• Recent Posts

  • CLP_Teens

    Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

  • Blog Categories

  • Archives

  • October 2017
    M T W T F S S
    « Feb    
     1
    2345678
    9101112131415
    16171819202122
    23242526272829
    3031  

Teen Blogger: Stargirl Review

bookcover

Today I will be reviewing Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. This is the first book in a set of two books, but it can be read as a standalone novel. Overall I did enjoy this book, but if you are looking for a more in depth review you can read below.

Characters

The two main characters of this book were lovable and quirky. Leo, the main character felt a bit bland to me at first, but after the plot picked up I did enjoy reading about him. While most of the book focuses on Stargirl, I really loved his character. Stargirl (yes, her name is actually Stargirl) was really unique and fun character. Her quirkiness might have been a little overplayed, but I loved her message of being your own person. I give this area an 8/10.

Setting

I loved the fact his book took place in the desert instead of the typical Midwest town or city. The parts that were the most descriptive, like the part about the desert flowers or the large cacti, were interesting because you don’t normally hear about that kind of beauty in a desert. I do wish the school was described more. I am going to give this area a 7/10.

Plot

This book was simply heartwarming. There wasn’t any epic quest or week-long journey across the US.  It was simply a book that made you feel happy on the inside. Plus, the book was so short, (180 pages) I don’t think there could have been a long, involved plot. Normally I don’t enjoy plots lacking complexity, but this book was really sweet and satisfying. I am giving this area an 8/10.

Writing Style

I did enjoy the author’s writing style. While the book wasn’t very long, he did manage to make each and every one of those pages meaningful. I zoomed through the book, and dreaded every moment when I had to put it down. I though overall the writing was pretty good, though it did have a few small issues. I am going to give this area a 9/10 because I did enjoy his style.

The Final Verdict

Once the scores are tallied up, I get a 7.5/10!  I agree with that score, as the book did have a few problems, but overall was put together well. If you enjoy books with a heartfelt message, you will most likely enjoy Stargirl! My one warning is that for some Stargirl might feel too quirky. Please know these are just my opinions. I respect yours too, so why not leave a comment?  Please mark spoilers for new readers.

Happy Reading!

-Laurel

Riptide With Bubbles

Laurel is an overly creative person that is looking for good books to read. While she fills her spare time with crocheting, filming, editing, drawing, sewing, writing, and crafting, she always has a little time to read. She enjoys books that have an intricate plot and fresh new characters, but does not like books with a lot of romance. Hopefully she will find what she is looking for.

Teen Underground Cafe Is Back–and Bigger Than Ever!

image003

Teen Underground Cafe, an after-hours performance & arts program for teens, is coming–and it wants your participation!

Through Teen Underground Cafe, we hope to turn Libraries all over the city into after hours showcases of teen talent. As one part, we will soon be scheduling eight Teen Underground Cafe Presents… at the Main Library (in Oakland), in which we’ll be looking for teens to fill two slots of 30-40 minutes of material of all kinds–music, poetry, improv, you name it–as well as one teen to feature their visual art of choice in the Main – Teen Department for a month after the event. (Think of it like your own private opening party.)

Performers and artists will be compensated for their time and efforts. If you are a performer or visual artist and would like to be considered, please submit the following information to teenundergroundcafe@carnegielibrary.org:

  • Name
  • Performing or artist alias or name of group
  • Description of performance or art
  • Link to any recordings or documentation
  • E-mail address
  • Phone number

Additionally, the Teen Underground Cafe is going to travel all across the city for a series of after hours Open Mic Nights. The stage will be yours to feature your music, poetry, and more. And with a full PA system and back line of drums, guitars, and amps, you may meet a fellow collaborator–or even get scouted to feature more of your work at Teen Underground Cafe Presents…!

Our Open Mic Nights will be happening the following months at the following locations. Tune into our events page for more info as it comes:

  • Feburary 2014: Knoxville [Saturday, February 22, 2014 ; 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM]
  • March 2014: Hill District [Thursday, March 27, 2014 ; 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM]
  • May 2014: East Liberty
  • June 2014: Brookline
  • July 2014: Carrick
  • August 2014: Hazelwood
  • September 2014: Squirrel Hill
  • November 2014: Homewood
  • January 2015: West End
  • March 2015: Sheraden
  • April 2015: Allegheny
  • May 2015: Woods Run

Hope to see you there!

~Joseph
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

XXII Olympic Winter Games

59607_detail_2f13b94cadc1da6cf21e9d607fbea395-693X520.jpg

The 2014 Olympic Winter Games are now open in Sochi, Russia!  The slogan for the games is Hot. Cool. Yours. 

The Sochi Mascots are The Polar Bear, The Hare and The Leopard.  The Mascots even have their own Facebook page.  The public got the chance to vote for their favorite mascots in 2011.  The look of the mascots have changed since that time.

2014_Winter_Olympic_Mascots

mascots

Some Fun Facts about the Winter Olympic Games

  • For the XXII Olympic Winter Games there are 98 events in 15 winter sports.  Four of the sports will be played indoors:  Curling, Figure Skating, Speed Skating and Ice Hockey .
  • 3,000 athletes will represent 88 countries.
  • The United States has hosted the Olympic Winter Games four times.  Lake Placid  hosted the games in 1932 and 1980, Squaw Valley hosted in 1960, and Salt Lake City had the honor to host in 2002.

466841847-693X520

~Marian

WHO KILLED FRANKSY THE SUPER POPE?

By Sheila-Hill District

Superpope

You’ve heard of Banksy, right? He’s the anonymous graffiti artist known around the world for his edgy street art. Here is one of his most famous images that you may have seen:

BanksyMaid

Banksy started in England, making sarcastic and sometimes political statements on buildings without a tag. People became really interested in what they thought his images might be trying to say. They also wondered who the heck he was and why he wanted to remain nameless. Bansky got pretty famous, famous enough to have a movie made about him while nobody (officially) knew who he was! The movie is called Exit Through the Gift Shop. The Carnegie Library owns 27 copies of it, so if you want to see it, check it out for free. Well—somebody out there has taken a hint from Banksy and has created an image appearing all over the place in Vatican City called—you guessed it—Franksy. Franksy is a super hero version of Pope Francis created by artist Mauro Pallotta. Pope Francis is the 226th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. OrigInally Argentinian, the Pope’s birth name was Jorge Mario Bergoglio. He is one of the most popular Popes ever, even appearing on the cover of rock-n-roll magazine Rolling Stone. Artist Pallotta created the image of Pope Francis as a kind of religious Superman, carrying a suitcase with the word, “Values” on it in Spanish.

PopeFrancis

The bad news? Like many of Banksy’s art, the authorities have begun to paint over the images. Pallotta has vowed to create an anti-hero image of Vatican City Mayor Ignazio Marino and post it all over the city in revenge. What do you think about somebody making the Pope into a grafitti superhero? Is it hilarious and cool or disrespectful? What do you think about street art in general? Remember Pittsburgh’s famous “Mook?” Do you think street art is a legitimate art form or defacement of public property? Are there examples of street art in Pittsburgh you like? Post the images!

Here are some links if you want to read more:

Banksy news:

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/03/banksy-works-defaced-near-site-of-sundance-festival/

Franksy news:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/30/superpope-street-art_n_4697283.html?utm_hp_ref=pope-francis

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/01/pope-francis-gladly-blesses-parrot-belonging-to-male-stripper/

http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/pope-francis-gentle-revolution-inside-rolling-stones-new-issue-20140128

Mook news:

http://old.post-gazette.com/regionstate/20011005graffiti1005p3.asp

Black History Month Spotlights Return to CLP Carrick!


Every Tuesday in February last year, CLP Carrick’s weekly teen program, Teen Thing, focused on a different African American pioneer with a creative activity related to the accomplishments of said pioneer.  We made stop-motion zombie flicks in honor of Duane Jones, flipbook comics for Frank Braxton, 3D glasses for Valerie Thomas, and watched a documentary about the arts scene in Brooklyn in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

It was all pretty awesome.

So… when the topic of continuing the weekly Black History Month events came up this January, Teen Think, Carrick’s Teen Advisory Group, voted unanimously to continue the spotlights with this year’s theme of music.  Throughout February, Teen Thing will be spotlighting innovative and influential African American musicians who have significantly contributed to the sounds of rock, jazz, punk, and hip hop – and it all starts this week!

Tuesday, February 4th
Teen Thing / Black History Month Spotlight: Blues and Early Rock and Roll

The mysterious Robert Johnson

Into artists like Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Johnny Cash, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Jack White, and The Black Keys??? Come find out about the African American blues and rock musicians that influenced them – artists like Willie Dixon, Robert Johnson, Lead Belly, Muddy Waters, and Chuck Berry.

Oh, and make your own harmonica while you’re at it!


Other events include:

Tuesday, February 11th
Teen Thing / Black History Month Spotlight: All That Jazz

Pittsburgh’s Mary Lou Williams


Tuesday, February 18th
Teen Thing / Black History Month Spotlight: Punk 101 – Bad Brains

Washington D.C.’s legendary Bad Brains


Tuesday, February 25th
Teen Thing / Black History Month Spotlight: Hip Hop and Change

Saul Williams


Find out where the music you like comes from at our Black History Month Spotlights!  Teen Thing happens every Tuesday afternoon from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM and is open to anyone in grades 6-12 or age 12-18.



Jon : Carrick

Welcome To America’s Most Livable City?

The number of stories praising Pittsburgh keep piling up. From Most Livable to Best Places to Retire, from Top City for Geeks to Best Place to Buy a Home, Pittsburgh seems like the new cool place to be. But if everybody all over America saying Pittsburgh is so great, why is Pittsburgh rapper Jasiri X calling Pittsburgh “Clicksburgh, Pistolvania?” Is it true, as Jasiri X says, that Pittsburgh has the highest rate of Black poverty among 40 comparable US cities? Is Pittsburgh the “Most Livable City” in the United States?

stopshooting

These are important questions to ask. Jasiri X is talking about Black poverty, and since almost 30% of Pittsburgh’s residents are African-American according to U.S. Census data, that’s three out of ten people.  That’s a lot of Pittsburghers. U.S. Census data shows that the rate of African-Americans who live in poverty in Pittsburgh is around 35.6%– certainly among the highest rates in the country. People who live in poverty have a harder time paying for housing, food, transportation and even the things that would help to lift them out of poverty, such as getting a college degree.

To make matters worse, in some of Pittsburgh’s poorest neighborhoods, there has been an increase in gun violence recently. In 2013, little Marcus Lamont White, Jr., a baby in East Hills was killed when somebody started to shoot at a community barbeque. Wiz Khalifa’s uncle was shot and killed outside the Steak ‘n Shake at the Waterfront in January, 2014. Late that same month, Hosea Davis, the man who saved a girl at the East Liberty Target from a man with a knife was shot ten times with a high-powered gun in the back. Four of the nine homicides in Allegheny County as of January 29, 2014 were African-American. In 2013, 42 of the 62 lives taken were African-American.

Gun violence and poverty levels in Pittsburgh beg the question: if Pittsburgh is the Most Livable City, who is it most livable for? How would the levels of Black poverty and gun violence in Pittsburgh affect national praise for Pittsburgh if they were taken into closer consideration? Is Pittsburgh still “Most Livable” in spite of its challenges? What do you think? How do we explain the differences between some Pittsburghers’ experiences with poverty and gun violence and national articles about how great Pittsburgh is? And finally, what are Pittsburghers doing about these problems?

There are many groups and individuals who are trying to stop gun violence in our city. One of them is Vanessa German, a spoken word artist who lives in Homewood. She exhibits her visual work and performs internationally. Vanessa created the signs that say, “Stop Shooting-We Love You” that you might have seen all over Pittsburgh. They are one of her responses to shooting in her neighborhood and beyond. Vanessa also runs ArtHouse—an after-school house where kids can come to do art alongside her. You need to hear Vanessa German if you want to better understand the strengths of Pittsburgh. She’s amazing! Here is a link to a recent performance Vanessa did about the beauty and challenges of Homewood: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aktAjeFqtvw

Another is Sharon Flake, the Pittsburgh author of The Skin I’m In, Bang!, You Don’t Even Know Me and Pinned, among others. Sharon writes about kids who are dealing with poverty and violence. Sometimes reading about situations like yours can make you feel less alone. Reading about kids unlike you can help you to understand the world from many perspectives.

Bang!

Check out some of these great books about gun violence, growing up poor, and how in spite of hard circumstances, people find strength through their connections to other people. And if you want to read more about Pittsburgh’s best-of lists, gun violence in our city and other ideas in this blog article, here’s a list of links:

“30 Years of Hell With The Lid Off to Most Livable: How Pittsburgh Became Cool”

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2013/10/20/30-Years-Hell-with-the-lid-off-to-Most-Livable-How-Pittsburgh-became-cool.html

“18 Reasons Why Pittsburgh is the Greatest City on the Planet”

http://www.buzzfeed.com/zoetsiris/18-reasons-why-pittsburgh-is-the-greatest-city-on-d56b

Forbes.Com Rates Pittsburgh No. 1 “Most Livable City”

http://www.nationalurbanmedia.com/FORBESCOM-RATES-PITTSBURGH-NO-1-MOST-LIVABLE-CITY/

WYEP Gun Violence in Pittsburgh:

http://www.wqed.org/tv/gunviolence/

Vanessa German:

http://lovefrontporch.com

Sharon Flake:

http://www.sharongflake.com/

Sheila-Hill District

Teen Blogger: Life of Pi Review

LifeofPi

The Life of Pi is a movie that came out last year.  It is based on a book of the same name by Yann Martel.  The movie is basically about a teenage boy who is the only one who lives after his boat crashes.  He has to try to survive by floating on a lifeboat.  Except he is not by himself.  There is a tiger on the boat with him!!  This sounds crazy, but the tiger was being sent to a new zoo and was on the same ship.  Pi has to learn to deal with both the tiger and the rough ocean weather.

I really enjoyed this movie and is showed how friendships can survive anything even tragic accidents.  It is a good movie for the whole family, and I would recommend it to all of my friends and anyone who enjoys movies.

Aaron is a seventh grader at Langley.  He enjoys playing video games, drawing and sports.

%d bloggers like this: