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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.

15-16 years old & looking for work?

by Jilliane - 0 Comment(s)

Jump Start Poster

My Top 3 of 3

by Jilliane - 0 Comment(s)

Over the last 3 years I have done a lot of reading. I've read some pretty lame books, some okay books, some pretty darn good books...and then there are the books that remind you why life is amazing. I only encounter these books about once a year, maybe twice if I'm lucky. Today, I'm going to share my most-amazing-books-ever list. I mean, I might be exagerating a bit when I say 'most-amazing-ever,' but over the past 3 years, these are definitely some of the best that I've encountered.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Persepolis is a graphic novel autobiography by Marjane Satrapi. Satrapi relates her experience of growing up in Iran following the Islamic Revolution. It's not a pretty or sentimental story, rather, it's a riveting, deeply moving coming of age story. Satrapi begins her tale at childhood, depicting her sweet, believing innocence and the many talks she had with God in these younger years. She then moves on to describe her tumultuous youth of exploration and self-discovery all with a heated political backdrop. Her parents, political activists, send her away to live in France where they know she will receive a better education and be free from the opression she would face in her own country.

This beautiful autobiography is not only a peek into the world of nations overcome with political unrest, but it is also a sweet coming of age story. Satrapi explores feminism, religion, politics, family life, romance and growing up. She is not heavy-handed, rather, she lets you draw conclusions and focuses on narrative.

The book was made into a movie, which is brilliant, but skips a lot of content.

A Monster Calls by Patrick NessA Monster Calls was based on an idea by the late Siobhan Dowd, a amazing author who died in 2007 of breast cancer. It's a lovely story of a boy dealing with death. Conor is 13 years old and has a mother who is terminally ill. Conor's mother is hopeful and fights her cancer fiercely. She is determined to stay with Conor, and as a result, Conor has not faced the idea of life without her. Except in his dreams. Every night Conor has the same terrible nightmare.

At exactly 12:07 Conor wakes to voice calling him. He looks out his window to see a gigantic monster. This monster tells Conor that he has 3 stories to tell Conor. He will come each night and tell his stories and when he is done, Conor must tell him a story.

Despite the wild idea of a monster appearing in the night, A Monster Calls is a deeply realistic story. The reader lives through every day with Conor--at school, dealing with his grandmother, visiting his mother in the hospital, and grieving. But every night at 12:07 the monster visits and you hear a story...a story that somehow helps Conor.

The book is beautifully illustrated and is definitely worth a read.

Lost and Found by Shaun TanLost and Found is an incredible collection of my 3 favourite Shaun Tan books. It includes: The Red Tree, The Lost Thing and The Rabbits. Tan's illustrations are vivid and poignant and the stories are meaningful. I read The Read Tree on days when I'm feeling sad. I read The Lost Thing on days when I'm feeling lonely. Finally, I read The Rabbits on days when I need to remember.

Pirates at the Library!

by Jilliane - 0 Comment(s)

By the powers matey, they be playin' Pirates of the Caribbean this Monday night at the great, grand 'ole Library in downtown Calgary. So me hearties, come on down--at exactly 5 o'clock the show will start. Landlubbers avast--this show be not for you!

What: Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End

When: 5:00 o'clock

Where: John Dutton Theatre, Central Library

and if ye's can't wait for the show there be beautiful books and Cd's galore to feast yourn eyes on + general pirate lore for the long haul! Ho matey!

Youth Video Contest!

by Jilliane - 0 Comment(s)

We all know homophobic bullying in schools is wrong. And we all know it happens.

Shine BookcoverThere have been some amazing books written on the topic. One of my faves is Lauren Myracles Shine which tells the story of 16-year-old Cat and her best friend, Patrick, who happens to be gay. When Patrick is beaten and left for dead, Cat decides to unravel the mystery behind this terrible hate crime. They live in a small Southern Caroline town and Cat has to navigate her way through the tightly knit community to find the perpetrator. Although the Sheriff assumes the criminals are from out-of-town (because no one from our town would do this!), Cat visits all her friends, including the "redneck possee" Patrick used to hang around with, to discover the truth. She uncovers some dangerous secrets (people dealing and using meth) and a great deal of shame that many people feel because of how they treated Patrick. Cat reflects on all of this, and of course, discovers a lot about herself in the process--which is all very insightful. A sombre and compelling story with a hopeful ending--I defintely think you will love Shine.

We have a whole list of interesting books on the topic homosexuality. You'll find it here (but you have to scroll down just a bit!).

At the moment, an AMAZING contest is being held to raise awareness for homophobic bullying in schools and to help stamp it out. The prizes are sweet, the challenge is fun and it's open to all Canadian youth.

Here's what you gotta do:

Create a short video and submit it by June 11th that challenges homophobia and bullying. For more info, visit Out In Schools.

But really, this video says it all:

Bitterblue

by Jilliane - 0 Comment(s)

Bookcover BitterblueKristin Cashore is the New York Times bestselling author of Graceling and Fire. Graceling and Fire were both named ALA Best Books for Youth Adults in addition to other awards. Basically, Cahsore rocks. And...her third book is coming out in May!!! I am lucky enough to have read Bitterblue already, so now I'm going to evangelize all about it so you'll all place a hold on it before it comes out.

To start with, Graceling and Fire are companion novels to Bitterblue. You don't have to read them to follow the story, but knowledge of them will enhance your enjoyment of the story (and anyway, they are awesome). Bitterblue takes place after Graceling.

King Leck ruled Monsea for years. His grace (the ability to control people's minds) and his violent psychopathic personality, destroyed his kingdom. Eventually he was overthrown and murdered and his daughter Bitterblue was left to help the kingdom recover. Because Bitterblue became queen as young child she was very dependent on her advisors. She is now 18 and for the first time, decides she needs to try to understand her kingdom more completely. In the hopes of learning more about the land she rules, Bitterblue begins to sneak out at night in disguise. She visits local story rooms and listens to people tell tales of the crazy King Leck and she discovers that her people are still wounded and seeking the truth about their past. Bitterblue is determined to help them heal, but first, needs to unravel the mystery of her own past. She uncovers distrubing secrets about her insane father Leck. Even more disturbing, she learns that Leck still has a hold on some people in her kingdom--a secret that she must bring to light and deal with if her kingdom is to heal and she is to become a strong queen.

Bitterblue truly is a gripping story. Although it is long and starts slow, the richness of the detail, the depth of the characters and the intricate plot will pay off. It's the kind of book you will stay up late into the night to finish once you get going. More than anything, I love the rock-star-tough-feminist heroines Cashore places in her books. So...read, and enjoy.

bookcover bookcover

Bored? Try Some Youth Week

by Jilliane - 0 Comment(s)

If you don't already know about Youth Week Calgary, you should. It's a super awesome celebration of youth and community here in Calgary!

Every spring, oranizations throughout Calgary pull together for a week and hold special events - everything from poetry slams to hip hop classes, teen nights, basketball tournaments, open mic nights, online video contests, movie screenings, yoga classes, markets, peace cafes...the list goes on - for youth. It's pretty sweet. Basically, if you are a youth in Calgary, there is noooo excuse for boredom during Youth Week. These events are all free (or almost free!), they are all over the city, and they are for you.

Of course, it's not all about the one week. Youth Week advocates for youth empowerment, achievement and involvement throughout the year. By bringing the community together to celebrate youth each spring, Youth Week builds the profile and awareness of the youth in our city.

So. Where will you be from April 21 - 28th? Here's the calendar of events for Youth Week. Check it out! And - like Youth Week on FB.

Review: The Obsidian Blade

by Jilliane - 0 Comment(s)

Reviews by YAC

Tucker Feye had been living in Hopewell County ever since he was born with his father, a reverend, and his mother, but suddenly, during his thirteenth year, while his father was working on the roof he fell off and vanished! Where could he have gone? Later that day, Tucker’s father came walking home as if nothing had gone amiss, except that he looked worn by time and had with him a little girl named Lahlia. At that point, life for Tucker became more ominous: since his return, his father disregarded his religion and abruptly stopped believing in God; his mother slowly succumbed to madness which progressed into a form of autism; and then his father told him that he and Tucker’s mother were leaving for an indefinite time period. Could Tucker’s life become any more paranormal?

Once he moved in with his uncle Kosh, Tucker began to hypothesize where his parents had gone and how he could get to them. One possibility was the invisible, disk-shaped rift above his house –he had seen his dad fall through it once before, after all. Soon enough he discovered a similar rift above Kosh’s barn! Could these disks be the reason for his dad’s eerie disappearance? Could they be the path Tucker takes to retrieve his lost family? As Pete Hautman weaves this novel, time is no longer a constant, it is a manipulative.

Hautman has written an intriguing genesis to his Klaatu Diskos Trilogy. I absolutely adored the book and its abstruseness; he wrote it so that it is a constant page-turner. The Obsidian Blade, although quizzical to an extent, will be loved by those who often utilize the full capacity of their brain and exercise focus. Also, because of the immense amount of content, there is a huge space to be filled in by the imagination. To all bibliophiles or anyone just looking for an enjoyable, enticing read, I would whole-heartedly recommend The Obsidian Blade.

Reviewed by Sahad

Publication Date: April 10, 2012

Write NOW!

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Write Now poster

Youth Worldviews Project

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Worldviews Project

Altogether too often people get caught up with talk about how terrible the state of the world is. Crime, poverty, environmental crisis and inequality can get downright depressing. I know plenty of people who have simply stopped listening to the news because it gets them down. Add to that pending destruction of earth in late 2012 and the many prophecies about fire and brimstone and you'd be tempted to give up on life.

Not long ago I met a Junior High school teacher named Kate McKenzie. Kate teaches current events and as you can imagine, this can be a very heavy topic. Early on in the year, Kate's students said they were getting super depressed by all the negativity in the news. Kate didn't want to leave her students feeling hopeless, so she set out to show them all the good things going on in the world.

Because there are good things going on!

Kate is determined to prove to her students that there are ways to combat hopelessness - she is travelling to 8 countries in 8 months and documenting inspiring stories of people doing great things to build their community. Learn more about her project here.

While she's away, we are partnering to provide a youth leadership opportunity.

Kate and The Calgary Public Library want to help fight hopelessness by equipping Calgary youth with the leadership skills they need to get involved in their communities and have a positive impact. We're calling it Youth Worldviews Project.

A series of four sessions will be held in which youth can come together to discuss what they can do to make a difference in their community. Mentoring opportunities will be available including Skype sessions with Kate. Ideas like marketing, volunteer recruitment, grant writing, and event planning will be discussed.

Come! Join us! Help make a difference.

Events will be held at the Central Library on the second floor on these dates:

February 18th from 12:00-1:30 pm

April 28th from 12:1:30pm

May 26th from 11:30-1:00pm

September 15th from 12:00-1:30pm

I can't wait to hear about how you plan to get involved!

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