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Who Chooses What You Read?

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Freedom to Read

Freedom to Read Week is nearly upon us.

I think it's safe to say that most people here in Canada feel pretty confident that no one is trying to control the information they can access. I mean, we have Libraries, we have the Internet, we have Google, we have bookstores...if anything, we have too much information to deal with.

However! An abundance of information is not equivalent to equal access to information, or access to correct information, and it certainly dosn't stop people from trying to limit our access to information. There is no doubt that Canadians are among the information priviledged, so we should not stand idly by while other nations and people (sometimes in our backyard), cannot read or access the information they need.

This, our need to assert the right of all people to access information freely, is why we celebrate Freedom to Read Week! Everyone: Pick up a banned book and read it! Three cheers for the FREEDOM TO READ! Hip hip hooray!

If you can't imagine a world where the freedom to read is limited, I recommend you read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak or for something a little more fanciful try Matched by Ally Condie. The freedom to read what you want to and when you need to is incredibly important to our society's heath and well-being. If you disagree, consider recent events in Libya where the country was taken off the internet in the middle of a civil war. Or for something closer to home, look at this long list of books and magazines that were challenged here in Canada in 2011.

So, like I said, it is time to celebrate the freedom to read!!!

Announcing our annual Freedom to Read Contest: Who chooses what you read?

Here are the rules:

Express your thoughts on the freedom to read with words, film or graphic arts.

Choose one of the following methods:

Make a poster: draw, paint, or use photography and other graphic arts (8 ½ 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 original, except for short, cited quotations.

Criteria:
1. Persuade an audience and support your point of view.
2. Use techniques of form effectively to engage an audience.

Contest is open to Calgary students in Grades 7 – 9. Include your name, school, grade, and telephone number with your entry. Enter by email: freedomtoread@calgarypubliclibrary.com AND upload to Teens Create; OR submit your hardcopy to any Calgary Public Library location. One entry per person. Entries must be received no later than midnight Wednesday February 15th 2011.

And of course...there will be prizes!

Use Your Pencil Hugo- Bleak, Bizarre, Beautiful cont..

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

Sometimes opening something has such a velvety quality, the unknownness of it so black, the mystery so tangible you can almost feel it; like rubbing paper between your fingers. Opening The Invention of Hugo Cabret: a novel in words and pictures is like that. And the adventure unfolds from there. The biggest discovery being how Brian Selznick has almost single handedly reinvented the form of the novel and what a book can be. The story is told in pictures and then in words, back and forth, never repeating scenes. Words and pictures move the story along sequentially; they are not meant to expand on one another nor elaborate. Yet enhance each other they do. Different in this way from a graphic novel, the pictures take up the whole page adding unimaginable layers of depth. Each speaks 1000 words or more, describing both setting and scene with lush pencil strokes, sturdy in execution yet exquisite in detail. It just makes me want to run my fingers over the page, flip them back and forth, back and forth... The quality of the paper is rich as well, reminding me of the the lushness of Vida Simone's art and the memory I have of a personal performance with miniature puppets she performed for me in my apartment (among others) as part of her show at The New Gallery years ago. Telling stories in her own personal way. Hugo Cabret does the same thing.

So flip through the pages I did! And discovered, much to my delight, that the individual sequences of images throughout the book act like mini flip books, animating individual scenes, imitating the earliest animations and stop motion film sequences of silent movies. This adds a physically tangible metaphor to the history of cinema that the book probes to a certain depth; satisfying in metaphor of not breadth. To this add steampunkish elements tying clockwork magicians to the mysteries of the human heart and human bonds. It's no wonder it won the Caldecott Medal in 2008.

Et tu parle Francais? Since the book does take place in Paris.. get the the French version here. The book has so many layers. Its very form is half of it! This leaves me wondering if a film on the book can truly do it justice. Yet the story is so strong in and of itself, and.. it does deal with the invention of cinema, so a film MUST have something to add to the discussion of itself... "Hugo" In theatres TODAY (November 23rd) you can watch the trailer here. One thing I don't doubt= I am excited to see it!

I'm even more excited to read and experience Selznick's next adventure in the re-invention of the novel = Wonderstruck. Here he talks about how he wanted to tell 2 stories. One about Rose, set in the past, told in pictures and one about Ben, set in the present, told in words. At some point the stories meet in the middle and either a puzzle is solved and/or a new mystery evolves. See the website here.

Let the mysteries begin. Perhaps all is not lost to e-books and cyberspace. Selznick has given us something in these books akin to the realization that the specialness of a handwritten letter or home made card can never equal an email or Facebook Message. So go ahead - use you pencil!

POETRY SLAM! OBOC & The Calgary Spoken Word Society Team Up Sat 2-3:30

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

This Saturday get ready for a special Second Saturday Slam. This month One Book One Calgary teams up with the Calgary Spoken Word Festival 's crew to deliver a slam with a twist. Come enjoy, compete and/or listen and judge. Bring some of your poems that explore some of the rich themes in Canadian author Steven Galloway's novel "The Cellist of Sarajevo". This could be something related to music or art, the enduring power of the human spirit, diversity, or war and peace. Contestants will be chosen on a first come first serve basis. AND CSWF always offers really valuable and encouraging feedback. I've learned a lot as a poet in the ones I've attended (yes I DID dare to read some of my poems in public - therefore... I dare you!). Thanks to Sheri - D Wilson, Andre Prefotaine, Jen Kunlire and others!!!

And by the way if you haven't checked out the poetry of these guys and gals - they are fantastic!

The OBOC website also has some great books on it as well as book lists. My favourite being the ones that relate to the Human Spirit and Art and Music. Additional suggestions for great verse novels would be Orchards by Holly Thompson and Roses and Bones which includes Psyche in a Dress by Francesca Lia Block.

And as a side note - For the whole month of November we have a cool painted piano that you can see inside of downstairs on the main floor of the library! Come play a tune on your way up or down to the John Dutton Theatre.

Banned Book Contest

by Alexandra May - 3 Comment(s)

Today marks the start of Banned Book week -- a week where we celebrate our freedom to read whatever we want... even if some people think it is unpopular, unconventional, or just plain wrong.

In honour of our right as Canadians to read ANYTHING and EVERYTHING, Calgary Public Library is holding a contest. There are three ways to enter:

  • Choose a book from this list and find an article about why it was banned. Respond to this article with counter-arguments for why it should NOT have been banned. If you've read the book, tell us what you thought of it!

  • Find a different example of censorship in Canada (other than book-banning) and comment on it.

  • Make a poster advertising for Banned Book week and upload it to Teens Create.

Winners of this contest will receive a Gift Certificate to Chapters/Indigo (so you can buy ANY book you want!) and will be announced on Monday October 3rd

fReAkY cRaZy

by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

Freaky Crazy

If you haven't noticed, the bloggers here in the Teen Zone get pretty freakin' psyched about books. And there's one coming out on Tuesday that has us positively tingling. It's called "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children", and I have literally had my copy on hold from the second I heard about it.

Inspired by the freaky and crazy photography that came out of the Victorian Era, author Ransom Riggs pulled together some of the weirdest ones he could find, and wove a story around them.

It's about sixteen-year-old Jacob's discovery of an abandoned building that used to house children of extraordinary --and possibly dangerous-- talents. It's been labelled "tense", "moving", and "wondrously strange" and even though the book hasn't been released to the public yet, 20th Century Fox has already scooped the movie rights.

So here's the deal:

We're so excited about this book, we're going to start giving it away for free! We have several copies available to be won through the TEENS CREATE portion of this website.

There are two ways to submit an entry:

1) Create an image of the weird and wonderful. You're free to use digital photo-editing tools, but why not try playing around with perspective and exposure the way the Victorians used to? They loved things like carnival freak shows, fairies, and the paranormal.

2) Write a limerick as a caption to one of the photos in the image above! For example:

"There once was a man so balding,

That the back of his head was appaling.

He'd cover it with paint

(which attractive, it ain't)

and it earned him some awful name-calling."

Believe me, it won't be hard to write one that's better than that.

Once you've created your entry, all you have to do is log-in to TEENS CREATE, and upload your image or your limerick. Make sure you indicate somewhere in the title that it's an entry for "The fReAkY cRaZy Contest".

The contest closes June 16th, so you have about two weeks to get cracking. Once we have all of your submissions, we'll enter them in the draw for the book prizes. We'll inform everyone shortly after that who the winners are!

And just in case you guys need some paranormalic, steam-punky, or down-right creepy reads to tide you over until this one comes out, check out these:

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Graphic Novel Cirque du Freak Leviathan The Hunchback Assignments Clockwork Angel

Divergent - "The new Hunger Games"

by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

So you've read and own the entire Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins? The Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld? And you're hungry for more? (Pardon my pun).

DivergentI am really excited by the buzz around a new series called Divergent by Veronica Roth - apparently worked on during college when she should have been doing her creative writing homework at Northwestern University, a choice, which has transformed her into a graduate and full time writer. I, for one, am really excited because everyone is abuzz about a new series called Divergent by Veronica Roth - apparently worked on during college when she should have been doing her creative writing homework @ Northwestern University - a choice - which has now transformed Veronica into a graduate and full time writer.

A Dystopian novel at it's best, the heroine Beatrice, lives in a society where ONE choice made at the age of 16 determines - your friends - your beliefs - and your loyalties FOREVER. The choice - which of the 5 factions: Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful) and Erudite (the intelligent)- to belong to, can seperate or unite you with you family, previous friends, schoolmates and former interests. One is not supposed to be "Divergent" (gifted in more than one faction). If one is - as Beatirce discovers, it can mean death. She makes a choice and renames herself Tris, joining her faction hiding a pretty big secret. Tris then discovers a growing conflict threatening to unravel her seemingly perfect society. Her secret may destroy her or help her save those she loves most...

The first book has just come out and hit CPL's library stacks. There will be two sequels books to follow.

I'm all in!FireGraceling

If you liked the Hunger games you might also check out Graceling by Kirstin Cashore and the companion novel Fire - both gripping all night reads. In Graceling if a person is born with 2 different coloured eyes they are "graced" with a special gift or ability that becomes aparrent as they mature. When Katsa discovers that she is graced with killing she becomes a pawn used by her uncle, the king. Katsa, however, has other ideas about how she wants to live her life and a gripping suspense/romance novel ensues.

And if you like Graceling you will also enjoy The Healer's Keep a companion novel to Vicoria Hanley's The Seer and the Sword

The Healer's Keep The Seer and the Sword

"The Giver" by Lois Lowry will also interest those who like Divergent as well as 1984 (George Orwell) and Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)(both found in our adult fiction collection)

The Giver 1984 Brave New World

Extra-Sensory In-vox-ication- Poetry and Music - How to Be Alone - Calgary Spoken Word Festival

by Adrienne Adams - 0 Comment(s)

NOT interested in dating? Ever wonder how to be alone? Into Spoken Word? Poetry Slammin? The Jams going on @ CPL every 2nd Saturday of the month. The next one is Saturday May 14th 2011. Wonder how all this could be related?

Tanya Davis' video "How to be Alone" went viral on the internet in 2010 watch it here check out her website here. She did an outstanding performance at Extra-Sensory In-vox-ication- Poetry and Music Event #3 on Wednesday March 30th at the Calgary Spoken Word Festival.

Also performing that night were Ian Ferrier, Louise Bernice Halfe - Sky Dancer, Tyler Perry and Robert Priest.

Robert Priest performed a VERY uh - short- poem - uh hum which surmised all of the word - "Brevity". Start. Finish. That's all folks. He is one on the writers in the FREE Online Words Aloud Study Guide for High School Drama, LA and Media Arts. Check it out and brush up on your slamin' skills!

The Golden Beret Award was given to Ian Ferrier from Montreal by last year's winner, Calgary's own Sarah Murphy.

The Spoken Word Festival continues in Banff this week if you want to go to the mountains and check out some rockin' poetry! - April 15th Student Speak check it out here.

April is National Poetry Month in Canada! Upcoming Poetry events in Calgary include:

April 11th 8pm - Salon: A Gathering of Word Artists - Cafe Koi 1011 1st SW - Come perform on the open mic!

It’s also time for Flywheel!

April 14th 7:30pm Pages Books on Kensington - 1135 Kensington Road NW

Join host Meghan Doraty for the April Flywheel Reading Series with readings from local poets Beth Langford, Stuart McKay and Juliet Burgess. Gayleen Froese will be launching her new book, Grayling Cross (NeWestPress).

April 20th 7-9pm - City of Poets: New Poetry Celebration in the John Dutton Theatre @ Central - Celebrate the launch of new books by Calgary poets Rosemary Griebel and Kirk Ramdath. Listen to readings from Calgary favourites Weyman Chan, Richard Harrison, Jen Kunlire, and Bob Stallworthy. Kirk Ramdath has been doing a lot to promote the spoken word scene in Calgary with his blog Passion Pitch and the FREE magazine WAX check it out here.


Who Chooses What You Read?

by Jilliane Yawney - 0 Comment(s)

Freedom to Read Week happens every year and is a chance for us all to think about our right to choose what we read. Every year our right to read what we want to is challenged in many ways. Books are often banned, reporters lose their jobs because of opinions they are expressing, and often material is not even published or purchased because of its content. So, we are holding a contest to celebrate the freedom to read!

Here are the rules:

Express your thoughts on the freedom to read with words, film or graphic arts.

Choose one of the following methods:

Make a poster: draw, paint, or use photography and other graphic arts (8 ½ 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 original, except for short, cited quotations.

Criteria:
1. Persuade an audience and support your point of view.
2. Use techniques of form effectively to engage an audience.

Contest is open to Calgary students in Grades 7 – 9. Include your name, school, grade, and telephone number with your entry. Enter by email: freedomtoread@calgarypubliclibrary.com AND upload to Teens Create (http://www.calgarypubliclibrary.com/teenscreate); OR submit your hardcopy to any Calgary Public Library location. One entry per person. Entries must be received no later than Wednesday February 9th 2011.

And of course...there will be prizes!

Write Now!

by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

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