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  • July 2020
    M T W T F S S

Teen Blogger: Life of Pi Review


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.

Your Guide to 2014

Happy New Year!  I hope that you all have a happy, health and awesome 2014.  There are a lot of great things going on this year and I want to give you some of my highlights for this upcoming year.

The first big event to take place is the Winter Olympics, which will start on February 6th and run through February 23rd in Sochi, Russia.  There will be over 2500 athletes participating in 98 events in 15 sports.  Some of the most popular events are ice hockey, snowboarding and ice skating.  Another big sporting event will be the 2014 FIFA World Cup that will take place from June 12th to July 13th in Brazil.  The United States will have a tough time since their group includes Germany and Portugal, two of the top teams in the world.

There will also be some HUGE movies coming out this year.  One that is getting a lot of buzz is Divergent, which is based on the book by Veronica Roth.  It will be released on March 21st.

Another movie that is getting a ton of attention is The Fault in Our StarsBesides being based on the bestselling book by John Green, the movie was also shot in Pittsburgh so that gives you an extra reason to see it when it comes out on June 6th!

There are also a bunch of great new books being released this year.  The 6th book in the Mortal Instruments Series (City of Heavenly Fire) should be coming out in May and Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor is due for release in April.

Those are just some of the big events taking place in this new year.  I hope you all have a fantastic 2014!!

Yes, Virginia, There is Teen Stuff Going Down at the Library This Week

No school and nothing to do???  The Library’s got you covered!  Here’s a brief glimpse of what’s going on this week:

Monday, December 23

Teen Time @ Lawrenceville / 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Gaming @ Main, Allegheny, and East Liberty!

Open Lab @ Main and Allegheny!

Tuesday, December 24


Wednesday, December 25

Thursday, December 26

Teen Lounge: Pop-Up Flix @ Brookline / 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Teen Time @ Knoxville / 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Teen Creative Writing Workshop @ Beechview / 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

iPad Playground @ Squirrel Hill / 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Friday, December 27

Bad Movie Fridays @ Main / 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Gaming @ Main, Allegheny, and Sheraden!

Saturday, December 28

Teen Manga Club @ Beechview / 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Movies All Day @ Main / 10:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Aquaman and Aqualad gingerbread cookies from Teen Thing @ Carrick

For more teen happenings at a Library near you, be sure to check out the EVENTS slider on the Teen Page!

ALSO!  Don’t forget about the Teen Winter Reading Raffle, which is going on now till January 15th.  You could win stuff just for reading!

Jon : Carrick

Not-So-Traditional Christmas Movies

It’s almost impossible NOT to be bombarded with Christmas this time of year whether you celebrate the holiday or not. Christmas sales, Christmas shopping, Christmas specials on TV with Christmas-themed commercials, Christmas music– SO MUCH CHRISTMAS MUSIC– not to mention Christmas movies. Sometimes all the snowmen and Santa Clauses and heartwarming soundtracks can get a little stale. Maybe you love the classics and will never get tired of watching Elf twenty times a year. Or maybe you’re ready for something different. Luckily you can indulge in some holiday spirit without going overboard by checking out one of these not-so-traditional movies featuring December 25th.

Ghostbusters 2 (1989)


If there’s something strange…in your neighborhood…who ya gonna call? In Ghostbusters 2, the gang encounters a convulsing toaster, a massive river of psychoactive pink slime running beneath New York City, and a seriously creepy painting possessed by the spirit of an evil dude named Vigo who haunted my nightmares as a child (see above). Perfect for getting in the Christmas spirit.

Gremlins (1984)

Gizmo!When Randall adopts a cute & cuddly pet named Gizmo, the mysterious little mogwai comes with three important rules: 1. Don’t expose him to bright lights, 2. Don’t get him wet, and 3. Don’t feed him after midnight.  The rules get broken almost immediately, and soon little Gizmo begins spawning dozens of slimy, evil creatures bent on violence and destruction just in time for the holidays.

Batman Returns (1992)

Batman ReturnsEven before Jack Skellington came along, Tim Burton mastered the dark Christmas vibes in Batman Returns. Here the Caped Crusader confronts a corrupt millionaire and the repulsive Penguin to save Gotham City in this gloomy Christmastime tale. Oh yeah, and Catwoman comes by to steal the show, too. A+ & ideal December viewing.



There you have it– three Christmas-y movies that serve up something more than your average sentimental sweetness. Time to plan your winter break movie marathon!

It’s A Bird… It’s A Plane… It’s a Batman/Superman Movie!

“I told you already! It’s not an ‘S’… geeze!”

I’m about to geek-out all over the place.  Consider yourself warned.

So a little shindig known as the San Diego Comic-Con International went down last weekend.  There was cosplay to be had, updates on movies and all kinds of stuff currently in some phase of “happening” and, of course, some BIG announcements.  The biggest of which was (imo) Warner Brothers’ reveal that the follow-up to last month’s Man of Steel would be a Batman/Superman film pitted against The Avengers: The Age of Ultron in 2015!  I almost did a back flip when I read the news.  Almost.

Why is this so amazing?  Story! Story! Story!  Apart from Batman (beyond the grasp of Joel Schumacher) being endlessly cool and Man of Steel successfully creating a non-campy/relatable Superman, the oil and water relationship between the two has made for some intense (and legendary) comic storylines and stellar animated film outings over the years.  To get down to brass tacks, these two can have major issues even when they’re making an effort to get along.

While both characters are dealt tragedy early on in life (as orphans) and struggle through young adulthood to find their place in the world, the individuals they ultimately become are polar opposites.  Superman, being the shining beacon of hope (strengthened by the yellow Sun to boot!), often struggles to understand Batman – a shattered vigilante, consumed by his past and bound to the night, using fear as a weapon for good – and vice versa.  This dark and light schism between the two often leads to a simmering tension underlying ANY partnership they undertake; a tension that’s generally amplified by Superman’s presumed authority and Batman’s inherent lone wolf tendencies.  So, yeah… Relationship Status:  It’s Complicated.

Obviously, WB/DC was scant on the specifics of Bruce and Clark’s get together, but the reveal did mention that Frank Miller’s classic Batman: The Dark Knight Returns would be somewhat influential, though not strictly adapted in the new film.  In the climax of The Dark Knight Returns, Superman and Batman go head to head in an epic finale for the ages.  Plot detail?!  Seeing the influence of DC’s New 52 comics on Man of Steel, I’d also put money on the new Batman/Superman comic title (which just launched last month and follows the first encounter of the two heroes) somehow factoring into the story of the film too.

Ugh!  So begins the waiting game.  Will Bruce and Clark throwdown?  Will they unite to take on a tag team of the Joker and Lex Luthor à la World’s Finest??  Who will be cast as Batman now that Christian Bale is done???  Hollywood, why you so cruel????


Jon : Carrick

Summer Movie Time

Truth be told, there is no denying summer break is slipping away. Some mean-spirited, ruthless people would even say it’s more than half over!

Ron Weasley isn’t so happy! via http://cmyk-giffed.tumblr.com/

Even though the minutes of summer are ticking away, there are still a million things to enjoy before heading back to school. And if you count the summer solstice as the start of summer – we have really just gotten started!

Elaine on Seinfeld via http://cmyk-giffed.tumblr.com/

Movies, movies, and more movies. Summer is the best time to catch up on movies you may have missed!

If you can manage to find a Citiparks book, check out the hundreds of free (or nearly free things to do)! My personal favorite is Cinema in the Park!

Cinema in the Park - Grandview

Cinema in the Park – Grandview

Each week, FREE new release movies are premiered at many parks throughout the city. Check out the calendar. You can still see a few blockbusters before the summer is out like The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyThe Hunger Games, and Jack the Giant Slayer.

Can’t make it to Cinema in the Park? Check out Teen Movie Night at CLP-Beechview! Or movies in the afternoon on Saturdays at Woods Run and Allegheny!

If you love strange, campy oddball flicks stop at Main Teen to enjoy the delights of Bad Movie Fridays!

C-3PO via cmyk-giffed.tumblr.com

Movie aren’t your thing? No worries! Escape the heat at the library with gaming and more. There is gaming nearly all day, every day @ Main Teen! Top off your week with Teen Gaming & Button Fridays at the West End if you want to make some of these!

K-Stew freaking out! via tumblr.com

Michael, CLP Hazelwood

Everyone’s Favorite Sob-Inducing Teen Romance Set to Film in Pgh

Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters are two terminally ill teenagers who meet and fall in love.  If you think that sounds like a melodramatic Afterschool Special (teens, do you understand this reference?), I don’t disagree with you.

Despite my initial meh feeling toward it, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green had me sobbing.  Noisily.  Embarrassingly.  I was crying.  I was driving.  It was raining.  The world was a bit blurry.  I admit, I should have pulled over as my tears were a danger to my driving abilities.  However, I continued driving and kept telling myself, I’ll stop crying soon.  It can’t get any sadder.  

feel all

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported The Fault in Our Stars will shoot in Pittsburgh beginning August 26.  I can’t wait to see how the script writers interpret the sadness, the excitement and scariness of first love, and the other jumbled emotions that make up this intense book.


Fans have been debating for months since the bestseller’s publication which actors should portray the book’s main characters.  It seems official decisions have finally been made with Shailene Woodley playing Hazel and Ansel Elgort portraying Augustus!  These casting choices and the script writers’ past successes are getting people hyped.  Shailene and Ansel are also acting in Divergent!

Ansel & Shailene

Ansel & Shailene

Nerdfighters, don’t forget that CLP-Main will host a screening of A Film to Decrease Worldsuck: The Nerdfighters Documentary on Sunday, August 18!  We’ll be in the Carnegie Museum of Art Theatre (lower level) from 5-9 with TFIOS-themed art activities and musical performances by Lauren Fairweather & Matt Maggiacomo and Tonks and the Aurors.

Looking for something to satisfy your TFIOS itch?  Stay-tuned for more TFIOS programming and try this:

Kelly – CLP – Main, Teen

Throwback Summer Cinema

Summer makes a perfect backdrop for all kinds of stories. The months from June to September seem to stretch out in an arc of possibilities, waiting to be filled with epic adventures, romances, and mysteries, while long days and warm nights conjure memories of summers past. Maybe this sense of promise and nostalgia explains the summertime settings for so many coming-of-age stories – the tales that chronicle a character’s shift from innocence to experience, marking the end of childhood and the beginning of something new. In honor of the longest day of the year, check out some classic movies featuring summer-themed stories of friendships, crushes, quests, and plenty of teenage angst.


“Everybody gets one chance to do something great. Most people never take the chance, either because they’re too scared, or they don’t recognize it when it spits on their shoes.”

The Sandlot (1993)

The Sandlot is the story of a group of kids who spend the sweltering summer of 1962 playing ball in a dusty field, hunting down lost (& possibly priceless) baseballs, getting life advice from the ghost of Babe Ruth, and avoiding run-ins with the dreaded man-eating monster dog chained up in the yard next door. The Sandlot was an instant classic when it premiered 20 years ago– perfect inspiration for neighborhood adventures with friends.

“I was 12 going on 13 the first time I saw a dead human being. It happened in the summer of 1959– a long time ago, but only if you measure in terms of years.”

Stand By Me (1986)

Based on a novella by Stephen King, Stand By Me follows a group of friends as they set out to become heroes by finding the body of a local boy who has gone missing. They pack their bags, fill their canteens, and embark on their journey through the woods outside of town, dodging trains and wading through leech-infested creeks along the way. In addition to its compelling storyline, Stand By Me also features an all-star 80’s cast and an awesome oldies soundtrack– a must-see summer flick.


“Things will happen in your life that you can’t stop. But that’s no reason to shut out the world. There’s a purpose for the good and the bad.”

Now and Then (1995)

Now and Then is another nostalgia-driven story about four friends who spend the summer of 1970 saving money for a tree house, navigating love-hate relationships with the neighborhood boys, and solving the mystery of a local murder that happened before any of them were born. A 90’s classic that will make you want to ride your bike and research cold cases by combing through old newspapers in the basement of your local public library.

Check out more summer-themed cinema available at CLP:

  super8   moonrise  adventureland

Red Dawn: standing up to invasion and the questions it brings

Tonight at CLP – East Liberty’s Teen Time we took advantage of our Public Performance license and the new DVD bestseller collection and watched Red Dawn, a remake of a 1984 film by the same name.

old poster...

old poster…


new poster!

The premise doesn’t seem to have changed much. Whereas in the 1984 version, a group of Midwestern teens including Patrick Swayze and Lea Thompson band together to fight a Soviet invasion. In the 2012 movie, the North Koreans are invading Washington state, and the hunk is played by Chris Hemsworth (Thor)… oh, and Josh from Drake and Josh.

yeah, this guy.

yeah, this guy.

It shouldn’t be so surprising that this plot has been done before since it’s an effective way to catch the viewer’s attention – what if war came to your street? Of course, for many people war, sadly, is already in their home town, but not for the American high-schoolers in Red Dawn. It sparked a lively discussion for the teens at our movie night. Was it realistic for 6 or so teenagers to be trained in guerrilla warfare by a recent veteran? Who “deserves” to die, if there is such a thing? Why would the North Koreans invade the U.S. and not Canada? And is Canada part of the U.S. anyway? (In case you were wondering, too: no, it’s not.)

If these situations and questions intrigue you as well, here is some further reading:


Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden

The beginning of a series by Australian author John Marsden, this book explores what happens when 7 teenagers get back from a camping trip to find that their town, and presumably country, has been invaded. Do they surrender or fight back?


How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

Daisy thinks she’s getting away from trouble by going to live in England… but then war breaks out and she’s stranded in the countryside with her cousins.


Scarlet by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev

Scarlet is not fighting against an invading force – she’s a vigilante fighting against corrupt policeman who killed her boyfriend. However, this book asks some of the same questions as the others about her personal decisions to commit violent acts.

-Tessa, CLP – East Liberty

What the heck is going on?

Boredom happens.  Luckily, there’s a relatively painless (and FREE!) antidote located right in your neighborhood… the Library! Whenever you feel the symptoms of boredom setting in – e.g. an uncontrollable urge to don purple pants, paint yourself green and have a massive freak-out to smash up the endless nothingness and monotony that’s hijacked life – walk, run, or jet pack to the Library ‘cos there’s probably something cool going on.

Here’s a small taste of the awesomeness going down throughout the city this week (I recommend throwing on some shades now ‘cos this stuff is red hot):

Tuesday, May 28th

CLP Brookline

Teen Lounge: Marshmallow Zombie Attack

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

CLP Carrick

Teen Thing:  DIY Puff Paint with Shaving Cream + Chairpocalypse story development

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM

CLP East Liberty

Movie Nite!

4:00 PM – 7:00 PM

CLP Main (Oakland)

CLP Teen Gay Straight Alliance: Bi-monthly Meeting

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Wednesday, May 29th

CLP West End

Teen Lounge: String, Hammer & Nail Art! : Loud and awesome

4:30 PM – 7:00 PM

Thursday, May 30th

CLP Beechview

Teen Advisory Council Meeting

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Friday, May 31st

CLP Allegheny

After School Gaming (Xbox 360-Kinect, PS3 and Wii)

2:30 PM – 4:30 PM

CLP Main (Oakland)

Bad Movie Fridays!

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

The nifty EVENTS slider on the Teen page has got you covered with all the action going on all the time.  You can always stop in and check with your local Teen Librarian to see what’s going down too.  And remember to do your part in the fight against boredom – bring all your friends!

Boredom Slayers:


Jon : Carrick

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