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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.

Hungry for more? Volunteer as tribute...

by Jocelyn - 0 Comment(s)

Can't wait for Catching Fire? Watched the movie four times already? Tired of hearing about "Team Peeta" and "Team Gale" and just want to be your own "Team Awesome"? Tried every conceivable recipe from The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbookand still hunger more?

The Nose Hill library is hosting a Hunger Games Challenge on October 20th. This points based scavenger hunt and trivia challenge, based on Suzanne Collins' popular trilogy, promises not so much to "bathe you in riches" as it promises a great time and some great prizes. Unlike the dystopian country of Panem, the odds are ever in your favour...that is, if you register today!

For ages 13 to 17.

Great Graphix of Ginormous Proportions

by Jilliane Yawney - 0 Comment(s)

Graphix are great…Ok, maybe not quite in the “ginormous” way that I've said, unless it is relatively large book, but it is a cool word that starts with G!

Book CoverMost of us grew up with comic books in one form or another. My earliest memories of comics, like many, included following the adventures of Snoopy, one of the many recognizable characters from Charles Schultz’s Peanuts. And then there was the mischievous Calvin from Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes series (which, by the way, we also just happen to carry in the library.) Calvin and Hobbes is an irresistible mix of a little boy with a big imagination, who faces everything from evil babysitters to dinosaurs, teachers and a mild mannered little girl named Susie Derkins, all the while combating boredom. So if you ever need to combat boredom yourself, Calvin might be just the ticket.

Our Graphix collection gets more sophisticated than a mere collection of comics, however. There are many book series that are now Graphix, including the famous Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys book series, and the Warriors series, based on a popular book series about a group of feral cats. We also have tons of Manga, with series such as Naruto, Dragon Ball Z, and Shaman King, to name but a few. My favorite Graphix happen to be our non-fiction graphix.

Book CoverNon-fiction you ask? Yes, non-fiction. I recently read Alia’s Mission Saving the Books of Iraq by Mark Alan Stamaty (YA Graphix 020.92 BAK). It is inspired by the real life story of Alia Muhammad Baker, a librarian who became the chief librarian of the Central Library in Basra, Iraq. When she heard about the possibility of a war being ravaged on her city, she begged the Iraqi officials to let her relocate some of her books, for fear they would be damaged. While Iraqi officials refused her request, she did it herself – finding places through friends throughout the city to house thousands of books (including a book that was hundreds of years old.) When war did break out, bombs destroyed the library, but not the books, thanks to Alia’s heroic efforts. You can read non-fiction in our graphix collection, including in our teen zones at your local public library!

Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

Seed Bombs: Getting to know bombus, and being eco chic this summer

by Alexandra May - 2 Comment(s)

BeeMaking seed bombs. Just what is a seed bomb you might ask? It’s basically a ‘bomb” (or “green grenade” of you like) that is made of dirt, clay, and seeds. The idea is not to spread violence, but growth. Throughout North America and Europe, many “guerrilla gardeners” use seed bombs to help beautify their cities, turning grey lifeless ashphalt into green spaces. Being a guerilla gardener can be as simple as doing something in your backyard, or just outside in your back alley, or by the side of an otherwise lifeless parking lot.

So why do people do it (garden that is)? Apparently, it’s revolutionary to plant things: a group of artists got together and actually had a “weed exchange”, where they dug up weeds , traded them, and replanted them throughout their city. I think we could do that with more than weeds – why not plant some native flowers or herbs you can eat instead?

Here is a link for some ideas on how to make a seed bombs (you can look for the eco friendly ones!).

Get to know Bombus.

Bombus is the bomb. Or, at least, sometimes these girls sound like low flying bombers as they fly by. Basically, bumblebees rock. If you’re scared of bees, you need to know a few things: 1) bees are not wasps (which actually can be pretty nasty!), 2) no, there are no “killer bees” in Calgary, so relax, and 3) bumblebees aren’t out to sting anybody unless they feel like you’re trying to hurt them – so don’t. Bees are also in trouble, as their populations are in decline. I figure, since we’ll be out guerrilla gardening anyway, why not make a seed bomb for bees? It’s just one more way to make the world a better, more interesting place.

You can visit for information about bees. Generally, bumble bees love purple and yellow flowers, and they really seem to love sunflowers, oregano and other herbs (which you can also eat!), snapdragons, as well as native flowers like asters and wild bergamot (which butterflies also love!)

Being eco chic

Gardening is also a great excuse to wear great hats. Seriously. It keeps the sun out of your eyes, off your skin, and can make you feel styling even when you’re out getting your hands dirty. Good shades are also a must, and don’t forget your gloves (yes, even garden gloves come in a variety of colours and styles too). Joining a community garden and growing stuff with your friends is a great way to spend some time this summer. Don’t forget the sunscreen.

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

“Racism starts with the belief that people can be divided into groups called races,” states Anne Marie Aikins in Racism : Deal with it before it gets under your skin. "Racism is the idea that some races are superior to others and should have more power than others. It is a form of prejudice, or pre-judging a person based on the group they belong to.”Season of Rage

Many people throughout history have faced discrimination. Fortunately, due to civil rights movements in the past century, a lot of things have improved and yet that doesn’t mean that racism still doesn’t exist. You may find that you or your friends may still encounter racist remarks at school, at work, or elsewhere. Some people might tell inappropriate jokes, or call names, or might not even be aware that they are making racist comments or singling someone out based on what makes them different. This can hurt a lot, but there are ways you can deal with it.

Racism – How to stop it

There are many ways to help stop racism, including educating yourself. It is important to be a good example to others and treat everyone with respect, but also to examine your own attitudes and behavior towards people who are different from you. That includes questioning images you see in the media. Even today, movies and TV shows can stereotype people and promote negative assumptions about others.

LetSpeaking up against racism is important, as keeping silent can say that racism is OK. Don’t copy the discrimination, get help instead: a teacher, supervisor, neighbor or older friend might be able to help you out. And getting involved in a cause can help create positive change, like being involved in a culture club.

There are many ideas online (here are a few):

The Alberta Human Rights Commission has a website

Amnesty International’s website has a youth section dedicated to human rights

The Media Awareness Network has an online website dealing with media issues and specifically a section on negative stereotyping in the media:

Get involved

Did you know: March 21 is the international day for the elimination of racial discrimination. The Government of Canada has a campaign called “Racism – Stop It” – which includes a national video competition. You can check out the entries here.

Emily the Strange: The Lost Days

by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

Emily doesn’t know who she is. At least not for the time being. You see, she has a strange case of amnesia right now, and as she will tell you: “AmnesiaEmily Strange sucks rocks: big…black…rocks.” She has managed to indentify that she is left-handed, seems to like the colour black and the number 13, and has discovered/ rediscovered that she is good at communicating with cats. There are 4 black alley cats she really gets along with, it seems, and she names them McFreeky, Wily, Nitzer and Cabbage (names which they do not seem to acknowledge...of course, fans will recognize these cats as Mystery, Miles, Sabbath and Nee Chee, but Emily with her amnesia does not!)

Emily ends up in a small town called Blackrock, where, as she tells it, “there is never an Amnesia Recovery Centre when you need it.” She also rediscovers she is uncannily good at fixing and inventing things…including a sinister duplication device, which may have gotten her into trouble in the first place (most notably by producing an accidental Emily clone!) Whether Emily can handle Emily then becomes the question, yet this story is far from being a total nightmare’s more of a spooky adventure with few leads on our heroine’s identity, doppelgängers, a sandstorm generator, angry ponies, and many, many tickets issued against her (including one for loitering!).

Read Emily’s second journal and be delighted by her zany stories and fantastic illustrations – including a detailed map of Blackrock, alley cats and all – all in the vein of Emily the Strange of course. Emily has also become her own strange franchise, as somewhat of a counterculture icon, with cats and bats, golems, and attitude included.