Teens

Stop the Press: “T” Things

Posted on September 6th, 2016 by rschmelzer@private.bpl.org in News, Teen Services
Tags: , , ,

 

MBTA

Photo by MBTA

Ha. Probably not cool of me to post this snowy picture in the middle of the summer heat. 

Reduced Prices for Middle and High School Students

It’s been a good news week for Boston students. Starting Thursday, September 1st, middle and high school students will be able to ride the MBTA at less than half-price. Some schools already provide bus passes to students through their One Card, but that was only for the school year and not every Boston student has these passes. The good news is that for students whose schools do not purchases bus passes, they can now buy either a Student Charlie Card which is half-price per trip, or a monthly student pass for $30. This is a huge savings as a monthly pass typically costs over $80. The added bonus is that these passes will be available to students year-round, and not just the school year!

Twist on the MBTA Map Design

Isn’t this such a cool map? It’s so clean, so circular.

What about this one? Though it’s not current news, I found this an interesting share. At first glance I thought the entire train route had been redesigned and expanded. What actually happened is that Dr. Maxwell Roberts, a university professor has redesigned just the maps themselves for transit routes all over the world, including Boston. According to his interview with Boston Magazine, he has combined his interests of cartography (map-making) and psychology to redesign transit maps that offer more clarity to the user. What do you think of these designs? I think they would definitely be easier to look at and navigate.

icon of Rebecca

Are 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.

Curl Up & Read: The School for Good and Evil

Posted on September 2nd, 2016 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff, Teen Services
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

sfgae1

sfgae2sfgae3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title: The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

Read by: Anna, Teen Central Librarian

Summary: Agatha and Sophie are best friends who couldn’t be more different from each other. Agatha considers herself ugly and the daughter of a witch, wanting nothing more than to be left alone. Meanwhile, Sophie is beautiful, doing everything she can to stay that way, and considers helping Agatha become beautiful as her Good Deed. When both of them are kidnapped and taken to the School for Good and Evil where they will learn how to survive in a fairy tale, they are surprised to find out that Agatha has been sorted into the school for Good, and Sophie into the school for Evil. Together, they try to right this obvious wrong while also attempting to escape, gain friends and boyfriends, or avoid them at all costs.

Genre/Subgenre: Fantasy/Fairy Tale

Standalone/Series: Trilogy

Length:

book 1 – 488 pages

book 2 – 433 pages

book 3 – 655 pages

Personal Thoughts:

“The most dangerous person in a fairy tale is the one willing to do anything for love.” – The School Master

Looking for something similar to, and yet different from, Harry Potter? This is it! The School for Good and Evil is a trilogy with a richly complicated plot and fantastic characters that keep you guessing whether they really are good or evil as they were assigned, right up until the very last page. The series tackles huge, sometimes very dark, subjects in a light, humorous way. It messes around with sexist stereotypes and while Chainani doesn’t use the words lesbian, gay, transgender, or bisexual, even these make it into the story in hints and undertones.

There is a heavy romance element here, but it is so much more than the typical teen love triangle, making this a fresh read for those who enjoy romance. In book three we get introduced to characters from classic fairy tales, like Cinderella, Peter Pan, and Red Riding Hood, whose lives have changed dramatically since the ending of their fairy tales. Some of these characters would happily tell you they left their princes and their happily-ever-afters behind for an even better life, proving that life is not all about romance.

Overall, I have to say I enjoyed book one the best. It was the most fresh and engaging story of the three. Everyone seemed to want the exact same thing in book two and some of the characters’ personalities got a little tiring in book three, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying all of the books. Small illustrations at the start of each chapter are a fun addition. This could be seen as a middle grade series, but will be enjoyed by teens of all ages.

With the addition of Merlin and Tedros’s family in the third book (Tedros is the son of King Arthur here), I was reminded of Mary Stewart’s Crystal Cave series, written from Merlin’s point of view, which takes a more realistic approach to the story of Merlin, King Arthur, and magic. I highly recommend this series for any who love historical/fantasy fiction. The first book in the series can be found here.

 

Editor’s Note: This is Anna’s last book review for the BPL Teen Blog, as she moves on to her new job in Reader Services. We’ll miss you, Anna! But never fear, Curl Up & Read will still be posting on the first Friday of the month — and the reviewer could be YOU. If you’re a teen and you’re interested in having a book review posted on the Teen Blog, please email vkovenmatasy (at) bpl (dot) org and pitch your idea. We might even be able to hook you up with an Advance Reader’s Copy of something coming out soon, so you can really be ahead of the crowd!

 

anna250-150x150Looking to borrow these library books? These links will take you to our catalog:

Book One: The School for Good and Evil

Book Two: A World Without Princes

Book Three: The Last Ever After

The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart

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

 

* “Curl Up & Read” posts book reviews by librarians and teens on the first Friday of every month.

 

On the Radar: Five Books to Check Out in September

Posted on August 30th, 2016 by vkovenmatasy@private.bpl.org 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

Suicide_Squad_(film)_Poster

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.