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The Hobbit

by Monique - 0 Comment(s)

How many of you are as excited about upcoming The Hobbit movie? December 14 can’t seem to come fast enough for me. Having said that, I will need to re-read the novel as it seems like it was such a long time ago since I originally read it. Don’t get me wrong, I do remember what the novel is about, but would love to refresh my memory of its details. I don’t know about any of you, but when it comes to the adaptation of books into movies, I tend to like the book better. The odd time, I have found myself enjoying the movie adaptation of a novel as well; The Lord of the Rings Trilogy being one of those rare occasions.

When I was initially talking to people about the movie, I was surprised to hear that the movie was going to be in two parts, but in doing some digging, I have learned that it will be actually in three parts. I find this news to be exciting. I have to question however, why a novel that is shorter than each The Lord of the Rings (LOR) have been done if they were done in two parts, right? The first part of the three part series will be called The Hobbit : An Unexpected Journey is set to release on December 14 of this year. The second movie, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, will be released around December 13, 2013. The third movie, will have the same title as the novel, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, with news that it will be released on July 18, 2014. I am glad that Peter Jackson is directing The Hobbit, as it will be nice to see a continuation of his work on a book that is part of The Lord of the Ring series.

Don’t get me wrong, I realize that you don’t need to read The Hobbit in order to get the idea of The Lord of the Rings and vice versa, but having read The Hobbit first, does help lay the ground work for The Lord of the Rings. I am also excited to see that a lot of the cast from LOR will be returning to play the characters that they had originally portrayed. Looking at some of the trailers online, I can't wait for the movie to come out in theatres!

Peer to Peer Study Group = Homework Help at The Library!

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

Okay, so it's mid semester and you're overloaded with homework. Right, ... right? Yeah, I thought so. Plus this is putting a serious cramp on your social life right? Well we, at Central, have the perfect solution for you. On Mondays (including this Monday the 26th!) from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. we have created a special study space for teens to work in on the third floor. Teen volunteers (Honours' and IB students) will be on hand to help you with your homework! Plus you can stick around until 8pm to finish what you started. Awesome right? Upcoming dates are Nov 26, Dec 03, and Dec 10. Teens in Grades 10 to 12 can come get help with your homework from other students. Plus check out some of our previous blogs for awesome homework help databases and other cool after-school programs offered at the library. Need a tutor? Due tomorrow? = No Problem! Did I mention the social possibilities of homework?? Always a way to meet new people...

As a teen I was part of the Peer-Support team at my high school. It was great! Mind you it wasn't a study group, but I definitely made some lasting friendships through it, plus learning a thing or two about psychology. My point being, that Peer to Peer homework support is a great place to do your homework in silence, and get out of the house, increasing your social network at the same time. Killing the birds of homework, better grades, happy teachers and socializing in one fell swoop. How could your parents possibly argue with that? Come on down!

We are all forever haunted... in November

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

This is the time of year when the fog rolls in and coats the land in a blanket of see-through mist. Things become strange and mysterious. Everything is dying. Christian's celebrate All Hallow's Eve and All Saint's Day. Hindus celebrate Diwali (The Festival of Lights). Pagans celebrate Samhain. Muslims celebrate Muharram. All three mark the beginning of a New Year, a new cycle, a new season. Everything goes to sleep, into the ground to await the rebirth of spring. In Greek and Roman mythology Persephone visits Hades. Her mother Demeter refuses to let the sun shine until her daughter returns in the spring. In the west, we celebrate Halloween and Remembrance Day. These are some of the many and varied ways we honour our dead. What better time for ghosts to roam across the field our consciousness? When more apt to recommend a few good ghost stories?

Now, I have a disclaimer to make, and that is that I don't normally DO ghosts, vampires, horror, or zombies ... or ANY of their ilk as a matter of fact. I have disclaimed this in previous Halloween blogs, so I think I deserve an A just for reading some ghost stories to recommend to you in the first place. I have been doing my best. I recently wrote a blog on Zombies, then I endeavoured to ACTUALLY read my first ghost story... not Casper but one bona fide as potentially scary - lightly scary mind you. I wasn't about to traumatize myself. It's been an interesting journey. I had rules. Never read the book at night. Always read the book with other people around. Don't read the book if you need to go into dark creepy corners or haunted woods afterwards... In the end I got so engrossed in the story that I actually ended up breaking all my own rules reading the book on Halloween night, alone, in the dark and... I was fine! I did however skip read ahead to the end when it got "scary" just to see if it was something I could handle, it was. Then, I finished reading all the details. So there you go. If you've never read ghost stories here's a recipe as to how. Similar to dipping your foot into the water to see how cold it is before you jump in. It IS after all my imagination that ends up being the enemy and not the inspirational book, DVD, CD, etc. in and of itself. I now have a theory. Books are much less likely to freak me out than movies or CD's, having I suppose, more control over my thoughts than on the sensory effects of sound and visuals... reading a book does NOT over-activate my negative imagination in the same way. My nerves are apparently more sensitive to visual and auditory stimulation's than that of the linguistical variety. So food for thought, test your own scare-o-meter!

You could start with some innocent fun morsels about friendly ghosts like Casper, Anya's Ghost and Slog's Dad or fake "ghosts" like in Ottoline Goes to School.

Move on to more "fake" ghosts, although beware what you wish for, sometimes "playing" can summon up your worst nightmares! The book I read? Classified as a light scare, All the Lovely Bad Ones by Mary Downing Hahn. I actually quite enjoyed this book. It is a light quick read set in a haunted inn and stars a pair of siblings on vacation. What impressed me most in the end was Downing Hahn's ability to integrate Shakespeare quotes and American history into a novel written for 10-14 year olds seamlessly probing deeper questions regarding history, class-ism, morality and right and wrong. Classically, "ghosts" stick around because they have something they want us humans to do; some inner conflict they need to resolve before they can be at peace. We all have "ghosts" that haunt us. What do they want to us to do? What does it take to make friends, put them at rest, and restore peace? How do we honour the unnamed dead once their histories are brought to light?

You can graduate on with a purportedly really scary read such as Wait t'ill Helen Comes by Downing Hahn or Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendra Blake; then indulge in savouring any of the following morsels which, I admit, have thoroughly intrigued me, but have received many reports about being downright frightening. I am tempted. I might be will just a wee bit obsessed with fairy-tales.... It remains a sad fact that many fairy tales are in-fact quite horrific when it comes right down to it, and VERY well suited to horror novels. In fact, I may have already read one or two without realizing it...

Try Sweetly (Hansel and Gretel) or Sisters Red (Red Riding Hood) by Jackson Pierce for starter fairy-scares.

The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff or The Replacement if you want something a little more terrifying.

Following this recipe for jumping into the waters of ghost and horror stories I, unlike you had no intentions of graduating, quite happy to remain forever a student ... or, considering the "fairy-scares ", so I thought!

In the end, aside from "enjoying " a good scare (note sarcasm), the ultimate value of these and stories like "All The Lovely Bad Ones" is that they help teach us how to be psychologically brave.

Good luck with graduating!

In Honour of Zombies, Ghosts, Ghouls... aka Bleak, Bizarre & Beautiful

by Adrienne - 3 Comment(s)

Inspired this past May (which was Zombie Awarenes Month), this post reviews a few graphic novels that fit the theme. Fairies and Ghouls beware! Halloween is fast approaching and Calgary just had it's own Zombie walk on Saturday October 13th! Do you have your costume ready? Or are you a die hard Zombie fan who will wash and recycle their Zombie gear creating environmentally friendly apocalypse wear for All Hallows Eve? For great Zombie books and movies year round check out Alex's great Zombie Awareness Blog from last May.

For now, here are some ghouly graphic novels to get your Halloween grease moving. Grimericks by Susan Pearson and Monster Museum by Marilyn Singer are both illustrated by the lovely Gris Grimly. Think Tony Diterlizzi (The Spiderwick Chronicles) meets Tim Burton (The Nightmare Before Christmas) - on paper. Take MaryLou Jones; the java drinking, peter pan collar, blue polka dotted dress, blonde bob, pilgrim shoe wearing skeleton as a Grimly Zombie example. Both books are filled with witty puns to boot! Singer gets straight to the point with a Zombie poem that teaches us how Zombies "dance" and a ghost poem delineating all the family "types". Pearson's

Recipe for a Grimerick goes:

1 limerick, lightly salted

dash grim

slosh of spook juice

1 cup giggles

3 ripe guffaws

Mix together with 1 funny bone.

Chill in dank cave.

Turn the lights down low.

Lock the doors.

Look under the bed.

Read with relish!

I hate to admit it, but I'm actually not actually into Zombies (I know, I know ... please don't bite me!), I AM however, very into juicy, messy, blotchy, splotchy drawings. How to Draw Zombies a Fantasy Underground book by Mike Butkus & Merrie Destefano, is chock full of them! There is much exquisite mark making here showcasing all the delicate intricacies of the artists hand and/or personality - if you believe in hand writing analysis. Each drawing/painting/digital rendering is broken down step by step so that you can see all the layered marks in isolation like Mr. Dress Up - Zombie style! Anyone up for creating a Zombie Mr. Dress Up art piece? We would love to see your submissions on our Teens Create page. Looking through this gem, I have to admit that Zombies are fine ground for digging in & sketching out all the gory details. Mr. Dress Up challenge aside, if you could draw a Zombie what/who would it be?

Here are photos of Calgary's May 2012 Zombie Walk, and here are the photos for the October zombie walk. Calgary's Zombie community is Awesome!

If that's not enough, these stellar Zombie comics and novels should keep you entranced for awhile:

Plus for former Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans... we currently have Diary of a Zombie Kid on order!

When dealing with ghosts what fits the bill of beautiful? Perhaps when the meaning of a mystery lies in belief being it's own reward? Or perhaps when illustrations tinge on being creepy but really are pretty brilliant comic illustrations. Slog's Dad illustrated by Dave McKean, (who also illustrated The Sandman by Neil Gaiman) is a master at this. Written by David Almond, this graphic novel defies easy categorization or interpretation, embedding itself heavily in enigma.

Always save the best 2 for last, right? Here they are. The winner has to be Zombie's Vs. Unicorns, a great new anthology compiled by Holly Black (Team Unicorn) & Justine Larbalestier (Team Zombie). The two duke it out with witty commentary before each short story and the reader is left to decided who wins, Zombies?? or Unicorns?? This book includes many stars of YA fiction such as Scott Westefeld ( who is Justine's husband, did you know?), Libba Bray & Meg Cabot. Westefeld may have actually been playing in this sandbox for a long time. Ever think of nanos as Zombies? Specials anyone? Kathleen Duey included a particularly haunting addition in which you could most likely classify the Unicorn AS a Zombie. Isn't any creature that has eternal life sort of technically you know - a zombie? I, I admit my Zombie love is growing, fed by Unicorns of course!

Finally, because Halloween should always end with something wholesome - like apples... candied - we will end with Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol. This book could be described as Casper... for 16 year olds, with just the slightest bit of Creepy!! thrown in. If you fell down a well, ... well would you befriend that ghost? Join Anya B as she navigates private school with her ghost. As their friendship develops she discovers that being friends with a shade may or may not be all it's cracked up to be; and that somethings are more important than others. This debut graphic novel written and illustrated by Brogol is Great. It has won numerous awards... for good reason! Long live....

Win a PS3 !!!

by Jilliane - 0 Comment(s)

New Central Library survey for youth

You may have heard that we are building a new library downtown--YAY! We are all very excited.

Win a Playstation 3

We are in the really early stages of planning this new library so the time is right for you to give us feedback and tell us what you want to see in this building. In fact, we have been working really hard lately to get input from Calarians big and small (and in-between). For more info on our new library and our public engagement efforts, check out our NCL webpage. You may have seen us out and about at teen nights, afterschool programs, the ALEX, CYOC and other places. And now we have a survey--just for youth. We want to know what YOUth want to see in this new library.

And yeah, if you fill it out you will be entered into a draw to win a PS3!

So. Please fill our our short survey to tell us what you think our new downtown library should be like! The survey ends on October 30th.

Why are there Adults in the Teen Section?

by Jackie - 1 Comment(s)

Look out! Those teen books you bring home from the library may not be patiently waiting for you to get around to reading them… someone in your house may be secretly scanning those pages when you’re not around. Who would want to read your teen books? The new research shows that it could be your parents!

Image of Adult reading Hunger Games

Adults are big consumers of teen fiction. The newest stats say that adults aged 30-44 years old are the predominant demographic buying up YA titles. But why????

There’s the obvious reason: tons of movies are based on teen fiction. If you loved the movie, why not read the book and see what’s lost in translation. (i.e. Twilight, Hunger Games, The Perks of Being a Wallflower).

Adult reading Twilight

Then there are the less obvious reasons:

  • Once you grow out of those teen years and become an adult, everything changes! Adults like to “escape” back to their teen years and reminisce about their own first crush, first kiss, and first colossal mistake. Drama is delivered in high doses, which makes for some really good book plots.

  • YA authors are championing some of the most creative writing in modern day publishing. According to this article, YA authors know that in order to get their books read, they have to compete with Facebook, smartphones, over-stuffed extra-curriculars schedules, and iPods – what they write has to suck readers in before the next distraction comes along. Those are high stakes.

So, if you find a parent reading your books, should you give them a scolding? Nah. Let them enjoy the book in peace. Besides, there are always thousands more YA titles to choose from!

WRESTLEMANIA Reading Challenge!

by Jilliane - 2 Comment(s)

If you could recommend a book to Stone Cold Steve Austin, what would it be? Do you think he would enjoy The Perks of Being a Wallflower? Catcher in the Rye? Or maybe he's actually a big softy and would love a sweet Sarah Dessen romance! ...or maybe not?

This Fall, 9 branches are asking you to convince your favourite wrestler to read a book of your choosing: Central, Country Hills, Forest Lawn, Fish Creek, Nose Hill, Saddletowne, Shawnessy, Southwood, and Thornhill.

If you're particularly persuasive, you could win a TRIP TO WRESTLEMANIA! That's right - next April you could be off to East Rutherford, New Jersey to see WRESTLEMANIA (A trip valued at $5000). And if you're not the lucky grand prize winner, there are still lots of other chances to win WWE swag. Sounds awesome, doesn't it?

Here's how to participate: Write an amazing, persuasive letter that will convince your favourite wrestler to read a book of your choosing and deliver it to a participating branch. Next, you need to commit to reading 5 books between October and April--you can do this at your branch. Then all you gotta do is sit back, read and wait to hear who the lucky winners are (probably you *wink wink*).

While you are waiting, you could come to the Library and MEET LANCE STORM LIVE!!!! That's right, Lance Storm is visiting The Calgary Public Library to tell us how awesome reading is and maybe flex his muscles a bit. You can see him live, for free at the Forest Lawn Library on October 16th and at the Saddletowne Library on October 25th, 4pm.

Contest submissions are due Nov 5. If you win, don't forget to send us a postcard from WRESTLEMANIA!

~blog by Anne

OMG It's due tomorrow!?!?!

by Monique - 0 Comment(s)

 

No worries, the Calgary Public Library’s E-Library is here to help. The E-Library can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and has loads of databases that can be accessed for free from the comfort of your house. Your library card gives you access to these awesome resources. Click on the link to the E-Library from our website and login using your library card and PIN.

Here are some great resources to check out:

Read today's newspapers from around the world in Newspaper Direct Press Display.

Canadian Encyclopedia, has great Canadian information about Canadians, the country, what happened on a specific date and alot more information about Canada.

The World Book Online Reference Centre has encyclopedia articles on various topics, government resources and current events as well as other great information.

Access Science is a great database where you can search all things science. Each article is also cited in either MLA or APA.

Check these databases and the others for some awesome information.

 

Teen Afterschool at the Forest Lawn Library

by Jilliane - 0 Comment(s)

Don’t have anything to do after school? Tired of heading home merely to veg out on the couch watching reruns of Degrassi? Want to hang out with fun people doing interesting things?

Stop by the Forest Lawn Library Monday to Thursday between 4:00-6:00p.m. starting September 27th at our Kick-Off which will involve a teen takeover of the Library (food truck deliciousness may be involved). Every day will have a different activity including yoga, robotics, videogame tournaments, knitting, cupcake decorating (and eating, yum!), manga drawing lessons, first aid course, Zumba, rocket building (yes really, ROCKET BUILDING!), and much more.

Hunger Games enthusiasts take special note. We will be running a Hunger Games club once a week where we will be planning and filming a trailer for the upcoming Catching Fire Movie. Actors, screenwriters, cinematographers, art/set designers, editors, sound crew, props, costume designers, hair and make-up, special effects…whew! Believe us when we say there’s a role for you, especially since we’ll have guest experts to teach you the ropes. Sign up has already begun for the club so hurry in to secure your spot.

There’s also the chance to meet a former WWE wrestler, LANCE STORM, and perhaps win a trip to go and see Wrestlemania 29 (or XXIX) in New Jersey. You’ll have to come check us out for more info!

And if for some inexplicable reason none of that floats you boat, perhaps actual floating might be more your speed. In partnership with the Bob Bahan pool, afterschoolers can swim (or float) every day of the week, shoot hoops in the basketball court, or buff up in the weight room.

With all of this going on, there truly is no excuse for afterschool boredom.

 

~Blog by Liz

We're Off to See the Wizard

by Jilliane - 1 Comment(s)

Well it looks like audiences will be spending some time in the Emerald City in 2013 because two major Hollywood films are set to be released. The first is Dorothy of Oz, an animated film, which follows the more traditional storyline and is jam packed with famous voices including Lea Michele as Dorothy, Dan Aykroyd as Scarecrow, Kelsey Grammar as Tin Man, and Jim Belushi as the Cowardly Lion. My guess is families and Gleek’s will be flocking to see this one.

The second re-imagining of Frank L. Baum’s classic is Oz: The great and Powerful. This film is intended to be a prequel to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and tells the story of how the wizard (played by James Franco) came to be in Oz. This film also boasts an all-star cast with the likes of Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, and Rachel Weiss who are all taking on prominent roles.

If you haven’t watched it already check out the new trailer, which was released at San Diego Comic Con in mid-July. It looks absolutely fantastic!

So I know what you’re thinking, 2013 still feels like it’s ages away. Don’t worry we’ve got more than enough to keep you busy till then.

For those Oz purists, or anyone who might want to start right at the beginning, be sure to start with Frank L. Baum’s first book about the land of Oz, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Once you’ve finished that you might want to move on to other books in the series such as the sequel, The Marvelous Land of Oz. And of course, one can’t talk about The Wizard of Oz without mentioning the 1939 film starring Judy Garland so be sure to check out the DVD/Blu-ray or The Wizard of Oz soundtrack, all available at CPL!

Wonderful Wizard of Oz Marvelous Land of Oz Wizard of Oz Wizard of Oz Soundtrack

Now if you’re looking for a bit of a twist on the classic tale there is plenty out there for you too. One of the most popular spins on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is undoubtedly Wicked: the life and times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire. While most people know her as the Wicked Witch of the West, this book shows her simply as Elphaba, the misunderstood girl who also happens to be green (and it’s not easy being green). If you have yet to read this book be prepared to have all of Oz turned on its head.

If you’re more of a visual person you might also want to check out The Wizard of Oz: The Graphic Novel. Don’t let the name fool you though, this is a completely new interpretation of the classic tale. For one thing Dorothy Gale has been completely updated - she rocks some skinny jeans, a studded belt, wristbands, and a bandana. There is a definite manga influence in this one as well, so if that’s up your alley this may be the version for you.

Another graphic novel which reinvents the magical land of Oz is The Royal Historian of Oz. In this story Ozma (the ruler of Oz) has decided to sever ties with our world and no longer allow stories to be written about Oz. Despite this royal decree Jasper Frizzle is determined to write yet another story about Oz. Needless to say this failed writer has no idea what he’s gotten himself into and he’s about to drag his son Frank with him.

Wizard of Oz the Graphic Novel Royal Historian of Oz

Okay so I couldn’t make this list without adding my personal favorite, Return to Oz (1985). In this film Dorothy (surprise) returns to Oz and finds it is not the same place she left behind. If she is to save Oz she must confront the evil witch Mombi as well as the formidable Nome King. While this film may be found in the kids section, it has more than its fair share of creepy moments. I mean, how many kids’ movies do you know of that start with the protagonist being sent to a sanatorium to be treated by electroshock therapy to forget about the mythical place they claim to have visited?

Another version I really enjoyed was the four hour mini-series Tin Man (2007). This version features a young woman named DG (Zooey Deschanel) who is swept away from her Kansas home and finds herself in the Outer Zone, or the O.Z. as the locals call it. Like the original, DG is desperate to find her way home with the help of some new friends. As the story unfolds, however, it turns out that DG’s new friends have some dark and complicated pasts. If DG is going to get home she will have to find out who she can trust, and survive the attacks made by the evil sorceress Azkadellia and her long coat soldiers. While this version may be a bit too dark for some viewers, if you are interested in seeing what The Wonderful Wizard of Oz would be like with a sci-fi/steampunk edge this one can’t be missed.

One of the newest mini-series to be released is The Witches of Oz (2012). This one falls more into the “family friendly” category and may even be a bit on the cheesy side, but the premise is a spin I have yet to see. In this version little Dorothy Gale is all grown up and has spent her whole life believing that she is the inspiration for the fictional character, when in reality the stories are her childhood memories. Not only does Dorothy have to cope with her newly remembered past, she also has to deal with the residents of Oz who start showing up in New York City…

Wicked Return to Oz Tinman The Witches of Oz

With more than 100 years of lore to draw from, there are countless stories to tell about the land of Oz, so hopefully these will help you get started because 2013 is right around the corner!

~Blog by Kelly~

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