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 Trixie on 09.12.14

 
Last month the library launched a community-wide reading program: One Book, One Village! This fall we'll rally around the book Ordinary Grace written by William Kent Krueger. Besides reading and discussing, teens can participate in other ways. There are programs you can attend over the next couple of months including an author visit. In the Hub, we'll have One Book, One Village related drop-in activities and contests.
 
Stop by and join the conversation!
 
SEPTEMBER
  • LEGOsota 1961
    Stop by the Hub and help us recreate New Bremen using LEGOs. Drop in.
  • youD 3D Contest
    What object or symbol from Ordinary Grace do you think best represents the book? Post to any of our social media pages with the tag #youD3D or email us at teens@ahml.info. Make suggestions for participants to 3D model at the youD 3D program on Monday, October 27th. If your object is selected, get a 3D print of your suggestion!

OCTOBER

  • DIY Dog Tags
    Make your very own military dog tags in the Hub. Drop in.
  • Photo Reenact
    Reenact a scene from Ordinary Grace and post to one of our social media accounts with the tag #OBOVphoto or email us at teens@ahml.info for a chance to win.
 




Posted by Trixie on 08.25.14

You may have noticed the Ice Bucket Challenge that went viral over the past few weeks. Well, the Hub's staff was challenged. Naturally, we accepted.
 
 
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease) is a disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. Degeneration of motor neurons, leads to weakness and muscle atrophy throughout the body, eventually leading to difficulty with walking, swallowing, and even breathing. Most diagnosed with this disease die from respiratory failure.
 
We've put together this list of resources to help you understand ALS. Before you take the plunge, learn about the disease that's been brought into the spotlight with clever marketing.
 
 




Posted by Trixie on 08.14.14

It's been awhile since we've shared local teen writing on here so I'm passing along a story submitted by Bridget K. to complete a RIGHT BRAIN challenge for the teen summer reading program! It's part of a book she's working on - hope we'll hear more from her soon!
 
 
The Elevator Adventures
 
1
It had seemed as if this pudgy lady has been following Martin for days. He saw her on the street and the hall to the apartment complex. Plus every time on the elevator she was there. He even broke his leg trying to get away, so now he was trapped, forced to ride the elevator to the third floor with his crutches and all. His father didn’t believe him, but he knew he was right.
     
On his way home it happened again. She was right there, in the elevator with this peculiar smile on her face. Then, once they were between floors she pressed the “STOP” button. Martin face went as white as a ghost. She gave a slight snort-ish chuckle as she did it, which made him even more anxious. He went into pure panic inside, but on the outside, frozen. Martin wanted to scream and bang the walls, but couldn't move. He was a statue.
   
A little while later the wall to the elevator, the one directly across from the door opened. He thought that was a wallpaper line beforehand. Actually it was the Person Protection Program's Headquarters.
   
"Sorry that I kind of laughed, I knew you would panic. That was mean of me. You may be wondering why you’re here. Oh, I'm agent M., your mother."
   
"My mother?" Martin asked shocked, almost queasy. His dad would only say that his mother died and needed to.
   
"Yes, I know it's a shock but you need to come into the room. I will explain everything once we're inside and you’re safe." The room was, dizzying to Martin, since the quick announcement. In the room computers, technology, and other gadgets filled it. It was a computer geek heaven.
   
He hobbled into the hidden office. His leg ached, his head ached as well. "I need to sit down," Martin exclaimed.
   
"Go ahead. Martin, you need to listen now, you are in great danger. I was in the elevator to protect you."
   
"What?"
   
"Elevators are not safe. You could get trapped with a member of SCT, Special Children torturers. You are on their list of victims."
   
"Oh my, why would they want me?" Martin wondered, "Why am I so special?"
   
"Because you’re smart. You have a lot of things they want. They know your powers, but you don't,"
   
"Powers?" Martin said truly confused.
   
"You can do stuff. You’re special. We just don't know what yet."
   
Martin thought the room was spinning. He breathed heavily. Then, blank! He passed out.
   
"Martin, Martin" agent M. said as he woke up in a white doctor like room.
   
"The other girl on the list, Amy, heeled your leg. She found her powers, after we found her, luckily. Try walking."
   
He cautiously went off the bed, shocked on how well his leg was.
   
"H, h, how, how," Martin asked speechless.
   
"She's special, like you."
   
"Then, what about me? What can I do?"
 
"We'll know soon Martin, soon" as she patted him on the head and walked away. Then Martin started to slowly drift away into a deep sleep.  Martin’s dreams are always strange; he sometimes tries to forget them and never succeeds.
 
2
Then Martin was suddenly waked up, being shaken. "We're under attack!" A woman whispered in a panicky kind of way, "I'm Amy, nice to meet you, wish it didn't have to be in this way. We have to get out. Once we get to the streets try to blend in," Amy was a beautiful straight blondie with sapphire blue eyes. Skinny, yet tough.
   
"Ummmm, How do we? We're in the middle of the building, no windows, elevator blocked!" Martin started to panic, again.
   
"Don't panic, we have to stay calm. Hmmmm... we’ll go through the vent." She said staring at the ceiling.
   
"How do we get up? The ceiling is super high."
   
"We jump."
   
"How?"
   
"Think 'high' and jump"
   
He did what she said as he followed her lead. The ground was like being on a super bouncy trampoline. They yanked it off in one, and went through on two.
   
They crawled through carefully, trying not to make a loud bang. Then, saws came through the vent floor circling around them. They must have been a tiny bit too loud. It was the SCT...
   
Bang! They hit the ground hard and immediately bags went over their heads creating total darkness. As they kicked and squirmed, the SCT dragged them along. They did until Amy kicked one in the face, knocking one of them out. She crawled out of the bag, tripped one by sweeping her leg then popped up and started to really fight.
   
There was a hole in Martins sack, so he watched her elegantly knock them out and beat them up. Then the one carrying Martin let go of his bag, trying to fight Amy. Amy knocked him out just by punching him once. 'Wow!' Martin thought.
   
"Come on, quickly," she said egging him on.
   
"Okay," he said impressed.
   
They walked to the door and went out into the street. Amy started talking about homework.
   
"What?" Martin said
   
"What do you have for homework?" Amy said as Martin caught on.
   
"It's the weekend, silly" he exclaimed as he played along.
   
"Oh, right, silly me... So, if you could pick what would you want your name to be?" Amy asked Martin knew that she was talking in code.
   
"Max. How about you?"
   
"Emilia."
   
"Cool!" Martin said in awe, what a beautiful name for such a beautiful girl.
   
"So, Max," Amy said as she winked, "What do you want to do while we're out of the house?"
   
"I'm not sure... What do you want to do?"
   
"Let's go to the ice cream parlor"
     
"I want my 15 cents back" Amy said suddenly irritated.
 
"What did you order, mam"
   
"Two super peanut butter clusters."
   
"Come with me to the manager’s office and he will settle it for you," the ice cream man said calm and cool. He led them through a series of doorways. One was a locked wooden door with pitch black windows that lead to a safe door with a keyboard.
   
"Passcode Amy," she typed it in, Martin totally not understanding any of this.
   
"We are safe, for now." Amy said.
   
"What about finding my powers? How are we going to do that?"
   
"We'll know when the world wants us to know."
   
"I hope that's soon. I need to defend myself somehow."
   
"I hope so to Martin," they waited for what to do next, but no one came. Where are they...
    
3
Amy and Martin searched the perimeters and where shocked at what they found.
   
As they ventured back behind the waiting room, they found it ripped up, literally.
   
First thing, there's a big gaping hole in the wall, looking out into the city, people looking in disbelief.
   
"How in the world did they know?" Martin said appalled
   
"I, I have no clue," Amy said stunned. All the sudden, she notice agent M. Lying on the floor underneath the rubble, "Agent M!" she exclaimed.
   
"Amy, Martin," she replied sounding weak. Amy rushed over and Martin did as well.
   
"I've never healed someone this injured! What, what do I do?" she stuttered.
   
"You try," Martin said trying to have full confidence in her.
   
"I just can't have the 'norms' watching. I, I just can't" she said sounding manic.
   
Martin started to try to pick up a slab of cement ruble to use as a barrier, also trying to find his power. It didn't work. He got angry "Why. why can't I do anything! I, I have to do this!" He growled and kicked the stone. Even with his skinned body and rubbery muscles, it flew into pieces. "What? What!" now he was determined and picked another large cement slab. "There. Go!" He said picking it up with ease. Amy stared as he knew she would.
   
"Martin," she said all giddy, like she was going to hug him.  
   
"Go! She needs to be happy, given hugs, and have health, not me,"
   
Amy started right there and then, with a huge, sweet smile on her face, almost blushing. Martin didn't notice that blushing part though, to preoccupied on picking up a heavy cement slab. As she did her thing, Martin felt his strength deteriorating as he got more and more like 'I'm the best' and 'You’re the guy' kind of self centered thoughts. He panicked, 'what' he thought and got the 'have to, trying to save a life and the world here' thoughts. Then it was all good again. 'Hmm' he thought, trying not to make a big deal out of it, but still a little confused.
   
When Amy was done, Martin could no longer see any gashes, even scars on agent M. She no longer looked in pain. For some reason he could not call her 'Mom,' apparently it was dangerous. Martin did not understand that, but still did as he was told.
   
"Agent M. How do you feel?" Amy asked
   
"As good as new," She replied, as Amy helped her to her feet.
   
"Good," Amy and Martin said in unison.
   
"Where do we go now? Definitely not the safe house, nor the headquarters, and now we're exposed!" Martin said running out of options.
   
"Martin, now it is the time for you and Amy to save yourselves and the world from the SCT" agent M. said trying to calm him, a little, but let him see the volume of this situation as well.
   
"But, but we're just kids, well Amy does have some moves, but I have no experience whatsoever. I, I have to emit, my strength did go up and down, I don't know why, I just don't want to mess it up. And,"
   
"Whoa, Martin, did you say your strength went up and down, what do you mean by that?" Amy said quite concerned.
   
"I mean I was weak than strong, then somewhat weak, then strong again, Why do you ask?"
   
"Martin, try... try turning invisible," Amy said trying to see what this is.
   
"I can't!" he exclaimed
   
"Martin, that's a member of SCT! Turn invisible now, you have to!"
   
"What!" Martin panicked, turning invisible on the spot.
   
"I knew it!" Amy said figuring it out.
   
"What?" Martin said not catching on, as he turned visible again.
   
"Martin, you have something very, very, very special, very rare," Amy explained, getting excited.
   
"So?"
   
"So, you, Martin, can do any type of power, for good, important, reasons. The downside is, you cannot do use them whenever you want, only when it's for the greater good."
   
"Wait, what? So, you’re saying I can do anything?" Martin said getting excited.
   
"Yes, but only when it's truly needed, and when you don't think highly of yourself," Amy exclaimed making sure he understood.
   
"Cool!"
   
"They only really bad part is," agent M. said worryingly, "is that the SCT will want to execute you even more."
   
"Lovely," Martin said being sarcastic.
   
"Martin!" Amy gasped hugging him. She was worried, she needed him, in a friend that saves your life kind of way, "I can't let them take you, I love you," The ‘I love you’ part kind of slipped out.
   
He was staring blankly when it registered, "What?"
   
"Sorry, I, I, didn't..."
   
"Do you?"  
   
"Sort of," she said shyly.
 
He kissed her on the forehead saying, "Me to, Amy, me to," embracing the hug. They stood there for a while in the rubble, forgetting about agent M.
 
 




Posted by Trixie on 06.27.14

 
Yesterday, we learned some basic movie-making principles and explored the equipment and resources the library has to offer. Then, each team was given a filming assignment with specific instructions to hone their visual thinking skills. Here's one of the videos that resulted: the challenge was to film a subject ascending and descending stairs. Heather H., Lynette H., and Emma K., great job!
 
 
Want to learn more about film-making? Come into the Hub for help with your film, to use video editing software, or to check out cameras, tripods, and more!
 
We're accepting submissions for the 8th Annual Film Fest! Get the specs and register for upcoming film-making class here.




Posted by Trixie on 06.18.14

 
Yesterday we welcomed Kathleen an instructor from Pulsation Yoga for an invigorating yoga practice. We learned about the benefits of incorporating a regular yoga practice into our lives. Besides improving flexiblity and building strength, yoga can give us an energy boost, provide balance in our busy lives, and help us relax.
 
Photo from the yoga practice: a circle of trees opening their hearts to the sky
 
For the second part of the program, Paulina & Erica from Pure Juice talked about making healthy, delicious smoothies. They demonstrated how to make three of their most popular smoothies, complete with samples for all participants! Green Goddess was my favorite - stop by there and let me know which ones you like the best!
 




Posted by Trixie on 05.12.14

 
Laura Lee Gulledge’s graphic novel Will & Whit is a perfect example of why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. At first glance, I assumed it was a teen romance. Don’t get me wrong; there’s nothing wrong with teen romance. I checked it out and turned out to be wrong about the book’s plot.
 
The story is about a teenager trying to face her fears and deal with tragedy as well as friendship, her supporting cast. It’s about summer adventures and creativity. “Problems just force us to be more creative, right?” As far as creativity, Gulledge’s illustrations are fantastic. Black and white drawing that seems to radiate off the page, creepy shadows cast that enrich the story. “You know, in the dark, people see what they want to see.” It’s a great graphic novel for someone that likes realistic fiction and coming-of-age stories. It kind of reminded me of The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
 
As a bonus, Gulledge includes a few extras, like the soundtrack she envisions for the book (included below, less one song), her inspiration and a recipe for the Blue Crush Cookies referenced. Who’s going to bake the cookies and bring ‘em to the Hub? Any takers (or bakers)?
 
 




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 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.