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Youth Video Contest!

by Jilliane - 0 Comment(s)

We all know homophobic bullying in schools is wrong. And we all know it happens.

Shine BookcoverThere have been some amazing books written on the topic. One of my faves is Lauren Myracles Shine which tells the story of 16-year-old Cat and her best friend, Patrick, who happens to be gay. When Patrick is beaten and left for dead, Cat decides to unravel the mystery behind this terrible hate crime. They live in a small Southern Caroline town and Cat has to navigate her way through the tightly knit community to find the perpetrator. Although the Sheriff assumes the criminals are from out-of-town (because no one from our town would do this!), Cat visits all her friends, including the "redneck possee" Patrick used to hang around with, to discover the truth. She uncovers some dangerous secrets (people dealing and using meth) and a great deal of shame that many people feel because of how they treated Patrick. Cat reflects on all of this, and of course, discovers a lot about herself in the process--which is all very insightful. A sombre and compelling story with a hopeful ending--I defintely think you will love Shine.

We have a whole list of interesting books on the topic homosexuality. You'll find it here (but you have to scroll down just a bit!).

At the moment, an AMAZING contest is being held to raise awareness for homophobic bullying in schools and to help stamp it out. The prizes are sweet, the challenge is fun and it's open to all Canadian youth.

Here's what you gotta do:

Create a short video and submit it by June 11th that challenges homophobia and bullying. For more info, visit Out In Schools.

But really, this video says it all:

Bitterblue

by Jilliane - 0 Comment(s)

Bookcover BitterblueKristin Cashore is the New York Times bestselling author of Graceling and Fire. Graceling and Fire were both named ALA Best Books for Youth Adults in addition to other awards. Basically, Cahsore rocks. And...her third book is coming out in May!!! I am lucky enough to have read Bitterblue already, so now I'm going to evangelize all about it so you'll all place a hold on it before it comes out.

To start with, Graceling and Fire are companion novels to Bitterblue. You don't have to read them to follow the story, but knowledge of them will enhance your enjoyment of the story (and anyway, they are awesome). Bitterblue takes place after Graceling.

King Leck ruled Monsea for years. His grace (the ability to control people's minds) and his violent psychopathic personality, destroyed his kingdom. Eventually he was overthrown and murdered and his daughter Bitterblue was left to help the kingdom recover. Because Bitterblue became queen as young child she was very dependent on her advisors. She is now 18 and for the first time, decides she needs to try to understand her kingdom more completely. In the hopes of learning more about the land she rules, Bitterblue begins to sneak out at night in disguise. She visits local story rooms and listens to people tell tales of the crazy King Leck and she discovers that her people are still wounded and seeking the truth about their past. Bitterblue is determined to help them heal, but first, needs to unravel the mystery of her own past. She uncovers distrubing secrets about her insane father Leck. Even more disturbing, she learns that Leck still has a hold on some people in her kingdom--a secret that she must bring to light and deal with if her kingdom is to heal and she is to become a strong queen.

Bitterblue truly is a gripping story. Although it is long and starts slow, the richness of the detail, the depth of the characters and the intricate plot will pay off. It's the kind of book you will stay up late into the night to finish once you get going. More than anything, I love the rock-star-tough-feminist heroines Cashore places in her books. So...read, and enjoy.

bookcover bookcover

Too young to VOTE? Cast your ballots HERE! Young Reader's Choice Award

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

Too young to VOTE? Cast your ballots HERE! The Pacific Northwest Library Association is looking for young voters. If you are between grades 4-12, live in the Pacific Northwest (in Canada this is BC and Alberta) and have read at least 2 of the book on the YRCA 2012 nominees list you can vote for your favourite book! Voting takes place in between March 15th - April 15th. We have a ballot box here at SCTF on the 2nd Floor at Central where you can drop your ballots off - and we'll mail them in for you! Or print them off here (scroll to the bottom right hand of the page for the Word document containing the ballots) and mail them in yourself. There is also a study guide for teachers (bottom left hand of the page). Impress them; encourage your whole class to vote!

Here are the Senior 2012 Nominees. They make great Spring Break reading material.

If you've read at least 2 of the books in each category you can also vote for the Junior and Intermediate categories.

My personal favourite for Juniors is The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly- A witty and apt portrayal of the combined sophistication, seediness, prejudice and refinement of the Old South; as seen through the eyes of an 11yr old girl who wants to be a scientist... at the turn of the previous century!

Winners will be announced in mid-April - check back to the PNLA website for details.

Happy Voting! Smile

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).

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