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!
 




Posted by Trixie on 02.05.14

February is "heart the library" month and we're celebrating in the Hub!
 
Come out and up-cycle an old book or make a book-based paper craft. There are many different project ideas in books we've checked out for the Hub (like The Repurposed Library and Art Made From Booksor come up with your own project!
 
DIY book mobile
 
We even have a photo booth for you to pose with your favorite item from the library's collection or something you made in the Hub. Take one copy of the picture home with you and leave the other here telling everyone why YOU heart the library!
 




Posted by tspicer on 02.01.14

Programs




Posted by Trixie on 01.27.14

If you’re anything like me, you opted to watch the Blackhawks game instead of the Grammys. Although it was a heartbreaking Hawks loss, I would still choose it over the Grammys. Don’t get me wrong – I REALLY dig music. The Grammys just have a little too much hoopla for me. Sounds like I missed some epic performances: Beyonce & Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar & Imagine Dragons, not to mention Taylor Swift’s dance moves and a giant wedding ceremony. Luckily, coverage was pretty thorough; a web search delivered dozens of clips to accompany my morning coffee!
 
Source: Time Out London

Here’s a rundown of the most important part of the Grammys – the winners of course!

Record of the year & Best pop duo/group performance
"Get Lucky" -- Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers
Album of the year & Best dance/electronica album
"Random Access Memories" -- Daft Punk
Song of the year & Best pop solo performance
"Royals" -- Lorde
Best new artist 
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (Best rap album -- "The Heist" and Best rap performance & Best rap song -- "Thrift Shop")
Best pop vocal album
Bruno Mars -- "Unorthodox Jukebox"
Best dance recording
"Clarity" -- Zedd featuring Foxes
Best traditional pop vocal album
"To Be Loved" -- Michael Bublé
Best rock performance
Imagine Dragons -- "Radioactive"
Best metal performances
Black Sabbath -- "God is Dead?"
Best rock song
"Cut Me Some Slack" -- Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, Pat Smear
Best rock album
Led Zeppelin -- "Celebration Day"
Best alternative music album
Vampire Weekend -- "Modern Vampires of the City"
Best R&B song
"Pusher Love Girl" -- Justin Timberlake
Best urban contemporary album
Rihanna -- "Unapologetic"
Best R&B album
Alicia Keys -- "Girl on Fire"
Best rap/sung collaboration
Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake -- "Holy Grail"
Best country solo performance
Darius Rucker -- "Wagon Wheel"
Best country duo/group performance
The Civil Wars -- "From This Valley"
Best country album
Kacey Musgraves -- "Same Trailer Different Park" (Best country song -- "Merry Go 'Round")
Producer of the year, nonclassical
Pharrell Williams
Best compilation soundtrack for visual media
"Sound City: Real to Reel"
Best score soundtrack for visual media
"Skyfall"
Best song written for visual media
Adele -- "Skyfall" -- "Skyfall"
Best music video
Justin Timberlake featuring Jay Z -- "Suit & Tie"
Best music film
Paul McCartney -- "Live Kisses"
 
A complete list of nominees and winners can be found on the Grammy site.
 

For all of you aspiring musicians, check out our Battle of the Recorded Bands contest: YOU could play a live show to kick off the library's summer reading program!




Posted by emather on 01.25.14

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.
Dept: Circulation
 
 
 
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.
Dept: Circulation
 
 
 
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.
Dept: Bookmobile




Posted by alice on 01.24.14

 
Yesterday, a group of teens joined us for a whirlwind afternoon of filmmaking.  We learned about a few ways to create interesting special effects like magically disappearing and floating objects in our hands with the help of iMovie.  We even created some Instagram videos and watched some cool ones online.  The last part of the program was spent creating stop motion videos using Stop Motion Studio Pro with Wikki Stix (our DIY Kit for the month) and Legos serving as our props.
 
 
This program, as well as our Pop-Up Video program next week are filmmaking programs to help you prepare for our Mini Teen Film Fest next month!  Learn about how to submit an entry, film categories, prizes and more about the Mini Teen Film Fest here.
 
Want to see what we made?  Check out the video of the films teens made at Mini Movie Madness below.  They're all good candidates for the Mini Teen Film Fest!