I just finished reading The Tyrant's Daughter by J.C. Carleson and I was blown away (not literally thank goodness). Laila's father, a dictator in an unnamed Middle Eastern country, has been killed and now she, her mom and brother have been relocated to the United States. Coming from a life of privilege and also from a country with strict laws about how women may act, Laila has a hard time adjusting to her new life. Luckily, Emmy steps in to show her the ropes of American culture. However, a US government agent begins to complicate things by manipulating her family to try and gain more influence in her home country.
Carleson is a former CIA operative who worked in Baghdad during Saddam Hussein's rule. She has an inside perspective on politics in the Middle East and how the US interacts with these countries. Usually, I would skip the author's note and essay found in the back of the book but, in this case, I highly recommend reading them as they are well worth it!
If you like this book you may also enjoy Shabanu by Suzanne Staples.
Just in time for Teen Tech week, Sharon, a patron experience librarian from the Lakewood Library shared information about the Digital Comic Museum. Graphic Novel fans can explore hundreds of pre-1959 comics that influenced the style of many graphic novels today (sorry no Batman, Superman or X-Men here). These comics give interesting and sometimes eyebrow raising glimpse into 1950s pop culture. So, explore the site and see how things have changed - or in some cases haven't changed much at all!
It’s Teen Tech Week at the Library! What does that mean? We are taking a moment to acknowledge all the awesome technology that makes our library thrive and connects us to you. So, cast your vote in our TEEN TECH AWARDS. It's your chance to tell us about your favorite tech gadgets, your hopes and dreams for the tech waves of the future, and how you feel about being connected all the time (plus you could win a prize)!
Thanks to all the Jeffco Library teens that joined me at the red carpet premiere of Divergent last night! It was an amazing time! The movie was excellent and follows the book well. The actors Ben Lloyd Hughes and Christian Madsen were both present. Some teens did get their posters and books autographed. The picture above is about as close as I got to the actors, in other words I was in the back. I think one of them is in the middle with the purple shirt.
It would be hard to pick my favorite scene in the movie, the whole thing was so good. The scenery was amazing and futuristic Chicago was very realistic. I used to live in Chicago and can freely admit that I would not make Dauntless as I have never had the urge to jump off a moving ‘L’ train. I would have to say my favorite part was Triss rappelling across buildings, my nails may be a bit shorter after watching this part. It was a great evening and great film, definitely worth the sleep deprivation for staying up late!
The Oscars are happening this Sunday, so throw on your party clothes, whip up some snacks and host a watch party. There are several movies nominated this year based on books including The Great Gatsby, Twelve Years a Slave, and my personal favorite The Book Thief (nominated for Best Original Score). The movie is based on Markus Zusak's critically acclaimed YA historical fiction novel that focuses on the journey of Liesel and her foster parents during World War II. There is nothing like beautiful music to bring to life and heighten a beautiful story.
There can never be too many books or movies about Greek Mythology. This month the movie, The Legend of Hercules was released and it amped up my interest in all things Greek again. There is of course the new Heroes of Olympus book, The House of Hades,which came out last fall, and some really cool graphic novels that feature epic tales like the Odyssey: a graphic novel. But if you are looking to find more information about the history and details of gods then try out Gods, Goddesses, and Mythology, one of the library's databases. My favorite part is being able to look up some minor god and figure out who he's related to and what he's done. This database is also useful for making your book reports about Rick Riordan look super impressive.
Stop by the Belmar Library reference desk to pick up a piece of swag from The Legend of Hercules movie. We have t-shirts, hoodies, and posters to give away to teens on a first come first served basis.
* image of Hoplite provided by Lammyman, Flickr Creative Commons, cc 2013.
Calling all Divergent Fans, get your red capret smiles ready! You have a chance to win a ticket to the Colorado premiere of the upcoming Divergent Movie, based on the book by Veronica Roth. If that's not exciting enough there will be two actors from the movie at the premiere, Ben Lloyd- Hughes (Will) and Christian Madsen (Al). I'm sure you're thinking, "How do I win this golden ticket?!?!" All you have to do is take this short quiz.
You can see more information about the date, time, and place of the movie at the start of the quiz. We will contact the winners by February 28th. Must be 13-18 years old to win! Tickets provided by Allied-THA.
Teens are complicated. There I said it. You can be sweet, sassy, thoughtful, and rude all in the matter of minutes. And that complexity is what makes working with you such a fun challenge.
I recently attended a training for Mental Health First Aid hosted by the Jefferson Center for Mental Health that reminded me of how quickly the brain is changing between the ages of 12-20, and how those changes can affect mental health. There are some amazing resources out there for you and the adults in your life that can answer questions, spark discussion, and provide background information. One of my favorite sites is Teen Mental Health which has information for teens, parents, and educators on everything from dealing with depression and anxiety to making new transitions in life, like starting colllege. The library also offers access to Teen Health and Wellness, an awesome database, that covers a variety of topics like grief and loss, food safety, and even dating.
So no matter what you're feeling, take a deep breath, talk, do a little research and know that your brain changes will slow down someday, but the way it functions will always be complicated (even as an adult).
*video provided by TeenMentalHealth.org
Aimee Carter, author of the Goddess Test series, has a new book out!
Pawn takes place in a future United States where society is strictly structured into different social classes. Each person takes a test when they turn 17 that determines their class and the kind of life that they will lead. Kitty tests as a III, which means working in a sewer and never having enough food or money to truly be happy. When the Prime Minister gives her the opportunity to upgrade to a VII she agrees without even knowing what she will need to do. The next thing she knows she is waking up after weeks of being drugged, only to find that she has a whole new body—she now looks and sounds exactly like the Prime Minister’s niece. Kitty learns that her world and the people who lead it are more gruesome and corrupt than she ever imagined, and she is now a pawn in their evil plots.
A boy stands in his room and then the world is destroyed. Okay, so that isn't exactly what happens in Homestuck, a web comic written, illustrated, and animated by Andrew Hussie, but it’s not far from the truth.
Meet John and his three friends Rose, Dave, and Jade. They decide to play a game called Sburb only to find out that it destroys their world. Now they need to work together with a group of alien teenagers called Trolls to save, not only their world, but many others, even in other galaxies. Get ready to dive into a world where everything is completely crazy and can make little to no sense. You will laugh the whole way through your Homestuck experience and make new friends.
Still doesn't sound cool enough for you? Come and learn more about this crazy phenomenon at the Standley Lake Library's Homestuck Party, Friday February 7th at 6:00pm.
*youtube video created by EmptyFeet