Posts tagged with "recommended"
"All monsters are scared. That's why they're monsters.": A review of The Ocean at the End of the Lane
The Ocean at the End of the Lane is the newest book from acclaimed author Neil Gaiman (the Sandman comics, The Graveyard Book, Coraline, American Gods, two of the very best episodes of Doctor Who, and a zillion more awesome things). It is told in the form of a flashback, where the narrator (never named in the book) sits and remembers incidents from his childhood that had been long forgotten. He recalls an adventure he had after meeting his neighbor, Lettie Hempstock, who claimed that the pond behind her house was in fact an ocean. Lettie, along with her mother and grandmother, while loving and welcoming, are also magical and mysterious (like the body of water in their backyard). They lead the seven-year-old narrator on an adventure that begins wondrous and enchanting, but becomes increasingly fraught with peril and foreboding. Soon, his life, family, and in fact all of existence become endangered.
Gaiman’s narrator, a major bookworm, explains of his preference for myths over tales of other sorts: “They weren’t adult stories and they weren’t children stories. They were better than that. They just were.” Gaiman has written books for the very young and books for adults, but all have an almost timeless and ageless quality to them, and Ocean is no different. At under 200 pages, the book is a quick read, and while it’s currently marketed for adults, it’s perfect for teens. In fact, it’s perfect for anyone who’s searching for a fantasy book filled with the requisite magic and monsters, a story where terrifying beasties intrude on the quiet English countryside, or those looking to relive their childhood while realizing that you never really can, and probably shouldn’t.
Drawings don’t normally move but Katie swears the mysterious Tomohiro’s drawings just did. Katie, an American girl, is a world away from home in Japan, still adjusting to the language barrier and culture gap. When Katie gets involved with the intriguing and sometimes dangerous Tomohiro and his moving drawings, her life changes forever. She is left wondering why the ink is seemingly drawn to her all while learning about Kami (Shinto Gods) and dodging the Yakuza (a Japanese gang).
This is a book full of Japanese mythology, danger, with a dash of romance. As an avid manga reader, I felt like Ink could easily be made into one; as the plot is very similar to many shojo mangas. The book has many images within it that coincides with what you are reading. There are many Japanese words you learn through out Ink (there is a glossary in the back to explain them so don’t worry!). This book is wonderful for those Japanophiles out there. It gives a good look at what life is like living in a foreign country, dealing with the different culture, and their everyday lives.
Ink was a very quick read; it’s very intriguing, and gripping. I thoroughly enjoyed and it and will be purchasing it for my own collection at home. The book does end on a cliffhanger and sadly the next book, Rain, doesn’t come out till June this year (which I have on preorder already).
There is also a prequel to Ink, called Shadow, which is available for free on Amazon!
Chicago has a lot of names: The Windy City, The Second City, Chi-Town... but I like to call it home.
Now even though you may not live in the city limits, you know as well as any person who lives in the suburbs that when you go on vacation you always tell people you're from Chicago. It's just easier, right?
Well this slightly warmer weather of late got me driving down Lake Shore Drive, and it was glorious! The weather was beautiful (what I like to call sweatshirt weather) and it was approaching dusk so all the city lights were beginning to turn on. It just made me appreciate living in this beautiful city.
If you're feeling love for Chicago, I would check out these links.
A photographer who takes some really wonderful shots of Chicago.
A documentary where quintessential Brit, Stephen Fry, goes on a cross country road trip throughout the states. The video above shows the portion where he visits Chicago, but the whole series is really worth the watch. You can find it here at the library!
Rocco Buttliere, a teenager from Buffalo Grove, builds amazing replicas of the city's most recognizable buildings!
Image Credit: Nick Gerber
Oh yes, you read that right! The Brooklyn-based band Chairlift released a choose your own adventure music video. Just like the books you may have read when you were younger that allowed you to Choose Your Own Adventure, you click on the arrows when they appear on screen to choose which path the protagonist of the music video takes. It's a fun idea for a music video and I'm digging the tune too, which is a total plus because I'm always looking for new music!
Take a look at the video here and maybe take a look at it again and again and again. Who knows what the outcome will be for our lead singer/protagonist depending on which adventure you choose for her.
Also, for those of you who are Jane Austen lovers... you may be interested in a book called Lost in Austen. It's a choose your own adventure-type book taking you through some of Austen's most notable works (e.g. Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma). Tea time in the drawing room? No thanks. Party at Netherfield? Yes, please!
Photo Credit: creativelenna
As the year comes to a close, we always like to look back, and it's impossible to deny that 2013 has been anything but a great year for books. Several series concluded (Allegiant, the Sweet Tooth and Locke & Key comic series), kept going in new and interesting ways (Prodigy, Rose Under Fire) and amazing new ones began (The 5th Wave). We saw books from both great new authors and old favorites (both Rainbow Rowell and Neil Gaiman each published two great books this year). We polled both HUB staff and HUB teens for their favorite books of 2013. You can find the results below. See if your favorite book is on the list (feel free to yell at us in the comments if it's not), and you'll probably find one or two great picks to add to your to-read list.
I follow the Huff Post Teen blog. A couple of weeks ago, I came across a post written by Phoebe Dodds, a teen living in London, England. This post titled “Lost in Translation” explored foreign language books and films in a culture that predominantly speaks English. This post really piqued my interest since one of my duties at the Hub is to provide library resources like books, magazines, and DVDs to ESL students at Newcomer Center. This District 214 program assists high school students that have recently moved to the United States and are new to the English language. A large part of the items I send them are popular teen books originally written in English translated to their native languages.
An interesting fact that Dodds states in her post, “only 3 percent of all books published in English are translations”, blows my mind! Clearly, much more goes into translating a book from its native language. Nuance, mode of expression, and humor have to be considered and might not have a literal translation; however, there have to be more books out there worth translating! Reading this post prompted me to make a list of books translated to English. Some might surprise you, like The Three Musketeers. Some are new, like Ruby Red and 1Q84. Check one out and broaden your horizons.
Just when you thought you were out, they pull you back in...with a bunch more reading recommendations! Here are some teen book suggestions from library staff outside of teen services, since you're all probably sick of us yelling at you to read books. Shannon, Carol, and Amy have written reviews of three unique but excellent. As always, you can find many more Intralibrary Teen Book Alliance recommendations here.
Could you live in a world where love was outlawed?
Lauren Oliver’s novel describes a futuristic Garden of Eden where teens are matched with a “life-mate” and then undergo a procedure to remove their capacity to love. Teens that flee or resist the procedure are known as “invalids” and are believed to “live like animals…filthy, hungry, desperate.”
When Lena and Alex must choose between the law and each other, they know that they are making an impossible decision. If they run away, they will lose their families. If they stay and undergo the procedure, they will lose the feelings that they have for their families – and each other.
The dramatic conclusion will leave you wondering… What would you risk for love?
Review by: Carol E.
Shai is a strong, independent girl who is very talented at what she does for a living. She is a forger. She doesn’t just copy things, however. She uses her magical skills to enhance the very essence of the item she is copying, consequently mirroring not just its appearance, but its entire history. She is so good at her job that she attracts the attention of the Emperor’s entourage. When the Emperor suddenly loses consciousness after an assassination attempt, they see Shai as their only hope against what they fear the most; the loss of their powerful positions in the Empire. In order to prevent a revolution, the Emperor’s highest ranking officials capture Shai in the midst of a forgery, and force her to choose between being sentenced to death, or accepting a job they believe she will not pass up. They challenge her to forge their Emperor’s soul.
This is a cleverly written fantasy with a unique storyline, and character development that usually needs at least twice as many pages to pull off. Shai’s personality draws you in so rapidly that before you know what is happening you are immersed in her world, and rooting for her to pull off the impossible. Not only are you pleasantly surprised by the ending, but you get there so quickly that you are almost sorry to see that it is over. Sanderson is well known for his epic fantasies, and more recently for completing the Wheel of Time saga, but this first attempt at a novella was undeniably a success, as well as a Hugo award winner. Marketed for both adults as well as teens, it is absolutely worth reading.
Review by: Shannon M.
Weetzie Bat, a high school girl in Los Angeles, is best friends with Dirk. Weetzie and Dirk have adventures after high school when they find a genie in a magic lamp who grants them three wishes. Weetzie and Dirk both find love and have many adventures together with their significant others. This book is a quick read and is fun with its whimsical tone and some bits of magic mixed in with the reality of life. If you are looking for a book that will take you on an adventure, then this is the book for you.
Review by: Amy H.
Last month I shared a short story written by Silvio, an avid teen writer and a Hub regular. well, it's time for another installment of Made in the Hub! This month I'm sharing the continuation of Silvio's short story "Brother and Sister." There's an excerpt below and the full text can be found online. Of course, you can always come to the Hub to read it too!
If you're interested in having your work featured in the Hub, stop in to chat!
It's been awhile since we've featured local teen writing so I thought I'd bring back Made in the Hub. Avid writer and Hub regular Silvio provided this short story, "The Crippled Jackal." Beware: this one isn't for the faint of heart! There's an excerpt below and the full text can be found online. Of course, you can always come to the Hub to read it too!
We're always making things in the Hub, from crafts and doodles on the drawing pad tables to good times over films on Fridays and Karaoke Koncerts. If you're interested in having your work featured in the Hub or want to know what we're up to, stop in to chat!
I love music. Like, I can't function correctly throughout the day if I don't listen to music. I need it to study, I need it to write, I need it to [insert daily task here]. It's kind of important to my well-being.
Since the invention of apps for smart phones, I've piled loads of different music-related apps onto my phone. Here are my top 5 right now!
Play basically any song you can think of on demand! It does cost a monthly fee to use on your phone, but I like the ability of playing music wherever I am. The good news is if you download it on your computer, you can use it for free and that's kind of awesome!
Ever hear a song and just can't quite remember who sings it? That is absolutely the worst feeling ever! Or maybe you really like a song and want to remember to get it later. With this app, all you have to do is press a button and your phone will listen to the song through the microphone and tell you what it is!
This app does the same thing as Shazam for the most part, except you can hum a tune into your phone's microphone and it'll try and tell you what it is. This fixes all those instances when you have a song stuck in your head but you don't remember where you heard it from. Hopefully you're a decent enough singer to get it to work. Fingers crossed.
Band of the Day
Craving something new? This app highlights a band a day. It plays songs by that artist with no commercials all day long. Yum, mmmmmusic.
Music can sometimes intensify the way you feel. And sometimes you want to just feel a certain way. Songza helps with that. You can choose a radio station to relax, for super mega dance parties, and even for singing in the shower!
So there you have it. My list. If you know any apps that aren't on this list, please feel free to let us know! We're @HUB500 on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You can, of course, always come into the Hub and tell us about them in person too!
ALSO... all you music fans may be interested in winning 2 tickets to LOLLAPALOOZA 2014! Check out the details here http://www.ahml.info/teens/billboard/win-tickets-lollapalooza
Hooray for music!