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November's YA Pick

by Monique - 1 Comment(s)

What would you do if you lost the ability to do the one thing that you were passionate about? Would you give up, or perservere, even if it seemed impossible? In A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman, Veda is passionate about dancing. Dancing is her life....until that one fateful day, when everything changes. Once her life returns to some form of normalcy, Veda perseveres and won't let her disability rob her of her passion to dance. It is while she is learning to dance again, that she meets Govinda, who approaches dance as a spiritual pursuit. As her relationship with Govinda blossoms, she begins to learn about herself, what dancing means to her, as well as reconnects with the world around her.

This novel is an inspiring story about Veda and her passion to continue dancing and being at peace with the road her life is travelling on. Veda's story is told lyrically through verse, which beautifully depicts her life as well as what it is like for a middle class family in India. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I found myself rooting for Veda and her passion to dance from the beginning right to the end. I related to every emotion that Veda felt throughout the entire novel.

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.

YA Lit Pick — December

by Monique - 0 Comment(s)

 

While her parents are on an extended vacation over the summer, Kiri is left to her own devices. She plans to spend time with her best friend/bandmate/crush Lucas making music and competing in battle of the bands. She also plans on practicing the piano since she is quiet accomplished and wants to improve her skills even further. This all changes one fateful day, when she receives a call from a stranger who has her sister's belongings. The problem is that her sister died 5 years ago. It isn't until after she picks up her sister's belongings that Kiri learns how her sister actually died.

This debut novel, draws you into Kiri's life as she learns about family secrets, her relationship with Lucas and about herself. I found myself drawn to this book and wanting to know if Kiri would be ok, if she would sink or swim in the end. Although I throughly enjoyed the novel, I found that I was disappointed in the ending. It left several questions unanswered for me. Don't get me wrong, that is a good thing as it could lead to many possible conclusions. I'm looking forward to reading other material that Hilary T. Smith publishes in the future.

 

 

 

 

Read Across Canada - Manitoba

by Monique - 0 Comment(s)

We've now made it to Manitoba, it wasn't so bad getting here, right? Let's look at 2 authors from Manitoba.

Margaret Buffie was born and raised in Winnipeg and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Manitoba. Once she had graduated, she began working as an illustrator for the Hudson's Bay Company. She eventually obtained her teaching certificate in 1976. She began her writing career in 1985. A year later, she completed her first manuscript and submitted it for publication, Who is Frances Rain? It became a best seller after it was published in 1987. Since then, she has gone on to write numerous critically acclaimed novels for young adults, including My Mother's Ghost, The Watcher's Quest series, The Dark Garden, and Angels turn their backs and Out of Focus. Depending on the time of year, will depend on where she spends her time writing. During the winter months, she is at her home in Winnipeg and during the summer months, she writes at her cottage in Northwestern Ontario. Margaret has been the recipient of the prestigious Vicky Metcalk Award for Body of Work, The Young Adult Canadian Book Award, the McNally Robinson Book for Young People award and many other awards and honours.

In Who is Frances Rain?, Lizzie used to look forward to vacationing at her grandmother's cabin. That is until this summer, when the entire family is joining her, including her stepfather, whom she dislikes. In order to get away from her families bickering, Lizzie explores an island that is nearby. It is during her exploring, she finds an abandoned cabin and finds a pair of glasses. She tries them on and finds herself watching a woman and a girl. Lizzie has to find out who they are and why they are appearing to her, will she be successful?

Carol Matas lives in Winnipeg. She has written more than forty books for kids, teens and young adults. Her works have been translated into Spanish, Catalan, Japanese, Taiwanese, Turkish, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, German, French, Indonesian, Bulgarian and Russian. Her works have won several awards including Sydney Taylor Award, Geoffrey Bilson Award, Silver Birch Award, Canadian Jewish Book Award, as well as being nominated for the Governor General's Award twice. Carol began to write historical fiction when her Danish husband would tell her stories about his parents' experiences fighting the Nazis during World War II. She also writes contemporary, science fiction and fantasy novels as well. Some of her works include : Far, Visions, Jesper, Daniel's Story, The Whirlwind, Lisa's War, Tales of a Reluctant Psychic, and In My Enemy's House.


In In My Enemy's House, the Nazis are ready to move any remaining Jewish people in Marrisa's town into the ghetto. Marissa, who doesn't know if her family is dead or alive as they are now all scattered, gets hold of a Polish girl's papers and makes her way to Germany to try and survive as a Polish worker. One gains a new perspective on the nature of good and evil as you delve into Marissa's dilemma as a Jewish person living a lie in order to survive. Will Marissa be able to convince people that she is Polish and leave behind her Jewish roots?

Now it's time to hit the road again and make our way to Ontario.

YA Lit Pick - September

by Monique - 0 Comment(s)

Cover Art for I am the wallpaper

Looking for that next great read? Check out I am the Wallpaper by Peter Mark Hughes. 13-year-old Floey Parker is tired of blending into the background, living in the shadow of her older and more popular sister Lillian. With her sister getting married and heading off on her month long honeymoon, Floey decides it is time for a change — time to become someone she normally would not be. She is going to get noticed, no matter what it takes. Some things don't go as planned, due to Floey's younger cousins Tish and Richard, who happen to throw a wrench into her plans. It doesn't help that her mom expects her to spend time with them during their stay. Will Floey survive her cousins' antics? Will she get noticed for all the right reasons?


Although the author is male, he has done a great job of portraying a female main character who is discovering herself. There were times where I found myself wishing it would move along, yet cheering her on during her quest in finding her true self.

Read Across Canada — Saskatchewan

by Carrie - 0 Comment(s)

We've now made it to our next stop on our country wide road trip. We've made it into Saskatchewan, where rumour has it, you can see your dog running away from home for days. Saskatchewan, like Alberta has many great authors to celebrate, so, we've narrowed it down to 3.

Far from her farm roots near Regina, Melanie Schnell takes us to civil war-torn Sudan with her multiple award winning first novel, While the Sun is Above Us. Melanie lived and researched for this book in South Sudan for 7 months, and her dedication to her writing shows. Through powerful and emotional prose, Melanie gives us two intertwined characters, Adut and Sandra. These women, of vastly different circumstance, experience a violent local conflict that changes their lives forever. While Melanie has written for television and has had fiction, poetry and non-fiction published, While the Sun is Above Us is her first novel. It has been shortlisted for four Saskatchewan book awards, Book of the Year, Regina Book Award, Fiction Award and the First Book award. She is currently working on her second novel.

Alice Kuipers, currently living in Saskatoon, has written several YA novels, including her first award winner, Life on the Refrigerator Door . It has been published in 28 countries and was named as a New York Times best book for teens. Her second novel, The Worst Thing She Ever Did, has won an Arthur Ellise Award. Her most recent and third young adult novel, 40 Things I Want to Tell You was a 2013 CLA Young Adult Book Award Honour Book. She will also have a picture book, The Best-ever Bookworm Book by Violet and Victor Small, will be published in 2014. All of her works have been published in 29 countries.

In 40 Things I Want to Tell You, Alice’s main character Amy, a.k.a. Bird, writes an advice column for teens called Top Tips that I imagine she really wishes she had followed. Self-searching and filled with inner turmoil, Alice Kuipers’ latest book shares with readers much more than just 40 Things.

Arthur Slade was born in Moose Jaw, but currently lives in Saskatoon. He has written severl YA novels, including the novel Dust, which won the 2001 Govenor General's Award as well as the 2001 Saskatchewan Book Award. His most recent work is Island of Doom, which is the fourth and final book in The Hunchback Assignments. The other titles in this series include The Hunchback Assignments, The Dark Deeps, and Empire of Ruins.

In, Island of Doom, Modo, a shape shifting, masked spy is on a personal quest....to find his biological parents. Along with some characters from the previous novels, some good and some not so good, Modo and a fellow spy, Octavia, make a thrilling dash towards the conclusion of this series.

CLA Award Winners!!

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

My Book of Life by Angel, What Happened to Ivy, and 40 Things I Want to Tell You. What do these three books have in common? They are all awesome, all deal with tough, tough things and all are winners or honour books for the 2013 Canadian Library Association's Young Adult Book Award!

My Book of Life by Angel, by local author Martine Leavitt, takes the cake (aka is the winner). Angel, a teen prostitute in love with her pimp Call, decides to keep a diary when her friend becomes one of the many girls who are mysteriously going "missing" (being murdered), however when 11 year old Melli shows up she realizes she has to do more than that, preserving what innocence a dark and hardened teen can have. My Book of Life by Angel is also a verse novel so it's appropriate that this award was annouced during International Poetry Month!

In 40 Things I Want to Tell You, by Alice Kuipers, Amy has it all - great parents, a sexy boyfriend, and an amazing best friend. In fact, she's so together that she writes an online advice column to help other teens. This all changes when Pete enters her life. He is exactly the opposite of Amy, yet she is drawn to him, and it might just be that losing control of one thing could make her lose everything.

Kathy Stinson offers a summer seaside workshop for kids and teens, and also wrote What Happened to Ivy. David's sister, Ivy, was born with multiple serious disabilities, and she needs constant attention, usually from him. He loves Ivy, but sometimes he hates that she always seems to be the center of his parents attention, and that his parents only see him as her helper. That changes when girl-next-door Hannah enters his life; she makes him feel special. Then Ivy has an accident, and suddenly everything is different. David must confront his feelings of guilt and wrestle with the idea of forgivenss as he struggles with the questions surrounding Ivy's death.

All of the finalists are excellent books by great Canadian authors so be sure to check out the rest of the short list:

cover of the callingcover of bright's lightcover of yesterdaycover of henry k. larsencover of such wicked intentcover of the last song

Homework sucks?!?!?!?!

by Monique - 0 Comment(s)

Frustrated with homework? Finding that no matter how hard you try you can’t remember what you studied earlier? Try out these books for some excellent strategies to help you out:

Study smart, study less

Study Smarter, Not Harder

Study skills : do I really need this stuff?

Don’t forget, that we also have copies of The Key that you can borrow; these are a great way to help review for upcoming exams. Just remember to put a copy on hold as they are rarely on the shelf, it’s free with your library card!!!

No time to stop at the library for a book? The E-Library is also a great place to find useful information that you can use for any paper or help with homework. Check out these great downloadable resources:

How to Study

Get organized


If you have no time to even download books, check out this great website, for some tips:

http://oedb.org/library/features/hacking-knowledge-how-to-learn-faster-deeper-and-better-in-the-21st-century

Also, check out some of our other blogs that have some great suggestions:

http://calgarypubliclibrary.com/blogs/teen-zone?t=e-library

Don't sweat it if none of these work, we also have the Peer to Peer Study Group every Monday evening on the 2nd floor of Central Library. It runs from 4:30 to 6:30, but you are more than welcome to stay until 8 pm. This program runs until April 29.

Staff are always here to help you out as well. If you can’t make it to the library, check out the info chat, where staff are more than happy to help you find anything that you need.

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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