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Friday, December 19, 2014

Girls Who Code!

The Mountain View Library is proud to host a new chapter of Girls Who Code.

Want to learn how to build an app, design a video game, and change the world through code?

Girls Who Code is a national non-profit organization leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip girls with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities.

Who? - Girls in grades 6-12
Where? - Mountain View Public Library Teen Zone - 585 Franklin Street
When? Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30pm, beginning January 28th, 2015
Club leaders: Hana Moreno Lane, MVHS, and Natalia Izaguirre, LAHS
Instructor: Monica Garde
Questions? karin.bricker@mountainview.gov or monicagarde@gmail.com

To sign up for the Club CLICK HERE

If you'd like more information before you sign up please come to our Information Evening:
Wednesday, January 21st 7-8pm in the Teen Zone
To sign up for the Information Evening CLICK HERE

For more information on Girls Who Code CLICK HERE

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Survival Guide: How to Safely Navigate and Master the Week of Finals

Finals. I have dreaded that word since the day I started high school. My freshman year, I finished Thanksgiving break and all of a sudden the stress of finals hit me. I realized that I had an entire semester worth of material, from the different phases of evolution to a hundred different Spanish verbs, to remember in only a short three weeks. My first set of finals? Not so good. Next semester, I quickly learned to master the skill of time management and made the most of my resources. Here are my tips to becoming a Jedi Master of Studying for Finals:

1. Time Management - 
  • Do NOT be that person is playing Flappy Bird the day before the test! Use your time efficiently! Map out what subjects you will study for each day. 
  • The studying schedule that works best for me is studying for 25 minutes, taking a 5 minutes water break, and continuing that cycle three more times. 
  • I then take an hour break. During the hour break I either play my violin or exercise (it is definitely a greater breather). 
  • Following this I take another two hour period of studying for 25 minutes at a time, and taking a 5 minute break. If you start this schedule at 4:00 pm, you will be finished by 9:00 pm. 
2. Get rid of ALL distractions 
  • Let's face it. Instagram will be there tomorrow. However, the A's in your classes may not be. As hard as it may be, put that phone aside and far away. Put away your iPod and Nintendo DS.
  • Make sure to work in a quiet place and not where your friends or little siblings can distract you.
  • Sometimes playing classical music in the background can be pretty soothing. However, if music is a distraction for you, put it away. 

 3. Maximize your resources 
  • Make sure you get study guides from each of your classes. If you do not get a study guide, go in and ask a teacher what is necessary for the final. 
  • Make sure you understand the material in the textbook and re-read it to make sure it sticks. 
  • If you are anything like me, you probably look at the textbook and the words look like Elvish and if you also don't speak languages from Middle-Earth, you probably need another tool to help you! Hint: the Internet. There are hundreds of sites that are super helpful for studying course material. If one is studying Spanish, there are many sites online that cover vocab and grammar. If you are taking an AP class, there are many AP course review guides that can help cover material. 
  • If you prefer videos than to reading, the explanations on Khan Academy are very helpful for math and science. I would also recommend looking at Crash Course videos for history, science, and even English. 
  • Take advantages of the sites and tools around you. Choose what will help you and will not.

4. Be of Good Health 
  • Take care of yourself. 
  • Make sure to be getting around 8 hours of sleep. 
  • Don't eat too much sugar either. That will result in a sugar high, followed by a exhausting crash.
  • Before you come to finals, eat a full breakfast.
  • Also remember to drink lots of water so you do not feel dehydrated. 
  • Remember to take care of yourself in the weeks to come as well. If you decide to not get much sleep or avoid an unhealthy diet, it will only be worse during finals.

These tips are helpful to me as they help to keep me on task, healthy, and making the most out of my studying. I encourage you to give some of these tips a try and even try to make your own tips. Don't stress during finals. Focus and work hard to studying. Working hard during finals makes the break much more satisfying afterward! Good luck to all!

Written by Rebecca, Homework Assistant

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

'Twas the Night Before Finals...

‘Twas the night before finals and all through the house, I lay spread-eagle on the ground, feeling that failure is surely bound. Extra-credit points for rhyming?

 With finals quickly approaching, it’s easy to feel absolutely overwhelmed with stress. As a major culprit of pre-finals anxiety, I’m trying by best to put it all in perspective.

 It’s hard to write about finals, because anything I say, I directly contradict in my own life. Sure, I could preach endlessly about why we shouldn’t be so stressed about school, and how a single grade on our report cards will not define the rest of our lives – but we’ve heard it all before. I could write about getting enough sleep (important!) or what type of breakfast to eat (also important!) but it’s unlikely that I’ll cure the inherent stress of any modern high school student.

But here is what I do know: everything we are told in our most stressed moments will turn out to be true. When a parent, a teacher, or an older sibling reminds us that our current worries will not impact our destiny, though I may roll my eyes now, I have faith that one day they will prove to be right.

Here’s a helpful site for those moments when you’re drowning in a pile of AP History notes:  

And now, the obligatory tips for surviving finals week (you knew it was coming!)

Ask for help- My biggest mistake in previous semesters has been thinking that I can teach myself a difficult concept the night before a final. Let’s just say it hasn’t worked. Don’t be afraid to ask a teacher, a tutor, or an older sibling for extra support.  A Teen Zone Homework Assistant can always help with review packets and other study materials.

Alter the way you approach a test- I was once told by a teacher, “The test is more afraid of you than you are of the test”. Corny as it may be, I repeat the motto before assessments to settle any lingering nerves. With enough studying and thoughtful preparation, the test should be afraid of you.

Take moments to enjoy the season- Dance in the rain, help decorate your Christmas tree or lighting your menorah, and wear your comfiest sweaters. Even if you only have a few minutes, do your best to embrace the festivity of winter. It will help you de-stress!

This makes a jolly ambience for studying:
In short, study hard and try to maintain perspective.

Happy finals to all, and to all a good night! (Really, stop studying and go to bed.)

Post by Allie C., Homework Assistant

Holiday Gift Ideas

Holiday Gifts! Because, who doesn't like a present?

There so many people who have helped us succeed this year. On that note, before the year ends we need to show them our gratitude. And what better way then by making them a homemade gift? Here are some of my favorite gift ideas:

   1. Make a Scarf- Who doesn't love scarves, especially a homemade scarf in the winter? I made some for my teachers and they all loved their scarves! To personalize each scarf make it the individual’s favorite color. (And if you don't know how to knit or crochet you can learn at the library - every Friday afternoon!)    
(crochet scarf)
  2. Make a Holiday Card- They are easy and affordable to make. I personally love making holiday       cards because there is so much room for creativity. You can make also personalize them based on the person to whom you are making it for. For instance, the card I am making for my math teacher is of a castle in the snow because his name is Mr. Castleman.


 3. Make a Holiday Goodie Jar- Yumm. If you love cooking more than crafting, then this is one of the ideas for you! There are some many recipes for making holiday goodie jars out in the internet, but here is my personal favorite goodie jar recipe. There are way too many recipes for me to share with you all without the post going on forever, so I recommend that you all to type in holiday goodie jar recipes and look through all the recipes and find the recipe that you like.


4. Make Holiday Cookies!- Another great idea for the bakers out there. For this idea just follow your favorite sugar cookie recipe and just buy a few cookie cutters. You can even make this into a cooking party with your friends.

These are my top three holiday homemade gifts ideas, but if you want more ideas, visit Pinterest and search for homemade holiday gifts. I guarantee you will get a lot of results.

Happy Holidays!
Maria M,- Homework Assistant

Monday, December 1, 2014

Top 5 Apps for Students (And how to use them effectively!)

Though our smartphones are often most enticing when we want to procrastinate, they also provide us with access to many little-known productivity tools. After two (and a half!) years of high school, I have scavenged the App Store and accumulated a set of applications that seriously help me in studying as well as doing homework.

StudyBlue- If you are not already using StudyBlue, the way you study for those Spanish quizzes or history tests is bound to be revolutionized. With StudyBlue, you can create your own decks of flashcards, and quiz yourself using your phone. The app even lets you track your progress with handy graphs and personalize your flashcards with images or audio content. I’ve found StudyBlue to be especially helpful when I’m on-the-go and quickly want to brush up on a concept. I’ve been known to flip through my biology decks as I walk between classrooms during passing period!

EleMints- A savior for all of my fellow chemistry kids! In essence, it is a Periodic Table of the Elements- but it is so much more.  The app provides listings of all the elements for every trend from Atomic Radius to Ionization Energies, and even displays a graph of Electronegativity values. Another fun feature: type in the compound you are working with and the app will automatically calculate its atomic weight!

Dictionary- This may be an obvious one, but never underestimate the usefulness of having a dictionary, thesaurus, and translator at your fingertips. This free app has all three, plus a clear user interface that is easy to navigate. You can also tap to hear the pronunciation of a word and even save your favorites in a folder for future reference.

Teachers Websites Saved as an App- OK, so this isn’t an app but it proves useful so, so often. If any of your teachers have websites that they post homework or documents on, save them as an app on your homepage. Then, just click the app to be directly routed to the site. For me, this comes in handy because accessing my teachers’ websites requires a frustrating saga of navigating the school district network.  This way, I can quickly get the information I need and still maintain my sanity.
YouTube- Hear me out! YouTube has become one of my most valued study tools, ever since I learned how to navigate it effectively. There has been a growing movement in which educators (often real life teachers or experts on a certain subject) film lectures, tutorials, and lessons and post them on YouTube for public access. My favorite channels include Khan Academy for higher-level math and biology (though it features several fields of science) and The Chemistry Solution for straightforward chemistry.  I use Crash Course for both world history and U.S. history (Crash Course also has a literature channel, but I rarely find an episode about the book I’m looking for). These videos are great for reinforcement, but they also help if you miss a day of class and need an overview of a certain concept.

Post by Allie C, Homework Assistant

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Books to be grateful for

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. In the spirit of gratitude, I thought I might list the top five books that have helped me throughout my entire life (many of these I read as a child) and why I am grateful for those books. 

5.The Book Thief, Markus Zusak - The Book Thief gave me a greater appreciation of my family and the time I live in. It also helped me acknowledge my ability to read. I am very lucky that I do not have to read a "Grave Digger's Handbook". 

4.The Hobbit, J.R.R Tolkien - This book was always interesting to me. Since I am very short, this book made me grateful that I am taller than a Hobbit. Furthermore, Bilbo inspired me to find my own adventure to go on in my life. 

3.Fablehaven, Brandon Mull - This series was my favorite for a long period of time. I am grateful for Seth's sense of humor (it has helped shape mine today) and for the role model that Kendra was for me. She was always like my older sister and I appreciated her character's endurance.

2.To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee - I am so grateful for this book. Particularly during this time, I went through many struggles with friends. Although many interpret the message of climbing into one's skin and walking around in it only applicable to the civil rights movement, I realized how this applied to everyone. When I am ever skeptical of someone and am tempted to mock another, I immediately remember this message. It opens a brand new perspective for me. 

1.Harry Potter, J.K Rowling - When I was 10 years old, I moved across the country from Ohio to California. This was incredibly hard considering I was leaving the only place I had ever known. As I entered fifth grade, I realized I did not have the friends I had known for years and years. I was all alone. I reread the Harry Potter series. I can honestly say, Harry, Ron, and Hermione were my best friends that year. They taught me the value of friendship and later would follow me to high school. This series gave me my childhood and for this, I am eternally grateful to J.K. Rowling. No book series can I instantly quote off the top of my head like hers. Thank you Harry Potter for making my childhood a magical place, full of friends, and full of endless adventure!

Feel free to comment what your favorite books are and how they have impacted you. 

Written by Rebecca, Homework Assistant

Monday, November 24, 2014

Books and Their Interpretation

The interpretation of a book is highly subjective. Any number of personal factors including gender, age, and ethnicity can affect how a reader sees a book's themes.

Despite these factors, most books have a theme that is agreed upon by most of its readers. For example, many view To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee as a critique of racism in 20th century America and The Pearl by John Steinbeck as an examination of greed's affect on human nature.

However, sometimes an author's view of their book does not match the "accepted" theme. A prominent example is Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, which depicts a world where books are outlawed and burned. Many readers see it as an examination of censorship and its consequences. In contrast, Bradbury wrote the book as a warning against vapid media, which he believed would cause shallowness and apathy in society. Another example is Upton Sinclair's The Jungle. Sinclair wrote it as a criticism of a cut-throat capitalist society and the effects it can have on wage laborers, but many readers (including President Theodore Roosevelt) saw it as an exploration of the unsanitary conditions of the meat packing industry.

John Green, author of books including The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska, is known for saying "Books belong to their readers", meaning that what the author believes shouldn't change how the readers view the books. But it seems helpful to know the author's intentions when deciphering a book's meaning, especially if said meaning is hidden in nebulous language.

So what do you think? Should an author's intentions affect interpretations of their books, or should books completely speak for themselves, even if readers see it differently?

Written by Jenna M, Homework Assistant

Friday, October 31, 2014

Alligator Zone

Want to learn about the next great idea?

Come to the Alligator Zone, a free family event where you will meet entrepreneurs and learn about their new ideas!


Wednesday, November 19th from 7-8pm in the Community Room. This program is a family event for adults, teens, and kids ages 8 and up.

Click here to learn more about the people behind the program

Click here to register

Questions? Call (650) 903-6897

Thursday, October 30, 2014

New Date and Time - Special One-day program - Web site design for Teens!

Everyone and everything in the world seems to have their own website - why shouldn't you?

If you're in grades 6 through 9 and you'd like to learn how to create a web page we've got the class for you!


In just one class you'll be able to create your own website - how cool is that! Saturday, November 15th, from 3:00-5:00 in the Mountain View Library's Community Room.

Click here for more information on the people running the program

Click here to register

Questions? Email karin.bricker@mountainview.gov

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

New program - Girls Who Code!

The Mountain View Public Library's Teen Zone is so excited to announce that we are hosting Girls Who Code!


Starting Wednesday, November 12th from 6:30-8:30 and continuing weekly Girls Who Code will be meeting in the Teen Zone.

If you're a high school student and you're female and you're interested in learning how to code please check it out!

Click here for more info on Girls Who Code

Click here to register

For more information email karin.bricker@mountainview.gov or monicagarde@gmail.com

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Technology in schools

Currently, my high school is working on requiring every student to either bring a computer or check one out from the school.  Similarly, others school are also working on providing every student with access to a computer and internet. Some people believe students will abuse this privilege and access non-educational material while being at school. It also creates exposure for child predators and cyber bulling 

However, having access to a computer is also a good thing. Students can get instant answers to questions they otherwise would have been scared to ask and have wider access to information from all over the world. This means that students have the opportunity to learn skills they would not have otherwise.


I want to hear your opinion about technology being integrated into school systems. Do you agree or disagree with this?

Post written by Maria, Teen Zone Homework Assistant

Sunday, August 31, 2014

We Want You!!!

The library is hiring for two open Homework Assistant positions.

If you are a high school junior with good grades, like to help people, can work one afternoon shift and one evening shift each week, and want to make some money to save for college, we've got the job for you!

Deadline to apply is Friday, September 5th.

Questions? email marie.richardson@mountainview.gov

Saturday, August 30, 2014


An Adorable Squirrel 

It was real slow, here, at the teen zone the first week back from summer vacation. Nothing big happened until Thursday afternoon (around 4:30pm) when Trisha, one of the teen librarians, sighted a small squirrel nibbling on a leaf, outside. Angelica, a fellow friend and a student from MVHS,  took a few photos (by few I mean 31) of this little squirrel. Here are a few of those photos and a drawing:

Post written by Maria, Teen Zone Homework Assistant

Friday, August 29, 2014

JAVA programming for Teens

We are so excited to announce a new program this fall for kids in 8th through 10th grade.

If you've always wanted to learn how to code JAVA this is a great place to start!

For more information about the people teaching the class and what the class will cover, go to www.mathandcoding.org

To register, go to the online signup. Registration starts Tuesday, September 2nd.

Please note that the program is free, space is limited, and please only sign up if you are able to attend all six weeks of the class.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Hula Hooping for Teens!

Our summer programs are charging along and we've got a new program coming up next week - Hula Hooping for Teens!

Think you can't swing a hula hoop? Come give it a try with a professional instructor and high quality hula hoops (not those kiddie toys you've tried before!)

Hula Hooping for Teens will take place on Monday, July 28th from 6:30-8:00.

This class will take place in Pioneer Park, just behind the library.

There are still a few spaces left in the class, if you want to give it a try click here to register.

Classes are free, open to kids in grades 6-12.

Questions? Call the Children's Services Desk at (650) 903-6897.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Teen Summer Program - Beaded Jewelry, Designer's Choice!

Our second jewelry workshop this summer will be Beaded Jewelry - Designer's Choice, on Monday, July 14th at 6:30!

What does Designer's Choice mean? It means you get to decide what you make, and Chelsee Robinson will be here to help make your visions a reality!

There are still a few spots left in this class, click here to register.

Questions? Call the Children's Services desk at (650) 903-6897.

Monday, July 7, 2014

How much will I owe my parents for raising me?

How much will I owe my parents for raising me?

That's a very good question. With everything becoming even more expensive, it is hard to raise a child. An article in the Huffington Post estimated that the average middle-class couple spent $241,080 (not including the cost of college) to raise a child up until the age of eighteen. Coming from a family of seven, my siblings and I will owe my parents $1,205,400.00 in total. If you want a more accurate cost on how much your parents will spend on you click here. Next time you yell at your parents or ignore their demands, remember how much you have cost them!

Maria-Homework assistant

Friday, July 4, 2014

What's happening to cartoons?

What's happening to cartoons?

Remember those Saturday mornings when you woke up early just to watch cartoons? What happened to those cartoons?  Shows like Jackie Chan Adventures, the Jetsons, Hey Arnold, and Dexter's Laboratory all disappeared. Today's youth watch shows like the Regular show, the Amazing World of Gumball, and Adventure Time. None of these modern cartoons are as good as those cartoons of the 90s, that's for sure. Old cartoons do not only have a good plot line, but they teach us life lessons. I mean Arnold's character in Hey Arnold weaves in issues that kids in inner cities experienced, but you probably never noticed. However, the main goal of today's shows is to gain money. When the producers of T.V. shows see that their show growing in viewers they don't waste a minute and begin advertising merchandise. Soon you have children throwing tantrums at stores because they want the shirt with Finn or Jake from Adventure Time, but their parents won't buy it to them? This is modern cartoons have caused. Please feel free to comment with your opinion on this topic.

Maria -Homework Assistant

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Beaded Jewelry - Introduction to Stringing on July 7

Our next summer program for teens will be Beaded Jewelry - Introduction to Stringing on Monday, July 7th at 6:30 with the fabulous Chelsee Robinson.

We still have a few spaces left in this class, if you're interested click here to register!

Questions? Call the Children's Services desk at (650) 903-6897.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

K-POP is HERE!!!!!

That's right! The Teen Zone now has K-POP for you to check out and enjoy!
We've got Super Junior, SHINee, Girls' Generation, G-Dragon and so much more.
We're starting out with a core collection but we'll be adding more titles over the summer!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Teen Book Club!!!

If you're a teen, and you like to read, and you like to watch movies, then have we got a program for you!
On Monday, June 30th at 6:30 come to the Teen Zone to talk about books and movies - which is better?

There have been so many movies made from teen books lately (and more are coming, Maze Runner, Paper Towns, Looking for Alaska to name a few...) but is that a good thing? If you love a book and they make it into a movie do you watch it? Do you sometimes wish you hadn't?

If you're interested click here to register, and let your friends know!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Our next Teen Summer program is coming up and it will be fantastic!

Darcy from Henna Lounge will be here on Monday, June 23rd to show us how to draw beautiful designs on our hands, feet, arms - wherever! Bring your design ideas and be ready to make fabulous body art!

To register click here.

Questions? email marie.richardson@mountainview.gov

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars!!!

That's right, I was at "The Night Before Our Stars" - the sneak preview live simulcast of The Fault in Our Stars, with live Q&A afterwards with John Green, Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, and others!

And apparently lots of other people went to see it too. According to the NY Times, TFIOS totally rocked the box office for the weekend.

It was awesome, I'll probably go see it again in the theater.

With fresh kleenex.

Speaking of teen books and teen movies, join us on Monday, June 30th for our summer Teen Book Club. We'll be talking about books vs movies - which is better? What movies have totally worked for you, which ones didn't? (I overheard someone talking at TFIOS the other day and she said she liked the book so much she wasn't willing to go see the movie, for fear that it might ruin it for her!)

Click here to register for Book Club on June 30th at 6:30.

Questions? As always, email marie.richardson@mountainview.gov

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Bechdel Test

What is "The Bechdel Test"? The Bechdel test was invented by Alison Bechdel to show the gap between gender equality in movies. To pass the test a movie needs to have two or more female characters that have names and talk to each other about something other than a man.

Although you may think that there are a lot of movies that pass the test you may be surprised! A couple movies that haven't passed are:
  • The Social Network
  • All of the Harry Potter Movies
  • Avatar
  • The Original Star Wars Trilogy
  • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
The movies that have passed may also come as a surprise like:
  • The Twilight Saga
  • The Heat
  • Kick-Ass 2
  • American Hustle
  • And even Magic Mike
Why don't you guys check out the website and see what surprises you or what doesn't and then comment below!

Have fun discovering!

Kathleen-Homework Assistant

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Keeping It Cool

 Keeping it Cool

Have you felt the heat? I sure have and feel that at any moment I will faint from it. Well, there are ways to keep yourself hydrated. From experience I know a few recipes that are simple and delicious. To keep it short I will only post the top two recipes that I think you will enjoy for sure.

Agua Frescas

This is a typical Latin American drink made during the summer that can differ based on fruit. It consists of a fruit that is in season during the summer and is a cool refreshment to have in a hot summer day.

Recipe for Agua de Sandia (Watermelon Agua Fresca)

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 pounds watermelon (rind removed) seeded and chopped into a 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (optional)
  • * juice of 1/2 lime
Step 1
Put watermelon, water, sugar, and lime into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour mixture through a strainer into a pitcher.
Step 2
Chill for 30 minutes and serve with a lot of ice.
Frozen Fruit Pops
The name says it all. This is a recipe for popsicles that can be with one or multiple fruits, and is perfect to eat on any summer day. 
  •  2 cups cut-up summer fruit (strawberries, peaches, watermelon, etc.)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1. Place the fruit in a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Add 1-2 tablespoons water, if necessary. Add sugar and lemon juice. Cover and blend until well mixed.
3. Pour into 4 oz. ice-pop molds or paper cups. Insert sticks. Freeze until solid.
Serves 4.
(For the nutritional information go to: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=218 )

Keep working hard, but don't forget to keep yourself hydrated and cool, 
Maria-Homework Assistant

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Public Speaking

(Fear of Public Speaking)
(How some of us react when we hear the word public speaking)

When a teacher says the word speech, how do you react? Do you cringe at the word? If you do, you are not alone. The fear of public speaking is one of the most common phobia in the world affecting seventy-five percent of the population. So how do you overcome it? That's a good question. You might not see immediate results, but if you practice, stay positive, and focus on the message of your speech you will be able to become more comfortable. But these are just some common suggestions among various articles. From personal experience I can tell you all that it is hard to overcome public speaking, but it is not impossible. You just have to want to overcome this fear and be able to get up and try even when you embarrass yourself in front of others. A tip to all of you who are afraid of public speaking is to say your speech imaging that your audience is people who you feel comfortable with. After all don't you make silly errors in front of your friends or family members and don't give it much thought? In the end, it is all about being able to make errors and not freak out about it, but instead shrug it off and continue as if nothing happened. I hope this short blog post helps and remember think about speeches with an open mindset and not a closed mindset!

Teen Zone Homework Assistant,

Friday, March 14, 2014

If John Green likes it...

It must be good!

As faithful fans of The Fault In Our Stars know, the movie version of the book is coming out on June 6th.

The Fault in Our Stars (2014) Poster

There's always a risk the movie version of a favorite book will stink.

But if the author likes it? Then it's going to be AWESOME!

Click here to read the interview with John Green.

Now my only question is: when is he going to publish another book?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Teen Books Just Keep Getting Longer, and Longer, and Longer...

In addition to a huge number of teen books being published every year, teen books are getting HUGE!

The stack on the left contains ten books that are typical of the length of books when we first opened the Teen Zone ten years ago.

The stack on the right also contains ten books, but these are more recent books (in fact half of them are off the new book display).

Look at how much taller the stack of new books is - crazy, huh?

And a lot of these books are a part of a series of three or more books.

And they said that teens don't read anymore... what do they know?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

College Applications

We're done applying to college now?! It's a thought that still shocks and stuns many a senior, as it seems as though only yesterday were we in elementary school, learning the useless skill of cursive, or middle school, bearing through several terrible years, or entering high school, losing sleep over numerous assignments. Nostalgia hit me like a blast as I filled out my first applications this fall. How could I finally be a senior? Didn't I just finish up freshman year?
Essentially nothing has changed, except I'm taller, smarter, and more experienced. Okay, so everything has changed. Though you might not notice the differences, your parents, your friends, and even your teachers have watched you grow through the years, finally arriving at where you are now--on the cusp of college. So here's a rundown of the college process, tidbits of information that I've gathered through the years.

Standardized Testing Exams (SAT and ACT)
Though many colleges accept either, I highly suggest you take both exams. Who knows? You might receive a 2000 on the SAT but a 35 on the ACT!
National Averages for the SAT - Critical Reading 496 Mathematics 514 Writing 488
National Averages for the ACT - Composite Score 22

Early Action/Early Decision
For these decision plans, you apply to the college of your choice on an earlier basis. Early Decision is binding, meaning if accepted, you MUST attend the college, so make sure you really love the college! Early Action, unless it is Restricted, is not binding. This means that even though you receive word of acceptance or denial earlier, you do not have to attend.

Hope that helps!
Mary L - Homework Assistant

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Australian TV Ad's.... Scarring or Encouraging?

Hello guys! So below is a Australian TV ad that if you're on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr (like we are) you will have stumbled upon this PSA (Public Service Announcement) called "Set Yourself Free." For those of you that haven't it is an ad by two comedians for a foundation called "Learn for Life Foundation of Western Australia." There have been a lot of reactions to this video and many people have spoken out about it. After you watch it, tell me what you think.


Furthermore, this is just an addition to a lot of PSA's that companies have been releasing to get a message across. For example, Metro Trains in Melbourne have a PSA that has been made into a well known game called "Dumb Ways to Die" (the PSA is below)


Furthermore Do you guys think that they took it too far or that this over-exaggeration is needed to the severity of the issue across?
Tell me what you think!

Kathleen - Homework Assistant

Monday, February 10, 2014

Preparing For College

College. It's a stressful thought. I'm stressed just thinking about it! Obviously, college is a huge part of our lives. We see collegiate flags decorating the walls of school classrooms. We take the SAT and ACT exams, purchasing hundreds of dollars of worth of standardized testing material. We contribute to extracurriculars in hopes of winning laurels. So you might ask, how can I better prepare myself for the rigor of applying to college?

Here's a breakdown of what an admissions officer would look at:

1. GPA and Class Rank
Of utmost importance is your academic performance. Ask yourself, is the rigor of classes I'm taking (Regular, Honors, or AP) suited to the college I'd like to attend? Challenge yourself. Take a leap of faith. Most importantly, try your best in every single endeavor you take.

2. SAT or ACT
Standardized testing, no matter how dreary and unexciting, is a large part of the college process. In order to score high, you must practice taking the exams numerous times.

3. Extracurriculars
Sports. Clubs. Competitions. What are you interested in? Do it. Excel and become a leader in your chosen field of interest. Conduct research at the local university. Score the winning touchdown at the homecoming game. Pursue your interests outside the classroom and distinguish yourself as a unique person.

Above all, don't stress about it! It's high school, have the time of your life and make some lasting friendships.
Mary L.
Homework Assistant

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Cure for Boredom Is Here!

School has been back on for a month now and I have yet to get used to waking up when it's still dark outside. Regardless the school year is in full swing and it's time to get to reading new books and complaining about a different math class. If you're looking for some things to do while still being productive or simply something to do because after so many weeks of doing homework (and stress) you have no idea of what it is like to have a social life, do some of these things:
  • Read that book that has been sitting on your bookshelf for months collecting dust.
  • Look up the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus.
  • Pick up a new hobby.
  • Pick up an old hobby.
  • Find a new TV show to watch.
  • Rearrange the posters on your wall.
  • Watch videos about weird traditions in foreign countries.
  • Watch cat videos and try to come up with a reason for the things that they do.
  • Create something in your kitchen that sounds disgusting, but tastes great!
  • Make a list.
    • Things you would do with a million dollars, things you would do if you met Ryan Gosling, things you wish you could do, if you could make super powers what would they be... etc.
Don't limit yourself to these things! The world is sitting inside of your computer screen all you have to do is unleash it! Your whole perspective in life could change due to one google search, so go ahead. Google anything you want.

Kathleen- Homework Assistant

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Teen Books into Movies

Plenty of well-written and dynamic books are coming to life on the big screen this year. The science fiction classic, "Ender's Game," was in theaters last November. A more recent novel that came out last November was the second installment of the Hunger Games series, "Catching Fire." It features the female protagonist, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), and love interest Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) in a battle against the oppressive Capitol.

Before going to see the movie, be sure to pick up a copy of the book itself at your local library! I guarantee that once you pick up the first installment of the series, "Hunger Games," you won't be able to put it down until you've turned every last page. If you love daring adventure, an intense feeling of suspense, and close friendships, you'll love the "Hunger Games!"

And stay tuned for more movies coming out this spring - Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars, and The Maze Runner coming out this fall!

Kathleen - Homework Assistant

Monday, February 3, 2014

A Drop In The Ocean

A drop in the ocean isn't just a Ron Pope song (listen to it, it's pretty good), its actually a pretty good concept. It's the idea that doing something, no matter how small, over time can make a big difference. A good example of this is that I had a jar in my room that I filled with leftover change from whatever I bought and two weeks ago it officially overflowed, leaving me wondering how much money was actually in the jar. I went to the store to buy the necessary materials to sort out the money and found out that it was almost $200! So that goes to prove that you can make a big difference, whether it be in your bank account or the world, no matter how small the gesture.

Speaking of the world, someone in the Teen Zone told me about a really awesome website (it is, after all, the inspiration behind this post). The World Population Clock is a website that gives you an average of the worlds population along with the population in the US. Along with that it gives you states, counties, and cities populations and densities. Call me a nerd, but this is generally interesting, so go check it out!

The link is here and here and here.

Kathleen- Homework Assistant