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Family Fun Heritage Fair

by Alexandra - 0 Comment(s)

Guest Blog by Hazik:


The Family Fun Heritage Fair was a great day for everyone. It was a fun day with many families participating in numerous activities such as; face painting, button making, building blocks and giant jenga, paper airplane-making, writing with a quill, and legos. The fire safety exhibit and the bison exhibit were highly enjoyed by the visitors as they were informative and fun. We had exhibitors from Fort Calgary, the Glenbow Museum, Lougheed House, and many more heritage organizations. We can't wait for the next time we get to do it!

Over the moon?

by Tomas - 1 Comment(s)

Maggot Moon

The 45th anniversary of the moon landing came and went recently, but you can be forgiven if you missed it. Here on Earth, there’s been no shortage of tragedy and conflict that overshadowed this anniversary. Of course, 45 years ago, the story wasn’t so different, and the moon landing was deeply wrapped up in it.

In the 1950s scientific research that was developed for military purposes was put towards the goal of space exploration, primarily by the two Super Powers that emerged following the Second World War. From the launch of Sputnik to President Kennedy’s promise to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade, the ‘space race’ was another field of competition in the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Maggot Moon, by Sally Gardner, is set in a fictional country much like this one, but with a twist. The world that 15 year-old Standish Treadwell lives in exists as a ‘what if’ scenario… a bleak totalitarian world that resembles what might have been had the outcome of the war gone a slightly different path.

Standish is caught up on the machinations of the totalitarian ‘Motherland’ whose ambitions to reach the moon are pursued at the expense of its citizens. In the book, the moon landing is similarly a symbolic accomplishment for the government, a demonstration of its technological and military prowess. As an escape Standish and his only friend Hector fantasize about launching their own rocket. Bypassing the moon altogether, they set their sights on “Juniper”, an imaginary planet which embodies their desire to transcend the terror of their world, in favour of a new one full of possibility and hope.

http://www.maggotmoon.com/

Maggot Moon

Steampunk H.G. Wells, Wollstonecraft and Poe? Yes please!

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

Not had enough of things that creep in the dark post-Halloween? Ready to start designing next year's costume? Zdenko Basic's New Steampunk Series puts the ghostliness into the steam. It includes Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds, and Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven, amongst others.

Each book features a SHORT insightful introduction which gives some interesting tidbits about each author's life as well as some historical context. Lushly illustrated with which creep their mood from mechanical to ghostly to gory, there's plenty here to fuel the steam engine of your imagination. Especially if you are a Steampunk fan. And if you've never heard of Steampunk before but like horror and gore this might just turn your crank enough to start dreaming of making Next year's Halloween costume involve gears, lace and, rivets.

I'm sure you can imagine and design your own steampunk characters or dress up your favourite YA Hero/Heroine. What would a Steampunk Katniss or Harry wear???

Soooooo... design a costume and photograph yourself or draw your favourite YA character Steampunk style and submit these to our TeensCreate page! These books may help: Steampunk Fashion & How To Draw Steampunk. For further inspiration check out CPL's great and growing Steampunk Collection. Then continue the adventure by reading Kady Cross's Steampunk Chronicle's trilogy starting with The Girl in The Steel Corset, (which includes many descriptions of awesome Steampunk outfits...) and finish with Legacy of the Clockwork Key by Kristin Bailey. May your engines be well oiled!

Why are Dystopian Novels so popular? Because they deal with reality...

by Adrienne - 3 Comment(s)

Why are Dystopian Novels so popular? This current trend not just with teens, it is also popular with many adults. These YA novels have even your parents following them! Why? Because they deal with real life issues that we either face in the world every day, or that the WORLD at large deals with every day. The proof is in the pudding eh? So what issues DO the current faves and bests deal with?

Wither The main issue this book deals with is the possible unknown side-effects of genetic engineering and insufficiently tested cures. This applies today to more than just genetics research; we have many diseases with unknown cures and unknown causes... Do we know the full effects of a lifetime of eating Kraft diner, painting our nails with formaldehyde polish, or spraying DDT on our vegetables and consequent genetic defects? No... and on and on and on with 100 million products and experiments we conduct every day. Diseases like ALS are New and just popping up and others like AIDS and many cancers still have no known cures.

Wither also deals with objectifying women and young girls solely for their looks (very western), reproductive capacities (prevalent in various countries today) and reproductive slavery. Slavery is slavery even within the confines of comfy couches and pretty lipsticks... As well as taking a look at what love really Is and Is not.

Birthmarked also takes a hard look at reproductive slavery, as well as being a case study for third world vs. first world paradigms. Set in 2403 in a society where our world and time is labeled "the cool age", it is an imaginative rendering of post apocalyptic survival - global warming style. The book even dares to propose how various current energy solutions such as using geothermic energy could have negative effects on society; or certain members of society, whenever dictatorship reigns. Our current world deals with global warming; 1st world vs. 3rd world; class issues and divisions within society (some more stark and apparent than others and some more covert); alternative energies and dictatorships Every Day. Perhaps the resonance of these books is not in their outlandish imaginings, but rather in their expressions of current realities made more digestible through the form of story. Check out the movie trailer here.

The Graceling series is perhaps one of the most multi-layered dystopian series of the bunch, teetering into the verge of fantasy, but striking home so closely to reality that I often found the books very difficult to read (even though this consequently made them my favourites of the bunch.) Dealing with issues of literacy and class, ability vs. disability, dictatorships, sociopaths, murder, justice, memory and healing, they also insert things such as birth-control and GLBTQ as givens, positive aspects of this much troubled society.

Bitterblue is the story of both a girl and a society recovering from the effects of a regime of terror. How does one uncover truth? How are "war crimes" dealt with fairly when the entire society is both implicitly guilty and traumatized at the same time? Can a thief be loyal, just, trustworthy and lovable? Can one be treasonous, break the law and yet be loyal and just under the law at the same time? How can just 4% of the population (the statistical existence of sociopaths) cause so much damage?


For some interesting thoughts on Dystopian Fiction check out the following INFOGRAPHIC: Is It Dystopia?

Social Studies 101 coming up, in the form of case studies presented in really engaging YA novels!

Stay tuned next Sunday for Part 2 of this blog: Dystopian Popularity Continued...

POETRY SLAM! OBOC & The Calgary Spoken Word Society Team Up Sat 2-3:30

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

This Saturday get ready for a special Second Saturday Slam. This month One Book One Calgary teams up with the Calgary Spoken Word Festival 's crew to deliver a slam with a twist. Come enjoy, compete and/or listen and judge. Bring some of your poems that explore some of the rich themes in Canadian author Steven Galloway's novel "The Cellist of Sarajevo". This could be something related to music or art, the enduring power of the human spirit, diversity, or war and peace. Contestants will be chosen on a first come first serve basis. AND CSWF always offers really valuable and encouraging feedback. I've learned a lot as a poet in the ones I've attended (yes I DID dare to read some of my poems in public - therefore... I dare you!). Thanks to Sheri - D Wilson, Andre Prefotaine, Jen Kunlire and others!!!

And by the way if you haven't checked out the poetry of these guys and gals - they are fantastic!

The OBOC website also has some great books on it as well as book lists. My favourite being the ones that relate to the Human Spirit and Art and Music. Additional suggestions for great verse novels would be Orchards by Holly Thompson and Roses and Bones which includes Psyche in a Dress by Francesca Lia Block.

And as a side note - For the whole month of November we have a cool painted piano that you can see inside of downstairs on the main floor of the library! Come play a tune on your way up or down to the John Dutton Theatre.

Whose side are you on anyways?

by Jilliane - 0 Comment(s)

Cellist of Sarajevo Book Cover Book CoverBook Cover Book Cover

November is a good month to reflect on the impact of wars, past and present. Remembrance Day was established at the end of WW1, which was briefly referred to as “The war to end all wars.” We wish that had been the case! Since then conflicts have continued with tragic regularity. Many authors have addressed the theme of war and its casualties in their works.

Recently Steven Galloway, author of The Cellist of Sarajevo, spoke about the different perspectives taken by people as they struggle to survive the sudden conflict they are thrown into, and react to the decisions and sides they must take. In his presentation during the One Book One Calgary launch, Galloway reminded us that the casualities of war are mostly civilians, rather than those whose profession is war, like soldiers, generals, leaders and doctors.

As part of OBOC’s programming, a discussion on Nov 21 looks at an emerging disturbing trend in modern warfare – the use of Child Soldiers. This is heartbreakingly represented in Romeo Dalliare’s book They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children.

The differences between opposing sides is often hard to distinguish. This is simply and poetically shown in another story called The Enemy by Davide Cali. Sitting in a trench, a soldier faces off against an unseen enemy who, as the story progresses, he realizes is not very different from himself.

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo, offers a unique perspective on war, that of a cavalry horse who witnesses the horrors of trench warfare on both sides of the conflict. Morpurgo’s thrilling story continues to have a powerful resonance, including translations into stage and screen adaptations.

Check out this link for more books with characters who try to make sense of the complexities of war.