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Sustainable Poetry: Write & Perform Poems for Prizes!

by Adrienne - 6 Comment(s)

It's sPRinG!

gEt Outside!

JumP ArOUnd!

Hide in buSHes! (sCare your sister - not TOO mUch ;0)

Ride Down the hill FAST!

Lie dOWn, stare at the sKy, wAtch the birds fly by...

sIt bY a tRee

and WRite a pOEm for this month's Youth SLAM!

In honour of April = International Poetry Month!

Saturday April 14th 2pm in the John Dutton Theatre 2nd Floor + 15 level of the W.R. Central Castell Library. Presented in collaboration with this years Calgary International Spoken Word Festival and the Library's ECOPALOOZA! Poems are to be on the theme of nature (in some broad way). Write a poem on nature/ sustainability - your interpretation - and then perform it in a SLAM competition, competing for $$ prizes! Be inspired by these environmental poets and Kate MacKenzie's WorldViews Project!!

The Winner will also compete in next year's National Slam Competition! Sheri-D Wilson Calgary's original "Mama of Dada" and the CiSWF organizer will be on hand to host the Slam and offer inspirational feedback, advice and tips!

There are 3 prizes:

1st = $70 gift certificate to Shelf Life Books,

2nd = $50 gift certificate to Pages on Kensignton,

3rd = $30 gift certificate to Pages on Kensignton.

Special thank you to Shelf Life, Pages, CiSWF and Ecopalooza!

The SLAM will follow a performance from Voices of Nature Choir (1-2pm).

Families are welcome! It’ll be awesome!

+ We will have a face painter and other activities going on the 2nd floor before and after the slam. Be sure to check out our Verse Novels display and SPEAK Art Show in the teen space! There is also a great Verse Books list on our website

Stumped on where to start? Check out The Spoken Word Cookbook by Sheri-D Wilson, Kris Demeanor's CD's (Calgary's 2012 Poet Laureate) and the following nature / environmental poem books. And at the end of it when you're done, you could also submit it to YouthInkit!, a Calgary magazine published by and for youth. Happy trails!

Review: The Obsidian Blade

by Jilliane - 0 Comment(s)

Reviews by YAC

Tucker Feye had been living in Hopewell County ever since he was born with his father, a reverend, and his mother, but suddenly, during his thirteenth year, while his father was working on the roof he fell off and vanished! Where could he have gone? Later that day, Tucker’s father came walking home as if nothing had gone amiss, except that he looked worn by time and had with him a little girl named Lahlia. At that point, life for Tucker became more ominous: since his return, his father disregarded his religion and abruptly stopped believing in God; his mother slowly succumbed to madness which progressed into a form of autism; and then his father told him that he and Tucker’s mother were leaving for an indefinite time period. Could Tucker’s life become any more paranormal?

Once he moved in with his uncle Kosh, Tucker began to hypothesize where his parents had gone and how he could get to them. One possibility was the invisible, disk-shaped rift above his house –he had seen his dad fall through it once before, after all. Soon enough he discovered a similar rift above Kosh’s barn! Could these disks be the reason for his dad’s eerie disappearance? Could they be the path Tucker takes to retrieve his lost family? As Pete Hautman weaves this novel, time is no longer a constant, it is a manipulative.

Hautman has written an intriguing genesis to his Klaatu Diskos Trilogy. I absolutely adored the book and its abstruseness; he wrote it so that it is a constant page-turner. The Obsidian Blade, although quizzical to an extent, will be loved by those who often utilize the full capacity of their brain and exercise focus. Also, because of the immense amount of content, there is a huge space to be filled in by the imagination. To all bibliophiles or anyone just looking for an enjoyable, enticing read, I would whole-heartedly recommend The Obsidian Blade.

Reviewed by Sahad

Publication Date: April 10, 2012

HUNGER GAMES CONTEST

by Alexandra - 13 Comment(s)

Okay. So here are two newsflashes for you just in case you've been hiding under a rock:

1) The Hunger Games is the biggest thing since sliced bread (from the Mellark Bakery): if you haven't read it, you must be crazy, AND

2) We have a killer new Teen Website! (Oooooooooh... SHINY!)

In celebration of both these things, we are holding ANOTHER Hunger Games Contest. Your entry will be up for one of these sweet prize packs:

And we've made it so that ANY teen (ages 12-17) can enter! There are three different categories; Art, Physical and Written, and the possibilities inside those categories are pretty much limitless. All you have to do is submit your work to TEENS CREATE and then post a comment on this blog!

Art

Draw a Picture of Katniss' "Girl on Fire" Dress, or

Create an image of what you think Panem looks like, or

Make an alternate book cover for the trilogy, or

Draw a portrait of one of the characters, or

Do anything else artsy that will blow us away with your talent!

Physical

Video a demo of the skills YOU would bring to the Hunger Games arena, or

Create a rap about the Hunger Games and send us a recording, or

Dramatize a scene from the book and send us the YouTube clip! (Act it! Stop Motion! Animation! Anything!)

Or choose your own ending and wow us with what you come up with!

Written (1000 Word Max)

Write a poem (Limerick! Haiku! Epic Ballad! Anything!) or,

Write a Hunger Games FanFic! or,

Create an alternate ending or missing scene from the books or movie!

Or... well. You get it. We just want to see some cool Hunger Games stuff, okay?

HERE ARE THE RULES:

1. Don't PLAGIARIZE! Use all your own ideas when making these, don't copy anyone elses' work (except Suzanne Collins, whom we are paying tribute to)...

2. You HAVE to use the word "Library" somewhere in your entry, or, if you are making an image, use the CPL logo () somewhere in it. This is how we will know you didn't copy something off the internet!

3. Upload your entry to the TEENSCREATE website

4. Write a comment on THIS blog with your Name, Teenscreate Screenname, and contact information. None of this information will be published.


MAY THE ODDS BE EVER IN YOUR FAVOUR, and happy gaming!

Contest Ends April 6th at 5:00 pm

Beauty Becomes the Beast - What kind of Animal are you?

by Adrienne - 1 Comment(s)

"Deeper meaning resides in the fairytales told to me in my childhood than in any truth that is taught in life." -- Johann von Schiller

Fairytales are of the old world, right? Witches, beasts and warlocks, goblins and leprechauns galore! Princesses in glass slippers, super skinny fairies, evil old ladies... Sometimes I do ask myself what any right-minded 20th century woman would be doing worshipping the ground that these tails (or tales ;0)) walk on... And it's true that some fairy tales DO seem to promote domestic violence, Barbie-esque physiques and a general "Rescue Me!" syndrome. Take Beauty and the Beast, or Rapunzel as prime examples. Others, like Little Red Riding Hood, are all about the "Listen to your mother - don't think for yourself" mentality... Not that listening to your mother is bad... However folk and fairy tales are truly alive - they are ever changing and evolving - just like language: Did you know that slang and swear words are actually the words that keep our language alive? It's true! Just check with any anthropologist of linguistics. Ever try swearing in Latin (the epistemological DEAD language?)?... didn't think so. Fairytales are the same way -- they're constantly being twisted and changed to reflect modern tastes and inclinations. Nowadays there's a whole trend of re-vamped fairytales - AKA Twisted Tales - the library is basically EXPLODING with them! Check out these books if you're interested in these neo-classics:

What if you could be the Beastly Bride? The Beast rather than the Beauty? What kind of animal would you be? The Beastly Bride - tales of the animal people edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling is an anthology of twisted tales involving various were-beasts, she-cats (The Puma's Daughter by Tanith Lee), elephant-brides (Jane Yolen's poem is not for the weak of heart), and enchanted individuals that reverse roles, choose to stay as animals rather than marry because they like their snake-like natures (Rosina by Nan Fry), outwit each other, find true love (The Selkie speak by Delia Sherman) and surprise and inspire us.

Terri Windling says, "I never outgrew these "children's" tales; rather, I seemed to grow into them, discovering their hidden depths as I grew older -- for just as nightly dreams reflect the realities of our waking life, the symbols to be found in folklore and myth (the collective dreams of entire cultures) provide useful metaphors for the journeys, struggles and transformations we experience throughout our lives. So deep was my love of folklore and myth that I went on to study the subject during my university years, which is when I learned that historically these tales were intended for adults, not children."

Take another quote from Terri Windling's website: "Long ago the trees thought they were people. Long ago the mountains thought they were people. Long ago the animals thought they were people. Someday they will say, long ago the humans thought they were people..." from a traditional Native American story recounted by Johnny Moses.

If you think that's thought-provoking, try THESE twists on for size:

What if Red Riding Hood took the situation with the wolf into her own hands? (Red Hood's Revenge)

What if the werewolf was female? ... and a Dingo not a wolf?

What if Beauty ran away from her abusive husband WHILE pregnant; married a woman AND started a safe refuge in an abandoned castle? (Castle Waiting)

What if the twelve dancing Princesses weren't married off to a happenstance prince, and one of them never kissed the frog but took him as a pet and when she got older HE kissed her instead? (Wildwood Dancing)

What if the Beast was actually a gentle prince from Persia more interested in language and roses than hunting?

These are all plots taken from current YA novels and they are how folk and fairytales evolve. Historically, in fact, fairytales have always changed with the times to reflect the values and mores' of the current culture they reside in. Red Riding Hood only became a cautionary tale to warn little girls to obey their mothers in the Victorian Era, and was a much less innocent story before that - in the French Revolution it was a cautionary tale for WOMEN (not girls) to warn them about the kind of men they should be wary of... and BEFORE that, as a french folktale passed on by word of mouth, it was actually a tale about how young women might inherit their grandmother's wisdom. Weird eh? Who woulda thunk? But its true- check it out for yourself.

We also have a great series in the juvenile section, The Sisters Grimm. In graphix we have Rapunzel's Revenge (wouldn't you LOVE to turn your hair into a lasso?) and in movies we have Red Riding Hood, by Catherine Hardwicke, the director of Twilight. Plus Alex also wrote a great blog about all that's currently going on with Snow White.

It's fun, try it! Let's see...What if Cinderella decided she didn't want a prince but a life of her own; no prince, no step sisters... what would she do? Or what it Cynder lived in New York in 2012... and was a gay boy? How would THAT story unfold? Do some research using our spiffy new catalogue (it's fun -- I swear! You can save lists of say "Red Riding hood" as a search term, limit it to YA books, save it as a temporary list and then re-name it and email/fb/twitter it to all your friends... imagine the research possibilities!) Then write/re-write your own fairytale -, twist it around, have fun and THEN... submit it to our TEENSCREATE page and get it published. Presto! Just like that! In fact, bring your writing to our Write Now! program on March 24th and you might even win a prize! (and get feedback on it from published authors!) We may not be fairy Godmother's, but here at the Teenzone we do possess our own special blend of magical powers ;p

As the famous Froud's say, "As artists, Brian and I are merely part of a long mythic tradition—giving old faery tales new life and passing them on to the generations to come."
- Wendy Froud

HUNGER GAMES CONTEST!

by Alexandra - 3 Comment(s)

Yes. You read that right... Movie Maniacs, the TeenZone and our friends at Alliance Films are offering a FREE Double-Pass to "The Hunger Games" movie screening at 7:00 p.m. on March 22nd at Chinook Theatre. The movie isn't actually released until the next day, so you'll get to see it before anyone else!

Now, this contest is going to be a little trickier than usual, since this movie has a little more buzz than usual. To enter, you have to tell us WHY YOU DESERVE TO GO TO THE HUNGER GAMES -- and be creative! We're going to pit your entries in a battle-to-the-death (well... kind of...) to see who the champion is. That person will be informed on Wednesday March 21st -- exactly six days from now.

To enter:

1) Go to MOVIE MANIACS to tell us why YOU deserve to go to 'The Hunger Games'

2) Make sure to include a way to contact you- we need your name and library card number (which will not be posted). It would be awful to miss out on this chance -- make sure you include this info.

3) Be creative! Competition is stiffer than that in the 74th Hunger Games!

Good Luck! And may the odds be ever in your favour!

Kick A$$ Heroines!! Who's Your Favourite?

by Adrienne - 3 Comment(s)

In honor of International Women's Day here some kick a$$ heroines! Who's your favourite? Fictitious? Real? If you like the Hunger Games (cause we all know Katniss kicks some a$$) check out these other titles + join us for lunch!

Freedom of Expression 2012 Award goes to Calgary brothers!

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

Freedom to Read Week (February 26th - March 3rd) starts today and we are doing several things to celebrate including selecting the winners of the Who Chooses What You Read? contest.
We would like to invite you to attend the annual event where we honour the Freedom of Expression Award winners, and highlight the teen winners of the Who Chooses What You Read? contest. In addition, there will be a reading from The Hunger Games which was selected as a representative challenged book, and will be presented to City Council during Freedom to Read week at the regular council meeting.
Join us Thursday March 1, 2012
7 p.m @
Owls Nest Books
815A 49 Avenue Southwest
Calgary, AB T2S 1G8, Canada
(403) 287-9557


The Freedom to Read Committee has selected twin brothers Keith and Steven Pridgen as the 2012 recipients of the Freedom of Expression Award. Anne Jayne, the citizen member of the FTR committee writes the following to support the nomination made by Susan Anderson,
"The nomination of the Pridgen brothers is worthy. They were quite brave, as young university students, to take on the university over the issue of being disciplined for having a Facebook page where comments critical of a faculty member were published. Their case was recently heard at the Queen’s Bench, ruling in favour of the Pridgen’s. It is their attention to standing up for their freedom of expression, engaging the university in a formal way and drawing light to the University of Calgary student disciplinary practices."


Keith and Steven Pridgen are delighted with this news. Fortunately, Keith has recently returned to Calgary and will be available to accept it from a representative of FFWD magazine, the award sponsor. The Freedom to Read committee is especially pleased to draw attention to the efforts made by these younger citizens and the use of social media to express personal opinions.

At Central we also have a book display in both our Teen and Children's zones showcasing books that have been banned by various groups at various times for various reasons. Interested in learning more? Click this link for Censorship in Canada, click here for the most recent list of challenged books; and here is a list by Google.

We issue a challenge: pick a book to read this week in honor of freedom of expression. Let us know what you're reading in the comments section. We might just add it to our banned books list!

Additionally, the art show up in the TEENZONE (2nd Floor Central) by students of Sir John Franklin High School is called SPEAK and is a great showcase of photographs by fellow teens dealing with issues around freedom of expression. SPEAK runs alongside the city wide EXPOSURE 2012 photography festival.
Last but not least, our Freedom to Read Contest winners have been picked! Stay tuned for announcements...


(With thanks to Allison Thomson for some of the content of this blog).

Snow White Redux

by Alexandra - 2 Comment(s)

Okay... so this whole Twisted Fairytales thing is totally blowing me away. I don't even know where to start! With TWO Snow White revamps coming up this year alone, not to mention that "Once upon a Time" TV show on ABC (yeah... it's about Snow White too...) I realized it was high-time to shed some light on this trend. Thus begins the first of a chain of blogs dedicated to unravelling, demystifying, and just plain gushing over the many adaptations of our fave classic stories.

I'll start with Snow White because that's what got this ball rolling... but FIRST! A little history:


When the Grimm Brothers first published their works in 1857, the young girl who WE know as Snow White was then known as Snow-Drop or Sneewittchen. And while I just called her a "young girl" you might be surprised to know exactly HOW young. In the original version, she is only SEVEN YEARS OLD. As time went on, I suppose people decided it was just too creepy for some random prince to come waltzing by a glass coffin, see a pretty, little [dead] seven-year-old, decide he's gonna kiss her, and then take her to his castle to be his bride. As with a lot of these stories, the disturbing and scary originals are continually adapted to fit current trends and inclinations. So! At one point the story said that Snow White was a kid when she "died" but kept aging in the coffin, so that by the time the prince got to her she was... 16... (still not great...), and eventually, people just decided that she was 16 when she went into the woods, 16 when she died, and then 16 when the prince woke her up. Check out all the sordid details about your fave Fairytales from this awesome E-resource available for FREE from the Calgary Public Library: World Folklore Today and Folklife

But now let's take a look at something a little more twisted:

Mirror Mirror

With an All-Star cast and GORGEOUS costuming, this rendition promises to be a fun flick about "the untold story" of Snow White, full of political intrigue, role-reversals (I believe Snow saves Prince Charming on several occasions...) and some light-hearted jibes at an aging Julia Roberts.

Mirror Mirror has a release date of March 16th of this year, but to tide you over, you can watch the trailer on IMDB here.


Snow White and the Huntsman

Unlike Mirror, Mirror, this redux of Snow White promises to be much darker, and much angstier. Ready to leave Bella Swan far behind her, Kristen Stewart takes on this new role with gusto. She is apparently doing her own stunts, and even if she's not doing them so well, it's much better than letting Edward and Jacob get all the action.

Snow White & The Huntsman will come out on June 1st, but if you follow the title link there are lots of video clips and images to placate you in the meantime!

Once Upon a Time is ABC's crack at the fairytale revamp. It modernizes some of our favourite childhood characters (although it must be noted that they use the Disney versions of most characters, not the original ones, as ABC is owned by Disney) and drops them into a small town in the states, where time is frozen and Snow White's daughter is the key to unlocking an evil curse. I've never seen it, but I've only heard good things.

And it's not just movies and TV shows, although if you want the full list of film adaptations available through CPL, we have a list pending. There are dozens and dozens of books featuring Snow that we have currently circulating in our collection. I've only put the highlights of the other collections and ALL the YA ones here, but feel free to come into ANY branch if you're looking for a specific version.

Picture/Storybooks in the Juvenile Collection:

Adult Spin Offs:

Young Adult and Graphix:

Non-Fiction

I made you a Mix

by Alexandra - 1 Comment(s)

I saw a tweet the other day from Penguin Books about "Literary Mixed Tapes" -- and I thought it was such a great idea. You make a playlist for a literary character... either as a character (What would I listen to if I was ______?) or for a literary character (If I was friends with/in love with/ had a hate-on for...) and then share it.

mixtape for edwardSo I'm going to make one. It's really a lot of fun. But before I do, I need to preface this with a little bit of information. You see, back in the day, getting a mixed tape from someone (yeah, a tape... like a cassette... like an 8-track... you need to look it up, cuz that technology was craaaazy), meant that they cared enough about you to spend a really long time making one. This was before drag-and-drop burn folders. You had to sit in front of a tape player with the song you wanted on one deck and the blank cassette in the other deck, and listen to the whole song the whole way through as it recorded. And if you messed up, you had to rewind both cassettes (which was a process in itself! Sometimes the tape would get tangled and you'd have to fix it by sticking a pencil eraser into the gear... it was a pain for sure) and then start all over again. And the ORDER of the songs was important too, because it was really annoying to try to skip from one song to another... you'd have to rewind and fast forward and you'd end up halfway through a song, and then go too far back, and then too far forward again... You'd also never know how much space you had left on the tape, so you'd keep checking and be like "ONE MORE SONG! I CAN FIT ONE MORE SO---" and then get completely cut off, and either have to deal with half a song or record a bunch of white noise over the end of the cassette... Let's just say CD's were a godsend.

At any rate. There really WAS an art to making mixed tapes. If you want to learn more about it, and read a really touching book in the process, check out "The Perks of Being a Wallflower"... which is being made into a movie later this year starring Percy Jackson and Hermione Granger and Elena from VD... well... you know what I mean.

I couldn't decide which YA Lit character to make a mix for, so I just picked a super popular one. Edward Cullen. This mix is toungue-in-cheek, with a little bit of humour, and a little bit of seriously-wake-up-and-smell-the-pancakes, Vamp... your life isn't that bad. Except for the last song... because ouch. It's too true.

So here we go. My Mix for Edward:

1) Sucks to be You -- Prozzak

2) If you want Blood -- AC/DC

3) My Bloody Valentine -- Good Charlotte

4) Bring me to Life -- Evanescence

5) Dying to live again -- Hedley

6) Addicted -- Simple Plan

7) The First Cut is the Deepest -- Cat Stevens

8) Somebody's Watching Me -- Rockwell

9) Children of the Grave -- Black Sabbath

10) Dude looks like a Lady -- Aerosmith


Feel like joining in? Post a song we missed for Edward in the comments section, or make your own and send it to: cplteenservices@gmail.com for a chance to have your guest mix posted!

Behind the Page

- 0 Comment(s)

Young Adult Movie PosterA new movie has come out from the makers of Juno, again looking at adolescence, again featuring adults in states of arrested development. “Young Adult” is unfortunately-and paradoxically- rated R, so intended for grownups who might relate to the challenges of growing up, which seems to become increasingly difficult as we age for some reason.

Charlize Theron's character, Mavis Gary, has not advanced since her glory days in high school. As a writer of teen romance novels, she is suddenly faced with an opportunity to return to her home town and attempt to relive these days-- with disastrous results.

The film reminded me of Gentlemen Broncos, a quirky follow up to Napoleon Dynamite, which features a home-schooled writing prodigy whose science fiction story is plagiarized by a celebrity fantasy author (Germaine from Flight of the Conchords).

These two movies are the latest in a line of films subversively setting up expectations of authors (Renee Zellweger as Beatrix Potter notwithstanding), portraying them as complicated, petty, mean spirited, fallible and completely human. Think of the tightly wound children’s author in Elf, or in another Will Ferrell vehicle, Emma Thompson’s darkly disturbed author in “Stranger than Fiction”, who is unknowingly narrating the real-life counterpart of her protagonist to his demise.

The gaping character flaws are usually played for comedic relief largely because they are counter to the conventional image of the writer, especially those writing children’s and teens fiction. After all, these are people who are supposed to have it all figured out, right? More often than not, I’d say they deserve more credit.

“No one suspects the children’s writer.” Says Mo Willems, who among many other writers of children's books, is included in the documentary Library of the Early Mind, an exploration of the art and impact of children’s literature on our kids, our culture, and ourselves. The film features nearly 40 prominent authors and illustrators talking about their work, its genesis and its impact, offering a surprising and deeply insightful look into the lives of writers, illustrators and the industry itself. We learn some surprising facts about some of our most beloved writers. For example, can you guess which author started writing books after a lengthy stint in jail for drug trafficking? Whose Orwellian childhood upbringing inspired a series of books that subversively challenged the infallibility of grown up characters?

What do you Really know about your favorite authors? Check out their biographies (we have tons! just ask), come to our information desks and check out our great reference books on authors, or try the database Something About The Author through the E-library. Let me know what you find!

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