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Books Recommended by Calgary Teens

by Courtney N - 0 Comment(s)

Teen volunteers on Crowfoot Library's Teen Advisory Group sent us mini book reviews of their top recommendations from Calgary Public Library.

InkheartLulu's Pick:

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Inkheart is an excellent book for teens interested in fantasy adventure novels. The storyline is great, with a few unexpected plot twists in the middle. The characters are very well-developed, and I especially like the character Dustfinger. Hope you will enjoy this book!

 

Gone with the WindMaya's Pick:

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

One of my favourite novels is Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. The story follows the southern belle Scarlett O’Hara through the American Civil War and her struggle to rebuild her life afterwards. It touches upon a myriad of ideas including: dreams, hardship, loss, change and personal strength. Scarlett is surrounded by many unforgettable characters such as the lovable mammy, frustrating Prissy, sweet Melanie, honourable Ashley, and, of course, the wild Rhett Butler.

DivergentLisa's Pick:

Divergent by Veronica Roth

I'm Lisa and one of my favourite books is called Divergent, written by Veronica Roth. This book is set in a dystopian society where people are divided into factions that fits a particular personality trait. It is a fast paced and exciting book. I particularly liked the main character because she represents the typical sixteen year old teenage girl, but she takes matter into her own hands and creates her own destiny. This makes her a relatable and interesting character to read about. I would definitely recommend this book.

Aya of Yop CityNicole's Pick:

Aya of Yop City by Marguerite Abouet

Aya of Yop City is a series of six Franco-Belgian graphic novels, and is the second of the series. It is a novel that follows the lives of many different people living in Côte d'Ivoire during the 1970s. All of the characters are connected by the main character, Aya, as she assists and helps them through numerous issues. This book is a well-written graphic novel that is light-hearted, a great source of discussion, and reveals a lot about the culture Côte d'Ivoire during the 1970s. I definitely recommend this series as a whole.

A Child Called ItInsiyah's Pick:

A Child Called "It" by Dave Pelzer

This book is simply amazing. It tells a story about a child and his survival through child abuse. There are times in this book that can make you cry your eyes out or sometimes even get violent. It's very well written and told perfectly.The way the boy explains what's happening to him will just break your heart. This is a really good one time read and it truly opens your eyes against something that is still a very big problem in our society. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has a stomach for vicious and disturbing things.

Calling All Volunteers

by Monique - 0 Comment(s)

Need volunteer hours? Looking for somewhere to volunteer? Looking for something to boost your resume or school portfolio? We have the solution for you! Not only is it a rewarding feeling to know that you have helped someone learn something new, or improve on a skill, but it provides you with an opportunity to learn and grow as well. Gather a couple of friends and volunteer together; not only will you gain some valuable experience, you can have fun doing it.

If you are in grades 7 to 12, we have several great volunteering opportunities at any of our 18 branches: Computer Buddies, Cyber Seniors Connect, ESL Teen Talk, Reading Buddies, and Curious, the Library Mascot. Interested in volunteering at a specific branch? Check out our current opportunities. If you are looking for more information about volunteering at the library, check out our volunteer blog. If you are interested, fill out an application form online or drop by any of the eighteen branches to get an application form.

Word! It's Never too late for a Poetry Contest!

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

You may be asking what exactly is a Wordle? Well.. it's a collection of words arranged in a visual way to make a concrete poem. Okay, okay what is a concrete poem? It's a visual poem = words arranged in a visual way to have an effect = a unique hybrid of both art and poetry. As you can see on the left I was inspired by our recent deluge of rain. Local poet derek beaulieu is a master at it! (& in case you hadn't noticed I've also included some Wordle examples) So... we are inviting you to get busy with a graphix program and design your own Wordle and submit it to our Teens Create page to win! The prize you may ask? A fabulous journal - what every poet and artist is always wanting more of... deadline is June 5th (aka get this in before Youth Read starts! - we know you'll be busy with all the other amazing challenges then - P.S. did you know you can Pre-Register for Youth Read?) Chop! Chop! Don't forget to also submit your name and contact ph#/email in the comments as well as submitting your Wordle on the Teens Create page (and don't worry we will NOT publish your contact info). And if you are at a loss as to how to use Photoshop or Illustrator to do this you may want to take advantage of our Free Ed2Go online instructor-led courses! May the best WORD-le win!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So you have some difficult Questions? Who you gonna call?

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

 

You know those questions you don't want to ask ANYbody? Or you talk about all the time but your friends seem useless at? Yeah those questions... Sometimes it's much easier not to .. or to browse the Internet or..., well we have just added some Teen Health & Wellness Links to our TeenZone page precisely for that reason! Plus we have a great book list. Warning= Scroll down on the page to see them! We also have more - lists on particular subjects such as Death & Disease, My Body, GLBTQ, Disabilities & Disorders under our INTENSE Booklists tab. Last year I wrote a blog called My Life Just Turned Upside Down that has some great book suggestions in it as well! To access the page normally click on our Teens page. There are health & wellness and a jobs & career links tabs which both get you to the same place. Or - you can access them through the Information tab under our Booklists on the top left hand side of the Teens page.

Here is a list of what's on the page and how it might be helpful. I encourage you to check out the pages - lots of them have interactive elements like live chat, places to submit your own art and writing and to take quizzes/ games at. Some feature videos, clubs, and courses you can take as well.

kids help phone logo

Kid’s Help Phone

24 hour Confidential counselling, information and referral for youth up to age 18.

By phone or On-line Chat. Legal Advice.

Website has some great mini pages on Bullying, Dating, Finding a place to live etc.

connecteen logo Connect Teen (Calgary Distress Centre)

24hr Counselling & Emergency Service.

Chat on-line or on the phone.

Connect Teen also offers a Youth Blog.

maple leaf

Just for You

Youth Health Information (Government of Canada):

A comprehensive information source for teen health.

calgary sexual health centre logo

Calgary Sexual Health Centre

Offers teens information about birth control, safe sex, STD’s, relationships and coming out.

calgary outlink logo

Calgary Outlink

The Inside Out Youth Group is a fun, Calgary, casual, peer and social group for GLBTQ youth. The group is a safe and welcoming place for all. Group facilitators are trained volunteer youth peer support and adult support.

mental health logo

Canadian Mental Association - Got a Brain?

Education around mental health and positive ways of managing it. Includes resources about stress, suicide, eating disorders and teen depression.

Submit your story, play on-line games.

between friends logo

The Calgary Between Friends Club

Fun and fellowship for disabled youth!

ldaa

Learning Disabilities Association of Alberta-Calgary Chapter

Support for teenagers with learning disabilities.

Programs, services, on-line library.

Perspectives = On-line magazine.

street survival guide cover

Street Guide for Calgary Youth

Names and addresses of dozens of organizations to help youth living on the streets and with general

 

Looking for a job, house or career advice (yes we are aware that teens need this type of advice on occasion) our Jobs and Careers links can help as well as this great booklist!

WE HOPE THIS HELPS!!

Young Readers Choice Awards continued... continued!

by Patricia - 0 Comment(s)

For those of you who have been waiting for this final category of YRCA nominees, the Senior books (Gr. 10-12) here it is!!

And, for those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, welcome to the Young Readers Choice Awards! We want YOU to read at least two books from one of these lists, and then vote for your fave. I've already written about the YRCA in general and the whole voting thing on a previous blog, so I won't repeat myself, just go there. You'll also see the write-up about the Junior & Intermediate YRCA nominees in previous blogs.

So without further ado, here are the Senior nominees:

Book coverBefore I Fall, by Lauren Oliver: Samantha is a popular 17 year old, who thinks she's perfect. Then.. she is killed in a car accident, and relives the same day over, and over, and over, trying to fix all of the not-so-perfect things she did so she can, well, move on. Think Groundhog Day, in a gut-wrenching sort of way.

Book coverBruiser, by Neil Shusterman: Bronte can’t understand why her family, and especially her twin brother Tennyson, dislikes her new boyfriend Brewster so much. Even though he looks a little rough, he’s kind and gentle with her. Then one day she hurts herself, and when he touches her the wound disappears and she feels wonderful, but he looks worse than ever… There’s a lot of intense family violence in this book, so it’s not for the faint of heart.

Book coverCrazy, by Han Nolan: 15-year-old Jason has a pile of friends... but they're all imaginary. And his father is mentally ill. And his mother has just died. And he's responsible for keeping everything together! Good thing he has the help of Aunt Bee from the Andy Griffith show, Sexy Lady, and a "laugh track" - although they're all in his head... Read this book and you get to be one of his internal characters as well!

Book coverMatched, by Ally Condie: In a highly controlled society, a 16-year-old girl is ecstatic to find out she has been ‘matched’ with not only someone she actually knows, but her best friend! However, she discovers cracks in the perfect system when the picture of a different boy, also someone she knows, shows up on her true love’s profile page. Interested in what caused this glitch, and wanting to know more about the much more mysterious, dangerous Kai, she strays further and further from her chosen path and ideal romance. The first in what is likely to be the next great dystopian series.

Book coverThe Replacement, by Brenna Yovanoff: Mackie lives in a small town with big secrets. Every seven years, a baby is 'replaced' by a fairy child from the underworld. When his strange allergies – to iron, blood, and consecrated ground – get worse and threaten his life, he teams up with Tate, whose baby sister has just gone missing, to uncover the truth. This is a dark gothic tale of the paranormal, with gruesomely thrilling imagery.

Book coverShip Breaker, by Paula Bacigalupi: Another dystopian, post-apocalyptic tale, BUT this time from a male point of view (about time!) The main character ekes out a living by stripping wrecked ships with a band of thieves. But one ship isn’t deserted; they discover a girl, barely alive, who promises to show them a dream-world, a utopia, if they let her live. Interesting use of language makes up for – or adds to, depending on your point of view – the more violent scenes in this fast-paced read.

Book coverWill Grayson, Will Grayson, by David Levithan and John Green: Will Grayson has the biggest gayest friend ever! will grayson (the other one = yes there's two... with the same name, hence the lack of capitals) is sad and depressed. When the two W/will G/graysons happen to meet, all their lives are changed. And a great high school musical is produced! Hilarious and interesting, with lots of unexpected twists, and over-the-line language and scenarios. Not to be missed!

Book coverWinter Shadows, by Margaret Buffie: Cass is living in modern-day Selkirk, Manitoba when she finds an old brooch which becomes a gateway into the world of Beatrice, who lived in the house in the 1850's. They communicate through Beatrice's diary, and bond over difficulties with their respective step-mothers. A great 'time slip' story, with some real insight into the Metis history and way of life.

Okay, that's it for the YRCA selections. Now it's your turn - read, ponder, then VOTE! And may the best book win...

Young Readers Choice Awards continued...

by Patricia - 0 Comment(s)

YRCA logo

Young Readers Choice Awards: Junior Category

As promised, here's the next installment in the Young Readers Choice Awards.

We're asking you to read at least two books from one of the categories, then choose your favourite. For more info on the YRCA and how to cast your ballot, please look at my previous blog, which also talked about the Intermediate books.

This time we're looking at the Junior Category Nominees, those geared for about Gr. 4-6.

Book coverfatty legs, by Christy Jordan-Feton: Margaret is a young Inuit girl who desperately wants to go to school, like her older sister, so she can learn how to read. This means leaving her family to go to residential school. When she finally gets her wish, however, it’s not exactly what she had dreamed… This book is autobiographical, and there is a sequel, called A Stranger At Home. A shortened version of fatty legs has been made into a picture book, called When I Was Eight. A great introduction for a younger audience.

Book coverThe Strange Case of the Origami Yoda, by Tom Angleberger: This book is written in the form of a 'case file' by Tommy and his friends in middle school. Dwight, the biggest nerd of them all (which is saying a lot) creates an Origami Yoda finger puppet which appears to be amazingly wise and prescient - unlike Dwight! Very funny. If you like the 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' series, you'll like this too. There is also a sequel, called Darth Paper Strikes Back - worth reading if only for the title.

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Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer, by John Grisham: Do you see that? JOHN GRISHAM! The king of adult crime novels has crossed over into the Kid Zone with this story about a 13-year-old boy who knows everything there is to know about the justice system, but can't keep himself out of trouble when a grisly murder needs to be solved. Read it to see if Grisham can handle the critical readers in the shallow end of the pool...

Big Nate: In a Class By Himself, by Lincoln Peirce: The only graphic novel candidate in this bunch. Big Nate has been seen before, in a comic strip, as the less-than-straight-A middle school kid who wisecracks his way into a lot of detentions. A great alternative if you've read all of the 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' books, or want to get into graphics with something new!

book cover

The Mysterious Howling, by Maryrose Wood: This is the first in the series: The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place. 15-year-old Penelope becomes a governess at a children’s school, only to discover that the mysterious howling she has been hearing is being made by two children who were found in the forest and have obviously been raised by wolves. She must teach them not only Latin and Algebra but how to act like humans instead of wolves. 'Howlingly' funny (hee hee).

13 Treasures13 Treasures, by Michelle Harrison: The main character is Tanya, and Tanya is ‘trouble’. Tanya sees fairies, but if she talks about this, people think she’s crazy! Blamed for all of the things the fairies get into, she is shipped off to her grandmother's ancient old house - which happens to be infested with, you guessed it, fairies. Then children in the area go missing, and Tanya wants to find out what’s going on. If you like the Spiderwick Chronicles, you’ll love this book.

Book coverThe Lost Hero, by Rick Riordan: Really sad that the Percy Jackson series ended? Well, don't be! This new spin-off series has appearances by all your favourite characters, while introducing Jason, Piper, and Leo as the offspring of some new gods - this time in their Roman persona's. Another rollicking ride through Camp Half-Blood, with a satyr masquerading as a bus, Medusa working in a chic New York department store, and a race against the clock to keep the world from terrible danger.

Book cover

Lone Wolf, by Kathryn Lasky: This is the beginning of Lasky’s new series The Wolves of Beyond, which takes place in the same world as her ‘Guardians of Ga’hoole’ books. In this one, a young wolf pup is born, despite many problems for his mother, with a twisted leg and a strange mark on his paw, marking him as.. well, either deformed, or special. He survives against all odds, is raised by a mother bear, and eventually makes his way to ‘the Beyond’, a place on the edge of this world where the socially outcast wolves reside... and back again to some new surprises!

Okay, that's it for the Junior YRCA nominees. Look for the next and final posting, about the Senior choices, coming soon.. and don't forget to read & vote!

Young Readers Choice Awards

by Patricia - 1 Comment(s)

YRCA logo

It's Young Reader's Choice Awards time again! The time when the books that YOU select as being the most awesome will get to put those stickers on their jackets saying, 'I'm the BEST and everyone should read me!'

This award is given out by the Pacific Northwest Library Association, which is not only bi-national - including Canada's western provinces AND America's western states - but also the oldest children's choice award in both countries.

Get ready to cast a ballot by reading at least two books from one of the categories, Junior (Gr. 4-6), Intermediate (Gr. 7-9), or Senior (Gr. 10-12). Then, fill out a ballot at your neighbourhood library branch between March 15 - April 15. (For details on the whole voting process, go here.) I'll give a quick teaser of each book, then leave it up to you!

As Easy As Falling Off the Face of the Earth, by Lynne Rae Perkins: Ry, on his way to summer camp in Oregon, manages to miss the train when it stops in the middle of nowhere - and then suddenly takes off again - when he briefly nips out to find cell phone service. He sets off on his own with a dying cell phone and little else, meeting interesting people who help him find his way back home. This is a very funny book, with simple but hilarious sketch drawings showing certain .. important.. moments in Ry's 'adventure', as well as what's going on with his two dogs... hmmmm....

The Card Turner, by Louis Sachar: So this is a book about a 17-year-old boy and how he learns bridge. But wait! Before you skip on to the next title, remember this is Louis Sachar, who also wrote ‘Holes’ and other award-winning stories. In this book, Alton is forced to read and play the cards for his super-rich but very blind and sick uncle, who is an ace at duplicate bridge tournaments, but might also be connected with the mob... If you would love to learn how to play bridge, detailed explanations are provided for every card game. BUT, if you couldn’t care less, the author has helpfully put these parts between asterisks, so you can skip over them and get on with the plot!

Heist Society, by Ally Carter: Katarina tries to leave the family business - thieving - but is lured back when her father becomes the only suspect in the theft of a mobster’s art collection, and the only solution is to find the paintings and steal them back.

Smile, by Raina Telgemeier: This autobiography tells the story of a girl whose front teeth get knocked out accidentally, forcing her to learn how to take the teasing and abuse and throw it back in a goodhearted fashion. This is a graphic novel, which aside from adding visual appeal, makes it a quick read.

The Second Trial, by Rosemarie Boll: 13-year-old Danny starts to fall apart after his mother goes to court against his father, charging him with domestic abuse, and they need to go into Witness Protection. Confused about his dad and hostile towards his mother, Danny starts to act out at school and home. Published by Second Story press, it’s an accessible story for anyone looking for an easier read, but be warned, it’s a pretty ‘gritty’ scenario, no sweetness and light in this one.

Sorta Like A Rock Star, by Matthew Quick: Amber, known as the ‘Princess of Hope’, has a pretty sucky life, living with her man-huntin’ mom in a school bus. But Amber always manages to keep that hope alive, until one day tragedy occurs. Good for teens who can handle the rough side of life. And sometimes really funny!

Halo, by Alexandra Adornetto: In this book, Bethany, an angel new to the trade, is sent down to earth with two more experienced compatriots, including the Archangel Gabriel, to fight the forces of darkness. While here, she meets and falls in love with a human, and learns that good and evil are not always easy to identify.

The Red Pyramid, by Rick Riordan: The first in another series by the author of the Percy Jackson books, focused this time on ancient Egypt. Carter and Sadie Kane watch as their father accidentally releases five ancient Egyptian gods from the Rosetta Stone and is then sucked into the ‘Duat’. While trying to rescue their father, they must also stop the evil god Set from building his pyramid of power and destroying the world. Along the way they discover much about themselves, their family, and the hidden world of ancient Egyptian magic. Tons of action, and, hey, you might learn something too... like what the 'Duat' is!

Okay, gotta wrap it up here. Look for 'sister' blogs about the Junior and Senior categories in the same spot, coming soon....

Celebrate Your Freedom with Us!!

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

Freedom to Read week starts today! Check out the Freedom To Read Website for ideas on how you can revel between February 24th & March 2nd.

Join us this Thursday the 28th at 7pm at Shelf Life Books for our Youth Award Celebration to honour our A World Without Choices contest winners. We received many great submissions in words, images and video that answered the following question: "What would your world look like without the freedom to read?" Check out some of the awesomeness submitted on our TeensCreate page!

AND, drum roll please... the winners are:

Ethan G. for his great essay, "Silenced Voices"

Alexa I. for her wonderful FTR essay, and

the amazing video duo Julia C. & Danika V. - check out their video Here!

In addition, the Freedom to Read Committee has awarded the 2013 Freedom of Expression Award, sponsored by FFWD Weekly, to the Calgary Idle No More Movement. Chantal Chagnon is accepting the award as a representative of the movement. Committee member Darlene Montgomery has provided the following statement to support the Award:

The Freedom of Expression Award is presented annually during Freedom to Read Week. The Award is presented to a person or group in the Calgary area who best demonstrates leadership in promoting freedom of expression, an important cornerstone of democracy. The Award is sponsored by FFWD Weekly. This year the Freedom of Expression Award will be presented to the Calgary Idle No More Movement. The Calgary INM Movement has demonstrated a commitment to freedom of expression by taking a public stand to raise awareness of the rich cultural heritage and history of our First Nations people; the social, educational and economic issues affecting their lives; and the obligation of governments to respect the treaty rights of First Nations people. Chantal Chagnon, a local organizer and spokesperson for the Calgary Idle No More Movement will accept the Award on behalf of the Movement at our annual celebration on February 28.

Chantal, the teen winners, family members and supporters will all be on hand for the annual celebration.

Today (February 25th) the Freedom To Read Committee at CPL made their Book Selection presentation to City Council. This year, the selected book is Shine, by Lauren Myracle. Myracle has been touted as "This Generation's Judy Blume". Betsy Fraser, ardent teen-lit enthusiast and CPL Selector, submitted the following nomination:

My suggestion for this year’s Freedom to Read week book would be Lauren Myracle’s Shine. Lauren has been a fantastic example through the years of an author whose books have been targeted as “unsuitable” for their target audience on the one hand, while being lauded by reviewers and those very teens on the other as speaking to and for them… In the past year, Lauren was catapulted into the media when her book was erroneously mentioned as a short-listed title for the National Book Award. Instead of being bitter, she used the ensuing media storm to garner support and attention for gay rights, ‘shining a light’, if you will, on the downtrodden, bullied and abused. Ms. Myracle is a wonderful speaker, and while a hate crime is a dark subject, I ask the committee to consider Shine as its title for 2013 Freedom of Expression Award.

The author's long history of challenges, coupled with her courage in tackling a very difficult subject, led the committee to choose this moving novel. While it begins with a hate crime, it is ultimately a story about hope, and about letting your inner light shine through when darkness surrounds you.

Join us! Thursday February 28, 2013 7 p.m. at Shelf Life Books, 100, 1302 - 4th Street S.W.

And Read on! ;0)

by Adrienne, with many thanks to Allison Thomson (Chair, Calgary Freedom to Read Week Committee) and Carrie, our awesome Teen Cybrarian.

WE WANT YOU!!

by Monique - 2 Comment(s)

Do you like helping others? Do you want to gain some volunteering hours to add to your resume or portfolio? Volunteering is a great way to gain some experience for work and a great way to show off the things you have done when applying for post secondary education. I don't know about you, but I also find volunteering to be a rewarding experience. It feels great to know that I'm helping someone to learn something new or improve on skills that they already have.

If you are in grades 7 to 12 the Calgary Public Library has several volunteer opportunities that you can be a part of. Check out all the volunteer possibilities that we have for you: Computer Buddies, Cyber Seniors, ESL Teen Talk, Peer to Peer Study Group, Reading Buddies, and Library Mascot "Curious" Are you interested in volunteering at a specific branch? Check out the current opportunities at each branch. If you are interested in volunteering in one of these programs, fill out this application form either online or pick one up at your closest library.

Peer to Peer Study Group

by Monique - 2 Comment(s)

teensFrustrated with how the semester ended? Ok, so in September you were really ambitious to start the school year off with a bang and keep it up for the entire school year. Yet things haven't worked out as you had planned, right? Does everything your teacher tell you sound foreign to you? No worries, Central library has the solution for you!! From Monday, February 4 to Monday, April 29 (with the exception of February 18), we have a gathering place on the second floor for teens to meet with teen volunteers to get help with their homework, from 4:30 to 6:30. You are more than welcome to stick around until 8 pm to finish anything that you have already started. Check out these previous blogs, OMG, it's due tomorrow and Kick Next Semesters @$$ for some great homework help databases. Don't forget to check out all the other awesome programs that we have for you to check out.

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