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  • January 2012
    M T W T F S S
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Picture Book: Kodak, Instagram, and the Future of Photography

Photo by Wikipedia user camerafiend.

Earlier this month, Eastman Kodak — the film giant that once accounted for 90% of the film sold worldwide — filed for bankruptcy. Kodak was the big cheese in photography back when everyone still used film in their cameras, but they’ve been outpaced in the digital age; ironic because Kodak pioneered digital photography. (Pioneered the technology, but was unable to capitalize on their creation.)

The whole Kodak thing got me thinking of my first trip to Europe. I was sixteen, and I’d raised money for my travels by going door-to-door in my town, asking for donations and grovelling in front of the school board. Between my stumping (and my saintly parents somehow coming up with the balance) I was soon off to another continent. Continue reading

Just Try to Remain Silent: Sign Up for The Silent Library Program

Do you think you could remain silent while someone plucked a hair from inside your nose?  Could you prevent yourself from laughing at the sight of a good friend being fed baby food while dressed in a diaper and bib?  Would you be able to refrain from squealing in horror after seeing yourself made up by a person wearing a blindfold?  If you answered yes to all of these questions, then you could win big on Tuesday, February 7th!  Just like the popular MTV game show, we’ll be holding our own version of Silent Library (minus the vomit) in the Main Teen Center.  We dare you to remain silent while you and your teammates humiliate yourselves whilst attempting outrageous and embarrassing stunts for prizes.  Registration for this event is required.  Reserve your spot today!

Want to participate, but you think you’d die of embarrassment?  Check out these books instead:

How to Survive Anything by Rachel Buchholz

Advice on surviving natural disasters, embarrassing moments, and social situations.

Schadenfreude, Baby!: A Delicious Look at the Misfortune of Others (and the Pleasure It Brings Us)

by Laura Lee

Taps into our universal longing to gawk and smirk at the people who stand—or fall—for all of us.

“What’s That Smell?” (Oh, It’s Me.): 50 Mortifying Situations and How to Deal

by Tucker Shaw

Tips for dealing with the embarrassment that is the teenage years.

Mega Traumarama!: Real Girls and Guys Confess More of Their Most Mortifying Moments!

from the Editors of Seventeen Magazine

Delight in the humiliation of your peers!

Teen review: Hungry by Crystal Renn

My name is Jenna. I go to a high school where I’m part of the marching band and the cheerleading squad. I’m pretty busy, but I always find time to read. I’m also very creative and I like doing little crafts out of random things I find.

Hungry by Crystal Renn

Crystal Renn is one of the most famous plus sized models today. But, she went through a lot to get there.

At just fourteen years old, she was approached by a modeling scout and told her she could be a supermodel living in New York at just one condition; she had to lose weight. This one scout, on that one day, is what caused Crystal to become anorexic.

Being skinny is the only thing Crystal cared about. She once had a brilliant mind with great ideas, but she lost all of her knowledge when she became dangerously skinny. Inevitably, Crystal began to gain weight, despite her frantic workouts and absence of eating. The modeling agency didn’t want a “fat model”.

It was then that Crystal Renn had an epiphany but decided that she loves modeling too much to let it go. So she becomes a plus-sized model. She gained weight and is now at her normal and healthy size, and she couldn’t be healthier.

All throughout this memoir, Renn bestows her knowledge about bodies, models, and society. Everything that she says is so true, and she has a way of making you want to take her advice. This book has to the ability to completely change your outlook on the human body. I absolutely recommend this book if you want an inspirational read.

And the Winners Are: The 2012 Michael L. Printz Award

On Monday, January 23rd, the American Library Association announced the award-winning books written in 2011.  For those of you who fondly remember hunting through the shelves of your library as a child looking for the round foil medals of Newbery and Caldecott award books, I have good news for you.  There’s a teen award called the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature that is given out to a book that “exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature”–  a.k.a. a really good teen book!  Check your library’s shelves for the four titles that will be sporting a new Printz award sticker or reserve a copy today!
Seventeen-year-old Cullen’s summer in Lily, Arkansas, is marked by his cousin’s death by overdose, an alleged spotting of a woodpecker thought to be extinct, failed romances, and his younger brother’s sudden disappearance.
Sixteen-year-old Min Green writes a letter to Ed Slaterton in which she breaks up with him, documenting their relationship and how items in the accompanying box, from bottle caps to a cookbook, foretell the end.
When the twelve-year war between the Uplanders and Downlanders is over and Cam returns home to his village, questions dog him, from how he lost an arm to why he was the only one of his fellow soldiers to survive, such that he must leave until his own suspicions are resolved.
Nineteen-year-old returning champion Sean Kendrick competes against Puck Connolly, the first girl ever to ride in the annual Scorpio Races, both trying to keep hold of their dangerous water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.
~Kelly, CLP – Woods Run

Sticks and Stones (No Name Calling Week)

January 23 – 27 is No Name Calling Week , a national initiative started to combat bullying in schools and help prevent teen suicide.

Reading the stories of others offers insight, comfort and a much needed escape when faced with bullies, drama, and stress. The Library carries many titles that tell stories of bullying, harassment, survival, and triumph.

Check out the books below to see if one of them speaks to you! And always know there is a Teen Specialist at every CLP location if you need someone to talk to!

Have you ever felt different because of how you look? Age. Weight. Gender. Complexion? The Skin I’m In by Sharon Flake talks about the self-esteem issues black girls face when they are darker skinned. Maleeka is self conscious of her complexion until her whole life is changed when she meets a teacher with a rare skin condition. Check out this book if you want to hear about how Maleeka finds love with a boy named Caleb, overcomes her bully Charlese, and learns to love the skin she’s in!

Darell Mercer moves from Philadelphia to California. There he finds a new life, a new school, and a new bully. After spending months in fear, he is faced with a big decision. He can either keep running from his bully or find some way to fight back. To find out what happens to Darell check out The Bully by Paul Langan.

Thirteen-year-old Vladimir Tod really hates middle school. Bullies harass him, the principal is watching him closely, and the girl he likes prefers his best friend. And Vlad has a big secret: His mother was human, but his father was a vampire. With no idea of the extent of his powers, Vlad struggles daily with his blood cravings and growing fangs while trying to hide his identity. On top of everything he is being stalked by a vampire hunter! Check out The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer and read all five books in the series to find out what happens to Vlad!

Much like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Loser List tells the oddball story of Danny Shine. He is a geek who loves reading comics, trading comics, drawing comics, and buying comics. Find out how he loses a best friend, gets humiliated in front of the whole school… and somehow still manages to save the day!

In 50 Cent’s book Playground he uses his life experiences to tell the story of a 13 year old bully named Butterball. In the story, Butterball finds himself overweight and unhappy in a new school. One day, in an angry haze, he fills two socks with D batteries and heads to a fight at the playground. You will have to read to find out what happens to Butterball and how he finds redemption.

-Michael @ CLP Hazelwood

Favorite Books for When You’re Sick

This past weekend while the snow was coming down, I was home battling the mid-winter sickness that seems to be plaguing pretty much everybody around this time of year.  It’s the kind of cold that doesn’t seem too terrible symptoms-wise, but that definitely leaves you feeling somewhat off and vaguely terrible.

When I get this kind of cold, all I want to do is curl up in my bed with an old stand-by.  You know, the kind of books that you can (and want) to read over and over again and just make you feel better by turning through the pages?  The kind of books that you’ve read so much you know which parts you can skip to get to the really good parts.  Those are the best for when a cold’s got you down.

Here’s a short annotated list of some of my favorite books to read when I’m sick.

Sunshine by Robin McKinley – This is my all-time favorite vampire novel, and I’ve read quite a few vampire novels in my day.  It’s a stand alone novel from a great author that encapsulates a really fascinating world.  It’s kind of like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, minus high school drama, plus a little more magic and a bakery.  There’s a Big Bad, a brooding hero, and an epic battle at the very end.  Sunshine, the titular character, is a delight to read and always makes me feel better when I’m fighting off the sniffles.

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George – I love fairy tales, like a lot, and this book is an adaptation off my absolute favorite fairy tale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses.  It’s also a combination of a million other things I love including, the Regency Period, Germany, royal families, strong female heroines, and the hero is a boy who knits.  This book is usually a fast read for me now (since I know it so well) and I can finish it up then still have time to nap away my cold!

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater – This book is relatively new to my list.  It’s about a girl who feels a strange connection to the wolves that seem to be terrorizing her quiet mid-western town.  I love reading about cold places or people being in the cold while I’m all snug and cozy on the couch or in my bed.  I don’t know why, I think it makes me just feel warmer.  And what’s colder than werewolves in a Minnesota winter?  And, as you might have guessed, I’m a sucker for a good romance, especially when I’m feeling bad.  If you like this one, check out the sequels, Linger and Forever.  But don’t spoil that last one for me!  It’s on my “to read” list.

What are your favorite books to read or things to do when you’re home sick?


Super Bowl XLVI Preview

Remember the NFL lockout?  I didn’t think so!  Back in June and July, it was a struggle to even get football season started.  But now here we are in late January, awaiting the last game of the season.  Most people here in Pittsburgh are probably still upset about the Steelers loss to Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos, but it still promises to be a good game.  Super Bowl XLVI (that’s Super Bowl 46 for those of you not schooled in Roman numerals) will feature the New York Giants against the New England Patriots.  This is a rematch of one of the best Super Bowls of all time just a few years ago, when the Giants knocked off the undeated Patriots and ruined their perfect season.  Will it be Tom Brady joining Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana as the only quarterbacks to win four Super Bowls, or will Eli Manning lead the Giants to their fourth Super Bowl (and his second win)?  Hopefully, this game will be as good as the last one featuring these two teams!  Enjoy!

Who are you rooting for in this year’s Super Bowl?  Who do you think will win?

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