Friday, October 23, 2015

Another poem by Harika


by Harika Kottakota

There is a certain holiness

To lullabies on those peaceful nights

When the flashes of white and crimson

Beneath my eyelids


Tremors can’t pass through my skin

As the voices marring my conscience

With their weeping agony


Darkness is simply a passing stranger

And the emerald-eyed ravens

Hunting my teardrops are nowhere

In sight

Thursday, October 22, 2015


We had big fun at Northwest Branch on Wednesday afternoon, making commemorative Dia de los Muertos ofrendas in Altoids tins with a great group of teens! Everyone really got into making theirs both attractive and representative. There was much creative use of glitter glue (as Anarda says, "What's a day without glitter?"), and the stories they told were precious mementos.


We didn't get photos of everyone as they came and went, but there's pretty good documentation in an album on the Burbank Public Library Teen Page on Facebook, so go have a look! And as is typical for any teen program, 14 kids signed up, half of those didn't come, but a bunch more who didn't sign up came anyway, so we ended up with somewhere between 17 and 20--we're not really sure, because some came early, made their ofrenda quickly, and left; some came at the last minute; and some stayed the entire time and made two! The Spanish teacher at Providence High even gave extra credit to teens who participated. It was fun being crafty with you!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Teen Review: Realistic Fiction (sort of...)

by John Corey Whaley
338 pages
Realistic fiction / Science Fiction
Not part of a series

Grade 9 and up

Reviewed by Shadowmancer, grade 8

Travis Coates is dying, plain and simple. After months with a deadly cancer, he has exhausted every cure his family could find, and is willing to face the facts. So when one doctor recommends having his head (the only part of him not infected by cancer) cryogenically frozen until technology is good enough to attach him to another body, he agrees, believing it will never happen. But to his surprise, he wakes up to find the procedure has worked and he now has a second chance at life.

The only problem? Well, it’s only been five years (not decades, like he was expecting), and his best friend Kyle is in college, his parents have grieved and moved on, and his girlfriend Cate is engaged to someone else. How will Travis adjust to being 16 again while the rest of his world and the people of his old life have moved on?

This book is actually pretty interesting once you get into it, and it makes you wonder if our own technology will find a way to for us escape death like that and how those who try it will adjust to living again. For those of you who loved The Fault in Our Stars, I suggest you take a look at this one, since it holds quite a few of the same elements such as the trauma of knowing someone you care about has cancer and how the affliction can hurt more than just the victim.

The writing itself is well done, and I can applaud Whaley’s creative and emotional plot since this book makes you want to cry even when you don’t think it will. I don’t even really like realistic fiction, but this book got my attention and I gave it a shot. The cover is great. Overall, if you take a chance on this book I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Reminders for this week

Buena Vista Branch, 7:00 p.m.

In celebration of Gay History Month, Burbank Public Library is proud to present a talk and book signing by Lillian Faderman about her newly published book, The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle.

This event presents an uncommon opportunity for students to learn about the history of one of the major civil rights movements of our time, and also to see how history is told. The Gay Revolution tells of one contemporary social and political movement in all its complexity.It's a story that should be of particular interest to LGBT students, helping them to understand their lives today; but it can teach everyone about the problems that activists must solve to create an effective movement for social and political change. Proof of attendance slips will be provided at the end of the program, for those whose teachers have agreed to offer extra credit.

Northwest Branch, 3:30 p.m.

Ofrendas are altars or memorial tableaux for the beloved dead. You can honor a family member, a friend, a pet, a celebrity, whomever you like. We will be constructing ofrendas in Altoids tins. We will provide the box and many craft items to decorate it. You should bring a small photo of your person (make a photocopy!), plus anything tiny you want to include that is personal to him or her. SIGN UP:

Buena Vista Branch, 7:00 p.m.

Hanna and Walter, survivors of the Holocaust, told their harrowing story in the book Hanna & Walter: A Love Story. Their daughter, Julie Kohner, has made it her mission to keep alive their powerful first-hand testimony for a new generation, convinced that the power of the personal remains the most effective way to explain the impact and meaning of the Holocaust. Julie’s mother survived Auschwitz but lost her family. She and Walter came to lead a new life in Los Angeles with other expatriates and survivors, and Hanna Kohner was one of the first survivors to tell her story on American television, when she was featured on Ralph Edwards’s show, This is Your Life.

The library will have a drawing for the students who attend this event, so that they can possibly win a copy of the book. The book is also available for sale. Additionally, reference librarian Hubert Kozak has created for this occasion two bibliographies, one a list of important history books in our collection about the Holocaust, and another that features the many primary source accounts of witnesses and survivors that can be found at the Burbank Public Library. Both would be valuable learning aids for students. We will provide proof of attendance slips at the end of the program for those students whose teachers have offered extra credit for attending.

Remember that the contest to write a RETOLD FAIRY TALE is ON, and the stories are DUE on November 12, at 5:00 p.m. latest! So use your imagination, write your best work, and send it to, or drop a copy off at the Reference Desk at any library (attn: Melissa or Anarda)! 

There’s always something happening for teens at the library--join us!