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WE WANT YOU!!

by Monique - 2 Comment(s)

Do you like helping others? Do you want to gain some volunteering hours to add to your resume or portfolio? Volunteering is a great way to gain some experience for work and a great way to show off the things you have done when applying for post secondary education. I don't know about you, but I also find volunteering to be a rewarding experience. It feels great to know that I'm helping someone to learn something new or improve on skills that they already have.

If you are in grades 7 to 12 the Calgary Public Library has several volunteer opportunities that you can be a part of. Check out all the volunteer possibilities that we have for you: Computer Buddies, Cyber Seniors, ESL Teen Talk, Peer to Peer Study Group, Reading Buddies, and Library Mascot "Curious" Are you interested in volunteering at a specific branch? Check out the current opportunities at each branch. If you are interested in volunteering in one of these programs, fill out this application form either online or pick one up at your closest library.

Finding My Way Eyre

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

I admit that when I first saw Jane it was the cover that initially caught my attention, and that this was the first "Jane Eyre" book I ever read. Not that my friends had not been recommending the book ever since, oh — Grade 9! They did, I just... never got around to it. So when this beautiful moody cover caught my eye, I decided to make a go of it. This retelling by April Lindner, is set in NY with an art school dropout who becomes a nanny and falls for... a famous rock star. I was not disappointed. The book is great! Emma the BookAngel has even made a soundtrack for the book! Hot on its heels, I was putting holds on Catherine, Lindner's remake of Wuthering Heights. Also set in modern NY, this time with the daughter of the owner of a very famous night club as ‘Catherine’!

Then, it just so happened that the graphic novel remake of Jane Eyre landed in my lap. So I read that next, super curious to compare Jane to its original without delay. From my experiences with Manga Shakespeare I knew that reading the graphic novel is a great way to introduce oneself to a classic right away. No fuss, no problem, no big time commitment and no trouble understanding what's going on. I highly recommend it for all your Shakespeare assignments — plus any other classics you are asked to read for English class. Not because the originals aren't great, but rather because they ARE. It's great to have something on hand that can clarify what is going on, allowing you to focus on appreciating the book rather than struggling through it.

So finally yes, I actually read Jane Eyre after all these years. First off, for all the fashionistas out there I want to mention that the version that I read was a Couture edition by Penguin Classics — with cover and images designed by fashion designer Ruben Toledo = perfectly moody graphics!

Classics are classics for a reason and are generally good ground for expounding upon; they become a post-modernist's delightful playground (think Mash-Ups). I admit however that some classics are so stuffy that it's almost impossible to penetrate through their dense or obscure language and receive their enlightening rays of nectar and fruits of insight. Jane Eyre is, refreshingly, not, especially if read with a poetic eye and a philosopher's heart. There were words I was unfamiliar with but I found this antipathetically refreshing — welcome nectar to a vocabulary that has been thirsting for expansion. One learns to write by reading. One gleans semi-archaic vocabulary by reading semi-archaic tomes. (ha,ha).

Jane Eyre is moody and romantic. It arouses a passion of spirit, a storminess of temperament which, like the novel itself, is quite satisfying in its quietude. Jane herself is like that calm before the storm... Mr. Rochester the storm... Jane again, like the rain that pours down quenching your thirst with the ether of sweet negative electricity that bathes the air after lightning.

Jane Eyre contains phrases such as, "Her soul sat on her lips and language flowed", and thoughts such as "Then, my sole relief was to walk along the corridor of the third storey, backwards, and forwards, safe in the silence and solitude of the spot, and allow my mind's eye to dwell on whatever bright visions rose before it... to open my inward ear to a tale that never ended — a tale my imagination created, and narrated continuously; quickened with all of  incident, life, fire, feeling, that I desired and had not in my actual existence."

Jane is a formidable character. At the end of the book I found myself wishing I had read it when I was in Grade 9! Through tumultuous and harrowing experiences she has such a sense of her own self worth, and is so grounded; it would have been welcome food back then. I'll warn you though, that the book is a bit preachy in the last few pages. That said, the rest of the books is so fabulous that's it's worth that little bit at the end. I encourage you to read and enjoy!

Other Eyre remakes to check out include Jane Airhead, A Breath of Eyre, and Wish you Were Eyre. For more advanced adult books, check out Mrs. Rochester, Death of a Schoolgirl, Jane Slayre, and Adele : Jane Eyre's hidden story — a highly interesting remake of Jane Eyre told from Mr. Rochester's ward's perspective.

If you want to find out more about the life of the author (Charlotte Bronte), I recommend the following books as well: Becoming Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre: Portrait of a Life, & Governess: The lives and Times of The Real Jane Eyres. There are also a bunch of renditions of Jane Eyre on DVD to check out. (I've heard the 1986 version is great.) Comments and feedback on your favourite are welcome!

Prom Dress Extravaganza!

by Carrie - 0 Comment(s)

girl in dress

Grad will be here before you know it - will you be ready? It's your chance to make a splash and really show off your unique style. But - what can you do if you just can't find the right dress? Or maybe you found it, but the price tag had a few too many zeroes...

The answer, of course, is Prom Dress Extravaganza! It's a free program where you can find the pre-loved dress of your dreams and get great tips from our volunteer designers so you can make it your very own. If you already own a great dress that just needs a resize or an update, we can help with that too! Imagine strutting your stuff on the dance floor in a one-of-a-kind designer creation.

You do have to register but all you need is a library card to take part in one of these sweet events:

Saturday, March 2nd at Bowness Library
OR
Saturday, March 9th at Forest Lawn Library

1:00 - 3:30 p.m. Ages 15 to 18.


If your closet is already stuffed, we would be happy to take donations of gently used dresses at any library location!


photo by Katlin Lewis http://www.flickr.com/photos/chingchong/313118785/

A World Without Choices

by Carrie - 0 Comment(s)

freedom to read poster What would your world look like without the freedom to read?

I just read (and loved) Ally Condie's Matched, which could be a post all on its own, but one thing in particular struck me about the story. In Cassia's world, the powers that be decided that their culture was just too cluttered, so they chose 100 of everything and got rid of the rest - can you imagine? 100 poems, 100 books, 100 movies, 100 songs - to last you the rest of your life. Everything else is forbidden.

That's one vision of a world without the freedom of expression - what's yours? Tell us in words, images or video and you could win a great CPL prize pack and get published in next year's Freedom to Read Week kit. But hurry - the deadline is February 15th!

You can enter in one of three ways:

  • Make a poster (draw, paint or use photography and other graphic arts, 8½ x 14” or 11 x 17”)
  • Write a poem, short story or essay (max. 300 words)
  • Create a film (3 min. or less)

All content must be your own work, except for short, cited quotations. Contest is open to Calgary students in grades 7 to 9. Include your name, school, grade and telephone number with your entry.

To enter:
Send your project by e-mail to freedomtoread@calgarypubliclibrary.com OR submit a hardcopy to any Calgary Public Library location.

One entry per person.
Deadline for submissions is Friday, February 15, 2013

Peer to Peer Study Group

by Monique - 2 Comment(s)

teensFrustrated with how the semester ended? Ok, so in September you were really ambitious to start the school year off with a bang and keep it up for the entire school year. Yet things haven't worked out as you had planned, right? Does everything your teacher tell you sound foreign to you? No worries, Central library has the solution for you!! From Monday, February 4 to Monday, April 29 (with the exception of February 18), we have a gathering place on the second floor for teens to meet with teen volunteers to get help with their homework, from 4:30 to 6:30. You are more than welcome to stick around until 8 pm to finish anything that you have already started. Check out these previous blogs, OMG, it's due tomorrow and Kick Next Semesters @$$ for some great homework help databases. Don't forget to check out all the other awesome programs that we have for you to check out.

Opportunity Knocks! Be a Reading Buddy!!

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

Feeling the graduation stress? Still need volunteer hours? Looking for something to pad out that resume? We can help you with that!

The Reading Buddies program is looking for volunteers! Come hang out with kids in grades 1-3, take part in awesome crafts, and help your little buddy practice their reading in a fun-filled environment.

If you’re in grades 7-12, we would love to have you take part in this program! We still have openings at the following locations:

Alexander Calhoun: Thursdays, January 24 – March 21 from 4:30-5:45

Forest Lawn: Tuesdays, January 22 – March 19 from 4:00-5:15

Glenmore Square: Tuesdays, January 22 – March 19 from 4:30-5:45

Shaganappi: Tuesdays, January 22 – March 19 from 4:30-5:45

To register, please contact Brin Bugo (403-260-2709 or brin.bugo@calgarypubliclibrary.com) or Jody Watson (403-221-2062 or jody.watson@calgarypubliclibrary.com)! We’re looking forward to having you join our awesome team of teen volunteers!

By Brin

Art for teens by teens

by Jocelyn - 0 Comment(s)

Art by Numair, Grade 8The Teen Zone is an oasis for teens. It has everything new and exciting in terms of Young Adult novels and graphix, and gives teens a chance to have their own space in the library. And currently at the Nose Hill library, the Teen Zone has an art display up: art for teens by teens. Our art show Expressions features colourful and abstract work by students from Simon Fraser Junior High. The show features twelve original works by grade 8 and 9 students, and will be up in our Teen Zone until February. Come check it out!

Volunteer as tribute! (I mean, join our dystopian book club!)

by Jocelyn - 0 Comment(s)

The Nose Hill Library is starting up a dystopian bookclub for teens only. Our first bookclub meeting is January 25th, and runs from 7:30 to 8:30pm. We will be meeting on the last Wednesday of every month to talk about the hottest books with a dystopian theme. And what is the first book we will be starting with? Why, it's Divergent by Veronica Roth - an action based thrill of a read that is also soon to become a motion picture!

This is the latest treat from the folks who brought you The Hunger Games Challenge last October. Phone the Nose Hill library (403-221-2030) to register in our teen dystopian bookclub today.

2013 Freedom to Read Week Contest!

by Carrie - 0 Comment(s)

 

Did you love The Hunger Games? Are you a fan of Harry Potter? Have you ever read a book by John Green, Neil Gaiman, or Lauren Myracle?

Would it surprise you to know that these books and authors, and many more, have been the targets of challenges meant to stop teens just like you from reading them? In fact, many of the 100 most challenged books of the last decade have been books for kids and teens - you can see the whole list here.

Every February Canadians celebrate Freedom to Read Week as a reminder of one of the fundamental freedoms set forth in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression - which includes reading and writing. We're lucky to live in a society that is mostly free from censorship, but even here in Canada we have to keep our eyes open. There are always people who want to "protect" teens by taking away books that offend them - like the ones I just mentioned:

hunger games coverharry potter coverlooking for alaska titlem is for magic coverttfn cover

But books are important, especially difficult, painful, possibly offensive books. As YA author Cheryl Rainfield says,

"Books saved me - realistic books that helped me know I wasn’t alone and fantasy that helped me escape. Books helped me survive the extreme abuse that was my childhood and teenhood. I know how important it is to know you’re not alone in your pain. That’s part of why I wrote Scars...I know what it’s like to have no one to turn to, nothing to help you hang on, except books. To have a book that might help anoth­er teen be kept from them—it seems wrong to me on a deep level."

It seems wrong to us, too. That's why we hold the Freedom to Read Week Contest every year. This year, the question is, "If you didn't have the freedom to choose what you read, what would that look like?"

You can enter in one of three ways:

  • Make a poster (draw, paint or use photography and other graphic arts, 8½ x 14” or 11 x 17”)
  • Write a poem, short story or essay (max. 300 words)
  • Create a film (3 min. or less)

All content must be your own work, except for short, cited quotations. Contest is open to Calgary students in grades 7 to 9. Include your name, school, grade and telephone number with your entry.

To enter:
Send your project by e-mail to
freedomtoread@calgarypubliclibrary.com
AND upload to Teens Create
(http://www.calgarypubliclibrary.com/teens/teens-create)

OR submit a hardcopy to any Calgary Public Library location.

One entry per person.
Deadline for submissions is Friday, February 15, 2013

Where the Wild Things are

Where the Wild Things are

by Tomas - 0 Comment(s)

If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to see it, Fairy Tales, Monsters and the Genetic Imagination, the current exhibition on at the Glenbow Museum, is well worth the price of admission.

According to Mark Scala, the curator of the exhibition: “Monsters are something that we have created in order to embody what we most fear, and so the whole point behind that fascination in our culture is that these are simply imaginary, simply inventions.” Monsters are examples of how we express fears, hopes and wishes.

A few personal highlights include Kiki Smith’s imagining of Little Red Riding Hood, depicted both as a print and a sculpture, emerging from the belly of the defeated wolf.

Patricia Piccinini’s lifelike sculptures feature fantastically imagined creatures -- perhaps the result of genetic manipulation -- engaged in mundane, day-to-day activities. In one an elderly mer-nursemaid is comforted by a small boy while it sleeps; in another, a weary looking creature nurses a baby while also taking on shopping tasks while the human parents are away.

Seeing this exhibition brought to mind a few complementary literary monsters. These monsters, and the stories they inhabit, reflect our feelings toward the unknown, both beyond and within us.

This Dark Endeavour - Kenneth Oppel

This Dark Endeavour, tells the story of a young Victor Frankenstein, whose later [in]famous exploits were told by Mary Shelley in one of the first books to address mankind’s dangerous emerging interest in genetic manipulation.

MonstrumologistNot for the faint of heart (or stomach), Richard Yancey’s Monstrumologist series follows the exploits of Dr. Pellinore Warthrop, as told through the journal of his young assistant Will Henry as they study and contend with a gruesome assortment of monsters (human and otherwise).

Half WorldDarkest Light

Half World and its sequel Darkest Light by Hiromi Goto apply the concept of Hungry Ghosts to the contemporary urban setting of Vancouver. Half World, the waystation between the physical realm and the realm of spirit, has become separated, and it falls to 13-year-old Melanie to enter the Half World and somehow restore the balance. Half World is a vast cityscape filled with grotesque characters whose monstrous forms are based on the sufferings they endured in the physical realm, such as the eel-armed Lilla, and the aptly named Mr. Glueskin.

A Monster Calls

In A Monster Calls, A young boy is visited nightly by a monster that is inextricably linked to the emotional trauma he experiences, and must eventually face.

Don't be afraid of the dark : Blackwood's guide to dangerous fairies, co-written by Guillermo del Toro and Christopher Golden, is a literary prequel (by 100 years) to del Toro's eerie film by the same name. Be sure also to check out del Toro's stunning modern fairytale Pan's Labrynth, in which a young girl trying to save the life of her ill mother has to contend with fantastic and real-life monsters in Fascist 1940s Spain.

GrokeWith a ghost-like, hill-shaped body, cold staring eyes, a wide row of shiny teeth, and a freezing touch that kills any plants she touches, the Groke is a mysterious character that haunts the otherwise pleasant adventures of the Finn-Family Moomin Troll. As the stories progress, the more we learn about this misunderstood creature; Eventually we come to discover she is the product of a profound lonelieness. In many ways, the Groke is similar to Gollum (currently starring in the feature film version of The Hobbit, as you may have heard), whose disfigured shape reflects his inner turmoil.

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