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Excellent Books for Awesome Teens

Excellent Books for Awesome Teens

by Alyssa - 0 Comment(s)

For about the last month, we've had a recommendation box in our teen zone at Saddletowne. Our main goal: to see what you've been reading, and what you like. While there were a few books which did not surprise us (many of them by John Green), there were some new recommendations that we hadn't thought of! And if there's one thing we love at Saddletowne, it's new book recommendations. So here is our (growing) list of what teens are reading at Saddletowne:

1. The Maze Runner by James Dashner (our most recommended book by far!)
2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
3. If I Stay by Gayle Foreman
4. Missing You by Harlan Coben
5. Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
6. Harry Potter by JK Rowling
7. The Shining by Stephen King
8. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
9. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
10. My Name is Parvana by Deborah Ellis

A few staff recommendations to throw into the mix:
The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan (It's just been released! We are unbelievably excited.....sort of like this)
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth
How to Build a Girl: A Novel by Caitlin Moran

Now It's time for a Halloween Dance Break:

Halloween Haunts at the Saddletowne Library!

Halloween Haunts at the Saddletowne Library!

by Alyssa - 0 Comment(s)

Halloween has arrived at the Saddletowne Library!

In preparation for one of our favourite holidays, we are pulling out the stops to bring you some of the best books and programs that Saddletowne has to offer. Come to the Genesis Centre and check out our spooky swag!

The Horror Fiction Display (adults)
Located at the front of the library, we have everything from H.P. Lovecraft to Stephen King!

Monsters after Midnight (children)
Having trouble finding Halloween books in the Holiday Section? Come check out our new display of picture story books featuring monsters, witches, ghosts, vampires, and anything else that might go bump in the night.......without producing nightmares, of course.



Super Natural to Super Nova (teens)
Here we have a selection of entirely non-fiction items, covering all things super natural and science fiction. Ghost stories, UFOs, monsters, and the occult - find out the truth behind some of our planet's strangest phenomena!


.......but wait! There's more! Be sure to stop by our Halloween Hijinks story time on October 30th @ 2:15 pm! Wear your Halloween Costume! This is a family story time, and registration is required. You can register by calling 403-260-2620, register online here, or just stop by Saddletowne!

Hooray for Halloween!

Breaking your reading routine

Breaking your reading routine

by Alyssa - 0 Comment(s)

A friend of mine had a facebook status last week that read:

I don't know if this is a book slump or a brain slump but I can't get into anything lately and it's bumming me out.

The very next day, a gentleman came into Saddletowne asking for new book recommendations. I asked him what he liked to read. His reply: mysteries, but he also said that he felt like he had read everything in the mystery section....written by a man....with a male protagonist.

The reading slump is an all-too-common occurrence, so if you know what I'm talking about, you're not alone. Symptoms of a reading slump can include: complete disinterest in reading anything at all, lack of inspiration for finding books, over-enthusiasm for a book to where the thought of reading anything else is completely unappealing, or just difficulty focusing on the book you're currently reading.

I have been scouring the internet looking at reading blogs for suggestions on how to break a reading slump. Here are some of my favourite suggestions:

  • Set goals for yourself - much like a New Year's resolution, only for reading. Have you always wanted to tackle a book behemoth like Moby Dick? Now might be your chance.
  • Set aside intentional reading time - I know I am really guilty of not doing this. We are constantly on the go, and when we have free time, it is entirely too easy to fill it with other things. Set aside 20, 30, 45, 60 minutes of reading a day for yourself. Remember, the CBC has reported on the health benefits of reading. Read! It's good for you!
  • Find a palate cleanser - find something really different to read. This suggestion is especially helpful if you have been obsessed with a book series and you're waiting for the next book to come out, like the Heroes of Olympus or Game of Thrones....still.....waiting......
  • Switch genres - if you tend to devour mysteries, try some fantasy. If you read historical fiction, try some young adult books. If you love stories about real life, try some sci-fi. Stretch your comfort zone!

Saddletowne has a new display for the month of October called Break your Routine! Find a wide array of books for you and your family, chosen to help shake up the doldrums of the horrible, no good, very bad reading slump!

I must admit, I've been in a slump of my own. If you read my blog from May 28th, I very ardently and earnestly declared my hatred for books about love. Well, I'm so desperate to end a reading slump of my own, I have acquired a copy of a book called If You Were Mine. A book. About. Love.

This is me, eating my words.

-----------------------------------

PS - If you're looking for something creative and fun, I just saw Boxtrolls at the movie theatre last night. Fantastic story and animation, based on the book Here be Monsters by Alan Snow. Palate cleanser, anyone?

Here be Monsters!

Yar maties! Walk the plank with a mighty tome o' the sea!

Yar maties! Walk the plank with a mighty tome o' the sea!

by Alyssa - 1 Comment(s)

Ahoy and avast ye lily-livered lubbers!

Did you know that September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day? I remember this day every year because it coincides with my sister's birthday. I also happen to love pirates. Coincidence? I think not.

A common complaint we hear at Saddletowne is that parents are often stuck re-reading similar books to their children over and over and over again, and while we are glad that children have their favourites, we completely understand that sometimes things just need to be shaken up. Our September solution? Talking like a pirate. Seriously. Many studies and articles indicate that children learn best when they play - and that includes playing with language. Pirate speak is a lot of fun, and will help shake up the monotonous routine! So from us to you, here are some excellent piratical reads that Saddletowne has to offer you this week.

1. Twenty Six Pirates
by Dave Horowitz

Have fun with your kids while they practice and learn the alphabet....in the most scurvy of ways! Horowitz creates twenty-six different pirates for your kids to laugh at and learn from, with passages like "Pirate Brad. Born to be bad!" For any parent familiar with Edward Gorey's Gashlycrumb Tinies, this is a more cheerful, hilarious, and age appropriate book...but chances are good you'll laugh too.

Twenty-Six Pirates by Dave Horowitz

2. Pirate vs. Pirate
by Mary Quattlebaum and Alexandra Boiger

Bad Bart is the "biggest, burliest pirate this side of the Atlantic". Mean Mo is the "Maddest, mightiest pirate this side of the Pacific." So obviously when they run into each other (because the world is round after all, and that's just bound to happen), a competition must take place to see who the badest pirate actually is. A beautifully illustrated and creative book full of pirate jargon and rivalry, Pirate vs. Pirate won't disappoint!

Pirate vs. Pirate by Mary Qauttlebaum

3. Pajama Pirates
by Andrew Kramer

The perfect book for little adventurers who don't like to go to sleep, Pajama Pirates traces the night-time adventures of three siblings who set sail on the seas of their imaginations...and in their imaginations, their mother is "Mama Nature", who tries to keep them on task for bedtime. The perfect book for right before bed, check out Pajama Pirates.

Pajama Pirates

4. Pirateria: The Wonderful, Plunderful Pirate Emorium
by Calef Brown

Pirateria is the ultimate book for delicious pirate lingo! I cannot accurately convey the feel of this book to you in the Queen's English, so here is an excerpt from the book itself: "So climb that rigging and dig for ingots hidden on deserted beaches! You can't beat our breeches! They'll last a lifetime, and the pockets will hold all the gold you can carry. (Though it must be told: Pirates' lifetimes may vary)"

Pirateria by Calef Brown

5. Pirates of the Sea!
by Brandon Dorman

A wonderfully colourful and dynamically classic pirate tale, follow characters like Cap'n Bones, Gunpowder Gus, and Lookout Lee as they spit at sea monsters, search for buried treasure, hangout with mermaids, and take the pirate pledge! This rag-tag crew will make your kids say yo-ho-ho!

Pirates of the Sea! by Brandon Dorman

So g'wan, ye bilge rats! Read some new plunder to yer tiny sailors!! YAR!

Here are a few more articles to read about children, play, and learning:
Different Types of Play Help Children Learn
Learning Through Play - A Child's Job
Building Language and Literacy through Play

Build a Rocket with Beakerhead!!

Build a Rocket with Beakerhead!!

by Alyssa - 0 Comment(s)

Hey teens!

On Saturday, September 14th the Saddletowne Library is hosting an awesome program as part of Beakerhead where you can build your own rocket! ....and maybe learn something about physics in the process. Your model will be capable of reaching 200 meters and returning safely!

This is a free program to anyone with a Calgary Public Library card. Spaces are still available - sign up now!

Build Your Own Rocket is for any teens 14 and up.

You can also register by calling 403-260-2620

build your own rocket!

Saddletowne presents: Adult Book Club!

Saddletowne presents: Adult Book Club!

by Alyssa - 2 Comment(s)

The Saddletowne Library is very pleased to present our newest program.....an adult reading club!

The reading club's first meeting will begin on Friday, September 19th. You do need to register for this program with your library card, but once you do, you will be able to pick up our first reading club book, The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. The reading club will be a great way to meet new people, share your love of reading, and listen to different ideas about books and literature.

thirteenth tale by Diane Setterfield

At reading club meetings, we will be:

  • discussing the book
  • choosing a book for our next meeting
  • sharing our love of reading!

To register for this program, you can register online at the Calgary Public Library website, drop by the Saddletowne Library in person, or call us at 403-260-2620. Come join us!

Calling all TEENS!

by Alyssa - 0 Comment(s)

Hey Teens!

  • Do you have some opinions on how to make the Saddletowne Library an even better place?
  • Do you want to help us shake up the Teen Zone?
  • Do you like free snacks??

If you said yes to any of those questions, then come to the Saddletowne Library on Monday, September 8th @ 6:30 p.m., and help make the Saddletowne Library a cooler, hipper, more comfortable place for you to hang out!

Also.......

FREE FOOD!!

Join the Saddleteam Unicorn army!

Back to School!

Back to School!

by Alyssa - 1 Comment(s)

When I was very young (oh-so-long-ago), every August I would begin dreading school. A new grade, bigger kids, harder school work - was I prepared? Could I handle it? Would I fail? My mother would have to sit me down and remind me that everyone else in my class would be in the same boat as me, and that learning was part of growing, and though it could be scary, it was not insurmountable. And every year during the month of September I would dread going to school...until November. When, after a few assignments and a few tests were under my belt, I would see that my mother was right.

What my mother didn't have during my August school blues were materials to help convince me that it was going to be okay, and that I was not the only one feeling scared, inadequate, and small.

So, as an homage to my mother during this month of pre-school preparation, here are some books to help you and your little one transition to a bigger, scarier, more difficult school year...that won't be so big, scary, or difficult afterall. As always, stop by the Saddletowne Library and pick one of these, or any other books!

1. I am Absolutely Too Small for School
by Lauren Child

A wonderful book for children entering school for the first time, like pre-school or Kindergarten. Lola is absolutely convinced that she is absolutely too small to go to school. But her older brother Charlie knows better, and offers sage (and hilarious) words of advice to his younger sister.

I am Absolutely Too Small for School!

2. First Grade Jitters
by Robert M. Quackenbush

Moving up the scary scale to Grade One, this would be an excellent choice for any child going into....Grade One. In First Grade Jitters, Aidan freely shares his fears about staring "real school", and seeks solace from his friends and family.

First Grade Jitters

3. Chu's First Day of School
By Neil Gaiman & Adam Rex

Fantasy, fiction, and graphic novel superstar Neil Gaiman lends his humour and imagination to a creative story about the first day of school. A wonderful option for any first day of school, whether for a new year, a new student, or a brand new school!

Chu's First Day of School

4. Back to School, Weird Kids Rule!
by Dan Gutman

A funny story for older children (7-10) and part of the Weird School series, AJ and Andrea are sent to a back-to-school camp after a hurricane ruins their summer vacation. But in typical Andrea & AJ fashion, they are determined to make the last days of summer the best they've ever had!

back to school, weird kids rule!

5. It's Back to School We Go: first day stories from around the world!
by Ellen B. Jackson

The ultimate source in expanding your child's perspective, It's Back to School We Go has eleven true stories from children all over the world. Whether it's a child in Kazakhstan, China, or Kenya, your young person can share in back to school stories and gain an empathetic understanding that everyone from anywhere has back-to-school fears!

It's back to school we go!

Additional reading for parents:

Helping your child cope with back to school anxiety

Back to school blues

Kid's Health: Back to school

5 tips to get your kids up for school

Help your child prepare for back to school

Cowtown Concert Reads

Cowtown Concert Reads

by Alyssa - 0 Comment(s)

Calgary is one of the absolutely best cities to be in during the summer. Not just because of the (mostly) nice weather, and not just because our general populace is receiving tons of greatly needed vitamin D from the big yellow thing in the sky "they" call the sun, thereby increasing happy-making chemicals in our bodies. I will assert that Calgary's summer greatness is primarily due to one simple phenomenon: music concerts.

Calgary has a rich musical culture. We seem to get everyone from major headliners playing stadium shows (Queen, Arcade Fire, Cher), to Indie Music power houses (Modest Mouse, The Weakerthans, Neko Case), to brand new baby bands clawing their way out of obscurity (your best friend's brother's band with the weird name you can never remember). But one thing is vitally true - if you want to hear it, Calgary will have it....most likely during the summer.

Folk Festival kicks off tonight ( where I'll be after I leave the Saddletowne Library) and I have packed my backpack full of festival going essentials: bug spray, sunscreen, sunglasses, rain coat, ipod, towel, and a book. Yes, you read that correctly. I bring books with me to music festivals. This is maybe not so much a novelty as you would expect - waiting happens a lot at concerts. In particular, I like to read biographies and autobiographies. I don't want a book that I get so engrossed in I won't want to put it down, but I do want to keep myself in the feel of my surroundings - trees, birds, people, sun, grass. Sometimes books of poetry written by musicians (afterall, lyrics are just poetry put to music). I'm also fond of reading short story collections as well. But the books I read at concerts have to be three things: brief, interesting, and somehow musically inclined (whatever you take that to mean).

Here are some book recommendations for you or the concert go-er in your life. As always, you can pick them up here at Saddletowne.

1. Stranger Music: Selected poems and songs
by Leonard Cohen

A prolific collection of some of Cohen's most beautiful, honest, and simple wordsmithing. Truly wonderful poems to ponder in the sun, while waiting to discover your next favourite band.

Leonard Cohen

2. This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession
by David J. Levitin

An interesting, thought-provoking exploration on our relationship with music, and how music shapes our every day lives - both positively and negatively. If you're interested in the technical, brain-related data of music, this is your book.

This is Your Brain on Music

3. Love is a Mix-Tape
By Rob Sheffield

Before I wanted to work in a library, I wanted to write for Rolling Stone. No joke. Rob Sheffield is, in essence, the marriage of my two loves: books and music. Sheffield recalls his tragic first marriage through the mix tapes he and his wife made throughout their marriage (and her life). From washing the dishes, to folding laundry - they made mix tapes for everything. This book will make you want to take out your tape deck and craft someone a musical interpretation of your soul. For any occasion.

Rob Sheffield

4. Take Another Little Piece of My Heart: A Groupie Grows Up
by Pamela Des Barres

A sequel to her first book, I'm With the Band, this is the more mature, down-to-earth Pamela Des Barres. Accounting her life after groupie-hood, Des Barres writes about marriage, motherhood, and inspiration. But don't worry, there's still plenty of Rock N' Roll gossip to recount at your next dinner party.

Pamela Des Barres

5. Honky Tonk Girl: My Life in Lyrics
by Loretta Lynn

Chances are, if you've made it to the bottom of this blog, you have enough of an interest in music to have read (or seen) Coal Miner's Daughter. This book, dare I say it, is even better. Here, Loretta Lynn explains her artistic process song by song. With beautiful photos, heartbreaking honesty, and a glorious sense of humour, Loretta Lynn tells the stories behind her lyrics, as life was happening to her. This ain't your mom's autobiography.

Loretta Lynn

Saddletowne thinks teens are great!!

Saddletowne thinks teens are great!!

by Alyssa - 0 Comment(s)

Youth Read has been in full swing, and the Saddletowne teens have created some amazing, wonderful things!! Come check out what's happening for teens in our library!!

  • We have a new display featuring Saddletowne Youth Read artwork over by the checkout machines:

Youth Read Art

  • We also have a Youth Read Recommendation display located at the front of the library, right next to our staff picks!

    Youth Read recommendations


  • If you are inteterested in Youth Read Challenge events, come to the Saddletowne Library every Monday evening at 6:30 p.m.!!

Youth Read Challenges!

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