Posted by emather on 09.16.13

 
 
 
“Grown-ups don't look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they're big and thoughtless and they always know what they're doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. Truth is, there aren't any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.”
 
 
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.




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 amypelman on 09.09.13

 
 
Last Friday was our first "Appy Hour."  What's that you ask?  We got together to talk about cool (free!) apps for your phone, ipad, or tablet.  Because we're civilized folks, we enjoyed "mocktails" and chocolate biscuits while we passed around ipads loaded with some interesting, fun and useful apps!  Here are some of the apps we talked about:
 
Books and Magazines
  • Overdrive: Download ebooks and audiobooks from the library
  • Zinio: Download magazines from the library
  • YALSA Teen Book Finder: Recommendations of award-winning and otherwise recognized good books
 
Productivity & School
  • Evernote: Save notes, images, web clips, and audio notes all in one place
  • Voice Thread: Create a conversation using photos, documents, videos, diagrams, etc.
  • Word Reference: Dictionary containing English, Spanish, and French languages
  • Flashcards: Study aid
  • Grades2: Enter the requirements for your classes and then see what you need to do get the grade you want
  • Tango: Free texting that doesn’t use data rates – uses wifi or cellular network
 
Games
  • Flow Free: Connect the matching colors to create flowing pipes
  • Dots: Make lines of the same color dots to make them disappear
  • Cogs: Connect the cog puzzles
  • Lumosity: Brain games and puzzles good for brain health
  • Despicable Me - Minion Rush: If you like Temple Run
 
Photos
  • Snapseed: Photo editor to enhance or transform your photos
  • Color Splash: Selectively color your photos
  • Photowizard free: A different photo editor
 
Music & Entertainment
  • Soundhound: Like the full version Shazam but free!
  • Songza: Generates playlists according to your activity (i.e., studying, working out, etc.)
  • Can I Stream it?: Find out where to stream movies and tv
  •  
Want more ideas for apps?  Check out:
 
 
Programs




Posted by Trixie on 09.08.13

You know how Tony Stark uses a cool, holographic computer to manipulate 3D models in the Iron Man trilogy and The Avengers? Well, the real-life "Tony Stark" was inspired by the movie and actually invented modeling software and an interface that allows a user to do that and more!
 
Billionaire Elon Musk, the inspiration for Iron Man's alter ego Tony Stark and SpaceX CEO, unveiled video of this technology, what Musk calls immersive virtual reality, a couple of days ago. Watch the video below to see a rocket part 3D modeled using a holograph and hand gestures. Then see it 3D printed in titanium! Pretty cool, huh? Now, someone just needs to invent a Garbo Mansion à la Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series complete with talking and clothes producing walls...sans The Surge and Specials of course!
 
(Source: Venture Beat)
 




Posted by alice on 09.03.13

There's not much I can say about this except... AWESOME!
 
 
So if you're ever missing The Hub or the library in general, you can walk the stacks from wherever you have the internet thanks to Google Maps!
 
Okay, now something equally as cool... go ahead and press the double arrows that are pointing toward the telephone box.
 
I want to go to that telephone box!  
 
Anyone know of any other Google Maps Easter Eggs?  Share them with us in the comments!
 
fandom, techy




Posted by emather on 09.03.13

Banned Books Week, September 22-28, 2013
 
In honor of Banned Books Week, we are celebrating our intellectual freedom by having TWO social media contests during the month of September.
 
FIRST CONTEST!
 
Tweet us @Hub500 a review of a banned or challenged book and Tag it #Hub500BBW. You can read a brand new banned or challenged book, or one you've read before.  (I promise you've read at least one before; here are several frighteningly long lists...and they are nowhere near complete!).
 
SECOND CONTEST!
 
Post a photo to Instagram promoting intellectual liberty and the freedom to read.  Make sure to mention us (@hub500) and tag it #Hub500BBW.
 
The winner of each contest will be announced September 27th.  
 
So think freely, get creative, and READ BANNED BOOKS!




Posted by amypelman on 09.01.13

 
 
 
It's time for a few ITBA books reviews!  Ahhh, so many books, so little time!! 
 
Review by Amy H.
 
Ryan Dean West is a fourteen year old junior at Pine Mountain, a boarding school.  Even though he is a couple years younger than his fellow juniors, he is a starting winger on the rugby team.  He is in love with his best friend Annie, but she only finds him “adorable.”   Ryan Dean is a normal teenage boy who has normal teenage desires, but he also goes through struggles. The way Ryan Dean deals with his struggles captivates readers as they wonder what he will do next.  A shocking twist at the end of the story leaves readers wondering about life and how we treat other people who are different.
 
Name: Amy H.
Department: Circulation
Years at AHML: 4
Favorite thing I do at work: Talk to people about books :)
Best Place to read my book: Outside in the sun
Why I like reading YA: The stories are fun to read and are thought provoking.  Even though I am not a teen anymore, I still relate to what many of the characters go through and I love getting caught up in different worlds.
 
Review by Susan B.
 
Conor’s mother is sick and ever since she started receiving treatments, Conor’s been having nightmares. So when the monster shows up at his window one night, he thinks he’s having another nightmare. The monster comes to Conor’s window at seven minutes past midnight, like clockwork. But Conor realizes something -- he’s not dreaming. The monster is really there and it wants the truth.
 
I first picked up this book because the cover looked creepy, and I felt like reading something a little out of my comfort zone. I was surprised to find it’s not really scary at all, but I didn’t mind because ultimately it was a very powerful and moving read. The illustrations that accompany the story only add another layer to this already poignant book. This is one of the best books I’ve read this year and its message will stay with you long after you turn the last page.
 
Name: Susan B.
Department: Circulation
Years at AHML: 10
Favorite thing you do at work: Checking in books! I love getting to see what’s new and popular.
Best place to read your book: Curled up in bed.
Why you like reading YA: I like reading about characters my age – it makes them easier to relate to.
 
Review by Megan M. 
 
Alyssa is a high school senior, her mother is in a mental institution, and her crush is dating her nemesis. As if that weren't enough for a teenage girl to worry about, Alyssa is also cursed. Alyssa's great-great-great grandmother was Alice, as in the Alice who went down the rabbit hole.  As a result of Alice's actions in wonderland, all the women in Alice's family have been plagued with the ability to hear the voices of flowers and insects which doesn’t have a very beneficial impact on their sanity. 
When Alyssa comes of age, she starts hearing the voices too and worries she'll end up just like her mother.  Alyssa is determined to find a way to rid herself and her mother of the curse before it's too late.  When a shadowy figure named Morpheus shows up from Alyssa's memories she realizes it might not be as hard as she thought to find wonderland but finding out who she can trust in this fantastical new world is another story.
 
Splintered was a creative and entertaining twist on Lewis Carrol's time-honored tale.  I thoroughly enjoyed venturing to this darker version of wonderland and meeting all the more mischievous versions of the classic characters, as well as some very interesting new ones.  Overall, a few sluggish parts aside, Splintered was a delightfully creepy and well-paced read.
 
Name: Megan M.
Department:  Circulation              
Years at AHML:  About 5 with a short hiatus in the middle somewhere.
Favorite Thing I Do at Work:  Getting paid!!!  Just kidding.  Finding awesome new books to read.
Best Place to Read My Book:  Weather permitting, either curled up in bed with my 3 dogs or out tanning by the pool.
Why I Like Reading YA:  It’s fun and there’s lots of variety.
 
ITBA




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 alice on 08.29.13

First things first, if you haven't read Divergent you best get on it!  If you liked the Hunger Games and/or can't get enough of dystopian novels, this series is definitely worth a shot.  
 
The story is set in Chicago (represent!) except it's not the Chicago we know and love.  Everyone is split into different factions or groups that each serve a particular duty and uphold a different virtue to keep the society balanced.  The different factions are Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent).  The novel follows the story of Beatrice, a girl who grew up in the Abnegation faction with the rest of her family.  Beatrice, now 16, must choose a faction to belong to for the rest of her life at a ceremony held every year for 16-year-olds in the society.  It's a pretty difficult choice (it may mean leaving her family forever) and the adventure that follows is intense, action-packed, and full of intrigue.  Yes, intrigue...I mean, in a society like this there's bound to be some mysteries that need to be solved!
 
Interested?  Check it out!
 
More Divergent Stuff!
  1. Curious about which faction you'd belong to?  Take this quiz!  It looks like I'm an even split between Amity and Erudite.  What about you?
     
  2. Divergent is just the first in a series!  Insurgent is already out and the third book, Allegiant, is coming out October 22nd!
     
  3. Veronica Roth is coming to Downers Grove!  To celebrate the release of the third book, she'll be coming to the Tivoli Theater in Downers Grove for a book signing.  Get more info here.
     
  4. They made a Divergent movie and it's coming out in early 2014.  Here's the trailer...
     
 
 




Posted by amypelman on 08.26.13

 
In order to complete the Make it program, we gave you the option of submitting 3 short book reviews to us via email.  We really enjoyed all the reviews that were sent to us, and we just had to share some of them!  School has started, but don’t stop reading for fun!  Use this selection of book reviews written by your friends, classmates and fellow AH teens to help you find your next great read:
 
   
Seizure by Kathy Reichs 
The sequel to the novel Virals, this book continues the adventures of Tory Brennan and her friends in Charleston, South Carolina. In Virals, Tory, Ben, Hi, and Sheldon caught a parvovirus containing wolf DNA (a fatal disease pertaining to dogs that includes vomiting, severe diarrhea, and depression and accompanied by high fever and loss of appetite) that infects humans while trespassing into a private lab in the complex their parents work in. After days of intense sickness, the group realizes that when very emotional, they can flare and have wolf-like instincts and powers. After defeating a powerful enemy, Tory and the pack have a different adventure in Seizure. Loggerhead Island, the place their parents work at, is millions of dollars low on funding and the wildlife and nature are in danger of being sold to land developers; their parents losing their jobs in the process and moving elsewhere. Desperate to stay together, Tory and the pack hear about legendary pirate Anne Bonny’s treasure said to be worth millions. Using their canine abilities, the teens search for the buried treasure against dangerous competitors, risking their own lives and their secret powers. It’s up to them to save Loggerhead Island and stay together as a pack.
 
The Rules – Project Paper Doll by Stacey Kade 
All her life, Ariane Tucker has lived under the rules that supposedly protect her from GTX, the genetic lab from where she has escaped, with her adopted father. Under a false name, Ariane is not who she seems to be. Beneath the fake blue contacts, she is actually a foreign alien and human mix of DNA. Her powers still hidden, Ariane struggles to follow the rules and hide from her peers. However, when seeking vengeance against the queen bee and granddaughter of the doctor of GTX, Rachel Jacobs, Ariane breaks the rules by falling in love and has many close calls being caught by the evil experimenters. But in the end, she is betrayed by people she wouldn’t expect
 
Abandon by Meg Cabot
Pierce Oliviera is no normal 17 year old girl. If you survived a near death experience (NDE) would you? Trying to find a new start on the island of her mother’s birth, Pierce knows she can’t run from a mysterious figure from her supposed childhood fantasies. A death deity seems to follow her around, and is the cause of her coming back to life. But was it worth her parents divorce and relocating to a new home? Pierce falls in love but is faced with a mystery: who else is following her around? And should she go back into the land of the dead? This story is similar to the Greek myth of Persephone and Hades.
 
All reviews by Hannah X.
 
  
Maximum Ride – The Angel Experiment by James Patterson
In this book mutant kids who have DNA of birds in their jeans. They live in a safe house in Colorado staying away from the maniacal scientists who created them and tested them for years. When they are found, their youngest member Angel is kidnapped. The book follows Maximum Ride in her quest to find Angel and bring her home safely.
 
7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers by Sean Covey
This book teaches you how to live your life in the best way possible. The habits are: 1. Be proactive. 2. Begin with the end in mind 3. Put the first things first 4. Think win win 5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood 6. Synergise 7. Renew. They really inspire me and I read the book repeatedly.
 
Both reviews by Patrick F.
 
 

After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick (who will be visiting the Hub on September 3rd!)
This book is about how Jeffrey, a cancer survivor, struggles to pass eighth grade. Due to the medicine he was taking during cancer treatment, he sometimes has trouble learning and listening in class.  His best friend, Tad, who is still in treatment for cancer decides to tutor Jeffrey. But Jeffrey will only do it if, during gym class, Jeffrey can help to get Tad to walk across the stage at graduation. Jeffrey's brother Steven, the one person who Jeffrey has always supported him is now in Africa because he needed time off from college.  Will Jeffrey pass the eighth grade?  Will Jeffrey's supporters come through for him?
I recommend this book to people who like realistic novels with tragedy and comedy.   
Review by Jack S.

 

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
I loved it. I thought I was actually in the story when I was reading it. The adventures the characters had were full of details that were gruesome.  Also I loved how the author put in side comments that were really funny. The book I read is full of gore and adventure. I think this is a book for teenagers, unless you really a want little kid having nightmares. I would give this book a 100/100 because it had all the things I'm looking for. Detail, adventure, and a lot of grimm.
Review by Katie S.