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  • July 2014
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Reading & Writing This Week at CLP

I’m sure that by now, Teen Summer Reading (TSR) is old news.  However, if you haven’t signed up yet, I do encourage you to stop by your local library, say hi to your librarian, and sign up!  You can earn nifty prizes and free books, as well as an invitation to your branch’s spectacular End of Summer party just for teens.

If you’d like to share what you’re reading with other teens, look no further than Hazelwood’s Teen Lounge and Book Club on Tuesday, July 2 from 2-3pm.  Bring a book you are reading and share what you loved or hated about it over snacks, crafts and games.  Refreshments and free books are provided.

Reading memehttp://memebase.cheezburger.com/tag/reading

Let’s say you’ve been reading all summer long, and you figure that you’ve already read a fair amount of books by different authors, of varying genres and writing styles.  You figure it’s about time you try your hand at writing something of your own.  Look no further than East Liberty’s Creative Writing for Teens on Saturday, July 6 from 3-4pm.

This special creative writing workshop will feature special guest and YA author Siobhan Vivian, author of The List and Burn for Burn.  Not only do you get to meet this fabulous author, but she will also help you improve your writing!  Registration is required, so register here, or by calling 412-363-8232 or emailing barbert@carnegielibrary.org.

one does not simply write a novelhttp://writerswrite.co.za/writing-truths-16810

Happy reading & writing!

-Amy, CLP-Lawrenceville

If You’re Havin’ Lit Problems, I Can Relate to You, Son. I Got 90s Problems, and a Book Is One.

It’s funny to think that just a little more than a decade ago we were still in the 90s, which happens to be my favorite decade (and why wouldn’t it be? just look at how awesome it is). But while the 90s may have been recent, the swelling nature of technological and social change has made many of the challenges kids like me who grew up during that time obsolete.

If you were one of the few kids–like Zack from Saved by the Bell–who could afford the nearly $4,000 it cost to buy one, much less pay for the plan, this is the huge brick you had the pleasure of lugging around.

Enter 90s hunk James Van Der Beek, whose improvised (and very ugly) moment of angsty excess during season 3 of hit teen drama Dawson’s Creek got screencapped and began the 90s problem meme.

Take, for example, the way you learn about and acquire new music. A friend posts a video they just found out about on Facebook and within a minute you’ve downloaded an MP3, right? Not for a 90s kid!

Want more insight into the world of what it was to be an 80s baby and grow up during the 90s? Click here!

So in the spirit of 90s problems, I’ve created a bunch of my own, featuring teens from 90s young adult literature with similar predicaments. If only they were born just a decade later!

Anyway, each one links to the catalog record for the book. Take your best guess before clicking, then read ‘em and weep (for their poor 90s souls)!

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

Muppet Fever

It’s been out for a few weeks, and I haven’t seen it yet.  But I am still excited about seeing the new Muppet movie.  For all the teens reading this, it might be before your time (and that makes me feel super old), but the Muppets was one of THE shows during my childhood.  My favorite character was Sam the Eagle.  I don’t know why I liked him so much, I just thought he was pretty cool. 

Sam the Eagle
And of course, the two old men (Statler and Waldorf) who sat up in the balcony and made fun of everyone were pretty awesome too.  The Muppets isn’t the only big movie coming out this holiday season.  The new Sherlock Holmes movie with Robert Downey Jr. looks good too.  What movies are you interested in seeing this month? 

Tell us what you want!

We’re asking teens all over the city of Pittsburgh

 what you want from your library.

Please take a few minutes and fill out this survey HERE.

Give us your honest opinion, and we’ll look to your answers when creating future library programs!


~LeeAnn Anna

Time Capsule Books (inspired by Parks and Recreation)

"Sometimes I think she's in the Volturi."

In a recent episode of the hilarious Amy Poehler vehicle Parks and Recreation, which chronicles the bumbling Parks Department of and the odd assortment of townfolk who inhabit the small Indiana town of Pawnee, Amy Poehler’s dream of building a time capsule that can perfectly… encapsulate the town is dashed when a crazed man demands that she include the one book that means more to the world and has done a better job of portraying the sparkling, undying experience of love and the human condition more than anything.

You guessed it. He wanted Twilight.

But what if you were the one who got to choose which book would go in your time capsule? I asked a few of the teens hanging out in the Teen Department, as well as our local librarians to see what they had to say.

13 Reasons Why, by Jay Asher

It’s just really good. This girl kills herself and makes tapes about why. Depressing, but good.

~Lizz, 17

The Thief Lord, by Cornelia Funke

A bunch of kids living in a movie theater. It’s awesome.

~Saul, 13

Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld

It’s a good book, and it’s like a utopia–a lesson to the world.

~Carlisle, 13

Fade, by Robert Cormiere

It’s very thrilling.

~Merce, 14

Looking for Alaska, by John Green

‘Cause I like it.

~Sophia, 13

Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling

It’s very popular and is a new idea.

~Anishaa, 12

I asked some of the staff, too, and here’s what they had to say:

The Book Thief, by Marcus Zusak

Because it has a little bit of everything: history, guilt, morality, growing up, ethics and the power/gift of words. It is also funny and moving at the same time (hard to pull off) and it even has illustrations!

~Suzie Waldo, Manager, CLP-Knoxville

Uglies, by Scott Westerfield

Because it’s explores what could happen, if future scientific endeavors were fueled mainly by current American conventions of beauty.

~LeeAnn Anna, Teen Services Coordinator

Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel

It captures this golden age of graphic novels with fantastic storytelling and a modern coming-of-age story.

~Corey Wittig, Digital Learning Librarian

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

To teach people of the future not to let society progress to that point…

~Julianne Moore, Librarian, CLP-Beechview

Brutally awesome. I think it changed what the public thinks about young adult novels.

~Annica Stivers, Librarian, CLP-Beechview

The Freak Observer, by Blythe Woodson

Because it was the Morris Award Winner the year I served on the committee.

~Karen Brooks-Reese, Manager, CLP-Lawrenceville

Of course, I would choose

Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky


Charlie’s voice was rife with vulnerability, and his nearly breathless observations as he wrote to his anonymous friend were so poignant. Anyone who wants to remember what it’s like to be a thoughtful, feeling human being should read this book again and again.

Those are our “time capsule books.” What would you choose?

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

Batman “The Dark Knight Rises” will be filming in Pittsburgh this summer. What do you think?

Pittsburgh will stand in for Gotham City in Christopher Nolan’s third Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises!” What do you think?

Take our poll and tell us!


Take our poll: Do you like Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss?

It was announced today that actress Jennifer Lawrence has been cast as Katniss Everdeen in the super-very-exciting Hunger Games movie!

What do you think of Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone) as Katniss?


Follow us on Twitter – @CLP_Teens

On Twitter? You should follow us, and stay informed about new blog posts, free giveaways, teen library programs, and a bunch of other great teen-centric stuff going on around town! It’s as simple as that.

Corey – CLP, Main

What’s on your life list?

A life list is also known as a bucket list. It is a list of things that you want to do, see or experience during your life.

It is not about getting straight A’s. It is not about getting a good job when you graduate from high school or college.

It is about the fun, exciting and interesting things that make your life-your life.

It is never too early to think about making a life list. Consider these questions:

  • What places do you want to visit?
  • What things do you want to do?
  • What things do you want to learn?
  • Who would you like to meet?

My life list would include the following:

  • Visit all 50 states (I have 33 left to visit).
  • Go to a Super Bowl (it would be great if the Steelers were playing).
  • See and experience the Olympic Games as a spectator.
  • Learn how to ski.

12 teens from Mt. Washington put together a group life list:

  • Sky Diving
  • Water Skiing
  • Learn How to Sing
  • Ride the Phantom Revenge at Kennywood
  • Hang Gliding
  • Ride in a Hot Air Balloon
  • Learn How to Dance
  • Explore a Jungle
  • Learn a Martial Art
  • Scuba Diving
  • Mountain Climbing
  • Learn How to Fence
  • Ride a Horse
  • Learn a Foreign Language
  • Take a Camping Trip

What’s on your life list? I would love to hear your plans.

For more ideas:

Creating a Bucket List-100 Things to do Before You Die by Marelisa Fabrega.


97 Things To Do Before You Finish High School by Steven Jenkins and Erika Stalder.


1,000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz


You can even create your own bucket list (or “reaper list”) online and share it with others at ReaperList.com!


CLP – Mt. Washington

Book Meme!!

I love meme’s! What’s a meme, you might ask? Well, according to dictionary.com, it’s “a cultural item that is transmitted by repetition in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes.”  In blogland, it’s often used to refer to surveys and things that make their way across the internet, being filled out by people all over the world. Below is a meme I found on a teen volunteer’s blog (Katie Cullen Reads - go there for book reviews, too) that I couldn’t resist. Do you feel the same? Then fill it out and post it as a comment!

Karen, Teen Services Coordinator

Books mentioned in this meme:

Dune by Frank Herbert  The Lark and the WrenEmily of New Moon     Suite Scarlett     Kite Runner     Secret Garden              

Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews? Honestly?
Dune by Frank Herbert. I read a lot of Science Fiction and Fantasy, and ever since I was a little kid people have asked me if I’ve read Dune and, when I say no, told me that I have to read it. I don’t like being told what to do, so I haven’t! And I probably never will.

If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?
That is a tough one! I think that I would love to go camping (preferably somewhere with running water and swimming, but very few people) with Rune from The Lark and the Wren by Mercedes Lackey, Emily from Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery, and Spencer from Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson. (Note: that last one is kind of a stopgap because I can’t think of anyone else right now, and I reserve the right to change my answers were this mythical camping trip to ever actually take place.)

 (Borrowing shamelessly from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde): you are told you can’t die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realize it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?
Almost anything by Jane Austen (please don’t hate me).

Come on, we’ve all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it?
At work, I do a lot of “I haven’t read that but I hear it’s good.” I try really hard not to say I’ve read something that I haven’t, especially if I’m recommending it to someone else! However, it is true that many people think I’ve read The Kite Runner by Khaled Husseini, when in fact that is not the case.

As an addition to the last question, has there been a book that you really thought you had read, only to realize when you read a review about it/go to ‘reread’ it that you haven’t? Which book?
I’m sure there has, although I can’t think of anything right now. What happens far more often (far too often) is that I start a book and, a few chapters in, realize that I’ve read it before.

You’re interviewing for the post of Official Book Advisor to some VIP (who’s not a big reader). What’s the first book you’d recommend and why? (If you feel like you’d have to know the person, go ahead and personalize the VIP.)
The world would be a better place if everyone read The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. And if this VIP doesn’t want to read a book about the healing power of friendship and nature, I don’t want to work for him/her anyway.

A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with? 

I think I’ll go with Russian. It’s such a neat language, and I’ve heard that all those classic Russian novels are much better in the original language.

A mischievous fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?
Uh…there are several books I reread at least once a year already, so I’ll go with The Secret Garden (seriously, people, it’s the best book ever). If you’re curious, some other books I read and reread are Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (and once I read that one, I usually have to reread the whole series), The Lark and the Wren by Mercedes Lackey and Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein



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