Category Archives: Teen Services

Cooking with Caren: Baked Ziti

Posted on April 8th, 2016 by crosales@private.bpl.org in Recipes, Teen Services



Turn your day from

1198900 to 56564001 in 6 easy steps!!


1. Make Ziti (16 oz) as directed on the package.



2. Mix 1 jar (24 oz) of pasta sauce and 1 container (15 oz) of ricotta cheese in large bowl. Add pasta and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese; mix lightly.



3. Spoon into baking dishes sprayed with cooking spray; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover.



4. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes; uncover. Bake for 10 minutes.



5. Wait…and wait…and wait some more.

Chandler Joey



IMG_1367 Pasta



icon of carenAre you still looking for more recipes? The Boston Public Library has a huge collection of cookbooks that you can browse, check out and take home.

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


*”Cooking with Caren” features recipe posts by Caren, the Teen Librarian at the Mattapan Branch, on the second Friday of every month.

On the Radar: Five Books to Check Out in April

Posted on March 29th, 2016 by vkovenmatasy@private.bpl.org in Books, Previews, Teen Services

Get your library card handy and reserve your place in line for these new April 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.


cover of The Raven King

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Summary: Not believing in true love, Blue never thought the warning that she will cause her true love’s death would be a problem, but as her life is entangled in the world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Why We’re Excited: We are finally getting the last book in the Raven Cycle! It’s been eighty-four (okay, actually just four) years since The Raven Boys was published, and subsequent installments The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily, Lily Blue have only added to fans’ impatience as they wait to find out if Gansey is ever going to find his dead Welsh king, if Blue’s love really will kill Gansey as foretold, and if Adam and Ronan are just going to make out already. These books have a lot of plot in addition to all the feels, so if you’re waiting for your hold to come in, why not take the chance to reread the first three while you’re at it?


cover of Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here

Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw

Summary: Meet Scarlett Epstein, BNF (Big Name Fan) in her online community of fanfiction writers, world-class nobody at Melville High. Her best (read: only) IRL friends are Avery, a painfully shy and annoyingly attractive bookworm, and Ruth, her pot-smoking, possibly insane seventy-three-year-old neighbor. When Scarlett’s beloved TV show is canceled and her longtime crush, Gideon, is sucked out of her orbit and into the dark and distant world of Populars, Scarlett turns to the fanfic message boards for comfort. This time, though, her subjects aren’t the swoon-worthy stars of her fave series–they’re the real-life kids from her high school.

Why We’re Excited: Fandom seems like the hot new topic in teen fiction these days (see: Fangirl, Kill the Boy Band, and upcoming releases Gena/Finn, The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love, and All the Feels), and it’s always a little nerve-wracking (at least for this long-time fangirl) to pick up a book and find out if the author got it right or horribly, painfully wrong. I’m cautiously optimistic and very curious to see how Scarlett Epstein matches up!


cover of Saving Montgomery Sole

Saving Montgomery Sole by Mariko Tamaki

Summary: An outcast teen girl explores the mysteries of friendship, family, faith, and phenomena, including the greatest mystery of all–herself.

Why We’re Excited: Tamaki is the author (with her cousin Jillian) of Printz Honor Book This One Summer, so we already know she can tell a good story. The set-up of Saving Montgomery Sole sounds like something I’d be nervous about in other hands — daughter of lesbian moms in a not-so-tolerant town has to deal with the son of a homophobic preacher, brace for a treacly life lesson in 3… 2… — but I think Tamaki is up to the challenge of making these characters feel real, and with what we’re seeing on the news these days (thanks for making me embarrassed to call you my former home state, North Carolina) we could all probably use a few life lessons in accepting each other, anyway. Plus, hints of magical realism and a $5.99 mail-order magic amulet? Yes, please!


cover of This Land Is Our Land

This Land Is Our Land: A History of American Immigration by Linda Barrett Osborne

Summary: Explores the way government policy and popular responses to immigrant groups have evolved throughout U.S. history, from 1800 to today.

Why We’re Excited: <Adele voice> Hello, it’s me, election season. I was wondering if after all this time you’re still listening to groundless paranoia and fear-mongering about immigration meant to keep American citizens from discussing the subject in a rational manner. </Adele voice> Wouldn’t it be nice to have some facts and history at your fingertips the next time some politician starts foaming at the mouth on the news about how immigrants are ruining our country? And this book looks gorgeous, too, so getting yourself educated won’t exactly be a hardship. Win/win!


cover of Tell the Wind and Fire

Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan

Summary: In this near-future retelling of the Dickens classic “A Tale of Two Cities,” a deadly revolution breaks out in a New York City divided by light and dark magic.

Why We’re Excited: Okay, I have a confession to make. I’ve actually never read A Tale of Two Cities. My high school English teacher assigned Great Expectations instead. However, I have read Tell the Wind and Fire, courtesy of a review copy that made its way into my hands a few months ago, so I can assure you that it’s a great read even if you don’t really know the original material. (Something to do with twins and the French Revolution, I think? And possibly an old lady knitting in code.) There’s cool magic and an evil twin (or is he really?) and a pragmatic heroine who’s just doing her best to make sure the people she loves make it out alive. What’s not to enjoy? I’ve been following Sarah Rees Brennan’s career since The Demon’s Lexicon came out in 2009, and she has very rarely let me down.


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.

Boston Teens Involved in Making a Difference in their Educations

Posted on March 11th, 2016 by jsnow@private.bpl.org in Teen Services

If you haven’t been reading the Boston news, something major happened on March 7.  Thousands of Boston students walked out of their schools at 11:30 am to protest budget cuts to education spending. Some pretty amazing things happened with this teen organized, teen coordinated, and teen involved protest-it has received praise and publicity in their efforts.  A number of teens from several Boston schools worked and organized together this massive 3,600 teen strong protest.  As City officials and politicians praise the teen’s efforts there is still work to be done and results from the city’s school committee votes on the budget March 23. Stay tuned and stay strong!









Digital Etiquette and Online Safety

Posted on February 22nd, 2016 by Anna in Teen Services



With so many people online it’s no wonder they often don’t know how their actions and interactions shape their lives and affect others. Future employers will likely do an online search for you to determine whether or not they want to hire you. Others want to steal your identity or maybe pick a fight with you over something that doesn’t actually matter all that much. With this in mind, here are a list of nine tips on how you can be a good citizen online, to better influence your real life interactions.


Nine Tips on Being a Good Online Citizen:

1.) Respect others and the website/social media you’re using. Even if you don’t agree with someone’s thoughts, you don’t need to start or fuel an online argument. Before you post an argument, take the time to pause and reflect on whether or not it’s worth it.

2.) Don’t type everything in all caps. This is seen as yelling and most people don’t like to be yelled at, including you, right?

3.) Know who you’re connecting with before you act. Be wary of websites and emails that ask you to act immediately, want personal information, include links you don’t recognize, have offers that seem too good to be true, or ask you to send money to someone you don’t know.

4.) Don’t plagiarize. Give credit where credit is due. Someone worked hard on that essay or article. It’s one thing to borrow a section and quote the source where you found it, and quite another to ignore the original creator’s hard work.

5.) Keep your personal information private. Strangers online do not need to know your address, phone number, birth date, or your email address, any of which could be used to steal your identity.

6.) Don’t gossip. Just because something is true, doesn’t mean it needs to be repeated. Gossip can often be hurtful to others, whether they know it’s happening or not. Think back, would you want someone gossiping about you?

7.) Watch your language/don’t post inappropriate pictures or comments. This could be very hurtful to others, whether they’re your closest friends or not. Once something is posted, you cannot take it back. If you’re unsure what’s appropriate, think about someone in authority, someone you respect, or an employer viewing what you’re about to post. If the thought makes you uncomfortable, don’t do it.

8.) Don’t give out passwords, even to friends. Once you give your passwords out, your accounts and content are no longer just yours.

9.) Remember that it’s easy to take things the wrong way*. Because it is difficult to convey the spirit of a written statement, a post meant as a joke, or gentle teasing, can really upset someone who takes it seriously. Adding emoticons or LOL doesn’t always help either. It’s always good to think about how your joke could be taken before you post it, and as a reader, before you respond, remember you may not understand the spirit of the comment.


Online Resources:

These nine tips were pulled from the following sources, which offer more tips and information about digital etiquette and online safety, if you’re interested.

Stay Safe Online Tips & Advice

Safety Net Kids

National Children’s Advocacy Center – Internet Safety Tips for Kids and Teens

Internet Netiquette – A Prezi Presentation

*This blog post and tip #9 was inspired by this recent event.