Saturday, April 25, 2015

This week at the library...

Some events of interest to TEENS this week...


Central Library auditorium

Friends of the Burbank Public Library
The hours are as follows:

In addition to getting great deals, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are supporting the library with your purchase: The Friends fund all programming at the library. So if you are in a book club, if you come to teen movies, author events and programs at the library, thank the Friends by buying a few books!

ALSO: We could still use some VOLUNTEERS to work some shifts during the book sale. If you're interested, email with your availability.

Buena Vista branch, 7:00 p.m.

ORPHAN BLACK: From Hit Series to Graphic Novel

Writer Jody Houser will talk with Amy Dallen about adapting the television show into a comic.

Houser has been a contributing writer to numerous comic anthologies, and Amy Dallen sells comics at Burbank's House of Secrets (among other things)! This should be a fascinating conversation!

Buena Vista branch, 7:00 p.m.

In celebration of National Poetry Month, young adult author and poet Ron Koertge will teach teens in grades 6-12 how to write the poetic form of “pantoum.” To sign up, email's not too late!

Central Library, 10:00 a.m.


Did you ever want to know MORE about organic gardening, water harvesting, backyard composting, or car-free transportation? If so, come to the Central Library every Saturday in May! 10:00 am on the library lawn.

This week: Preserves and Canning demo followed by a Simple Living Author Talk with Casey David. Book signing to follow.

Friday, April 24, 2015

E&P: Two teen reviews

BASIL (grade 9) says:

Eleanor and Park is a wonderful novel written by the incredibly talented Rainbow Rowell, whose breakthrough first novel broke the expectations of what a first novel is supposed to be. Eleanor and Park’s 325 pages are mesmerizing, entertaining, and are almost perfect due to its clever writing style. The novel shows the viewpoints of both Eleanor and Park and both are equally well thought out, but it does get confusing when one gets so caught up in reading the book. However, the story is so interesting and realistic that the revolving viewpoints only strengthen the underlying story and author’s message. This book is not part of a series but the plot starts and ends perfectly and everything is tied up nicely at the end. I would recommend the reading level to be for grades 8-12.

The protagonists are both awkward and, in the case of Eleanor, unpopular, while Park is quiet and tolerated. But where this novel really shines through is in Rainbow Rowell’s choice of using minorities as the two main characters. Park is a half Korean half Caucasian boy and Eleanor is a chubby, short, red-haired-girl. Making this novel even more special is the way they fell in love.

I closely identified with Park, and at some points I imagined Park as myself. This book’s easy writing allows such relatabilty to occur naturally and without it even being consciously known.

I would give this book a 5 out of 5 rating because it really breaks down the walls of traditional love stories in the best way possible; by being a perfect mix of surprise, romance, and realism.

MARLENA (grade 9) says:

Eleanor and Park is an easy read regarding language, but contextually it may be a little harder since there are some more mature themes presented in this book, including domestic abuse and bullying. It would be classified in the realistic fiction genre relating to romance. I would recommend this book to teens in high school, ninth to twelfth graders. Teens may feel like they can relate well to this book, to the “first love,” but anyone older can definitely read and enjoy it too. Just a fair warning to those younger than 9th grade that the content may be a little overwhelming or too mature.

Eleanor is a pudgy, light-skinned girl with reddish orange curly hair, while Park is a lean medium height Asian with tan skin and a preference for black clothes. These two people seem to be complete polar opposites, so different that you would never think they would end up in a relationship, much less start up a conversation. It all begins on a conventional day on the school bus when Eleanor, the new girl, ended up having to sit next to Park, the only person on the bus who would give up some space on his seat to her, albeit reluctantly. But he doesn't talk to her and she doesn't talk to him. She is different, and the kids judge her on her appearance, a tendency of any person whether they are insecure or not. Their friendship started with a small act of kindness and many days of silence on the bus. Most unexpectedly, they bond over Park’s love for comic books and Eleanor’s interest in reading the stories over his shoulder. Their friendship starts small, but grows into something much bigger, something much sweeter.

Eleanor, though, has a really hard home life, and it isn’t any better at school, where people like to pick on her. Park tries his best to protect her, because with every passing day he becomes so much more infatuated with her, as she does with him. Their love story is one of hardships and sorrow, but also one of joy and thankfulness. Their love is one of the most important, a first love.

This book is without question or argument a five, "hard to imagine a better book." I literally fell in love with this book and the devotion that both Park and Eleanor have for each other. It was so sweet and moving. I smiled and cried throughout this book and I would read it again in a heartbeat. No one’s love story is the same, and Eleanor and Park’s was surely unique.

Editor's note: I'm so pleased people are finding and liking this book! Here's my review, from when the book first came out. And as mentioned there, if you like books about unlikely romance mixed with life's real dramas, try I'll Be There, by Holly Goldberg Sloan.

Thursday, April 23, 2015


Um, what?

Pantoum! It's a poetic FORM. Like sonnets, or limericks, or haiku.

And YOU can learn to write one! Sign up for our workshop with our friend, poet RON KOERTGE. It's next Wednesday, April 29, at the Buena Vista branch, at 7:00 p.m.

Email to be included in this National Poetry Month activity!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Teen review: John Green!

Paper Towns is a critically acclaimed, exhilarating 305-page adventure written by award-winning author John Green. This young adult novel perfectly merges the genres of mystery, romance, tragedy, and humor into one beautifully crafted artwork. That is what this book is, a beautiful artwork worthy of preservation in a museum for future generations to enjoy.

Paper Towns is not part of a series, but this easy-to-read-hard-to-put-down novel doesn’t need to be part of a series because it is already perfect. Because of its usage of strong verbal language and certain explicit scenes, I would have to recommend the reading level to be grades 8-12, and freshmen (like myself) would certainly find this book entertaining.

In Paper Towns, the awkward and unconfident protagonist, Quentin Jacobsen, has lived a very quiet, normal, and suburban life in the hot, humid, and semi-tropical state of Florida. Quentin, known as Q in the novel, is a geek (there is no denying that fact), but he has a very supportive family, good grades, and a minivan. He lives next door to Margo Roth Spiegelman, a name that is spoken with a quiet reverence due to her interesting nature and almost unbelievable stories of adventures. The adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman and boring Quentin Jacobsen were childhood friends, but they slowly and quietly drifted apart, Quentin staying geeky and nerdy while Margo was drawn towards the popular life. Years of not speaking might have continued, had it not been for that fateful night when Margo recruits Q for a night of revenge directed towards fellow classmates. Slowly but surely, Q falls more in love with the girl he has idolized since their childhood. Everything is looking up for Q, and he’s sure that the next day will be perfect. But then Margo disappears.

Margo has run away before and every time she runs away she leaves behind clues to direct people to where she is. So Q and his friends, worrying for her safety, embark on an adventure to try to find the girl they thought they knew.

I would rank this novel as a solid 5, because it has an almost dream-like quality to it where every word seems like a plot twist and every chapter seems like a dream building upon the chapter before it. In short, between the amazingly life-like characters and perfect story-telling, this novel is, for a lack of another word, incredible.

Reviewed by Basil, grade 9

Editor's note: Wow! That was a stellar review! I'll bet that Basil is looking forward to the movie, which comes out on
July 24!