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Teens Blog

I think it's safe to say that EVERYONE has heard of the book/movie Hidden Figures.  And that is a very good thing because it has made Katherine Johnson the household name it should be.  There have been several quality biographies published in the last few years, but now the famous mathematician has written her autobiography.  Learn about her amazing life directly from the source.

Reaching for the Moon: The Autobiography of NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson (July 2, 2019)
Much has been written about the black women mathematicians who worked behind the scenes at NASA; now young readers can hear Katherine Johnson’s story in her own words.

Johnson begins her autobiography with her decision, at the age of 4, to start attending school with her brother so she could help him with his math. Impressed, the teacher opened a kindergarten class, but soon Katherine was skipping entire grades. Her family relocated so that she and her siblings could attend high school and college (beyond seventh grade, there was no school for “colored” youth in their hometown). Johnson graduated college at 18 with degrees in French and mathematics before going on to teach and pursue her now-famous career at NASA, yet she comes across as humble and warm, passing on to her children the refrain her father taught her as inoculation against racism: “You are no better than anyone else, but nobody else is better than you.” Johnson describes the culture and way of life in each of the places where she lived and worked, with an honest portrayal of the common racial injustices and indignities alongside the shared humanity that also existed. She artfully weaves in the heart of how African American communities have survived and advanced—through “self-help and sacrificing” for the next generation. Her writing style is comfortable and conversational, making the book feel like a visit over tea that you wish would never end.

From a long-lived American legend, this rich volume is a national treasure. [from Kirkus Reviews]

Our teen librarian Wendy is hosting a Teen Movie Night Out at AMC Patton Creek on Monday, July 8, 2019.  This is always a popular program and fills up quickly.  Here's what you need to know.

You must be at least 13 years old to attend. 
You'll be attending the 4:30 pm showing of Spider-Man: Far from Home, which is rated PG-13.
You must sign up online or by phone (444-7826) beginning 06/30.
The library will pay for your ticket, but you will need to bring your own money if you want to buy snacks.
Once you're signed up, the library will call to remind you about the logistics of the outing.

Friends, dice, rules and adventure!  We'll begin a series of summer RPG Fridays next Friday, June 28, 2019 at 3 p.m.  The first Friday will be a 1st Level Adventure where the players will take on the role of a group of mischievous Goblins.   This session will serve as an introduction, allowing the players to get to know the game, the rules, the world and each other before beginning their first grand adventure.  Each Friday's one hour session will build up to the next.  Sign up online or by phone (444-7826) beginning 06/21.

Did you finish that paragraph and still have NO IDEA what I'm talking about?  That's okay.  It just means you're exactly like I was when I was first told about RPG Fridays.  RPG stands for Role-Playing Game.   A role-playing game is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting, or through a process of structured decision-making regarding character development.  Still a little unsure but want to try it out?  Go for it!  Josh and Connor will be on hand to help you explore this new experience.

I discovered this author while browsing our NEW bookshelves in the Teen Department last year.  I was trying to find a book with a male protagonist, which is harder and harder in the current publishing trend.  After the Shot Drops also included basketball and a diverse cast, so how could I resist?  It turned out to be one of my favorite books of the year.  Which is why I'm pumped that Ribay has a new book out this week!  Do I already have it checked out?  YES!

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay (Jun 18, 2019)
Shocked out of his senioritis slumber when his beloved cousin Jun is killed by the police in the Philippines for presumably using drugs, Jay makes a radical move to spend his spring break in the Philippines to find out the whole story. Once pen pals, Jay hasn’t corresponded with Jun in years and is wracked by guilt at ghosting his cousin. A mixed heritage (his mother is white) Filipino immigrant who grew up in suburban Michigan, Jay’s connection to current-day Philippines has dulled from assimilation. His internal tensions around culture, identity, and languages—as “a spoiled American”—are realistic. Told through a mix of first-person narration, Jun’s letters to Jay, and believable dialogue among a strong, full cast of characters, the result is a deeply emotional story about family ties, addiction, and the complexity of truth. The tender relationship between Jay and Jun is especially notable—as is the underlying commentary about the challenges and nuances between young men and their uncles, fathers, male friends, and male cousins.  Part coming-of-age story and part exposé of Duterte’s problematic policies, this powerful and courageous story offers readers a refreshingly emotional depiction of a young man of color with an earnest desire for the truth. [from Kirkus Reviews]

Read an excerpt here.

"Hey yo, I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy, and hungry
And I’m not throwing away my shot."

Are you ready for an epic song-rap-American history showdown?  Don't throw away your shot!  See who has the greatest knowledge of the Musical Phenomenon known as Hamilton at our Hamilton Musical Throw-Down on Monday, July 1, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.  We will play Name That Song, Finish the Lyrics, and Trivia. There will be snacks and a small Hamilton-themed craft.  Registration is open to rising 7th-12th graders.  Sign up online or by phone (444-7826) beginning 06/17.

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Teen Services

Teen Volunteers

Volunteer applications are taken year round, but opportunities are available on a limited basis. During the school year times are available for special programs only. Applications will be held on file until opportunities arise. Volunteers are needed more during the summer to help with the library’s Summer Reading Program.