Friday, February 27, 2009

Teen Review: Cory's Hip Hop Recommendations, Pt. 1*

If you are more into rap music or hip hop than R&B then you may like artists like Lil Wayne, Fabolous, and Young Jeezy. They are very great artists and they create very good music and hits that people like to listen to over and over again. But there are more good artists that are being discovered every day like Gucci Mane, Drake, and Jamie Foxx. These are artists that make good hits too that people like to listen to over and over again. Gucci Mane is an artist that has been out for a while and he is a artist that people compare to other artists. Most people say that Lil Wayne is the best rapper alive but some say Gucci Mane is better than Lil Wayne.

*Thanks to teen reviewer, Cory, for writing this review. It was completed as part of our Fine Alternative Program, which allows teens to work down their fines at the library. Stop by and we'll tell you all about it!


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Becca's Book Review: Twisted, by Laurie Halse Anderson

A Twisted Review
By Becca C.

If one thing is true, it’s that very few books appeal to every type high school student. After reading “Twisted” by Laurie Halse Anderson, it’s easy to tell why this is one of them. Anderson is able to combine the life of a teenage boy, and the drama teen girls thrive on to make a gender neutral page turner. The book has an underdog feeling to it, yet doesn’t turn the popular kids into “mean girls” and there’s some life aspect that you will find you’re personally going through.

The story is about a high school senior by the name of Tyler Miller. Picked on during his middle school years, he decides to make himself a legend and end the torment for high school. He eventually suffers for his stunt. While paying his debt to society, Tyler also has to deal with his growing attraction to the popular girl at school, an ashamed, over bearing father, a sociallite sister going out with his best friend, and an effective solution to his bullies. He even develops a reputation that makes him the cops go-to-guy when the giant scandal goes down, and yes, it’s a huge shock.

Anderson has the inept ability to blend family issues, peer drama and inner battles without making it a giant cliché. There’s enough fights and female anatomy to keep the guys happy, but enough emotion and social strains to keep chicks interested. It’s easy for anyone to relate to this book. Whether you’ve ever been the butt of everybody’s joke and the target of everybody’s hits, had a giant thing for the cool kid, had the urge to do something reckless, had an unbearable home life, or even had the desire to end it all, you will find something that links your life to Tylers.

There are even some life lessons snuck inbetween the lines. Things like your actions will come back to haunt you and to be responsible are learned through the characters the hard way; Through public humiliation, social isolation and hard labor. It makes you think about how your actions will effect you in the future. You begin to question whether or not the perfect kids are really that perfect.
One of the most important things about the book is that it’s new. Released in 2007, there aren’t any references to how “groovy” the Brady Bunch is. With the exception of the geek’s universe aka Star Wars, everything in the book is all recent events. Everybody already knows that KISS is really ugly when they take off their makeup.

If you couldn’t already guess, I really suggest that you read this book. “Twisted” isn’t just for one type of person. Girls, boys, happy, sad, cowboys and indians will enjoy this book as much as I did.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Are You Ready for More Wizard Rock?

If any of you muggles are getting pumped for the next Harry Potter movie and looking for something to do on a Friday night, check out this cool show at the Garfield Artworks.


Wizard Rock band from Ann Arbor, MI

with Columbus, Ohio's

and local opener WEIRD PAUL (not Wizard Rock, but totally hilarious).

Friday February 27 6 pm all ages show (done by around 9 pm). $10
at Garfield Artworks, 4931 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15224.
The 86B and 54C buses will take you there.

Info: 412-361-2262 or

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Graphic Novels: like normal novels, only more awesome

When I was seven years old my Dad bought me my first comic book at a 7-11. He told me to pick one off of the old spinning comic rack (a rare thing these days). I went for an issue of Captain America - Issue #401 to be exact. The cover featured a bummed out Cap sitting at his desk (yes, Captain America has a desk) with the faces of a bunch of heroes and villains floating above him. Something about the heavy vibe and all of the cool character's faces appealed to me.

Flash forward eighteen years and I still love comics. I'd steered clear of them for a few years off-and-on, but I've always come back. One great thing about working in TEEN is that I get to keep up with the stories and talk to patrons about their favorite stuff. That's right - comics in the library! I'm sure this isn't exactly news to everyone, but it's still a relatively new thing. It wasn't until the late 90s that graphic novels and trade paperbacks (generally six issues of a comic compiled and bound together) really started showing up in book stores and libraries. It's about time that comics, manga, and graphic novels are accepted as the works of art they truly are.

Check out these selections from our collection of graphic novels and graphic series. (Of course, there's plenty more where these came from - be sure to ask your friendly neighborhood librarian for suggestions!) :

House by Josh Simmons: This graphic novel by first-time author Simmons is a haunting tale in which three teenage friends explore a mysterious, abandoned house with tragic results. House is completely wordless, but the art is wonderful.

Batman - The Man Who Laughs by Ed Brubaker: Experience the first ever meeting between The Dark Knight and the Clown Prince of Crime! Batman is Gotham cities new defender, but he's never encountered any criminals quite like the chalk-faced madman known as the Joker.

Street Angel by Jim Rugg: Jesse "Street Angel" Sanchez is a homeless teen from the worst ghetto on Earth. She stays alive with her kung fu skills and skateboarding prowess, fighting Irish astronauts, ancient gods, and gangs of evil ninjas. Check out local author/artist Jim Rugg's awesome comic series!

Awkward and Definition: the high school comic chronicles of Ariel Schrag by Ariel Schrag: Ariel Schrag created these comics the summer following each year of High School. Awkward is about her freshman year and Definition is about her sophomore year. Wonderful true-to-life stories you can relate to. Impressive to think that a high school student created and published these great stories.

Shortcomings by Adrian Tomine: A wonderful falling-out-of-love story about (that most cliche of indie comic subjects) twenty-something slackers. Luckily, it is a wonderful story - sad and touching with great commentary on racial identity in America.

Corey W, Main - TEEN

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Help us create a Book-of-the-Month!

So I've an idea to start having a Book-of-the-Month in Teen. This would be in place of a monthly book discussion. There would be no actual meetings. The discussion about the book could take place informally at the Teen reference desk, or on the blog post comments.

Do you have any ideas for which books you'd like to see become a "Book of the Month" in 2009? Do you have any ideas about how to make this idea fly? If so, please share with us in the comments section.

Thanks for your help!