GEPL Tweens Blog

GEPL Tweens: Sphero

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By: Christina Keasler, Tween Librarian

Have you looked at the sky lately? There’s been a lot going on. With the Northern Lights, lunar eclipses, and blood moons, we have had a lot of reasons to keep our eyes up at night. October 19, 2015 was astronomy night at the White House. President Obama invited scientists, astronauts, the two stars from Mythbusters and my personal favorite Bill Nye the Science Guy. He also invited students from all around the country that have excelled at science and astronomy. The President wanted to highlight the importance of science and its everyday use and hopes to inspire more kids to take an interest in science.

Along with the astronauts and Bill Nye, he invited the people who made the sphero. The sphero crew was inspired by a third grade class that tried to replicate the solar system’s movements with spheros and coding. They made this cool model for the event at the White House.

Spheros work with a coding app. These spheros were programmed to have the exact orbit and speed as all of the planets. Of course, they also picked different colors for each planet, and they included Pluto, yay!

In case you don’t remember or didn’t know, the library has spheros available at many middle school events. Be sure to stop by and see the spheros in action at our Youth Department Renovation Celebration January 30!

Christina with Spheros on Floor

I’m The Alpha.

Posted in GEPL Tweens

GEPL Tweens: Halloween

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By: Christina Keasler, Tween Librarian

Two Carved Scary Faced Pumpkins Sitting On The PorchI love all things Halloween. I love ghostly tales and am an all-year ghost hunter. I make a Halloween checklist each year, but I never finish it. There’s just too much to do! I carve some creepy pumpkins, and hide motion-activated talking skulls throughout the house. People say it’s annoying, but I think they’re saying “awesome” wrong. When I’m not out looking for ghosts, carving pumpkins, or trying not to show that I’m super scared at a haunted house, you can find me reading a spooky book. I know most of our books are in storage, but you can – and should – request a hold on any of these chilling titles.

Skeleton Man by Joseph Bruchac Book CoverSkeleton Man by Joseph Bruchac

Molly wakes up one morning to find her parents have vanished. Social Services turns her over to the care of a great-uncle, a mysterious man Molly has never met nor heard of. Now Molly is having dreams about the Skeleton Man from a spooky old Mohawk tale her father told her–and these dreams are trying to tell her something.

The Ghost Prison by Joseph Delaney Book CoverThe Ghost Prison by Joseph Delaney

Night falls, the moon rises, and fifteen-year-old Billy starts his first night as a prison guard. But this is no ordinary prison. There are haunted cells that can’t be used, whispers and cries in the night… and the dreaded Witch Well. Billy is warned to stay away from the prisoner down in the Witch Well. But what prison could be so frightening? Billy is about to find out…

Coraline by Neil GaimanCoraline by Neil Gaiman

When Coraline explores her new home, she steps through a door and into another house just like her own . . . except that it’s different. It’s a marvelous adventure until Coraline discovers that there’s also another mother and another father in the house. They want Coraline to stay with them and be their little girl. They want to keep her forever! Coraline must use all of her wits and every ounce of courage in order to save herself and return home.

The Grimm Legacy by Polly ShulmanThe Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman

Elizabeth has a new job at an unusual library a lending library of objects, not books. In a secret room in the basement lies the Grimm Collection. That’s where the librarians lock away powerful items straight out of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales: seven-league boots, a table that produces a feast at the blink of an eye, Snow White s stepmother s sinister mirror that talks in riddles. When the magical objects start to disappear, Elizabeth embarks on a dangerous quest to catch the thief before she can be accused of the crime or captured by the thief.

Posted in GEPL Tweens

GEPL Tweens: Conlangs

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By: Christina Keasler, Tween Librarian

Everyone has been busy lately, and I have been no exception to this. But instead of cross country and soccer practices, I have been promoting the 3D design competition and practicing for upcoming presentations.

While it’s great to be busy, it’s also important to leave time for your hobbies. Weirdly enough, language has long been an interest of mine. Once upon a time, I wanted to be a linguist, and even minored in linguistics in college. I really did love it, especially syntax, which is sentence structure. Looking at my career options, nothing really appealed to me. Librarianship presented itself, and *POOF!* a librarian was born.

Even though I’m a librarian now, I still have a tiny bit of a linguist inside. That part isn’t trying to break free or anything, but it is delighted when fed linguistic information. I recently encountered an article from Wired Magazine that talks about “conlangs,” which are constructed languages. I love conlangs, and even did a huge presentation on them in library school. This article inspired me to share with you my wealth of knowledge in conlangs.

Conlangs are created to give depth and authenticity to a fictional story and world. The new world must be consistent, and comparing it to the human world may help in the creation process. The creatures living in your world must be considered as well. Do they have the same speaking tools as a human? If so, pronunciation must be considered. For example, you don’t see words from the English language often combining the sounds “r” and “k” consecutively at the beginning of a word, but you can at the end. Sayings and slangs need to be thought of, too. A company used the slogan “Turn it Loose” which when translated to Spanish meant “Suffer from Diarrhea”, which isn’t really convincing when trying to get someone to buy something. Look at other popular conlangs for inspiration!

Elvish Conlang
Klingon Conlang

The television show “Futurama” made a language called “Alienese” that was so easily cracked, they had to think of a second version! (Which was also deciphered)

Alienese from Futurama Version 1
Alienese from Futurama Version 2

What would your conlang be? Who would speak it? Would it sound like a Klingon or an Elf?

More Fun Conlang Facts:

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GEPL Tweens: Middle School Room Contest

By: Christina Keasler, Tween Librarain

What’s in a name?

There are a lot of weird names out there. Did you know that there’s a guy who legally changed his name to “Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop-Bop-Bop”; parents who tried (and failed) to name their child “Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116”. The record holder for longest name is over 600 characters long. Names are powerful. There are plenty of myths and beliefs that your true name holds power over you.

You mane know that in the Youth Department remodel, we are adding a special room only for middle schoolers, however, when picturing this scene, it doesn’t sound so cool.

Stick Figures Talking "What do you want to do toady? Let's Go To The Middle School Only Room! Yes! Although It Can Really Use A Better Name. Yea, I Know, If Only We Entered the Naming Contest!"

We can stop this from happening! Enter your great name ideas during the contest. The middle schooler with the winning suggestion will take part of our opening ceremony and have a blog spotlight written about them!

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GEPL Tweens: 3D Printing

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By: Christina Keasler, Tween Librarian

We’ve had our 3D printer for a couple years now. We’ve seen some awesome prints, and some abominable clogs. Eugene (that’s our printer’s name) and I have visited Hadley and Glen Crest multiple times and Eugene was a main attraction at our first STEAM Fair. We have helped contribute to Cantigny museum displays, model airplanes, and patents.

3D Printer with 3D Orange Fish

The Glen Ellyn Public Library Foundation generously donated a MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer to the library in 2013.

Yes, we’ve done a lot. But GEPL has never been one to be in a rut. We’re shaking things up and want to see more from you! We are currently calling for 3D print designs from students like you. It’s time to practice those drafting skills. GEPL is accepting contest submissions until November 1st. We will have two winners for each age group – 3-5 grade, 6-8 grade, 9-12 grade, and adults – one for complexity and one for creativity. While the designs must be printable, the possibilities are endless!

Judges chosen from within the community will choose the winners, whose designs will be printed in a special gold filament, receive a trophy, and will be featured in a future blog post. Plus, you’ll get some serious 3D design street cred.

I look forward to seeing what you create when you combine your imagination with your skills.

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GEPL Tweens: Top Middle School Reader

Tweens Blog Purple BannerBy: Christina Keasler, Tween Librarian

Meet our top middle school reader, Jeff Johnston! He’s an eighth grader at Hadley Junior High and finished up the summer reading program with 171 hours and 45 minutes!
Jeff Johnston Standing By Book Shelves

Wow! His secret: listening to Playaways while doing chores like mowing the lawn and walking the dog. He loves that the library has such a variety, and reads all genres. If he had to pick a favorite, it would be realistic fiction.

Somehow, beyond all that reading, Jeff, a former GEPL volunteer, has had a very eventful summer. When he’s not reading or listening to books he’s playing sports. He enjoys soccer and basketball, but soccer is his favorite. He visits the Glen Ellyn Park District Rec Center to play basketball, ultimate Frisbee, and wall ball with his friends.

He even went to Europe for three weeks in July, and made it back in time to compete against the Glen Ellyn firefighters in our tug of war.

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GEPL Tweens: Tween Book Review – The Maze Runner

Tweens Blog Purple BannerThe Maze Runner by James Dasner Book CoverWhat’s your first name and school?: Joey; Glen Crest.

What are you reviewing?: Maze Runner

What did you review?: A book.

What did you like about it?: I like that when there was a calm part James Dashner always makes it exiting. I would rate this book 5 stars because of all the excitement, you are always wanting to read on after the first words of the book.

Who would like this?: Thrillseakers.

On a scale from yuck to best ever, how much did you like it?: Best ever.

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GEPL Tweens: Tween Movie Review – Dark Knight Rises

Tweens Blog Purple BannerThe Dark Knight Rises Movie PosterWhat’s your first name and school?: Andrew; Hadley

What are you reviewing?: Dark Knight Rises

What did you review?: A movie.

What did you like about it?: The Dark Knight is about Batman hen is hated for being the bad guy in the Dark Knight. Ban is the bad guy who try to hurt Batman and take over the city. He is the guy who came out of the hole as a kid and tried to hurt the people who put him there.

Who would like this?: Everyone.

On a scale from yuck to best ever, how much did you like it?: Good.

Posted in GEPL Tweens, Tweens Reviews

GEPL Tweens: Tween Movie Review – Chasing Mavericks

Tweens Blog Purple BannerChasing Mavericks Movie PosterWhat’s your first name and school?: Eric; Hadley Jr. High

What are you reviewing?: Chasing Mavericks

What did you review?: A Movie.

What did you like about it?: I liked that the book was about surfing in the ocean, and I don’t really like surfing but I like to swim in the ocean. Also it was a little scarey at the end because he almost dies but he did not. And that is why I like the movie.

Who would like this?: People who like the ocean and surfing.

On a scale from yuck to best ever, how much did you like it?: Amazing.

Posted in GEPL Tweens, Tweens Reviews

GEPL Tweens: Tween Book Review – The Missing Pieces of Me

Tweens Blog Purple BannerThe Missing Pieces of Me by Jean Van Leeuwen Book CoverWhat’s your first name and school?: Merry Lai; Hadley

What are you reviewing?: The Missing Pieces of Me

What did you review?: A book.

What did you like about it?: I like everything about it. I liked that it was a mystery book. It was my favorite book I have read. I felt bad for Winnie because her mom was always mad at her because she never did anything right. Even if she tried to do something right, it always turned out wrong.

Who would like this?: Ages 8-12.

On a scale from yuck to best ever, how much did you like it?: The Best Book

Posted in GEPL Tweens, Tweens Reviews