On the Radar: Five Books to Check Out in September

Posted on August 30th, 2016 by vkovenmatasy in Books, Previews

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


empire of storms cover

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Summary: Kingdoms collide in Sarah J. Maas’s epic fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series. The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear. In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what — and who — to sacrifice if she’s to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.

Why We’re Excited: The Throne of Glass series continues! Honestly, y’all don’t need me to tell you why to be excited about this book. At time of writing there were already 22 people in line waiting for it. Better hurry up and add your name to the list! You can catch up on previous installments (Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows) while you wait.


the female of the species cover

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

Summary: Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. Three years ago, when her older sister, Anna, was murdered and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best–the language of violence. While her own crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people. Not with Jack, the star athlete who wants to really know her but still feels guilty over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered. And not with Peekay, the preacher’s kid with a defiant streak who befriends Alex while they volunteer at an animal shelter. Not anyone. As their senior year unfolds, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting these three teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.

Why We’re Excited: I’m a sucker for a good revenge saga, and this one sounds fascinating — it’s unusual to see a female protagonist as the unrepentant murderer. It’s a timely read, too; the outrage over People v. Turner is dying down but the rape culture enshrined in America’s legal system is still alive and well.


labyrinth lost

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

Summary: Alex is a bruja and the most powerful witch in her family. But she’s hated magic ever since it made her father disappear into thin air. When a curse she performs to rid herself of magic backfires and her family vanishes, she must travel to Los Lagos, a land in-between as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland, to get her family back.

Why We’re Excited: Urban fantasy novels are a dime a dozen these days (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), but urban fantasy novels grounded in Latin American culture and mythology? A bit thinner on the ground. (Well, there’s Shadowshaper, which you should definitely read if you get impatient waiting for Labyrinth Lost, but still.) Also, there’s no mention anywhere in the cover copy, but a little bird told me that there’s a bisexual love triangle and I am dying to see how that shakes out!


diary of a tokyo teen cover

Diary of a Tokyo Teen by Christine Mari Inzer

Summary: Born in Tokyo to a Japanese mother and an American father in 1997, Christine Mari Inzer spent her early years in Japan and relocated to the United States in 2003. The summer before she turned sixteen, she returned to Tokyo, making a solo journey to get reacquainted with her birthplace. Through illustrations, photos, and musings, Inzer documented her journey. In Diary of a Tokyo Teen, Inzer explores the cutting-edge fashions of Tokyo’s trendy Harajuku district, eats the best sushi of her life at the renowned Tsukiji fish market, and hunts down geisha in the ancient city of Kyoto. As she shares the trials and pleasures of travel from one end of a trip to the other, Inzer introduces the host of interesting characters she meets and offers a unique–and often hilarious–look at a fascinating country and an engaging tale of one girl rediscovering her roots.

Why We’re Excited: Graphic memoirs are awesome! (If you haven’t read Smile and Sisters yet, what rock have you been hiding under for the past couple of years?) You can tell just from the cover that the art in Diary of a Tokyo Teen will be amazing. All I know about Japan I learned from watching way too much anime and JDrama in my misspent youth (so, all I know about Japan is probably hideously inaccurate) and I’m very curious to see Inzer’s perspective on the exoticization of Japan by Americans, and vice versa.


as i descended cover

As I Descended by Robin Talley

Summary: Maria Lyon and Lily Boiten are their school’s ultimate power couple–but one thing stands between them and their perfect future: campus superstar Delilah Dufrey. Golden child Delilah is a legend at exclusive Acheron Academy, and the presumptive winner of the distinguished Cawdor Kingsley Prize. But Delilah doesn’t know that Lily and Maria are willing to do anything–absolutely anything–to unseat Delilah for the scholarship. After all, it would lock in Maria’s attendance at Stanford–and assure her and Lily four more years in a shared dorm room. Together, Maria and Lily harness the dark power long rumored to be present on the former plantation that houses their school. But when feuds turn to fatalities, and madness begins to blur the distinction between what’s real and what’s imagined, the girls must attempt to put a stop to the chilling series of events they’ve accidentally set in motion.

Why We’re Excited: You may or may not be able to tell from the summary, but this book is a lesbian modern-day adaptation of Macbeth. Let that sink in for a moment. LESBIAN MACBETH SET AT BOARDING SCHOOL. I’ll give any halfway decent Shakespeare adaptation the benefit of the doubt, but this has to take the cake. Add to that the fact that Robin Talley has previously established her wlw teen romance bona fides with Lies We Tell Ourselves and What We Left Behind and you’ve got a recipe for success. Let the witchcrafty bloodbath begin!


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.

2D Design with Silhouette Cutting Machine

Posted on August 26th, 2016 by chalpin@private.bpl.org in Teen Services

silhouette cameoTeen Central recently purchased a Silhouette Cameo, a versatile electronic cutting machine that can be used for a wide range of projects. This machine takes your 2D design and cuts it into materials such as, paper, adhesive vinyl, and fabric. The machine works in conjunction with a related piece of software, Silhouette Studio, that has been installed on computers in The Lab in Teen Central. You can create designs directly in Silhouette Studio or import images in PNG, JPG, BMP, GIF, and TIF file types. So, what can you do with such a tool? The web is full of great ideas and my go-to spot for crafty ideas is Pinterest. Here are some examples of projects I discovered there and can’t wait to try!

jumpman vinyl decal
Vinyl Window Decals: Vinyl decals are often seen in the rear windows of cars, but you can apply them to a window at home, or really, to nearly anything of yours that you choose, such as a laptop or a skateboard deck.
dimensional candle holders

Dimensional Paper Lanterns
: These pretty paper lanterns are for use with an LED candle and are simply wrapped around an empty plastic bottle!


Freezer Paper Stencils: Like screen printing, but made simpler, people are cutting away the positive space of an image using inexpensive freezer paper and then adhering it to fabric for use in DIY t-shirt design and more.freezer paper 1freezer paper 2

Cross Section Paper Earrings
: Cut intricate patterns, several times over, in a jiff! These earring are made from layers of cardstock glued together and gilded with metallic paint.
earrings 1earrings 2



(Follow the hyperlinks above for instructions on exactly how some of these things are made using the Silhouette Cameo.)


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

*”Ctrl+Z” is all about fearlessly exploring technology. Look here for info about teens, technology, and having fun with new media by Catherine, Teen Technology Coordinator at Teen Central, on the fourth Friday of the month.

Hold the Popcorn!: Suicide Squad

Posted on August 23rd, 2016 by jlevins in Teen Services


The summer is winding down. Almost time to start thinking about hitting the books again as school will be back in session soon. Almost, but not quite yet. There is still time to check out one more rad summer movie, and Suicide Squad is a great choice!

All around badass Special Forces person Amanda Waller (played by Viola Davis) puts together a team of mutant supervillains, known as “Task Force X”, to carry out missions for the United States government. Unfortunately, one of Waller’s recruits, Dr. June Moore (played by Cara Delevinge), becomes possessed by the Enchantress, an evil interdimensional witch-like entity who craves revenge on society. The Enchantress and her brother are not happy about the way that society seems to worship machines the way they used to worship them! The performances in Suicide Squad are great. The always great Will Smith puts on a commanding performance as Deadshot. Jared Leto does his best to fill the huge shoes left behind by Heath Ledger in his portrayal of The Joker, and proves to be worthy of the task overall. My personal favorite was Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as the reptilian Killer Croc. The bottom line is that the Enchantress and her brother must be destroyed, and the question is whether or not the Suicide Squad is up to the task. See the movie and find out!

Enjoy the rest of your summer and save me the aisle seat!


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.


Get Crafty: Make Bangle Designs Using Yarn or Threads

Posted on August 19th, 2016 by mdevine in Crafts
Tags: , , , ,

Welcome to this month’s installment of Get Crafty!  This month, we will be making bangle/bracelet designs using yarn or embroidery floss.  This craft is great when you have extra yarn or embroidery floss left over from other craft projects.


Old Bangles – plastic, metal or wood – You can get the bangles at a craft store or a thrift shop. Also, make sure you can get it on your wrist with a little extra room.
Glue Gun or E6000 glue. (You can also use double sided tape but for these instructions, I’m going to use glue.)
Yarn or embroidery floss – Try not to use scratchy yarn since you want it to be soft on your arms. You will use all 6 strands of the embroidery floss.


1. Decide what pattern you want on your bangle. You don’t have to have a specific pattern but it helps. Some bangles have been made using random colors or even multicolor threads.

2. Place a small drop of glue inside the bangle.

3. Place the beginning of the yarn or thread in that spot.

4. Start wrapping your yarn or thread.

5. When you finish a color, trim the yarn or thread with a small tail. Put a small drop of glue inside the bangle and place the end of the yarn or thread right next to the end of the prior wrap of the same color.yarn wrapped bangle collage

6. Begin a new thread the same as you did for step 2 above and continue following the instructions until you reach the end. Make sure the end of the final yarn or thread color is tucked in tight between the beginning and the end of the design.

7. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes to make sure the glue is dry and then try it on and enjoy!


Another idea is to design your bangles to represent the country of your favorite Olympic Team. Here is a list of the countries participating in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. The list is in order of the Portuguese spelling for each country. You can click on the country for more information and a picture of the national flag for that country. Also included is the Olympic Flag, that represents the Independent Athletes as well as the Refugees Olympic Team. This picture shows a slightly different style of bangle.




Another option is to wrap just one color around the bangle and weave a design through the threads. With this design, you will need to use a tapestry needle to weave the design. Instructions for this design can be found here.



An alternate way for creating the bangles is to use thin bangles, embroidery floss, 6mm and 7mm jump rings and a variety of charms. Use the same steps as above. Embroidery floss works better on the thinner bangles especially when you want to add embellishments to your bangle. This website will give you instructions how to construct this bangle.



These bangles are great as gifts for a friend or family member or a way to express yourself when going back to school.

Have fun and Get Crafty!


manga-me-150x150Need 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.

Teens Leading in the Community: The SuccessLink Process

Posted on August 16th, 2016 by jsnow in Teen Services

SuccessLink: helping teens find opportunities easily








This post was written by Anna Dao, student at Boston Latin School and SuccessLink teen working in Teen Central.

A solid amount of teenagers all across Boston, ages ranging from 15-18, are most likely working this summer and earning money for college, savings, or just some extra pocket cash to spend time with their friends. Whatever the reason is, teens are spending their summer break working and that is all thanks to Mayor Martin J Walsh and the Department of Youth Engagement and Employment. Earlier this year Mayor Walsh launched Successlink, which enables these teens to find job opportunities.

Although the money that teens will have earned from the work that they will have done is important, an even better benefit to working in the summer is giving teens an insight in being in the real world before they are actually in the real world. These young adults will be engaging in opportunities that, not only provide real world experience, but also give them the chance to learn who they really are, who they want to be, what they like to do, and what they want to do.

The process is simple: Teens would sign up for SuccessLink in the wintertime and apply to a number of organizations connected to SuccessLink. Their SuccessLink profile has their resume, all the needed identifications, and an essay that the teen wrote explaining why they would be an excellent candidate for a job in the summer. From there, the teens would apply to whatever jobs interest them.

Many of my classmates and friends used SuccessLink to connect to job opportunities and are now currently working this summer. I recall in the past when I constantly listened as the broken records that I call my friends droned on and on (myself included) about how much they desired to have a job in the summer. It was very difficult to find a place that was hiring students because of their young age. Therefore, students all across Boston were struggling to find something to occupy themselves with. Picture that; a city filled with intelligent young people who have so much potential, but no way to express that because they were struggling to find jobs.

On top of that, students are learning a number of skills from working with these businesses that they will be able to put on their college application. This age is quite a struggle because 15-18 is the time when students would seriously be thinking about college. It seems like their world is rushing them to find what they want to do for the rest of their life and urging them to beef up their college application so that they would be able to get into colleges. Changes are happening so many students can feel like they are unprepared skillfully and/or mentally and their world in spinning. However, working in the summer not only gives them a taste of a certain field without committing to it completely, but also gives them experience that many colleges will appreciate.

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.