Teens http://www.bpl.org/teens Fri, 24 Jun 2016 12:30:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Ctrl+Z: Lego Mindstorms Robotics Clubs http://www.bpl.org/teens/2016/06/24/ctrlz-lego-mindstorms-robotics-clubs/ http://www.bpl.org/teens/2016/06/24/ctrlz-lego-mindstorms-robotics-clubs/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2016 12:30:27 +0000 http://www.bpl.org/teens/?p=6003 This summer Boston Public Library will be offering our first Robotics Clubs. Over multiple sessions you’ll use Lego Mindstorms kits to learn how to build robots and program them to interact with the world. One of the great things about building these robots is that it should already feel familiar to anyone who has ever played with Lego bricks! Similarly, the code used to program these robots to move, make sounds, and otherwise behave or react to stimulus, is a visual programming language that will look familiar to anyone that may have used Scratch, and is easy to learn for anyone who hasn’t.Mindstorm_Script

Librarians participated in training sessions facilitated by Gary Garber who teaches physics, math, and engineering at Boston University Academy and runs the Boston University FIRST Robotics program. (He is also author of the following Lego Mindstorms related eBooks that you can access through the Boston Public Library here.) With a multi-week curriculum also provided to us, librarians and our intrepid Robotics Club participants will work our way through different activities week to week and build our skills together throughout the summer. We hope you’ll join us!


This program is open to youth in 6th grade through 12th grade, or ages 12-18, and may be of particular interest to anyone who is into building, making things with their hands, computer programming, friendly competition, collaboration, and fun!

This summer Teen Central, the Mattapan Branch Library Teen Room, and the Dudley Branch Library Teen Room will be offering Lego Mindstorms Robotics Clubs. Please register with the location where you would like to participate.

Teen Central starts June 28th from 3:30-5:00 and will continue to run on Tuesdays through August 23rd. For more information and to register call (617) 859-2334 or email: teencentral@bpl.org

Mattapan Branch Library will start on Tuesday, July 12th at 5:30. For more information and to register, contact Teen Librarian, Caren Rosales at (617) 298-9218 or email: crosales @ bpl.org

Dudley Branch Library will start on Tuesday, July 5 at 3:30. For more information and to register, contact Teen Librarian, Veronica Koven-Matasy at (617) 442-6186 or email: vkovenmatasy @ bpl.org

(*Keep your eyes open for future Lego Mindstorms programming at other Boston Public Library locations in the future!)

hologram on 9-16-15 at 7.25 PM #3Need 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 every month.

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Teens Leading in the Community: Meet Brian Foster http://www.bpl.org/teens/2016/06/21/teens-leading-in-the-community-meet-brian-foster/ http://www.bpl.org/teens/2016/06/21/teens-leading-in-the-community-meet-brian-foster/#comments Tue, 21 Jun 2016 10:00:46 +0000 http://www.bpl.org/teens/?p=5982 Brian Foster is a recent graduate from Excel High School in South Boston and will be going on to study at UMASS Boston in September. Brian was very instrumental in organizing the Boston Public Schools walkouts and you may read more here in the March 11 Boston Globe article.  I spoke with Brian about his work in organizing and here’s what he had to say.

brian foster











You were very instrumental in coordinating and facilitating the BPS walk outs. How did you go about coordinating and facilitating and what tools did you use (like social media, texting, etc)? How do you feel you learned things like that?

I’m interested in my education and felt the need to get involved to stand up for what I and others believe in in regards to the BPS walks-outs.  I worked very closely with the organization BYOP-Boston area Youth Organizing Project. They helped in providing a space and ways to connect with other students because we were working with a lot of different schools and needed help in the coordination piece.  I started by creating a Facebook page and other teens who were involved bounced off that page and used other social media like Twitter and Snapchat and we also used an app to try and keep people engaged. I also did a lot of visits to other schools and talked to other teens to let them know what we were doing and how they could get involved with the work too. I think in terms of how I learned things like this, I’ve been really involved in debate in school and with an organization called Generation Citizen and feel like debate has helped prepare me for speaking and for public speaking.

What skills do you feel you have gained through your activism work?

I definitely feel like organizing is a big one and I mean the organizing of people. You have a lot of different schools and a lot of teens involved, there’s a lot of moving pieces.  This was a challenging and difficult thing to do but it was helpful to work with BYOP and learn things from them in terms of organizing. I also feel like with debate that my public speaking has gotten very good and with the walkouts I did a lot of public speaking.

What are you interested in doing now that you are graduating from high school and what type of career are you interested in pursuing?

I’m going to be starting school at UMASS Boston in the fall, I’m excited.  While the work with the walkouts was challenging I felt it was very important and it was something that made me think more about being involved in this kind of work in terms of organizing and social justice.  I plan to study aerospace at UMASS but I’m thinking more and more about the possibility of creating a degree that focuses on organizing and working closely with communities and social justice.

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

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Get Crafty: Simply Cross-stitching http://www.bpl.org/teens/2016/06/17/get-crafty-simply-cross-stitching/ http://www.bpl.org/teens/2016/06/17/get-crafty-simply-cross-stitching/#comments Fri, 17 Jun 2016 14:18:37 +0000 http://www.bpl.org/teens/?p=5898 Welcome to this month’s installment of Get Crafty.

This month we are going to learn a little bit about cross-stitching and how to make the full cross-stitch. If you can make an “X”, then you can cross-stitch. If not, there are so many tutorials online to show you how to make a full cross-stitch. I will provide some at the end of this post.

You can learn a little history about cross-stitching here and here. Cross-stitching is considered the oldest type of embroidery. It was used as early as the sixth century BC. The earliest preserved pieces of cross-stitching were found in ancient Egyptian tombs and in Medieval churches. Cross-stitching along with other forms of embroidery were used in tapestries and royal clothing in Europe and Asia. Today, many cross-stitches follow patterns instead of stitching for memory.

Sampler 1836

The above image is a historic sampler finished by Marianne Wenn about 1816.


When beginning  to learn how to cross-stitch, you start much smaller and use easier fabric and threads .

What you need to start: pattern or kit, Aida materal 10 or 12 count (any color) embroidery floss (thread), a needle, a needle threader, scissor. Optional: a hoop or q-snaps to hold the material tight.

A quick word about patterns you find online, please make sure the pattern is copyright free. There are people who steal other people’s work and try to sell it or offer it online for free. This is illegal and prevents the true owner from earning money on their own

To begin, look at the pattern instructions to find out how many strands of thread are required and separate them from the skein.  From personal experience, it’s important to follow the instructions.


Instructions for this pattern: Use Aida 12 count and with three strands of thread. The pattern below is a heart. You can choose what color you want.



To begin, thread the needle. If you use the threader, here is a great tutorial.

After your needle is threaded, start with the upper left corner of the pattern. Start the first stitch by coming up with the needle through one hole. Leave a tail that you will hold under the row you are going to be stitching.  This will help the threads from unraveling.

The second step of the stitch, go down with the needle in the hole in the diagonal corner.

The third step is to go up the hole that is below where you went down.

The fourth step is go down in the hole diagonally to the third step. Now you have made your first X. Here is a picture to show what you need to do.


The next stitch you will start again with step 1 coming up where you came up on step 3 of the prior stitch. For this pattern, skip the next block and come up for step 1 in the next hole. Keep going until you make it to the last row. When you finish take the thread and go under the threads I  the row that has 5 X’s and trim the extra threads. Congrats! You have finished your first cross-stitched piece.

The design you made is called a motif. They are small designs that can be stitched once or stitched multiple times to make a bigger design.  You can search motifs on Google for what a motif looks like. For patterns, use the search terms motifs cross stitching free patterns.


For bigger patterns the following picture is useful to follow. Here you will stitch a row of /// and then go back and stitch \\\  to complete your X’s.




For great tutorials on cross-stitching, including other methods to use when you are starting your first stitches and other types of stitches used with cross-stitching, check out DMC Education.

For video tutorials check out: Yarn Tree and Ms. Dunne.


manga-me-150x150For books on how to cross-stitch and pattern books, check out these books on the the BPL catalog.


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

*”Get Crafty” features craft projects by Mary, a Teen Librarian at Teen Central, and is posted on the third Friday of every month.

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Reading Backwards, Watching in Japanese: Ghost in the Shell S.A.C. Second Gig. http://www.bpl.org/teens/2016/06/14/reading-backwards-watching-in-japanese-ghost-in-the-shell-s-a-c-second-gig/ http://www.bpl.org/teens/2016/06/14/reading-backwards-watching-in-japanese-ghost-in-the-shell-s-a-c-second-gig/#comments Tue, 14 Jun 2016 16:00:15 +0000 http://www.bpl.org/teens/?p=5901 Ghost in the Shell SAC 2nd Gig_smallWhew! That’s a long title isn’t it? And S.A.C. stands for Stand Alone Complex. Hello again manga and anime friends. The Ghost in the Shell franchise is a rich collection of science fiction and action stories based on the original, and highly influential movie from 1995. But this month, we look at a later sequel series, made for television. The entire franchise has had an R rating for violence, profanity, and some mature themes but older teens should be fine watching compared to much of whats on the air today.

The famous “Section 9” unit is an anti-terrorist SWAT team with cutting edge cyber-terrorism training and equipment. The heroine of the story is Major Motoko Kusanagi, a cyborg officer with incredible athletic, combat, and IT skills. Her human brain is all that remains from her original body that was lost in a horrible event when she was young. Not much is known of the circumstances around the event. Over her life she has had hardware and software upgrades and trained to become a military officer and then joined the police force after recent major wars.  Her main partner on the force is Batou, another veteran military officer and policeman who has cybernetic vision. He probably lost his eyes in combat during the recent wars. Much of the crew is made up of former military veterans who have joined the elite Section 9 unit after distinguished careers. They include a sniper, information specialist, and a junior officer gaining valuable experience. The section is lead by Daisuke Aramaki. He is a seasoned director combining vast experience and keen judgement. His character is distinguished by his balding head and prominent locks of silver hair over his ears and beard on his chin.  Comic relief is combined with mecha butt-kicking power in the form of the sections dated, but lovable spider-like robots. These “Tachikomas” have all kinds of advanced weapons and technology even though their A.I. is archaic.  Their voices even sound like children and lend to their effect in comic relief.

Artistically, a TV series is of course more limited in what it can invest in image quality and detail than what was originally offered in the famous feature film. Still, a good color palette was developed that works well with the frequent night scenes and urban battle situations. Technical drawing of aircraft and vehicles are a favorite subject for sci-fi anime crews. 2nd Gig does not disappoint.  Often times you will find vehicles “rendered” in 3D animation graphics first, and then edited into the video frames of the story with the characters “rendered” in 2D, drawn by the artists hands. This is more and more common these days and some stories are completely animated with 3D graphics. We’ll have to look at some of those in the future. A great example is the film Avatar, but there are 3D anime films that we can discuss.

Musically, the score is impressive with use of modern Pop and EDM styles in the title songs. Incidental music includes more of the same, but also makes notable use of classical chamber music styles and genres. One trend in particular is the use of expressionist, “quasi-tonal” string quartet music during mysterious or psychological scenes in the story. Memory and A.I. hacks are great examples to listen for. It’s spooky and very powerful.

2nd Gig offers an exciting story weaving together political intrigue, national security, terrorism, cybernetics, SWAT tactics and gear, a refugee crisis, and deeper questions of the human experience. What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be a machine? Humans can have a spirit, can machines have a ghost? The Ghost in the Shell franchise started with this question and a resounding “yes” was the answer. But on deeper examination, the question was only ever about humanity. The lines have just become blurred by the development of computers, cybernetics, information technology and artificial intelligence. Sci-fi and action fans will love this series. So will existentialist philosophers and political scientists.  The dialog can pass very quickly so with this series, you have my permission to watch the English dubbed episodes, if you want. Listening to the Japanese is always great but you may find yourself rewinding at various points to catch all the plot and character development. The stories are wonderfully written and demand concentration.

So check out Ghost in the Shell S.A.C. 2nd Gig. You can find it at kissanime or gogoanime.



john250-150x150Did you know that in addition to physical books and DVDs, your library card gives you access to anime and graphic novels online? The BPL subscribes to Hoopla, a streaming service that allows you to check out and enjoy the media you love on your computer, tablet or smartphone. You can learn more about the BPL’s digital media collections here.

Want company while you’re watching anime? The Hyde Park Teen Anime Club meets on Thursdays at 2:30 p.m.


*”Reading Backwards, Watching in Japanese” features reviews of anime and manga by John, the Teen Librarian at the Hyde Park Branch, on the second Tuesday of every month.

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Cooking with Caren: Buffalo Chicken Dip http://www.bpl.org/teens/2016/06/10/cooking-with-caren-buffalo-chicken-dip/ http://www.bpl.org/teens/2016/06/10/cooking-with-caren-buffalo-chicken-dip/#comments Fri, 10 Jun 2016 13:00:43 +0000 http://www.bpl.org/teens/?p=5868 Buff Chicken Dip

Five steps to greatness!


1. Shred 2 cups of cooked chicken.

IMG_1619  IMG_1620

2. Combine 2 cups shredded cooked chicken, 1 (8 oz. pkg.) softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup of hot sauce (we used FRANK’S RedHot® Original), 1/2 cup blue cheese or ranch dressing, 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese.

IMG_0719  FullSizeRender (7)

3. BAKE at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until mixture is heated through.


4. Sit back and admire your hard work!

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5. Devour with chips and/or vegetables.

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                    FullSizeRender (12)

Recipe courtesy of: FRANK’S RedHot®

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.

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Stop the Press: Early School Start Times http://www.bpl.org/teens/2016/06/07/stop-the-press-early-school-start-times/ http://www.bpl.org/teens/2016/06/07/stop-the-press-early-school-start-times/#comments Tue, 07 Jun 2016 12:00:47 +0000 http://www.bpl.org/teens/?p=5841  


How many hours of sleep do you get a night? I remember in High School having to wake up in the cold dark mornings and hustle to school in time for the first 7:15 am bell. The first few periods of the day were a constant battle to stay awake. It didn’t seem to matter what time I went to bed the night before, the exhaustion never went away. And now science is showing there is a reason for that. Studies have shown that teenage brains secrete Melatonin, a hormone that causes drowsiness, at around 11 pm. So this means that if you are not able to sleep until 11 pm, either because you’re not sleepy or because you have homework/work/after school activities, to get a good nights rest (between 8.5 and 9.5 hours for teens), you would need to sleep until at least 7 am. But for Boston teens, that’s just not an option. Students can’t get enough sleep based on their biology if they have to rise before the sun to take public transportation across the city in order to be at school by 7:15 am.


LA Johnson/NPR

LA Johnson/NPR

Schools outside of Boston are starting to explore the benefits of later start times for students. In this Boston Globe article, Middlesex County schools are recognizing research showing that lack of sleep leads to anxiety, depression, and even car crashes. Another Boston Globe article discusses the fact that switching to a start time of 8:30 am or later drastically decreases student tardiness while increasing grades and test scores.

This is great article written by a Boston parent for WBUR, a local NPR News Station. As a newcomer to Boston, I find the history and unintended consequences of segregated schools fascinating.  It’s especially interesting that one of these consequences is lack of sleep.  I’m in full support of school choice, but don’t completely agree that the Boston Public Schools have swapped out T passes in lieu of providing busing for Boston Public School students.  Economically it might make more sense, but the reality I’m seeing is exhausted teenagers waking up before the sun, making several bus and train transfers across town to get to school on time.  It’s the students that are losing, and I see later school start times as an advantage that Boston teens deserve.


icon of Rebecca

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.

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Teens Leading in the Community: Meet Reginald Fils http://www.bpl.org/teens/2016/06/04/teens-leading-in-the-community-meet-reginald-fils/ http://www.bpl.org/teens/2016/06/04/teens-leading-in-the-community-meet-reginald-fils/#comments Sat, 04 Jun 2016 13:58:24 +0000 http://www.bpl.org/teens/?p=5875 For this special Teens Leading in the Community post, I interviewed Reginald Fils, a junior at Saint Joseph Preparatory School. Reginald is not only a CEO of Urban Inspired CO (an urban clothing company he started and built) but a member of the Mayor’s Youth Council and the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Teen Arts Council.  Today we talked about his involvement with the Mayor’s Youth Council.









What is your role with the Mayor’s Youth Council?

This is my first year with the Mayor’s Youth Council. We meet twice a month, once with the city agency we are specifically working with and once with all other 80 members of the MYC.  I’m on the Arts and Culture Commission and work with seven other teens to survey teens in Boston and get input from them as to what they think the City should focus on in terms of arts and culture.  Other members of the MYC are on different commissions, when we meet each month with the big group we share out the type of work we are focusing on.  We essentially are experts in that area.

How did you get involved with the Mayor’s Youth Council?

I found out about the program through friends because I really wanted to be more involved with the community and this was a great way to do just that.

Do you feel you’ve gained and specific skills working with them?

I feel that the Mayor’s Youth Council is an excellent gateway to the community and really gives you a platform for public speaking and advocating for other teens. The other thing I think it pretty important is that we are responsible for a multi-million dollar budget and the input we share is crucial but we’re also learning from government officials in how to manage a budget. I’ve really learned a lot about city government and met some pretty important people and this has presented me with some networking experience.

Would you encourage other teens to get involved with the Mayor’s Youth Council?

I absolutely would! I think if other teens are interested in the city government process and how things work as well as being connected to people in city positions the experience is invaluable.

For more information about the Mayor’s Youth Council, the projects they work on and how you can become involved, check here Mayor’s Youth Council


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. (This post is a special post)

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Curl Up & Read: Calvin http://www.bpl.org/teens/2016/06/03/curl-up-read-calvin-2/ http://www.bpl.org/teens/2016/06/03/curl-up-read-calvin-2/#comments Fri, 03 Jun 2016 16:00:37 +0000 http://www.bpl.org/teens/?p=5373 Calvin

Title: Calvin by Martine Leavitt

Read by: Anna, a Teen Central Librarian

Summary: Calvin is a young teenager with a lot of similarities to the Calvin & Hobbes comic strips by Bill Watterson. What Calvin isn’t prepared for, however, is the seemingly sudden diagnosis of schizophrenia. He can hear Hobbes talking to him and he can’t seem to make the tiger go away.  In a rash decision, Calvin takes his friend, Susan, on a hiking trip across frozen Lake Erie in an attempt to find Bill Watterson and get him to write one last comic strip… without Hobbes.

Genre/sub-genre: contemporary fiction

Series/Standalone: Standalone

Length: 181 pages

Personal thoughts: 

Such a small book for such a serious topic! But without many books for teens about schizophrenia, this is a good addition to the list. The author did a great job making this topic readable, lighthearted, and at the same time, serious, as Calvin explains his story in a letter to Bill Watterson.

The characters, while loosely based on the Calvin & Hobbes comic strips, had enough originality that they stood apart from the comics.  I do wonder though, if having Calvin talk to Hobbes, a cute, fun-loving stuffed tiger makes schizophrenia seem a little less of a big deal. After all, who wouldn’t want to talk to a tiger like Hobbes? The anchor to this plot, is the fact that Susan can’t see Hobbes or hear him when he’s talking to Calvin. But what if she’s also a manifestation of his schizophrenia? The questions keep you reading and keep you guessing at what will happen next, who’s real, and who isn’t.

While I enjoyed the plot for most of the book, the ending threw me a little because it seemed too abrupt and too easy for something as huge and scary as schizophrenia. At the same time, it was good to see someone like this have a better ending than most.

While I felt this book did have some minor flaws, don’t let them stop you from giving it a read. I highly recommend this to anyone who is a Calvin and Hobbes fan, or those who may be struggling with Schizophrenia or know someone who is.



Looking to borrow this library book? Look no further!

Wondering if we have the original Calvin & Hobbes comics? We do!

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

*”Curl Up & Read” posts book reviews by Anna, Teen Librarian at Teen Central, the first Friday of every month.


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On the Radar: Five Books to Check Out in June http://www.bpl.org/teens/2016/05/31/on-the-radar-five-books-to-check-out-in-june/ http://www.bpl.org/teens/2016/05/31/on-the-radar-five-books-to-check-out-in-june/#comments Tue, 31 May 2016 16:00:32 +0000 http://www.bpl.org/teens/?p=5817 Get your library card handy and reserve your place in line for these new June 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.



Romeo and/or Juliet by Ryan North

Summary: Romeo loves Juliet. Or Rosaline. And Juliet loves Romeo. Or Viola. Or Orlando. It’s Shakespeare as you’ve never played him before. In this choose-your-own-path version of Romeo and Juliet, you choose where the story goes every time you read! What if Romeo never met Juliet? What if Juliet got really buff instead of moping around the castle all day? What if they teamed up to take over Verona with robot suits? Whatever your adventure, you’re guaranteed to find lots of romance, lots of epic fight scenes, and plenty of questionable decision-making by very emotional teens.

Why We’re Excited: They had me at the title, to be honest. Plus, Ryan North (of Unbeatable Squirrel Girl fame) has rounded up some of my favorite artists, including Noelle Stevenson, Kate Beaton, and Randall Munroe to illustrate our infamous lovers’ various endings. What better way to celebrate Shakespeare’s 400th deathday? If you just can’t wait until Romeo and/or Juliet is in your sweaty hands, check out To Be Or Not To Be, North’s loving send-up of Hamlet.


the end

The End by Charlie Higson

Summary: Shadowman, realizing that Saint George’s army is headed toward the center of London, has raced ahead to warn the kids of the impending disaster. He knows that he has to make them understand–somehow–that they are going to have to work together. This means that Nicola and her kids at the Houses of Parliament, David and his kids at Buckingham Palace, Matt at St. Paul’s, General Jordan Hordern and his troops at the Tower of London, the squatters in St. James Park, and all the kids at the Natural History Museum must unite. But will they do it in time? The book culminates in a massive pitched battle in Hyde Park. How will it play out? Who will be the winners and who the losers? One thing is certain: this series will not go out with a whimper!

Why We’re Excited: My enthusiasm is mainly vicarious in this case — I have some zombie-lovers at my library who have been waiting very impatiently for the seventh and final book in the Enemy series. I’m excited for them to finally get to read The End and I’m also excited for them to finally stop asking me if it’s out yet!


being jazz cover

Being Jazz by Jazz Jennings

Summary: Teen activist and trailblazer Jazz Jennings–named one of “The 25 Most Influential Teens” of the year by Time –shares her very public transgender journey, as she inspires people to accept the differences in others while they embrace their own truths.

Why We’re Excited: In the wake of HB2, aka The Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act or the North Carolina Bathroom Bill, it’s more important than ever to have positive, #ownvoices representations of the trans community on library shelves. Human ray of sunshine and trans activist Jazz Jennings definitely qualifies. Pick up Some Assembly Required by Arin Andrews and Rethinking Normal by Katie Rain Hill if you’re looking for more memoirs from trans teens while you’re waiting for Being Jazz!


you know me well

You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan

Summary: Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really? Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed. That is until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way. When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other — and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

Why We’re Excited: Superstars of LGBTQ YA LaCour (Everything Leads To You) and Levithan (Boy Meets Boy, Two Boys Kissing, and Will Grayson, Will Grayson) are teaming up for a book about two queer kids becoming friends at San Francisco Pride? YES, PLEASE.



Justin by LJ Alonge

Summary: Justin has a list of goals stashed under his mattress. Number 1 is “figure out life plans.” Number 5 is “earn Zen Master rating in WoW.” Nowhere on that list is “play the crew from Ghosttown,” but that’s the type of trouble that always seems to finds him.

Why We’re Excited: I haven’t seen much buzz for the Blacktop duology, but ever since I read the summary for Justin and realized that I was looking at a basketball book with a World of Warcraft nerd for a hero, I’ve been dying to see how this series goes. Companion book Janae is getting published at the same time, so there’s a whole other book to look forward to as well!


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.

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Ctrl+Z: New Technology Librarian & Teen Job Opportunities in Teen Central http://www.bpl.org/teens/2016/05/27/ctrlz-new-technology-librarian-teen-job-opportunities-in-teen-central/ http://www.bpl.org/teens/2016/05/27/ctrlz-new-technology-librarian-teen-job-opportunities-in-teen-central/#comments Fri, 27 May 2016 12:30:04 +0000 http://www.bpl.org/teens/?p=5818 Teen Central welcomes our newest team member, Allyson Dowds! ally pic

What is your role in the Teen Central?
I am the Youth Technology Librarian, which means I should be an aficionado of robots, computers and video games. While you are more likely to find me atop a mountain than behind a computer, I believe exploration can be done from anywhere and is good for the soul 😉

What is your favorite thing about Teen Central so far?
The Tech Lab. Wow! If you have not visited the Tech Lab, you must. The opportunities for teens to explore, tinker, and craft their own creations is endless. A lot of thought was put into establishing this space and how teens would use it. Also, the streetlight. I don’t know why, but the industrial feel to the light reminds me of something you would find down a narrow street, on a rainy day, in old-time Boston. It gives the space character and identity.

What are you most looking forward to in the coming months here at the library?
Getting to know the teens! I really am super pumped to work with all of the teens who visit Teen Central and watching and learning from them. Teen Central provides such a wonderful space for teens to be teens, while allowing them to create and mold their personalities.

Have you read a good book lately?
Yes! I recently completed the Graceling series by Massachusetts’ very own, Kristin Cashore. COULD NOT put these books down. But, when I’m not escaping into various fantastical realms, I am a huge reader of non-fiction, specifically dealing with World War I & II. Erik Larson is one of my all-time favorite historians because he captures and retells moments in history in such a personal, magnetic way. You feel like you are reliving history as you flip the pages.

Welcome, Ally!

In related news, Teen Central is hiring 2 teens to work in the library this fall.
Are you a teen (or know a teen) who is interested in technology and sharing your knowledge with others? We’re looking to hire two Teen Tech Mentors to work 6 hours per week, from September through May, Mondays and Tuesdays, during the hours of 3:00-6:00 p.m.

We are having open interview sessions on June 14, June 15 and June 17 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. on each day. Click the links below to download job descriptions and applications.  Teen Central is located at 700 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116.

Questions? Email Jessi Snow jsnow@bpl.org or call 617-859-2335

Job Descriptions and Applications:


hologram on 9-16-15 at 7.25 PM #3Need 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 every month.

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