Teens 2016-07-01T17:32:09Z http://www.bpl.org/teens/feed/atom/ Anna <![CDATA[Curl Up & Read: The Blessing Way]]> http://www.bpl.org/teens/?p=5778 2016-07-01T17:32:09Z 2016-07-01T16:00:37Z the blessing way

This book is on the BPS Grade 9-12 Summer Reading Mystery List!

Title: The Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman

Read by: Anna, Teen Central Librarian

Summary: On a Navajo reservation, horses are injured, sheep are slaughtered, and a man is killed. Lt. Joe Leaphorn of The Navajo Tribal Police is on the case, hunting what many believe to be a Navajo Wolf, otherwise known as a werewolf, or a witch. Meanwhile, college professor and Ethnologist, Bergen McKee, finds himself fighting for his life in the mountains against a Navajo man who has threatened to kill him if he doesn’t cooperate.

Genre/sub-genre: Navajo Mystery

Series/Standalone: Book 1 of 18

Length: 294 pages

Personal thoughts: 

Told from multiple points of view, this story does take awhile to get into as there doesn’t seem to be much of a mystery in the first few pages. And yet, that’s what makes the mystery that much more mysterious once it picks up. Unfortunately, the main character, Lt. Joe Leaphorn, does not feature in this story as much as one would think, and therefore, we don’t get to know much about him. That said, Leaphorn is still a great detective. He knows his people and he knows the best thing he can do is to listen to what they have to say, because in listening, he is able to hear clues in what is said, how it is said, and even in what is not said. Leaphorn, as well as other recurring characters, do develop further throughout the eighteen book series.

Speaking of characters, the Southwest landscape plays such an integral part in this novel, it’s almost as if it’s a character in and of itself. Given Navajo names such as Sacred Mountain of Blue Flint Woman and Many Ruins Canyon, the place names tell a story all on their own. Mythology and symbolism permeate the story right from the beginning, which may take a little getting used to for some readers, but is also a great way to immerse the reader into the true Navajo culture.

Halfway through the novel, the mystery turns into a thriller/suspense, when we spend more time with Dr. McKee running for his life. This is when the story really picks up and becomes a quick read to the end. Both the mystery and suspense elements are solid, ensuring the reader won’t be able to put the book down once completely immersed. Plus, while the book was written, and set, nearly fifty years ago, the story holds up really well and doesn’t read as dated. Readers will be clamoring for book two as soon as they turn the last page on this one.

Originally published in 1970, this series was groundbreaking in that Hillerman was not Navajo himself, but clearly researched his subject and wrote about The People in a modern setting with respect, and as realistically as possible without dwelling on any negative aspects. This series was popular when it first came out, and continues to be so to this day. In fact, Hillerman has inspired other authors to write their own mysteries involving Native American people.

It is important to note that while author Tony Hillerman passed away in 2008, his daughter, Anne Hillerman, has continued the series with SPIDER WOMAN’S DAUGHTER and ROCK WITH WINGS.


icon of anna

This book is on the BPS Grade 9-12 Summer Reading Mystery List!

Looking to borrow this library book? Look no further! This is also available in ebook format if you require it.

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.


vkovenmatasy@private.bpl.org <![CDATA[On the Radar: Five Books to Check Out in July]]> http://www.bpl.org/teens/?p=6024 2016-06-28T14:37:38Z 2016-06-28T17:00:39Z Get your library card handy and reserve your place in line for these new July 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 this savage song

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Summary: Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city–a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent–but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

Why We’re Excited: I heard it on the water, on the wind. (Okay, actually I heard it on the internet, but give me some room for poetic license.) Could it be? A YA fantasy novel without the obligatory love triangle? A YA fantasy novel with, in fact, no romance whatsoever? I won’t really believe it until I read it, but this I want to see.


cover of shiny broken pieces

Shiny Broken Pieces by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton

Summary: June, Bette, and Gigi are competing one final time for a spot at the prestigious American Ballet Company. With the stakes higher than ever, these girls have everything to lose…and no one is playing nice. June is starting to finally see herself as a prima ballerina. But being the best could mean sacrificing the love of her life. Legacy dancer Bette is determined to clear her name after she was suspended and accused of hurting her rival, Gigi. And Gigi is not going to let Bette–or the other dancers who bullied her–go unpunished. It all comes down to this last dance. Who will make the cut? And who will lose her dream forever?

Why We’re Excited: If there’s one thing I learned from being best friends with a ballet dancer in grade school, it’s that ballerinas are hard-core. Dancing your toenails off (and having to look graceful while you’re doing it)? It sounds like something out of a horror movie to me, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg of what dancers go through to achieve their dreams. This follow-up to last year’s Tiny Pretty Things promises to deliver even more of the drama and the dark side of ballet.


cover of all the feels

All the Feels by Danika Stone

Summary: When uber-fan Liv’s favorite sci fi movie character is killed off, she and her best friend Xander, an aspiring actor and Steampunk enthusiast, launch a campaign to bring him back from the dead.

Why We’re Excited: Let’s be honest, I’ve been in this protagonist’s shoes before. When my favorite character dies (or, to move this into sports fandom, my favorite player gets sold to another team), do I deal well? Nope. Not at all. There is no dealing, only grief and bitter recrimination. And sometimes it’s a lot of fun to see the fangirl life on the page! If All the Feels can live up to Fangirl, the Rainbow Rowell novel that kicked off this recent fandom craze in YA literature, I will be well satisfied.


cover of dinosaurs of the deep

Dinosaurs of the Deep by Larry Verstraete and Julius Csotonyi

Summary: A gigantic sea dwelling mosasaur rises from the watery depths and saves the day in the summer blockbuster Jurassic World . However, these fearsome waterborne predators were anything but heroic, at nearly 50 feet in length and 50 tonnes, mosasaurs made tyrannosaurs look like cuddly puppies. Since their discovery almost two hundred years ago, dinosaurs have captured the imaginations of children and adults alike. What many don’t know is that “dinosaur” the term refers specifically to land born prehistoric reptiles. Despite being discovered nearly 50 years before the before the first dinosaur fossils, prehistoric aquatic creatures like mosasaurs and plesiosaurs have been largely overshadowed by triceratops, apatosaurus and the fierce T-rex. Dinosaurs of the Deep looks to change this by shedding light on the incredible diversity of prehistoric life that was living just beneath the water’s surface.

Why We’re Excited: Uh, terrifying sea monsters need an explanation? The things living at the bottom of the ocean now are scary. Can you even imagine what horrifying creatures were down there when T-rex roamed free? (Including this book is technically cheating on my part because it comes out on the last day of June, but I was more interested in TERRIFYING SEA MONSTERS than release dates.)


cover of flying

Flying by Carrie Jones

Summary: People have always treated seventeen-year-old Mana as someone in need of protection. She’s used to being coddled, being an only child, but it’s hard to imagine anything could ever happen in her small-town, normal life. As her mother’s babying gets more stifling than ever, she’s looking forward to cheering at the big game and getting out of the house for a while. But that night, Mana’s life goes haywire. First, the hot guy she’s been crushing on at school randomly flips out and starts spitting acid during the game. Then they get into a knockdown, drag-out fight in the locker room, during which Mana finds herself leaping around like a kangaroo on steroids. As a flyer on the cheerleading squad, she’s always been a good jumper, but this is a bit much. By the time she gets home and finds her house trashed and an alien in the garage, Mana starts to wonder if her mother had her reasons for being overprotective…

Why We’re Excited: CHEERLEADER ALIEN HUNTER. It’s like Buffy in space!


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.

jlevins <![CDATA[Hold the Popcorn! : Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows]]> http://www.bpl.org/teens/?p=6010 2016-06-28T19:04:33Z 2016-06-28T13:30:43Z Teenage_Mutant_Ninja_Turtles_Out_of_the_Shadows_poster
Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michaelangelo, everybody’s favorite NYC sewer dwelling, crimefighting, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back on the big screen in Out of the Shadows. Vern (AKA “The Falcon”) has taken all of the credit for capturing Shredder in the last movie from the Turtles. Unfortunately for everyone, Shredder manages to escape from custody while being transferred from one prison to another. He ends up in another dimension with a strange alien creature named Krang, whose sights are set on taking over the Earth. Shredder agrees to help Krang gather the pieces to a portal which will allow him to realize his dream of taking over the Earth in return for Krang’s assistance in eliminating the Turtles once and for all. After a lot of intense crimefighting action throughout the film, the Turtles are faced with a difficult choice.

Out of the Shadows is a fun summer movie that is easily accessible even to those with no previous exposure to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Tyler Perry (the creator of the “Madea” films) delivers a strong performance as evil scientist Baxter Stockwell. Out of the Shadows contains a lot of comic book style action and violence and loud noises which might not be suitable for very young children, but should not be a problem for a teenage audience.



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.


chalpin@private.bpl.org <![CDATA[Ctrl+Z: Lego Mindstorms Robotics Clubs]]> http://www.bpl.org/teens/?p=6003 2016-06-23T18:02:37Z 2016-06-24T12:30:27Z 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.

jsnow@private.bpl.org <![CDATA[Teens Leading in the Community: Meet Brian Foster]]> http://www.bpl.org/teens/?p=5982 2016-06-21T10:14:39Z 2016-06-21T10:00:46Z 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

Mary <![CDATA[Get Crafty: Simply Cross-stitching]]> http://www.bpl.org/teens/?p=5898 2016-06-28T14:29:55Z 2016-06-17T14:18:37Z 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 from 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 material 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 in 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.

For books on how to cross-stitch and pattern books, check out these books on the the BPL catalog.

Have lots of fun with your new craft and over time you will learn about more stitches used in cross-stitching.



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.

jkenney@private.bpl.org <![CDATA[Reading Backwards, Watching in Japanese: Ghost in the Shell S.A.C. Second Gig.]]> http://www.bpl.org/teens/?p=5901 2016-06-15T19:05:32Z 2016-06-14T16:00:15Z 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.

crosales@private.bpl.org <![CDATA[Cooking with Caren: Buffalo Chicken Dip]]> http://www.bpl.org/teens/?p=5868 2016-06-04T19:18:49Z 2016-06-10T13:00:43Z 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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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.

rschmelzer@private.bpl.org <![CDATA[Stop the Press: Early School Start Times]]> http://www.bpl.org/teens/?p=5841 2016-06-28T20:51:34Z 2016-06-05T12:00:47Z  


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.

jsnow@private.bpl.org <![CDATA[Teens Leading in the Community: Meet Reginald Fils]]> http://www.bpl.org/teens/?p=5875 2016-06-04T20:27:44Z 2016-06-04T13:58:24Z 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)