Loft Blog
From Teens For Teens: Boy 21 / Matthew Quick and Pulse / Patrick Carman PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 20 June 2014 00:00

Boy 21Boy 21 / Matthew Quick

5/5 stars


I really, really liked this book. It was really good; it was sad but very well written and it is pretty realistic. I thought it was really good and would recommend it. 


(Louisa E., Evanston teen)





PulsePulse by Patrick Carman

2/5 stars


This was an okay book, but I had some issues with it. 1) It was in third person, which I don't prefer. 2) The POV changed with no announcement, from one sentence to the next. 3.) There are so many characters that you get confused as to who is the bad guy and who is the good guy. But I like the ending, so overall some parts of the book were good but some parts were not.


(Rosalie S., Evanston teen)

Maker Corps -Ruth PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 11:56


…AND WE’RE BACK! Another fantastic summer of hands-on making began at the library this week with two of our DIY programs at the Chicago Avenue Main Street Branch. On Monday, we began the first of our DIY Jewelry series of programs (one of three to happen this summer). One of the great things we are doing this year is multiple dates for programs! If you missed this one….never fear! DIY Jewelry will be brought to the Main library and North Branch – check it out, and register. At DIY Jewelry, we all made different projects. We had a wire-wrapped eye necklace, wire names and bird’s nest necklaces. At the other DIY Jewelry programs, we’re also going to be making bracelets upcycled from old soda and water bottles!


Not even 24 hours later we began our next program…I can already tell it’s going to a busy summer of making! This time, we were not tinkering with wire and pliers, but paper and tape. The program was paper airplanes and origami, and it was incredibly exciting. Instead of having makers register, we had everyone drop on in and join us, and they all had a blast. It was great to see everyone push themselves and experiment with what they were making. A few makers joined us just doing paper airplanes, once they mastered those they launched into origami even making up their own folds and shapes. We ended up with airplanes everywhere, a garden of folded-flowers, and lots of smiling makers!


One of the most exciting parts of the program was seeing everyone grow. We had a few students join us who were very intimidated by some of the origami projects, and thought they were too complicated or advanced. After we worked through them together, they became confident and actually started to teach each other and then some were inspired to create new steps to add and create their own designs. It was really great to see makers who at some points were saying “this is too hard” come around and teach someone else. alt


An exciting challenge we faced was working with all different ages going through the projects. Previously, we usually have programs for specific age groups which we think are appropriate to do the projects. At Paper Planes and Origami, the program was completely open to everyone, and we pretty much got everyone. Right from the start we had some two-year olds making airplanes, seven year olds taping flowers, and twenty-five year olds folding owls. Throughout the day makers of all ages came together to figure out the creases, folds, and tape of the various designs.


Overall, we’ve had a great start to our summer of making, I can’t wait to see what else is in store!

Maker Corps - Grace PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 11:52

altThis week Maker Corps finally got off the ground! Ruth and I spent all of last week planning out programs and getting more acquainted with the FUSE challenges, and on Monday we were ready to pack up and set up shop in the Chicago Avenue-Main Street branch for our first Teen DIY of the summer: jewelry making!

For jewelry making, we always try to encourage kids to make whatever they want, but we did have a few projects prepared. The first was a cuff bracelet made out of recycled plastic bottles and modge podge. Ruth and I struggled a lot with this project, so it was exciting to be able to show off the cuffs we made after all the troubleshooting was over. We also had instructions for bird nest pendants made out of wire and beads and wire words that you could use to spell out your name or a word that has some sort of meaning for you.

The wire words were by far the most popular option. Of the  teens who came, two of them spent almost the entire hour spelling out their names and the names of their friends to give as gifts. They also really liked the bird nests and enjoyed just experimenting with everything in our jewelry box to make everything from earrings to pendulums to key chains. No one made cuffs, which was a little disappointing, because they were my favorite project, but hopefully someone will give them a try when we do this program again in the Loft next week on Wednesday from 4-5!

On Tuesday, we came back to the Chicago Ave-Main Street Branch to do another program with paper airplanes and origami. This was a much busier program, because there was no sign up required and no age limit. Anyone was welcome to come, so we had everybody from toddlers to adult babysitters making paper star, boxes, owls and airplanes! One of the things I really appreciated about this program was that several boys who were apprehensive about origami at first really got into the paper airplanes, and after they made all the planes, they were much more open to trying new things. It was awesome seeing them expand their skills! Because there were so many different ages, the kids also had a lot of fun helping each other. One girl became our flower expert and spent over an hour teaching others how to make them so Ruth and I could focus our energy on helping newcomers. There was so much excitement and teamwork in this program. All of the kids were sad to leave, and many parents asked Ruth and I when it would be happening again, so in honor of the National Day of Making on June 18th, we decided to hold a quick pop up repeat of the program in the lobby of the Main Branch. Having such a successful couple of programs was a great start to the summer, and I can’t wait to kick off next week with felties in the Loft on Monday!


(Grace, Maker Corps Intern)


Carnet De Voyage / Craig Thompson PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 16 June 2014 20:21

titleThis travel journal-as-graphic-novel chronicles a two month trip made by Craig Thompson, author of the heart-obliterating illustrated novel masterwork, Blankets, to Paris, Switzerland, and Morocco to attend book signings, give interviews, and promote his work. On his trip he is seized with illnesses, fatigue, severe hand pain, and loneliness and he captures all of these conditions with the most stunning, detailed, exquisitely rendered drawings. The section in which he visits Morocco is particularly impressive - his drawings give you a real sense of the crowded, intense melee occurring on every street. There's a good story with some humor here, as well as drama, heartbreak and longing, and Thompson's voice is compelling as it gives you some insight into his life and work. And what work it is - you'll find yourself staring for a long time at a lot of these drawings. (Jarrett, The Loft)

From Teens For Teens: The Flame of Olympus and Olympus at War / Kate O'Hearn PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 13 June 2014 00:00

The Flame of OlympusThe Flame of Olympus by Kate O'Hearn

5/5 stars


A story about a girl named Emily with a fire core. Emily does not know that Olympus is at war but she gets a weird feeling when Pegasus lands on her roof.






titleOlympus at War by Kate O'Hearn

5/5 stars


A funny/sad story about Olympus being attacked again by the same creatures. But this time the monsters are NOT acting on their own, they are doing someone else's bidding.


(Phoebe C., Evanston teen)



Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase / Jonathan Stroud PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 09 June 2014 00:00

title“Of the first few hauntings I investigated with Lockwood & Co. I intend to saw little in part to protect the identity of the victims, in part because of the gruesome nature of the incidents, but mainly because, in variety of ingenious ways, we succeeded in messing them all up.

The opening line of The Screaming Staircase really captures the tone of the book; a delightful mix of creepy, goosebump provoking suspense , a dash of humor and a bit of curious world building.   This tale happens in a world where there has been an outbreak of ghosts and hauntings and none of them seem to be nice, in fact they tend to be quite violent and deadly.  Because of these events psychic investigation forces like Lockwood & Co have been created and only young people like Lucy, Lockwood and George have the abilities to take on the spirit world.  The Screaming Staircase never has a dull moment as each case unfolds and the overarching mystery grows.  A simple house haunting turns into to something far more sinister as the team picks up on more clues. There’s action, a bit of gore, but also some wonderful character building as you find out about Lucy and Lockwood’s past.  What a thrilling start to a new series, by Jonathan Stroud. One of my favorite 2014 reads so far!


(Renee, the Loft)

From Teens For Teens: Partials / Dan Wells and Lincoln's Grave Robbers / Steve Sheinkin PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 06 June 2014 00:00

PartialsPartials by Dan Wells

5/5 stars


Partials is one of the best books ever!! If you like Sci-fi, dystopian, and page-turning suspense and action, this is the book for you! 


(Sarah B., Evanston teen)





Lincoln's Grave Robbers Lincoln's Grave Robbers by Steve Sheinkin

4/5 stars


This book is about people who were in the counterfeit money business. They wanted to get a prisoner out of jail, so they tried to take Lincoln's grave and also not get caught.


(Mateo C., Evanston teen)



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