Category Archives: Teen Services

Curl Up & Read: Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little

Posted on October 7th, 2016 by vkovenmatasy in Reviews - Teens, Teen Services


Title: Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little

Read by: Josh, Dudley Branch

Summary: This book follows a girl named Jayden, expected to live up to her parents’ wishes as well as restore her father’s honor by marrying into a more powerful family. After an attack by an enemy tribe, her father loses most of the family’s camels, and their survival depends on her arranged marriage to Horeb, the future leader of the tribe. The responsibility weighs heavily on her and eventually she loses much support following the death of her mother and the betrayal of her sister. After she witnesses Horeb murdering the current leader of the tribe, Jayden is forced to flee the safety of her home with Kadesh, a young man who has been taken in by her family, and takes up the search to find her mother’s lost baby.

Genre/Subgenre: Fantasy

Standalone/Series: First book in a projected trilogy

Length: 389 pages

Personal Thoughts:

I thought this book brought a unique perspective to the heroine’s coming of age and making realistic decisions. Whenever Jayden made a move, it didn’t seem smart but it didn’t seem dumb, either, because the outcome was often affected by outside forces beyond her control. Jayden is learning about the gray areas of life; she discovers that the answer is often neither yes nor no, but maybe. Forming and breaking ties as more and more she sees that standing on her own two feet means abandoning a lot of what she knows: her tradition, family, and ultimately her ignorance of the world beyond. This story challenges the basis of control and belief that ties characters to what they are and how they react to hardliner decisions for their survival and for their needs. Often Jayden sought out the advice of the women in her camp, until one day she saw that respect and face aren’t always a reflection of character. Horeb proved lacking in chivalry and hid a craven, often twisted outlook for others, but ended up commanding his people’s trust and their love. As it were his blunders freed her to do what she had to do, commit herself to a love that was mutual.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book like this one before. I give Forbidden a solid 8.5 out of ten and I would recommend it to fans of the Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima.



josh-iconLooking to borrow a book mentioned in this post? These links will take you to our catalog:

Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little

The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima

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 like you on the first Friday of every month. 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!


Meet the Teen Gaming Specialists in Teen Central

Posted on October 7th, 2016 by jsnow in Teen Services




Meet the 2016-2017 Teen Gaming Specialists in Teen Central; Ananda and Jorge! What are the Teen Gaming Specialists you may ask? Two Teen Gaming Specialists are hired (and paid) for the school year to work with the Teen Librarians in developing programs for the Media Lounge (video gaming space), build the gaming collection by working with other teens in Teen Central as to their input for new video games, write blog posts on new video games coming out, write blog posts on programs they develop and participate in career readiness workshops to help build career readiness skills.

George is a sophomore at Excel High School and Ananda is a freshman at Boston Latin School and they are the first ever Teen Gaming Specialists for Teen Central. We’re excited they will be working with us being instrumental in building a bigger and better gaming collection and developing programs centered around gaming that teens will be interested in participating in. Stay tuned for posts throughout the year by George and Ananda.

If you or another teen you know may be interested in being a Teen Gaming Specialist, check in with us here in Teen Central or email teencentral@bpl.org in May 2017 as we will be interviewing teens for the next school year.

Stop the Press: Fact Checking the First Presidential Debate

Posted on October 4th, 2016 by rschmelzer in Teen Services



Last week, two presidential candidates that have said a lot of things about each other, finally got the chance to say it to each other’s faces. Whether we pulled out the popcorn, threw/yelled things at the TV, vented on social media, or pretended the whole thing didn’t exist… presidential debates are an important part of our democratic process. We have three more debates before the election, the next of which is tonight!

October 4, 2016 – Vice Presidential Debate

October 9th, 2016 – Second Presidential Debate

October 19th – Final Presidential Debate

You’ll hear the term “fact-checking” in regards to the debates. What this means is that candidates, believe it or not, may make statements with varying levels of truth to them. Why they do this, I’m not sure. It may be they remember  incorrectly, or they’re trying to bend the truth in their favor. Maybe they hope that people will listen to what they say at face-value and not do the research for themselves. Luckily, many places do the fact-checking research for you! Two non-partisan sites are the Politifact Truth-o-meter and Factcheck.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

If you will be 18 years old by election day, your absolute LAST day to register to vote is October 19th. This means registered online, or your paper application is postmarked (stamped by the post office) on this day. You can pick up a paper application form at your local library, or if you have a Massachusetts RMV ID you can register online https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ovr/ (if you don’t have a RMV ID you can start the process online, but will still have to print and mail a paper application.)


icon of RebeccaAre 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.

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.



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 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.