Boston Public Library

Category Archives: Teen Services

Teen Fitness Challenge

Posted on February 23rd, 2015 by in Technology, Teen Services


Snow piles over the city don’t seem to be going anywhere, anytime soon. If you’re stuck inside and feeling a little of the old cabin fever, there are ways you can keep active and feeling great while stuck indoors.

Check out this interactive from WebMd.  Easy challenges in rapid succession (jumping up and down on one foot 10 times, 5 sit-ups, etc.) you keep track of with an interactive stopwatch.  This tool is great if you want to challenge a group of friends.  Teens at the Grove Hall library participated in a challenge using this stopwatch, with quite hilarious results.

Newly renovated Teen Central

Posted on February 18th, 2015 by in Teen Services

Teen Entrance

The newly renovated Teen Central opened in February 2015 and features a media lounge, a digital lab, diner-style seating, moveable collections, and plenty of books. The media lounge houses two eighty-inch monitors for playing Xbox 1, Play Station 4, online games, or showcasing digital creations.  The lab gives teens the skills to learn, create, code, and more with software including Anime Studio, Manga Studio, FL Studio, Adobe Creative Suite, and Comic Life. All the collection stacks are on wheels and can be moved out of the way when it’s time for a large program or event. Don’t forget about the books – teens can find all of their favorite fiction, mystery, science fiction, urban, LGBTQ, and summer reading books in Teen Central, while the teen nonfiction books are located in the adult nonfiction area. There’s something going on every day in Teen Central; please check the calendar for programs.



Book Review: Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices

Posted on February 13th, 2015 by in Reviews - Staff, Reviews - Teens, Teen Services

Edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale

Edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale

“If your imagination isn’t working-and, of course, in oppressed people that’s the first thing that goes – you can’t imagine anything better. Once you can imagine something different, something better, then you’re on your way.” -Lee Maracle

New to BPL’s shelves, this book is a beautiful collection of art, photography, poetry, personal essays, songs and stories. Put together they tell a story of modern Native Americans outside of Hollywood movies. At times fascinating and sad to learn about current social injustices that Native Americans still face to date. At the same time, this book is a wonderful exploration of universal themes that Teens can relate to, such as bullying and finding one’s own identity.

Pages 84 - 85 features the merging of traditional Coast Salish art with everyday pop culture objects by Louie Gong.

Pages 84 – 85 features the merging of traditional Coast Salish art with everyday pop culture objects by Louie Gong.

Microwave Mac and Cheese

Posted on February 4th, 2015 by in Books, Programs, Teen Services

Ah, Mac and Cheese. 90% of Americans’ favorite food (I just made up that statistic.) With over 40 inches of snow that has fallen on Boston in the last week, I would argue that a little comfort food is much needed. At the Grove Hall Branch, Teens this month learned how to make their own instant Microwave Mac and Cheese. No need for pots or strainers, all you need are four simple ingredients and a mug for this recipe:



1/3 cup pasta
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup 1% milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. Stir the pasta and water in a large mug or bowl.

2. Microwave on high for two minutes, then stir. The water might overflow, the bigger the mug or bowl will lessen this.

3. Repeat microwaving and stirring for at least 2 to 4 more minutes, stirring at each 2-minute interval. The water should absorb completely and the pasta will be cooked through. If the pasta is still crunchy, add a little bit more water and microwave again. If the pasta is completely dry, it will burn in the microwave!

4. Once pasta is cooked, remove from microwave and stir in the milk. Microwave for another minute. Stir the cheese thoroughly into the pasta, our teens found they had to microwave again for 30 seconds to melt the cheese completely.



Might have gone overboard with the cheese…but when is too much cheese really a problem?


If you are interested in cooking, the Boston Public Library has cookbooks written just for Teens:


Grave of the Fireflies

Posted on January 27th, 2015 by in Movies, Resources, Reviews - Staff, Reviews - Teens, Teen Services

grave of the fireflies

This older Studio Ghibli film dates from 1988. Grave of the Fireflies, is a tragedy about a young sister and brother and their struggle to survive the fire-bombings of Japan during the Second World War. It is a moving study of humanity’s strengths and weaknesses. Who is your enemy? Who is your family, friend or neighbor? While their father is out at sea with the Japanese navy, their family is further fragmented in a fire-bombing raid. The children seek shelter with extended family but encounter callousness, neglect and exploitation. Some total strangers show more compassion than their own families and the older brother struggles to care for his sister and keep them all alive. The story of these children teaches us all about the horrors of war, and both the angels and demons of human nature. I imagine the title makes reference to the short life and light of fireflies. The artwork shows its age in the rendering style compared to more modern works, but expressions and animation are still top quality Ghibli. The voice acting in the English dub that I saw on Netflix was adequate, but I prefer to listen to the Japanese and read subtitles. This can be challenging during rapid dialog. Audiences should be ready for heartbreak when watching this film. It may be interesting to compare it with The Wind Rises, about the designer of the famous Zero fighter plane. But that recent film deals more with life before the war and Japan’s notable achievement in aeronautics. To me, the most powerful part of Grave of the Fireflies comes at its most cruel moment, when so-called “friends” stoop to staggering depths of avarice and disrespect. Grave of the Fireflies is a great film, but one to be watched with care.