Cooking with Caren: Marshmallow Treats

Posted on August 13th, 2016 by crosales in Teen Services


5 Steps to Perfect Marshmallow Treats!


1. Melt 1/2 cup of butter in large sauce pan over low heat.


2. Add 8 cups of mini marshmallows and stir until melted and well-blended.  Cook 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.


3. Add 10 cups of cereal. Stir until well coated.


4. Using a buttered spatula or waxed paper, press mixture evenly and firmly in buttered 13 x 9 inch pan.


5. Cut into 2 x 2 inch squares when cool.



Recipe courtesy of: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/9959/marshmallow-treats/

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.

Hack the System!: Headphones as a Camera?!?

Posted on August 10th, 2016 by adowds in Technology, Teen Services
Tags: , ,

sea lion


In 2013, the Oxford Dictionary announced its word of the year would be “selfie”. The Oxford Dictionary states that a selfie is “A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media”. While it lists the origin date as 21st Century, the actual first selfie was taken over 150 years ago in 1839! That’s before telephones, computers, and television.  According to The Public Domain Review, “…amateur chemist and photography enthusiast”, Robert Cornelius, took the first portrait in his family’s store in Philadelphia. He did so “…by removing the lens cap and then running into frame where he sat for a minute before covering up the lens again”. Check out his picture… Pretty cool, right?selfie2

Selfies, obviously, have taken off after the introduction of smartphones. Each day, more than 1 million selfies are being generated by people around the world. Mastering a selfie, however, can be quite traumatic. According to the article Millennials Selfies, young adults will take more than 25,000 selfies during their lifetime. The average young adult spends about 7 minutes A DAY in order to perfect their photo. That’s almost 54 hours a year!

The struggle is real – we get it. Problems often arise when it comes to getting the right angle, removing that ever-present selfie arm from the photo, or the dreaded double or multiple-chin shot that is inevitable. But what if I told you I knew of a tech hack that might solve a lot of these problems. Enter Apple’s Remote Earbuds.

At first, they might just look like ear buds, but take a closer look and they are now the new selfie stick, but way more awesome. I asked a couple of teens at Teen Central to try out this fun tech hack following these 4 easy steps:


  1. Plug your Apple earbuds into your iPhone.
  2.  Open up your Camera app.
  3. Focus on a picture or selfie of your choosing.
  4. Snap a picture by pressing either the up or down volume button on the earbud cable.







So next time you want to take the ultimate group selfie or you want a super-steady shot from far away and without your arm in the way, grab your headphones, have fun, and smile!






photocred by Apple Remote Earbuds



Want to create your own technology life hack? Stop by Teen Central during Open Lab time.

“Hack the System!” features examples of technology life hacks created by Ally, the Youth Technology Librarian at Teen Central. Check back on the second Wednesday of each month for her latest post.

Reading Backwards, Watching in Japanese: The Wind Rises

Posted on August 9th, 2016 by jkenney in Movies, Teen Services

the-wind-rises-1080Welcome back Otaku. I hope everyone is having a good summer.  This month we return to feature films and the great Anime master himself, Hayao Miyazaki. His last film before retiring in 2013, The Wind Rises (Kaze Tachinu), is a dreamy tale about Jirou Horikoshi and his quest to build the best airplane in Japanese history. He idolized the Italian aeronautical engineer Giovanni Battista Caproni and often fantasizes about conversing with him to talk about designs and the deeper things in life. Horikoshi comes of age during the Great Depression, when industry and world politics are strained back to the brink of war. Japan has suffered a great earthquake and the country is suffering immensely. Horikoshi is torn between the magical wonder of flight, and the hard realities of modern world politics.


the-wind-rises-caproniLike his earlier work Porco Rosso, Miyazaki creates sympathetic characters who were devoted to aviation and the public good, but opposed to needless war and oppression. Porco Rosso is pursued by the fascists to return to service and fly for Mussolini’s regime. Horikoshi is faced with poverty and unemployment and has to take a job building military aircraft for the Japanese Empire. It is clear their hearts are centered on flight and creativity, but they must chose their battles and try to make a life for themselves, regardless.


Earlier while at university, romance enters the story when Horikoshi assists a young woman named Naoko Satomi during a train accident. He helps her home without ever giving his name. Character dress, vehicles, and technology are all accurately rendered in this wonderful period piece. Aircraft receive a special emphasis as might be expected. Many types are represented in the story with some more fantastical designs added for whimsy and drama.

yoko_outWhile the Mitsibushi A6M Zero is not actually shown on screen for long, if my memory serves me, it’s predecessors and all of Horikoshi’s design elements are clearly present in the prototypes being developed in the story. Lightweight, streamlined and graceful shapes characterize his designs. Even the “gull wing” set up, where the wing appears to be bent as if flapping in a natural bird shape, is featured on some of his planes that were actually built.


Wind-rises-the-2013-015-mother-and-children-in-forestThe Wind Rises is a beautiful story about creative genius, love, and the harsh realities of modern life. There is an element of tragedy in the story, but it lends to the strength and tenderness of the characters. Sky, landscape, urban scenes, period and traditional dress, seascapes, dream sequences, and of course aircraft, are all exquisitely drawn and animated in true Miyazaki style. I was pleasantly surprised by the depth and message of this story given that it involved the famous Axis fighter, the Mitsubishi Zero. Like Werner Von Braun, who worked for the Nazis developing the V-2 rocket and later joined the US in the Space Race, Horikoshi has to serve the emperor in order to support himself and his family. But you know at heart that he is a dreamer and talented aeronautical engineer. His dreams with Caproni show how much he loved flight and the engineering problems he could solve. Beautiful designs can do beautiful things, but they can also be put to war. This film is a wonderfully animated lesson on flight, engineering, and the challenges of life.

Watch it here for free on Kissanime.to

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.

Curl Up & Read: I Am Malala

Posted on August 5th, 2016 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff, Teen Services
Tags: , , , ,

malala 2015

This book is on the BPS Grade 9-12 Summer Reading Biography & Autobiography List!

Title: I Am Malala by  Malala Yousafzai

Read by: Anna, Teen Central Librarian

Summary: Malala, a young teenage girl living in Pakistan, wanted nothing more than to go to school and learn. When most of her country thought she should leave school and stay home because she was a girl, she started speaking out about the importance of education for girls and women. For this, she was shot in the head. This is her story.

Genre/sub-genre: non-fiction/memoir

Series/Standalone: standalone

Length: 368 pages (2015 updated edition)

Personal thoughts: 

“Peace in every home, every street, every village, every country – this is my dream. Education for every boy and every girl in the world. To sit down on a chair and read my books with all of my friends at school is my right. To see each and every human being with a smile of happiness is my wish. I am Malala. My world has changed but I have not.” – Malala Yousafzai

I was expecting Malala’s story to start on the day she was shot. Or perhaps the day before that. Instead, Malala explains the short history of Pakistan, her parents’ early experiences, and how she has been raised to appreciate education from her father. These first few sections are not entirely told in chronological order, but regardless, the story flows very easily from one topic to the next and I found each one very fascinating. The opening section, “Birmingham, England, June 2015” gives an update on Malala’s life since the first edition of the book came out in 2013 and while I loved that there was an update, I felt it was oddly placed at the beginning before I had even read what had happened.

Malala gives a good description of the Swat valley where she lives, showing the reader just how much she loves her homeland. I felt as if I were there with her, seeing the flora and fauna, and sitting beside her in school. Her descriptions of people are more vague and even her own brothers don’t get very many mentions. This may have been done for privacy reasons, of course, but I would have liked to know a little bit more about her friends and brothers at the very least. More importantly, however, she explains that not all Muslims belong to the Taliban, something a lot of people around the world need to understand.

While this was co-written with Christina Lamb, the words felt as if they were coming from Malala, not Christina. This was well written, easy to understand, hard to put down, and a quick read.

Almost as soon as Malala was shot the whole world knew and was outraged by it, though some from her own country thought her family was faking the incident in order to escape Pakistan. Since the first edition of her book came out in 2013, millions of people have picked up a copy and read about her life. Her book is real. It is painful. It is heartwarming. It will make you laugh. It will make you cry. If you haven’t read it yet, do so now, and understand why education is important for all children around the world.



icon of annaThis book is on the BPS Grade 9-12 Summer Reading Biography & Autobiography List!

Looking to borrow this library book? Look no further! Audiobooks and ebooks are also available if you require them.

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.

Stop the Press: #BlackLivesMatter

Posted on August 2nd, 2016 by rschmelzer in News, Teen Services
Tags: , ,


My heart is heavy. The recent news has been filled with so much violence, animosity, hate, distrust, fear, brutality and anger. Starting conversations is an important first step for us as citizens of the world to try to mitigate these somber times. I’d like to start with a conversation about the difference between #BlackLivesMatter and #AllLivesMatter. I’ve seen arguments back and forth on the two expressions, and I admit I was confused at first as well. Let’s clear this up: #BlackLivesMatter started in 2012 following the shooting death of Trayvon Martin (CNN). It started as a conversation about police brutality and inequality. It does not mean that Black Lives Matter more, nor does it mean that only Black Lives Matter. It does not mean that Police Lives don’t matter either. What it is meant to draw attention to is that black lives have historically mattered less in the history of the United States. It means that Black Lives should matter too. An uncomfortable truth for sure, and one that I think many people have struggled with.


How can I help?

Teen Vogue recently posted this article about 10 things that teens can do to help. This article is quite useful for those of us who would like to help but don’t know where to start. I found this quote by the article’s author to be especially powerful:

Chelsea Couillard-Smith, a librarian for Hennepin County (MN) Library, created a #BlackLivesMatter booklist for teens. If you’d like to start conversations about justice and race, be sure to check some of these titles out.  They are also all available at BPL.


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 month.