Boston Public Library

Teens- Vote for your Favorite YALSA Teens’ Top Ten Book

Posted on July 20th, 2015 by in Teen Services

What is the YALSA Teens’ Top Ten? YALSA is the Young Adult Library Services Association. It’s a national division through the American Library Association that a number of Teen Librarians belong to and it helps provide support for serving teens in public libraries through a number of resources.  What is the YALSA Teens’ Top Ten?  It’s a teen choice list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year.  There are 24 2015 Teens’ Top Ten nominees this year.  Boston Public Library locations have these books and you can request them, read them and then VOTE on your favorites!  Teen Central  and the Grove Hall Branch  both have displays and several of the books from the Teens’ Top Ten.  Voting begins on August 15 and ends October 24, 2015 and you can vote at Teen Central, Grove Hall and online.


Summer in the Boston Public Library

Posted on July 7th, 2015 by in Teen Services

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Summer is here!  And what does that mean for Boston teens?  School is out, you may be working, looking for fun, interesting and stimulating things to do, maybe you have summer reading to do too.  The Boston Public Library has all kinds of great things to do, and they’re all free!

Summer Reading for Teens

The teen summer reading program will run from June 1-August 30. Earn a badge for every book you read, review you write, quiz you take and library program you attend – and more. If you earn 30 or more badges, you will be entered to win one of six grand prizes sponsored by the City-Wide Friends of the Boston Public Library. Grand prize winners will be announced on September 5.


Summer Programs for Teens

Check out the Beat Bus! It’s a music workshop and performance venue on wheels, here’s the schedule for the summer.

Check out the Liz Prince programs. Liz is a graphic artist and cartoonist who has published four books.  Discover the empowerment that comes from telling your story when Liz demonstrates how to make your own autobiographical comic book. Learn how Liz discovered her drawing style and explore your own style as you create a six-panel biography of your life.

Find out other summer programs for teens in Teen Central and in the teen serviced locations.

Did you know you can request FREE museum passes by using your Boston Public Library library card? You can!  Check out if the ICA, MFA, Museum of Science, Natural History Museum and others are available for use.

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest – A Review

Posted on July 3rd, 2015 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff
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one flew over the cuckoo's nest

Title/Author: One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

Read by: Anna, Teen Central Librarian

Summary: In Nurse Ratched’s ward of the mental hospital Chief Bromden is a patient pretending to be deaf and dumb for the last twenty years. When a new patient, Randall Patrick McMurphy, walks through the door, swaggering larger than life, Chief watches him begin the hard task of rallying the other patients to challenge the dictatorship of Nurse Ratched with fishing trips, alcohol, gambling, and even women. Along the way, however, Chief realizes that McMurphy isn’t just challenging the other patients, but Chief as well.

Series/Standalone: Standalone

Genre/sub-genre: Classic Fiction

Diversity: Yes.

Relatable characters: Yes.

Would I recommend this to others?: yes.

Personal thoughts: This is not for the feint of heart. It’s a very dark book covering some dark topics, some that are only hinted at, while others are blatantly spelled out. That being said, I loved this book. Along with Chief, I was able to watch the men slowly regain their personalities, regain the right to be human against a nurse who sought complete control over them, which was a beautiful thing to see. The ending came as a huge surprise I wasn’t expecting, and yet, I found it oddly fitting for these characters. While it was published in 1962, I also think it’s still very relevant in today’s world. I highly recommend it.

The Illustrated Man – A Review

Posted on June 23rd, 2015 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff
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the illustrated man

Title/Author: The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury

Read by: Anna, Teen Central Librarian

Summary: In the arcane designs scrawled upon the illustrated man’s skin swirl tales beyond imagining: tales of love and laughter, darkness and death, of mankind’s glowing, golden past and its dim, haunted future. Here are eighteen incomparable stories that blend magic and truth in a kaleidoscope tapestry of wonder–woven by the matchless imagination of Ray Bradbury.

Series/Standalone: Standalone

Genre/sub-genre: Science-fiction

Diversity: Yes. For example, one story, “The Other Foot”, deals with the interplanetary segregation of blacks and whites.

Relatable characters: Yes.

Would I recommend this to others?: yes.

Personal thoughts: I enjoyed reading each story and was very glad they were extremely short as I don’t think they would have been as enjoyable had they been longer. However, I did feel as if I was meant to learn a lesson with each story, which Bradbury has done with his work before, so I wasn’t too surprised. For example, there were a few about what would happen if books were banned and one about perseverance when you feel as if all hope is lost. I think the one that really stood out for me, though, was the very last one entitled “The Rocket”. The outcome of that story was not what I was expecting at all, and so heartwarming, compared to the others. It was the perfect way to end the book. If you enjoy science-fiction, I highly recommend this collection of short stories set in the future when interplanetary travel has become “the thing to do”. When reading this, you very quickly realize that just because it’s the future and we can travel to other planets, that doesn’t mean our human problems have gone away.

The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk – A Review

Posted on June 10th, 2015 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff
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harvey milk


Title/Author: The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk by Randy Shilts

Read by: Anna, Teen Central Librarian

Summary: In 1977, Harvey Milk was the first openly gay elected official in the United States. This book chronicles his short life, telling in detail how an outsider won over a city and changed lives for the better, all before he was assassinated eleven months after his election.

Series/Standalone: Standalone

Genre/sub-genre: LGBTQ Non-Fiction

Diversity: LGBTQ and minorities from a variety of other countries.

Relatable characters: Yes.

Would I recommend this to others?: YES. If you’re at all interested in LGBTQ history, or outsiders who defy the odds, you’ll enjoy this book.

Personal thoughts: What I liked best about Harvey Milk was that he was an average, everyday person who decided he could make the world a better place by running for city supervisor, an elected political position, in San Francisco. He put in hours of hard work to meet the people, going out to bus stops and cafes every day, bars at night, wherever he could meet people and find out what they wanted fixed in their city. He had a great sense of humor, and loved telling jokes wherever he was. This book helps to show his personality, the hardships he went through to get where he was at the end of his life, as well as the gay political climate of the era around the country, which wasn’t very good at the time. I found the writing style to be easy to read, though sometimes it was hard to remember who a specific person was because multiple people had the same, or similar, names. (But that’s real life for you, right?) I almost cried at the end, knowing what a great guy he was and knowing he wasn’t going to survive. That did make it a hard read. I’m still amazed that the birthday party held in his honor just a few months after his death brought 20,000 people to his neighborhood to celebrate his life! If a guy can do that, he must have been great.