Posts tagged with "recommended"

Posted by Trixie on 08/30/13
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!
 
Julia walked the city for miles and miles more, yet neither travel nor time unending quenched her tears or ceased her fears, yet she walked till she reached the sea, and then traversed the shore.

Young children played with sand as the sentinel sun shined upon them. Their parents leisurely basked in the light, reading and passively talking as time flowed in a constant stream that met the sea.

Most interesting to her were the young couples leisurely dancing in the waves. They appeared so free, careless of their nakedness, without any shame or pride. It seemed so natural, so familiar to her.
For a moment she thought of coming to the beach with Maria, yet the thought was quickly turned away. There would be too much scandal in that. She thought to herself.

Soon she passed the beach and came to upon the grand open gardens. While surrounded by evergreens her mind became calm yet her worries did not depart. Julia slowly lowered herself under the tree canopy, laying on the ground and not caring about her dress anymore.

Again she began to shed tears and softly cry. The wind rustled the leaves and the grass, like an invisible animal of massive bulk that rubbed its pelt upon all that it encountered. The warm salty blow of sea air hurt her already reddened eyes, like fire upon exposed flesh, forcing them to firmly shut. I taunted her, it made this all seem like a game, as if the wind had any better to do than play games and fight. Yet she ignored its rustling noise and its animal touch.
 

Posted by Trixie on 02/24/14
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!
 
Even the darkness was marked with fear, as shadows joined it in its fright. There was no wind, and not a single tear fell from the sky, though tormented streams scarred the night air. For them, all the forces of nature and all spirits took pity, as much as any spirit can. Though the darkness endured, as did the screams of the tortured, resonating in the marble walls of ancient halls. Following the screams came the trickling of blood as it stained the milk white steps of ancient stairs. A pleasure palace bathed in blood. Though even when every marble step had been stained red, screams persisted to sound in the dark even as a new sound was heard. A faint but cruel laughter, light but sadistic in its origin emerged out of the horror, even more terrifying than the painful howling of all the other victims.
 
The assailants pressed him with pain, though he dealt them only laughter, and so they spared him for last, making him watch as they extinguished his friends one by one. Finally when it was his turn to die, they cut off a limb and bludgeoned the rest, but again the main was returned in equal measure by laughter, not screaming, but sadistic laughter.
 
Thinking that their victim was enjoying his torture, the assailants silenced his laughter forever and mutilated his eyes for good measure.
 
Thinking the task had been completed; the perpetrators departed with in stealth, just as quickly as they had appeared, leaving behind only corpses, and one tattered, broken body of a man with only a single eye. 
 

Posted by alice on 11/12/13
 
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!
 
  1. Spotify
    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!
     
  2. Shazam
    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!
     
  3. Soundhound
    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.
     
  4. 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.
     
  5. Songza
    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!
 

Posted by Trixie on 12/18/13
I'm just damned. I am utterly and completely damned. You'll shoot me at the end no matter what I do, because that's what you do to enemy agents. It's what we do to enemy agents. After I write this confession, if you don't shoot me and I ever make it home, I'll be tried and shot as a collaborator anyway. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and this is the easy one, the obvious one. What's in my future - a tin of kerosene poured down my throat and a match held to my lips?

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein is an expressive novel set during World War II. Verity, a secret agent, is captured by the Gestapo and “convinced” to reveal her mission. Verity explores her past, how she came to be a spy, and how she arrived in Nazi-occupied France in her written confession. Verity is battling for her life as she fills sheet after sheet followed by random scraps of paper. As her intricate story unfolds, readers are left to wonder whether her detailed confession will be enough to save her life.
 
To be perfectly honest, I’ve never been one to enjoy historical fiction. I’d much rather read factual or personal accounts related to an event or time period. Well, I absolutely LOVED this book! Wein weaves a beautiful tale of desperation, courage, and friendship. The novel is written in journal-style from Verity’s and her pilot friend Kittyhawk’s points of view. Through these characters’ perilous journeys, readers experience the heartache and anxiety of friends and family separated during wartime. The harrowing tale pits evil against a clever, would-be traitor. I HIGHLY recommend this book – you won’t be disappointed!
 
 

Posted by Trixie on 10/31/14
“I’m a gamer and I kick arse. No, seriously. I organize a guild online and I’m looking for a few of you chickens to join me.”
 
 
In Real Life is a coming-of-age graphic novel that opens with Anda’s birthday. She’s a gamer girl who just moved to a new town and is trying to figure out where she fits in. Enter Liza McCombs – she heads an all-girl guild in Coarsegold Online, a massive multiplayer roleplaying game. Not only does the game provide a place for Anda to explore her identity, but it also allows her to investigate socioeconomic issues around the world and close to home.
 
Cory Doctorow knocks it out of the park in his debut graphic novel! He highlights complex topics like gold farming, economic inequality, and labor rights all with a feminist message.
 
Jen Wang’s illustrations are stunning. Real life characters are juxtaposed with their online avatars and in some panels the lines are blurred. The characters’ expressions are exquisite – they convey feeling and humanize the drawings. Her art is dynamic with perfect coloring.
 
I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages. It’s a page turner and will pique interest in “real-life” issues.
 

Posted by Trixie on 09/26/13
The shelves were packed close together, and it felt like I was standing at the border of a forest – not a friendly California forest, either, but an old Transylvanian forest, a forest full of wolves and witches and dagger-wielding bandits all waiting just beyond moonlight’s reach. There were ladders that clung to the shelves and rolled side to side. Usually those seem charming, but here, stretching up in to the gloom, they were ominous. They whispered rumors of accidents in the dark.

Clay Jannon is an unemployed marketer and web designer. His days are spent surfing the web unsuccessfully obtaining employment. That is until he comes across Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore a narrow, vertigo-inspiring bookstore packed with books on its skyscraper shelves. Mr. Penumbra hires the new night clerk on the spot. Clay didn’t know that the course of his life would change that afternoon. It only takes him a couple of days to notice peculiarities with the business and its clientele. Clay and his new love interest Kat delve into the world of a 500 year old secret society called the Unbroken Spine.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore explores the tension between new technology and old, digital versus print, working out a problem longhand instead of relying on computer assistance. Clay, his friends, and Google through employee Kat try to help Mr. Penumbra solve an age-old mystery using modern technology. Robin Sloan cleverly weaves fantasy and reality to construct an adventure tale that engages readers and makes them cheer for the ragtag bunch of codebreakers. Throughout the novel, Clay calls upon his friends, actual and virtual, to help him uncover the treasure coveted by the Unbroken Spine for centuries. This is a quick read, definitely worth checking out…AND the cover glows in the dark!

Posted by Trixie on 11/27/13
Okay, we have less than two weeks to turn a robot that picks things up into a robot that kills other robots.
 
Chainsaws, people, we need chainsaws!


The graphic novel Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong follows a ragtag group of high schoolers on their journey to a robot rumble. Charlie is the captain of the basketball team. Nate is his best friend and the president of the school’s robotics team. Holly is head cheerleader and Charlie’s ex-girlfriend. When school funding comes up short, student council must choose whether the robotics team will attend the national robotics competition or if the cheerleaders will get new uniforms for the national cheerleading championship. Naturally, Charlie is pulled into the drama in the midst of dealing with his own problems. Eventually, the characters must set aside their differences and work together to battle in a Thanksgiving robotics competition that will get both the robotics team and cheerleading squad to nationals.

Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks present a funny, heartwarming, and realistic story about dealing with high school cliques, camaraderie, competition, and friendship. Shen’s writing is an authentic portrayal of interactions between the teenage characters. The story is quick-paced and engaging. Hicks’ illustrations capture the characters’ personalities and sense of movement throughout the book. The humor of the novel comes from characters expressions and robot demolition conveyed by the artwork.

This is a great read for anyone – it’s a perfect Thanksgiving story to pass the time while you digest your turkey dinner!

Posted by alice on 09/12/13
There's something many of you may not know about me.  I'm kind of a huge Harry Potter nerd.  After reading the books, watching all the movies, going to midnight release parties, re-reading the books, dressing up as a Hogwarts student for Halloween, re-reading the books, visiting the theme park, and re-reading the books...you can probably call me an obsessed crazy fanatic über-nerd.  So imagine my surprise and joy when it was announced today that the author of the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling, will be writing the screenplay for her Harry Potter supplement Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
 
This was me this morning.
 
 
Find out more about this awesome news here!
 
So rejoice my fellow Harry Potter nerds!  The magic never ends!
 
And if you haven't yet, check out Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them!  It's a fun read and it's especially cool to see Harry, Ron, and Hermione's notes and comments in the margins!
 
Nerd away, everyone!
 

Posted by alice on 04/02/13
 
Ho hey! (Good song!  But I definitely prefer the Chickeneers version!)

Have you watched the new The Perks of Being a Wallflower movie? It’s the one starring Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller, Nina Dobrev, and Emma Watson.  It came out on DVD and Blu-Ray recently, and I just had the opportunity to watch it over the weekend.  This may not sound like a big deal, but it was a big deal.

Like many movies that come out lately, this one is based on a book.  The book is called (whaddyaknow) The Perks of Being a Wallflower written by Stephen Chbosky.  Now why was it such a big deal to watch this movie based on this book?  Well… it’s because I love this book.  You know the feeling, right?  If not, see below.

You love a book when:
1. You instantly click with the main character in the first few chapters.
2. You feel like you really know the people in the story by the middle.
3. You wonder what happens to them after you read the last page.

I love this book like that.  And, I didn’t want questionable acting or crazy amounts of added action to ruin the story as it was.  But since the film was written and directed by the author of the novel, I knew that there was a possibility that it would be ok.  Just… maybe.

Verdict?  The film did the book justice.  Some scenes were changed, some scenes were taken out, and some scenes were exactly as I imagined them.  If you go to high school in the suburbs, I think you’ll find certain sets like the football game and the cafeteria eerily accurate.  And if your high school experience is like mine was, you'll definitely feel for Charlie as he tries to dance awkwardly at homecoming.  All in all, the spirit of the film was spot-on with the spirit of the book.  More than that, you could tell that making the film was a labor of love.  And, as one would say here on the internet, “It gave me all the feels!”
 
So yeah, it's kind of a relief.  I can live happily knowing that one of my favorite books has a great movie counterpart.  Now I'll just have to worry about the The Fault in Our Stars movie!
 

Posted by emather on 12/09/13
 
 
Now that it's all snowy and wintery outside, my very favorite thing to do is to light a fire (preferably in a fireplace) and cuddle up under a blanket with a warm drink and (most important ingredient) a good book.  My favorite books to do this with are often fantasies or science fiction (The Dark is Rising, The Magicians, and A Wrinkle in Time are perfect examples.) I really enjoy anything long and involved with a completely unique world that I can get completely lost in.  (Even better if the unique world exists just beneath our own reality.)  It's super-extra fun if the book takes place in winter. (Think along the lines of City of Thieves, Blankets, and The Golden Compass.) That way, I can feel all lucky and superior to the characters freezing their tails off.
 
In addition to the books posted here, we’ve got a display in the HUB of more “Books to Keep You Warm.” Come in and grab some great titles to take home and make your own magical toasty story cocoon.  You’ll just need to provide your own fire, blanket, and cocoa/cider/coffee.
 
How about all of you?  What books keep you warm when the snow is falling all around? Keep the convo going on our Facebook page, send us a Tweet, or just stop by the HUB to chat books.

 
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