Teens

On the Radar: Five Books to Check Out in October

Posted on September 30th, 2016 by vkovenmatasy@private.bpl.org in Books, Previews

Get your library card handy and reserve your place in line for these new October releases! If you place a hold now, they can be in your hands before they even hit the shelf.

Please note: all summaries are taken from the Boston Public Library catalog unless otherwise noted. They may have been edited for length and clarity.

 

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Goldenhand by Garth Nix

Summary: Lirael lost one of her hands in the binding of Orannis, but now she has a new hand, one of gilded steel and Charter Magic. On a dangerous journey, Lirael returns to her childhood home, the Clayr’s Glacier, where she was once a Second Assistant Librarian. There, a young woman from the distant North brings her a message from her long-dead mother, Arielle. It is a warning about the Witch with No Face. But who is the Witch, and what is she planning? Lirael must use her new powers to save the Old Kingdom from this great danger–and it must be forestalled not only in the living world but also in the cold, remorseless river of Death.

Why We’re Excited: IT’S FINALLY HERE. The Old Kingdom series has some of the longest waits in between books I’ve ever experienced — Sabriel came out in 1995, Lirael in 2001, Abhorsen in 2003, and then series prequel Clariel (which resolved NOTHING and I’m still mad about it) in 2014, so depending on how you look at it I’ve been waiting two years to find out what on earth Clariel had to do with anything or over ten years to find out what the heck happened after Lirael saved the world and became the Abhorsen-in-Waiting. That’s a long time! Since Sabriel and Lirael were some of my favorite fantasy novels as a teen, Goldenhand has a lot to live up to, but I have faith. Either you’re already a fan of Nix (whom you may also recognize from standalones A Confusion of Princes, Newt’s Emerald, and probably the creepiest sci-fi novel I’ve ever read, Shade’s Children, as well the Keys to the Kingdom series) and have been waiting for the next installment of this series as eagerly as I have, or you get to read all five books in a row without all the lag time in between — it’s a win/win situation!

 

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The ABC’s of LGBT+: Understanding and Embracing Your Identity by Ashley Mardell

Summary: The 21st Century has seen very positive movement for LGTBQ+ rights in the last few years – the overturning of DOMA, SCOTUS ruling in favor of the Marriage Equality Act, American transgender politicians elected to office and landmark moments such as Apple becoming the most valuable company in the world under the leadership of an openly gay CEO. We are living in a post-binary world where gender fluency and awareness of how people identify is essential. Ashley Mardell, one of the most trusted voices on YouTube, presents a detailed look at all things LGBTQ+. Along with in-depth definitions, personal anecdotes, helpful infographics, resources, and more, Mardell’s book is proof it does get better every day in a world where people are empowered by information and understanding. In Mardell’s own words, “This book is also for allies and LGBTQ+ people simply looking to pack in some extra knowledge… a critical part of acceptance. Learning about new identities broadens our understanding of humanity, heightens our empathy, and allows us different, valuable perspectives.” Whether you are a questioning teen, a teacher or parent looking for advice or anyone wanting to learn the language of respect, this book is an essential guide for you.

Why We’re Excited: I was surprised but pleased to see Ashley Mardell, whom I recognized from her YouTube videos, on the cover of a book! And it’s certainly true that if we don’t want to find ourselves swimming in gender and sexual identity alphabet soup (for what it’s worth, I prefer QUILTBAG to LGBT+ as an acronym; I find it more inclusive and also easier to pronounce), we’re going to need some straight-talking guides — no pun intended — for the well-meaning but confused. I’m looking forward to seeing how this one measures up!

 

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Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz

Summary: Jasmine de los Santos has always done what’s expected of her. She’s studied hard, made her Filipino immigrant parents proud and is ready to reap the rewards in the form of a full college scholarship to the school of her dreams. And then everything shatters. Her parents are forced to reveal the truth: their visas expired years ago. Her entire family is illegal. That means no scholarships, maybe no college at all and the very real threat of deportation. As she’s trying to make sense of who she is in this new reality, her world is turned upside down again by Royce Blakely. He’s funny, caring and spontaneous–basically everything she’s been looking for at the worst possible time–and now he’s something else she may lose. Jasmine will stop at nothing to protect her relationships, family and future, all while figuring out what it means to be an immigrant in today’s society.

Why We’re Excited: Well, first of all, Melissa de la Cruz (author of the Blue Bloods, Au Pairs, and Witches of East End series, among others) has a new book out, and it’s a contemporary! Plus, it’s fantastic that de la Cruz, who is herself an immigrant who came from the Philippines to the United States as a child, has chosen to use her own personal experiences to help bring this story to life. As the United States struggles with immigration reform, books like Something in Between (you might also try Diane Guerrero’s autobiography, In the Country We Love, and Jose Antonio Vargas’s longform article for the New York Times, “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant”) are more important than ever to remind us that undocumented immigrants are not just statistics; they’re people.

 

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Tattoo Atlas by Tim Floreen

Summary: After Franklin commits a horrific crime and is sent to a special lab for rehabilitation, only Jeremy believes that Franklin might actually be better… but when crimes start up again in their small town, Jeremy begins to wonder if evil can ever truly be quelled.

Why We’re Excited: Just in time for Halloween, a deeply creepy psychological horror novel about the scientific determination of good and evil! (And also a life lesson on why you shouldn’t hook up with someone who murdered your friend even if he seems to have had a personality transplant.) There’s a new trend in horror novels that I’ve noticed lately, with Three Truths and a Lie, As I Descended, and now Tattoo Atlas, where queer characters get a chance to just be characters in a horror novel — villains, protagonists, or even victims of a deranged serial killer — instead of being defined by their sexuality. I thoroughly approve.

 

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The Way Things Work Now by David MacAulay

Summary: Explainer-in-Chief David Macaulay updates the worldwide bestseller The New Way Things Work to capture the latest developments in the technology that most impacts our lives. Famously packed with information on the inner workings of everything from windmills to Wi-Fi, this extraordinary and humorous book both guides readers through the fundamental principles of machines, and shows how the developments of the past are building the world of tomorrow. This sweepingly revised edition embraces all of the latest developments, from touchscreens to 3D printer. Each scientific principle is brilliantly explained–with the help of a charming, if rather slow-witted, woolly mammoth.

Why We’re Excited: I like knowing how things work, don’t you? I’m old enough to remember reading the original The Way Things Work (published in 1988, the year of my birth — we’re both pretty outdated now!) as a kid, although I have to confess that I still can’t explain internal combustion. (I probably should have tried rereading the book as a teenager, when I would have understood it a little better!) We’ve gotten so many new technologies since then, it only stands to reason that we’ve needed a few updates. If MacAulay can explain wifi as well as he explains levers, I might finally understand how the precious internet connection I can’t live without actually functions.

 

icon of VeronicaDid I get you interested in reading one of these books? Just click the title of the one you want and the link will take you to the relevant page in the catalog. From there you can click the green “Place a Hold” button and you’re all set!

Need a library card? Wondering how long you can borrow a book? Borrowing and Circulation information can be found here.

 

*”On the Radar” features book previews by Veronica, the Teen Librarian at the Dudley Branch, on the last Tuesday or Friday of every month.

Hold the Popcorn!: Queen of Katwe

Posted on September 26th, 2016 by jlevins in Movies, Teen Services

David Oyelowo is Robert Katende and Madina Nalwanga is Phiona Mutesi in Disney's QUEEN OF KATWE, the vibrant true story of a young girl from the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess.

David Oyelowo is Robert Katende and Madina Nalwanga is Phiona Mutesi in Disney’s QUEEN OF KATWE, the vibrant true story of a young girl from the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess.

Based on Tim Carrothers’ 2012 book The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl’s Dream of Becoming a Grandmaster, the new Disney film Queen of Katwe is the story of a young girl named Phiona (played by Madina Nalwanga in her debut role) who sells corn for a living on the streets of the Ugandan countryside with her mom Harriet (played by the fantastic Lupita Nyong’o). Their lives are not very easy, but they are very strong and resilient people. Soon Phiona meets Robert (played by David Oyelowo of 12 Years a Slave). Robert is a former soccer star turned missionary and chess mentor who teaches Phiona about chess. Phiona happens to be a natural born chess player, and Robert brings her natural talents to the surface. Skeptical at first, mom Harriet eventually realizes that Phiona’s natural aptitude for chess, combined with Robert’s mentorship, might be Phiona’s best shot at avoiding an impoverished life of selling corn. I have been waiting patiently for a really good, positive film like this for quite some time. I heartily recommend that everyone go to see Queen of Katwe on the big screen.

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animatedDo you love watching movies? The Boston Public Library has tens of thousands of DVDs you can borrow with your library card and even more that you can access online through our streaming service, Hoopla. Plus, if you can’t find a movie you want to watch in all the ones we offer, you can always suggest a purchase. Start placing holds now, and you’ll never have to pay to watch a movie again!

 

*”Hold the Popcorn!” features movie reviews by James, the Teen Librarian at the East Boston Branch, on the fourth Tuesday of the month.

 

Ctrl+Z: Girls Who Code is coming to Teen Central!

Posted on September 23rd, 2016 by chalpin@private.bpl.org in Teen Services

gwc-logo_2016-hi-resGirls Who Code is a national non-profit organization that works to address the gender gap in technology.  Volunteers with computer science knowledge partner with community organizations who act as host sites, and Girls Who Code provides a curriculum designed to teach young women computer coding while also promoting camaraderie, teamwork, and leadership skills. Participants will work collaboratively on a project that addresses a problem relevant to their community and provide a solution through computer science. Girls will be introduced to a variety of programming languages and learn key coding concepts such as, functions, variables, conditionals, and loops.

Teen Central is excited to launch a new Girls Who Code Club here at the Central location of the Boston Public Library. Our club will start on Saturday, October 8th, 2016 and then continue to meet weekly between 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Participants must either be in grades 6-12, or ages 12-18. Registration is required. To register email teencentral@bpl.org, or call (617) 859-2334.

 

Need a library card? Wondering how long you can borrow a book? Borrowing and Circulation information can be found here.

*”Ctrl+Z” is all about fearlessly exploring technology. Look here for info about teens, technology, and having fun with new media by Catherine, Teen Technology Coordinator at Teen Central, on the fourth Friday of the month.

Teens Leading in the Community: Opportunities in Boston

Posted on September 20th, 2016 by jsnow@private.bpl.org in Teen Services
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What does it mean to lead or to be a leader? It’s the action of leading a group of people or an organization and also the state or position of being a leader and when people look to you as being a leader.

There a lot of opportunities for teens to lead in their schools, libraries, outside organizations and more. What are some opportunities for teens to lead in their communities?

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Teen Central has an opportunity called the Teen Leadership Council. It’s a youth-driven council that provides teens in grades 6-12 an opportunity to develop leadership skills, help to develop teen services and programs in Teen Central and connect with the community while volunteering with the library. The Teen Leadership Council meets every month on the last Wednesday of each month at 3:30. Want more information? Contact Jess jsnow@bpl.org Teen Central also has opportunities during the school year; Teen Tech Mentor and Teen Gaming Specialists, where teens are hired, trained and then lead programs in the Lab and in the Media Lounge. Look for these opportunities in June.

Artists for Humanity hires teens to work collaboratively with mentors to inspire solutions-big and small. There are all kinds of programs teens can become involved in with Artists for Humanity working in studios and learning more about arts and technology.

The Mayor’s Youth Council provides teens with an active role in addressing youth issues, the issues that they deal with are real and they work in teams to try and solve the issues. The Council is also provided with a budget that they utilize to help solve the issues. Public speaking is also something the Mayor’s Youth Council is provided with as well as honing these skills.

The Boston Youth Service Network has a Youth Council that is a major component of Network activism and authentic alternative education youth voice. It is the only youth council in Boston representing the perspective of out-of school youth enrolled education diploma, GED/HiSET, and career exploration programs in the BYSN Network.

Generation Citizen works to ensure that teens receive an effective action civics education, which provides them with the knowledge and skills to participate in democracy as active citizens. Do you like debate and public speaking? There is a Student Leadership Board as well as other opportunities to get involved with.

Are you interested in poetry and/or open mics? Mass LEAP has a Youth Spoken Word Leaders Program that seeks to support the development of youth not only as artists but also as organizers and teachers.

jessi250-150x150Are you interested in learning more about leadership opportunities? The Boston Public Library, Teen Central has a Teen Leadership Council that meets monthly in Teen Central and there is a job help page that provides information on  job opportunities, volunteer and internship opportunities.

Need a library card? Wondering how long you can borrow a book? Borrowing and Circulation information can be found here.

*”Teens Leading in the Community” features interviews and stories about teens leading in their communities by Jessi, the Teen Services Team Leader, Central, on the third Tuesday of every month

Hack the System!: Turn Your Handwriting Into a Custom Font

Posted on September 16th, 2016 by adowds in Technology, Teen Services
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Helvetica. Arial. Georgia. Times New Romaaannn. These fonts get boring. Sooo boring. In fact, it is time to stop hitting the snooze button and get creative with a few easy steps, a black Sharpie marker, and your own two hands. Turning your handwriting into a new font is super easy. Today, I am going to show you how to do this:

 

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Most websites will tell you that it only takes 5 minutes to turn your handwriting into a new font. If you are that rare unicorn that can perfect something in one try, it will take you 5 minutes. If you are like me and get a little nutty when it comes to the details, it will take you at least an hour. Warm up those penmanship skills and have fun with this Tech Hack. Let’s get started!

 

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First, print out this template and fill in each square. Don’t use a regular Bic pen. I used a fine point black Sharpie marker. Be careful to stay within the lines or part of your letters will get cut off.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Next, scan the sheet or sheets — you can create as many fonts as you want. Be sure to scan in greyscale, not color. Then, upload the completed template to MyScriptFont.com. Follow the steps, give your font a name, and you should see something like this:

 

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If you like your font, continue on to the next step by clicking on the file name (ie, Ally_sFont.ttf). I created both a print and cursive version of my handwriting.

 

 
 
 
 

Finally, install your new font onto your computer. Once you click on the file link, you will be prompted to install. Simply follow the steps on either a Mac or in Windows. It really is that easy.

 

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That’s it! You created your very own font! Open up Word, Google docs, Illustrator, Photoshop, or any software that utilizes lettering, select your newly designed font style in the drop-down menu, and start typing!

 

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allyWant to create your own technology life hack? Stop by Teen Central during Open Lab time.

“Hack the System!” features examples of technology life hacks created by Ally, the Youth Technology Librarian at Teen Central. Check back on the third Friday of each month for her latest post.