Posted by emather on 04.08.14

On the Friday before Spring Break, Chicago indie rock band Sunjacket come by AHML to eat pizza, talk with teens about the ins & outs of being a working musician, and then trained them to be their "roadies," setting up all of their equipment to play a live gig in the library. We learned how to set up some audio gear, do a sound check, made a lot of noise, and had a lot of fun!
 
Check out this music video for their song "Partition" (It's misspelled in the video. Oops!) with footage from the night shot by HUB Teen Advisory Board volunteers!
 
 




Posted by alice on 03.27.14

 
2048. Not 16. Not 128. Not even 1024. But 2048. That's the number you've got to hit. That's the number you've got to work up to. That's the number that escapes my grasp! That's the number I dream about at night!
 
So...rewind...I've been playing this game called 2048. It's available in the App Store and you can even play an online clone of it here. You swipe left, right, up, and down to add the number tiles currently on your board. Only like numbers can be combined, so you've got to really work up to get the big numbers. Especially since each swipe adds a 2 or a 4 tile on the board. Also, once all the tile slots are filled, the game's over...so you've got to be really careful about where you place your tiles. It's easier to understand if you see it, so I completely recommend giving it a shot. Just be warned that this game is highly addictive!
 
I hope that one day I'll be able to get that 2048 number. *crosses fingers*
 
If you do play, what's your high score? Leave it in the comments and we'll compare!




Posted by Trixie on 03.24.14

I like to think that he saw me, the loosened ends of my long bandages and the wispy tangled curls of my hair reaching out to the wind, the skirt of my nightgown billowing in the melodic waves. I like to think that he watched as I climbed over the side of the rickety widow’s walk, my toes perched on the ledge, my fingers clasped lightly to the railing behind me. Perhaps he noted, with quiet irony, that never before had anyone more resembled an angel. I like to think that he marveled at the mass of bandages that unraveled completely and tumbled to the ground, and at the pair of pure white wings, large and strong, that unfolded from my shoulder blades.
 
 
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender is about love: unrequited and impossible, elation, loss, and suffering; in the midst of it, a girl is born with wings. First, readers follow the relentless suffering of Ava's immigrant family over the course of three generations. This chronicle culminates in her birth. Set in 1950s Seattle, Ava's mother and grandmother shelter winged Ava from the community in order to protect her. However, as any blossoming teen, Ava longs to fit in with her peers. In this novel, Leslye Walton writes about a teenage girl's exploration of self and her place in an unexplored world. 
 

I absolutely LOVED this book! It’s beautifully written with incredible imagery. I felt as if I opened the book and walked right into the scenes described. Walton delivers a rich and full story that provides the context for Ava's plight; she weaves together stories across generations à la Marquez. I also adored the characters and was invested in their outcome. I liked the dark, traditional fairy tale/fable feel of the novel - sobbed at the end of it, but strangely hopeful and satisfied despite tragedy. If you like magical realism or emotional stories, this is a must read!

 




Posted by Trixie on 03.07.14

Have you ever read a book and felt like there should be a playlist to go along with it? Sometimes it’s really obvious, like there are actual songs referenced in the novel (hint hint). Other times the characters, themes, situations, or settings may just remind you of a track, album, or artist.

To kick off Teen Tech Week (March 9th-15th), we’re having a contest featuring some tunes from the library’s collection. You can check out any of these songs on their respective CDs or on Hoopla, a streaming service you can use with your library card!
 
(Source: http://crewsreviews.edublogs.org/files/2011/10/headphones-and-book-26wbb3l.jpg)

Here’s how it works:
  • We’ll post a song on Tumblr each day, Monday-Friday starting on the 10th.
  • Each week will represent a different teen book.
  • The first person to guess the book represented will win an iTunes gift card.
  • You can comment on any of the songs posted on Tumblr to submit your guess.

Questions? Contact us on Tumblr or via email at teens@ahml.info.

One last thing: you have until the end of the month to submit an entry for our Battle of the Recorded Bands contest. We have prizes donated by Guitar Center to give away and other goodies, including a live gig at the library to kick off the summer!

What are you waiting for? Get started by following us on Tumblr!
 




Posted by alice on 02.28.14

Last Friday we had our first-ever Mini Teen Film Fest!
 
We had a blast gathering in the Hub to watch all the submissions of movies that were 1 minute or less. TAB, our Teen Advisory Board, was also there to judge the films and decide who would be awarded iTunes gift cards and the bragging rights that go with each winner's title.
 
Here is the list of the prize-winning categories and the films that went with them! Congrats to all the filmmakers for making this such a fun, film-filled night!
 
Audience Favorite
Emmy P. for Modern Pan
 
Here's a picture of Emmy with her iTunes gift cards. She took a photo in our Photo Booth for <3 Your Library Month!
 
Best Overall Film
Emmy P. for Modern Pan
 
Best Mini-Themed Film
Peyton M. for Unknown Army
 
Best Animated or Stop-Motion Film
Melanie T. for A Lady
 
Best Use of Special Effects
Connor D. for Sea Battle
 
Most Replay-Button Worthy
David R. for Lego Gentlemen
 
Best Live Action Video
Will G. and Kevin J. for Epic
 
 
Watch all the films we watched that night in the playlist below.
 
 




Posted by tspicer on 02.27.14

 
If you still haven't placed a hold on Boxers or Saints yet after watching the above clip, I'll try and convince you now. I've only read Saints, but it was so uniquely told, informative, funny and horrifying, that I am eagerly waiting to read Boxers. The Boxer Rebellion occurred in China over 100 years ago and this 2-volume set of graphic novels by Printz award winning author and illustrator Gene Luen Yang, sheds light on the complicated events of this bloody period of the world's past. Yet the genius of this book is that it makes these events that happened such a long time ago seem vivid, understandable and totally engrossing as the author crafts genuinely believable characters, whom the reader ends up caring greatly about their plights.
 
China at this time was weakened and the government in shambles. European missionaries began to emerge and flex their influence throughout the country and the result was a nationalism-inspired backlash by the 'Boxers' against these 'Saints'.

Bloodshed and chaos ensued.

It all sounds so violent and terrible and certainly at times it is. But the story is filled with humor, as the character's facial expressions are so expressive, including the young teenage protagonist, an unwanted fourth-born daughter named ... (ahem) 'Four Girl'. Four Girl is a Chinese Christian teenager who struggles with her faith. She hatches all types of odd plans to cope with the confusion and turmoil surrounding her, including my favorite plan of hers: in order to be feared and respected, she walks around endlessly with her "devil face" on. This face needs to be seen to be believed and is laugh out loud funny. Four Girl's struggles with her faith and whose side to fight for, come across as gut-wrenching, endearing and are acutely conveyed. Teens, adults should all dive into this amazing work of art.

 




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 red_sonya on 02.24.14

                                                        
 
 
Insanity is a gripping page turner, full of suspense. Taking place in Never, Kentucky and the medical facility/mental institution called Lincoln. Lincoln isn’t your average medical facility, the dead never seem to fully rest here. Lincoln is a gateway to the other-side, and might even be a living being itself. Four kids whose lives intertwine are all pulled into Lincoln’s mysterious, sometimes terrifying ways. Together they go on a journey full of ghosts, shades, and other supernatural beings, and find their lives drastically changed.

I found this book to be a thrilling read. I simply couldn’t put it down. The author does a fantastic job of making you connect to the characters. The book is told in four different parts, each part another kid, and all connected. I enjoyed reading the same progressing story line but told through the different points of views, and their own voices.I did think the book could have ended earlier, but I did like the ending the author chose.
 
For a supernatural read I found this book to be an exciting one. I felt the fear and terror that the characters were feeling. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good ghost story.
 
 




Posted by emather on 02.14.14

Last Friday, the HUB became the hottest karaoke stage in town! We had tons of kids sing some great songs by Bruno Mars, Imagine Dragons, and even a song from the movie Frozen. As you can see in the photos below, we had a lot of fun. A bunch of performers wore some pretty nifty costumes (provided by Arlington Heights' Metropolis Performing Arts Center) and some HUB staff was even persuaded to perform.
 




Posted by red_sonya on 02.07.14

                                                                       
 
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!