Teens

On the Radar: Five Books to Check Out in March

Posted on February 28th, 2017 by vkovenmatasy in Books, Previews, Teen Services

Get your library card handy and reserve your place in line for these new March 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.

 

inexplicable logic of my life cover

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Summary: A story set on the American border with Mexico, about family and friendship, life and death, and one teen struggling to understand what his adoption does and doesn’t mean about who he is.

Why We’re Excited: FINALLY, a new book from Benjamin Alire Sáenz! Dante and Aristotle Discover the Secrets of the Universe, which came out five years ago, is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. While this is not, sadly, a sequel (you promised more about Dante and Ari and I’m holding you to it, Mr. Alire Sáenz! *shakes fist*), everything I’ve heard about The Inexplicable Logic of My Life sounds both gorgeous and thoughtful, and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on it. I’ve only been jealously eyeing the advance readers copy on my coworker’s desk for the past six months, it’s cool, I’m a patient human being and I can wait. (GIMME ALREADY.)

 

the bone witch cover

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

Summary: Tea’s gift for death magic means that she is a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community, but when an older bone witch trains her to become an asha–one who can wield elemental magic–Tea will have to overcome her obstacles and make a powerful choice in the face of danger as dark forces approach.

Why We’re Excited: Buckle up, horror fans, your girl Rin Chupeco has a new book out! The Bone Witch sounds like it leans more toward fantasy than The Girl From the Well and The Suffering, but let’s be honest: we’re all going to show up for accidental necromancy.

 

dead little mean girl cover

Dead Little Mean Girl by Eva Darrows

Summary: A proud geek girl, Emma loves her quiet life on the outskirts, playing video games and staying off the radar. When her nightmare of a new stepsister moves into the bedroom next door, her world is turned upside down. Quinn is a queen bee with a nasty streak who destroys anyone who gets in her way. Teachers, football players, her fellow cheerleaders–no one is safe. Emma wants nothing more than to get this girl out of her life, but when Quinn dies suddenly, Emma realizes there was more to her stepsister than anyone ever realized.

Why We’re Excited: I loved Darrows’ genre-bending debut, The Awesome (is it horror? fantasy? humor? contemporary romance? who cares, it’s amazing!), and her sophomore effort promises even more category-defying mash-up greatness. Bring It On meets Stand By Me? I mean, hey, why not?

 

overturned cover

Overturned by Lamar Giles

Summary: Nikki Tate’s father has been on death row for killing his best friend in a gambling dispute, but he has always maintained his innocence. Now his conviction has been overturned and he is back at the casino, where high school junior Nikki has been operating illegal poker games in the hopes of saving enough money to get out of Vegas after graduation–and now he is determined to find the real killer, and Nikki is inevitably drawn into his dangerous search for the truth.

Why We’re Excited: Lamar Giles knows how to write an exciting mystery — check out Fake ID and Endangered if you haven’t already — and he’s also a founding member of We Need Diverse Books. Need I say more? You’re in for a fabulous, authentic read.

 

honestly ben cover

Honestly Ben by Bill Konigsberg

Summary: Ben Carver returns for the spring semester at the exclusive Natick School in Massachusetts determined to put his relationship with Rafe Goldberg behind him and concentrate on his grades and the award that will mean a full scholarship–but Rafe is still there, there is a girl named Hannah whom he meets in the library, and behind it all is his relationship with his distant, but demanding father.

Why We’re Excited: Ok, first of all, if you haven’t read Openly Straight yet, close the browser window, acquire a copy, and don’t come back to this page until you’re done so I don’t spoil the ending for you. Cool? Cool.
.
.
.
We safe from spoilers now? Great. The ending of Openly Straight made me actively furious. It gave a happy ending to our blithe protagonist Rafe (who was, let’s face it, abnormally well-adjusted and was going to be fine no matter what) but threw his best friend and erstwhile love interest Ben under the bus. I can’t even think about the book — which I really enjoyed reading, up to the end! — without getting angry about how Ben’s storyline just cut off in the middle of what should have been his narrative arc, zero resolution to be found. I should probably apologize in retrospect for cussing out Bill Konigsberg so much in my head, because as it turns out Ben is getting his own book and (hopefully!) a whole bunch of resolution is waiting at the end of it. Fingers crossed!

 

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.

Stop the Press: New Photos from the Past

Posted on February 7th, 2017 by rbeckley in News, Teen Services
Tags: ,

Does this lady look familiar to you?

5894f7cfe203b.image

American school children have seen her face countless times, have read her story of escaping slavery only to make the same trip many times, guiding hundreds of escaped slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad. Most pictures of Harriet Tubman were taken about 10 to 20 years later. But this photo is reported to be taken when she was around 43 years old, placing it just after the end of the Civil War.

With the US Treasury’s plan to put Harriet Tubman’s face on the $20 bill, this find is a wonderful way to celebrate Black History Month.

 

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

Ctrl+Z: Teen Tech Mentors Take Over “Tween Time” – PART 2

Posted on January 30th, 2017 by chalpin in Teen Services

Teen Tech Mentor, Khalid Ibrahim, recently co-led a program for older children.
He shares his experience below: 

Our first Teen Tech Mentor  program was based on the Little Bits simple circuits set.  There are examples all over the Internet of the many amazing contraptions and gadgets that can be made with LittleBits.littleBits_project ideas

We began our program with a run-down of all the parts of the Little-Bits case.   My fellow Teen-Tech mentor and I went over where individual parts usually come in the circuit series.  We also went over the use of the specific parts when building the wireless buzzer.

First , we passed around a completed Wireless Buzzer to show the tweens what the project looked like.  Next, we began building the circuit beginning with the power source.  Then we conjoined the slide dimmer to the circuit in order to gauge the power being delivered to the rest of the circuit.  Finally we attached the wireless component to the circuit to reach the rest of it.   Finally, we experimented with attaching different Bits to the base circuit to see what other projects could branch from the Wireless Buzzer.

Overall, our first program with the Wireless Buzzer was a huge success as we not only accomplished teaching the Wireless Buzzer  to our tweens but we were able to branch off and move to other ideas.  Owen quickly got with the idea of the Little-Bits and took the lead for finding new innovative ideas with it.

-Khalid Ibrahim

ttm_tween_littlebits_2

Ctrl+Z: Teen Tech Mentors Take Over “Tween Time”

Posted on January 27th, 2017 by chalpin in Teen Services

Teen Tech Mentor, Khalid Mohamed, recently co-led a program for older children.
He shares his experience below: 

Circuitry (n.)

1946, from circuit (n.)+ -ry.

Circuit (n.)

Late 14c., “a going around; a line going around,” from Old French circuit (14c.) “a circuit; a journey (around something),” from Latin circuitus “a going around,” from stem of circuire, circumire “go around,” from circum “round” + ire “to go”.

-(e)ry

Word-forming element making nouns meaning “place for, art of, condition of, quantity of,” from Middle English -erie, from Latin -arius (see -ary). Also sometimes in modern colloquial use “the collectivity of” or “an example of.”

Over the course of two weeks, my collaborator Khalid Ibrahim and I had developed a programed aimed for tweens on circuitry. As the etymology displayed above displays, circuitry is the art of going around, or in modern terms, the system in which an electricity flows. In the program, we used littleBits. The littleBits are a kit for easy-to-use circuitry, using little bits that function as different parts of a circuit. We had chosen to use these for our first program because of their versatility and ease of use.

We had first started with the planning of what our program would aim to achieve. We had decided on “activity aims to have students learn and demonstrate fluency in basic circuitry. This will be executed using littleBits, a modular electronics kit used for fun and learning.”. Then we had to construct an outline:

Program Activities:

  • Icebreaker – Name, age, “What do you think a circuit is?” (5 minutes)
  • Introduction what a circuit is, display littleBits, what you can do and what each part does, hand around and explain the Buzzer circuit (10-15 minutes)
  • Give students littleBits, and instruct them to a Wireless Buzzing Machine (30 minutes)

 

  • Other project as time allows.littleBits_Starter_Kit_openHR

Materials:

  • littleBits
  • Example
  • Tweens

Learning Outcomes/Goals:

  • Know what a circuit is and what it does
  • Ability to use littleBits, what each individual bit does, and make a basic (buzzer) to complex (kite or wireless) circuits

We had chosen to have our tweens make wireless buzzers as they utilize all the littleBits and it is on the more complex side to build. To build this, we would need two batteries. two blue power bits, one pink modulator bit, a pair of wireless bits, and a green buzzer. To construct this, one would attach the blue power bits to the wireless bits. One one wireless bit there would be two sides, with the power delivered on one end and whichever channel it goes through and the buzzer is on on the other wireless bit, the buzzer will go off, if both wireless bits are on the same radio channel. The pink modulation bit, in this case the slide dimmer, can be attached to either bits or even the buzzer to change how much electricity can be sent to the buzzer, hence changing the volume of the buzzer.

On the day of our program, we had run short of materials. We had our littleBits, our example, and instructors. What we had run short of tweens, to the point where we had one. The student was named Owen, and was a nine year old who was extremely technology-savvy. He had shown us a website where he placed games he made using Scratch. Owen was enthusiastic about the project, stating that it would be easy to do. He told us that circuits are in all electronics, and serve to give them structure and power supply. He had flown through the introduction of the bits, and created the wireless buzzer within thirty minutes. Since my partner and I had no further projects to assign, we had Owen create to his delectation. He had built a fan and wheel contraption which he could control which one he wanted to run. In the end, we concluded that we had a great program. Though we were hit with the hindrance of one tween, we had him learn about circuitry and apply that knowledge to building custom circuits.
— Khalid M. Mohamed

ttm_tween_littlebits_1

On the Radar: Five Books to Check Out in February

Posted on January 27th, 2017 by vkovenmatasy in Books, Previews, Teen Services

Get your library card handy and reserve your place in line for these new February 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.

 

american street cover

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

Summary: On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie — a good life. But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own. Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream? (summary via Goodreads)

Why We’re Excited: First of all, look at that absolutely gorgeous cover! How could you not be excited? And secondly, we now more than ever need literature that sympathetically and accurately portrays the immigrant experience in America. Ibi Zoboi, who immigrated to the US from Haiti herself as a child, is in a position to do exactly that. This is her debut novel, so now is a great opportunity to not only read what sounds like an excellent book, but let the publishing industry know that we want to hear authentic voices like hers!

 

king's cage cover

King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

Summary: Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country — and his prisoner. As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back. (summary via Goodreads)

Why We’re Excited: This is the final volume of one of the big fantasy trilogies of the past few years — I have heard so many raving good reviews about Red Queen and Glass Sword, but I haven’t had a chance to pick them up yet! We can pretend that this was on purpose so I wouldn’t have the agonizing year-long wait in between books. If you’re in the same boat as me, now would be a great time to catch up…

 

beastly brains cover

Beastly Brains: Exploring How Animals Think, Talk, and Feel by Nancy Castaldo

Summary: In Beastly Brains, Castaldo delves into the minds of animals and explores animal empathy, communication, tool use, and social societies through interviews and historical anecdotes. Researchers from Charles Darwin to Jane Goodall have spent years analyzing the minds of animals, and today’s science is revolutionizing old theories and uncovering surprising similarities to our own minds. Humans are not alone in our ability to think about ourselves, make plans, help each other, or even participate in deception. You’ll think differently about the animals on this planet — maybe it’s their world and we’re just living in it! (summary via Goodreads)

Why We’re Excited: Animals are ♥, obviously! But as much as I like to believe my cat really loves me, the truth is that I don’t know much about how her brain works. Scientists are figuring out new things all the time and it doesn’t surprise me that we know more about animal minds now than we did when I was in school… and that’s really neat! Time to learn some new stuff. (But if the newest research shows that cats don’t love their humans, I’m going to go right ahead and ignore it.)

 

long may she reign cover

Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas

Summary: Freya was never meant be queen. Twenty third in line to the throne, she never dreamed of a life in the palace, and would much rather research in her laboratory than participate in the intrigues of court. However, when an extravagant banquet turns deadly and the king and those closest to him are poisoned, Freya suddenly finds herself on the throne. Freya may have escaped the massacre, but she is far from safe. The nobles don’t respect her, her councillors want to control her, and with the mystery of who killed the king still unsolved, Freya knows that a single mistake could cost her the kingdom – and her life. (summary via Goodreads)

Why We’re Excited: The premise of this book sounds both bonkers and delightful (and reminds me inescapably of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder). An entire royal family murdered, and the under-under-understudy suddenly gets stuck with the crown? Can’t beat that for drama. To be honest the cover isn’t really grabbing me, but the plot summary more than makes up for it!

 

the hate u give cover

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Summary: Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. (summary via Goodreads)

Why We’re Excited: I’ve been waiting for this book to come out ever since I read an excerpt from the first chapter on Entertainment Weekly’s website. Angie Thomas’s writing is incredible, and this is a book America needs to read right now. (Bonus book to look out for: Renee Watson’s Piecing Me Together, which I wanted to include this month but couldn’t quite make fit!)

 

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.