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Showing posts from 2015

New Year's Traditions

New Year's Day Holiday History
New Year's is one of the oldest holidays still celebrated, but the exact date and nature of the festivities has changed over time. It originated thousands of years ago in ancient Babylon, celebrated as an eleven day festival on the first day of spring. During this time, many cultures used the sun and moon cycle to decide the "first" day of the year. It wasn't until Julius Caesar implemented the Julian calendar that January 1st became the common day for the celebration. The content of the festivities has varied as well. While early celebrations were more paganistic in nature, celebrating Earth's cycles, Christian tradition celebrates the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ on New Year's Day. Roman Catholics also often celebrate Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, a feast honoring Mary. However, in the twentieth century, the holiday grew into its own celebration and mostly separated from the common association with religion. It…

Teen Book Review: The Young Elites

The Young Elites review by  JK:

The novel The Young Elites by Marie Lu is a very good book to read if you are interested in fantasy. I would highly recommend this book to young adults.

This novel follows the journey of a very special blood fever survivor. The blood fever was a deadly illness and most adults died including many children. But some children survived and came out of the illness with strange markings and scars, These markings and scars earned the children the name "malfetto."A malfetto is shamed, but some are also very valuable seeing as how some select malfettos were gifted with special abilities. These malfettos created the Dagger Society, they protected malfettos and recruited those who had useful abilities. The King wants all malfettos dead regardless. So, he organizes the Inquisition, they hunt malfettos and protect the royal family.

This book follows Adelina Amouteru who is a special malfetto with the ability to create illusions and manipulate vision. Adeli…

Golden Globe Nominations

The nominations were announced for the 2016 Golden Globe Awards. Here is a list of the nominees:

Best Motion Picture - Drama Carol Mad Max: Fury Road The Revenant Room Spotlight
Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical The Big Short Joy The Martian Spy Trainwreck
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama Cate Blanchett, Carol Brie Larson, Room Rooney Mara, Carol Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama Bryan Cranston, Trumbo Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl Will Smith, Concussion
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical Jennifer Lawrence, Joy Melissa McCarthy, Spy Amy Schumer, Trainwreck Maggie Smith, The Lady in the Van Lily Tomlin, Grandma
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical Christian Bale, The Big Short Steve Carell, The Big Short Matt Damon, The Martian Al Pacino, Danny Collins Mark Ruffalo, Infinitely Pol…

Teen Movie Review: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games Movie : a Review by ND

The original movie in the Hunger Games was a very good and action filled movie.  It is good for people who like to see action and are okay with seeing some gory scenes. It is very thrilling and exciting to watch. I would recommend it for people 12 and up with a 9 out of 10 rating. This is a movie that may very likely cause you to get very emotional.

I liked the movie a lot because it made sense to me and I love movies with a lot of action and violence. It was an overall great movie and one of my personal favorites. In my opinion, it is the best out of the series and it is definitely a movie I would recommend. This would be a great movie to watch on a rainy night and is even better in theaters.

In  this movie, there are a lot of big decisions and shocking moments to keep you on edge. It is an intense movie that has tons of thrilling moments.

I do not suggest any people under 12 see this movie. I also suggest people who can't handle any gory s…

Teen Book Review: Keeping Safe the Stars

Keeping Safe the Stars: A Review by D.A.

Do you love reading books about hardships and struggle? If you do, then Sheila O'Connor's Keeping Safe the Stars is a book about how three orphaned kids in the care of their grandpa but then their only kin is hospitalized which leaves them having to learn to be self reliant. The oldest child Pride Star takes upon herself to keep her younger sister Nightingale and brother Baby happy and safe and resolves to keep her family troubles a secret from the outside world. But soon she dear that their happy days as a family are drawing to an end.

I would give this book 5 stars because it teaches the reader a lot of life lessons such as how these kids survived and also it is important to learn to be independent. It showed the struggles many children go through at a very young age. This book is a very inspirational story which grans the reader and doesn't let go of them. When I first read the book, I was so interested in it that I completely lost…

December 3: International Day of Persons with Disabilities

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) has been commemorated since 1992 to promote awareness and mobilize support for critical issues relating to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society and development. The Day works to promote action to raise awareness about disability issues and draw attention to the benefits of an inclusive and accessible society for all.
Governments, UN agencies, civil society organizations, academic institutions and the private sector are encouraged to partner with organizations of persons with disabilities to arrange events and activities to commemorate the Day.

Theme for 2015: Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities
Below is a very short list of organizations here on Long Island that provide services and aid to persons with disabilities:

Aid To theDevelopmentally Disabled
American Council of the Blind
DevelopmentalDisabilities Institute
Helen Keller Services for the Blind
Land &Se…

American Music Award Winners

The American Music Awards aired last night. In case you missed it, here is a list of the winners:

Artist of theYear: One Direction
Song of the Year:"Blank Space," Taylor Swift
Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist:Ed Sheeran
Favorite Pop/Rock Album:1989, Taylor Swift
Favorite Soul/R&B Album:Beauty Behind the Madness, The Weeknd
Favorite Country Duo or Group:Florida Georgia Line
Favorite Country Album:Anything Goes, Florida Georgia Line
Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist:Rihanna
Favorite Pop/Rock Duo or Group: One Direction
Favorite Latin Artist:Enrique Iglesias
Favorite Contemporary Inspirational Artist:Casting Crowns
Favorite Electronic Dance Music Artist:Calvin Harris
Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist:Taylor Swift
Favorite Country Male Artist:Luke Bryan
Top Soundtrack:Pitch Perfect 2

TeenDrive365 Video Challenge

The 2015-2016 TeenDrive365 Video Challenge has begun and, now, there are even more chances to win!
Learning to drive is one of the coolest times for a teen. But facts have shown it can be extremely dangerous. You have the power to inspire your fellow teens, maybe better than a teacher or a parent can, because you know what messages will be the most powerful. Create a 30-60 second video for your fellow teen drivers that highlights the importance of safe teen driving and you could win $15,000, or one of 14 other prizes!
The Prizes Are: 1st Place: $15,000 and the chance to work with a Discovery film crew to reshoot your video into a TV-ready PSA! 2nd Place: $10,000 and a behind-the-scenes trip to a Velocity show taping 3rd Place: $7,500 People's Choice: $5,000 and a behind-the-scenes trip a Velocity show taping 4th Place - 10th Place: $2,500
Four Regional Winners: $1,000
Enter by March 7 for your chance to win.
For how to submit your entry, go to the TeenDrive365 page.

How Some Halloween Traditions Were Created

Tomorrow is Halloween. I thought I'd share how some of the things we do for the holiday were originated.
Trick or Treating: In olden times, it was believed that during Samhain, the veil between our world and the spirit world was thinnest, and that the ghosts of the deceased could mingle with the living. The superstition was that the visiting ghosts could disguise themselves in human form, such as a beggar, and knock on your door during Samhain asking for money or food. If you turned them away empty-handed, you risked receiving the wrath of the spirit and being cursed or haunted. Another Celtic myth was that dressing up as a ghoul would fool the evil spirits into thinking that you were one of them so that they would not try to take your soul. In the U.S., trick-or-treating became a customary Halloween tradition around the late 1950s, after it was brought over by Irish immigrants in the early 1900s.
The traditional Halloween colors of orange and black actually stem from the pagan c…

Teens Top Ten Announced

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has announced the official titles of the 2015 Teens’ Top Ten. Teens all over the world voted starting Aug.15, with voting lasting through Teen Read Week™ (Oct. 18-24, 2015). Altogether, over 27,000 votes were cast for the24 nominees. The official 2015 Teens’ Top Ten titles are as follows: "The Shadow Throne"by Jennifer A. Nielsen (Scholastic) "I Become Shadow"by Joe Shine. (Soho Teen)"To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before"by Jenny Han. (Simon & Schuster)"My Life with the Walter Boys"by Ali Novak. (Sourcebooks)"Heir of Fire"by Sarah J. Maas. (Bloomsbury)"The Bane Chronicles"by Cassandra Clare. (Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry)"The Young Elites"by Marie Lu. (Penguin/G.P. Putnam's Sons)"The Kiss of Deception"by Mary E. Pearson. (Macmillan/ Henry Holt & Company)"Since You’ve Been Gone"by Morgan Matson. (Simon & Sc…

National Chocolate Day

Today is National Chocolate Day. Here are some interesting chocolate facts to help you celebrate:
Hershey’s produces over 80 million chocolate Kisses--every day.
The English chocolate company Cadbury made the first chocolate bar in the world in 1842.
In 1875, Swiss Daniel Peter discovered a way of mixing condensed milk, manufactured by his friend Henri Nestlé, with chocolate to create the first milk chocolate.
The first chocolate chip cookie was invented in 1937 by Ruth Wakefield who ran the “Toll House Inn.” The term “Toll House” is now legally a generic word for chocolate chip cookie. It is the most popular cookie worldwide and is the official cookie of Massachusetts.
In 2002, Marshall Field’s in Chicago made the largest box of chocolate. It had 90,090 Frango mint chocolates and weighed a whopping 3,326 pounds.
The largest chocolate bar ever manufactured was in Italy in 2000. The bar had a weight of 5,000 lbs.
Every second, Americans collectively eat one hundred pounds of chocolate…

National Book Award for Young People's Literature Finalists Announced

The National Book Foundation has announced the finalists for the 2015 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. From a longlist of 10 titles, previously announced on September 14, five books were selected. The winners of the 66th annual National Books Awards will be presented at a November 18 ceremony in New York City.
The finalists in the Young People’s Literature category are:
Benjamin, Ali. The Thing About Jellyfish.
Ruby, Laura. Bone Gap.
Sheinkin, Steve. Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War.
Shusterman, Neal. Challenger Deep

Stevenson, Noelle. Nimona.

October is National Stop Bullying Month

Books about Bullying
You can look at non-fiction bullying books in the call numbers 302.343 and 371.58
Fiction Books
Bock, Caroline. LIE.   YA FIC Bock Told in several voices, a group of Long Island high school seniors conspire to protect eighteen-year-old Jimmy after he brutally assaults two Salvadoran immigrants, until they begin to see the moral implications of Jimmy's actions and the consequences of being loyal to a violent bully.
Butler, Dori Hillstead. The Truth about TrumanSchool. YA FIC Butler; 6-8 Tired of being told what to write by the school newspaper's advisor, Zibby and her friend Amr start an underground newspaper online where everyone is free to post anything, but things spiral out of control when a cyberbully starts using the site to harrass one popular girl.
Cohen, Joshua. Leverage. YA FIC Cohen High school sophomore Danny excels at gymnastics but is bullied, like the rest of the gymnasts, by members of the football team, until an emotionally and physically s…

John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage Essay Contest

Topic Students are asked to write an original and creative essay that demonstrates an understanding of political courage as described by John F. Kennedy in Profiles in Courage. The maximum word count is 1,000 with a minimum of 700, not including citations and bibliography. Use at least five varied sources such as government documents, letters, newspaper articles, books, and/or personal interviews to address the following topic:
Describe and analyze an act of political courage by a United States elected official that took place during or after 1956. Include an analysis of the obstacles, risks, and consequences associated with the act. The essay may concern an issue at the local, state, national, or international level.
Eligibility The contest is open to United States high school students in grades nine through twelve attending public, private, parochial, or home schools; U.S. students under the age of twenty enrolled in a high school correspondence/GED program in any of the fifty state…

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

Each year, the Alliance partners with more than 100 visual arts and literary arts organizations across the country to bring the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards to local communities. Teens in grades 7 through 12 apply in 29 categories of art and writing. Submissions are juried by luminaries in the visual and literary arts, some of whom are past award recipients. Panelists look for works that best exemplify originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision.
Gold Key: The very best works submitted to local programs are awarded Gold Keys. Gold Keys are automatically considered for national-level recognition
Silver Key: Stand-out works submitted to local programs that demonstrate exceptional ability are awarded Silver Keys.
Honorable Mention: Accomplished works submitted to local programs showing great skill and/or potential earn Honorable Mention Awards.
American Visions & Voices Nominees: Five works, from across all categories …

National Book Awards Long List

The Long List for Young People's Literature for the National Book Awards was announced today.
The titles on the list are:

Becky Albertalli. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
M.T. Anderson. Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad
Ali Benjamin. The Thing About Jellyfish
Rae Carson. Walk on Earth a Stranger
Gary Paulsen.  This Side of Wild: Mutts, Mares, and Laughing Dinosaurs
Laura Ruby. Bone Gap
Ilyasah Shabazz, with Kekla Magoon.  X: A Novel
Steve Sheinkin. Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War
Neal Shusterman. Challenger Deep

Noelle  Stevenson.  Nimona
The finalists for all categories will be announced on October 14 and the winners on November 18.

LGBT Network

The LGBT Network is an association of non-profit organizations working to serve the LGBT community of Long Island and Queens throughout the lifespan: Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth, The Long Island LGBT Community Center, Services and Advocacy for LGBT Elders – Long Island, and the Queens LGBT Community Center.
The goal of the Community Education and Training Program at The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender  Network  is to create safer, more supportive LGBT-affirming spaces for LGBT people. This goal is accomplished by delivering educational workshops and trainings for a variety of audiences.  The Network has been creating and facilitating LGBT sensitivity workshops and trainings for the greater Long Island community for more than 21 years.
LIGALY has groups such as the Safe School Team that comprises of student activists that evaluate, direct, and implement programs and services to create safer and more supportive schools for LGBT students and their allies. Other services …

Guinness World Records Challenge

Guinness World Records wants to know what records children would try to set in the next 20 years if they had the chance. The “Records of the Future Challenge” is open to 7- to 12-year-olds and runs through December 1. For the contest, participants can enter an original poem, song, video, rap, poster or short essay. Entries must be a maximum of 100 words. Submissions can be made online. The grand prize winner receives $750, a 2016 Guinness World Records book, and a mention in the 2017 edition. The winner also gets to nominate a teacher to win $250 for classroom supplies. Ten semifinalists will each receive the 2016 book.

YouTube Gaming

YouTube Gaming, an app and website that aggregates more than 25,000 gaming channels to help gamers find videos from some of the platform's most popular creators like TwoSync and PewDiePie just recently launched. 

Gamers go to YouTube to look for a specific type of content on channels like HikePlay, Squadrom or  Drift0r, so the app-site combo helps filter out whatever's not related to gaming