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Young Readers Choice Awards continued...

by Patricia - 0 Comment(s)

YRCA logo

Young Readers Choice Awards: Junior Category

As promised, here's the next installment in the Young Readers Choice Awards.

We're asking you to read at least two books from one of the categories, then choose your favourite. For more info on the YRCA and how to cast your ballot, please look at my previous blog, which also talked about the Intermediate books.

This time we're looking at the Junior Category Nominees, those geared for about Gr. 4-6.

Book coverfatty legs, by Christy Jordan-Feton: Margaret is a young Inuit girl who desperately wants to go to school, like her older sister, so she can learn how to read. This means leaving her family to go to residential school. When she finally gets her wish, however, it’s not exactly what she had dreamed… This book is autobiographical, and there is a sequel, called A Stranger At Home. A shortened version of fatty legs has been made into a picture book, called When I Was Eight. A great introduction for a younger audience.

Book coverThe Strange Case of the Origami Yoda, by Tom Angleberger: This book is written in the form of a 'case file' by Tommy and his friends in middle school. Dwight, the biggest nerd of them all (which is saying a lot) creates an Origami Yoda finger puppet which appears to be amazingly wise and prescient - unlike Dwight! Very funny. If you like the 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' series, you'll like this too. There is also a sequel, called Darth Paper Strikes Back - worth reading if only for the title.

Book cover

Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer, by John Grisham: Do you see that? JOHN GRISHAM! The king of adult crime novels has crossed over into the Kid Zone with this story about a 13-year-old boy who knows everything there is to know about the justice system, but can't keep himself out of trouble when a grisly murder needs to be solved. Read it to see if Grisham can handle the critical readers in the shallow end of the pool...

Big Nate: In a Class By Himself, by Lincoln Peirce: The only graphic novel candidate in this bunch. Big Nate has been seen before, in a comic strip, as the less-than-straight-A middle school kid who wisecracks his way into a lot of detentions. A great alternative if you've read all of the 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' books, or want to get into graphics with something new!

book cover

The Mysterious Howling, by Maryrose Wood: This is the first in the series: The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place. 15-year-old Penelope becomes a governess at a children’s school, only to discover that the mysterious howling she has been hearing is being made by two children who were found in the forest and have obviously been raised by wolves. She must teach them not only Latin and Algebra but how to act like humans instead of wolves. 'Howlingly' funny (hee hee).

13 Treasures13 Treasures, by Michelle Harrison: The main character is Tanya, and Tanya is ‘trouble’. Tanya sees fairies, but if she talks about this, people think she’s crazy! Blamed for all of the things the fairies get into, she is shipped off to her grandmother's ancient old house - which happens to be infested with, you guessed it, fairies. Then children in the area go missing, and Tanya wants to find out what’s going on. If you like the Spiderwick Chronicles, you’ll love this book.

Book coverThe Lost Hero, by Rick Riordan: Really sad that the Percy Jackson series ended? Well, don't be! This new spin-off series has appearances by all your favourite characters, while introducing Jason, Piper, and Leo as the offspring of some new gods - this time in their Roman persona's. Another rollicking ride through Camp Half-Blood, with a satyr masquerading as a bus, Medusa working in a chic New York department store, and a race against the clock to keep the world from terrible danger.

Book cover

Lone Wolf, by Kathryn Lasky: This is the beginning of Lasky’s new series The Wolves of Beyond, which takes place in the same world as her ‘Guardians of Ga’hoole’ books. In this one, a young wolf pup is born, despite many problems for his mother, with a twisted leg and a strange mark on his paw, marking him as.. well, either deformed, or special. He survives against all odds, is raised by a mother bear, and eventually makes his way to ‘the Beyond’, a place on the edge of this world where the socially outcast wolves reside... and back again to some new surprises!

Okay, that's it for the Junior YRCA nominees. Look for the next and final posting, about the Senior choices, coming soon.. and don't forget to read & vote!

Young Readers Choice Awards

by Patricia - 1 Comment(s)

YRCA logo

It's Young Reader's Choice Awards time again! The time when the books that YOU select as being the most awesome will get to put those stickers on their jackets saying, 'I'm the BEST and everyone should read me!'

This award is given out by the Pacific Northwest Library Association, which is not only bi-national - including Canada's western provinces AND America's western states - but also the oldest children's choice award in both countries.

Get ready to cast a ballot by reading at least two books from one of the categories, Junior (Gr. 4-6), Intermediate (Gr. 7-9), or Senior (Gr. 10-12). Then, fill out a ballot at your neighbourhood library branch between March 15 - April 15. (For details on the whole voting process, go here.) I'll give a quick teaser of each book, then leave it up to you!

As Easy As Falling Off the Face of the Earth, by Lynne Rae Perkins: Ry, on his way to summer camp in Oregon, manages to miss the train when it stops in the middle of nowhere - and then suddenly takes off again - when he briefly nips out to find cell phone service. He sets off on his own with a dying cell phone and little else, meeting interesting people who help him find his way back home. This is a very funny book, with simple but hilarious sketch drawings showing certain .. important.. moments in Ry's 'adventure', as well as what's going on with his two dogs... hmmmm....

The Card Turner, by Louis Sachar: So this is a book about a 17-year-old boy and how he learns bridge. But wait! Before you skip on to the next title, remember this is Louis Sachar, who also wrote ‘Holes’ and other award-winning stories. In this book, Alton is forced to read and play the cards for his super-rich but very blind and sick uncle, who is an ace at duplicate bridge tournaments, but might also be connected with the mob... If you would love to learn how to play bridge, detailed explanations are provided for every card game. BUT, if you couldn’t care less, the author has helpfully put these parts between asterisks, so you can skip over them and get on with the plot!

Heist Society, by Ally Carter: Katarina tries to leave the family business - thieving - but is lured back when her father becomes the only suspect in the theft of a mobster’s art collection, and the only solution is to find the paintings and steal them back.

Smile, by Raina Telgemeier: This autobiography tells the story of a girl whose front teeth get knocked out accidentally, forcing her to learn how to take the teasing and abuse and throw it back in a goodhearted fashion. This is a graphic novel, which aside from adding visual appeal, makes it a quick read.

The Second Trial, by Rosemarie Boll: 13-year-old Danny starts to fall apart after his mother goes to court against his father, charging him with domestic abuse, and they need to go into Witness Protection. Confused about his dad and hostile towards his mother, Danny starts to act out at school and home. Published by Second Story press, it’s an accessible story for anyone looking for an easier read, but be warned, it’s a pretty ‘gritty’ scenario, no sweetness and light in this one.

Sorta Like A Rock Star, by Matthew Quick: Amber, known as the ‘Princess of Hope’, has a pretty sucky life, living with her man-huntin’ mom in a school bus. But Amber always manages to keep that hope alive, until one day tragedy occurs. Good for teens who can handle the rough side of life. And sometimes really funny!

Halo, by Alexandra Adornetto: In this book, Bethany, an angel new to the trade, is sent down to earth with two more experienced compatriots, including the Archangel Gabriel, to fight the forces of darkness. While here, she meets and falls in love with a human, and learns that good and evil are not always easy to identify.

The Red Pyramid, by Rick Riordan: The first in another series by the author of the Percy Jackson books, focused this time on ancient Egypt. Carter and Sadie Kane watch as their father accidentally releases five ancient Egyptian gods from the Rosetta Stone and is then sucked into the ‘Duat’. While trying to rescue their father, they must also stop the evil god Set from building his pyramid of power and destroying the world. Along the way they discover much about themselves, their family, and the hidden world of ancient Egyptian magic. Tons of action, and, hey, you might learn something too... like what the 'Duat' is!

Okay, gotta wrap it up here. Look for 'sister' blogs about the Junior and Senior categories in the same spot, coming soon....

Celebrate Your Freedom with Us!!

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

Freedom to Read week starts today! Check out the Freedom To Read Website for ideas on how you can revel between February 24th & March 2nd.

Join us this Thursday the 28th at 7pm at Shelf Life Books for our Youth Award Celebration to honour our A World Without Choices contest winners. We received many great submissions in words, images and video that answered the following question: "What would your world look like without the freedom to read?" Check out some of the awesomeness submitted on our TeensCreate page!

AND, drum roll please... the winners are:

Ethan G. for his great essay, "Silenced Voices"

Alexa I. for her wonderful FTR essay, and

the amazing video duo Julia C. & Danika V. - check out their video Here!

In addition, the Freedom to Read Committee has awarded the 2013 Freedom of Expression Award, sponsored by FFWD Weekly, to the Calgary Idle No More Movement. Chantal Chagnon is accepting the award as a representative of the movement. Committee member Darlene Montgomery has provided the following statement to support the Award:

The Freedom of Expression Award is presented annually during Freedom to Read Week. The Award is presented to a person or group in the Calgary area who best demonstrates leadership in promoting freedom of expression, an important cornerstone of democracy. The Award is sponsored by FFWD Weekly. This year the Freedom of Expression Award will be presented to the Calgary Idle No More Movement. The Calgary INM Movement has demonstrated a commitment to freedom of expression by taking a public stand to raise awareness of the rich cultural heritage and history of our First Nations people; the social, educational and economic issues affecting their lives; and the obligation of governments to respect the treaty rights of First Nations people. Chantal Chagnon, a local organizer and spokesperson for the Calgary Idle No More Movement will accept the Award on behalf of the Movement at our annual celebration on February 28.

Chantal, the teen winners, family members and supporters will all be on hand for the annual celebration.

Today (February 25th) the Freedom To Read Committee at CPL made their Book Selection presentation to City Council. This year, the selected book is Shine, by Lauren Myracle. Myracle has been touted as "This Generation's Judy Blume". Betsy Fraser, ardent teen-lit enthusiast and CPL Selector, submitted the following nomination:

My suggestion for this year’s Freedom to Read week book would be Lauren Myracle’s Shine. Lauren has been a fantastic example through the years of an author whose books have been targeted as “unsuitable” for their target audience on the one hand, while being lauded by reviewers and those very teens on the other as speaking to and for them… In the past year, Lauren was catapulted into the media when her book was erroneously mentioned as a short-listed title for the National Book Award. Instead of being bitter, she used the ensuing media storm to garner support and attention for gay rights, ‘shining a light’, if you will, on the downtrodden, bullied and abused. Ms. Myracle is a wonderful speaker, and while a hate crime is a dark subject, I ask the committee to consider Shine as its title for 2013 Freedom of Expression Award.

The author's long history of challenges, coupled with her courage in tackling a very difficult subject, led the committee to choose this moving novel. While it begins with a hate crime, it is ultimately a story about hope, and about letting your inner light shine through when darkness surrounds you.

Join us! Thursday February 28, 2013 7 p.m. at Shelf Life Books, 100, 1302 - 4th Street S.W.

And Read on! ;0)

by Adrienne, with many thanks to Allison Thomson (Chair, Calgary Freedom to Read Week Committee) and Carrie, our awesome Teen Cybrarian.

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!

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