Teens

Category Archives: Teen Services

Stop the Press: “T” Things

Posted on September 6th, 2016 by rschmelzer@private.bpl.org in News, Teen Services
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MBTA

Photo by MBTA

Ha. Probably not cool of me to post this snowy picture in the middle of the summer heat. 

Reduced Prices for Middle and High School Students

It’s been a good news week for Boston students. Starting Thursday, September 1st, middle and high school students will be able to ride the MBTA at less than half-price. Some schools already provide bus passes to students through their One Card, but that was only for the school year and not every Boston student has these passes. The good news is that for students whose schools do not purchases bus passes, they can now buy either a Student Charlie Card which is half-price per trip, or a monthly student pass for $30. This is a huge savings as a monthly pass typically costs over $80. The added bonus is that these passes will be available to students year-round, and not just the school year!

Twist on the MBTA Map Design

Isn’t this such a cool map? It’s so clean, so circular.

What about this one? Though it’s not current news, I found this an interesting share. At first glance I thought the entire train route had been redesigned and expanded. What actually happened is that Dr. Maxwell Roberts, a university professor has redesigned just the maps themselves for transit routes all over the world, including Boston. According to his interview with Boston Magazine, he has combined his interests of cartography (map-making) and psychology to redesign transit maps that offer more clarity to the user. What do you think of these designs? I think they would definitely be easier to look at and navigate.

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Are you interested in keeping up with the news and current events? The Boston Public Library has subscriptions to newspapers that you can read in the library or online.

*”Stop the Press” features current events posts by Rebecca, the Teen Librarian at the Grove Hall Branch, on the first Tuesday of every month.

Curl Up & Read: The School for Good and Evil

Posted on September 2nd, 2016 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff, Teen Services
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Title: The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

Read by: Anna, Teen Central Librarian

Summary: Agatha and Sophie are best friends who couldn’t be more different from each other. Agatha considers herself ugly and the daughter of a witch, wanting nothing more than to be left alone. Meanwhile, Sophie is beautiful, doing everything she can to stay that way, and considers helping Agatha become beautiful as her Good Deed. When both of them are kidnapped and taken to the School for Good and Evil where they will learn how to survive in a fairy tale, they are surprised to find out that Agatha has been sorted into the school for Good, and Sophie into the school for Evil. Together, they try to right this obvious wrong while also attempting to escape, gain friends and boyfriends, or avoid them at all costs.

Genre/Subgenre: Fantasy/Fairy Tale

Standalone/Series: Trilogy

Length:

book 1 – 488 pages

book 2 – 433 pages

book 3 – 655 pages

Personal Thoughts:

“The most dangerous person in a fairy tale is the one willing to do anything for love.” – The School Master

Looking for something similar to, and yet different from, Harry Potter? This is it! The School for Good and Evil is a trilogy with a richly complicated plot and fantastic characters that keep you guessing whether they really are good or evil as they were assigned, right up until the very last page. The series tackles huge, sometimes very dark, subjects in a light, humorous way. It messes around with sexist stereotypes and while Chainani doesn’t use the words lesbian, gay, transgender, or bisexual, even these make it into the story in hints and undertones.

There is a heavy romance element here, but it is so much more than the typical teen love triangle, making this a fresh read for those who enjoy romance. In book three we get introduced to characters from classic fairy tales, like Cinderella, Peter Pan, and Red Riding Hood, whose lives have changed dramatically since the ending of their fairy tales. Some of these characters would happily tell you they left their princes and their happily-ever-afters behind for an even better life, proving that life is not all about romance.

Overall, I have to say I enjoyed book one the best. It was the most fresh and engaging story of the three. Everyone seemed to want the exact same thing in book two and some of the characters’ personalities got a little tiring in book three, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying all of the books. Small illustrations at the start of each chapter are a fun addition. This could be seen as a middle grade series, but will be enjoyed by teens of all ages.

With the addition of Merlin and Tedros’s family in the third book (Tedros is the son of King Arthur here), I was reminded of Mary Stewart’s Crystal Cave series, written from Merlin’s point of view, which takes a more realistic approach to the story of Merlin, King Arthur, and magic. I highly recommend this series for any who love historical/fantasy fiction. The first book in the series can be found here.

 

Editor’s Note: This is Anna’s last book review for the BPL Teen Blog, as she moves on to her new job in Reader Services. We’ll miss you, Anna! But never fear, Curl Up & Read will still be posting on the first Friday of the month — and the reviewer could be YOU. If you’re a teen and you’re interested in having a book review posted on the Teen Blog, please email vkovenmatasy (at) bpl (dot) org and pitch your idea. We might even be able to hook you up with an Advance Reader’s Copy of something coming out soon, so you can really be ahead of the crowd!

 

anna250-150x150Looking to borrow these library books? These links will take you to our catalog:

Book One: The School for Good and Evil

Book Two: A World Without Princes

Book Three: The Last Ever After

The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart

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

 

* “Curl Up & Read” posts book reviews by librarians and teens on the first Friday of every month.

 

2D Design with Silhouette Cutting Machine

Posted on August 26th, 2016 by chalpin@private.bpl.org in Teen Services

silhouette cameoTeen Central recently purchased a Silhouette Cameo, a versatile electronic cutting machine that can be used for a wide range of projects. This machine takes your 2D design and cuts it into materials such as, paper, adhesive vinyl, and fabric. The machine works in conjunction with a related piece of software, Silhouette Studio, that has been installed on computers in The Lab in Teen Central. You can create designs directly in Silhouette Studio or import images in PNG, JPG, BMP, GIF, and TIF file types. So, what can you do with such a tool? The web is full of great ideas and my go-to spot for crafty ideas is Pinterest. Here are some examples of projects I discovered there and can’t wait to try!


jumpman vinyl decal
Vinyl Window Decals: Vinyl decals are often seen in the rear windows of cars, but you can apply them to a window at home, or really, to nearly anything of yours that you choose, such as a laptop or a skateboard deck.
dimensional candle holders


Dimensional Paper Lanterns
: These pretty paper lanterns are for use with an LED candle and are simply wrapped around an empty plastic bottle!

 

Freezer Paper Stencils: Like screen printing, but made simpler, people are cutting away the positive space of an image using inexpensive freezer paper and then adhering it to fabric for use in DIY t-shirt design and more.freezer paper 1freezer paper 2


Cross Section Paper Earrings
: Cut intricate patterns, several times over, in a jiff! These earring are made from layers of cardstock glued together and gilded with metallic paint.
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(Follow the hyperlinks above for instructions on exactly how some of these things are made using the Silhouette Cameo.)

 

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.

Hold the Popcorn!: Suicide Squad

Posted on August 23rd, 2016 by jlevins in Teen Services

Suicide_Squad_(film)_Poster

The summer is winding down. Almost time to start thinking about hitting the books again as school will be back in session soon. Almost, but not quite yet. There is still time to check out one more rad summer movie, and Suicide Squad is a great choice!

All around badass Special Forces person Amanda Waller (played by Viola Davis) puts together a team of mutant supervillains, known as “Task Force X”, to carry out missions for the United States government. Unfortunately, one of Waller’s recruits, Dr. June Moore (played by Cara Delevinge), becomes possessed by the Enchantress, an evil interdimensional witch-like entity who craves revenge on society. The Enchantress and her brother are not happy about the way that society seems to worship machines the way they used to worship them! The performances in Suicide Squad are great. The always great Will Smith puts on a commanding performance as Deadshot. Jared Leto does his best to fill the huge shoes left behind by Heath Ledger in his portrayal of The Joker, and proves to be worthy of the task overall. My personal favorite was Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as the reptilian Killer Croc. The bottom line is that the Enchantress and her brother must be destroyed, and the question is whether or not the Suicide Squad is up to the task. See the movie and find out!

Enjoy the rest of your summer and save me the aisle seat!

 

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.

 

Teens Leading in the Community: The SuccessLink Process

Posted on August 16th, 2016 by jsnow@private.bpl.org in Teen Services

SuccessLink: helping teens find opportunities easily

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This post was written by Anna Dao, student at Boston Latin School and SuccessLink teen working in Teen Central.

A solid amount of teenagers all across Boston, ages ranging from 15-18, are most likely working this summer and earning money for college, savings, or just some extra pocket cash to spend time with their friends. Whatever the reason is, teens are spending their summer break working and that is all thanks to Mayor Martin J Walsh and the Department of Youth Engagement and Employment. Earlier this year Mayor Walsh launched Successlink, which enables these teens to find job opportunities.

Although the money that teens will have earned from the work that they will have done is important, an even better benefit to working in the summer is giving teens an insight in being in the real world before they are actually in the real world. These young adults will be engaging in opportunities that, not only provide real world experience, but also give them the chance to learn who they really are, who they want to be, what they like to do, and what they want to do.

The process is simple: Teens would sign up for SuccessLink in the wintertime and apply to a number of organizations connected to SuccessLink. Their SuccessLink profile has their resume, all the needed identifications, and an essay that the teen wrote explaining why they would be an excellent candidate for a job in the summer. From there, the teens would apply to whatever jobs interest them.

Many of my classmates and friends used SuccessLink to connect to job opportunities and are now currently working this summer. I recall in the past when I constantly listened as the broken records that I call my friends droned on and on (myself included) about how much they desired to have a job in the summer. It was very difficult to find a place that was hiring students because of their young age. Therefore, students all across Boston were struggling to find something to occupy themselves with. Picture that; a city filled with intelligent young people who have so much potential, but no way to express that because they were struggling to find jobs.

On top of that, students are learning a number of skills from working with these businesses that they will be able to put on their college application. This age is quite a struggle because 15-18 is the time when students would seriously be thinking about college. It seems like their world is rushing them to find what they want to do for the rest of their life and urging them to beef up their college application so that they would be able to get into colleges. Changes are happening so many students can feel like they are unprepared skillfully and/or mentally and their world in spinning. However, working in the summer not only gives them a taste of a certain field without committing to it completely, but also gives them experience that many colleges will appreciate.

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.