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TV vs. Movies (Take Four)

By: Melissa G., Teen Blogger

Picture of an old TV on one side and a movie reel with film streaming off it on the other.Growing up in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries allowed me to be exposed to lots of different forms of entertainment. In particular, the compelling shows on the ever-present television in my house. Our generation grew up in homes where every Saturday morning we would rush downstairs, plop down in front of the TV, and watch Tom and Jerry while we waited for our parents to start their day.

As young kids, we grew dependent on the TV because it was always there as a distraction. Occasionally, we would convince our parents or caretaker to take us to see a movie, but going to see a film in theaters was tough to do at the drop of a button. They were expensive, they were long, and nobody really wanted to pay for the over-priced popcorn. So, we turned to TV as our main form of entertainment instead of movies. As we’ve grown up, we got used to watching TV shows instead of movies because we generally prefer having characters that we stick with throughout countless seasons and we love the cliff-hangers at the end of each episode. Although movies can have cliffhangers, they aren’t as captivating as ones within a TV show because movies are all the same-the good side always wins. TV shows have characters that we grow to love, and even if the producer of the show continues to kill off all of our favorite characters (I’m looking at you, Grey’s Anatomy), we still continue to watch the show to make sure that whoever remains gets their happy ending.

In addition to a generation that grew up with television, the producers of each show have figured out ways to reach a larger audience. Now, with streaming apps like Netflix or Hulu, we can watch short episodes wherever and whenever we can. On the train, on the bus to school, before we go to bed, before we get out of bed in the morning, waiting in the doctor’s office, you name it. Movies, while engrossing, are too long for us to watch whenever. We need to sit down, and make the time for a movie, while TV is short enough for us to watch without us feeling as if we’ve wasted our day.

Personally, I prefer TV because there is always a new show for me to watch when I finish another one, whereas if I want to watch a movie, I have to do a little bit of research beforehand if I want to find a movie that entrances me. The television isn’t a large time commitment, and that’s why TV has become the major visual storytelling medium in our culture. We as a generation watch more TV, and more people get recognized from TV, therefore making the television the place to be if you want to become famous in showbiz.

Posted in The Teen Scene: GEPL High School

Saying Goodbye to a Series

By: Hannah Rapp, Young Adult Librarian

That Moment When You Finish a Book, Look Around, And Realize That Everyone Is Just Carrying on with Their Lives...As Though You Didn't Just Experience Emotional Trauma at the Hands of a Paperback.As you almost certainly don’t recall, just over two years ago, I wrote a “What I’m Reading Now” post about the Temeraire series by Naomi Novik. I raved about the series, which combines history, action, character development, and more, plus the greatest dragons since Anne McCaffrey. This summer, after many, many long months of waiting, Novik released the ninth and final book in the series, League of Dragons. And just last month, I listened to the final chapter of Temeraire and Laurence’s story with, not surprisingly, mixed emotions.

It’s not that it was a disappointing end to the series–far from it. Like its predecessors, it was action-packed, character driven, and exciting, with wonderful moments of friendship and loyalty. But it was, no way around it, the last. After barreling through most of the series and eagerly awaiting League of Dragons, there was no way I was going to put off listening to the final book. But as I listened, I felt some bittersweet-ness as I thought back to some of my favorite moments in the series. Baby Temeraire hatching, the first moments when he and Laurence began to truly care about each other, the sadness of their separations and joy of their reunions, Temeraire’s growing social consciousness, Laurence’s exceptionally fastidious sense of honor…all those moments and character traits that I could never again experience for the first time.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of re-reading, and I fully intend to go back to this series. If nothing else, it will help me remember the characters who have already faded in my memory (nine books is a LOT, okay?). But it’s not the same, it’s never the same, as reading something for the first time.

The last time I had to say goodbye to a series this beloved was even harder–it was when the seventh Harry Potter book came out. I left a family party early to go to a midnight release, and stayed up all night reading. By 8 am the morning of the book’s release date, it was over–I had said goodbye to Harry and his world (or at least, so I thought). The combination of the excitement of reading Deathly Hallows for the first time, the sadness of saying goodbye to a world and series I had so loved, and some impressive sleep deprivation was heady. I’m pretty sure I cried, but to be honest, I was so tired and emotional that I don’t remember for sure.

No other series have been quite as hard to say goodbye to as Harry Potter, but there’s always a sadness in leaving behind a beloved world or character. I felt a tug at my heartstrings knowing I wouldn’t see Hector and Elisa’s further adventures after The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson, a loss of magic when I read the final pages of The Kingdom of Gods by N.K. Jemisin, I’m already feeling some twinges of dread mixed in with anticipation for the end of the Young Elites series by Marie Lu, and don’t even get me started on the premature and heartbreaking end of Firefly.

But ultimately, this sadness is the price we pay for love. I would name any one of these series as among my favorites, and all of them are series I want to re-visit, if I haven’t already. They contain characters and world-building that have seeped into my consciousness (and occasionally my subconsciousness–dragon dreams FTW!). It’s a testament to the authors and the series that I am so affected when I have to say goodbye. And despite some sorrowful goodbyes to beloved series and characters, I’ve never once doubted that it’s worth it.

Posted in The Teen Scene: GEPL High School

GEPL Summer Reading: School Challenge Winners Announced!

By: Amy Waters, School Liaison

This summer, the grade school students in Glen Ellyn proved themselves to be a community of Super Readers. Summer reading at GEPL is opened to all students and this year, with our Read to Build program, we surpassed our goal of 70,000 hours read, racking up over 82,500 hours. All of this reading meant good things for those growing readers, and it also meant we were able to donate appliances to a home being built by Habitat for Humanity for a local family. Making a difference for themselves while also having a philanthropic impact in their community raised the value of all this reading to another level.

We had participation from all 10 community elementary schools, but only one school can win the Glen Ellyn Public Library School Challenge. This year, the Super Reader trophy goes to students at:

Briar Glen Elementary School

Congratulations to our School Challenge WINNERS!

Briar Glen Elementary School Trophy Presentation Photos

Photos by Mitch Dubinsky

The students from Briar Glen, who were enrolled in our summer reading program, read an average of 44.1 hours this summer. Congratulations on your wonderful achievement! You truly helped GEPL Read to Build this summer. *

*To be eligible to participate in our Elementary School Challenge, we require all schools have 15% of their K-5 students registered for the GEPL summer reading program. School enrollment is provided by the district or school office.

Posted in Where The Child Things Are: GEPL Youth

Enjoying the Application Process

By: Elizabeth A., Teen Blogger

A Pie Chart of the College Admissions Process

With the start of this school year, many teenagers are beginning their senior year of high school, which often brings up different thoughts and emotions.

While some people are counting down the days until graduation, others are hoping that the remainder of their high school days will go by slowly because that means more time for college applications. Senior year is definitely a busy year that helps to transition into a new and exciting stage of life. One thing is for sure, the application process can be daunting and stressful for many people.

As my older sister was in the middle of the college application process two years ago, I remember her spending many late nights working on her application and countless essays for the 11 schools she was applying to. Going into my senior year, I’m hoping that my college application process is not as exasperating as hers was, and I hope that by being the second child in my family to go through the application process, it will be less daunting. Like many of my friends and other incoming seniors I’ve talked to, I’m looking forward to the college application process, and I’ll be excited when I start to hear back from the schools that I’ve applied to. I’ve gone on a few different campus visits, including Notre Dame, Miami of Ohio, and Northwestern, and I am just beginning to seriously work on the Common App and the essays that go along with the application.

Looking back at the various campus tours I’ve done, I would definitely recommend that you start touring colleges relatively early in your high school career. I think end of sophomore year or junior year is definitely the prime time to begin college tours because that way you can look at schools with an open mind that is not too overwhelmed with ACTs and other standardized tests. It’s also important to make sure you visit different sizes and locations of campuses because that will allow you to get an idea of what you actually want by seeing different options.

I know for me it is important for schools to be strong in academics, and being a competitive figure skater, it is a requirement that any potential schools have an ice rink that is easily accessible or on campus. By making a list of my priorities, such as these, which I have for colleges, I feel that it’s easier to pick schools to look at and apply to. After visiting schools, I would recommend making a list of the pros and cons of the different campuses because it’s often difficult remembering specifics about schools when you’ve visited lots of various colleges. Even perusing through books and college websites can help to begin the college search process for those wanting to start early or anyone looking to work on the college process from the comfort of home.

As you get started with the application process, it’s extremely important to be proactive in asking questions to the right people, so you have time to get the right answers. Don’t procrastinate in filling out applications and writing scholarship essays because you’re going to have to do them eventually. In fact, your senior year will probably be more enjoyable and slightly more relaxed if you’re proactive and zealous with the entire application process. After completing the applications and waiting to hear back from schools, take the time to think about and prioritize what you’re really looking for in a school. Talk with current students or alumni of the various schools you’re looking at, and work with family, friends, and teachers to help you make a decision once you’ve heard back from all of your schools.

To sum up, I believe that the college search and application process can be stressful, but it’s important to prioritize your time and reflect on what you envision for yourself in the future. Although I haven’t had the perfect moment on a college campus, I think it’s exciting to realize that all of us will have that moment where we discover where we will spend the next years of our lives. Take the time to enjoy your application and searching process while having a successful and fun senior year of high school.

Posted in The Teen Scene: GEPL High School

“Music People”

By: Hannah Rapp, Young Adult Librarian

Revolution Radio by Green DayA couple weeks ago, the band Green Day released their first new music in about four years, the single “Bang Bang,” along with information about a new album that will be released in October. I listened to the song at least fifteen times the day it came out (I stopped counting after that), and have had it on pretty heavy rotation ever since then.

Green Day has been my favorite band since I was 13, and I have had similar excited freak outs relating to pretty much all the new music they’ve put out since then. I’ve seen them in concert during every tour they’ve had, went to New York to see American Idiot when it premiered on Broadway (and caught it again when it came to Chicago), and have memorized a pretty hefty quantity of their songs. I am, if it weren’t clear, a huge fan.

What’s interesting though is that generally speaking, I don’t consider myself a “music person.” I love plenty of music, sure, but I sometimes go days without really listening to music. I don’t seek out new bands or new acts. As a general rule (Green Day and a few other bands excepted) I’m not really in to seeing live music. But there are still artists, bands, composers and songs that have the capacity to inspire a level of devotion that almost nothing else does.

And I don’t think I’m alone in this. I know from talking to you all when you visit the library, as well as what I see in the world at large, that music is a huge part of most of your lives. While everyone has different tastes, there does seem to be something about music that reaches in to a deep part of us and engages us in a way that nothing else does. I’m not sure why this is, but I’m sure smarter people than me have spent years trying to figure it out.

Music NotesOne of the beauties of music is that there is so much of it, such a wide range of styles, and so many ways of interacting with it. You may not appreciate catchy pop music, but you could love 40s classics or Bach. Or you could love all of it–despite the massive differences among types of music. Maybe you don’t play an instrument but you love live music, or possibly blasting headphones is your preferred method of engaging with your favorite songs and pieces.

No matter how or why you love it, music has something for everyone. Those of you who are music people probably have a lot of music that speaks to you. But even for those of you who don’t feel like you’re “music people,” take a second look. Maybe there’s music you associate with your favorite memories. Maybe you have a song you can’t get out of your head. Maybe you’ll learn to play an instrument that will change your life. Maybe you just have one band that you can’t get enough of. But deep down inside, I think we’re all music people.

Posted in The Teen Scene: GEPL High School

National Peach Month

By: Deanna Siegel, Youth Programming Associate

Hello Everyone!

Do you have a favorite fruit? I am sure most of us do. I love peaches! In fact, August is National Peach Month, meaning you can celebrate peaches all month long. Did you know there are several ways to eat peaches? You can eat it on its own, bake it into a pie, dip it in Cool Whip, put it in your salsa, and even make a smoothie! Peaches are a healthy and nutritious snack.

Did you know?

  • Peaches are the third most popular fruit grown in America.
  • China is the world’s largest producer of peaches.
  • The World’s Largest Peach is in South Carolina and weighs over 10,000 pounds!

Have fun creating unique and delicious peach combinations this month! Whet your appetite for peaches by checking out one of these books. Who knows, it might just become your favorite fruit!

Posted in Where The Child Things Are: GEPL Youth

The Feared Back-to-School Week

By: Ally K., Teen Blogger

Good Luck on the Transition from Doing Nthing at Home to Doing Nothing at School.Back to school week. The week that every teen dreads and every parent diligently waits for. As a teen I can tell you that back to school week is not something that I am particularly excited for. Just the idea of upcoming homework, tests and essays gives me a headache.

However, the idea of seeing all my friends is something that I do look forward to. The excitement of finding out your new schedule and the rush to see if your friends have class with you is a feeling that I have experienced first-hand.

It is no secret that the main stressor in most teenagers’ lives is school. With the combination of never-ending homework, weekly tests and huge projects it is a wonder that teens have any free time at all. Not to mention, all the sports teams require a major commitment from the players. Practices every day and games every weekend leave kids sweaty and tired, only for them to get home and need to complete a mountain of homework. The reason why stress levels in teens are surpassing those of adults is not some hidden mystery. School and the stressors of teenage social life put a ton of pressure on kids, so it is no wonder that they are not very eager to get back to it after a leisurely summer break.

I just made school seem like the bane of every teen’s existence, which in some ways it can be, but for every reason that there is to hate school there is a reason to love it. School is the glue that holds many friendships together. It allows you to meet new people and gives you something to talk (or complain) about with other people. School literally forces people to hang out with their friends every day, therefore strengthening friendships and keeping people in touch. As someone who is fairly antisocial, I can tell you that without school I would not have many of the friends that I have today because school is what introduced me to all of them.

Friends are wonderful, but people don’t only go to school for their friends, they go to learn new things. After all, learning is the whole reason that schools exist. Almost no teen will admit it, but they all love to learn new things about what they are interested in. School is how they learn about these things and a gateway to find their passion. With all of the classes and extra-curricular options that students are able to take, everyone has something that will pique their interest. Exploring new opportunities is made possible by everything school offers to students.

All in all, while school does have many of its downsides and stressors, it is something to look forward to rather than dread. The promise of knowledge and new friendships await students who walk the locker-lined halls. Why go into it with a bad attitude, when there are plenty of silver linings to find.

Posted in The Teen Scene: GEPL High School

Middle School Reviews: Mario Kart 8

Check out the Mario Kart 8 Video GameWhat’s your name?: Matthew 

What school do you attend?: Wheaton Christian

What grade are you in school?: 7th grade

What are you reviewing?: A video game

What’s the title of what you are reviewing?: Mario Kart 8

Did you like it?: I like this video game a lot. It is the best Mario kart game yet. The graphics are great. This game is different from Mario Kart 7. It can have up to 12 racers! DLC IS available for this game. Also what’s new in this game is the hover wheels. Instead of the replay option you can choose highlights of the game. I highly recommend you rent it and play the rainbow road from the special cup. That particular race is space station themed a bit. Of course since they updated it the graphics are better than before, but they still have classic courses.

Who would like this?: Anyone who likes Nintendo video games.

How many stars would you rate this?: Five Stars

Posted in Middle School Reviews

Middle School Reviews: The Neptune Project

Check out The Neptune Project by Polly HolyokeWhat’s your name?: Amal

What school do you attend?: Hadley Jr. High

What grade are you in school?: 7th grade

What are you reviewing?: A book

What’s the title of what you are reviewing?: The Neptune Project

Did you like it?: I liked the book “The Neptune Project” because it is about a girl named Nere and how much she loves the sea and the creatures living in it, especially dolphins. But when Nere learns that she is not a normal human but can breathe under water she must leave her mother and learn to survive in it the ocean. Before she leaves, her mother tells her that she must travel to this place call The Neptune Project so that she will be safe. Nere and two of her friends brave the ocean and all the creatures in it so that they can come to the place they will now have to call home

Who would like this?: Somebody who likes the ocean and a little bit of action.

How many stars would you rate this?: Four Stars

Posted in Middle School Reviews

Middle School Reviews: The Mysterious Benedict Society

Check out The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee StewartWhat’s your name?: Skylar 

What school do you attend?: Hadley

What grade are you in school?: 6th grade

What are you reviewing?: A book

What’s the title of what you are reviewing?: The Mysterious Benedict Society 

Did you like it?: I liked the Mysterious Benedict Society because it was very intriguing and exciting to read. I liked the creative names of George “Sticky” Washington, and Constance Contraire. I also enjoyed the amount of suspense and not knowing if they would get caught or not.

Who would like this?: Someone who likes mystery books and suspense.

How many stars would you rate this?: Five Stars

Posted in Middle School Reviews