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  • October 2011
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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

Our Neighbor to the South

This is my last post for CLPTeensburgh. At the end of the month I will be moving with my family to Wild, Wonderful West Virginia. I’m going to miss CLP, but I am looking forward to being a West Virginia girl.

People make a lot of ignorant jokes about West Virginia, but it is truly an amazing place.

It was the birthplace of many awesome people, including Pearl S. Buck, author of The Good Earth and winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize for Literature, actress Jennifer Garner, African-American educator and author Booker T. Washington, J. T. Woodruff, lead singer in one of my favorite bands, Hawthorne Heights, and not to mention my wonderful husband..


It is also the setting in many great books, including Shiloh, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1991, NY Times Best Seller  The Glass Castle, and National Book Award finalist Lark and Termite: A Novel.

You can find other books set in West Virginia, as well as any other location, at bookssetin.com.

In addition, Super 8, a movie I am very excited to see, was filmed in Weirton, West Virginia, not even an hour from Pittsburgh!

So yeah, West Virginia is a very cool place. Take me home, country roads!

Eva, CLP – Allegheny

Peter and Wendy at 100

“Peter Pan is a great and refining and uplifting benefaction to this sordid and money-mad age.”—Mark Twain

We all know Peter Pan as “the boy who wouldn’t grow up” — funny then that J.M. Barrie‘s novel Peter and Wendy is now 100 years old. To celebrate, a really great Annotated Peter Pan was just released. You can order it from the library today!

I know that Peter Pan is kind of for kids, but if you ever enjoyed the movies (maybe the Disney movie or Hook) or one of the plays, there’s a good chance you’ll find something interesting in this new edition.

For me, the best thing about Peter Pan is his stubbornness and carefree nature. He clings to youth, though it puts him at odds with the world at large (and his nemesis Captain Hook in particular).

The conflict between Peter (“Proud and insolent youth” as Captain Hook calls him) and Captain Hook (“Dark and sinister man” according to Peter) is central to the original play and all of the Peter Pan stories we know. Peter represents youth (reckless, carefree, innocent but boastful)  and Captain Hook is unsavory adulthood (governed by rules, cruel, and petty).

The new book is full of period photographs, full-color images by some great illustrators, commentary on stage and screen versions, and lots of supplementary material, too.

Growing up is inevitable and, really, not so bad, but looking back at Peter’s adventures in Neverland, it’s easy to lose yourself in memories of childhood wonder as well as the poignancy of what we lose when we grow up.

If you like Peter Pan, but need something written more for your age group, check out some of these books:

Peter Pan in Scarlet (the official sequel) by Geraldine McCaughrean – In August 2004 the Special Trustees of Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, who hold the copyright in Peter Pan, launched a worldwide search for a writer to create a sequel to J.M. Barrie’s timeless masterpiece. Renowned and multi award-winning English author Geraldine McCaughrean won the honor to write this official sequel, Peter Pan in Scarlet. In the 1930s, all is not well. Nightmares are leaking out of Neverland. Fearing for Peter Pan’s life, Wendy and the Lost Boys go back to Neverland — with the help of the fairy Fireflyer — only to discover their worst nightmares coming true!

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson – This is a prequel to Peter Pan and the start of a whole series of Peter Pan books by Barry and Pearson. Soon after Peter, an orphan, sets sail from England on the ship Never Land, he befriends and assists Molly, a young Starcatcher, whose mission is to guard a trunk of magical stardust from a greedy pirate and the native inhabitants of a remote island.


Capt. Hook : the adventures of a notorious youth by J.V. Hart – This book describes the youthful adventures of J.M. Barrie’s classic character, Captain Hook, from his days at Eton to his voyages on the high sea. The book is also full of great illustrations by Brett Helquist, illustrator of A Series of Unfortunate Events.



Corey, Digital Learning Librarian

Teen review: No and Me by Delphine de Vigan

Caroline – I am a 16-year-old from Point Breeze and a junior in high school. Along with reading and listening/singing along to music, my hobbies include journaling, chemistry, and fencing.

No and Me by Delphine de Vigan

begin blog:

As the weather gets cooler (well, it’s not yet, although it should be!), we open up our drawers to reveal stacks of sweatshirts, jeans, and bright fuzzy socks. We toss on our Northfaces, pull on our Uggs, and turn the heat up. We dread waking up for school in winter because it means getting out from under the covers.

Imagine if you had none of that. No heat, no fresh pair of socks, no nothing.

Thirteen-year-old Lou is your everyday girl on the surface. She’s shy, English presentations give her chills, the boy sitting next to her, Lucas, fills her with that warm excitement of love, and she dreams of the day when being popular will seem like second nature. Deep down, however, quirks abound. Analyzing peoples’ emotions at the train station, keeping her things in order, and comparing the labels of frozen food packages are only a few of her hobbies. These quirks come into play when she decides to do her English presentation on the homeless. At the train station that day, a girl who calls herself No (short for Nolwenn) unexpectedly strikes up a conversation with Lou, who realizes that No is homeless. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Lou talks almost every day with this girl to get the information she needs for her English project. Gradually, the girls become friends, and No reveals her day-to-day life – having to constantly move about, the trouble with soup kitchens and emergency shelters, the difficulty finding a place to sleep, and even doing nothing all day. Lou begins to mull over the fact that, despite how incredibly advanced the world is, even with all our fascinating scientific discoveries, we can still let people live and die, freezing on the street. Recognizing her once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Lou takes the leap and invites No to live with her. Permanently.

I’m sure you can guess how the rest goes. Everything goes well – No gets a job, Lou’s overly depressed mother starts to come back to life – until something goes wrong. No, having no experience, is struggling with her horrible new job and constantly loses hope. Lou’s father tells No that she has to leave, so Lou sneaks her over to Lucas’s house, and No stays there until she loses her job. Afterwards she does nothing but sleep, drink, and grow more depressed. Eventually she runs away and Lou never sees her again. Feeling abandoned, Lou has to come to grips with the fact that you can’t do everything. You can’t save the world, and it will never be perfect. You can’t force people to go against their nature, and it’s hard to change their habits. Lou did the best she could and that’s all she could have, but she learned a valuable lesson in a unique way. It’s a lesson that could have been pounded into her head, but she had to see for herself to believe it.

A few notes: first of all this book is set in France, and there were a few things that I noticed. For instance, there was mention of an abortion law – apparently if you are past your first trimester you aren’t allowed to get an abortion in France. There were also plenty of mentions to Parisian landmarks that I had never heard of before. It was a great aspect of the book though because it knocked you slightly out of your comfort zone without the usual references to Rockefeller Center and such.

Also, I thought the best part of the book was the characterization and portrayal of emotions: When someone was upset, you could picture exactly what it was like, and it was easy to bond with the characters. I especially loved Lou’s quirks and almost wish I had them. If you like non-shallow characters, definitely take a look at this book. Even if you prefer shallow characters with no emotion or personality (umm….) check out this book, as it is highly enjoyable.

So the next time you find yourself groaning because you have to get out of your deliciously cozy bed, think of No. Step outside your own world and do it for her.

end blog.

It’s all history

People tend to forget that the word “history” contains the word “story”. 

~Ken Burns

I have always been horrible at history.  I’m no good at memorizing dates and names to get good grades on history exams.  My brain just doesn’t work that way even if I would like it to.

The funny thing is though, that I’ve always read Historical Fiction.   I love to learn about the lives of people from the past.   Their stories have always fascinated me.

Reading fantastic tales with ghosts, vampires and magic is just fine, but really when it comes down to it, I feel most at home with realistic stories and settings I can relate to.  Historical fiction always seems to fit the bill.  A lot of times I’m drawn to a story without even thinking of it as historical fiction.   That’s the trouble with genres.  If it’s a really good book it doesn’t matter if its fantasy or horror or graphic novel.  It’s just a good read.

If, like me, you enjoy books with action and adventure minus some of the more far-fetched aspects of Science Fiction, Fantasy, or Dystopian literature give Historical Fiction a try with some of these great titles…

The Book Thief
Macus Zusak
In a story narrated by Death himself, Liesel Meminger finds herself in a tight knit German village during WWII.  Her foster parents, friends, neighbors, and a Jewish brawler hiding in the basement band together as the bombs fall over their city and Liesel learns about the most beautiful and horrible parts of human nature.

Shades of Gray
Ruta Sepetys
Lina, her mother and brother are deported to a Stalinist work camp following the Russian invasion of Lithuania.  A talented artist, Lina hopes beyond reason that the pictures she sends in secret to her imprisoned father are enough to keep hope alive for both of them.

Moon Over Manifest
Clare Vanderpool
After a life of riding the rails Abilene Tucker has settled in Manifest, KS (at least for now).  Amidst the poverty, and depression she makes friends and goes on a “spy hunt” to learn the story of a mystery from the town’s past.

A Northern Light
Jennifer Donnelly
At 16 Mattie is largely responsible for her father’s failing farm and for her young siblings.  In 1906 Mattie has few choices but to follow the will of her parents, settle down and marry a man she doesn’t love.   But after a true life tragedy strikes at the summer resort where she is working, Mattie’s perspective on duty and loyalty is changed forever.

You say you like a little Fantasy/Sci Fi in your Historical fiction?  Check out Scott Westerfield’s Leviathan Trilogy ably reviewed by Joshua right here on this blog.  Its an alternate reality version of the epic stories of WWI.

And for a little local historical fare…

Macaroni Boy

Katherine Ayers
While Mike Costa struggles with the prejudice and poverty of the depression era in Pittsburgh’s “the Strip” neighborhood, he begins to notice a mystery developing around his Grandfather’s illness and the rats dying on the streets.

Three Rivers Rising
Jame Richards
Set against the back drop of rural Western Pennsylvania, wealthy and privileged Celestia falls in love with Peter the son of a mining family from a shanty town down river.  Their love story is intertwined with details of the real events of the Johnstown flood that killed 2,200 people in the Spring of 1889.

Happy Reading!


CLPTeaser Tuesday

It’s time again for Teaser Tuesday.  What’s Teaser Tuesday?  It’s a game.  (Based on pageturnsblog.)  How do we play?  I try to convince you to pick up and read the book I’m currently reading by posting two “teaser” sentences.  You in turn try to convince me to pick up the book you are reading by posting two teaser sentences from your book.  Here are the rules:

  • Pick up what you’re reading.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Post two sentences from somewhere on the page.  (Don’t choose sentences that will give away too much, you don’t want to ruin it for others.)
  • Include the Title and Author so that others can start reading it.

My teaser this month is:

 Selkie Girl by Laurie Brooks

“My eves have adjusted to the dim ocean light, and a powerful sense of ease washes me clean of fear.  I have always felt at home in the sea, an expert swimmer among nonswimmers, but I could never have imagined the speed that shoots us through the currents.”

Now, it’s your turn.  Post two sentences along with the Title and Author of the book.


Apply to Help Create The Teen Center @ WYEP Radio

Want to learn how to project your voice and opinions via the radio?

Do you care about issues in your community, and want to do something about them, other than just complain to friends?

Want to be a part of something bigger than just yourself?

Apply to help create The Teen Center @ 91.3 WYEP Radio!

Here – I’ll let Alexa tell you more about it…

So, hurry!  Apply here.  They’re only accepting applications until October 23rd, which is just right around the corner.

In case you miss the deadline, but still want to be involved in radio, take a look at one of these books are your library!

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