Girl Code

posted by: May 29, 2017 - 7:00am

Cover art for Girl CodeIn 2014, teenagers Andrea Gonzales and Sophie Houser created an 8-bit, side-scrolling video game called Tampon Run, where tampons  are used as weapons instead of guns. In their new book Girl Code: Gaming, Going Viral and Getting It Done, they tell about their experience learning to code, creating a viral video game and balancing high school life with their career pursuits.

 

Houser, inspired by her oldest brother who worked at Teespring, became interested in coding as a means of self-expression and creation. Gonzales, who grew up playing video games with her computer programmer father, had previous coding experience and had created a game for English class based on the imbalanced portrayals of men and women in The Odyssey. Both girls wanted to create a game that addressed a feminist issue, and their aim with Tampon Run was to challenge the idea that openly discussing menstruation is a social taboo — especially in a society that has normalized guns and violence. Their goal is to inspire more girls to get interested in computer programming.   

 

Gonzales and Houser were both New York City high school students when they met at the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program and created Tampon Run for their final project. Girls Who Code is a nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology. Although women make up 48 percent of the total workforce, the percentage of women working in computer science is only 25 percent.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about women in computing, check out Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky and read about women like Ada Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron, born in 1815, and widely regarded as the world’s first computer programmer.


 
 

This month's BCPL's Reading Challenge is read a book recommended by a librarian. Here are some of our suggestions; select any title to learn more or to request a copy. You can participate in BCPL's Reading Challenge with the help of a parent or guardian on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with #Bwellread to earn prizes at the end of each month!

 

 BCPL Reading Challenge 2017 In Partnership with WBALTV

Cover art for And the Trees Crept In Cover art for As Brave As You Cover art for Asking for It Cover art for The Bad Beginning Cover art for The Best Man Cover art for Booked Cover art for Crooked Kingdom Cover art for Du Lz Tak? Cover art for A Family is a Family is a Family Cover art for The First Step Cover art for Freedom in Congo Square Cover art for Ghosts Cover art for Giant Squid Cover art for The Girl Who Drank the Moon Cover art for Grumpy Pants Cover art for The Hammer of Thor Cover art for Hare and the Tortoise Cover art for I Dissent Cover art for If I Was Your Girl Cover art for In Plain Sight Cover art for In the Shadow of Liberty Cover art for The Inquisitor's Tale Cover art for Labyrinth Lost Cover art for Leave Me Alone! Cover art for Maybe Something Beautiful Cover art for Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run! Cover art for The Passion of Dolssa Cover art for Pride Cover art for Rani Patel in Full Effect Cover art for Sachiko Cover art for Scythe Cover art for The Serpent King Cover art for The Sun is Also A Star Cover art for This Land is Out Land Cover art for Unbecoming Cover art for Uprooted Cover art for The Water Princess Cover art for We Will Not Be Silent Cover art for When We Collided Cover art for Wolf Hollow Cover art for Bringing the Outside In Cover art for A Poem for Peter Cover art for The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo Cover art for They All Saw A Cat

 


 
 

This month's BCPL's Reading Challenge is in honor of Black History Month. Here are some of our suggestions, select any title to learn more or to request a copy. You can participate in BCPL's Reading Challenge with the help of a parent or guardian on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with #Bwellread to earn prizes at the end of each month! 

 

BCPL Reading Challenge 2017 In Partnership with WBALTV

Cover art for 28 Days Cover art for All American Boys Cover art for Back of the Bus Cover art for Because They Marched Cover art for The Book Itch Cover art for Brick by Brick Cover art for Brown Girl Dreaming Cover art for Brown v. Board of Education Cover art for Bud, Not Buddy Cover art for Capital Days Cover art for Courage Has No Color Cover art for Discovering Wes Moore Cover art for The Dream Keeper and Other Poems Cover art for Freedom Summer Cover art for Freedom WalkersCover art for Getting Away With Murder Cover art for Gordon Parks Cover art for Hand in Hand Cover art for Heart and SoulCover art for Hidden Figures Cover art for How it Went Down Cover art for How to Build a Museum Cover art for In the Shadow of Liberty Cover art for Let's Clap, Jump. Sing & Shout Cover art for One Crazy Summer Cover art for Out of Darkness Cover art for PathfindersCover art for Steamboat School Cover art for Stella by Starlight Cover art for This is the Rope

 


 
 

10 New TV Series with Book Tie-Ins

posted by: August 31, 2016 - 7:00am

Cover art for The Marvelous Land of OzCover art for The ExorcistCover art for A Series of Unfortunate EventsAs summer winds down, we look forward to cooler weather, pumpkin-flavored everything and fall television premiers! If you’re like me and you need to read the book before you watch it on screen, here are 10 new series premiering this television season based on books.

 

Hulu’s Chance, based on the book by Kem Nunn, is a psychological thriller set in San Francisco about a psychiatrist, his female patient with multiple personality disorder and her homicide detective husband.

 

NBC’s Emerald City is a modern reimagining of L. Frank Baum’s Land of Oz series featuring 20-year-old Dorothy Gale and a K9 police dog.

 

Fox’s The Exorcist, based on the 1971 novel by William Peter Blatty, follows a new family’s fight against demonic possession.

 

Amazon’s Good Girls Revolt is based on the true story of author Lynn Povich and 45 other women who sued Newsweek for sex discrimination in 1970.

 

Hulu’s The Handmaid's Tale is based on the classic dystopian novel by Margaret Atwood.

 

NBC’s Midnight, Texas is a supernatural drama based on the series by Charlaine Harris — also the author of the Sookie Stackhouse books which formed the basis for HBO’s True Blood.

 

NBC’s Powerless is a workplace comedy about an insurance company set in the DC Comics Universe.

 

CW’s Riverdale is a live-action teen drama based on the characters from Archie Comics, celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.

 

Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events is based on the children’s series by Lemony Snicket about three orphaned siblings.

 

ABC’s Still Star-Crossed, based on the teen novel by Melinda Taub, features the Montagues and Capulets in the aftermath of Romeo and Juliet’s tragic deaths.


 
 

Symphony for the City of the Dead

posted by: March 10, 2016 - 7:00am

Cover art for Symphony for the City of the DeadMusic connects us regardless of gender, age and race, articulating emotion in a way few other things can and uniting us during horrific events. A perfect example of this plays a vital role in M.T. Anderson’s new nonfiction book Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad.

 

Using Dmitri Shostakovich’s life as the framework for the story, Anderson begins with his childhood in St. Petersburg during the Russian Revolution. Later, we see Shostakovich as a composer of classical music under Joseph Stalin after St. Petersburg was renamed Leningrad. But this isn’t just a biography of a composer; Anderson delves into the fears and struggles of living under Bolshevik rule to the Soviet Union’s entrance into World War II and the disastrous siege of Leningrad. Shostakovich wrote part of his 7th Symphony while in the besieged city. And as the Nazis’ attack on Soviet soil continued, that symphony became a symbol of endurance and resolve for the people of Leningrad, in particular, and the Soviet people as a whole.

 

Anderson blends musical theory, sociology and war history into a compelling examination of the events, philosophies and people that led to such an appalling tragedy as the Siege of Leningrad. While not an easy read in terms of content, Anderson’s writing is accessible for readers from teens to adults. His thorough research provides readers with greater context into this particular event during WWII as well as Russian and music history.

 

Much like the music at the heart of the story, it’s a book that stays with you after you’ve finished it, reminding us not only of the atrocities we can — and have — perpetrated on each other but also the resolve and strength we can find within ourselves to triumph over the darker side of human nature. Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony can be checked out at BCPL or heard performed by the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra. For more information on the Siege of Leningrad and the starving orchestra who played Shostakovich’s symphony in Leningrad approximately one year after the siege began, check out Leningrad: Siege and Symphony by Brian Moynahan.


 
 

Not for the Faint of Heart

posted by: December 23, 2014 - 7:00am

Cover art for Laughing at My NightmareOne of Shane Burcaw's biggest goals was getting people to see past his disability. It's fair to say he accomplishes that and more in his candid new memoir, Laughing at My Nightmare. Even the title suggests some of the self-deprecating humor that helps shape the amusing but bittersweet tone of Burcaw’s story. Saddled with spinal muscular atrophy at age 2, the 21-year-old has been in a wheelchair his whole life, but that's not what this young man’s story is about. It’s about figuring out how to live a life as close to normal and sharing his daily successes and failures along the way.

 

There is no cure for Burcaw’s condition. His body does not produce the enzyme necessary for producing and maintaining muscle tissue. His body is failing him, but he refuses to fail his body. Disease aside, the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, native is just a normal guy. He hangs out with his buddies, admits to liking girls and goofs off playing video games. The difference is he depends on others to do everything for him, from dressing to toileting. He has a hard time when it comes to fitting in with others with disabilities. The fact that he doesn’t want sympathy comes through loud and clear.

 

Burcaw shares his experiences through his blog, (also called "Laughing at My Nightmare"), where humor is an integral component. He figured there were people out there who would want to know what life for a severely disabled person is like. So he starts writing about sex, fear of dying, questions about God. Before he knew it, he had several thousand followers and was soon embarking on a national tour to raise money and awareness for his disease. Burcaw’s story is not without its somber moments. With short chapters, black and white photos and text bubbles, he manages to strike just the right chord for what he is trying to accomplish. “What if we traveled to schools and talked about humor and positivity?” he says, “We could help kids see that life is what they made it.” Teens and adults will find much to like in Burcaw’s heartfelt journey.

 


 
 

The Joy of Tasting

posted by: May 28, 2013 - 8:01am

RelishComic artist Lucy Knisley reveals that her strongest memories are associated with flavors, from the chalky Flintstone vitamins she snacked on in front of the TV as a kid to the flaky, buttery apricot croissants devoured in Venice as a college student travelling thorough Europe. In her graphic memoir Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, she draws some of her favorite food-related stories, each with specific “taste-memories”.

 

Born in New York City, Knisley (apparently never going through a picky-eater phase) was raised a child of foodies, so her experiences transcend those of an average teen. Her mother worked in restaurateur David Bouley’s kitchen, her godfather was a food critic, and her uncle was the owner of a gourmet food shop. Nevertheless, teens with some interest in cooking (and eating!) will find her to be a likeable, relatable narrator. Knisley’s experiences stretch beyond Manhattan when her parents divorce and she moves to rural upstate New York with her mother. Living in Rhinebeck allows them to have an abundant vegetable garden and a flock of hens that supply a steady stream of fresh eggs, which ultimately gives young Lucy a greater appreciation of where her food comes from. Her first foray into independent cooking comes thanks to a craving for chocolate chip cookies. And since no parent can keep their child completely "pure", she credits a middle school friend for introducing her to such junk food delights as Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Lucky Charms cereal.

 

What sets this graphic novel apart is its cookbook component. Each chapter relates a particular story, rendered in full color comic panels, that ends with a detailed, easy-to-follow, fully illustrated recipe for an appealing dish. Relish is recommended for both teens and culinary-minded adults. Knisley’s first graphic memoir, French Milk, which tells of a trip to Paris with her mother, is also available. Readers interested in even more of her work can check out her website.


 
 

Who's Bad?

posted by: March 5, 2013 - 8:05am

 

Bad GirlsAre they bad? Or just drawn that way? Those are the questions award-winning children’s author Jane Yolen and her daughter Heidi Stemple debate as they take an entertaining tour through the lives of some of history's most notorious women in Bad Girls: Sirens, Jezebels, Murderesses, Thieves, and Other Female Villains. Arranged chronologically from Old Testament barber Delilah to 20th century mob courier Virginia Hill, this deck of 26 dicey dames includes royalty (Bloody Mary, Catherine of Russia), wild women of the Wild West (Belle Starr, Calamity Jane) and out-and-out criminals (Moll Cutpurse, Bonnie Parker).

 

Each short (2- to 8-page) chapter opens with a lush, period-appropriate poster-style portrait by illustrator Rebecca Guay. The authors then outline each lady's dastardly deeds and point out the "aggravating or mitigating" circumstances that may influence the reader's opinion of their guilt. Yolen and Stemple speak directly to the reader, bickering delightfully about context and consequences as they model good discussion behavior (and shoes!), in a page of comics at the end of each chapter. The authors' enthusiasm for their subject is contagious, abetted by playful language that makes Bad Girls a rock ‘em sock ‘em read. Alliteration, rhyme, short sentences and a conversational tone combine with sometimes-challenging vocabulary to make this book readable but by no means dumbed-down. A hearty bibliography will give a girl a leg up on the further reading she is sure to want to do. Feminist, girl-powered, intelligent and open-ended - this book respects the reader as much as it does its subjects. 


 
 
Subscribe to RSS - Teen Nonfiction