The Library Ninja Blog

Exploring Our Past Poets

This marks the 5th week of Teen Zone's Teen Lit Poetry Workshop were teens have gather together to recite and create poetry. 

Teens learned and explored the markings of our past poets, which as allowed us to become the artist we are today whether through literature or art. 

Many Teens were excited to acknowledge a new poet they had never heard about.  For example: Langston Hughes, Lenore Kandel, Joyce Kilmer, Shel Silverstein, and Walt Whitman. The list can go on as teens began to read out loud, then recite creatively through emotions, musically through rap, or through dramatically acting it out:

Pot of Gold

Shel Silverstein

I when to find the pot of gold 

That's waiting where the rainbow ends. 

I searched and searched and searched and searched 

And searched and searched, and then-

There it was, deep in the grass,

Under an old and twisty bough.

It's mine, it's mine, it's mine at last....

What do I search for now?

I Cry

Tupac Shakur

Sometimes when I'm alone I cry, Cause I am on my own. The tears I cry are bitter and warm. They flow with life but take no form I Cry because my heart is torn. 

I find it difficult to carry on. 

If I had an ear to confiding, I would cry among my treasured friend, but who do you know that stops that long, to help another carry on.

The world moves fast and it would rather pass by. Then to stop and see what makes one cry, so painful and sad. And sometimes...

I Cry and no one cares about why.

We will continue to remember our past poets as we memorize their poems that reflect our modernism and our individualities'. It is never to late to participate!

We look forward to another successful workshop this week on Wednesday at the Northeast Branch Library, Teen Zone. Check out how Classical Poetry can evolve the way we think and produce poems.  

3/30/2015 by Veronica R. Add a Comment Share this:

Gaming Update: Destiny

In case you missed it, last month many things have happened in the world of video games news but one of the most impactful events was the new update to the Destiny, Bungie's first-person shooter game, and its app have changed the game from being lackluster to top tier.

Bungie rolled out an update for Destiny's companion app for Android, iOS and the web today that makes managing your in-game inventory a lot easier. Destiny's companion app now has the option to move items to and from the Vault. App users will just need to go into their gear and inventory tabs to move things around, however, the option to transfer items to and from the Vault can't be accessed through the app's Tower Map.

Today's Bungie weekly update also has details on a new type of multiplayer feature: Inferno playlists. These new playlists, which hit the Crucible on March 3, changes how some Control games work by removing the tracker that shows the location of nearby enemy players. Inferno playlists has has simplified the scoring mechanic in the game in an effort to emphasize kills and objectives. There's less heavy ammo in Inferno, as players will only get one drop per match, which makes for heavy ammo camping almost non-existent. Finally, in the Inferno Control games, capture points are captured faster than in previous game modes allowing the players to get back into the fight a lot faster than before.

Lastly, the update brought to Destiny was the new matchmaking system for weekly heroic mission strikes that previously required players to have friends or acquaintances in order to do these in order to obtain both engrams, but even more so the highly valued strange coins needed to buy better equipment from the tower, which is the games main central hub. The new matchmaking system allows players to connect two other people, which allows the game to have a more social feel to it.
However, with all of the updates, most fans are still complaining over no matchmaking system for raid missions as well as random drop rates for some of the harder to obtain weapons such as the Gallajorn, which for this seasoned Destiny pro is the only weapon missing from his arsenal, but that is for another time.

Keep on gaming!

Destiny is rated T for Teen by ESRB

Written by Miguel M., YTC Intern

3/19/2015 Add a Comment Share this:
Topics: Gaming

Teen Review by Cheyenne K....Princess Ben

Publisher's Description: Benevolence is not your typical princess and Princess Ben is certainly not your typical fairy tale. With her parents lost to unknown assassins, Princess Ben ends up under the thumb of the conniving Queen Sophia, who is intent on marrying her off to the first available specimen of imbecilic manhood.” Starved and miserable, locked in the castle’s highest tower, Ben stumbles upon a mysterious enchanted room. So begins her secret education in the magical arts: mastering an obstinate flying broomstick, furtively emptying the castle pantries, setting her hair on fire . . . But Ben’s private adventures are soon overwhelmed by a mortal threat facing the castle and indeed the entire country. Can Princess Ben save her kingdom from annihilation and herself from permanent enslavement?

Princess Ben is a fairy tale about a princess who is not accepted in her world. She finds herself in a locked room when she defies the queen. With nothing to do she finds a secret room and in that room is a book that holds some pretty interesting things.

You have to read Princess Ben's story to see what she does for her country with that exiting book. It has mystery and suspense threaded all along the story plot. With her parents lost to assassins, she has to find out that all she needed to do was be herself. Her aunt, the queen, is desperate to marry Ben off to the first suitor who will take her but Ben will have none of that, if she gets a say or not.

You will find yourself liking this book even if you don't like fairy tales. Never underestimate what a girl can do. Prince Chamberpot and his father will find she is quite the handful and maybe you will too! 4 STARS!!!

Other books you may enjoy:

3/14/2015 Add a Comment Share this:

Teen Photoshoot Event @ The Arlington Animal Shelter!

During this past February, newbies as well as a few already "seasoned" photogs met every Thursday for our weekly Photography Workshop For Teens hosted at the Salvation Army's YET (Youth Education Town) Center in downtown Arlington. In this workshop, we took photography a step further beyond the 'selfie,' and after getting some of the basics down, (shooting, angles, editing, etc..) teens let their creativity run wild and the outcome was awesome photo projects that are bound to make their friends jealous as well as gain them a couple of followers on Insta in the process. (Okay... maybe we took a couple selfies here and there.) Check out one of our awesome of "Cover Art Imitation" Projects:

  Photographed by Haru and Kenji


Typology of... socks? (What is "typology?" Find out here.)

So after 3 weeks of tackling one artsy project after another and with only one more week remaining, we thought it'd only be right to go out with a BANG for our final session so...

Animal Photoshoot

Well, why not? That's right! APL, The YET, and the good folks in Animal Services joined forces to put together an off-the-chain photoshoot event, with shots of the animals taken BY TEENS, and held at the Arlington Animal Shelter! And we'll just let their photos speak for themselves...


Awesome, right?

The only bigger challenge we faced other than persuading our restless breed of "talent" to show us their good sides was holding back our own teens from bringing these furry guys back on the bus ride home with us. Special thanks to our awesome animal photographer instructors for creating an amazing studio set-up/ feel as well as sharing important tips in photographing live animals.

Like I mentioned earlier, there were a few who weren't quite ready for the magic to end, so a couple of them decided to go the few extra steps by speaking to our Animal Services professionals about volunteering for the shelter, and being apart of the effort in giving back to our community. So what's the best way to sum up the evening? I'd say incredible on so many levels. Job well done, guys.

Feeling like you might've missed out? This doesn't have to be the end of the world, just be sure to stay posted on all of our current and upcoming teen programs (Blogging, Robotics, Japan Day, and much, much more) on our library's event calendar!

3/9/2015 by EJ A. Add a Comment Share this:
Topics: Digital Media

Art Lovers Challenge


Teens in Teen Art Studio at the Northeast Branch Library, Teen Zone, challenged themselves through literature and art. They picked out a quote that they admired and liked, and began painting what they felt would best fits the quote. The results were fantastic! They took the time to really think about the quotes in reflection to what it means, but most importantly, what it means to them. Some paintings were abstract, while others were done so that the viewer would know exactly what the painting signifies.

Try the challenge and put your creative side to the test! See how the quote you choose will reflex your style of art through mix media. 

I leave you with a quote that may inspire you to be creative through falling in love with both literature and art:

"If you can say it in words, there would be no reason to paint." - Edward Hopper, an American Realist painter and printmaker, 1882-1967.

3/5/2015 by Veronica R. Add a Comment Share this:

Teen Review by Tara....The Clique

Publisher's Description: Massie Block: With her glossy brunette bob and laser-whitened smile, Massie is the uncontested ruler of The Clique and the rest of the social scene at Octavian Country Day School, an exclusive private girls' school in Westchester County, New York. Massie knows you'd give anything to be just like her.

Dylan Marvil: Massie's second in command who divides her time between sucking up to Massie and sucking down Atkins Diet shakes.

Alicia Rivera: As sneaky as she is beautiful, Alicia floats easily under adult radar because she seems so "sweet." Would love to take Massie's throne one day. Just might.

Kristen Gregory: She's smart, hardworking, and will insult you to tears faster than you can say "my haircut isn't ugly!"

Enter Claire Lyons, the new girls from Florida in Keds and two-year-old Gap overalls, who is clearly not Clique material. Unfortunately for her, Claire's family is staying in the guesthouse on Massie's family's huge estate while they look for a new home. Claire's future looks worse than a bad Prada knockoff. But with a little luck and a lot of scheming, Claire might just come up smelling like Chanel No. 19. . . .

The Clique is a drama filled book series. It really got to me because those things that they do in this book happens at school everyday. It's addictive once you get through the first chapter. It's about these 5 girls and they go to a school named Octavian Country Day, in short OCD. Their names are Massie Block, Alicia Rivera,Dylan Marvil, Kristen Gregory, and Claire Lyons. The fifth girl is a newcomer to the place and they make a group called the Pretty Committee and Claire wants to be in the group but Massie, aka the "the leader" wont let her but as the summary says "with a little luck and a lot of scheming" she just might get in. The problem is, getting out. 5 stars!

Other books you may be interested in:

3/1/2015 Add a Comment Share this:

APL Is Bringing "Writing For Hollywood" To Sam Houston High School


Ever had one of those over-caffeinated/ sugar-filled conversations with friends where you were just letting your imagination get the best of you and someone said to you "Hey, if that was a movie, I'd watch that!" Or perhaps someone or even several people have told you that your own life would make an interesting movie or TV show? (HINT.. HINT)

Don't wait for someone else to "steal" YOUR idea and turn it into THEIR hit series/ movie. Learn to write your own blockbuster story... the Hollywood way! 

Kicking off on Tuesday, March, 3 the Writing for Hollywood creative writing workshop will cover the ins and outs of writing a proper Hollywood script. I'll not only teach how to turn your original idea into a industry polished screenplay, but also how to work up the nerve to SELL your story to a producer or agent! This skill is called "pitching," in which each of you must master being able to "hook" the attention of others with your story in just 2 sentences or less! (No pressure...)

What else will be happening in the Workshop?

We're also going to talk about favorite movie lines we love...

"You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain..."-The Dark Knight (2008) 

But we're also not going to tip toe around examples of horrible movie dialogue that made us cringe. We've all heard them at one time or another, and as writers, you'll learn how to NOT make those mistakes while writing your story.  ​

Writing for Hollywood creative writing workshop is open to all Sam Houston High School Students with an interest in storytelling, filmmaking, and acting!

Where: Sam Houston High School- Rm #625

When: Afterschool, 3:00pm-4:30pm Tuesdays in March (3/3, 3/17, 3/24, & 3/31 ) Must be a Sam Houston student to participate.



2/24/2015 by EJ A. Add a Comment Share this:

Teen Review by Jordan W....Maximum Ride Manga 1

Publisher's Description: Fourteen-year-old Maximum Ride knows what it's like to soar above the world. She and all the members of her "flock" - Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman, and Angel - are just like ordinary kids, except they have wings and can fly! It may seem like a dream come true to some, but for the flock it's more like a living nightmare. When the mysterious lab known as the "School" turns up and kidnaps their youngest member, it's up to Max to organize a rescue, but will help come in time?

Maximum Ride: the manga 1 is a amazing manga book about six bird hybrid children that are trying to live a normal life, but they are forced to move place to place running away from human-wolf hybrids called erasers. 5 stars!!! The story goes on to explain the details of the mysterious erasers and a diabolical scientist named Jeb.

But, just wait the next book. It will probably be even better. Signing off-Jordan.

Other books in the series:

Death Note...the Musical?!

Because when I think of a notebook that gives its processor the ability to kill people, I think....let’s put this on Broadway! That’s right folks; there will be a musical version of Death Note set to hit the stage in the land of the rising sun later this year.

For those of you that have lived under a rock, Death Note is the hugely popular manga turned anime series that ran in Weekly Shonen Jump from 2003 to 2006, (anime fans should be familiar with the artist Tsugumi Oba and writer Taheshi Obata behind Death Note since they’ve created other popular manga including Bakuman and All You Need is Kill) about an academic genius/high school student named Yagami Light stumbling upon a mysterious black notebook with the title, Death Note written in English. He later realizes that as long as he a picture of someone’s face in his mind and the correct spelling of their name, that he can write that name into the notebook and kill them. He vows to use this newfound power to create a “cleansed society” free of crime and to make himself God of this new world. His plans for this are soon complicated by the world’s leaders coming together and hiring a Sherlock Holmes-like detective only known as “L” to take on the case. From there, Death Note quickly pulls you in the cat-and-mouse game of who will come out the victor, Yagami Light or L.

I know what you’re thinking, this is a train wreck waiting to happen, but’s there actually some serious guns behind this musical. As reported by (I never thought I’d ever visit a Broadway website for a blog source…) composer Frank Wildhorn will be scoring the musical while Jack Murphy will be writing the lyrics. It will be directed by Tamiya Kuriyama and Ivan Menchell will be writing the script.

The weird thing is…there are two songs set to be featured musical but sung in English that you can listen to online (click here), but the musical has no plans to visit the US anytime soon. It’s set to hit the stage in Tokyo, Japan beginning April 6th.

I’m not sure how Death Note will translate to the stage, but I am very much looking forward to a song and dance number featuring the line, “I’ll take a potato chip and eat it!” Don’t disappoint me Japan!

You can read more about Death Note coming to Broadway here and take a look at the main cast picture and tell me what you think.

Until then, why don’t you check out Death Note the manga series right here at the Arlington Public Library and fill me in on what scenes or storylines you’d what to see on stage…or if they should be doing this at all.

Written by Amina D., YTC Intern

2/22/2015 Add a Comment Share this:

Read, Beak Down, and Write!

What a Smashing hit for Teen Lit!!! 

17 students that came from Nichols Jr. High and Lamar High school, rallied today at the Northeast Branch Library, Teen Zone  to be part of this program, Teen Lit. Excited teens waited and unsure of what the program was going to be about, until poetry slam master, Mike Guinn arrived with the boost of motivation to begin the workshop by "Reading" and "Breaking down" our first poem/song called "Fancy", song by Iggy Azalea.

We explored who Iggy Azalea is, and what this verse is about: 

"I'm so fancy

You already know

I'm in the fast lane

From L.A. to Tokyo

I'm so fancy

Can't you taste this gold

Remember my name, 'bout to blow"

Mike than had our teens recite the verse in different emotional forms such as being angry, or shy, straying away from the musical concept that everyone knows about. It was great to see our teens having fun but at the same time being pro-active in learning about different types of poetry. 

At the end of our workshop, teens wrote a poem of their own!

Interested? Still would like to participate and be part of Teen Lit? You can still be part of this fun and interacting program. Join us next Wednesday at the Northeast Branch Library, Teen Zone from 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.. Look forward to some fun, games and prizes while learning something new! 

See you there!  


2/19/2015 by Veronica R. Add a Comment Share this: