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Potter Passport

by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

Harry Potters

You guys aren’t going to believe this. It’s seriously the best thing EVER and I’m not even just saying that. This is going to be the highlight of my life. Well… it’ll make Top 5 at LEAST.

Cineplex Sunridge and Chinook are offering HARRY POTTER PASSPORTS for $24.99 that will allow you to see the first SEVEN MOVIES again on the BIG SCREEN, as well as buy advance passes for the last movie on July 15th. It also gives you a chance to win a trip to London for the premiere, and you can download a copy of any of the first movies at a discounted price.

Yeah, I know, right?

The only catch is that they’re only offering two showings per movie, so if you can’t make them, you’re going to miss it.

Still, that’s better than trying to cram all seven of them in on July 14th (I realized the hard way that movie marathons stopped working after OOTP came out…)

If you’re fan-girling/boying as hard over this as I am, comment on this blog about the geekiest thing you've ever done in the name of Harry Potter. I’ll go first (in the comments section).

Gringott’s account is a little low on sickles at the moment? You can always check out all 7 of the released films on DVD or Blu-Ray from the Calgary Public Library!!!

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Harry Potter and the Halfblood Prince Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 1

And just in case you guys need a little something extra to tide you over, you HAVE to check out Team Starkid. Their phenomenal shows “A Very Potter Musical” and “A Very Potter Sequel” are TOTALLY AWESOME. If you haven’t seen them yet, I won’t spoil the fun, but you’re going to LOVE gLee’s Darren Criss as Harry, and he’s not even the best part!


by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

You’ve dug your shorts out of the dirty hamper. You’ve hitched, hiked or biked to the field. Your cleats are tied… and the thunder rolls.

Aaaarrrggghhhh! Practice is cancelled – again. The game’s been postponed – again.

Don’t give in to rain-out-rage! Use your lightning reflexes - grab a great read from your ball-bag and escape the soggy scene.

Here are a few rainy read suggestions...

And remember--things could be worse! This is could be snowing.

The Storm in the Barn Vanished Partly Cloudy Thunder Over Kandahar

The Hunger Games Dream Cast

by Alexandra May - 2 Comment(s)

IMDB Hunger GamesSo the casting of “The Hunger Games” was pretty high on my radar for a while there, but I just couldn’t keep up with the constant drama that Hollywood was putting us through – Who’s going to be the perfect Katniss? How do we please Team Gale and Team Peeta at the same time? What ethnicity is Rue supposed to be anyways? At any rate, I checked a couple of days ago, and most of the cast now looks set in stone. Here’s the problem… aside from Josh Hutcherson being cast as Peeta (…WHAT?!?! Adorable little Josh from Bridge to Terabithia is now old enough to play hunky Peeta!??!?!), and Elizabeth Banks being cast as Effie… I realized I have NO IDEA WHO ANY OF THESE PEOPLE ARE! A preliminary search of IMDB told me that the guy playing Gale used to date Miley Cyrus, and the girl playing Katniss was in this movie that surprised everyone at the Oscars last year. But I have seriously never heard of any of them before! So here’s my question: Is a cast of relative Unknowns better than an All-Star cast? Will this help separate Suzanne Collin’s characters from other characters that better-known actors have played before? (I once watched a movie that had Rupert Grint in it, and I was like “Ron Weasley? What are you doing here?) And finally… if you could have your ultimate Dream Cast, who would star in The Hunger Games?

Win a copy of 'Shaken' by Eric Walters

by Jilliane Yawney - 0 Comment(s)

Eric Walters is coming to Calgary Public Library on April 15th!

To celebrate, we're giving away a free copy of his recent book Shaken.

To win, be the 3rd person to email and name 4 books written by Eric Walters!

Who Chooses What You Read?

by Jilliane Yawney - 0 Comment(s)

Freedom to Read Week happens every year and is a chance for us all to think about our right to choose what we read. Every year our right to read what we want to is challenged in many ways. Books are often banned, reporters lose their jobs because of opinions they are expressing, and often material is not even published or purchased because of its content. So, we are holding a contest to celebrate the freedom to read!

Here are the rules:

Express your thoughts on the freedom to read with words, film or graphic arts.

Choose one of the following methods:

Make a poster: draw, paint, or use photography and other graphic arts (8 ½ x 14” or 11 x 17”)

Write: a poem, short story, or essay (max. 300 words)

Create a film: (3 min. or less)

All content must be original, except for short, cited quotations.

1. Persuade an audience and support your point of view.
2. Use techniques of form effectively to engage an audience.

Contest is open to Calgary students in Grades 7 – 9. Include your name, school, grade, and telephone number with your entry. Enter by email: AND upload to Teens Create (; OR submit your hardcopy to any Calgary Public Library location. One entry per person. Entries must be received no later than Wednesday February 9th 2011.

And of course...there will be prizes!

It's a Cold, Cold World Out There...

by Alexandra May - 1 Comment(s)



Imagine a cold, bleak world, where the normally lush vegetation is now brown and leafless. The deserted city streets are covered in a grimy brown substance and the few who are brave enough to venture outside appear distorted and lumpy in their weird protective coverings.

Brutal Post – Apocalypse or just another Calgary winter?

It’s hard to tell the difference sometimes, which is why I thought its a perfect time to highlight some of the many post-apocalyptic YA books that have been published recently.

The three books below have all been published within the last five years and I’ve stayed away from the hyper-popular series like the Hunger Games, Forest of Hands and Teeth, and the Uglies. Those are all important books in the genre, but holy smokes I feel like we've talked about them a lot recently. If you haven’t read them, and your a fan of the genre, then go get 'em! But if you've already read them, hopefully the books below are new for you.



Bernard Beckett


In Genesis, author Bernard Beckett uses a "question and answer" form that is similar to the way Plato wrote his classic The Republic. Beckett's story takes place in 2075 on an isolated Island that was spared from the cataclysms that ravaged the rest of the world. The people on the island survived because of the cunning inventions of a guy named... ready for it? Plato. We follow along with Anax as she takes her exam to be admitted into the Government's elite Academy. The subject of the exam is Adam Forde, a guard who had broken the uber-controlling society’s rules. We learn of the fall-out of his free-thinking, and; similarly to Aldus Huxley’s classic dystopia Brave New World, the exam slowly reveals the sinister secrets of the Academy as well as the connections between Anax and Adam Forde.


Life as We Knew It

Susan Beth Pfeffer


Life as We Knew It is the first in a series of three books where readers view what may be the end of the world through the diary entries of a 16 year old girl. We follow along as Miranda goes from being a fairly regular 16 year old girl in Pennsylvania to a survivor of some of the worst environmental catastrophes in human history. It all starts when a meteor collides with the Moon and lurches into a closer orbit to Earth, setting off every kind of natural disaster you could imagine. Miranda, her Mother, Brother and best friend fair better than most, but are confronted with a grim future that may, or may not be worth struggling to see.


The other side of the Island

Allegra Goodman


The other Side of the Island is similar to Genesis in that it's set on an island of survivors under the watchful eye of a power hungry, my-way-or-the-highway kind of government. This time society takes its orders from “Earth Mother”, the head of a corporation who controls everything from the weather and sunsets to the music that people listen to. We follow Honor, a girl who just wants to fit in and follow the rules. Unfortunately (for her), Honor’s parents are more rebellious than she would like and constantly oppose the social conventions forced upon them. This doesn’t sit well with the corporation (or Honor really) and eventually they are arrested. Her parents' disappearance forces Honor to set out on a search to the other side of the Island to find her family and the sinister secrets of the corporation.





One Book One Calgary One Contest!

by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

The Calgary Public Library challenges teens to a book trailer competition! Enter to win!

Step 1: Be part of a conversation - One Book One Calgary

What is One Book One Calgary? Well, it's big. Very big. Evenyone in Calgary - your mom, your sister, your grandfather - is going to be reading the same book, at the same time. To participate...

Step 2: Grab the book at your local library!

Mavericks: An Incorrigible History of Alberta is this year’s One Book One Calgary pick and it is full of quirky facts about Alberta’s mavericks – like did you know that Ralph Klein’s dad was a Stampede wrestler called ‘The Phantom’? To find out more, read the book and….

Step 3: Make a book trailer!

Just like a movie trailer, a book trailer is a short video that promotes a book. Try to keep your trailer no longer than 2 minutes, but otherwise be creative! Search online for book trailers to find examples and resources (click here and here for two awesome examples of Mavericks book trailers). In the book trailer show us your favourite Mavericks - and what you think is important, funny, or notable about Calgary as a city - and what makes us Mavericks. Then...

Step 4: Submit online and enter to win!

Upload your video to YouTube, or Google Video. Then, go to the library's Teens Create website, create an account and link your video to it for a chance to WIN! We're giving away iPod shuffles, iTunes gift cards - and much more. Contest ends November 30th at 11:59pm.

Write Now!

by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

YALSA Teens' Top Ten

by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

Every year the Young Adult Library Services Association runs a contest where teens vote to come up with a top ten list of the best teen books.

And...the voting for this year has opened! Voting will run from now until September 17th.! The winners will be announced during teen read week (October 17-23).

The cool think about the Teens' Top Ten is it is chosen entirely by and for teens. The twenty-six official nominations are chosen by fifteen teen book groups and of course, the final winners are chosen by teens who vote. Last year, more than 11,000 teens voted for the Teens' Top Ten, choosing Paper Towns by John Green as their favorite title.


by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

Have you ever wished you were an animal? Or that you had the skills of an animal? I've often wished that I could fly, have the night vision of a cat, move as gracefully as a squirrel and run as fast as a pronghorn.

Clearly, I’m not the only one who has ever thought about how cool it would be to be an animal. Myths and legends about shapeshifting are old, rooted in many different cultures and at the moment, very popular.

Shapeshifting traditions vary across cultures, literature and belief systems. In some stories, being transformed to an animal form is a punishment. For example, Athena turned Arachne into the first spider as a punishment for her pride. Others believe that shapeshifting between animal and human form is magical and a means to utilize animal skills. For example, Norse literature includes stories of "beserkers" (warriors) who had the ability to transform into wolves or bears to fight more ferociously. Some Native American tribes believe that humans descended from animals and the two are intrinsically linked, able to change forms and recieve special powers from animal forebearers.

There are tons of books and movies that feature shapeshifters today. Think of these stories: Beauty and the Beast, Brother Bear, Harry Potter (the Animangus: Peter Pettigrew, Sirius Black, etc.), Ranma 1/2, Fruits Basket, The Spiderwick Chronicles, The Hobbit (Beorn), Pokemon (Ditto & Mew), Fullmetal Alchemist, and the list goes on...

Here are some cool books with shapshifters for you to check out:

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