Teens

On the Radar: Five Books to Check Out in June

Posted on May 30th, 2017 by vkovenmatasy in Books, Previews

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

 

Saints and Misfits cover

Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

Summary: Fifteen-year-old Janna Yusuf, a Flannery O’Connor-obsessed book nerd and the daughter of the only divorced mother at their mosque, tries to make sense of the events that follow when her best friend’s cousin–a holy star in the Muslim community–attempts to assault her at the end of sophomore year.

Why We’re Excited: It’s distressingly difficult to find a book about a Muslim girl, written by a Muslim girl. (Ms. Marvel and the admittedly excellent Does My Head Look Big In This can’t hold down the fort by themselves forever.) So it’s doubly exciting that Saints and Misfits not only comes as its own book but is part of the launch of a whole new publishing imprint! Salaam Reads is a subdivision of Simon & Schuster that “aims to introduce readers of all faiths and backgrounds to a wide variety of Muslim children and families and offer Muslim kids an opportunity to see themselves reflected positively in published works.” (Other books out now from Salaam Reads include Amina’s Voice and The Gauntlet, both intended for middle-grade audiences.) I’m pumped to get Saints and Misfits on my shelf, and I can’t wait to see what other YA titles are coming from Salaam Reads next.

 

Soldier Boy Cover

Soldier Boy by Keely Hutton

Summary: Follows Ricky from 1987-1991, and Samuel in 2006, as they are abducted to serve as child-soldiers in Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda. Includes historical notes and information about Friends of Orphans, an organization founded by Ricky Richard Anywar, on whose life the story is partly based.

Why We’re Excited: It’s been ten years since Ishmael Beah’s A Long Way Gone came out, and it remains perennially popular with teens and adults interested in the lives of child soldiers. Soldier Boy, which is a fictional story but based on real life experiences, looks like a good option to put into the hands of readers who have finished Beah’s book and want more.

 

Tash Hearts Tolstoy cover

Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Katie Ormsbee

Summary: Fame and success come at a cost for Natasha “Tash” Zelenka when she creates the web series “Unhappy Families,” a modern adaptation of Anna Karenina–written by Tash’s eternal love Leo Tolstoy.

Why We’re Excited: Is there anything better than that title? Tash Hearts Tolstoy is part of the growing body of literature starring the creative talents of fangirls (Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here, Eliza and Her Monsters, All the Feels), and also one of a few recent books with asexual representation (Radio Silence, This Song Is (Not) For You, Every Heart a Doorway). May their numbers continue to increase!

 

Want Cover

Want by Cindy Pon

Summary: Jason Zhou is trying to survive in Taipei, a city plagued by pollution and viruses, but when he discovers the elite are using their wealth to evade the deadly effects, he knows he must do whatever is necessary to fight the corruption and save his city.

Why We’re Excited: Cindy Pon is severely underrated and more people should read her books! Years later, I’m still furious that Silver Phoenix didn’t get the popularity and beautiful hardcover sequel it deserved. #ownvoices Asian rep, especially in speculative fiction, is always welcome — try Karen Bao’s Dove Arising, Ellen Oh’s Prophecy, or Laurence Yep’s (older, but truly classic!) Dragon of the Lost Sea while you wait.

 

Once and For All Cover

Once and for All by Sarah Dessen

Summary: Cynical about happy endings, Louna, the daughter of a wedding planner, initally holds Ambrose at arm’s length, but Ambrose has finally found someone to save him from his serial dating ways, and he’s not about be discouraged.

Why We’re Excited: New Sarah Dessen book, ’nuff said. There’s a reason she won the Edwards Award in 2017.

 

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.

Finding Winnie: A Tween Time Production

Posted on May 24th, 2017 by adowds in Teen Services

**Written by Teen Central’s Teen Tech Mentors, Khalid M & Khalid I**

winnie

 

winniebook

So, in the beginning of January, our boss Ally and Children’s Librarian Maggie told us that we would be co-leading a Tween Time project. Tween Time is a joint program between the Children’s department and Teen department for older kids, between the ages of 9-12. They get to participate in various Lab activities. The premise of this project was to make a 90 second book trailer modeled after the 90-Second Newbery Award trailers about a book of the tweens’ choosing. We had narrowed down options to Frog and Toad, The Lion and the Mouse, and Finding Winnie. The tweens chose Finding Winnie as their new movie project.

 

winniepic1The entire team was – Ally (Youth Technology Librarian), Maggie (Children’s Librarian), Khalid I. and Khalid M. (Teen Tech Mentors), tweens Julia, Lyla, Bella, Owen, Abel, Bethel, and Gus. To first start this project, we (mentors and tweens) had to get familiar with the picture book. Khalid and I read the book independently and then to the group. Afterwards, Maggie showed the tweens different Newbury trailers, and we discussed how each have a different theme. The next tween time, we asked the tweens to settle on a theme for the trailer, and the vote was split between an epic drama or an adventure. The tie was broken by Abel who changed his vote of fairy tale to epic drama. After settling on a trailer theme, we made a general outline of the story – plot points, characters, actions, etc. We wrote this on a white board and had tweens explain why one is important or not. The tweens then put plot points on sheets of paper, and we organized our  storyboard on the wall. We then had our scenes in their order, and our outline of characters on the board. We also assigned roles to everybody, such as Owen making the boat, Lyla making finger puppets, Bethel making Harry and the Hunter, etc. It was time to craft our sets, puppets, and pieces.

 

We printed pictures of the sets needed for each scene and got our supplies ready.  We taped the characters on to wooden sticks and used them for our scenes. We then also used string and marionettes to build other characters, such as a bear made through the ingenuity of Abel. We filmed all of the scenes we needed through Ally’s phone and we then put them into iMovie.  We recorded each scene and finished the filming process. We completed final edits to all of our film, added to the storyboards and presented our film to all of those involved in the making of this film.  After playing the complete video for the first time, we ran into issues with the audio and had to go back and embed the music into the scenes within iMovie.  We then began saving our final movie outside of iMovie.  
winniepic2

 

Khalid I: At the end of our first long-term program, we came out with a deeper understanding of iMovie and what it took to make and see a film through from beginning to end.  We learned how to complete a program through sequences, having to meet certain deadlines. And it was a lot of fun.

Khalid M: All in all, I found this venture to be a very enjoyable and challenging one. The main issue of this project was that it was supposed to be a six week one, ending in mid February. However, due to winter storm cancellations and gaps in attendance, the project was not done until mid-May. Other than that, it was a nice exercise in leadership and group management skills. The ingenuity of tweens making a storyboard, crafting puppets, and acting was very pleasant to work with. As a consequence, the final edition of the trailer was very enjoyable to watch.

After months of hard work, we are proud to finally reveal, Finding Winnie: The Movie by Khalid Films!

Teens Leading in the Community

Posted on May 1st, 2017 by jsnow in Teen Services

city year

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yo yo yo it’s ya friend Ananda here back at you with some new info about the professional panel y’all missed. So today April 24th, a lovely woman by the name of Velma came to tell us about how we can be the next team of City Year members. Did you know that about eight hundred thousand students drop out of high school a year? City Year members aren’t mean and discriminating like we might have assumed in like 5th grade. They are actually committed members who are passionate about filling in that extra help for those students,who struggle in school, have behavioral issues, etc.  They are even starting to recruit members starting at 18 years old. The position is a 10 month commitment and opens up a world to networking. How exciting is that!  They coach you through how to be a leader as well as prepare you for the college experiences and the aftermath. This sounds like the best opportunity if I haven’t seen one already.

Hello my fellow teens, gamers, geeks, um… whoever you may be, it’s Jorge coming back to you with another program review! This time, we had a member from City Year come in and speak to us about her job and the experiences she and her peers had. During this presentation, we were given an overview of the job, including the story behind their uniform, the founder of City Year, and the activities they participate in as a group. The Teen Gaming Specialists along with the Teen Tech Mentors sat in a semi-circle with staff member, Velma, and watched a short film on the long-term goal of City Year, followed by our questions and her insight. City Year’s goal is to help foster academic achievement along with captivating activities such as field trips, group projects, and cooling time between classes. The deeds the staff members take part in include giving students help on school or personal matters, giving off an energetic vibe to anyone in the vicinity, and being an overall support system to students. When asked about pull factors of this organization, her reply was along the lines of knowing that unfortunate students need a helping hand, and that she wants to assist in making their road to adulthood as easy as possible. This is a perfect example of how City Year’s main focus is the achievement of young students and their well being.

 

On the Radar: Five Books to Check Out in May

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

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

 

i believe in a thing called love cover

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

Summary: A disaster in romance, high school senior Desi Lee decides to tackle her flirting failures by watching Korean television dramas, where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten.

Why We’re Excited: K-DRAMAS FOR THE WIN. I love this cover, I love this premise, and I’ve been keeping an eye out for new releases from Maurene Goo since I spotted the likewise-delightful Since You Asked on the library shelf. I have high hopes indeed!

 

crossing ebenezer creek cover

Crossing Ebenezer Creek by Tanya Bolden

Summary: Freed from slavery, Mariah and her young brother Zeke join Sherman’s march through Georgia, where Mariah meets a free black named Caleb and dares to imagine the possibility of true love, but hope can come at a cost.

Why We’re Excited: I don’t usually see historicals get the same kind of fan following from the YA market as the behemoth fantasy authors, but Tonya Bolden — probably better known for her nonfiction titles such as Maritcha, Searching for Sarah Rector, and the recently released Pathfinders: The Journeys of 16 Extraordinary Black Souls — made me sit up and take notice when I saw her name on an upcoming release. Sherman’s March to the Sea is an uncommon subject for a young adult novel, which makes it all the more important to highlight when a highly respected researcher like Bolden pens one. I expect to learn a lot from Crossing Ebenezer Creek.

 

when dimple met rishi cover

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Summary: When Dimple Shah and Rishi Patel meet at a Stanford University summer program, Dimple is avoiding her parents’ obsession with “marriage prospects” but Rishi hopes to woo her into accepting an arranged marriage with him.

Why We’re Excited: This book has been getting a ton of buzz on the various library/publishing blogs I follow, plus that gorgeous cover sells itself! When Dimple Met Rishi sounds like a solid readalike for Born Confused, which is an older title but still absolutely fantastic — also starring a heroine named Dimple, incidentally.

 

queer there and everywhere cover

Queer, There, and Everywhere by Sarah Prager

Summary: World history has been made by countless lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals–and you’ve never heard of many of them. Queer author and activist Sarah Prager delves deep into the lives of 23 people who fought, created, and loved on their own terms. From high-profile figures like Abraham Lincoln and Eleanor Roosevelt to the trailblazing gender-ambiguous Queen of Sweden and a bisexual blues singer who didn’t make it into your history books, these astonishing true stories uncover a rich queer heritage that encompasses every culture, in every era.

Why We’re Excited: Queer history, just in time to get educated for Pride Month! I’m part of the committee that put together the BPL’s inaugural We Are Pride booklist (coming out in June, so keep your eyes peeled!) and one thing I noticed while we were working on finalizing our list was that while there’s tons of great LGBTQ+ representation in YA fiction, the nonfiction books are usually written for adults. I’m happy to see Queer, There, and Everywhere join The Letter Q, Beyond Magenta, Some Assembly Required, Rethinking Normal, Gay America, and Stonewall on the small but awesome shelf of LGBTQ+ YA nonfiction.

 

thick as thieves cover

Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner

Summary: Kamet, a secretary and slave to his Mede master, has the ambition and the means to become one of the most powerful people in the Empire. But with a whispered warning the future he envisioned is wrenched away, and he is forced onto a very different path.

Why We’re Excited: Go back in time. Back, back, baaaaaaack… all the way to the prehistoric times when I was in middle school, and read this very old-school adventure book with a crazy twist at the end called The Thief. It was kind of historical-flavored, but not really HISTORY-history, just old-timey and cool, and it had a very dorky cover but I didn’t care because I was a kind of dorky middle-schooler anyway. Then a many years later I discovered that The Thief had two sequels (with increasingly cooler covers, I might add) in which things… escalated. Significantly. Quick spoiler alert: the protagonist from my dorky middle grade adventure novel had his freaking HAND cut off, okay? And that was just the beginning of the book! Megan Whalen Turner was not messing around. So fast forward to the present day and we’re getting a new book in the Queen’s Thief series, plus new and EVEN COOLER editions of all the previous books (look at that cover, I think back to how far we’ve come and want to cry with happiness), and I’m dying to see what madness awaits.

 

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.

Hack the System!: FREE Audiobooks for the Summer with SYNC!

Posted on April 21st, 2017 by adowds in Books, Technology, Teen Services
Tags: , , ,

Free books, anyone??

 

Starting April 27th, audiobook service, SYNC, is providing free downloads of YA titles for teens to read and enjoy over the summer! Simply download the OverDrive app and listen to books on your phone, computer, or any device that has internet access and allows downloads. Each week SYNC releases two new titles shelved by a similar theme or genre such as classic literature, science fiction, or real life teen stories. Titles change each Thursday at 7 a.m. and the program runs until August 16th.

 

sync3

 

Stuck on the train for an hour? Plug in and listen to Douglas Adams’ science fiction journey into space, A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Hours of household chores ahead of you today? Speed up time by immersing yourself in Nikki Grimes’ award-winning novel, Bronx Masquerade, which uses the structure and prose of poetry slams to tell the stories of 18 different teens who undertake the risky challenge of self-revelation. Want to be dip into a deep, dark, and dangerous mystery on a hot summer day? Listen to Daniel José Older’s Shadowshaper, a suspenseful tale of magical shadowshapers, a family’s hidden past, and a killer in the shadows.

 

sync2

 

Aside from being FREE, there are so many reasons to try to SYNC and listen to audiobooks. For example, many of the weekly titles can be found on audiobooksschool summer reading lists, providing you with a wonderfully interactive alternative to access a variety of books while completing your assignments. What if reading is just not your thing? Audiobooks are appealing for this very reason. You no longer have to sit in one place and read until your eyes glass over. Listen to chapters 1-4 while exercising, walking to your friend’s house, or riding the train to and from your summer job. Audiobooks can be read anywhere, anytime and enable you to experience a diverse selection of book with easy access. Plus, the theatrical readings by authors and actors make these stories all that more enjoyable. One of the best features – audiobooks tell you how much time is left in the book! Time management at its best!

 

 

sync1

Visit SYNC to get started today. Once registered, you can receive alerts about upcoming featured books by texting syncya to 25827. You can also keep track of the program through SYNC’s e-mail newsletter and by visiting www.audiobooksync.com. These alerts do not send you the titles but keep you in the loop as to what you are reading next! Give audiobooks a try and hack the boredom of chores, transit, and summer blues by SYNCing your device and unlocking a world of adventures, romance, dramas, and fantastical realms. Happy summer reading!

 

 

ally-150x150Did you know that in addition to physical books and DVDs, your library card gives you access to audiobooks through Bibliocommons, Hoopla, and Overdrive. To learn more about how to download audiobooks to a device, visit the library’s eBook & Digital Media page. To browse books on CD, search for titles and authors in the BPL catalog and select “Audiobook CD” under format. Or, ask a Librarian!

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 third Friday of each month for her latest post.