Posted by emather on 12.31.13

                 
 
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 (ProdigyRose 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.
 

HUB Teens' Five Favorite Books of 2013:

 
  1. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
  2. TIE: Allegiant by Veronica Roth, Prodigy by Marie Lu
  3. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  4. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
  5. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
 
 
 
 
 
 




Posted by emather on 12.23.13

 
We had a great time at the Holiday Movie Roast program on Friday night.  As you can see, we decorated some holiday cookies and busted out our ugliest sweaters (congratulations to contest winners Tessa and Miranda!).  The true fun of the evening was roasting the insanely cheesy and unintentionally-hilarious Jingle All the Way.  We sent our snark out in the form of text messages, which appeared on the screen with scenes like this:
 
 
As you can imagine, finding material to make fun of wasn't too hard.  It is almost definitely the most fun anyone has ever had while watching Jingle All the Way.
 
 
 




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 emather on 12.18.13

“There is much difference between imitating a man and counterfeiting him.”
 
That was said by Benjamin Franklin, a dude so cool and smart that we put him on the hundred dollar bill.
 
A few weeks ago, we wrote a cool post about intellectual property and fair use in regards to the Beastie Boys' song “Girls” and a web video parodying it.  There are various rules, laws, and ethics telling us the right ways to use other people’s ideas.  Fair Use allows us to use other people’s intellectual property, but under certain conditions: how you use the copyrighted work, if you change or alter it, the amount of the work you use, etc.  One thing that always works in your favor when using someone else’s work is to attribute the original creator.  Taking someone else’s ideas and claiming them as your own is the ugly flipside to Fair Use, and is a use that is almost never ever ever never “fair.”
 
Using someone else’s ideas without giving them credit is called plagiarism.  As some of you may have read, the actor/filmmaker Shia LaBeouf (of Transformers and Even Stevens fame) is in some hot water about a short film he just released.  Titled HowardCantour.com, it is an almost direct adaptation of a comic written by famous artist Daniel Clowes (author of Ghost World and many others) called Justin M. Damiano.  Nowhere in the credits for the film did LaBeouf say that his film was inspired by Clowes, and he never once contacted the author for permission to adapt his work. (Ironic that the “credits” don’t give proper credit, no?) LaBeouf has since apologized, but some people are even questioning if his apologies are plagiarized, too!
 
It’s a good thing I said my quote up top was from Benjamin Franklin.  Leaving that out would have been bad.  Even worse would have been leaving the quotation marks off. That would make it seem like that was my own idea, and my own words. But it wasn’t.  It was Franklin’s ideas, and Franklin’s words.  As you all know, when writing a research paper or anything else, it is essential that you credit where you get your ideas from.  A bibliography or works cited page, and in-text citations or footnotes, help keep you in the clear when it comes to plagiarism.  It’s important to build your own ideas off of the awesome ideas that have come before, but acknowledging from where you get those first ideas is also important.  If you ever have questions, talk with any of the HUB staff, and we’ll help you get your citations in order and avoid “counterfeiting” your ideas.




Posted by Trixie on 12.12.13

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.
 




Posted by alice on 12.10.13

Have you ever played Mad Libs?  It's a word game that you've probably played on car trips before.  There's even an app for it that you can download here.  
 
Here's the rundown of how it works...
 
One player prompts another player to give them particular words, specifically words that fall into a part of speech.  Then you fill in these words into a story that has these specific words missing.  You don't know what the story is beforehand, and you definitely have no clue what the story will end up being until you fill in the blanks with the words you provide.
 
Still confused?  Try it out here.
 
It's a fun game that usually has a hilarious outcome!
 
So... let's go ahead and play it!
 

Teen Mad Libs

Wait.. so what's happening?
Throughout the rest of December, we'll be asking you for different words to fill out a story on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  You can answer us/provide your words in the comments on Facebook and Instagram or reply if you're using Twitter.  
 
Why is it called "Teen Mad Libs"?
We'll be filling in blanks from popular Teen/YA novels!  Maybe the fate of your favorite character will take a drastic turn, all because of a crazy word you submitted!
 
When will I be able to see the story?
On Friday of each week, we'll fill in the blanks and post the stories with some of the most hilarious outcomes.
 
Are there any rules?
There's only one rule... Watch your language: That means no swear words or words that may be offensive.  Keep it library appropriate!
 
Ummmm "Parts of Speech"?  Doesn't that mean grammar and stuff?
Why yes, yes it does mean grammar and stuff.  If you need a refresher course on your parts of speech, look below for a really crude description of the parts of speech and tenses.  If you want a more descriptive explanation, click here.
 
Noun: Person, place, or thing
Verb: An action word
Adjective: A word to describe something; modifies a noun
Adverb: Usually ends in -ly; modifies a verb and sometimes adjectives
 
Past Tense: "Walked"
Present Tense: "Walk"
Present Progressive: "Walking"
 
OK, now what?  How do I get started?
Check out our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the different words we're looking for.  Then leave your submissions in the comments or reply with them.
 
May the madness begin!
 
 
 




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.




Posted by amypelman on 12.08.13

 
Last week 13 teens got together to create culinary candy masterpieces!  How did they do it? 
 
They were given a very quick tutorial on how to make a sushi roll (check out this tutorial for an example), supplied with a lot of rice crispy treats and candy ingredients, and set loose to create!  
 
Here is what they had to work with:
 
Instead of this regular sushi ingredient   /   they had this candy sushi ingredient:
 
Rice   /  Rice Crispy Treats - instead of a dish, I molded them into thin sheets using a jelly roll pan.
Seaweed /  Fruit Roll-Ups, Fruit-by-the-Foot, sour strips
Fish / Swedish Fish, gummy worms, gummy bears
Fish eggs (Roe) / Nerds, Red Hots
 
I also supplied pretty little clear plastic plates, cellophane, ribbon and origami paper to wrap up the sushi rolls into beautiful packages. This way, teens could give them away as nice gifts... that is, if they didn't eat them all first! 
 
 
DIY, programs




Posted by amypelman on 12.02.13

 
They're back!  Below are a few good book recommendations from the library staff (outside of teen services).   Jon and Amy give us their reviews of two very different types of books.  See if either of them appeal to you!   As always, you can find many more here.
 
 
This book is about Tana, a girl who wakes up after a party to find everyone has been murdered by vampires except for her ex Aiden, another boy, and herself.  Tana rescues Aiden and the other boy, who is a vampire on the run, and they head to Coldtown, where anyone infected by vampires are sent.  Once someone enters a Coldtown, it is rare that they ever escape.  I was drawn to the story as Tana wonders if she is infected by a vampire bite (it was only a scrape after all) and then if she is infected, how will she survive?  Even as she struggles with her own health and safety, she still shows concern for her ex Aiden and the vampire on the run.  She helps them get to Coldtown and then helps Aiden once again.  Overall, this is a great read for those who love vampires and all things supernatural.   
 
Review by: Amy H.
Dept: Circulation
Most interesting or coolest thing about AHML: The Bookmobile is a unique way that we connect with our community because we go out to where the people live and deliver library services to them, which I think is pretty cool.
Your favorite candy: M&Ms, Twix and Rainbow Twizzlers (why pick one favorite when you can have 3)?
What book changed your life? The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
 
 
Everything always seems to crash and burn at exactly the same time, doesn’t it feel that way sometimes? Well, it sure does to Mike.  First his family is messed up: his Mom is depressed and sleeps all the time; his Dad has become obsessed with the gym and is never home; but what’s worse is his best friend Tamio and Valerie, the new girl in school and Mike’s newest crush, seem to be conspiring to make a fool of him.  However, something inside of him tells him he needs to make some changes.  It’s like a voice in his head, but not like those “I’m crazy and hearing voices” type of voice, more like his soul speaking.  One day at a Flea Market, he buys a mirror, slightly warped, but it will work.  He notices how fat and out of shape he is. Luckily, he runs into Amber, a slightly odd loner at his high school.  She always wear big baggy clothes and is incredibly thin.  But Amber seems to know about food and nutrition.  So with Amber’s guidance, and the support from his “voice,” Mike learns how to control his food and exercise and soon feels leaner, stronger and more in control.  But Mike is actually far from being in control.  After he is hospitalized for Anorexia, he realizes that his “voice” is more of a harm than a help.
 
Review by:  Jon K.
Department: Collection Services
Cool about AHML: It’s like the proverbial “kid in the candy store” – every time I look around there’s more that I want to read, see and listen to
Favorite Candy: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
What book changed my life:  “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee.
 
 
 
ITBA




Posted by Trixie on 11.29.13

Recently GoldieBlox, a California toy company, parodied “Girls” a Beastie Boys song. If you’ve never heard the song, it’s had its share of criticism for being sexist. Its lyrics joke that girls are only good for cleaning, doing the dishes, and laundry. GoldieBlox re-worded the song to encourage girls to explore the fields of science, technology, and engineering. Their use of the song without permission recently initiated discussion of copyright infringement versus fair use.
 
Copyright falls under the legal regulations, known as intellectual-property law, that govern an individual's or organization's right to use or disseminate ideas or information. Copyright deals specifically with the rights granted to a creator, publisher, or other owner of original content to reproduce, adapt, or distribute said content. You might think that intellectual-property law has nothing to do with you, but if you’ve ever created a slideshow and used your favorite songs as the soundtrack, mashed up content to make a funny video, or made a copy of a CD/DVD for a friend, it does apply. Here’s a video that’ll give you a review of copyright principles.
 
 
Some copyright-related terms defined:
copyleft agreements: an alternative to placing works in the public domain or under traditional copyright laws; works can be modified as long as derivative works retain the same restrictions stipulated by the author of the original work. digital rights management (DRM): technological mechanisms to prevent content from being copied or shared over networks.
fair use doctrine: permits moderate use of copyrighted materials for education, news reporting, parody, criticism, and even home consumption in some cases as long as the use does not detract from the market value of the work.
intellectual-property law: legal regulations that govern an individual's or organization's right to use or disseminate ideas or information; encompasses copyright, patent, and trademark laws.
orphan works: copyrighted works whose owners are difficult or impossible to find.
public domain: legal status of a work that is not copyrighted by choice of owner or expiration of copyright term; anyone can use the work in any way they choose without cost.
 
If you want the details on copyright law and fair use, check out the US Copyright Office website.