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  • September 2019
    M T W T F S S
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Reading & Writing This Week at CLP

I’m sure that by now, Teen Summer Reading (TSR) is old news.  However, if you haven’t signed up yet, I do encourage you to stop by your local library, say hi to your librarian, and sign up!  You can earn nifty prizes and free books, as well as an invitation to your branch’s spectacular End of Summer party just for teens.

If you’d like to share what you’re reading with other teens, look no further than Hazelwood’s Teen Lounge and Book Club on Tuesday, July 2 from 2-3pm.  Bring a book you are reading and share what you loved or hated about it over snacks, crafts and games.  Refreshments and free books are provided.

Reading memehttp://memebase.cheezburger.com/tag/reading

Let’s say you’ve been reading all summer long, and you figure that you’ve already read a fair amount of books by different authors, of varying genres and writing styles.  You figure it’s about time you try your hand at writing something of your own.  Look no further than East Liberty’s Creative Writing for Teens on Saturday, July 6 from 3-4pm.

This special creative writing workshop will feature special guest and YA author Siobhan Vivian, author of The List and Burn for Burn.  Not only do you get to meet this fabulous author, but she will also help you improve your writing!  Registration is required, so register here, or by calling 412-363-8232 or emailing barbert@carnegielibrary.org.

one does not simply write a novelhttp://writerswrite.co.za/writing-truths-16810

Happy reading & writing!

-Amy, CLP-Lawrenceville

End of Summer- BOO! End of Summer Party- YAY!

When I was a teenager, I couldn’t stand those back-to-school advertising campaigns that seem to kick in while summer is still in full swing.  And how about the stores that start selling fall jackets when it is still 90 degrees outside?  For me personally, the count down to the new school year was such a drag that even a full scale-gratuitous-shopping-binge didn’t prove therapeutic.  So now that the Teen Department at CLP Main is hosting an End of the Summer Celebration on Friday 8/24 from 2 pm to 5 pm, I feel like such a traitor.

But really- we’re on YOUR side.  We’re not trying to pour salt in the wound, we simply want to reward you all for your participation in this year’s Teen Summer Reading program (which, by the way, it’s not too late to sign up for….).  And the truth is, we’ll use any excuse to throw a party here in the Main Teen Department.  So, come- despite yourself- and just try to enjoy the last sliver of summer….

Friday, August 24

2pm to 5pm

CLP Main- Teens

4400 Forbes Ave.

Pittsburgh, PA

All teens in middle or high school welcome.  For more information, contact teensmain @ carnegielibrary.org or 412.622.3121.

Hot Summer Reads

The heat wave that’s been gripping most of our country has technically broken, or at least The Weather Channel isn’t currently predicting any highs in the 90s in Pittsburgh’s near future.  That’s fantastic news to me because I really don’t function well at those temperatures.  I get irritable and restless, but I can’t do anything but lay on the couch, and my attention span is completely shot.  I basically just try to keep myself as distracted as I can and hope the worst of the weather passes quickly.

But of course, this heat wave was in no hurry to move on, and I’m afraid my brain has literally melted and run out of my ears.  Since there’s no way I can focus on an entire full-length book right now, I’ve been reading a lot of graphic novels.  (In fact, I’ve mentioned how perfect they are for just such an occasion before.)  Here are a few of my recent favorites –

Luz Sees the Light by Claudia Davila

Luz lives in a world where power outages are occurring more and more often, and gas prices are soaring.  As she begins to understand why these things are happening, she decides she wants to do something about it – start a community garden in an abandoned lot.  But can she convince the neighborhood to help her?

The Littlest Pirate King by Jason B.

A ghost ship full of long-dead pirates has been roaming the seas for years, looking for a way to end their miserable existence and move on to the next.  But in the meantime, they maintain the traditional pirate lifestyle of killing and plundering other ships.  When they discover a living baby has survived one of their raids, they decide to keep him.  Of course, it’s only a matter of time until the boy grows up…

Nursery Rhyme Comics, edited by Chris Duffy

Each of the 50 nursery rhymes in this collection is illustrated by a famous cartoonist.  I was really impressed by several of the stories, but my favorite was probably Lucy Knisley’s take on “The Old Woman Who Lived In a Shoe.”

Freshman: Tales of 9th Grade Obsessions, Revelations, and Other Nonsense by Corinne Mucha

Annie’s just started high school, and it’s already not going well.  Her old best friend has gotten weird and isn’t speaking to her, and she’s not completely comfortable with her new friends yet either.  Her brother convinces her that freshman year sets the course for the rest of your future, but she can’t even figure out what she’s good at.  She’s terrible at sports, and she’s not sure about acting either.  Even her love life seems hopelessly doomed.  Can Annie get it together before it’s too late?

Have you read any good graphic novels (or anything else) lately?  Make sure you sign up for Teen Summer Reading and log them, so you can be eligible for fabulous prizes!


Rural reads

I grew up in a tiny town in the corn belt where the first kid to ride his tractor to school was not the last. We swam in ponds as often as in pools. The super-spacious Midwestern sprawl and lack of public transport meant that, once I learned to drive, I usually got where I was going with the windows down at…um…a totally legal and safe speed.

That car now is scrap metal, and as summer activities go, Pittsburgh beats the flatlands with no contest!  But gorgeous summer afternoons, grilling with friends, cinema in the park and some of the most ridiculous jams from the 90’s have the power to send me back to my neighborhood with force. These books do the same, and it’s kinda nice!

The Oxford Project by Peter Feldstein and Stephen G. Bloom

In 1984, the author set out to photograph everyone in his hometown of Oxford, Iowa, instructing them to “come as you are.” Twenty years later, Feldstein hunted down the same people who had stood in front of his lens the first go-around and published the photographs side-by-side. Each set of photos comes with a brief interview of the participant, and they range from downright wacky to mundane. I’ve never thought of small town life as stunning, but this series of portraits absolutely changed my mind.


Rotters by Daniel Kraus

Joey was 16 when his mother tragically died and he was shipped from Chicago to rural Iowa to live with a father he barely knew. Living with a near-stranger is hard, but finding out the stink in your shack comes from the graves your dad is robbing? Arguably worse. This takes the small (and big) town mantra “nothing ever HAPPENS around here!” and runs it through the wringer. This book is not for the weak of stomach, but if you enjoy a thoughtfully dark read, you will get what you came for with Rotters.


Need to get out of the city – if only for a little while? Check out some of these other awesome reads with rural settings.



Whitney, CLP – Main

The Last Day of School…the Movie!

The end of the school year….  Ahhhhh….  It’s so close, you can taste it, right?  Soon the public pools will open, Extravaganza and Teen Summer Reading will be in full effect, the Pirates will be crushing the competition (well…. hopefully….), and you’ll be homework free for a solid two or three months.  When I think back to my school days, I remember those last ones the fondest.  The summer held so much anticipation and so much promise!  I almost didn’t even mind attending school, because I knew my days there were numbered.  The school days were short, the tired teachers showed films instead of- well- teaching, and the only writing we students did was in yearbooks.  Turns out many others have found inspiration in those last days of school, so much so that there are entire movies dedicated to those last days of school.  Teens of Pittsburgh- you are almost there!  Join us at CLP Main- Teen on your last day of school- Wednesday, June 13 at 3 pm- for a screening of a classic of the genre.  Until then, you’ll just have to experience the excitement the last days through film.  Below are some of the best and they are all available to check out from the library.

Can’t Hardly Wait

Dazed and Confused

I Love You Beth Cooper

Rock ‘N’ Roll High School

Say Anything

Summer School

The Wackness

Feel inspired to make your own last day of school film?  Check out CLP’s QuickFlix 2012 contest and free digital filmmaking workshops!

Recent Books That Caught My Eye

Summer is the best time to read because you can read anything that you desire.  It is not too late to sign up for Teen Summer Reading.  Don’t forget to add the books that you have already read this summer to your book log.

500 Health and Fitness Tips

I just completed a ten week fitness walking program, so Seventeen Presents 500 Health and Fitness Tips:  Eat Right, Work Out Smart, and Look Great!  attracted my attention right away.  Sorry guys, but this book is for girls.  This is not a diet book!  This chunky (no pun intended) little book is chock full of great tips on how to get into shape and how to eat to stay healthy and fit.  Tip #399–don’t ditch cookies (I love this book!), but stick to made-from-scratch cookies, and add in healthy nuts and dried fruit for an even better treat!  Check out these two great sections:

  1. Work out in the park:  tone your whole body and get some fresh air with this strength routine by celeb fitness trainer Radu Teodorescu.
  2. Get ready for tryouts:  start this pre-season workout also by celebrity trainer Radu Teodorescu 3 weeks before your sports tryouts and you’ll run faster, jump higher–and make the team!

The next book is The Accidental Genius of Weasel High by Rick Detorie.  Larkin Pace is a 14 year old aspiring (and frustrated) filmmaker that is working on a project for his English class.  This book can be described as part regular novel and part graphic novel.  Some have called it an illustrated novel.  I will declare it as super funny with lots of great pop culture and film references.

Here is Larkin’s  list of “TEN THINGS THAT BUG ME ABOUT MY SISTER” (pages 70-71).

10.  She goes ballistic whenever I touch her stuff.

9.  She leaves the stuff I’m not supposed to touch everywhere.

8.  She borrows my stuff without ever asking.

7.  She rolls her eyes at everything I say.

6.  She and her friends giggle whenever I pass by.

5.  She pasted little heart stickers all over my skateboard.

4.  She put lime gelatin in my favorite shoes.

3.  She posts dorky pictures of me on the Web and forwards them to her friends.

2.  She always gets her way.

1.  Actually, everything about her bugs me.  Seriously.

The Accidental Genius of Weasel High

Consider the scenerio where you are a senior in high school and looking forward to heading off to college.  “It’s Daisy Crispin’s final semester of high school, and she plans to make it count.  Her long-awaited freedom is mere months away, and her big plans for college loom in the future.  Everything is in control.  Or is it?”

Check out Perfectly Invisible by Kristen Billerbeck.

“I miss Gil.  I want men in my life who know how to get what they want, who aren’t afraid to stand up for what they believe in, even if it makes them unpopular.  I wish I knew if either Chase or Max was that kind of guy.  But right  now, they both seem like luminous wimps to me.  Which makes looking forward to college all the more important to me.  Somehow I hope that everything will be different there, that my life will change with a new venue.”  (page 123)

Perfectly Invisible

I was also intriged by Eva’s recent book suggestion: How They Croaked:  The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous.    A great and fun book for browsing this summer.

~Marian, CLP–Mt. Washington

Please share your favorite books that you have read this summer!

Read away the summer…

It’s my 4th favorite time of year (precluded by Christmas, Black Friday, and my birthday, naturally)! YALSA has released the list of titles picked for 2011 Teens’ Top Ten Nominations!

The teens that do the nominating are members of teen book groups that span across sixteen schools and libraries throughout the country. They chose the 25 books that they felt were the best that teen literature had to offer in the last year. Here is the list of books with some nice descriptions to help you decide which you’re going to read this summer!

From Aug. 22 until Sept. 16, teens between the ages of 12-18 can vote for their favorite book– the top ten will be announced during Teen Read Week!

Here are my favorites from the list that you should definitely check out–

Are there any books on here that you wouldn’t have picked? Any that are missing that you feel should’ve been included?

– Julie, CLP– Beechview

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