-School debate coming up?
-Argumentative research paper?
Opposing Viewpoints in Context is a great resource for all these things and more! They take current events and ethically controversial topics and give you all the information you would need to make an informed argument. For example, I looked up school uniforms. First I get an article outlining all the background info I need, such as the difference between dress codes and uniforms, court cases, the cost of uniforms, and issues with sweat shops. I can also read arguments for and against school uniforms, such as “School Uniforms Stifle Freedom of Expression” or “School Dress Codes are Necessary and Constitutional,” which lay out the pros and cons of the issue and include great examples. Then I can read through magazine and newspapers articles about the topic, listen to audio files, watch videos, get statistics, and link to other websites. And all of this information is in one place and easy to use!
You can access Opposing Viewpoints in Context by going to jeffcolibrary.org/teens and then clicking on “Homework Help.” You don’t have to be in the library to use it—just log in with your name and library card number. Search for what you’re interested in, or click on “Browse Issues” to get ideas. Winning an argument is always fun; now you can be prepared!
Will Henry is the assistant to Dr. Warthrop, a monstrumologist who studies those dark creatures who haunt our nightmares. When a strange corpse is delivered to their doorstep Will Henry and Dr. Warthrop discover and attempt to destroy a pod of Anthropophagi living in their home town. Warning! This book is not for the easily scared (like me).
At last! The long wait is over! The second book, following Cinder, in The Lunar Chronicles is here and it does not disappoint! Meyer has a really accessible writing style and this novel is fast paced with engaging characters. There's also a nice re-imagining of the Little Red Riding Hood tale just for good measure.
In this installment Cinder's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust the stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.
Scarlet has a long hold list but it is well worth the wait. It is also one of our Lucky Day titles so check the library when you are here and see if you get lucky!
Trapped inside a chain superstore by an apocalyptic sequence of natural and human disasters, six high school kids from various popular and unpopular social groups struggle for survival while protecting a group of younger children.
OMG! OMG! OMG!
Ok. Look. By the middle of the second page I was in it to win it with this book. Not sure if it’s the locality of the story (Colorado Springs), if it’s the ages of the characters (first graders through high school) or if it is the crazy-non-stop-tell-me-this-can-not-ever-happen-here--WHAT!?-it-might-happen-next-week-OMG! aspect that made Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne so riveting for me, but… HOLY COW.
I’ll tell you what, though… my new end of the world survival plan includes a Super Target now. ‘Nuff said.
Set in the not-too-distant future, Robopocalypse describes a world in which robots have made our lives a lot easier – they fight our wars, clean our homes, and drive our cars. Then, under the control of a childlike yet sinister artificial intelligence called Archos, the robots turn against humanity in a terrifying and bloody attack known as Zero Hour. A group of international survivors – including a Japanese scientist, a London hacker, and a cop on an Oklahoma Indian reservation – stage an inventive counterattack in this action-packed thriller. The author, Daniel H. Wilson, has a PhD in robotics, so the story is full of astonishing technical detail. His latest novel, Amped, is also available. Fans of World War Z and other dystopian thrillers should give this one a try!
Did you see the movie / read the book Life of Pi? Want to read some other books that give you a good sense of Indian culture and life? Try some of these great reads:
Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck
Seventeen-year-old Oregon teenager Kelsey forms a bond with a circus tiger who is actually one of two brothers, Indian princes Ren and Kishan, who were cursed to live as tigers for eternity, and she travels with him to India where the tiger's curse may be broken once and for all.
Karma by Cathy Ostlere
After her mother's suicide, Maya and her Sikh father travel to New Delhi from Canada to place her mother's ashes in their final resting place. On the night of their arrival, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated. Maya and her father are separated when the city erupts in chaos, and Maya must rely on Sandeep, a boy she has just met, for survival.
Anila's Journey by Mary Finn
In late eighteenth-century Calcutta, half-Indian half-Irish Anila Tandy finds herself alone with nothing but her artistic talent to rely on, searching for her father who is presumed dead.
Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman
In India, in 1941, when her father becomes brain-damaged in a non-violent protest march, fifteen-year-old Vidya and her family are forced to move in with her father's extended family and become accustomed to a totally different way of life.
Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier
Dimple, whose family is from India, discovers that she is not Indian enough for the Indians and not American enough for the Americans. Where does she fit in when she is constantly pulled between these two opposing cultures?
February is African American History Month. In celebration of this event here are a few amazing African American scientists:
George Washington Carver- From cosmetics to gasoline, Carver found more uses for the peanut than you might imagine. Carver moved around quite a bit as a youth and often did a variety of odd jobs. With this well-rounded education, both practical and from formal colleges like Simpson and the Agricultural College in Ames Iowa, he used his knowledge of chemistry and agriculture to try to improve the situation for poor southern farmers.
Percy Lavon Julian - Julian discovered a method to extract hormones and steroids from plants. This discovery brought the cost of medicine down significantly and helped relieve everything from glaucoma to helping with fertility. He also invented a fire fighting foam that was used in World War II.
Annie J. Easly - Best known for her work on the NASA Centaur rocket project, Easly joined NASA at the beginning of the space age. She wrote computer code that evaluated substitute power technologies, helped launch Centaur, identified wind, solar and other energy projects for NACA (now called NASA). She also helped invent other systems to solve energy problems.
Want to know more? Check out our online database Science in Context.
Beautiful Creatures, based on the teen best seller by Kami Garcia, is set to release Feb. 13th. It’s a dreamy, southern gothic romance. The story is set in Gaitlin, South Carolina. Gaitlin is a typical small southern town where everyone knows everyone else’s business. Ethan, 16, and still reeling from the loss of his mother the previous year, begins having nightmares. Every night he wakes sweating and terrified from a dream of a girl who mysteriously slips from his hand and drowns in a pool of water. Can you guess what happens next? Yes, the girl from his dreams, Lena, moves to town. She is mysterious and lives with her reclusive uncle. She’s also a caster, aka witch, whose path will be chosen for her when she turns 16--a path toward darkness or a path toward the light.
Humans and dragons engineered a fragile peace nearly forty years ago, but as the anniversary of the treaty nears, tensions escalate with covert factions on both sides instigating war. Seraphina, an unusually gifted musician, hides not only the extent of her talent but her heritage. Dragons can assume human form and a few live among the people of Goerdd as ambassadors and scholars; they are mathematical, rational and precise musicians, but they disdain emotion. Seraphina is half-dragon and half-human, something that everyone else presumes impossible. She must hide her true nature at risk of death for herself and her father, but her knowledge of dragons is uncanny. When the Crown Prince is murdered, Princess Glisselda and her betrothed, Prince Lucien rely on Seraphina’s courage and knowledge, drawing her deeper into an intrigue rooted in treason.
Vivid world-building at its best, Seraphina is an adventure that tests the boundaries of love, loyalty and what it means to be human.
Anya doesn’t fit in a school or home. Her mom wants her to respect her Russian immigrant roots but she wants to be a normal American teen. When she falls down the well in the park she finally gains a best friend, one that has been dead since 1918. Emily may have been dead for a century but she is determined to help Anya transform into a popular girl at school. As the saying goes, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence and sinister secrets follow Emily from the grave. This is a well drawn story with images that perfectly capture what it is to feel like an awkward teen trying to fit in. I loved this story from start to finish.