Boston Public Library
Teens

Seed Lending Library

Posted on May 13th, 2014 by Angela in Events, Programs

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Do you have a green thumb, or know someone that does? Did you know that the Boston Public Library is now part of a Seed Sharing Library that is sponsored by Boston Natural Areas Network and Greenovate Boston?  The program is currently running at the Grove Hall, Mattapan and at the East Boston Branches.  You will be able to borrow seeds from the library and at the end of harvesting season you return whatever seeds you were able to save from your new crops.  To find out more information about the programs, you should visit the branches. And if you want to share your gardening skills both Mattapan and Grove Hall also offer gardening programs in the library if you want to get your hands dirty at some point.

Forever – A Review

Posted on May 13th, 2014 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff
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Forever

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

Read by:  Anna/Central Library

Forever is the final book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy and chronicles the lives of Sam, who can no longer shift into his wolf form, his girlfriend, Grace, who is now learning to live life part-time as a wolf, Isabel who’s still not entirely thrilled with events as they unfold, and Cole, who has taken this opportunity to search for a cure.

Isabel’s father, Tom Culpepper, has gone to those men high up in the government that he can trust to get a helicopter raid on the wolves. He wants them dead for killing his son and several other teens. He wants the wolves dead. Now. The four teens, Sam, Grace, Isabel, and Cole, struggle to figure out what their future will look like post high school graduation while at the same time feeling lost as to what to do about the helicopter raid that will wipe out their family and friends.  What’s a part-time werewolf to do?

This book was just as good as the others in the trilogy. Even toward the end, the characters stayed in character. Those that did change, did it gradually and over a long period of time, keeping things very realistic for a book about werewolves. The believability of these books was something I really enjoyed. Reading this, I can very well believe that werewolves actually do exist. Of course they do. These are teens who are thrust out into the world on their own, struggling to figure out where they belong, and how to survive in a cruel world. It’s not easy. Yes, these teens do have parents who are also struggling with their own lives, but even so, the teens know they’re on their own. They can’t go to their parents for help because their parents wouldn’t understand. If you’ve read the other two books, you’ll know exactly why Sam doesn’t like trusting outsiders with the information that they’re not entirely human. Help does come in the most unlikely form, and when it does, it doesn’t take over the story. This new person doesn’t have all the magical answers, but helps them the best way possible. Nothing is perfect. And the romance between Sam and Grace, once again, was believable and sweet; a quiet assuredness that they’d found The One . It was great to see that in a young couple. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have Isabel and Cole. They don’t really get along. And yet, they also get along extremely well at the same time because they’re a lot alike. It was good to see them in contrast to Grace and Sam. They were a good balance to the relationship spectrum.

In short, I loved this series because I love werewolves, I loved the relationships here, and I loved just how realistic these books were.

Incarceron – A Review

Posted on April 24th, 2014 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff
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Incarceron

Incarceron by: Catherine Fisher

Read by: Anna/Copley Teen Room

Incarceron is the book our TBOM group decided to read for March and April. Our final discussion of the book will be today, April 24th at 3pm in the Central Teen Room.

Incarceron is a prison. It is a prison that speaks for itself, feeds its prisoners, takes over the dead bodies, grows new ones, and ensures no one escapes, all from within. There is a Warden, but even he, doesn’t have complete control over the prison. Once, there was a prince, Giles. When he was only a child he was killed to allow his half brother to take the throne. And yet… inside Incarceron there is a boy who bears a birthmark that is a match to the one the prince had. This boy, Finn, is the son of Incarceron. He was born there, created by the prison three years ago. And yet… he remembers a birthday cake, the candles, a pretty girl he was set to marry some day. Are they one and the same? Outside, Claudia, the daughter of the Warden, is set to marry Giles’ horrible half brother and in the eventual death of the queen, take over. But things are not as they seem. Lies and assassination plots abound, and one can’t be sure who to trust any more. It is Finn’s  goal to escape the prison and find out just who he really is. But no one escapes Incarceron. It is Claudia’s goal to free Finn and his friends, to restore him as prince and free the world from the tyrant of a Queen, but no one knows where Incarceron is located or how to get to it.

When I first started reading this book I will admit I was very confused about what was going on inside the prison. It’s not a prison like anyone has ever heard of. There’s a whole world inside the prison, there’s weather, hills, rocks, barren land, whole cities with guards and rock walls surrounding them, forests, roving bands of criminals, mothers, babies, moving vehicles, animals, fake rats who’s duty is to clean up the dead bodies and garbage, you name it, it’s in Incarceron. Yes, weapons are there too. I didn’t understand this at first, and I wish I’d gotten a better handle on it right from the start. And yet, I will also admit that the opening scene is very riveting. It throws you in and scares you half to death. And so I was confused about how the prison worked at first. But the more time I spent there, the more it began to make sense and the more I wanted to know what was going to happen. Right up until the very end. There is a sequel entitled Sapphique, so there are a few things left unanswered. And while I’m anxious to read the next book, I’m also thinking if this one was just a little bit longer, it could have been a standalone novel. But, not having read Sapphique, I could be entirely wrong. We’ll have to see.

While I was expecting a bit of romance to color the plot, it doesn’t, and that was a relief. Too many YA novels rely on the standard romance trope these days that they ruin what could have been a good story. Not every novel needs to have a romance and I’m glad this one allows the actual story to shine. I like Claudia. She’s a tough girl who knows what she wants and is determined to get it. And Finn, who sometimes seems weak, rises to do what’s right when others wouldn’t. The Warden always leaves you with questions as to his true loyalties, making him an intriguing character. Though the Queen and her son, Jasper, do seem a little flat, the other characters quickly make up for it.

Yes, I do recommend this book. My only issue was in the beginning, as I said. Once I understood the world building, I could see just how fantastic and unique it really was, inside the prison and out. Then I was able to really enjoy this page-turner. Read it if you enjoy fantasy, urban fantasy, and classic fantasy.

 

 

Linger – A Review

Posted on April 16th, 2014 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff
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Linger

Linger by: Maggie Stiefvater

Read by: Anna/Copley Teen Room

Linger is the second book in Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. Sam has been cured of being a werewolf. He’s human now, thinking about a future with Grace, the girl he loves. When a dead wolf is found, having bled to death, and Grace begins feeling very ill, things take a turn for the worse. Grace’s parents discover that Sam has been sleeping over more often than they would like and start to take a more active role in their daughter’s life. At the same time, Sam meets the last people Beck transformed into wolves, and nothing goes smoothly for the two musicians who don’t get along right from day one. Can Sam take over where Beck left off? And is Grace’s illness just a simple bug, or a werewolf trying to claw its way out of her?

This was a gripping second installment that I could not put down, just like the first book. Again, I enjoyed the way these wolves aren’t your typical fictional werewolves. While most werewolves shift with a full moon, or can shift whenever they want, these are trapped within the time frame of the winter months and rough spring warmth/cold. And yet, in this second book we start to see that that might not be the case after all. That perhaps everything they’ve believed all their lives was wrong. Nothing is ever easy. That sums up this book a bit. There is no easy solution at the end. We’re left wondering what will happen to each character. Whether Cole will become a little friendlier after interacting with equally cold Isabel, and whether Sam is actually cured of being a werewolf. I liked the fact that there aren’t invisible parents in this series. While a lot of YA novels just seem to skip out on having parents, this series does not, and I think it also portrays them in a realistic fashion. The teens themselves, have a lot of depth to them and are not flat characters. Grace wants a red coffee pot, as a symbol of her surviving humanity and her future as a human. It’s little mundane things like this that mean so much in the real world, it’s nice to see it mean something to Grace too.

Forever, the final volume in the trilogy will be one of my next YA reads. I wish I’d read Linger and Forever back when I read Shiver, but even so, I’m glad I finally did pick them up. So far, I highly recommend these books if you enjoy fantasy, urban fantasy, and especially werewolves with romance. But I do have to say, these books, while containing a strong romance between Sam and Grace, go beyond the romance and are about so much more than that.

Denim Day Patches

Posted on April 14th, 2014 by Mary in Teen Services

On Friday, April 11, Teens from the Central Library Teen Room made patches to prepare for Denim Day. They also listened to members of the Youth Empowerment Project/Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence talk about how Denim Day came about and what we can do to stop sexual violence against people. This year Denim Day will be on Wednesday April 23. During the week of April 23, the Teen Room will have our patches on display for Teens to see. For more information, check out Denim Day 2014.

 

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