Posted by Trixie on 03.30.15

"I start to run, start to turn into air, the blue careening off the sky, careening after me, as I sink into green, shades and shades of it, blending and spinning into yellow, freaking yellow, then head-on colliding in the punk-hair purple of lupine: everywhere. I vacuum it in, all of it, in, in – (SELF-PORTRAIT: Boy Detonates Grenade of Awesome) – getting happy now, the gulpy, out-of-breath kind that makes you feel you have a thousand lives crammed inside your measly one…"
 
I'll Give You the Sun gif
 
I absolutely adored this book! It’s beautifully written and had me laughing, crying, and completely giddy. I raced through it like light speeding through the universe.
 
(SELF-PORTRAIT: Teen Librarian Squealing with Delight)
 
Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun is about twins Noah and Jude. Like most twins, they are incredibly close; they have an uncanny ability to know what the other is thinking and can finish each other’s sentences. Noah is an eccentric artist. He’s constantly drawing or painting, sometimes just in his head. Jude is a gregarious daredevil. She loves surfing and makes friends easily. The story begins when the twins are thirteen, a time when they’re experiencing change and exploring life. It continues through sixteen when they’ve seemingly switched roles. They’re coming to terms with the heartbreak they’ve felt due to tragedy and loss, tentatively living their lives and trying to rebuild.
 
The novel shifts between Noah’s and Jude’s perspectives alternating from early to later years. The voices and viewpoints juxtaposed plainly shows that neither character has the whole story. Throughout Noah’s narration, his artist mind is evident: he’s constantly imagining his surroundings in colors and relays how he’d describe the moment on canvas or paper and what he’d name it. Jude’s are filled with quirky wives’ tales and superstition.
 
Nelson’s writing is lyrical and expressive. The characters and imagery jump off the page. The characters’ confusion, heartache, and elation are felt through description. Nelson weaves a vivid tale of life, loss, and love intertwined with a message about self-identity and being true to yourself.
 
This is a must-read for romantics, artists, inspiration seekers, and lovers of words!
 




Posted by red_sonya on 03.23.15

We have many anime and manga lovers in the HUB, which is why we created Anime Academy. Originally, it started out as a monthly anime screening instead of our usual Friday night movie back on March 28th 2014. Now we are only a few days away from our one year anniversary!
 
                                           
 
The very first anime night we watched Fruits Basket and created shrinky-dinks of our favorite characters. Next we had a Black Butler tea party, which is where we created the name Anime Academy. We also had a program all about making ramen healthy.
                                       
 
The very first official Anime Academy meeting was on July 25th 2014 at the La Corda d’Oro program. Since then, we’ve watched Fairy Tail, Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland, Sailor Moon, and Angel Beats!. Each program has a craft that coincides with the anime we watch. Recently, we started implementing a drawing and language lesson into the meetings that relates to the anime we watch.
                                                
 
We’ve had some very special events, like our Cosplay night back in October. We are hoping to make it even bigger and better this upcoming year.
                     
 
Just a few days ago, March 21st 2015, we had artist Susan Sieber come host a manga drawing workshop.
Anime Academy has a very loyal following, and is a big part of the HUB. We are always trying to come up with new program ideas and ways to make Anime Academy even better.
 
      
 
In May I will be at ACEN (Anime Central) gathering as much information and new ideas as I can handle.
 
                            
 
Anime Academy is something that I love hosting and enjoy immensely. This is a thank you to everyone who has made Anime Academy what it is today. We are looking forward to another amazing year filled with even more anime than the last.
 

See you space cowboy. 
 




Posted by emather on 03.17.15

Last Thursday, the AHML Studio was a hotbed of creativity. A bunch of aspiring musicians and producers showed up for our Become a Remix Master program, and took what was originally a pretty simple, unoriginal, and dumb song (we literally titled it DUMB SONG) and used the Studio's tools to alter and adjust different parts of the song into some really exciting and original remixes.
 
(All of this practice as producers and remixers gave teens the skills they need for our Battle of the Recorded Bands, where teen musicians record and submit songs to win awesome prizes like TicketMaster gift cards, raffles from Guitar Center, and chances to perform at HUB programs. If you're interested in participating, check out the site or send us an email.)
 
We first went over how the song was created in Garage Band. Give the original DUMB SONG a listen:
 
 
 
We learned how to change instruments, adjust the tempo, and overlay filters using GarageBand. Then the teens each got a copy of the original DUMB SONG file and took over the Studio.
 

 
 
Using some of the awesome Studio tools like our vocal booth and instruments, they each made their own remixes. Teens only had about an hour and a half to remix. Some remixes ended up being more different or similar to the originals, or that much more complex, depending on what directions and tools teens decided to go with. Teens changed up the instruments, wrote new musical parts, and even did some super creative things with sound effects. 
 
 

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So here they are, some awesome teen remixes. Despite their titles, these songs are notably NOT dumb. 
 
 




Posted by emather on 01.09.15

 
 
 
 
 
We are liars. We are beautiful and privileged. We are cracked and broken.
 
 
 
We Were Liars by e. lockhart is narrated by Cadence, the oldest Sinclair grandchild, and the latest in a line of old-money wealth. Each summer, the Sinclairs vacation on their own private island, Beechwood, off the coast of Massachusetts. Cady, her cousins Johnny and Mirren, and friend (and sometimes more) Gat – the four “Liars” – have been attached at the hip since their eighth summer on the island. During the fifteenth summer, though, Cadence suffers a calamity she cannot remember. Even more mysterious is that her family refuses to tell her about it. She spends the next several years in a fog of debilitating migraines, pills, and partial amnesia. As she returns to Beechwood for her seventeenth summer, she attempts to piece together the mystery of what happened and why her relatives are behaving so peculiarly.
 
Cady is an incredibly unreliable narrator, and the both emotional and mental toll her injuries have taken are evident in the novel’s jumbled, nonlinear plot and beautiful impressionistic language. Cadence and the Liars take a long hard look at the Sinclair’s wealth, privilege, and concealed racism. With allusions as varied as King LearWuthering Heights, and classic fairy tales, it’s a familiar story of family squabbles amid decadent wealth, and star-crossed love. (Cady and Gat share some of the steamiest hand holding scenes this side of Eleanor & Park.) The mystery and emotions boil over in a twist thatmight have you hurling the book across the room before rushing to pick it up and race to finish.
 
 
 
(We Were Liars is an option in our poll for Favorite YA Book of 2014. Go vote for your pick!)
 




Posted by Trixie on 12.23.14

 
If you haven't heard, we have a 3D printer and scanner in the Hub! So far, we've had a couple of programs teaching teens how to 3D model their own designs and use this technology.
 
Besides printing out cool trinkets and rapid prototyping, 3D printing has many practical uses too. Imagine printing out a missing piece to your favorite board game or replicating a lost button on a well-worn sweater. You can even use a 3D printer for household repairs! Recently, a pair of brackets for blinds in my apartment broke. Instead of going out and buying new brackets, I decided to model a pair using TinkerCAD. See the different design iterations below.
 
 
If you are interested in learning more about the library's 3D printers, join us at one of these upcoming programs or stop by the Hub to chat.
DIY




Posted by emather on 11.18.14

Fight the slipperiness, press the valves firmly,
play the love, the hate,
the misery, the hope,
the freedom that I wanted, never wanted, can’t have;
that doesn’t exist.
 
 
In The Sound of Letting Go, seventeen-year-old Daisy, an exceptional trumpet player, often feels like a “third parent” for her autistic younger brother, Steven. She and her parents feel trapped by their responsibilities towards Steven, and the burden has put definite strains on her parents’ marriage. The family is growing more fearful of Steven’s increasingly violent outbursts. These have become worse since he “has morphed from challenging autistic boy/ to dangerous, nonverbal near-man." After her parents decide to move Steven to a residential facility, Daisy is upset. The usually-responsible Daisy tries to work through her complex and conflicting emotions by rebelling. Some of these are mild, like wearing edgier outfits involving more black and an increase in eyeliner. Some are more out-of-character, like getting steamy in parked cars with the local “bad boy,” and ditching band class.
 
Author Stasia Ward Kehoe wrote the novel in verse from Daisy’s first-person point of view. The poetic style serves the tone and character well, instead of becoming another cliché or gimmick. The irregular asymmetrical rhythm of the writing reflects both Daisy’s love of jazz and her conflicted emotions. It’s through music that she best expresses and understands the world, where her muddled emotions find more solid ground. (It’s also nice to find a character so involved in school band, something that’s so common in real life but rarely seen in YA books.) The novel doesn’t offer any grand statements or easy answers. Still, like all good jazz, the strands of melody converge and build a complex harmony.
 




Posted by alice on 11.16.14

This week, we're asking you to doodle on Evan's face!
 
 
This is how it works...
 
  1. Print out or download this picture of Evan.
  2. Draw a cool beard pattern onto Evan's face. You can use a photo editing software like Pixlr. (Tip: It helps if you use a bright color!)
  3. Send it to teens@ahml.info or tag it with #ShaveEvansBeard
  4. We'll put your drawings to a vote next week!
  5. In December, our awesome Teen Advisor, Evan, will shave his beard to look like the winning drawing!
 
Think about it... Evan could shave his beard to look like Seneca Crane's!
 
 




Posted by emather on 11.05.14

We had an awesome time last Thursday at the HORRORible Movie Roast. We watched the hilariously awful movie Troll 2. (Just to show you how bad it is: It's not even about Trolls. It's about goblins.)
 
Teens rotated as roasters, using an app called MuVChat to type their jokes and mockery on screen with the movie. Here's just a taste of some of the best jokes teens made while laughing at this cheese-tastic horror flick. 
 
#NoFilter
 
#NoFilter
 
 
Seems Legit
 
Free warm milk from a total stranger? Seems legit...
 
 
 
Groot
 
I...am...GROOOOOT?!?!?!?
 
 
And this scene? This scene is so amazingly terrible that we were left speechless by convulsive giggles. (Warning: People in terrible goblin costumes pretend to eat a puddle of green goo that I guess used to be a person? So kind of gross maybe? But also hilarious.)
 
 
 
 
Hope you'll join us for our next Movie Roast, whenever that may be!
 




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 emather on 10.01.14

 
 
 
Last week was Banned Books Week, where we celebrate our right to read and intellectual freedom. In the Hub on Tuesday, September 23rd, we played Dangerous Knowledge: Banned Books Trivia, where we ate pizza and learned tons of weird and hilarious/depressing trivia about books that have been banned or challenged.
 
Some examples of questions:
 
Q: What personal account of a girl's life from 1942 - 1944 was banned for "being too depressing"?
 
 
Q: What author of an often-banned fantasy series had trouble boarding a plane with the only manuscript of her upcoming book?
A: J.K. Rowling (the Harry Potter series)
 
The winning team members each won a gift card to Amazon (hopefully to buy a banned book.) Then everyone took some mugshots with their favorite banned books. Check 'em out: