Posted by Trixie on 04.10.13

Permanent Record (2013) by Leslie Stella
“I get this feeling that something bad is happening, like I’m going to come home and find our building burned to the ground or white supremacists chasing my family around with baseball bats, or that this bus is going to crash into the bodega on Clark Street. My head won’t stop with this shit. I know it’s all anxiety. It pummels my brain with thoughts and images of horrible things going down. What is the matter with me? I’m sick of talking about myself. I’m sick of thinking about myself. I’m sick of myself.”
 
 
 
Leslie Stella’s Permanent Record tells the story of Badi Hessamizadeh, an Iranian-American teenager exploring his identity and trying to fit in. The story begins with Badi finding out that he will be transferring to Magnificat Academy from Leighton a Chicago public school due to some destructive behavior, a response to constant, post-9/11 bullying he experiences. To make matters worse, his father also legally changes his name to Bud, something “more American,” hoping that this will help him fit in with his new classmates. Bud struggles with being a normal teenager; he feels like an outcast and at times like he is invisible, a nobody. Unable to assimilate and overlook injustices like the archery club being disbanded to make more room for the football team, he takes a stand and openly expresses his opinion. For that, he is plagued with beatings and bullying. He also becomes the prime suspect for mysterious occurrences that begin happening at the school. It is up to him and his new outcast friends to clear his name and get to the bottom of the mystery.
 

Filled with dark and sardonic humor, Permanent Record will have you laughing out loud. Badi/Bud’s first person narration clearly depicts the depression and anxiety experienced by teens trying to find their place in the world. His keen and witty observations of other characters and situations provide a realistic backdrop for the story and mystery that unfolds. For those that loved The Perks of Being a Wallflower, this is a great read for you. You’ll love outcast Badi/Bud and his determination to battling injustice.

 




Posted by alice on 04.09.13

 
Chicago has a lot of names: The Windy City, The Second City, Chi-Town... but I like to call it home.  
 
Now even though you may not live in the city limits, you know as well as any person who lives in the suburbs that when you go on vacation you always tell people you're from Chicago.  It's just easier, right?
 
Well this slightly warmer weather of late got me driving down Lake Shore Drive, and it was glorious!  The weather was beautiful (what I like to call sweatshirt weather) and it was approaching dusk so all the city lights were beginning to turn on.  It just made me appreciate living in this beautiful city.
 
If you're feeling love for Chicago, I would check out these links.
 
A photographer who takes some really wonderful shots of Chicago.
 

A documentary where quintessential Brit, Stephen Fry, goes on a cross country road trip throughout the states.  The video above shows the portion where he visits Chicago, but the whole series is really worth the watch.  You can find it here at the library!
 
Rocco Buttliere, a teenager from Buffalo Grove, builds amazing replicas of the city's most recognizable buildings!
 
Image Credit: Nick Gerber




Posted by amypelman on 04.09.13

Breaking News: The Hub is going to open its doors on Monday, April 15th.

***Area teenagers elated that they are finally going to have a great space at the library - created just for them - where they can hang out, do homework, make stuff, play video games, talk, laugh, and generally enjoy life.***

Once an area of the library that housed mere bookshelves, The Hub has been wildly transformed into a flexible, fun, comfortable space for everyone in 7th - 12th grade.  
 
It was quite an operation getting The Hub ready for Opening Day:
 
Now it's a room that has chairs like this (art made by students):
 
And a big light that changes colors like this:
 
And comfortable couches like these:
 
And much more!  So stop by and say hi!  Make yourself at home.  Check out a Macbook, or kick-back on the comfy couch and read, work with your friends on your homework, use the DIY area to create something, hang out and play PS3, Xbox or Wii... the possibilities are great.  Can't wait to see you here!




Posted by mkrueger on 04.05.13

One of the more interesting video series on Youtube right now is Minute Physics. This web series, created by Henry Reich, explains Physics related topics often in minute long videos. Reich creates time-lapsed drawings to give viewers a visual representation of the subject he discusses. This particular post contains Minute Physics' video on parallel universes. The videos can be very addictive, and are well worth checking out!
 
 
Want more Minute Physics? Click HERE
 
 




Posted by Trixie on 04.04.13

Today, at the age of 70, Roger Ebert passed away after a long battle with cancer. Ebert reviewed movies for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years and on TV for 31 years. Not only revered and respected in his hometown of Chicago, he was the first critic to win a Pulitzer Prize and be awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He even received a special achievement "Person of the Year" Webby Award in 2010 . Many know him from his and Gene Siskel's show At the Movies. Ebert wrote 17 books in total - not just collections of reviews, but also, a novel and a cookbook! He even wrote a few screenplays.
 
His keen eye, knowledge and wit will certainly be missed by moviegoers. Honor this Illinois native, influential film critic by checking out one of the books he wrote.
 
 
 
Ebert reflects on his life and career in this memoir.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A collection of Ebert's reviews originally published in the Chicago Sun-Times for the past 30 months.
 
 
 
 
 
 
A chronicle of Scorsese's feature films, this book collects eleven interviews of an acclaimed director by a prominent film critic.
 
 
 
 
For more information about Roger Ebert, check out his website.
 




Posted by alice on 04.02.13

 
Ho hey! (Good song!  But I definitely prefer the Chickeneers version!)

Have you watched the new The Perks of Being a Wallflower movie? It’s the one starring Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller, Nina Dobrev, and Emma Watson.  It came out on DVD and Blu-Ray recently, and I just had the opportunity to watch it over the weekend.  This may not sound like a big deal, but it was a big deal.

Like many movies that come out lately, this one is based on a book.  The book is called (whaddyaknow) The Perks of Being a Wallflower written by Stephen Chbosky.  Now why was it such a big deal to watch this movie based on this book?  Well… it’s because I love this book.  You know the feeling, right?  If not, see below.

You love a book when:
1. You instantly click with the main character in the first few chapters.
2. You feel like you really know the people in the story by the middle.
3. You wonder what happens to them after you read the last page.

I love this book like that.  And, I didn’t want questionable acting or crazy amounts of added action to ruin the story as it was.  But since the film was written and directed by the author of the novel, I knew that there was a possibility that it would be ok.  Just… maybe.

Verdict?  The film did the book justice.  Some scenes were changed, some scenes were taken out, and some scenes were exactly as I imagined them.  If you go to high school in the suburbs, I think you’ll find certain sets like the football game and the cafeteria eerily accurate.  And if your high school experience is like mine was, you'll definitely feel for Charlie as he tries to dance awkwardly at homecoming.  All in all, the spirit of the film was spot-on with the spirit of the book.  More than that, you could tell that making the film was a labor of love.  And, as one would say here on the internet, “It gave me all the feels!”
 
So yeah, it's kind of a relief.  I can live happily knowing that one of my favorite books has a great movie counterpart.  Now I'll just have to worry about the The Fault in Our Stars movie!
 




Posted by amypelman on 04.01.13

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Well?  Did you fall for any of them?  Did you think Google Nose was real and you could start sniffing stuff online? Would Twitter really to start charging us to twt vwlls? Did you believe youtube was an elaborate 8 year contest to find the best video ever? Nah. Me neither!  No seriously though, I have fallen for online April Fools Day headlines in years past. Let's just say I truly understood the meaning of facepalm on those days.
 
Check out all the cool stuff http://www.thinkgeek.com/ has on sale today!  Play-doh 3D printer anyone? Just try to buy one of those products... go ahead, I dare ya. 
 
My favorite internet craziness is the Google Treasure Map layer!  They went all out for this, even putting together this very elaborate video. Something tells me too much work went into this one just for an April Fools Day prank, so I think it should be around for a while.  Go to Google maps and turn it on, search for places, zoom in and find all sorts of cool stuff!   Can you find Gangnam Style?  How about a Yeti?  Search for Area 51!  Try dialing this is in to the search box and see what happens: 79.74, 22.67
 
 
What kinds of April Fools stuff went down in your world?
 




Posted by Trixie on 03.28.13

 
If you're anything like me, you can't get enough of Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs. Instead of dyeing hard boiled eggs for Easter, try making this easy recipe (via chicagoist) for yummy, homemade peanut butter eggs. Everyone will love a delectable, handmade treat in their Easter basket!
 
Ingredients:
4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups natural peanut butter
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 Tbs 2% milk
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 Tbs butter
 
Directions:
First, combine the powdered sugar, peanut butter, and butter using an electric mixer. Next, slowly add the milk until it becomes a formable dough. Now, you're ready to form the eggs (or any shape - consider using cookie cutters if you want different shapes).
 
Place the formed dough on a wax paper-lined baking sheet and place in the freezer to harden for about a half hour.
 
Once you are ready to dip your dough in chocolate, melt the chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons butter in the microwave, warming and stirring in 30 second increments. 
 
Next, coat each egg with chocolate and place back on the wax lined-baking sheet. Let the eggs set in the freezer or fridge and store in the fridge until you are ready to eat them.
 
Finally, enjoy the fruits of your labor! 
 
DIY




Posted by alice on 03.26.13

Hi there!  How is everyone’s spring break so far?  This winter weather is seriously not conducive to spring breaking.  I’m just going to go ahead and say it— Punxatawney Phil is a liar!

If you’re looking for a way to keep in touch with your friends during your week off, try out this new app called Voxer (http://www.voxer.com).  It basically turns your phone into a walkie talkie by recording a snippet of audio and sending it to your contact in real time.  Not only can you talk to your friends in walkie talkie fashion, but you can also send pictures and text through the app too.

The best news about the app is that you can use walkie talkie lingo and pretend to be a pilot!  Below are just a couple of walkie talkie codes you may want to use.

Breaker 1-9  I want to start a transmission
10-4  Okay
Big 10-4  Yes
Roger That  Understood
Over and Out  I’m done talking
Negatory  No
Affirmative  Yes
Do you copy?  Can you hear me?
Copy that  I heard you
What’s your handle?  What’s your nickname?
Got your ears on?  Are you on air and listening?
What’s your 20? Where are you?

The second best news about the app is that it’s free for both Apple and Android.

Also, while you’re here, make sure to vote on what you think is the best app!  The poll can be found to the right of this post. 
 
Over and out!
 




Posted by amypelman on 03.25.13

 
I've got a beautiful stack of brand new books right next to me (some haven't even been published yet!) and I'd love to find a good home for them.  Want to win one?  Here's all you have to do.  If you don't already follow us on Twitter: (https://twitter.com/HUB500) do that.  Then tweet us the book you're currently reading.  For instance, your tweet could look something like this: @hub500 I'm reading Legend by Marie Lu!  Do I win a book?  And I'll direct message you with how to pick up your prize!!  Cool?  Cool.