Tag Archives: Ballard

Eleanor & Park – honest and real

Eleanor and ParkTitle: Eleanor & Park

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Rating: 10/10 stars. Yes, it was that good. Rarely do I rate books 10/10, so this one is definitely special.

Gut reaction: I loved the honest, real characters. They were so well developed and the romance was sweet and believable. This book was also great because it ended on a hopeful note. As I got closer to the end, I thought it would have a sad closing, but I was not disappointed, and you won’t be either. Go put it on hold at your library right now!

Summary: Eleanor is the new girl on the bus, at school and in the neighborhood. She lives with a creepy, abusive stepdad, her emotionally bruised mother and 4 younger siblings in a cramped house. On the bus, she is taunted for her eclectic style of dressing, her bright red hair and being overweight. Park on the other hand, comes from a stable home, but being a half Asian kid in a predominately white area, he feels like an outsider. He has a group of friends, but he’s wary of acting too different. Park reluctantly gives Eleanor a place to sit on the bus and isn’t welcoming, but he acts a little better than the other students. Soon though, he notices her reading over his shoulder on the bus, and they begin a friendship over shared interests in comic books and alternative music. Slowly at first, then faster and faster like a snowball rolling down a hill, they fall in love. But their romance is bittersweet and it seems like fate is against them. Will they be able to persevere and stay together against the odds?

I’ll let you read it and find out for yourself!

-Gabriella, Ballard, Teen Blogger


All Ages Board Games tonight @ Ballard!

Wanna play?

6 p.m. – 7 p.m.board game

Bring your family, friends, or come alone and play our array of board games from Blokus, Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride to Jenga and Scrambled States of America.

For more info call Ballard @ 206-684-4089 or Ask a Librarian!

Viking Days – Ballard

Viking fight demonstration

Two days every year in August the Nordic Heritage Museum in Ballard puts on Viking Days, a free outdoor festival which includes admission into the museum. Inside the museum you will find cobble stone rooms; actual luggage from the people emigrating from Nordic countries to America; old furniture; boat models and actual boats; building replicas; clothing; rooms dedicated to countries Sweden & Finland & Norway; and so much more.

Meanwhile outside festivities included authentic food from various countries;  lots of demonstrations; and a Viking village. In the Viking village people in armor used swords and axes against one another, and during the fighting or breaks someone would explain the weapon choice or the difference between the shields.

I had a great time and learned so much at Viking days! I urge anyone who finds the above interesting to go!!

Freyja – teen volunteer – Magnolia


Not-to-miss summer movies!


X-Men: Days of Future Past

Certainly not the only Marvel movie being released this year (namely, The Winter Solider, aka Cap’n America: Bucky Returns; and Spider-Man, No. 5), but by far, the most anticipated, due to its amazing ensemble cast, which includes Ian McKellan, Patrick Stewart, and Hugh Jackman (!) Future Past will act as a sequel to 2006’s The Last Stand, as well as 2011’s First Class.


Guardians of the Galaxy*Guardians of the Galaxy (Aug 1st), I salute you, and you deserve your own blog post.



The Fault in Our Stars

The trailer made me cry.

The plot seems simple: Two kids who have cancer fall in love. However, it is the combination of both the characters and storytelling that makes this one stand out against the flood of Realistic contemporary young adult literature.

Time Magazine deemed John Green’s fourth novel “damn near genius,” and though I find the term genius slightly pretentious, I have to agree this is one of those rare genuine and poetically written young love stories that is equal parts sweet romance and, as is evident in the title, existential meditation. I cannot recommend it enough.

Fun fact: The two star-crossed lovers also play siblings in the post-apocalyptic Divergent. As the new YA-film it-girl, Shailene Woodley also stars in The Spectacular Now (2012) — yes, this was also first a book! — opposite a charming, but hedonistic Miles Teller, in a film about The School of Life. Both the novel and film are available in our catalog.  Dig it.

The Giver

The Giver – Aug 15th

Can anyone else say: Finally?!  The original “unfilmable” YA novel, before it was even a genre, will be hitting theaters this August!

Boasting a spectacular cast, including Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep (and maybe you’ll surprise us, Taylor Swift… ), Lois Lowry‘s quintessential dystopian tale is set in a futuristic society with all pain and conflict eradicated and one boy chosen as the community’s Receiver of Memories. Published in 1993 and the first of a loose quartet, which was finally completed nearly two decades later in 2012, The Giver was awarded the Newberry Medal in 1994, and remains to this day among the greatest of young adult literature.

Check it out (again!) or for the first time here.

–Amanda D, Ballard Staffer


Get your Game On! @ Ballard this Friday

gaming old daysGame On! @ Ballard

Friday, June 6, 2014, 3 – 5 p.m.

First Friday gaming for teens happens every month at the Ballard Branch.  Come to the Library for board games, Kinect, Wii play and more!  For grades 6-12.

Here is your chance to get some game time with Kinect, Wii play and Mario Kart!  There will also be board games, art supplies, new books, snacks and conversation.

For more info, call Lynn at Ballard (206.684.4089) or Ask a Librarian!

New games, new controllers, new attitude!

Ken from High Point wants everyone to know that the library’s Gaming Kits have been updated.  That means more games, more action, more sports, more drama, more everything!


The list of awesome new stuff is below.  Check out the Calendar of Events for gaming near you.  And, if you don’t see it, tell your local library staff that you want “Game On!”  🙂

Wii Games:

Super Mario Bros Wii

Mario Party 9

Punch Out!!

Wii Sports Resort

Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Mario Super Sluggers

The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess

XBOX 360

FIFA Soccer 13

Madden NFL 13


Dance Central 3

Just Dance 4

Brunswick Pro Bowling

Marvel vs Capcom3: Fate of Two Worlds

Sonic Free Riders

Soul Calibur V

There also are two more controllers for the XBOX, an extra Wii Driving Wheel, Wii MotionPlus (2), Xbox Live Gold Membership (2 games per month that can be added) Two Game Cube Controllers Wii Compatible.

Party Time! Bring it On for Game On!

Get your read & game on today @ your library!

Game On!

Game On!

“Game On!” at Ballard from 3 – 5 p.m.

  • First Friday gaming for teens happens every month at Ballard. Come to the Library for board games, Kinect, Wii play and more! For grades 6-12.
  • Here is your chance to get some game time with Kinect, Wii play and Mario Kart!
    There will also be board games, art supplies, new books, snacks and conversation.

Read On Mustache“Read On” Tween Book Group at Broadview from 4:30 – 6 p.m.


My Love of Jane Austen (as a Teen)

Jane AustenWhen they hear the words Jane Austen or Classic novel then most of my fellow schoolmates tend to think of boring novels which are hundreds of pages long and not of a book worth reading.  But I’m here to tell you differently.  Now some of you may have heard of Jane’s most popular novel Pride and Prejudice, and probably some of you have seen the 1995 film version featuring Colin Firth.  Yet, you may never have, and that’s why I’m here, to tell you about my “Austen experience.”
When I was in the seventh grade, I honestly had no idea who Jane Austen was.  I think I had seen the film Pride and Prejudice once before, but I couldn’t recollect the basic plot of the story.  That all changed when I saw another film Lost in Austen, a remake of Pride and Prejudice.  It made me extremely curious to read the book myself.  Fortunately, the book was available at my school library so I picked it off the shelf and brought it home to read.  Now as a seventh grader my reading level was not very advanced and classics were a bit difficult for me to analyze.  But after slowly reading the book out loud, word for word, the words stuck and I found myself plowing through this book.  I don’t know when and how exactly it happened, but I found myself in love with this author’s writing style.

Quickly, I got more of Austen’s novels and eventually I had read six of her completed novels. Each book was very similar, and yet so different.  Each of the characters had their own personalities and qualities which made them unique and different from each other, from Anne the serious to Marianne the dreamer.  Each book had its own taste and feel as well.  If you read Persuasion for instance, you will get a far more serious novel than the comedy Northanger Abbey.  It was like my own little world or secret; a topic no one at my school had ever heard of, and a little retreat from the world around me into a different century.  I felt at home reading those books.  I would find myself thinking about them in class and in all my leisure time, wrapped up in the different stories.
It sounds rather amazing having this beautiful knowledge of a great story, but at points it frustrated me a bit that I had no one to talk to about these novels.  None of my friends had read them, let alone heard of them.  It seemed that no one was interested.  But I think that if someone were just to take a jump into the deep end and just give it a go, I think that they would enjoy it as well.
You never know until you try, right?
If you are interested in Austen’s books, I have a couple to recommend.   My two favorites are Persuasion and Northanger Abbey, and I think these are great reads for people starting out with Austen.  If you would rather be more comfortable in something more familiar, Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility are by far the best known, and would be great starts to get to know the author.  I hope you give Austen a try, and if not, try some other classics.  Maybe you’ll find your secret world, too.
–Ailsa, Ballard Teen Blogger

One last Banned Books mention…

bannedbooksweklogo1Banned Books Week just ended, here’s my review of one of the challenged books.
Looking for Alaska by John Green is the story of Myles Halter, a quirky, friendless guy, who would rather be sitting reading about people’s last words than going to social gatherings.  When Myles wants to go to Culver Creek Boarding School in Alabama, his hopes are to go and find his “great perhaps,” a great adventure that will make his life more interesting and fun.  When he arrives, he meets the confident, moody, and very attractive Alaska Young and her group of prank-playing friends.  Through harsh life experiences, and adventures like no other, Myles’ life may never be the same again.
looking for alaskaThis book was an amazing novel.  Myles is such a relatable character.  He is the exact definition of a teenager: awkward, shy, and self-conscious.  His experiences help him grow and change from the friendless and shy student to the confident, rule breaker who learns to “let loose”. From study of religion to the meaning of death, Myles experiences what all teenagers wonder about.  It’s this inner dialogue that separates this book from many other realistic novels.  Many aren’t able to capture what it means to be a REAL teenager.  And not just the carefree, non-stressed kid whose worries doesn’t extend past homework.  But the teenagers that also have to deal with the meaning of mortality, and mistakes, and learning to forgive.
It’s these things that John Green was able to capture brilliantly over the course of the book.Worth the read if you’re looking for a pretty heavy realistic fiction novel.  I recommend this book for ages 14+.
Happy Reading! 🙂
Ailsa H, Ballard Teen Blogger

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!