Loft Blog
The End Games / T. Michael Martin PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 04 August 2014 00:00

altIt’s all just game.  The End Games brings a whole new meaning to the idea of a game especially when people’s lives depend on winning it.  Michael and his little brother Patrick have been playing the game for weeks.  They battle monsters, whose skin hangs off their bodies and who echo whatever sound they pick up.  Michael and Patrick have had plenty of close calls, but the Game Master always provides them with the clues they need to stay safe.  At least that’s how the book starts off- but then the reader sees that nothing is what it seems and when Michael and Patrick finally find a safe zone the other players they met there have their own rules to play by.  Everyone is out for themselves in order to survive the game. Full of action, mystery and drama The End Games is sure to please readers. 


(Renee, the Loft)

From Teens For Teens: Rules / Cynthia Lord and Under the Never Sky / Veronica Rossi PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 01 August 2014 00:00


Rules by Cynthia Lord

When I read Rules, by Cynthia Lord, I loved it. It's about a girl named Catherine who wants a normal life. But her brother has autism and she thinks it's hard to work with him. I thought this book was very good because it made me understand how people deal with autistic children. Also, it made me understand what it would feel like to live with someone who is autistic. I would recommend this to anyone.

(Emilia C., Evanston teen)


Under the Never SkyUnder the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

I really liked the depth of the characters in this book. Aria is a naive Dweller, and unlike other books, she doesn't magically instantaneously adapt to the outside world. I also liked how Perry did everything for the good of his tribe, and his nephew Talon. I would give it a 4.5 stars because the beginning was a little boring, but the rest was a page turner.

(Samantha S., Evanston teen)

Maker Corps Update PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 08:55

It’s been a busy few weeks for Maker programming at EPL! Basking in our newfound newsletter fame, we have been running around doing programs in the Loft, the children’s room, the North Branch and the Chicago Avenue-Main Street Branch. In the second week of July, we started off strong with a series of circuitry programs. First, we decided that we missed a program we did last year: squishy circuits. As it turns out, Play Dough is conductive, and you can buy kits full of leds and buzzers that you can hook up and power through the Play Dough. We sat in the children’s room and invited people to play with us for awhile and it was a huge success, drawing kids of all ages to make and wire everything from butterflies to cats to bridges.

altAfter that, we did two different light-up art programs. It seems that you really never can have enough ways of building circuits, because we had a great time testing out different methods. We did a few paper circuit workshops. For some of the younger ages, we used templates for where to hook up the LEDs, for older we left it up to the kids to decide. The older kids also made paper lanterns with some origami-style folding and hole-punching. Some great projects came out of the workshops, including a self portrait and a night/day landscape.

The next week, we packed up and set up shop in North Branch to do a paper rollercoaster program. We were a small group, but we were mighty! We made two different marble runs out of paper towel tubes, popsicle sticks and an outrageous amount of scotch tape, each standing at least two fight high. The kids were really clever with this project and build all sorts of loops and walls. One even made a very complicated “mixer” that sent the marbles into 4 different tubes in an effort to randomize them. This rollercoaster is still standing at the North Branch, so make sure to go check it out!alt

Finally, we kept up the electronics theme this week with DIY videogames at North Branch and Artbots at the Chicago Avenue-Main Street Branch. Using a website called “Scratch,” we helped several teens learn basic coding skills and created lots of maze games and fun little videos that we could control either through the computer, or through a contraption called a “MaKey MaKey.” A Makey Makey is basically an interface with the computer, so you can do things like substitute the space bar with a banana, or anything else conductive like play dough, Swedish fish or pennies. Lots of the kids had already used Scratch, but none of them had seen a Makey Makey before, so it was really cool to see them explore the new possibility of making their own controller out of candy.

Artbots are a completely different game. With some very enterprising third-graders, we tore the motors out of dollar store toothbrushes and implanted them into cut-up pool noodles. Then, we decorated the pool noodles to look like rock stars, basketball players and ballerinas and set them in motion! The secret of artbots is to attach markers to the bottom. That way when you flip the switch, the robot creates art for you! We made some great pictures which you can see taped up on the green wall at the Chicago Avenue-Main Street Branch, and we’re excited to repeat this program with younger kids next week!

(Ruth & Grace)


Life's a Beach PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 July 2014 00:00

alt Bored? Need some new summer plans?


Hit the road.

Fall in love.

Learn to fly--or swim it.

Save the world!


And obviously, visit us at the Loft.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown / Holly Black PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 28 July 2014 11:25

altTana wakes up in a bathtub the morning after a crazy but perfectly ordinary party. She walks downstairs only to find that everyone else—all fifty or so party-goers—are dead. The only ones left alive are Tana, her ex-boyfriend, Aidan, and a vampire named Gavriel with a dangerous secret.


The house is still filled with vampires so Tana takes Aidan and Gavriel and escapes with them before the vampires have a chance to kill them. Aidan and Gavriel make it to the car without harm but a vampire scraps Tana’s ankle its teeth.


Being bitten by a vampire means that you’re infected and you become “cold.” If you drink human blood while you’re cold, you turn into a vampire but if you resist the urge, you could become human again.


Afraid that she is going to become cold, Tana takes an infected Aidan and Gavriel to the nearest Coldtown, a sort-of sanctuary for vampires or prison for those who’ve been infected. 


Navigating the eerie and twisted culture of Coldtown, Tana tries to find a way to escape, all the while learning more and more about what it means to be vampire and human—and how cruel each side can be.


For anyone looking for a nifty vampire read (that isn't Twilight), The Coldest Girl in Coldtown takes the concept of vampires and spins it in a new light. It's a unique concept with a promising storyline. Check it out!


(Ashley, The Loft)

From Teens For Teens: Blood Red Road / Moira Young and The Thief Lord / Cornelia Funke PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 25 July 2014 00:00

Blood Red Road Blood Red Road by Moira Young

5/5 stars 

This book was very interesting and hooking. I really liked how complex the story was and how many layers there were. I thought that was really cool. I think this book is my favorite book. It has a lot of action in it. 

(Sabine G., Evanston teen)


The Thief Lord The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

5/5 stars 

The Thief Lord is about two orphaned brothers, Bo and Prosper, who run away from their mean aunt and uncle to Venice. There they join a band of street kids led by the mysterious "Thief Lord." As they try to elude the detective who's looking for Bo and Prosper, they get caught up in the unsolved theft of a mysterious merry-go-round. 

(Cassie T., Evanston teen)

From Teens For Teens: Girls Acting Catty / Leslie Margolis PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 18 July 2014 00:00

Girls Acting CattyGirls Acting Catty by Leslie Margolis

5/5 stars 

Annabelle struggles with Junior High School but finds great friends and some enemies. Annabelle has many tricks up her sleeve for those pesky boys. Girls Acting Catty shows that there are many other people who struggle with Junior High and when you read this book you will find out how to fight off all those problems since the story is so real. 

I would recommend this book for all those girls out there that are struggling with Junior High and when they read this book they will fight their problems off just like I said earlier. Also if you're a boy who is struggling with school then you can also read Boys Are Dogs by the same author that wrote Girls Acting Catty. Hopefully you will read one of these books and find out how to solve your problems more easily! I give this book a 5 star rating, what about you? 

(Halima M., Evanston teen)


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