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  • January 2020
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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

Behind the Book: Meet Libba Bray!


libbabrayA software glitch resulted in people being told registration was closed for this event…but it’s not too late!

Register now for Behind the Book: Authors Talk to Teens featuring Libba Bray.

Libba Bray‘s Gemma Doyle Trilogy (A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, The Sweet Far Thing) tells the story of a group of young women at a Victorian boarding school – if Victorian boarding schools involved demons, magic, and the supernatural.   A Texan living in New York City, Ms. Bray loves being scared, and she uses tension and atmosphere to great effect in her novels.  She will discuss her books, her writing process, and more.

All teen attendees will receive a free copy of one of Ms. Bray’s books, while supplies last.  All ages welcome!

Thursday, April 16th
7:00 – 9:00pm
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Squirrel Hill
5801 Forbes Ave., 15217

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

chosen-oneThe Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

Kyra Leigh Carlson is the oldest “acceptable” daughter in a family with 20 children and two more babies on the way.  Her eldest brother, Adam, is 17.  Her older sister, Emily, would be called “eldest daughter,” but she’s “unsound.”  At least Emily was born before Prophet Childs’ father died.

Kyra loves to listen to her mother’s stories about life before Prophet Childs’ took charge.  When Kyra was a small child, her mother read her stories by Doctor Seuss and took the children into town often.  Now, Kyra, her siblings and her three mothers are only allowed to read the bible and only go to town on the most special of occassions — like to buy material to make a wedding dress.

The wedding dress is for Kyra.  Kyra who, at 13, has just learned that she has been Chosen.  In four weeks, Kyra will become the wife of her Uncle Hyrum, 60 years her senior and her father’s brother.

Kyra’s never doubted that the way of the Chosen Ones was the right way, even though she hasn’t always followed the doctrine.  She sneaks away to the Mobile Library for books, so she knows about the outside world, but she has never considered running away.  At least, not until now.

This is a book that can easily be read in one sitting.  In fact, that’s precisely what I did — read it over my lunch hour, and only came back fifteen minutes late.  But although it’s a quick read, it’s one that will stay with you long after you turn the final page.

The language is sparse: Williams is able to convey in three or four words emotions that would take a lesser writer whole paragraphs.  She gives enough detail that you can clearly envision Kyra’s world, but it’s a world painted in broad strokes.  The reader must use their imagination to draw pictures of the desert landscape, the trailer compound in which Kyra and her family lives, the bookmobile.  Despite the lack of detail, everything seems perfectly clear.

Kyra’s emotions, her fear of leaving her family (both for herself and for what may happen to them), her love of the boy who risks his life to protect her, her desperation when faced with her future, are at the forefront of this delicate and touching novel.  It would take a hard heart to come away from The Chosen One without being deeply affected.

The Chosen One
Carol Lynch Williams
St. Martin’s Griffin
May, 2009

**This post is crossposted to http://pittprintz.wordpress.com, The Pittsburgh District Library Center’s blog for nominating titles for the PittPrintz Mock Printz Award.**

Teen Review: Cory’s Hip Hop Recommendations, Pt. 2*

There are artists out today that can do a lot more than rap or just sing.  There are artists out there who are very creative, they produce and write their music and others’ music.  Some artists even get a little acting in during their career.  But the artist I will be telling you about is The Dream.  The Dream is a very good singer but he is also a producer and director,  and writes his own music and music for others.  Even before he began his career as a singer he was writing music for other artists and producing music videos.  There are many artists that admire The Dream and add him on their collaborations.  But his newest cd that was just released, Love vs. Money,  is very hot.  That is a cd that I really like to listen to.  And I would recommend his music to anyone who likes to listen to male singers.     



*Thanks again to Cory, for writing this blog post as part of  our fine alternative program at Carnegie Library – Main.


Corsets and Crowns

That might sound saucy and a tad inappropriate, but that is what I think of when I think ‘historical fiction.’ My introduction to historical fiction was through adult books by Margaret George or Phillipa Gregory, but there is a plethora of awesome young adult historical fiction.

Anderson, Laurie Halse

Fever 1793

There is a yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia. There is death everywhere and Mattie Cook’s life is changed forever. She no longer lives comfortably and her mother is dead. To survive this modern plague, she must escape and struggle to stay alive.

Anderson, M.T.

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party

Octavian lives with his mother, an African princess and a group of deep thinking philosophers in revolutionary Boston. He has the finest classical education that money can buy and can have anything he wants. Except he cannot venture outside of his house, it is forbidden. One day he breaks this rule, and his eyes are opened to a hideous plan at work.

Boyne, John

Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Bruno has a wonderful life. His family is a loving one and he has plenty of friends. But when his father gets a promotion, he must leave everything that he loves and move to the middle of nowhere. Life is much different, he has no friends and isn’t allowed to go exploring. From his window he can see a village where people wear ugly blue pajamas…but who are they?

Bray, Libba

A Great and Terrible Beauty

Gemma Doyle doesn’t have any family. What is worse, is that she is forced to move from her home in India to a boarding school in England. But when she starts having visions and is followed by a strange Indian boy, she has no idea what is in store for her.

Cullen, Lynn

I, Rembrandt’s Daughter

This novel follows the Rembrandt’s daughter, Cornelia. Life is never normal living under the same roof. Many would think that Cornelia has a privileged life, but she is forced to live within a strict social class system.

Donnelly, Jennifer

A Northern Light

Mattie Gokey is at a crossroads in her life. She’s escaped the overwhelming responsibilities of helping to run her father’s brokedown farm in exchange for a paid summer job as a serving girl at a fancy hotel. She doesn’t know if she should use the money to pay for Barnard College or use it for her dowry to the potential marriage of a handsome, but dull man. She also becomes wrapped up in the disappearance and murder of a young girl.

Draper, Sharon

Copper Sun

Amari has been taken away from everything and everyone she loves. Her family has been killed by white slavers and she has been forced to travel thousands of miles from home on a cramped slave ship. She is then sold to the highest bidder to work as a kitchen slave. She along with an indentured servant, Polly plan to escape their cruel masters and the plantation.

Myers, Walter Dean

Fallen Angel

Perry, a Harlem teenager who volunteers for the service when his dream of attending college falls through. Sent to the front lines, Perry and his platoon come face-to-face with the Vietcong and the real horror of warfare. But violence and death aren’t the only hardships. As Perry struggles to find virtue in himself and his comrades, he questions why black troops are given the most dangerous assignments, and why the U.S. is there at all.

Zusak, Mark

The Book Thief

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich. She scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

Sometimes I feel like historical fiction is one of those underrated genres, but then I started to search for popular historical fiction novels and remembered that the Libba Bray, the author of The Gemma Doyle Trilogy will be visiting CLP- Squirrel Hill on April 16th!

Treat Your Spring Fever with these Sexual Health Resources

As if you didn’t already have enough problems with hormones in your life, welcome to spring. You might not think about it, but when the weather turns warm and the sun comes out, something happens in your brain that might make you feel a little “antsy.”

Continue reading

Calling all Film Lovers

Dear Filmlover,

I need your help. Would you like to make sure other teens get to know and love your favorite films? I’m on a committee  for the American Library Association to pick films for a list for teens. Who would know more about what teens like than you guys? Our theme is Outside/In: Rebellion vs. Conformity. Please let me know if you have any suggestions. Include your age  and why you like the film or think it matches the theme.

And if you have ever seen and want to comment on the following films, I’d appreciate it:

Billy Elliot 


Napoleon Dynamite


Real Women Have Curves

Man on Wire

American Teen


Don’t forget to add anything you like. Thanks loads. Hope I’ll be hearing from you soon.



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