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Wanna be a MANGA star?

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

Wanna be a Manga star? Well, there is a FREE Manga & Comics Drawing Workshop at Thornhill Library this Thursday February 8th! Register Here! Now!! I know you wanna!

When I was a teen, one of our groups' favorite things to do was hang out at various red-neck diners drawing art and comics for each other all night. Maybe we were all on a kamikaze mission but... sharing all those comics and making zines together was certainly a blast! And sometimes we even sold them at All Ages shows making back our coffee money. DIY! There was always an edge... who could draw the awesomest MANGA? Make the coolest character? Have the weirdest plot? ... or get us in the most trouble?...

At any rate - Come to this workshop, brush up your comic skillz, and possibly MEET others who are as obsessed with Manga as you are!

Then publish your drawings: SUBMIT them to our TEENSCREATE page! From there it's just a short jump to DC... with maybe a few coffee shops and diners along the way...

In the meantime here are also some cool suggestions to get you started drawing.

Plus one of my favorite titles Steamboy by Katsuhiro Otomo. Who's your favorite Manga character?

Youth Worldviews Project

- 0 Comment(s)

Worldviews Project

Altogether too often people get caught up with talk about how terrible the state of the world is. Crime, poverty, environmental crisis and inequality can get downright depressing. I know plenty of people who have simply stopped listening to the news because it gets them down. Add to that pending destruction of earth in late 2012 and the many prophecies about fire and brimstone and you'd be tempted to give up on life.

Not long ago I met a Junior High school teacher named Kate McKenzie. Kate teaches current events and as you can imagine, this can be a very heavy topic. Early on in the year, Kate's students said they were getting super depressed by all the negativity in the news. Kate didn't want to leave her students feeling hopeless, so she set out to show them all the good things going on in the world.

Because there are good things going on!

Kate is determined to prove to her students that there are ways to combat hopelessness - she is travelling to 8 countries in 8 months and documenting inspiring stories of people doing great things to build their community. Learn more about her project here.

While she's away, we are partnering to provide a youth leadership opportunity.

Kate and The Calgary Public Library want to help fight hopelessness by equipping Calgary youth with the leadership skills they need to get involved in their communities and have a positive impact. We're calling it Youth Worldviews Project.

A series of four sessions will be held in which youth can come together to discuss what they can do to make a difference in their community. Mentoring opportunities will be available including Skype sessions with Kate. Ideas like marketing, volunteer recruitment, grant writing, and event planning will be discussed.

Come! Join us! Help make a difference.

Events will be held at the Central Library on the second floor on these dates:

February 18th from 12:00-1:30 pm

April 28th from 12:1:30pm

May 26th from 11:30-1:00pm

September 15th from 12:00-1:30pm

I can't wait to hear about how you plan to get involved!

Who Chooses What You Read?

- 0 Comment(s)

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!

***Stars, dust & magic***= Bleak, Bizarre & Beautiful continued...

by Adrienne - 4 Comment(s)

With holiday magic in the air, I thought I might get away with writing about some great fantastic (and magical books) without having a bunch of people vomit all over me... However, I also happen to know that a lot of you secretly and not-so-secretly love fantasy. And these are books with a twist.

As a teen, a friend introduced me to The Sandman by Neil Gaiman and although I had always shunned comic books, an instant romance was born. Gaiman is a mysterious magician weaving stories that are bizarre and strange, that usually leave you with more questions than answers. He also picks stunning illustrators to work alongside him. One of my favourites is Charles Vess. Vess' style could be best described as Art Nouveau meets 1930's comic book. Instructions, also by Gaiman, is a fairytale poem that might leave you rather quizzical and Stardust: Being a Romance in the Realm of Faerie, is pure indulgence! Go on fairy lovers, love it up! Of course you can always count on Gaiman to never follow the staight and narrow... There's DVD and Blu-Ray versions too. MirrorMask is a lovely, bizarre story that I reviewed earlier as an audiobook. It explores the intricacies and complications of mother/daughter relationships and I had the priviledged coincidence of listening to this in the car this summer while travelling back from Drumheller with my mother. Here's to unplanned synchronicity! MirrorMask is also a beautiful graphic novel illustrated by Dave McKean and a great video.

I discovered that Charles Vess has also illustrated some YA novels by one of my favourite Canadians (Saskachewanite to be precise), Charles DeLint! They're great! And short. In Seven Wild Sisters ginseng, bees and faeries mix! Featuring an Apple Man, an Old Aunt and Wild Hills, here's a short excerpt: "Most of her time was taken up with the basic tasks of eking out a living from her land and the forest... But you could buy your food instead of having to work so hard growing it.' 'Sure I could. But I've had to have me money to do that and to get the money, well, I'd have to work just as hard at something else, except it wouldn't necessarily be as pleasing to my soul.'... 'You find weeding a garden pleasing?', 'You should try it girl. You might be surprised.' " Medicine Road stars the Dillard twins Laurel and Bess (from Seven Wild Sisters) in a wild adventure in the Native Southwest. Check 'em out! Charles DeLint is also an artist, poet, folklorist & critic as well as playing in various bands -- he has just released a CD The Loon's Lament with his wife MaryAnn Harris and John Wood. It features cover art by Calgary's own Lisa Brawn!

The latest superstar to hit the scene earned his stripes working on animation for Toy Story! William Joyce has come up with the brilliant idea of re-working the characters of St. Nicholas, The Man in the Moon the E. Aster Bunnymund and others into "The Guardians of Childhood"; modern day super heroes inhabiting familiar, yet not-so-familiar folktales. These display some stunning SteamPunk style illustrations with a ton of adventure to boot. Maurice Sendak has said that The Man in the Moon is "a fabulous recapturing of an old, real fairy-tale world. Dark Mysterious. Stunning!" and Joyce's latest release Nicholas St. North and the battle of the Nightmare King has hit the shelves... just in time for the holidays.

And what fantasy suite is complete without a title such as The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle? “We are not always what we seem, and hardly ever what we dream.” The graphic novel adaped from Beagle's 1968 classic is lushly illustrated by Renea DeLiz and coloured by Ray Dillon. The library has just ordered Beagle's new book First Last Unicorn and other Beginnings. This includes letters, an unpublished novella about The Last Unicorn, interviews, correspondence and other snippets giving delightful insight into the creative process of this beloved master of fantasy. Over the holidays watch the DVD and Blu-Ray versions and then check our stacks in the New Year for the new book. Start the year off right!

Tolkien and Robin Hood Fans will appreciate Mouse Guard by David Petersen. Mouse life is treacherous and towns must be gaurded. Hence the formation of.. "The Mouse Guard"! Immerse yourself in a leaf-ridden, Ork-like medieval mouse's reverie (nightmare or dream?)! Mouse Guard vol. 01 Fall 1152 was critically acclaimed as best Indy Adventure Book of 2006 by Wizard Magazine and I can see why.

Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard vol. 01 also created by David Petersen. This album brings together 17 different comic artists - aka "mice", as they gather together at June Alley Inn to compete to clear their pub tabs by telling the most creative and fantastic stories (a fun nod to the classic "Canterbury Tales" by Chaucer!)

AND... I'm so excited I can barely contain it!!! Alex may geek out about being a Potter fan but I'm a total Lord of the Rings girl and.. Yes! they released an unexpected trailer for Peter Jackson's upcoming The Hobbit! .... Why can't it be next year already?!?!?!?

en...JOY!

Review: Everything You Need to Survive the Apocalypse

- 2 Comment(s)

Book CoverEverything You Need To Survive the Apocalypse is the first novel written by Lucas Klauss. The story is very extreme and out of this world, but I found myself relating to it. It’s a book about the everyday life, issues, and conflicts of a teenage boy--with a unique twist.

It starts off with the protagonist, Phillip, falling in love with a girl at first sight. He gets invited to go to church by this girl, Rebekah. He realizes that Rebekah is a very strong Christian believer and the only way to spend time with her is to go to church. To achieve this, Phillip has to go behind his father’s back who happens to be a strong atheist. Later he begins to question his reasons for getting involved in church.

I recommend this book for anyone who likes to reflect because it makes the readers question what is right and wrong. The novel has a lot of information, rules, and opinions about Christianity, so be sure you’re okay with that. Although there are many parts on Christianity in the book, there is also a relationship conflict with family and friends and the book can relate to many different readers. The protagonist understands that friendships can be broken just as fast as they are made, and that love is complicated and the best anyone can do is try. All in all, the book is great for pleasure reading and for critical thinking.

Reviewed by Harshini

Expected Publication Date: January 3, 2012

YAC (Youth Advisory Council), is a bunch of Calgary youth who volunteer to help shape teen services at CPL through sharing their ideas, time and talents. They have started reviewing ARCs (Advance Reading Copies) of books and we are pleased to publish them here. So...stay tuned for more reviews from YAC.

Coming of Age and Religion

by Jilliane - 2 Comment(s)

One of the reasons I love yalit is the coming of age theme that runs throughout it. Coming of age stories come in all shapes and sizes--naturally, because our lives have many different problems and concerns. At the core, coming of age stories are looking at identity and transitions. Transitions from childhood to adolescence to adulthood...and, well, I believe we are all transitioning all the time so coming of ages stories are relevant to all of us.

Although these stories can come across as melodramatic or angst-y at times, I think they are pretty awesome. Coming of age stories allow us to learn something about the human experience. They give readers the ability to play out different scenarios in their mind, to explore new ideas and to see how other people experience the world--and they are often very beautiful.

One of my favourite coming of age stories is Converting Kate. What I love about this book is the theme of religion--a rarely tackled topic in the coming of age genre. Transitioning to adulthood is a time of exploration when trying out new ideas and ideologies is like exercise for the mind--totally essential for your health. This book beautifuly illustrates this experience.

Book Cover

Converting Kate explores the effects of being raised in a strong religious tradition. 16-year-old Kate's world is rocked when her father passes away and she is torn from her home in Arizona. She and her fundamentalist mother move to Maine to help her Aunt run a bed and breakfast. Thrust into a new community and grieving her father, Kate, who has long been questioning her faith, begins to reveal her true feelings to her mother. Having been raised in the fictitious Church of the Holy Divine, Kate has followed a long list of commandments unwaveringly--only reading church-approved materials, always wearing a skirt, never going to the mall, fasting every Sunday and the list goes on and on and on. For the first time Kate refuses to go to church, igniting a lasting debate with her mother. Kate's inner conflict is illustrated through her narrative of sorting through her thoughts and feelings and pulling her own ideas away from the inner dialogue of her church. Kate emerges as a strong-willed, independent thinker and realizes that there is more to the world than her very censored, sheltered upbrining allowed her to explore.

It's a lovely depiction of the difficult and common experience of the faith crisis by debut author, Becky Weinheimer.

As I said, religion is a rarely tackled topic in the coming of age genre--have any good reads to suggest?

My world just turned... UPSIDEDOWN!

by Adrienne - 5 Comment(s)

What do we do when our world falls apart? Many of us turn to books and movies -- as a means of escape and coping -- but in addition to solace, books offer solutions and advice, empathy and new ways of thinking; and not just non-fiction. Much of the best new advice and ideas are fostered in fiction. Perhaps this is why dystopian novels are so popular. As a teen I read several books which definitely saved my butt. These include: "The Mists of Avalon" by Marion zimmer Bradley (this was a life changing book for me), "Girl Interrupted" by Susan Kaysen, Victor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning", "Sophie's World: a Novel on the History of Philosophy" by Josten Gardner, Huxley's "Brave New World" and others. I found it interesting to see that many of these titles are on our lists for Adult Books for Teens... Looking back I was probably going through a "midlife" existential crisis - at the tender age of sixteen! This, I realize, is not all that uncommon. As teens, our lives are tough. We are dealing many things, many crises, big and small (the zit on my nose! ahh! my parents' divorce ahhh!). And we are relatively new at coping, rarely having had to practice these skills because our parents or caregivers shield us from most of the struggles of childhood. Sometimes we are not new, as Sherman Alexie points out in an article on a recent visit to a Seattle alternative high school. "When I think of the poverty-stricken, sexually and physically abused, self-loathing Native American teenager that I was, I can only wish, immodestly, that I’d been given the opportunity to read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Or Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak. Or Chris Lynch’s Inexcusable....And now I write books for teenagers because I vividly remember what it felt like to be a teen facing everyday and epic dangers. I don’t write to protect them. It’s far too late for that. I write to give them weapons—in the form of words and ideas—that will help them fight their monsters. I write in blood because I remember what it felt like to bleed."

Regardless, in addtion to being entertaining, books offer glimpses into other peoples' lives, hopes, dreams, problems, solutions and resolutions. Books, or rather stories, can make us resilient. I'm going to be bold and go so far as offering up books as lifesavers. Claiming their rightful place in the creation of a sane society. So I thought this would be a nice tie-in to Canadian author Steven Galloway's book "The Cellist of Sarajevo", for CPL's 'One Book One Calgary' intitiave (read it, it's good!). It explores the resiliency and power of the human spirit so I created a display called "My world just turned... UPSIDEDOWN!" which showcases some of these books. I've included some bizarre and strange Graphic Novels as I think stretching our imaginations is one of the best ways of envisioning new possibilites. They also provide delicious escape -- which it is essential to do many times in order to maintain one's mental health. So whatever you are dealing with (as I'm sure there's something, whether you are a teen or not..) here are some literary life jackets:

RAPE

SUICIDE/ ANXIETY/ DEPRESSION/ CUTTING

and FYI Cynthia Voigt is one of my new fave authors - check out some of her fantasy books too!

+ check out this ladies blog!! http://simpleeserene.com/

EATING DISORDERS

PREGNANCY

SEX

GIRL POWER / CENSORSHIP

GLBTQ

STREET KIDS/ SCHOOL SUSPENSION / FIGTHTING

DRUGS

... and one short tear jerker on the resiliency of the human heart...

Synergy

by Jilliane - 0 Comment(s)

We are super stoked to welcome the artwork of Sir John Franklin School into our youth space on the 2nd floor of the Central Library. For a long time we had bare, boring walls---but not any more! Every corner of our youth space is now brightly and brilliantly decorated with artwork from young Calgarians. The cool thing is, this is just the beginning--we have forged a partnership with Sir John Franklin, an art centered school, and our walls have become their gallery for the year. So...more art to come!

The current show, Synergy, is running from November 3rd -- February 11th. That leaves lots of time for you to stroll on by and check out this awesome artwork. And I'm telling you, you won't want to miss this show. There are some seriously great pieces from very cool young artists. I had the privilege of meeting these artists and their families at the opening and their energy and enthusiasm was contagious. They love art. And so do we. You should too.

Here's the show description -- hope to see you soon!

Synergy – the multidisciplinary art created by the students of SJF

Synergy as defined on dictionary.com states:

synergy syn·er·gy (sin'?r-je)
n.
The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.

Sir John Franklin School has a focus on learning through the arts and this show is a small showcase of how teachers and students infuse the visual arts into the core curriculums of math, science, and humanities--and there is a pinch of creating art for arts sake.

Through the various works in this showcase, students have successfully illustrated their further understandings of self and community, the geometric patterns of flips and rotations, as well as the structures and inner workings of cells. It is also important to note that each individual piece has a sense of the artists’ own personality, from the flamboyant to the more reserved.

We hope that you take the time to wander through the various pieces and get to know our students through their works as well as what our school is all about.

Here's a sneak peak at the art & artists:

PD DAY EXTRAVAGANZA

by Alexandra - 0 Comment(s)

Have Monday off?

Pick a branch and come on down for some of the excellent programs and events we have for PD Day!

If it's a movie you feel like, we have fun, feature-length films being shown at Central, Crowfoot, and Fish Creek:

At Central we're showing in the John Dutton Theatre. I can't tell you what movie... it's a secret (unless you call 403-260-2657 right now...) but there ARE going to prizes and activities. 1:30-3:30 on the 2nd floor.

Crowfoot has their's from 2:00-4:00, and it's a secret too...

And Fish Creek's is at 2:00-3:30. I'm not going to tell you the title of that one either -- just call and ask!

Country Hills is showing great flicks for the younger kids from 3:15-4:45, which will have a variety of shorter movies and activities.

If you're looking for something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT, Crowfoot Libs is hosting the Bow Valley Calligraphy Guild (who will be there from 1:00-2:00) teaching kids of all ages how to create Decorative Letters or "Versals". Embrace your inner Medieval Scribe by whipping up one of these bad boys. If your teammates are still sore from that acid pit you dropped them into, give one to them-- Nothing says I'm sorry like an enchanted scroll (except maybe some aloe >__>' )

They'll also be putting on "Gaming for All Ages", where you can play all the classic wii games. Come from 11:00-12:30 for tournies, short competitions, and round robins!

Last but not least, Glenmore Square has a delightful play put on by the Calgary Young People's Theatre Troupe, called "The Man in the Moon" -- if you've missed it at the other branches, check it out from 3:30 - 4:15!


And if you just want to come on down, grab a great book, and cool out for the afternoon, we're always happy to see you. Happy P.D. Day!

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.

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