Wednesday, March 29, 2006

LOTS of new books!

I know it's been awhile since I posted a list of new stuff, so here's a whole lot all at once. Enjoy!

(and, as you already know, just click on the book cover or title to go to our catalog for more info)


The Killer's Tears, by Anne-Laure Bondoux

Riddle in the Mountain, by Daryl Burkhard

Corydon & the Island of Monsters, by Tobias Druitt

Swan Town : The Secret Journal of Susanna Shakespeare, by Michael J. Ortiz

The Necessary Beggar, by Susan Palwick

The Wall and the Wing, by Laura Ruby

Duckling Ugly, by Neil Shusterman

The Case of the Missing Marquess : an Enola Holmes Mystery, by Nancy Springer

No Right Turn, by Terry Trueman

Hard Hit, by Ann Turner


Miracle : Bobbly Allison and the Saga of the Alabama Gang, by Peter Golenbock
GV1032.A3 G65 2006

Chillin' Trix for Cool Chix, by Leanne Warrick
HQ798.W187 2005

The Campfire Collection : Spine-tingling Tales to Tell in the Dark, edited by Eric B. Martin
PN6071.O87 C36 2000

With a Little Luck : Surprising Stories of Amazing Discoveries, by Dennis Brindell Fradin
Q180.55.D57 F73 2006

Happy reading!

Talking about books

Do you like to talk about the books that you have read? Middle school students at a school where we visit once a month come in during the lunch hour to do just that. The book they picked to talk about next time is Hidden Child by Isaac Millman. It is the story of the author, who was born in Paris. When he was only seven years old the Nazis invaded France and his father was deported. He and his mother fled to Vichy France, where she bribed a guard to shelter young Isaac. Maybe you read some of his other books when you were younger in the Moses series. Here is a link to a picture of the author and some more information about him.

Since you cannot join us in the discussion perhaps you would like to comment to the blog after you read the book.


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Reviewers wanted!

Do you like to read? Do you like to write? If so, have we got a deal for you!

We'd like to start posting reviews by teens on this blog. Basically, if you read a book you like (or dislike), write a review of it and we'll probably post it.

Not sure what to review? Ask! We often get advance reading copies sent to us by publishers, so you might even be able to read a book before it comes out. Or, one of us can tell you what titles we've ordered lately...or you can just pick a book yourself.

If you do want to review a book, here's what you should include:

Author and title (duh)
Did you like the book? Why or why not?
Who would you recommend the book to?

Of course, use your own personal style and your own words.

If you're interested in reviewing for our blog, send us an email:


Thursday, March 23, 2006

You Make My Heart Sing

New York Times columnist Naomi Wolf recently wrote a column called "Young Adult Fiction: Wild Things," in which Wolf critiques fiction series like Gossip Girls and The Clique for portraying young ladies as mean, sexualized misogynists with serious consumer fetishes. Says Wolf:

But teenagers, or their parents, do buy the bad-girls books — the "Clique," "Gossip Girl" and "A-List" series have all sold more than a million copies. And while the tacky sex scenes in them are annoying, they aren't really the problem. The problem is a value system in which meanness rules, parents check out, conformity is everything and stressed-out adult values are presumed to be meaningful to teenagers. The books have a kitsch quality — they package corruption with a cute overlay.

Wolf seems to see these books the same way somebody would look at Teen People--as a message from media that is intrinsically designed to model behaviors, looks, and products for you to buy. Wolf doesn't seem to have any faith in you (by you, I mean teens) to evaluate these characters and stories so to decide for yourself what to take and apply to your lives, if anything.

When I first started working here, I must admit I had similar feelings (not about the teens, but about the books). I soon learned that I'm nobody to judge anyone else's reading interests, especially when that judgment amounts to generalizing the hopes, dreams, and emotional lives of the thousands and thousands of people who enjoy these novels. Wolf's critique of these books, and all the social hierarchy in the novels, feels like it amounts to a whole new hierarchy--of prep-school-turned-Yale-alumni adults like Naomi Wolf knowing what's "best." (Though, even if one was to accept the principle of "bad" in these characters' behaviors, I fail to see how any character completely aligned at the pole of revoltingly cruel consumer-driven materialist provides any emotional access point for readers to want to emulate their experience of these characters.)

I'm curious to hear what all of you think about this article. How do you interact with your reading interests? What do they mean to you?

Okay, take care, everyone. This is my first post to the blog, and I'm signing out.

Best wishes,

P.S. -- I'm just going to take this opportunity to plug Natalie Standiford's Dating Game novels. Three high school sophomores--Madison, Lina, and Holly--make waves at their preppy school for the gifted when they start a matchmaking blog. Little do people know that they each have their own issues with being forlorn in love, sex, and the social life. Standiford has quite a knack for creating a sensational life without sensationalizing it. Despite their rather average quality, the Dating Game novels have a quick, urgently exciting feel, with characters rushing through life and getting hit with a few key realizations along the way.

P.P.S. -- If you're interested in further discussions of how media--specifically visual media like photographs, television, and movies--impact society, culture, and our minds, please call me here at the library, at 412-622-3121. We have a free Media Literacy & Digital Video Production class for high school students every fall and spring, in which we talk about these issues and apply what we learn to representing ourselves through digital video exercises. It's intense and fun, and I would be happy to add you to the list of people to contact for the fall!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Did you know that speaking in public is considered by many to be a fear greater than death? If you think so too we have help for you coming soon to the Teen area at the library. If you are a high school student you can come to six fun interactive sessions to help overcome your fear of public speaking. Sound interesting? Come on Thursday, April 6th at 7 pm. to find out more. Click here for all of the dates and times. Normally a $500.00 value, this program is being offered for free to a group of 15 high school students.

Here is what one high school senior had to say about his experience,
"SureTalk has been a new and interesting program for us. The instructors are really good and make all of us feel comfortable when we are asked to speak. I feel as though I'm getting better each time and so do most of my friends. I would recommend this program for all teens because it can only help you later on in life."


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Inkheart: the Movie

Cornelia Funke. Movie. Inkheart. YAY!

Okay, now for coherent thoughts: I just read on YALSA-BK that Cornelia Funke's absolutely fabulous book, Inkheart, is being made into a movie. If you're not familiar with the story, Inkheart is about a young girl named Meg and her father, Mo. Mo has an amazing talent: he can read characters from books into being. That's right, he can read a book out loud and make characters from that book appear in real life. The only problem is, he can't really control what characters appear...and every time he reads a character out, something from the real world must go in. Hmm.

Anyway, Inkheart is amazing, as is its sequel, Inkspell. So I'm very excited about this movie. I'm also very excited about who'll be playing Mo: Brendan Fraser! For a little bit more info, check out the Internet Movie Database, here.


Monday, March 13, 2006

Get 'em while they're hot!

Some books came in today that look really great...come and grab them off the new book display, before I'm forced to check them out myself!


The Road of the Dead, by Kevin Brooks

Grand and Humble, by Brent Hartinger

Ask Me No Questions, by Marina Budhos

Thursday, March 09, 2006

MySpace?!?, that cool website where you can talk to your friends, post bulletins and photos, and meet new people, has been in the news a lot lately. Some of the news is good, like this article from USA Today; some bad, like this article from; and some pretty neutral, like this other one from

Now, we know that you guys love your Myspace. We see you using it in the library and, as you know, we've started using it to communicate with you! Here's our request, though: be safe. Use common sense and follow some basic guidelines like the ones set forth by the Center for Missing and Exploited Children. We like y'all, and want you to be careful.

Stepping off my pedestal,

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

St. Patrick's Day Celebration

We had fun yesterday composing this "ad" for next week's Dance Dance Revolution drop-in program. The teen advisory council requested we do something special for St. Patrick's Day during our regularly scheduled DDR time on Friday, March 17th. (3-5 pm.)

There will be a party in Teen
Where all will be wearin' their green
Teens'll come from afar
To dance DDR
To eat and to drink they'll be keen.


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Spring into March

That was a lame title, I know. But it's March, the official first month of Spring, and I'm excited! Not to mention that there's a lot of exciting stuff happening at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Tomorrow is DDR Day! Be sure to stop by and dance the afternoon away with your friends. And, because a lot of you have trouble getting here after school on Friday, we're going to keep doing DDR one Saturday a month. F ebruary's DDR Saturday was a great success!! The next date is March 25th.

As always, next Monday we'll show a movie in the Teen Meeting Room at Main, and Wednesday is the Safe and Respectful Place. ***edit: Safe and Respectful Place will no longer occur on Wednesday afternoons. More information will be posted as it becomes available.*** I know y'all enjoy the free popcorn and soda on Monday afternoons! Please let me know, either by commenting to the blog or by emailing us at, if there are any movies in particular you'd be interested in seeing. I will do my best!

March 18th will be second annual Teen Read Buffet, requested by members of the Teen Advisory Group. This is a really fun event that combines two of MY favorite things: food and books. We'll have a selection of great books and snacks available, or you can pick something to read off our well-stocked shelves. Then, basically, hang out, read, eat, talk about what you're reading, eat some more, read some more...sounds like fun, eh?

There are other things going on for teens at libraries all over the city, if you can't get to Oakland. A lot of our neighborhood locations already have or are starting Teen Advisory Groups/Councils of their own: B-TAG, the Brookline Teen Advisory Group, will meet at 4:30 on Wednesday, March 15th; Carrick is having a TAG meeting at noon on March 18th; and the meeting at Southside will be at 1:00 on March 25th.

If you're planning on attending Tekkoshocon the weekend of March 31st but aren't sure what to wear, stop by the Squirrel Hill library on March 19th to design and make a costume. And if you're just looking for a good place to go and hang out, check out the After School Club at the Carrick library, held every Wednesday afternoon, or the For Young Women Only - Teen Chat at the Hill District library at 4:30 on March 23rd.

New Books!!

In other news, we got a bunch of new books in today. Most of them are just going straight to our new book display, but here are some I thought looked particularly interesting:

Now Starring Vivien Leigh Reid: Diva in Training, by Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout

Criminal Minded, by Tracy Brown

Gil's All Fright Diner, by A. Lee Martinez

My So-Called Digital Life: 2,000 Teenagers, 300 Cameras, and 30 Days to Document Their World, Created by Bob Pletka