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YAC Reviews: Parallel

by Carrie - 0 Comment(s)

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parallelParallel by Lauren Miller

Review by Vyoma

I loved this book because of its eminent vocabulary, cosmic benefaction, and plot. The end really was a cliffhanger and the book was very enjoyable to read. Abby Barnes had a plan – she would go to college, major in journalism and have a job before she turned twenty-two. However, one single choice – deciding to take a drama class in her senior year of high school changed everything. Because of a cosmic collision, she is living in a parallel world. There is another Abby Barnes in another world, however that Abby Barnes took an astronomy class in her senior year. With the help of her friend Caitlin, Abby attempts to set things right without losing sight of who she is, the boy who most probably is her soul mate, and a sensible destiny. This book made me realize the importance of proper decision making, as even the tiniest choice that we make may have big consequences.

YAC Reviews: The Laura Line

by Carrie - 0 Comment(s)

yac reviews

the laura lineThe Laura Line by Crystal Allen

Review by Vyoma

This was a very relatable and notable book. The adventures of Laura Dyson and her struggle for acceptance by her classmates show cases her strong personality. I loved reading this book because of its sporadic humor, its sense of belonging, and its imagery. By the end of the book, Laura Dyson felt like a friend rather than a character in a book. The innumerable details about Laura’s surroundings and the process of making significant decisions show that an individual should never be ashamed of his/her family’s background. Embarrassed to show anyone the “slave shack”, Laura attempts to cancel her class’s field trip. After finally entering the shack, she finds so many wonderful things about it and her ancestors. One silly mistake ruins a priceless item – a legendary little chair. On the verge of breaking strong friendship and her already poor relationship with her classmates, Laura is absolutely stuck. Through patience, cajoling, and being laconic, Laura finally makes important decisions.

YAC Review: The Boyfriend App

by Carrie - 0 Comment(s)

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The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise - Review by Vince

Audrey McCarthy is the troubled heroine of The Boyfriend App, she is a teenage girl faced with typical problems: boy trouble, ex-best friend issues and worrying about getting into an affordable college. Luckily for her she has a chance of fixing the latter problem by entering an app designing contest. “Hello, World. Hello, Contest. Hello, College Scholarship. Hello, Boys. Here comes Audrey McCarthy. Trog. Hacker. Sex object. Inventor of the Boyfriend App.”

From a synopsis like that one would expect this novel to be a teen romance filled with drama and light comedy, and that is exactly what the novel delivers… in Part One anyway. Part One of the novel is decent, the characters seem rather static but they are characterized well. Audrey is a tragic but interesting protagonist because of her thoughts and feelings; she gets the support needed from her friends and family despite her personal shortcomings. Her antagonists are pretty boring since they behave so stereotypically, especially Blake, the rich and popular ex-BFF who treats Audrey as a stranger yet ceaselessly torments her whenever the opportunity arises. Audrey’s friends are likeable, but it feels like they are just crutches for Audrey and lack their own purpose.

As for the plot it played out well for the first part of the novel. Audrey struggled but eventually reached the threshold for success with her app. Her app became popular and it seemed like she had a really good chance of winning the contest, until a very expected “glitch in the system” strikes and her popularity topples like a house of cards. Part One was well written, especially her process of programming the app. The coding and the explanations were simple enough for readers to understand without being condescending to anyone who would not know about coding. The way Part One ended invites curiosity for what would happen in Part Two, but that’s where the story began to fall apart. While Part One had a realistic story and struggles, Part Two escalated to corporate conspiracies and neurological manipulation! I was awestruck at how quickly Part Two leaped away from the events of Part One and laughed at how absurd the later chapters had become!

With respect to style, the writing appeals to a youthful demographic since it is loaded with pop culture references. The narration is fast paced and has a few time skips, but dialogue between the characters is what carries the novel forward. One of my pet peeves with the writing is constant references to Google and Twitter, but tacky renaming of several real life products (e.g. iPhone/buyPhone, iTunes/buyJams, Facebook/PUBLIC PARTY). It’s a very annoying inconsistency.

Overall, The Boyfriend App is a nice little teen romance that starts off nice and realistic, but loses its original scope when the story escalates to imaginative and bizarre levels. Rating: 3.5/5.

Opportunity Knocks! Be a Reading Buddy!!

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

Feeling the graduation stress? Still need volunteer hours? Looking for something to pad out that resume? We can help you with that!

The Reading Buddies program is looking for volunteers! Come hang out with kids in grades 1-3, take part in awesome crafts, and help your little buddy practice their reading in a fun-filled environment.

If you’re in grades 7-12, we would love to have you take part in this program! We still have openings at the following locations:

Alexander Calhoun: Thursdays, January 24 – March 21 from 4:30-5:45

Forest Lawn: Tuesdays, January 22 – March 19 from 4:00-5:15

Glenmore Square: Tuesdays, January 22 – March 19 from 4:30-5:45

Shaganappi: Tuesdays, January 22 – March 19 from 4:30-5:45

To register, please contact Brin Bugo (403-260-2709 or brin.bugo@calgarypubliclibrary.com) or Jody Watson (403-221-2062 or jody.watson@calgarypubliclibrary.com)! We’re looking forward to having you join our awesome team of teen volunteers!

By Brin

WRESTLEMANIA Reading Challenge!

by Jilliane - 2 Comment(s)

If you could recommend a book to Stone Cold Steve Austin, what would it be? Do you think he would enjoy The Perks of Being a Wallflower? Catcher in the Rye? Or maybe he's actually a big softy and would love a sweet Sarah Dessen romance! ...or maybe not?

This Fall, 9 branches are asking you to convince your favourite wrestler to read a book of your choosing: Central, Country Hills, Forest Lawn, Fish Creek, Nose Hill, Saddletowne, Shawnessy, Southwood, and Thornhill.

If you're particularly persuasive, you could win a TRIP TO WRESTLEMANIA! That's right - next April you could be off to East Rutherford, New Jersey to see WRESTLEMANIA (A trip valued at $5000). And if you're not the lucky grand prize winner, there are still lots of other chances to win WWE swag. Sounds awesome, doesn't it?

Here's how to participate: Write an amazing, persuasive letter that will convince your favourite wrestler to read a book of your choosing and deliver it to a participating branch. Next, you need to commit to reading 5 books between October and April--you can do this at your branch. Then all you gotta do is sit back, read and wait to hear who the lucky winners are (probably you *wink wink*).

While you are waiting, you could come to the Library and MEET LANCE STORM LIVE!!!! That's right, Lance Storm is visiting The Calgary Public Library to tell us how awesome reading is and maybe flex his muscles a bit. You can see him live, for free at the Forest Lawn Library on October 16th and at the Saddletowne Library on October 25th, 4pm.

Contest submissions are due Nov 5. If you win, don't forget to send us a postcard from WRESTLEMANIA!

~blog by Anne

Teen Afterschool at the Forest Lawn Library

by Jilliane - 0 Comment(s)

Don’t have anything to do after school? Tired of heading home merely to veg out on the couch watching reruns of Degrassi? Want to hang out with fun people doing interesting things?

Stop by the Forest Lawn Library Monday to Thursday between 4:00-6:00p.m. starting September 27th at our Kick-Off which will involve a teen takeover of the Library (food truck deliciousness may be involved). Every day will have a different activity including yoga, robotics, videogame tournaments, knitting, cupcake decorating (and eating, yum!), manga drawing lessons, first aid course, Zumba, rocket building (yes really, ROCKET BUILDING!), and much more.

Hunger Games enthusiasts take special note. We will be running a Hunger Games club once a week where we will be planning and filming a trailer for the upcoming Catching Fire Movie. Actors, screenwriters, cinematographers, art/set designers, editors, sound crew, props, costume designers, hair and make-up, special effects…whew! Believe us when we say there’s a role for you, especially since we’ll have guest experts to teach you the ropes. Sign up has already begun for the club so hurry in to secure your spot.

There’s also the chance to meet a former WWE wrestler, LANCE STORM, and perhaps win a trip to go and see Wrestlemania 29 (or XXIX) in New Jersey. You’ll have to come check us out for more info!

And if for some inexplicable reason none of that floats you boat, perhaps actual floating might be more your speed. In partnership with the Bob Bahan pool, afterschoolers can swim (or float) every day of the week, shoot hoops in the basketball court, or buff up in the weight room.

With all of this going on, there truly is no excuse for afterschool boredom.

 

~Blog by Liz

We're Off to See the Wizard

by Jilliane - 1 Comment(s)

Well it looks like audiences will be spending some time in the Emerald City in 2013 because two major Hollywood films are set to be released. The first is Dorothy of Oz, an animated film, which follows the more traditional storyline and is jam packed with famous voices including Lea Michele as Dorothy, Dan Aykroyd as Scarecrow, Kelsey Grammar as Tin Man, and Jim Belushi as the Cowardly Lion. My guess is families and Gleek’s will be flocking to see this one.

The second re-imagining of Frank L. Baum’s classic is Oz: The great and Powerful. This film is intended to be a prequel to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and tells the story of how the wizard (played by James Franco) came to be in Oz. This film also boasts an all-star cast with the likes of Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, and Rachel Weiss who are all taking on prominent roles.

If you haven’t watched it already check out the new trailer, which was released at San Diego Comic Con in mid-July. It looks absolutely fantastic!

So I know what you’re thinking, 2013 still feels like it’s ages away. Don’t worry we’ve got more than enough to keep you busy till then.

For those Oz purists, or anyone who might want to start right at the beginning, be sure to start with Frank L. Baum’s first book about the land of Oz, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Once you’ve finished that you might want to move on to other books in the series such as the sequel, The Marvelous Land of Oz. And of course, one can’t talk about The Wizard of Oz without mentioning the 1939 film starring Judy Garland so be sure to check out the DVD/Blu-ray or The Wizard of Oz soundtrack, all available at CPL!

Wonderful Wizard of Oz Marvelous Land of Oz Wizard of Oz Wizard of Oz Soundtrack

Now if you’re looking for a bit of a twist on the classic tale there is plenty out there for you too. One of the most popular spins on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is undoubtedly Wicked: the life and times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire. While most people know her as the Wicked Witch of the West, this book shows her simply as Elphaba, the misunderstood girl who also happens to be green (and it’s not easy being green). If you have yet to read this book be prepared to have all of Oz turned on its head.

If you’re more of a visual person you might also want to check out The Wizard of Oz: The Graphic Novel. Don’t let the name fool you though, this is a completely new interpretation of the classic tale. For one thing Dorothy Gale has been completely updated - she rocks some skinny jeans, a studded belt, wristbands, and a bandana. There is a definite manga influence in this one as well, so if that’s up your alley this may be the version for you.

Another graphic novel which reinvents the magical land of Oz is The Royal Historian of Oz. In this story Ozma (the ruler of Oz) has decided to sever ties with our world and no longer allow stories to be written about Oz. Despite this royal decree Jasper Frizzle is determined to write yet another story about Oz. Needless to say this failed writer has no idea what he’s gotten himself into and he’s about to drag his son Frank with him.

Wizard of Oz the Graphic Novel Royal Historian of Oz

Okay so I couldn’t make this list without adding my personal favorite, Return to Oz (1985). In this film Dorothy (surprise) returns to Oz and finds it is not the same place she left behind. If she is to save Oz she must confront the evil witch Mombi as well as the formidable Nome King. While this film may be found in the kids section, it has more than its fair share of creepy moments. I mean, how many kids’ movies do you know of that start with the protagonist being sent to a sanatorium to be treated by electroshock therapy to forget about the mythical place they claim to have visited?

Another version I really enjoyed was the four hour mini-series Tin Man (2007). This version features a young woman named DG (Zooey Deschanel) who is swept away from her Kansas home and finds herself in the Outer Zone, or the O.Z. as the locals call it. Like the original, DG is desperate to find her way home with the help of some new friends. As the story unfolds, however, it turns out that DG’s new friends have some dark and complicated pasts. If DG is going to get home she will have to find out who she can trust, and survive the attacks made by the evil sorceress Azkadellia and her long coat soldiers. While this version may be a bit too dark for some viewers, if you are interested in seeing what The Wonderful Wizard of Oz would be like with a sci-fi/steampunk edge this one can’t be missed.

One of the newest mini-series to be released is The Witches of Oz (2012). This one falls more into the “family friendly” category and may even be a bit on the cheesy side, but the premise is a spin I have yet to see. In this version little Dorothy Gale is all grown up and has spent her whole life believing that she is the inspiration for the fictional character, when in reality the stories are her childhood memories. Not only does Dorothy have to cope with her newly remembered past, she also has to deal with the residents of Oz who start showing up in New York City…

Wicked Return to Oz Tinman The Witches of Oz

With more than 100 years of lore to draw from, there are countless stories to tell about the land of Oz, so hopefully these will help you get started because 2013 is right around the corner!

~Blog by Kelly~

Popstar Throw-Down! Bieber vs. Psy

by Jilliane - 34 Comment(s)

Bieber Psy

There’s been lots of buzz on the “intra-web” about a certain South Korean rapper who is giving Justin Bieber something to quake about in his Supra sneakers:

Psy’s video, Gangnam Style is skyrocketing on the YouTube counter, heading straight for Viral Celebrity Status! This video was uploaded less than 2 months ago and it already has over 190 MILLION VIEWS!

His dance moves are awesome, the beat is hard and I don’t even care that I can’t sing along with the Korean words. Psy is definitely bringing a good fight.

Will he knock out our beloved Canadian icon in the battle of YouTube’s Most Watched Singer???

PSY vs. THE BIEBES

Psy Bieber
Job K-Pop Rapper Singer/ Heartthrob/Retired Hair-Flipper
# of years since first album dropped 11 4
Age 34 years old 18 years old
Education Boston University, Berklee College of Music St. Michael Catholic Secondary School (Ont.)
Song with the most # of YouTube hits Gangnam Style - 194,231,101 views Baby - 779,584,956 (I still like to watch this for the "Classic Bieber-ness")
Record Manager Scotter Braun Scotter Braun
Dance moves score Definitely a 10! 9... because they lack originality

So what do you think? Who has the best moves? Who will reign supreme? Will Psy push Bieber out as the YouTube popstar king?

If you need a little more info to form your opinion (although what we have on K-Pop & Psy is, admittedly, rather slight):

Bieber’s newest book is dropping soon at CPL: Just Getting Started by Justin Bieber

Bieber’s Mom also just released an autobiography with some juicy stories about her own struggles as a teen mom: Nowehere by Up: the Story of Justin Bieber’s Mom by Pattie Mallette

And lots more Bieber, Bieber, Bieber!

And finally, if you can’t get enough of K-POP, try: Wonder Girls and Rain

~Guest Blog By: Jackie~

UPDATE: On December 21st, the world didn't end, but Gangnam Style did become the first YouTube video ever to hit 1 BILLION views! I think we can call that a win...

~update by: Carrie~

Post-Batman Blues

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock you must know by now the third and final chapter of Christopher Nolan’s Batman series, Dark Knight Rises, opened this month to massive audiences worldwide. And I mean massive audiences, like more than a half billion dollars in revenue massive. Now if you’re anything like yours truly this movie could not come fast enough. At midnight on July 20th I lined up with my fellow Batman fanatics to see the two hour and forty-five minute conclusion and suffice to say I was not disappointed.

That being said, I couldn’t help but want more (maybe I’m just greedy). So how on earth do I shake off these post-Batman blues? I mean there are the obvious answers like re-watching Batman Begins and Dark Knight for the nine millionth time. Perhaps I could go back to the Batman of my childhood and check out Tim Burton’s version of Batman and Batman Returns (in my world Batman Forever and Batman and Robin never happened). What to do? What to do?

Thankfully I found the answer where I find most of my answers in life, in a comic book. In an attempt to go further down the rabbit hole I decided to read about the physical and intellectual powerhouse known simply as Bane. Specifically, I began the series called Knightfall, which is Bane’s most notorious storyline in the Batman universe, and also earned him the title of “the man who broke the bat.” This series is an absolute must-read for those who are interested in learning more about the villainous character who stars in Dark Knight Rises.

Another must-read for anyone who enjoys the grittier side of Batman is Batman: Year One by Frank Miller (author of 300 and Sin City). In this incarnation of Batman, Miller tells the story of how a young Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham City and attempts to find a way to restore justice and fight corruption by becoming a masked vigilante. This origin story also illustrates how Bruce Wayne’s relationship with a young Lieutenant Gordon was formed. Whether you are a lifelong Batman fan or still relatively new to the Batman universe this series will not disappoint.

Finally, if anyone has ever wondered what would have happened if Batman and Catwoman had a child then it’s worthwhile to check out the Birds of Prey series. This series features the daughter of Batman and Catwoman, Helena Kyle. In this series Helena Kyle, also known as Huntress, follows in her father’s footsteps and battles Gotham’s criminal element with the help of the other members of the Birds of Prey (including Oracle - formerly known as Batgirl). While this particular series may not appeal to everyone, it will certainly entertain anyone who would like to see some more women in Gotham get in on the action.

Hopefully this will help fight off those post-Batman blues, but hey, if more DC action is still needed there is plenty of time to brush up on Superman lore before the release of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel in Summer 2013…

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

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