Archive | Cool Stuff

Love Pixar? Want to know their storytelling secrets?

Love Pixar? Want to know their storytelling secrets?

Pixar has teamed up with Khan Academy to offer a free course on storytelling! The Art of Storytelling will be released over the course of the year, with sections on narrative, character creation, storyboarding, and more. Material is drawn from artists and directors who worked on movies like Inside Out, Up, and Brave. The first two segments are up now. Go check it out!

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Got Audiobooks? (Your Library Does!)

Got Audiobooks? (Your Library Does!)

elizabeth enjoying audiobooks

The library is delighted to announce that we now have audiobooks that you can check out!

Our collection, offering a range of choices for listeners age 11-18 and beyond, is with the ebooks in Overdrive. If you want to see which of our audiobooks are recommended for someone your age, check out our Pinterest board.

If you are not an audiobook devotee already, you might be wondering what there is to get excited about. Click on a cover below to take a listen to some samples from our collection and find out:

William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope (Gr. 8+) Full Cast Reading

William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope (Gr. 8+) Full Cast Reading

The Night Circus (Adult for young adult) Reader: Jim Dale

The Night Circus (Adult for young adult) Reader: Jim Dale

The Graveyard Book (Gr 5-8) Readers: Tim Dann and Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book (Gr 5-8) Readers: Tim Dann and Neil Gaiman

 

Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Gr. 6+) Reader: Katherine Kellgren

Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary “Jacky” Faber, Ship’s Boy (Gr. 6+) Reader: Katherine Kellgren

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Gr. 9+) Reader: Lin-Manuel Miranda

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Gr. 9+) Reader: Lin-Manuel Miranda

How It Went Down (Gr 9+) Full Cast Reading

How It Went Down (Gr 9+) Full Cast Reading

Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War (Gr 7+) Reader: Ray Porter

Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War (Gr 7+) Reader: Ray Porter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So check out some audiobooks today, an tell us how you enjoy experiencing books in a whole new way!

Learn how to check them out on our how-to page.

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Bluefire 1000 Word Story Contest!

Bluefire 1000 Word Story Contest!

Bluefire, an annual literary journal published by the Leyla Beban Young Authors Foundation, is now accepting entries into their $1000 for 1000 Words contest! Prizes are $1000 for first place and seven $100 prizes for runners up. The deadline to submit a story is February 1st.

From their website:

“We’re looking for an outstanding piece of short fiction that consists of exactly 1000 words. While there are no specific guidelines beyond that, we encourage you to tell a story that matters. Write something you believe in. Tell a story that only you can tell.”

Check out the contest page and the rules to learn more!

 

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The “One Ring”?

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of The Rings novels may have been inspired by a true story. Curators at the Vyne, an English estate, claim they have a golden ring which may have created the story for the fabled “One Ring” in Tolkein’s epic novels. The ring has inscriptions in Latin and is said to bear the curse of a Celtic deity.

Check out this NPR story to learn more about this ring.

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April is National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month and that means that there are many exciting events happening. The 8th Graders already had a poetry reading in the library and shared their own compositions. The Middle School literary magazine is coming out soon and will be filled with poetic renderings. Are you feeling poetic? Don’t forget that April 29th is Poem in Your Pocket Day. Have a poem in your pocket and you could win a prize. You can also share your poem selection on Twitter by using the hashtag #pocketpoem. Check out the displays in the library to get inspired and bring out your poetic side!

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7th Grader Publishes a Book!

Do you know what a GUK is? Do you enjoy reading mysteries or learning random facts? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, then it’s time for you to learn something new and get hooked on mysteries (may I recommend Gukky Tales: The Quest for the Golden Quarter?). If you answered “yes” or something similar to any of the questions above, then I would also recommend you to check out Gukky Tales: The Quest for the Golden Quarter by Katie Mishra (unless you’ve already read it of course, but who doesn’t love reading a good book twice?). Katie is a 7th grader at Casti and she loves to hang out with her family and friends, dive and cook. She also hopes to inspire other young writers. According to her, this book is about Becka Donovan, an 11 year old girl and “the story of her summer adventure when she searches for clues to locate the mysterious ‘Golden Quarter’.” To quote a review from Amazon, “This book was so gripping I couldn’t put it down! It had a well-developed plotline, with clever clues and subtle hints throught the hunt. It included places from all over the country, so it had a very varied setting. There was a nice balance of chase scenes and quieter ones. The scenery was also fantastic! I highly recommend this book to middle-grade readers.” To learn more about Katie Mishra and her writing process, read the Q&A session below. Otherwise, go check out the book at our library!

(Article and interview by Sophia N. ’13)

What inspired you?

When I went to pitch-a-palooza (a contest for writers who had written a book, first prize having your book published) in March 2011, the judges Ariel and David definitely inspired me. After I won honorable mention, they agreed to help me for free with my book and came to my house once during the summer.

How long did it take you to write it?

It took me about two years to write my book, starting at pitch-a-palooza to about February 2013. Although less than a year of that was writing, and the rest editing over and over again.

What was the process of getting published?

At first I wanted my book to be professionally published and work with the judges, but they told me otherwise. They said that if all the stars aligned (which is pretty hard to do in book publishing, especially for an 11 year old) it would take till I was in the middle of high school before anyone would even think of publishing it for me. Therefore, they suggested CreateSpace online. CreateSpace is totally free for basic needs that I wanted, cover creation, inside, and a few other things. Also, for small fees you can have a professional cover made, editing, and even more. It’s very user friendly and perfect for self-publishing, after you are done creating your book and the layout it is even put up on Amazon!

What advice do you have for students who want to be writers?

That there is no rule to writing, nothing has to be perfect because it is simply a work of imagination. Sometimes your fingers will fly over the keyboard or sometimes you’ll bang your head against them. Throughout you just have to persevere, and if you do you’ll be rewarded with something great then you could ever fathom.

What have you learned through the process of writing a whole novel? Were there surprises? What would you do differently next time?

I’ve learned many things, the first and foremost to ALWAYS have an outline. I found that when I didn’t have an outline everything went haywire and off-track and the story could simply not progress. I also learned that editing is a process you just have to deal with. Of course, I, as all writers do, thought my story was ‘perfect and couldn’t be changed’ let’s just say the editors thought otherwise. Over time I learned to deal with all the edits and accept them to further embrace my writing.

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