Boston Public Library
Teens

The Eyre Affair – A Review

Posted on July 15th, 2014 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff
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The Eyre Affair

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

Read by: Anna/Central Teen Room

Thursday Next is a Literary Detective. She tracks down stolen books. But this isn’t your garden variety detective novel. It’s easy to slip into a book and meet the characters. Likewise, it’s easy for characters to slip out of books and into our world. So, what happens when Jane Eyre gets kidnapped from her novel? Thursday Next is on the case and ready to get her back.

I started this book with high hopes. I love books. I love detective novels and mysteries. Putting them together, should then be a no-brainer for a fantastic book. Or a series. Unfortunately, right from page one, this book wasn’t doing anything for me. Jane Eyre doesn’t actually go missing until page 300 (out of 374). This baffled me, as the title suggests the first thing to happen on page one would be Jane going missing. A lot happens before she does go missing, though I felt like someone threw me in a bottle of soda and shook me up a little what with the time traveling, flash backs, visiting characters in books, book characters coming out of books, moving, meeting family, chasing a bad guy, getting shot, meeting old friends, meeting new coworkers… you get the idea. I also felt like I needed to research different events in history I was unfamiliar with, in order to understand whether the characters were talking about an altered event or the actual thing as it happened, and that threw me out of the story as well. If you’re a history buff, you shouldn’t have a problem with this aspect of it. That being said, I know people who have read, and enjoyed, the entire series. It seems to be one of those series you either like or you don’t. Someone said the reader probably needs to be in the right “head space” to read this and maybe that was part of my problem. I’m not really sure. All I know is that I just couldn’t get into it, and therefore, I ended up not enjoying it as much as I’d hoped to.

Central Library Teen Room has moved

Posted on July 11th, 2014 by Mary in Teen Services

The Central Library Teen Room has moved to our temporary space in the Boston Room. We are still in the Johnson Building but now we are on the first floor near Borrower Services. This is a picture of our room:

Teen Room temporary  7-9-2014

Man o’War: A Legend Like Lightning – A Review

Posted on July 7th, 2014 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff
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Man O War

Man o’War: A Legend Like Lightning by Dorothy Ours

Read by: Anna/Central Teen Room

This is the story of one of the greatest racing horses to ever live. His name was Man o’War, and he was born in 1917. But this book isn’t just about the great horse, also known as Big Red for his colorful coat. Because surrounding him are the people that made his racing career happen and the other horses who raced against him. Everyone had a hand in his career, whether they were directly related to his farm or not. This book chronicles every race he ever participated in, whether he won or lost, giving minute details so his victories are well understood to have been above and beyond what the other horses were doing.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about this horse and his triumphs as I am an avid horse lover. However, this is not the book for a casual reader as the information can be quite dense and maybe even hard to get through at times. Nevertheless, if horses and horse racing is your thing, this is a fantastic read. Ours gives enough information to explain things to those who are not entirely familiar with horse racing, before rushing on to discuss the races, almost as if the book were a race itself. But it’s not a race. It is a slow read, though for sure the parts describing each race will have the reader on the edge of their seat. In short, I enjoyed it immensely, but it was not an easy read.

A Study in Scarlet – A Review

Posted on June 30th, 2014 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff
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Study in Scarlet

A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Read by: Anna/Central Teen Room

Sherlock Holmes is one of the most famous literary detectives of all time and this is the book that introduced him to the world in 1887. It’s hard to believe that this character, along with his sidekick Dr. John Watson, continue to be just as popular over 100 years later, but two current television shows and many movies easily prove that these characters are as enduring as time itself.

A Study in Scarlet starts us off with Dr. John Watson, having returned to London from the war in Afghanistan he is in need of a place to live and can’t afford one on his own. A friend of his recommends Sherlock Holmes as someone who is also seeking a roommate. John knows nothing about the police profession or the science of deduction, but he’s about to learn when the local police ask for Sherlock’s assistance in solving a most bizarre murder. A man is found dead, with no apparent wounds on his person. Just how did he die? And who is the murderer? Sherlock doesn’t reveal his clues until the end, but the story takes us all the way to Salt Lake City, Utah and back to London again before the end.

This was a fantastic murder mystery that easily shows just how important all the little details at a crime scene are. Through John Watson, we learn how Sherlock solves crimes using what he terms the Science of Deduction. It’s also a very short book, split into two parts, each seven chapters long. It was a breeze to read. The only thing I’m still not sure about, was the abrupt shift from London to Utah without any heads up. Then we’re stuck in Utah for five chapters before we get back to London. However, everything does tie neatly together in the end. I highly recommend this for anyone who enjoys reading murder mysteries. This is not a book to miss out on!

This book is also on the Boston Public Schools Grade 9-12 summer reading mystery list, for anyone searching for a good read for school.

 

 

College Scholarship Opportunities 2014

Posted on June 24th, 2014 by Anna in Resources, Teen Services
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stack of dollars

You want to go to college but you don’t know how you’re going to afford it. Perhaps you’re already IN college but need more help paying the bills so you can focus on your studies. There are a lot of FREE resources available to help you out. Every year lots of money set aside for scholarships goes un-used. Here are some links to help you get connected with some funding sources to pay for your education:

First – become familiar with American Student Assistance.  They are located in the Central Library right in Copley Square! “Boston-area students planning for higher education can come to a College Planning Center for guidance on choosing a college, applying for financial aid and scholarships, managing money, and choosing a major or a career. We also offer college guidebooks, study aids, computer access for college research, and information on GED, ESL and technical/vocational education opportunities.” Their phone number is 617-536-0200.

The United States Department of Education web site has a page all about FUNDING YOUR EDUCATION. Naturally, it has a link to “Funding Education Beyond High School: The Guide to Federal Student Aid“. It also has an in-direct link to the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Office of Student Financial Assistance. The page also contains this very wise advice” you can find out about nonfederal scholarships and other sources of aid in several ways, including contacting the financial aid offices at the schools you plan to attend and checking information in a public library or online.

Sallie Mae, the Fortune 500 company that manages $188 billion in educational loans and serves 10 million student and parent customers.

The famous job search engine, monster, hosts finaid, the smart student guide to financial aid.

Scholarships.com is a constantly updated site that claims to be the “largest free and independent college  scholarship search and financial aid  information resource on the Internet”. Their site allows students to search 2.7 million college scholarships and grants worth over $19 billion and quickly arrive at a list of awards for which they qualify. And it’s all free.

The United States Department of Agriculture offers student programs, scholarships, and internships. Details are online here.

Many non-profit organizations offer special scholarships. As always, you’ll want to pay close attention to what their requirements are and make sure you get everything in before their various deadlines. Here are a few to get you started:

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund works to develop and prepare a new generation of leaders by providing leadership development, scholarships, resources, opportunities and advocacy to Public Historically Black Colleges & Universities, students and alumni.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association offers information to future college sports players.

For 40+ years the American Political Science Association has offered a minority fellowship program in efforts to increase the number of minority scholars in the discipline.

The National Association of Black Journalists annually awards more than $60,000 in scholarshipsto deserving students interested in pursuing careers in journalism.

Current students interested in studying abroad should definitely check out the SIT Graduate Institute. Among lots of other resources, they offer a list of funding sources for international study.

It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness: Students in undergraduate and graduate programs at accredited colleges and universities are invited to interpret the message and mission of the Christophers in short films of five minutes or less. Every year for the past 25+ years they award prizes up to $2,000 to their favorites.

The Ayn Rand Institute awards $81,250 in prize money each year to the winners of its essay contests.

The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation awards grants to Gates Millennium Scholars. This years recipients are currently being notified (the deadline passed in January). Among other requirements, recipients of this money are African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian and Pacific Islander American, or Hispanic American; have attained a cumulative GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale (un-weighted); and have demonstrated leadership abilities through participation in community service, extracurricular or other activities.

HomeAdvisor is challenging students to break new ground in green home improvement by offering a scholarship every year to one student. High school seniors accepted to a college or trade school or any student currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program at any accredited college, university or trade school in the United States are qualified to apply by submitting a 1,000 to 2,000 word essay. Find more information about this scholarship here.

The Society of Women Engineers Scholarships support women pursuing ABET-accredited baccalaureate or graduate programs in preparation for careers in engineering, engineering technology and computer science in the United States and Mexico. Find more information here.

American Dental Education Association offers scholarships, awards and fellowships for students here.

Best Medical Assistant Programs has a $500 scholarship for one lucky college student looking to go into the medical field. Check out their scholarship page for more information.

Many corporations also offer scholarships to students. Some are available only to children of employees, some only to employees themselves, and yet others are available to the general public. You should always check with any company you and your parents have any relationship to see what if anything they have available.  A few companies that offer money to the general public (with restrictions of course – read the fine print) follow.

Xerox also offers a Technical Minority Scholarship of $1,000 to $10,000 to qualified minorities enrolled in a technical degree program at the bachelor level or above.

The Coca-Cola Company has awarded more than $38 million in scholarships. In addition, their First Generation Scholarship program has awarded more than $19 million in scholarships to support students who are the first in their immediate families to go to college.

(Please note, this is a repost of a 2010 blog post with updated links and information.)