Loft Blog
From Teens For Teens: Paper Towns / John Green and Dork Diaries 2 / Rachel Renee Russell PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 26 September 2014 00:00

Paper TownsPaper Towns by John Green

An amazing book filled with both subtext and plot that I couldn't put down. If you like realistic fiction mysteries, this is definitely a book for you.

(Sarah B., Evanston teen)

 

 

Tales From A Not-so-popular Party GirlDork Diaries 2: Tales from a Not-So-Popular Party Girl by Rachel Renée Russell

Renée
RenéeRussell

Man, this book is AWESOME! Love how the author compares this to a person's life and how girls are when it comes to boys sometimes. This book is about Nikki who has some problems, gets embarrassed but still gets one thing that she has wanted or has wished for. I would recommend this book to anybody who thinks that they've done some dorky stuff in the past to see how Nikki Maxwell deals with it and what happened to her. Great Book!

(Ivette C., Evanston teen)

 
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian / Sherman Alexie PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 15:24

Arnold “Junior” Spirit has a lot going against him: poor, born with a brain injury and a speech impediment, nerdy, and a body built like a lollipop -- oversized head and lanky limbs. Except for his best friend, Rowdy, all his peers on the Indian reservation love to bully him. Junior uses cartooning to express his feeling around him, for he often feels that words fail to fully capture his experience. 

Cover image for Many people on the reservation are alcoholics or simply resigned to settling for lives that fall short of their dreams, limited by poverty and lack of opportunity. Junior can’t help but dream of something more. He decides to attend high school at the wealthy Reardan, 22 miles off the reservation, where he is the only Indian kid in school and endures merciless teasing and pressure to hide his true self. To make things worse, Rowdy feels so betrayed by Junior’s decision that he ends their friendship.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian documents Junior’s attempts to find his own identity as he treks (sometimes, literally) between the two worlds of Reardan and “the rez”, neither of which feels like a perfect fit. He navigates romance, racism, and relationships with straight-shooting honest and a sense of humor.

Sherman Alexie’s semi-autobiographical novel does a great job at depicting life as a contemporary Native American, debunking many media stereotypes and shattering the notion of “otherness” that is sometimes forced upon his culture. The quirky drawings that accompany the story, courtesy of illustrator Ellen Forney, provide an even deeper insight into the head of this “part-time Indian” young man.

I loved this book so much that I binge-read it in a day; it’s a humorous and heartfelt read. I highly recommend The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian to anyone who knows what it’s like to always feel a little out of place and to dream of something bigger. 

(Kayla, The Loft)


DID YOU KNOW? Banned Books week is September 21st through September 27th.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian made the official ALA List of Banned or Challenged Books for 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Check it out in The Loft today!

 
Get Caught Reading Banned Books PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 23 September 2014 00:00

Help us celebrate Banned Book Week 2014 by taking a mugshot with your favorite banned book! Here are a few of ours: 

title

The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood

Set in the near future, Margaret Atwood's most popular and compelling novel describes life in what once was the US, now the Republic of Gilead. Reacting to social unrest, and a sharply declining birthrate, the new regime has reverted to--even gone beyond--the repressive tolerance of the original Puritans. Women are no longer allowed to read and young women are valued only as long as their ovaries are viable. Atwood's scathing satire is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing.

*This book stands at number 88 on the American Library Association's "100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2000-2009" and is usually challenged due to its regular place on high school required reading lists.*  

 

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Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi

A New York Times Notable Book A Time Magazine "Best Comix of the Year" A San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times Best-seller Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi's memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah's regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran's last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country. Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life. Marjane's child's-eye view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, with laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love. - See more at: http://evanston.bibliocommons.com/item/show/815097035_persepolis#sthash.xwgvae0m.dpuf

Marjane Satrapi's multiple award-winning memoir is about growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her early life in Tehran. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, with laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity.

*Last year, Persepolis was challenged and removed from Chicago Public School classrooms and libraries. This decision was reconsidered after protests from students, teachers, and other community members.* 

  

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Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time, Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world's great antiwar books. Centering on the infamous firebombing of Dresden, Billy Pilgrim's odyssey through time reflects the mythic journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we fear most.

*Slaughterhouse-Five is number 46 on the ALA's "Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2000-2009" and is most often challenged when it's listed as required or recommended reading in high schools.*

 

 
Banned Books Week 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 21 September 2014 00:00

Celebrate the freedom to read during Banned Books Week 2014: September 21-27.

Public libraries strive to provide users with the books they want to read, the movies they want to see, the games they want to play, and the music they want to hear. Sometimes challenges are submitted by individuals or groups requesting that items be removed from the shelves for offensive material. But we think YOU should decide what you should and shouldn't read, see, play, and hear--we trust you!

Every year, the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the most frequently challenged books. Here are the top three from 2013: 

The Adventures of Captain Underpants Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey

Fourth graders George Beard andHarold Hutchins are a couple of class clowns. The only thing they enjoy more than playing practical jokes is creating their own comic books. And together they've created the greatest superhero in the history of their school: Captain Underpants! His true identity is SO secret, even HE doesn't know who he is! - See more at: http://evanston.bibliocommons.com/item/show/2267960035_the_adventures_of_captain_underpants#sthash.YRj9b1Dd.dpuf
Fourth graders George Beard andHarold Hutchins are a couple of class clowns. The only thing they enjoy more than playing practical jokes is creating their own comic books. And together they've created the greatest superhero in the history of their school: Captain Underpants! His true identity is SO secret, even HE doesn't know who he is! - See more at: http://evanston.bibliocommons.com/item/show/2267960035_the_adventures_of_captain_underpants#sthash.YRj9b1Dd.dpuf

Fourth graders George Beard and Harold Hutchins are a couple of class clowns. The only thing they enjoy more than playing practical jokes is creating their own comic books. And together they've created the greatest superhero in the history of their school: Captain Underpants! His true identity is SO secret, even HE doesn't know who he is! 

*Challenged for offensive language, unsuitability for age group, and violence.* 

Cover image for The bluest eyeThe Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison

This is the story of eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove, a black girl who prays for her eyes to turn blue so that she will be beautiful, so that people will look at her, so that her world will be different. This is the story of the nightmare at the heart of her yearning, and the tragedy of its fulfillment.

*Challenged for offensive language, sexual explicitness, unsuitability for age group, and violence.*

The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-time IndianThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie

Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

*Challenged for drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexual explicitness, and unsuitability for age group.*

 
From Teens For Teens: Divergent / Veronica Roth PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 19 September 2014 00:00

DivergentDivergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent is the story of a girl named Tris who lives in a dystopian world. In this world, when you turn 18, you must pick a faction that you will live in for the rest of your life. There is Erudite, the smart; Candor, the honest; Amity, the peaceful; Abnegation, the selfless; and Dauntless, the brave. When one of the factions tries to take over, Tris's world spins out of control.

I liked this book because it never got slow. It had a very good plot, with many twists. One particular thing I liked about the book was it showed that in order to be a good person, you don't have to be one character trait to the fullest. You have to have many traits. You can't just be peaceful, selfless, brave, honest, or smart. You have to be a little of all of them. I recommend it for anyone who liked Hunger Games or anyone who likes the dystopian genre. I would say it is the best of its kind.

(Emma J., Evanston teen)

 
We Were Liars / E. Lockhart PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 15 September 2014 17:43

altCady Sinclair comes from a privileged family--the kind of privilege that means trust funds, spontaneous trips to Europe, and summers spent on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts. However, everything isn’t as perfect in Cady’s life as it appears: her parents just went through a messy divorce, she suffers from debilitating migraines that leave her curled up in her bed for days, and she can’t remember anything that happened last summer, when she had the accident that left her with those headaches. This summer, Cady is determined to go back to the family island where her accident occurred to discover the truth about what happened to her.

We Were Liars is a book best experienced without spoilers, so I won’t tell you much more than this--only that, if you’re looking for a mystery that will reach right out and grab you, this is your book. Cady is by turns a sympathetic and infuriating narrator, but she is incredibly easy to relate to as she struggles to recover her memories of that fateful summer. When she, and you, finally put together all the pieces it both makes complete sense and comes as a complete shock. You’ll be thinking about this one long after you turn the last page. 

(McKenna, the Loft)

 

 
From Teens For Teens: New Kid / Tim Green PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 12 September 2014 00:00

New KidNew Kid by Tim Green

Whenever my brother takes out sports books from the library, he leaves them hanging around the house all over the place. And when I'm bored, I find a book lying around the house and read it. This is how I came to read New Kid by Tim Green. Let's just say this, I don't usually take sports books out from the library, but after reading this, I might just begin to.

Tommy Rust has moved around ever since his mom was murdered when he was really little. Every year or so, the roots he had begun to grow in a place are ripped out and he starts anew. A new town, a new name. He and his dad are on the run, from what and why, Tommy has no idea. Within the first few pages, Tommy is wrenched away from his current life and name, right in the middle of the championship baseball game of his team. He is forced to leave behind Tommy Rust, someone with a best friend and a girl friend (not a girlfriend), a pet turtle and an average grade of A. He becomes Brock Nickerson and moves to Liverpool, NY. In the beginning, he is careful not to become too connected to anyone, as he knows he will have to abandon this new life all too soon, just like he had to abandon Tommy Rust. But then everything changes when Brock gives into peer pressure from his only friend and commits a crime against his gym coach. And gets caught by none other than his gym coach himself. Through this begins a sequins of events and a relationship that will change Brock forever. Trust me, read it.

(Sarah B., Evanston teen)

 

 
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