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 tspicer on 05.02.14

We had 4 amazing bands/musicians record 6 different songs in the library's Digital Studios in this year's contest ... and the voting was tight! Thanks to all the bands and all of you who voted! We would also like to thank the generosity of Guitar Center of Arlington Heights for teaching free Teen Music classes here at the library and for their donations ... thanks!  
 
The winner of the Battle of the Recorded Bands contest is ...
  • Come February for 'Blame it on the Rain'! Congratulations to Hannah K., Anna M. and Carly B. of Come February! Your band will receive Guitar Center gift cards and will be invited to play a live set at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library.
 
We also would like to announce the winners of the giveaways generously donated to our contest by Guitar Center of Arlington Heights.  The giveaways are 1) a most excellent Acoustic guitar (with guitar stand!) and 2) a Ukulele.  The winners for the giveaways are ....
 
  • For the Guitar and Guitar Stand: Carly B. of Come February!
  • For the Ukulele: Jared K. of Cross Roads!
 
Thanks again to all of you for making our first ever BATTLE OF THE RECORDED BANDS totally ROCK!




Posted by alice on 05.01.14

Q: What is the make, model, and year of Dean Winchester's beloved car?
A: Highlight the text between the brackets for the answer... [1967 Chevy Impala]
 
Q: What does Dumbledore leave in his will for Ron?
A: Highlight the text between the brackets for the answer... [The Deluminator]
 
These are just a couple of questions that were asked during our Fandom Trivia Night last Friday!
 
Fangirls and Fanboys grouped into teams to prove that they were the most knowledgeable in all things fandoms. The fandoms included for our trivia night included SuperWhoLock, Hunger Games, Disney/Pixar, Marvel, Harry Potter, Twilight, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars! Whew...that's a lot of fandoms.
 
Here's our night in pictures...
 

Prizes! Prizes! Prizes! Including sweet, colorful headphones for our big winners!
 
 
Contestants gearing up for the next trivia question. There were 100 questions asked that night!
 
This is Rosa as Bellatrix Lestrange! We had a Cosplay contest and she was our winner! She walked away with a Time Turner from Harry Potter.
 
and...
 
It was truly a nerdy, fandom-filled weekend because C2E2 was in town! That's how I got to go in the TARDIS! I am now traveling through time and space with the Doctor. Jealous?
 
 
 
WANT MORE TRIVIA? Join us for Smart Cookie: Lit Trivia and test your knowledge on all things books! Register
 
WANT MORE FANDOMS? Follow us on Tumblr and enjoy Sonya's liveblogging as she journeys through ACEN 5/16-5/18!
 
WANT MORE FANDOM TRIVIA? What other fandoms would you like to see the next time we have Fandom Trivia Night? Tell us in the comments.
 
 




Posted by emather on 04.16.14

At April 6th's GuitArduino program, a bunch of teens built musical instruments using an Arduino microcontroller. We learned the basics of Arduino and how to code it, some circuitry and electronics skills, and eventually built light-sensitive music players. Check out these videos of some teens tearing it up on their creations!
 
 
 
 




Posted by emather on 04.08.14

On the Friday before Spring Break, Chicago indie rock band Sunjacket come by AHML to eat pizza, talk with teens about the ins & outs of being a working musician, and then trained them to be their "roadies," setting up all of their equipment to play a live gig in the library. We learned how to set up some audio gear, do a sound check, made a lot of noise, and had a lot of fun!
 
Check out this music video for their song "Partition" (It's misspelled in the video. Oops!) with footage from the night shot by HUB Teen Advisory Board volunteers!
 
 




Posted by alice on 03.27.14

 
2048. Not 16. Not 128. Not even 1024. But 2048. That's the number you've got to hit. That's the number you've got to work up to. That's the number that escapes my grasp! That's the number I dream about at night!
 
So...rewind...I've been playing this game called 2048. It's available in the App Store and you can even play an online clone of it here. You swipe left, right, up, and down to add the number tiles currently on your board. Only like numbers can be combined, so you've got to really work up to get the big numbers. Especially since each swipe adds a 2 or a 4 tile on the board. Also, once all the tile slots are filled, the game's over...so you've got to be really careful about where you place your tiles. It's easier to understand if you see it, so I completely recommend giving it a shot. Just be warned that this game is highly addictive!
 
I hope that one day I'll be able to get that 2048 number. *crosses fingers*
 
If you do play, what's your high score? Leave it in the comments and we'll compare!




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 alice on 02.28.14

Last Friday we had our first-ever Mini Teen Film Fest!
 
We had a blast gathering in the Hub to watch all the submissions of movies that were 1 minute or less. TAB, our Teen Advisory Board, was also there to judge the films and decide who would be awarded iTunes gift cards and the bragging rights that go with each winner's title.
 
Here is the list of the prize-winning categories and the films that went with them! Congrats to all the filmmakers for making this such a fun, film-filled night!
 
Audience Favorite
Emmy P. for Modern Pan
 
Here's a picture of Emmy with her iTunes gift cards. She took a photo in our Photo Booth for <3 Your Library Month!
 
Best Overall Film
Emmy P. for Modern Pan
 
Best Mini-Themed Film
Peyton M. for Unknown Army
 
Best Animated or Stop-Motion Film
Melanie T. for A Lady
 
Best Use of Special Effects
Connor D. for Sea Battle
 
Most Replay-Button Worthy
David R. for Lego Gentlemen
 
Best Live Action Video
Will G. and Kevin J. for Epic
 
 
Watch all the films we watched that night in the playlist below.
 
 




Posted by tspicer on 02.27.14

 
If you still haven't placed a hold on Boxers or Saints yet after watching the above clip, I'll try and convince you now. I've only read Saints, but it was so uniquely told, informative, funny and horrifying, that I am eagerly waiting to read Boxers. The Boxer Rebellion occurred in China over 100 years ago and this 2-volume set of graphic novels by Printz award winning author and illustrator Gene Luen Yang, sheds light on the complicated events of this bloody period of the world's past. Yet the genius of this book is that it makes these events that happened such a long time ago seem vivid, understandable and totally engrossing as the author crafts genuinely believable characters, whom the reader ends up caring greatly about their plights.
 
China at this time was weakened and the government in shambles. European missionaries began to emerge and flex their influence throughout the country and the result was a nationalism-inspired backlash by the 'Boxers' against these 'Saints'.

Bloodshed and chaos ensued.

It all sounds so violent and terrible and certainly at times it is. But the story is filled with humor, as the character's facial expressions are so expressive, including the young teenage protagonist, an unwanted fourth-born daughter named ... (ahem) 'Four Girl'. Four Girl is a Chinese Christian teenager who struggles with her faith. She hatches all types of odd plans to cope with the confusion and turmoil surrounding her, including my favorite plan of hers: in order to be feared and respected, she walks around endlessly with her "devil face" on. This face needs to be seen to be believed and is laugh out loud funny. Four Girl's struggles with her faith and whose side to fight for, come across as gut-wrenching, endearing and are acutely conveyed. Teens, adults should all dive into this amazing work of art.