The Library Ninja Blog

Lone Star Book List for 2015

We are excited about this year's Lone Star list which has murder, mystery, Massachusetts, Machu Pichu and worst of all...middle school.

1/24/2015 by Raquel Reyna Add a Comment Share this:

Teen Book Club Stunned! **Spoiler Alert**

After many weeks of criticing this book and discussing Juneau's discoveries of her past and present in a world she thought she knew, our teen book club become shocked about the ending of this book. Many teens came to Teen Zone this week pondering the concusion of this book, asking if it really the ended the way it did, and insisted that there had to be more then what they read. This action-packed thriller kept our teens in suspence all the way to the end!

We soon realized that according to and, the book "After the End" will soon become a douology with the upcoming book called "Until the Beginning". Juneau has been searching for her people and for answers . . . 

When Juneau's clan disappeared, she lost so much more than her friends and family. She soon discovered everything she thought she knew about her life was a lie. Her people's gifts were actually secret abilities that others wanted, desperately enough to kidnap an entire village.

Juneau and her new companion Miles's cross-country journey to find her clan has led them to a game preserve in New Mexico. Now Juneau's people are finally within reach, and she will stop at nothing to save them. But she has a target on her back too, because unbeknownst to her she is the key to unlocking everything. 

What will Juneau's future look like after she accepts who she is? Only one way to find out, keep reading!  Be on the look out for this book sold in stores in May 2015!

1/22/2015 by Veronica R. Add a Comment Share this:
Topics: Books

Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ) Winter Edition Recap

In the realm of video games, one noticeable event took place this month and that would be the gaming convention known as “Awesome Games Done Quick” or better known in the gaming community as AGDQ. AGDQ is a video game charity that raises money and equipment (through donations) for the Prevention Cancer Foundation by speed running(I’ll explain later) old and classic games as well as current generation games that are near and dear to gamer’s hearts. The 160 hour event ran from January 5th through the 11th, and featured some of the most popular gamers on the planet.

But if you were unfortunate to not attend the event AGDQ had a Twitch channel that broadcasted the entire event, free of charge so that everyone could see and donate to this noteworthy cause. For those of you who don’t know Twitch is let me clarify, it’s a gaming website in which individuals stream video games and other content and interact with their subscribers and followers on a daily basis for a nominal sum of money every month. By doing so this it helps the streamers not only to buy new equipment but it also allows them to communicate more closely with their fan base. In other words think of it as YouTube with more video games and more interaction between the streamers and their fan base.

So what is speed running? It’s the gaming practice in which you try and play through a game as fast as possible by exploiting glitches, level design, coding, or just using your gaming skills and past experiences with the game. This for any gamer is a true test to not only their skills they’ve used over the years, but also requires much planning and strategy to do so. “Unlike previous years, this year I went to the event and watched as some of my friends’ competed in many different games to test their gaming prowess when it came to speed running. One particular friend of mine that took part in the speed running this year, primarily known by his Twitch alias “Werster,” managed to finish and complete the classic Pokémon Red game in only 21 minutes flat which know has now become a world record.

Last year, the AGDQ event rose over $1 million respectfully for the foundation, which was a milestone for them, however, this year I am glad to say that due to the very charitable and generous donators the event has exceeded last year’s goal and raised a whopping 1.5 million dollars for the foundation. Even though the event is over, you can still donate to this charitable cause here; and hopefully with your help, next year’s event can raise more funds to such a note worthy cause but until then, my fellow gamers, keep honing your skills and game on!! 

Written by Miguel M., YTC Intern

1/17/2015 Add a Comment Share this:
Topics: Gaming, Technology

Robotics: January Open House Events

The Arlington Public Library is hosting two open house events to kick off the Library’s Robotics programs scheduled to begin in February 2015. Students in grades 7-12 can explore the LEGO Mindstorm NXT and EV3 programmable robotics kits as well as other resources that support robotics and STEM interests.

Members of the Gearheads, one of five APL robotics teams, will be on site to showcase their robots presented in the 2014 G.E.A.R Robotics Competition! This group of teens placed second in the competition, and received two additional awards for their “space theme” and for presenting the most elegant robot. They will share their exciting experiences from last year’s event. To see them in action follow this link

Library staff will be on hand to answer questions about robots, robots, and more cool robots. Both events will be held at Youth Technology Center: The Lab located in the East Branch Library. Come out and explore The Lab on Thursday, January 29 from 5-7 p.m. or Saturday, January 31 from 12-2 p.m.


1/14/2015 Add a Comment Share this:
Topics: Technology

Attack On Titan LIVE ACTION Film Coming Out THIS Summer?...ALLEGEDLY

So guys, rumor has it that we could expect to see a LIVE ACTION Attack on Titan hit theaters as early as summer 2015!

Adapted from the original manga (Japanese graphic novel) series of the same name, Attack on Titan is a story about how the early times of humanity was brought close to the brink of extinction by the titans, a mysterious species of giant humanoid beings (ranging anywhere from 10-80 stories tall...) that devour humans for what appears to be no reason at all. Overtime, humanity has devised several military tactics to defend against the titans, most notably the "Scouting Legion," a specific military branch that's sole purpose is to frequently risk their lives on what are more times often than not, suicidal missions in which they venture into titan territory to collect invaluable info that could possibly help humanity reclaim the world that was stolen from them by the titans. 

Although an official trailer has yet to be released for the movie, we do get a bit of a sneak peak at seeing "real life" Titans, featured in the Subaru Forester ad video below:

Yes... YES... YES!

Let's not pretend that you guys actually gave an empty 3DMG gas tank about the Subaru featured in this video, but more importantly, we get a bit of a glimpse into seeing how well the terrifying horror of the titans translates to the real life screen. I was impressed. Plus, the teaser "Colossal Titan" teaser at the end was epic, simply epic...

Of course there are those of you are a bit on the skeptic side about how an Attack on Titan live action would play out, and rightfully so, seeing as how more times than not, most brilliant anime series seem to have difficulty translating to the live big screen. (Not saying any names... not going to say any names... *coughs.*) So if you're one of the few who needs a bit more convincing, hit the link at the bottom to check out some of the cast pics for the "Scouting Legion!"

View the Attack on Titan Live Cast Here!


And if you're one of the ones who have absolutely no clue what I've been talking about this entire time. Get up, go to your local library, and grab a couple of the Attack on Titan graphic novels and catch up with the rest of us. 

Until next time, guys!

1/8/2015 by EJ A. Add a Comment Share this:

Teen Review by Cheyenne K....Birdwing

Publisher's Description: Once upon a time, a girl rescued her seven brothers from a spell that had turned them into swans. But one boy, Ardwin, was left with the scar of the spell's last gasp: one arm remained a wing. And while Ardwin yearned to find a place in his father's kingdom, the wing whispered to him of open sky and rushing wind. Marked by difference, Ardwin sets out to discover who he is: bird or boy, crippled or sound, cursed or blessed. But followed by the cold eye of a sorceress and with war rumbling at his kingdom's borders, Ardwin's path may lead him not to enlightenment, but into unimaginable danger.

Birdwing is a really good book for people who enjoy reading fairy tales. Birdwing is a book that takes a common fairy tale and then goes on to explain what happend after "happily ever after." This fairy tale puts a twist on a story about 6 boys being turned into swans by their evil stepmother and what happens AFTER their sister saves them from the curse.

I think you should read this book because It puts action and perseverance into a good story. You will never want to put this book down once you start reading it. This book shows you that nothing is too hard if you put your mind to it. 4 STARS!!!

Other books you may enjoy:

1/3/2015 Add a Comment Share this:

Happy New Year!

As the year comes to an end, Teen Zone at the Northeast Branch Library has had a very successful year thanks to the teens, the parents and our partnerships with the schools and other organizations. We have learned new subjects, connected with one another, and continued to grow. We began the year introducing ourselves to our new teens, building strong relationships that allowed teens tobetter utilizie their library and become proactive in teen activities.

During the Summer months, the library provided many college and career orientated field trips for our teens. They had an opportunity to see a wide range of careers showing regular people working as Engineers, Scientist, Astronauts, and Police Officers. The teens also experienced college life at UTA. UTA students gave the teens an awesome tour of their campus and shared some of their own experiences as college students. 

As Fall approached, our Teen Zone teens became very involved in the programs provided for them. No longer was our youth center just a place to hang out, but rather a place to learn something new every day. Monday's they learned how engineers can come up with solutions to problems, or even new and innovative ways to take an idea from a concept into a physical object. Tuesdays Crazy 8's made their mind work through Math and Science challenges. Wednesdays were dedicated to an awesome program called the Go Center. Thursdays our teen book club took over with literacy activities and interesting book discussions. Last but not least, Fridays our teen girls came in after school and partook in some heartfelt discussions and activities with Girl's Inc. 

All and all, this has been a great year, and I anticipate for this upcoming year to flourish with new teens and new programs! Stay tuned!

Have a safe Happy New Year! 

12/31/2014 by Veronica R. Add a Comment Share this:

Cover Lover: Falls the Shadow by Stephanie Gaither

Publisher’s Description: Cate’s sister may be a clone, but that doesn’t make her a killer. Does it? Murder, morality, and a slow-burning romance fill the pages of this futuristic thriller.

When Cate Benson was a kid, her sister, Violet, died. Two hours after the funeral, Cate’s family picked up Violet’s replacement like nothing had happened. Because Cate’s parents are among those who decided to give their children a sort of immortality by cloning them at birth—which means this new Violet has the same face. The same perfect smile. She even has all of the same memories as the girl she replaced.

She also might have murdered the most popular girl in school.

At least, that’s what the paparazzi and the anti-cloning protestors want everyone to think: that clones are violent, unpredictable monsters. Cate is used to hearing all that. She’s used to defending her sister, too. But Violet has vanished, and when Cate sets out to find her, she ends up in the line of fire instead. Because Cate is getting dangerously close to secrets that will rock the foundation of everything she thought was true. 

Why I Like It:

When I was looking through the catalog of new teen books this book cover caught my eye.  The cover made me think of the picture that looks like a young woman at first glance and an older woman upon second glance.  However, some people see the older woman before they see the younger woman.  The picture no matter how you look at it allows individuals to think about perspective. 


This book cover works the same way.  Upon first glance, I saw the clear silhouette of a face with their nose pointing to the left and the title was just to the right of the silhouette.  However, something did not feel right; it felt like there was something more to the cover.  I took a closer look at the cover and found that the title was actually a part of a second darker colored silhouette.  The only difference to this silhouette was the lines of the face were broken, almost shattered.  The juxtaposition of the two faces with each other made we wonder if it was not a book about a set of twins who were at odds with each other or a troubled past that has come back to haunt them.  The use of metallic looking colors compared to the lighter colors made me wonder if it was possible that this book would be rooted in some form of science fiction.  

Overall, I appreciated that the cover made you think and that it did not rely on a typical female model staring blankly ahead.  Furthermore, I appreciated that the cover did not rely on the use of binary code to have the viewer understand that the book would fall under the science fiction category.  Finally, the cover does not convey enough of the story to tell you what will happen in the story, but rather it allows you to remain a blank slate before you decide.

12/27/2014 Add a Comment Share this:

Start a conversation

Books in the ReaLITy program are the kind of stories that stay with you long after the last page. They can inspire understanding of a life completely different than your own or make you realize that there are others out there just like you. These are the books that you can't wait to share and discuss. Because of that, Macmillan created discussion guides for every ReaLITy title. They've talked to each author and asked them what inspired their novels - ”what makes their books "real"?

Books can make it easier to figure out your place in the world and we think the titles in the ReaLITy program will do just that.

Want more ReaLITy Reads? Visit their website for discussion guides and more information!

12/19/2014 by Melissa Jeffrey Add a Comment Share this:
Topics: Book List

In Case You Missed It—The Studio's Last Japan Day

We were all sad that this would be the last Japan Day held at the Teen Studio in the Central Library, so we decided to go out with a bang and did we ever!

On November 3rd, Culture Day (文化の日, Bunka No Hi) is a national holiday in Japan to celebrate and promote the arts, cultural activities, and academic achievements. In the spirit of Culture Day, we decided to have our own version of this celebration and held a festival where different stations were set up where teens could partake in a variety of activities including: a Yu-Gi-Oh! dueling area, a Super Smash Bros. tournament, a paper crane origami contest, an area where teens could free draw and finally, a place where they could paint kokeshi dolls (a traditional Japanese toy).

We began the program by talking a little bit about current anime news; we were all wondering if the Attack on Titan live action movie could be the best or the worst thing ever, then some of our lady otakus played and performed the Bad Apple dance for us!

At 4:00 p.m., teens let loose to go to whatever station they wanted to or sign-up to compete in one of the tournaments that were held. The table that teens ran to first was our “freebie table”, where we had Japanese snacks, anime button pins, posters, DVDs, and toys for anyone to take home with them!

At the Yu-Gi-Oh! table, we thought there would be an epic card-tossing throw down, but instead of a blood-sport, years-long Yu-Gi-Oh! fans engaged in free battles and showed beginners to the card game how to start playing. Where the Yu-Gi-Oh! table was a lot calmer, the same thing couldn’t be said for the Super Smash Bros. tournament! We had quite the crowd gathered looking at participants duke it out, but Henry Toon came out the victor, with Cass Cyprien coming in second place. For those not looking to enter a battle royale, we held an origami contest (teen Jenny Ngo won this) and free tables to draw and paint kokeshi dolls.

We were honored to have a special guest come visit Japan Otaku Day; Japanese exchange student Asahi! She and her host sister were dressed in beautiful Japanese yukatas and added just what we needed to give our Culture Day some traditional flair!

At the end of Japan Day we had a final giveaway of some great prizes and sang a song dear to many anime fans’ hearts, the English version of the Pokémon opening theme song! Our goal with Japan Day is to have a space where teens can be themselves; no one is less than, everyone is proud of their weirdness, and most importantly we can make brand new friendships that may last a lifetime. We hope coming to Japan Day throughout the time at the Studio was a lot of fun and that you learned something new!

Remember, Keep Calm and Eat More Pocky!!

P.S. I would like to give a special “Thank You to Javon Ayers, Michael Buentello, Chris Sauceda, Jay Nguyen, and all the other teens and volunteers that have helped make not only this, but past Japan Day programs a success.

Written by Amina D., YTC Intern

12/16/2014 Add a Comment Share this: