other side…

IMDB How tall is Tom Cruise?  What year was the original Star Wars movie released?  If you have a question about movies or movie stars, chances are you’ll find an answer in the Internet Movie Database. Can you describe the plot for every single episode of The Simpsons?  This site includes just about everything you could want to know about your favorite shows.  Rate individual episodes and watch trailers, too.

TV Tropes This endlessly entertaining wiki is a catalog of devices, conventions and tricks of the trade for writing fiction. Called "TV Tropes" because it started with TV, its scope has expanded to literature, film and even games.