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14 Amazing Places to Visit in Alberta

by Fernando - 0 Comment(s)

Ready to go out and enjoy Alberta?

Check out this blog post featuring 14 places in Alberta that ''will make you feel alive'' >>

Need suggestions on where to go? Check out one or more of our travel guides at the library:

Frommer's Alberta Tales & Trails Tales & Trails Banff & the Canadian Rockies Day by Day Jasper National Park
Three Books for Teens That are NOT About Love!

Three Books for Teens That are NOT About Love!

by Alyssa - 0 Comment(s)

So I'll just come right out and say it: I hate books about love.

I really do. This is not to say that I dislike love as a feeling, or as an event in my life - love is wonderful. Love helps our brains create chemicals that make us feel really, really good. I also acknowledge that love, and falling in love, is a major part of growing up and our development as human beings. This is all supremely wonderful, and I love love in real life. I just don't want it in my literature.

Now you might be thinking, "Well, someone called the party pooper!" And maybe you're right. But it drives me crazy when a strong protagonist, either male or female, is forced into falling in love with the object of their affection - because once this madness happens, the protagonist goes from being an autonomous, independent, interesting character, to being more concerned with another person. The coupling ruins independence! The love ruins self-awareness! The angst makes me see red!

Now here's my problem: I really love reading teen fiction. The writing is good, the plots are interesting, the metaphors are vivid and poignant. And I'm not the only one; fiction for young adults is being read by everyone - adults included! So, if you're like me, and want a healthy serving of teen fiction - hold the love stuff - here are three excellent books that will satisfy your palate and leave you craving more!

(Click the titles to find them in our online catalogue!)

Going Bovine
by Libba Bray

All 16-year-old Cameron wants is to get through high school—and life in general—with minimum effort. It’s not a lot to ask. But that’s before he’s given some bad news: he’s sick and he’s going to die. Which sucks. Hope arrives in the winged form of Dulcie, a loopy punk angel/possible hallucination with a bad sugar habit. She tells Cam there is a cure—if he’s willing to go in search of it. With the help of a death-obsessed, video-gaming dwarf and a yard gnome, Cam sets off on the mother of all road trips through a twisted America into the heart of what matters most.

Going Bovine by Libba Bray


by Lena Coakley

Laced with rich, imagined histories; miles of catacombs; and prophecies true and false, Witchlanders takes place in an evocative, tantalizingly vibrant world and raises equally evocative questions: Who gets to defines history? When does a legend become a crutch? And why does the enemy in war look a lot like the hero? Lena Coakley’s first novel is a lush, chilling story that is sure to send shivers through your finger bones.

**I highly recommend this book. Don't let the cover fool you - it looks romantic, but it isn't! At all!
Witchlanders by Lena Coakley

by Julie Anne Peters

Regan's brother Liam can't stand the person he is during the day. Like the moon from whom Liam has chosen his female namesake, his true self, Luna, only reveals herself at night. In the secrecy of his basement bedroom Liam transforms himself into the beautiful girl he longs to be, with help from his sister's clothes and makeup. Now, everything is about to change-Luna is preparing to emerge from her cocoon. But are Liam's family and friends ready to welcome Luna into their lives? Compelling and provocative, this is an unforgettable novel about a transgender teen's struggle for self-identity and acceptance.

Luna by Julie Anne Peters

Check out these, and more non-love-centric teen books at the Saddletowne Library! Also, sign up for Youth Read 2014 while you're at it!

If you're looking for some more ideas, here are a few websites that may help:
Babble: 20 Young Adult Books Parents Will Love
GoodReads: 2013 Best Young Adult Choice Awards

Mashable: 23 Books for Your Perfect Young Adult Summer Reading List

It's Really Something to See

by Fernando - 0 Comment(s)

Summer is for many people the best season to go out and explore our beautiful province.

Watch this video to get you excited about the fantastic places and landscapes in Alberta.

Find travel guides and enjoy Alberta >>

Next week, I will show you a blog post that lists 14 places in Alberta that will make feel you alive!

Books and Blockbusters!

Books and Blockbusters!

by Alyssa - 0 Comment(s)

Summer is just around the corner, which means summer blockbuster movie season is almost here! Here is a list of books we love, and can't wait to see on the big screen (and not just superheros, either!):

The Million Dollar Arm by JB Bernstein

The Million Dollar Arm by J.B. Bernstein
In Theatres: May 23

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
In Theatres: June 6

How to Train Your Dragon Series by Cressida Crowell

How to Train Your Dragon Series by Cressida Crowell
How to Train Your Dragon 2 in Theatres: June 13

A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby

A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
In Theatres: July 11

Guardians of the Galaxy by Marvel Comics

Guardians of the Galaxy by Marvel Comics

In Theatres: August 1

The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais

The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais
In Theatres: August 8

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver by Lois Lowry
In Theatres: August 15

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Dark Places & Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Dark Places In Theatres: September 1
Gone Girl In Theatres: October 3
Gone Girl Trailer:

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Maze Runner by James Dashner
In Theatres: September 19th

Here Be Monsters! by Alan Snow

Here Be Monsters! by Alan Snow
"Boxtrolls" In Theatres: September 26

Come to the Saddletowne Library and check any of these books out!
And while we know The Fault in Our Stars has a hold list the size of North America, you never know what could be lurking in the paperback sections...

To check out more Books-to-Movie gems, check out these links!
EarlyWord: Books to Movies & TV
BuzzFeed: 16 Books to Read Before They Hit Theatres

Fight the Summer Slump!

Fight the Summer Slump!

by Alyssa - 0 Comment(s)

Summer learning loss is a real and widely documented problem amoung our youth.

Statistics released by the National Summer Learning Association estimate:

  • children lose about two month's worth of knowledge and learning over the summer
  • this loss is cumulative! By the time your child leaves high school, they will have lost more than two year's worth of education
  • only 25% of students are able to engage in summer learning programs, often due to financial circumstances
  • parents continually cite summer as the most difficult time of year in which to keep their children engaged and active

But the Saddletowne Library can help you and your kids fight the slump!

Youth Read - Summer Program for teens ages 13-17

Your teen can sign-up for Youth Read online here, or at the Saddletowne Service Desk. Reading challenges are released every week and prizes are given out throughout the summer! Every time your teen logs on and completes a challenge, they are entered into drawings for grand prizes - $250, $150, and $75 gift certificates to the Cadillac Malls (Chinook and Market Mall). They also have the opportunity to win free books, $25 gift certificates, and a BONUS prize - a signed boxed set of John Green novels!

Also, every Monday night at 7:00 p.m. beginning June 23rd, the Saddletowne Library will be hosting Youth Read Challenge nights. Your teen can come to the library and participate in creative challenges with other teens (which also enter them into the prize drawings!). This is a great way for your teen to keep active, stay engaged, and most importantly, continue reading!

Summer Reading Challenge - Program for children ages 4-12

Many of you have heard of TD Bank's Summer Reading Challenge before, but in case you are unaware, Summer Reading Challange is a drop-in program that your children can participate in throughout the summer, complete with scavenger hunts and other fun activities. Collect your maker notebook and read all summer to win awesome prizes! Come to the Saddletowne Library on Saturday, June 21st from 10:30 am-4:00 pm to get your summer reading started!

To read more about Summer Learning Loss, here are some additional articles:

Canadian Council on Learning
How to Curb Summer Learning Loss
Primer on Summer Learning Loss

George the Youth Read mascot!

Citizenship and Civic Preparation Class

Citizenship and Civic Preparation Class

by Alyssa - 0 Comment(s)

Come to Saddletowne's upcoming program! Learn about Canada with the purpose of preparing yourself for the Citizenship Exam! In partnership with Immigrant Services Calgary.

WHAT: Citizenship and Civic Preparation Class

WHEN: Thursday, May 15, 2014 @ 5:30-8:30 pm

WHERE: Program Room at the Saddletowne Library

HOW: Register online here, or at the Service Desk at the Saddletowne Library! Registration is limited to 40 participants.


Children's Books and Emotional Development

Children's Books and Emotional Development

by Alyssa - 0 Comment(s)

Earlier this week, someone posed a really interesting question to us: "How can I help my child deal with anger?"

Emotional development is extremely important, particularly between the ages of 2-7. As children learn about the world around them, (as well as their brain development), their feelings grow. In fact, around 2-3 years old, they start to discover that they have feelings at all - this is what is often referred to as the "Terrible twos" or "Terrible threes" - simply because children have so many feelings, but don't quite know what to do with them yet. Children's emotional life grows leaps and bounds during these years, just like their bodies and brains.

So how do you compensate? How do you help your little person realize that feelings are okay? In short, children's story books.

The world of children's books is a vast and highly evolved field. There are books depicting almost anything: manners, loneliness, fear, humility, embracing the uniqueness of self, the importance of saying "I'm sorry". If there is a lesson or a feeling you want to teach your child, there is a book that can help you do it.

Here are a few book recommendations to help with a variety of emotional and social issues:

1. Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse & Tom Lichtenheld is a fun, clever book about an exclamation mark in a world of periods, who tries desperately to fit in, but just can't seem to make it work. However, he learns to embrace himself and "leave his mark" - a wonderful book to help your child embrace their own unique strangeness.

exclamation by amy krouse & tom lichtenheld

2. Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear & Isabelle Arsenault is a beautifully illustrated book based on the real-life sisters Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf, this book imagines the sisters as children, though Virginia wakes up "feeling wolfish" and she doesn't want to play; she yells at Vanessa to leave her alone! But Vanessa has a few tricks up her sleeve to help her sister feel better. A unique and beautiful book about the power of sibling relationships and that sometimes feeling "wolfish" is perfectly natural.

virginia wolf by kyo maclear

3. Love is Real by Janet Lawler & Anna Brown is an awesomely cute book about unconditional love, and the small, every day ways in which love can show itself. The last lines of the book say: "Love is real the whole day through. It's always there - from me to you."

love is real by janet lawler & anna brown

4. How Do Dinosaurs Say I'm Mad? by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague, this book is part of a book series by Yolen & Teague where giant dinosaurs act, perhaps, like kids might in various situations. However the book is told not in story form, but by the asking of questions - a wonderful tool in which to engage your child about behaviour and feelings, and how one can inform the other. Instead of destroying houses or yelling loudly, the dinosaurs learn to count to ten, or have a time out in order to feel the feelings safely and calmly. Other books in this serious include: How Does a Dinosaur Say Goodnight, How Does a Dinosaur Eat Their Food, and How Does a Dinosaur Say I Love You.

how do dinosaurs say i'm mad? by jane yolen & mark teague

Check out these, and many other wonderful children's books at the Saddletowne Library. You can also use NoveList K-8 Plus to look up books similar to these titles through our E-Library!

Help Us Build Your Dream Library

by Fernando - 0 Comment(s)

Share your ideas to inspire the future Calgary Public Library at free, fun, family-friendly interactive events.

Drop by any time between the times listed below or take our survey here »

Wednesday, May 7

Central Library

616 Macleod Trail SE

11 am - 2 pm

Westbrook Mall

1200 37 St SW

5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Thrusday, May 8

The CORE Shopping Centre

324 8 Ave SW

11 am - 2 pm

Nose Hill Library

1530 Northmount Dr NW

5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Friday, May 9

South Fish Creek Complex

#100, 333 Shawville Blvd SE

5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Genesis Centre

7555 Falconridge Blvd SE

1 pm - 4 pm

What Are Your Cautionary Reads?

What Are Your Cautionary Reads?

by Alyssa - 1 Comment(s)

This might be an obvious statement to make, but we are really big fans of reading here at the Saddletowne Library.

And because we are such cheerleaders of the written word, we have created multiple ways to help you find your new favourite book. From our Staff Picks display, to Novelist Plus, to looking up suggestions on Good Reads; if you are stuck for a new great book suggestion, we can find you that new book to love. We have the power!

However, the subject we don't spend a lot of time talking about are books you hated. Whether they were boring, poorly written, or offended your sensibilities, we don't often get the opportunity to discuss the books you really didn't like. Sometimes, the books you hate can be even more informative than the books you loved. And let's face it - sometimes hating something is just so much fun!

The first book I remember really hating - and I mean truly hating: I couldn't find any redeemable value in whatsoever - was The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells. It was 2003, and I had just seen the movie. I liked the movie well enough, and knew that it was based on Well's New York Time's Best-selling novel. I assumed that the book (as is usually the case) would be better than the movie; that it would go more in-depth into the story of these endearing, if somewhat misguided, characters. On top of that, every woman I knew seemed to be recommending this book to me! So I read it. And I hated it. I thought the writing was trite and cliched, the plot-line just seemed to meander in multiple spots to no apparent point, and in this case, I can safely say that I thought the movie actually made the book better - and I can't remember ever saying that before or since! I am sure there are many people in the world who will adamantly disagree with me, but I stand by my disgust!

So come on, everybody - jump in! What are your most hated books?? Leave your comments for us below!!

If you get stuck and can't remember your most reviled reads, here is a link to a bunch of Good Reads user lists entitled "The Worst".

Twilight ? Fifty Shades of Grey ? The DaVinci Code ?

Library Car

by Fernando - 0 Comment(s)

Antonio Lacava, a retired Italian teacher travels in his ''Librarymotorcar'' to spread the love of reading and get children excited. Just like an ice cream car, he plays an organ music to announce his arrival to the villages he goes.

Photo taken from The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation Facebook page.

Even though the full story is in Italian, your browser may be able to translate it:

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