Monthly Archives: May 2013

School Shout Out: West Seattle High School

srp2013-wts-wb Each year librarians from The Seattle Public Library visit local schools to talk about our summer reading program (coming June 3!) and a hand picked selection of fun summer reads.

Today Wally is visiting West Seattle High School, so we want to send a SHOUT OUT to all the students and staff there today. Wally will be talking about the books on this list.

Now that you’ve heard about them, let us know, what do YOU intend to read this summer?

Homework Help Superheroes Vol. 22

Study IconIf you visit one of 11 Seattle Public Library branches on certain days after school, you’ll witness something amazing: seemingly ordinary, mild-mannered citizens put on capes and tights and transform into superheroes.

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Cracking the Hub: Pure

Hub Reading Challenge

I’ve been reading steadily and am a third of the way through The Hub Challenge.  I just finished my seventh book: Pure by Julianna Baggott.

First off, let me tell you that Pure was one of the Alex Award Winners for 2013.  The Alex awards are given to ten books published for adults that have teen appeal.  Pure is most definitely an adult novel, but the main characters are teenagers.
In a dystopian world where detonations leave some “pure” humans undamaged in a dome and physically altered survivors struggling to survive in a destroyed environment, Pressia has managed to maintain hope that things will get better.  This book is mostly a quest: a quest for survival, a search for a parent, and an escape from intolerable conditions.
I have mixed feelings about this story. Baggott wrote an affecting memorable tale I won’t forget; I found the images uncomfortable and intense. I read dystopias because I like the thought that there is hope despite the madness of the world’s conditions.  I don’t usually write about books I don’t like, and yet, I found this book left me almost without hope and I am unlikely to read the sequel when it is released.
If you’ve read Pure, leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.  Is the writing fresh?  Does it leave you feeling hopeless?
Next Up: Drama by Raina Telgemeier.

Teen Review: Lakota Woman

Lakota WomanTitle:  Lakota Woman

Author:  Mary Crow Dog (Brave Bird)

Summary:  Lakota Woman tells the true story of Mary Crow Dog’s life during the Second Ghost Dance and the beginning of the American Indian Movement (AIM) during the 1970s. Mary grows from someone with little to live for that wanders the country to a strong, independent woman.

I started reading it because… it was assigned in school.

I kept reading because… it showed a glimpse into a life so different from my own that I was fascinated.  I learned so much about Native American culture and their life styles that I just wanted to keep on learning more.

Main character(s): If they were in a yearbook, they would be voted Most Likely To:  Become a feminist leader.

Six Word Recap:  Indian Woman becoming strong and empowered.

This book reminded me of books by Sherman Alexie.  He too reveals the harsh facts of how Native Americans really live their lives.

Interesting fact: In the sequel, some of the transformations Mary made are reversed.

Roxy, Northeast Teen Adviser

Digital Resource Review: Safari Tech Books

safari books onlineDon’t know how to shut down your new Windows 8 PC?  Are you having trouble learning how to program in Java in your AP Computer Science class?  Do you want to learn about what’s ahead for you if you want to pursue a computer/technology oriented career?  Then Safari Tech Books, courtesy of The Seattle Public Library, is a great resource for you.

Many people don’t know about the digital resources that The Seattle Public Library provides, especially teens.  Few people are aware of the fact that the library allows people to download up to 3 songs a week for free on Freegal, or that they can borrow e-books and audio books for free through Overdrive.  But sometimes a holds list for a tech book is too long, or maybe a certain tech book isn’t offered through Overdrive.  This is where Safari Tech Books come in.
Safari Tech Books, as the name suggests, provides library patrons with almost unlimited access to a large catalogue of books concerning programming, computers, tablets, and other digital devices.  The reason why it’s not completely unlimited is because only up to 10 people can access Safari at a time.  But right now, considering how nobody knows about Safari, it’s pretty much unlimited (that might change soon).  As long as there aren’t more than 10 people using Safari at a time, you can read all the tech books that you want for as long as you want.  Plus, there’s no holds list; there’s a large selection of books, so just pick a book and you can start reading right away.  Of course, there’s a catch to be able to access such a library of books like that: you must be online to use Safari, and you can’t download any of the books. Continue reading

Four on a Theme: Soldiers

For Memorial Day, here are four books about young soldiers in different periods of American history.  Thanks to all those who serve.


sharpshooter Sharpshooter, by Chris Lynch
Ivan has never backed down from a fight, and is eager to enlist in the Army to fight in Vietnam, but he soon discovers that this war is different from the one his father fought.


sunriseoverfallujah Sunrise over Fallujah, by Walter Dean Myers
Robin joins the Civil Affairs unit at the beginning of the Iraq War, thinking he’ll be home in just a few months, but the conflict stretches out ahead of him.

operationoleander Operation Oleander, by Valerie O. Patterson
Jess and her friends establish the Order of the Oleander to collect supplies for an orphanage in Kabul, Afghanistan, where two of their parents are deployed, but when disaster strikes and many blame the Order, Jess must find a way to go on.


soldierssecret A Soldier’s Secret, by Marissa Moss
Nineteen-year-old Sarah masquerades as a man during the Civil War, serving as a nurse on the battlefield and a spy for the Union Army, escaping from the Confederates, and falling in love with one of her fellow soldiers. Based on the life of Sarah Emma Edmonds.

Sound Cycling today @ Ballard and NewHolly!

bikingThe library has two events today for the biking enthusiast.

Stop by NewHolly from 12-2 for “Getting There By Bike” a fun workshop full of tips and tricks for effective biking.

Have you ever thought “There’s got to be another way” as you sat in traffic? Do you want to start biking to the store or work? Then this workshop is for you! Come hang out with Morgan Scherer of FamilyBike Seattle to learn more about using bikes to get where you need to go in the city — both as an individual and as a family.

Biking for transportation can be safe, fun, practical, inexpensive and good for the environment. We’ll discuss the benefits and barriers to getting started, as well as provide inspiration and information to help you enjoy biking more.

In this discussion-oriented workshop, you’ll learn about:

– Choosing the right bike for you
– Bike riding with kids
– Traffic laws and safety
– Route planning: finding flatter and calmer routes
– What to do when it rains
– Carrying your stuff

Or, you can go to Ballard at the same time (12-2) for “Bicycle Maintenance” where you’ll get an overview of basic bicycle parts and learn about basic bicycle maintenance.

Bring your bike to class — maintenance expert Alex will give you suggestions on fixing your bike.

This Bicycle Maintenance class is offered in partnership with volunteers from the Bikery Collective.

These programs are part of the 2013 Sound Cycling Series: check out free bicycling classes throughout the month of May at one of The Seattle Public Library locations near you!