GEPL Teens Blog

GEPL Teens: Morris Award Nominees

Teens Blog BannerLast week, I raved about Gabi, A Girl in Pieces, winner of this year’s Morris Award for best young adult debut. But because the Morris is my favorite of the young adult literature awards, I actually read all five nominees this year before the winner was announced. While Gabi was definitely my favorite, it was a great group of books (it usually is – thus the status of the award as my favorite!) While they didn’t all appeal to me personally, there’s no denying that all five Morris nominees were written by talented authors, and are books that will find fans. Music seemed to be a theme this year, with three out of the five books dealing heavily with music in some way. The books featured dragons, girls with wings, and Kurt Cobain. They were set in the present, across numerous decades, and in the 80s or 90s. They took place in Canada, Ireland, and the US. But one thing all these books had in common was that they were written by talented authors who I expect great things from in the future.

I already talked about Gabi, A Girl in Pieces (and if you haven’t put it on hold yet, I highly recommend you do so! This book is most definitely worth your time) but I thought today, I’d give some mini-thoughts on the other four nominees.

Blog Entry 126 - Image 1The Carnival at Bray by Jessie Ann Foley

Description (from goodreads.com): It’s 1993, and Generation X pulses to the beat of Kurt Cobain and the grunge movement. Sixteen-year-old Maggie Lynch is uprooted from big-city Chicago to a windswept town on the Irish Sea. Surviving on care packages of Spin magazine and Twizzlers from her rocker uncle Kevin, she wonders if she’ll ever find her place in this new world. When first love and sudden death simultaneously strike, a naive but determined Maggie embarks on a forbidden pilgrimage that will take her to a seedy part of Dublin and on to a life- altering night in Rome to fulfill a dying wish. Through it all, Maggie discovers an untapped inner strength to do the most difficult but rewarding thing of all, live.

Thoughts: This was my other favorite of the bunch. I loved the small-town Irish setting, from the mud and damp to the pub to the old man in his farmhouse up the hill. The romance seemed to jump from “crush” to “in love” a little quickly for my tastes, but I liked Maggie and Eoin so much that I didn’t really mind. I think the way music entered into the story was great – I’ve never been a huge Nirvana or Smashing Pumpkins fan, but I still felt sucked in to what these bands and concerts meant for Maggie, and it was easy to remember the magic of concerts I’ve been to and feel connected with Maggie’s experiences. Overall, I loved this book – and I wasn’t the only one! The Carnival at Bray also received a Printz honor (the Printz award recognized the best literary young adult fiction.)

Blog Entry 126 - Image 2Scar Boys by Len Vlahos

Description (from goodreads.com): A severely burned teenager. A guitar. Punk rock. The chords of a rock ‘n’ roll road trip in a coming-of-age novel that is a must-read story about finding your place in the world…even if you carry scars inside and out.

In attempting to describe himself in his college application essay–help us to become acquainted with you beyond your courses, grades, and test scores–Harbinger (Harry) Jones goes way beyond the 250-word limit and gives a full account of his life.

The first defining moment: the day the neighborhood goons tied him to a tree during a lightning storm when he was 8 years old, and the tree was struck and caught fire. Harry was badly burned and has had to live with the physical and emotional scars, reactions from strangers, bullying, and loneliness that instantly became his everyday reality.

The second defining moment: the day in 8th grade when the handsome, charismatic Johnny rescued him from the bullies and then made the startling suggestion that they start a band together. Harry discovered that playing music transported him out of his nightmare of a world, and he finally had something that compelled people to look beyond his physical appearance. Harry’s description of his life in his essay is both humorous and heart-wrenching. He had a steeper road to climb than the average kid, but he ends up learning something about personal power, friendship, first love, and how to fit in the world. While he’s looking back at the moments that have shaped his life, most of this story takes place while Harry is in high school and the summer after he graduates.

Thoughts: Scar Boys is unquestionably a book I would never have picked up if it hadn’t been nominated for the Morris award. Something about the description just didn’t engage me. So for that reason alone, I’m glad this was nominated for the award! I ended up liking Scar Boys a lot more than I expected to, even though it wasn’t my favorite of the nominees. What can I say, books about teen punk bands in the 80s just aren’t my thing, I guess, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with them! And there was a lot I really did love about the book – the set-up of a college admissions essay was unique, the main character Harry was both extremely loveable and extremely obnoxious at the same time, which I liked, and I loved the book’s focus on male friendships, something I don’t see a lot of in books I read.

Blog Entry 126 - Image 3The Story of Owen by E.K. Johnston 

Description (from goodreads.com): Listen! For I sing of Owen Thorskard: valiant of heart, hopeless at algebra, last in a long line of legendary dragon slayers. Though he had few years and was not built for football, he stood between the town of Trondheim and creatures that threatened its survival. There have always been dragons. As far back as history is told, men and women have fought them, loyally defending their villages. Dragon slaying was a proud tradition. But dragons and humans have one thing in common: an insatiable appetite for fossil fuels. From the moment Henry Ford hired his first dragon slayer, no small town was safe. Dragon slayers flocked to cities, leaving more remote areas unprotected. Such was Trondheim’s fate until Owen Thorskard arrived. At sixteen, with dragons advancing and his grades plummeting, Owen faced impossible odds armed only with a sword, his legacy, and the classmate who agreed to be his bard. Listen! I am Siobhan McQuaid. I alone know the story of Owen, the story that changes everything. Listen!

Thoughts: Owen is probably a book I would have read eventually on my own, though I moved it up my list once the Morris nominations were announced. Alternate history, dragons, and a bard? Sign me up! Unfortunately, maybe because my expectations were so high, I was kind of underwhelmed by this book. Although I loved the alternate history with dragons, I did feel like parts of the world-building were a little thin (if dragons are attracted by carbon emissions, why wasn’t solar or steam or some kind of alternate energy developed years ago?) And one of my favorite characters just disappeared from the story part way through. But I did like the way the book explored dragon slaying as both a service and a spectacle, and tied the lives of dragonslayers in with the lives of those telling their stories, and I loved the concept of dragons in our modern world. But ultimately, for me, there just weren’t enough dragons to satisfy!

Blog Entry 126 - Image 4The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

Description (from goodreads.com): Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga.

Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird.

In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration.

That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo.

First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.

Thoughts: Here’s the thing. While there are exceptions (there are always exceptions), overall, magical realism and multi-generational stories are not my favorite things. I couldn’t tell you why, something about those types of stories tends to just not work for me. So being both, Ava Lavender was never going to be my favorite of this year’s Morris nominees. That said, there was a lot I did like about this book. As far as magical realism goes, a girl born with wings is a pretty fascinating thought. The descriptions of food were mouth-watering and awesome. And the book did a really good job of exploring some interesting themes, and most of the magical realism helped to enhance and frame the issues of family, love, faith, freedom, and obsession (among others,) and give physical form to some abstract thoughts and ideas. I think this was a great book, and the fact that I personally couldn’t really get into it doesn’t mean a whole lot – I think this would be a great book for anyone looking to explore magical realism, or some of the themes I mentioned before. Just make sure some pastries or a loaf of bakery bread are at hand, because you will want them!

 

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Teens: Teens Write – The Oscars

Teens Blog BannerBlog Entry 125 - ImageAs we all know, this weekend the famous Academy awards will be taking over millions of Americans’ Sunday evenings. At this time of year, all kinds of award shows are taking place such as the SAGs, the Golden Globe Awards, the Grammys, the Emmys, and The People’s Choice Awards. Yet, one award show, older and more famous than any others, stands out as the highest recognition in film industry. This show is the Academy Awards. For eighty five years they have recognized cinematic achievement and here is why almost a century later, this show still captivates the world.

The first Academy Awards presentation was held in 1929, at a private dinner at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel with an audience of about 270 people. The event wasn’t even televised until the 1950’s. Although the media were aware of the winners three months earlier, the award winners actually were originally printed in the Newspaper the evening of the event. That lasted until the Los Angeles Times printed the winners before the ceremony thereby beginning the tradition of revealing the winners from an envelope during the ceremony.

The actual Award, commonly referred to as Oscar, is made of gold-plated britannium on a black metal base, and it is 13.5 in tall, and weighs 8.5 lbs. It depicts a knight rendered in Art Deco style holding a crusader’s sword standing on a reel of film with five spokes. The five spokes represent the original branches of the Academy: Actors, Writers, Directors, Producers, and Technicians. Because of the prestige that accompanies these awards, the Academy has implemented multiple rules that prohibit the selling of these awards.

From classics such as Casablanca to recent films including 12 Years a Slave, the Academy has awarded 2,701 Oscars to recognize achievement in the film industry. Movies are still an incredibly popular media and form of entertainment, as they were in the 1920s. They bring to light issues that our society faces such as American Sniper’s focus on PTSD, and Selma’s emphasis on inherent racism. No matter how ridiculous these red carpets and fancy shows may seem to people, it has become a unifying event in our culture that celebrates and appreciates the masterpieces that have entertained us throughout the year.

-Britta

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Teens: What I Just Read – Gabi, A Girl in Pieces

Teens Blog BannerBlog Entry 124 - ImageOkay, so technically I didn’t just read this – it was one of this year’s nominees for the Morris Award for best young adult debut, so I read it before they announced the winners on February 2. As a matter of fact, it was my favorite Morris award nominee this year, which makes it that much more exciting that it won! It was a much-deserved win, and I expect many more great things from Isabel Quintero.

What I Just Read: Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero

What’s It About (Jacket Description): Gabi Hernandez chronicles her last year in high school in her diary: college applications, Cindy’s pregnancy, Sebastian’s coming out, the cute boys, her father’s meth habit, and the food she craves. And best of all, the poetry that helps forge her identity.

July 24

My mother named me Gabriella, after my grandmother who, coincidentally, didn’t want to meet me when I was born because my mother was unmarried, and therefore living in sin. My mom has told me the story many, many, MANY, times of how, when she confessed to my grandmother that she was pregnant with me, her mother beat her. BEAT HER! She was twenty-five. That story is the basis of my sexual education and has reiterated why it’s important to wait until you’re married to give it up. So now, every time I go out with a guy, my mom says, “Ojos abiertos, piernas cerradas.” Eyes open, legs closed. That’s as far as the birds and the bees talk has gone. And I don’t mind it. I don’t necessarily agree with that whole wait until you’re married crap, though. I mean, this is America and the 21st century; not Mexico one hundred years ago. But, of course, I can’t tell my mom that because she will think I’m bad. Or worse: trying to be White.

Did I Like It: Yes – the award win was well deserved!

Thoughts: Well if this wasn’t clear already, I loved this book. The biggest reason is Gabi herself, which isn’t surprising since the book is in diary format. If you don’t love the main character, it’s pretty hard to get into a book like this. Luckily, Gabi is immediately likable and relatable. She’s far from perfect, but she reads exactly like someone I could have known in high school, like someone I could still know. She is smart and loving and loyal, but she screws up sometimes. Her questioning of the world around her, of the double standards she is faced with every day, was fascinating to read. How she deals with the crises of her friends is beautiful. She sticks by them no matter what, and never allows the questions and thoughts they raise pertaining to her life to overshadow the fact that these are her friends’ issues, and she is just a side character in their stories (just as they are side characters in her story.) She also tackles a difficult family life with grace and humor. Even when her mother and aunt drive her insane, or she’s angry at her brother, or worried about her dad, she always remembers that they are her family and she loves them.

Because the book is a diary, if Gabi’s thoughts about gender, sexuality, her body, Mexican-American culture, and everything else she writes about weren’t interesting, this book would have gotten boring really fast.  Luckily, I could have read an entire book that was just Gabi thinking about these issues, so Quintero holds a reader’s interest even when writing about things that aren’t strictly plot.  And of course, there are the side characters – we don’t hear their voices the same way as Gabi’s, or see as much of their lives, but I’m pretty sure I would read a book about each and every one of them.  They are all interesting, well-developed, nuanced characters, and they do a fantastic job of filling out Gabi’s world.

There’s so much more I could say, but won’t because I’d be wasting time you could be spending reading Gabi, A Girl in Pieces.  There’s a reason this book won a major award and landed on several best-of year end lists.  Actually, there are many reasons!  So do yourself a favor, and read Gabi, A Girl in Pieces as soon as possible!

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Teens: Teens Review – The Outsiders

Teens Blog BannerBlog Entry 123 - ImageReviewer: Sabrina

Book Title: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Description: According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A soc (short for “social”) has money, can get away with just about anything, and has an attitude longer than a limousine. A greaser, on the other hand, always lives on the outside and needs to watch his back. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he’s always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers–until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. The murder gets under Ponyboy’s skin, causing his bifurcated world to crumble and teaching him that pain feels the same whether a soc or a greaser. (Description from Goodreads.com)

Review: A book that is based on stereotypes is The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. The main character of the story is Pony Boy, who is very tough but he also hides a very sensitive side. Pony Boy has two brothers, Soda and Darry. Darry is the oldest and he’s the one that’s in charge because their parents are both dead. This family is a part of the greasers, which reminded me of the outcasts from our present time. The greasers also include Johnny and Dallas. I love how they’re always there for each other when there is trouble. They always have each other’s backs and protect one another. Even though they have fights, they are always a family. Then there are also the Socs; I would say they are the more popular rich kids and the jocks from present time. Socs are the spoiled kids who like to bully the greasers and anyone like them. I would say they are all sort of competing against each other and using each other to win. Every reader might look at it a different way but that’s how I saw them. A twisted and spoiled group of teenagers. The Outsiders has a moving plot and it’s really relatable to our place in time even though it’s from 1967.

I really liked this book because I can really relate it to my high school. You can admit this or not but people judge people by their stereotypes and groups. First there are the stereotypes about women and men, some say men are stronger and do all the work. Some say girls aren’t good at sports and they aren’t as smart as men. Then there are cultural stereotypes saying white people are obese and lazy and that Muslims are terrorists. Now I’m sure that everyone might assume something about a person because of stereotypes, but  what matters is whether or not they act on it or push away this thought. I think The Outsiders perfectly shows how stereotypes affect people’s lives. Whether it’s a good stereotype or a negative one, it’s no way to judge someone. From my perspective, I think despite the differences that the Socs and the Greasers had they were pretty similar. They both feel strongly about their own ideas and in a way they both look out for their friends. The book itself may not look appealing but IT’S SO GOOD!! I would recommend picking up this book and giving it a try.

-Sabrina

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Teens: Best YA

Teens Blog BannerLast time you were near the Teen Scene, you may have noticed a “Best YA of 2014” display on one of our book cubes, with a wide variety of books on it.  Because of course, with the end of one year and the start of the next, come the “Best Of” lists!  And there were many of them, Blog Entry 122 - Image 1which gives us a large number of books to choose from.  Some, like The Carnival at Bray and Gabi, A Girl in Pieces were nominated for the Young Adult Library Services Association “Morris Award” for best YA debut.  Others, such as The Tyrant’s Daughter and Poisoned Apples came from lists by journals devoted to reviewing books for libraries and booksellers, like Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly.  Still others, for instance Althea & Oliver or No One Else Can Have You, appeared in more widely-read sources like Time Magazine.  And a select few, like We Were Liars by E. Lockhart and This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki, appeared on virtually every list.

So as you can see, we have a huge variety of sources and books to choose from to keep plenty of exciting books in this display.  But it got me thinking – why do we love these lists?  What is it about the end of the year that requires we make them?

The bulk of it, of course, is just giving credit to wonderful books, and helping us Blog Entry 122 - Image 2pick out some great reads we might have missed over the year.  However, I think there’s another element as well – after all, we know what we like, and we get great recommendations throughout the year, we don’t – strictly speaking – need these lists.  But we do love them, and I think that speaks to an inherent human love of categorizing and of debate.  We love awards shows, because they give us a chance to see what other people think, to speculate, to agree, to disagree, to feel validated, to feel jilted.  Something about the process of making declarations about what is “best,” or ranking things, makes us all examine our own thoughts and preferences – and usually, vociferously defend them!

So stop by our Best of YA display, check a few out if you haven’t read any, and then comment here, tweet to @GEPLTeenScene, or stop by the desk to tell us if you think the books are really worthy of being considered some of the best!

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Teens: Teens Review – The Fault in Our Stars

Teens Blog BannerBlog Entry 121 - ImageThe Fault in Our Stars, a novel that I have recently read and instantly fell in love with, is the subject of this blog. If you haven’t read or even heard of this amazing novel by John Green, you should find a copy as soon as possible. The story is narrated by a young cancer patient named Hazel Grace. She takes you through her journey with her newly found love, Augustus Waters. Augustus uses his clever and quite witty personality to give Hazel a new perspective on her complicated life. Before meeting Augustus she had to be pushed out of the house by her parents, she didn’t have anything to live for or to be excited about. But after her first time meeting Augustus her whole life took a turn for the better. This book is full of emotional content, some moments will make you laugh out loud, while others will make you start to cry your heart out. You may think I am exaggerating, but ask anyone who has read it; they will most definitely back me up.

During the novel you will travel to Amsterdam with Hazel and Augustus to seek out answers from Hazel’s favorite author. While in Amsterdam, Augustus tells Hazel life altering information that inspires her to make the most out of her life. The trip to Amsterdam created a lifelong memory for both Hazel and Augustus. After the once in a lifetime trip Hazel’s life gets more complicated; her health and the health of some of her new found friends start to influence her decisions and the way she spends her time. I don’t want to spoil too much of the plot, so I will leave it to you to find out the rest of the story for yourself. All I can say is, you won’t believe the connection that will develop between you and the characters in this story. You will fall in love with their unique personalities and views on life. Soon enough you will talk about them as if they were old friends! You can tell that the author cared about each character as if they were real people, and strived for you to make individual connections with each one.

The Fault in Our Stars is most definitely on my list of top 10 books that I have ever read. This book is what I call a true page turner. I read this book in less than two days, and it is over 300 pages! If that doesn’t prove the awesomeness of this novel I don’t know what will. This book will not let you down; you will instantly fall in love with the characters and the thought behind the plot. But just a warning, you may want a box of tissues by your side while reading this book, for your happy tears and the not so happy tears. If you haven’t yet realized it, I truly believe that you should read this book as soon as possible. So pick up a copy on your way home or from the library, and start reading! You will be glad you did. Once you have finished the novel, you can rent the recently released movie that depicts the novel as well as any Hollywood production can. Happy reading!

-Ashley M.

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Teens: Art Contest Deadline Extension

Teens Blog BannerBlog Entry 119 - ImageYou’re done with finals – CONGRATULATIONS!  Now that they are over and you have brains that can think about anything other than tests, we’re going to take a moment to get a little repetitive here.  As you may recall (if, for instance, you read our last blog entry…) GEPL is having an ART CONTEST!  The contest will help us decorate our teen space with art created by local teens.  Plus, because your finals changed and we want to give you some time afterwards to get your submissions in, we are extending the deadline!  The new deadline to enter the contest is January 31 – which gives you over a week to pick your favorite piece of art and enter!

Now that we’ve covered the details, on to the important stuff!  Our goal with this art contest is that it will be good for you all and the library.  We hope this will be good for you because it gives you a chance to show off your work to a new audience, and use that project you did in art class for something else.  And it will be good for you because three winners will receive a $100 gift certificate to Dick Blick, and six runners up will get a $25 gift card there.  That’s nine chances to get money for all those pricey art supplies!  Plus, of course, nine chances at the glory of having your art on display in the library.  And to top it all off, everyone who enters will have their pieces displayed at an art reception on February 15.  So no matter who wins, you’ll all get a chance to show off a little!

This contest is good for us because the time to personalize the teen room is long past.  It’s your room, and we want your art decorating it.  Plus, the rest of the second floor got a fancy makeover this fall – we think the teen room deserves the same!

You’ve still got a few more days to enter – we’re accepting submissions through January 31.  So do yourselves and us a favor, and go to http://gepl.org/teen/art_contest and enter our contest ASAP!

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Teens: Teen Art Contest!

Teens Blog BannerBlog Entry 119 - ImageTeen librarian fun fact: I am a terrible artist. I always have been. To this day when I doodle, my hearts are misshapen and my stars are uneven. I don’t have great handwriting. My photos tend to be passable, but not awesome. And don’t even ask me about things like composition and balance and color – the most you’ll get is “I like this picture because it has a puppy, and I personally don’t care for the color yellow.” I’m hopeless, and I accept that.

That said, none of this stops me from doodling or creating or making some kinds of art. Even at my most self-conscious when I was a teenager, I doodled stick figures and shapes in the margins of my notes. I sketched dragons who, while they didn’t look right on the page, were beautiful in my imagination. I even once agreed to a request to draw someone – and let them see the drawing. I love to take pictures, even if my photos are only passable. Something about visual creation has the same inherent appeal to most of us, I think, as listening to music or dancing or creating with words. We are constantly bombarded by the visual, and there’s something satisfying about contributing to our visual world somehow, even if we prefer our creations never be seen by anyone except ourselves.

And for some people, of course, art is more. Whether through hard work, talent, passion, or some combination of those three things, many people are artists, creating art they want people to see, and hope to share with the world. I love those people, even if I will never be one. And the library loves those people too!

Which brings us to the library’s Teen Art Contest to decorate our teen room! We want teens to be the ones filling the walls of their own space, and we want to showcase the wonderful things that local teens are creating. Moreover, we want to celebrate any teen artist who enters. So in addition to selecting winners to be displayed in our Teen Scene, we will be hosting a reception in February to celebrate every artist and every piece that is submitted to our competition.

We have a whole page on our website dedicated to the rules and submissions, but here’s the quick and dirty of what you need to know:

  • We are accepting submissions through January 25, and we welcome any projects you created for school this semester!
  • The three winners will receive a $100 Dick Blick gift certificate, and the six runners up will each receive a $25 gift certificate.  All nine winners and runners up will have their work displayed in the Teen Scene.
  • Local artists and art teachers will be judging, so you won’t be at the mercy of my complete lack of artistic talent.
  • We will host an art reception on February 15 for everyone who enters the contest, because we’re pretty excited to show off everyone’s work.
  • We are super excited about this opportunity to celebrate creativity and creation, and get some fantastic artwork for our Teen Scene.

So celebrate art, and yourselves, and enter our Teen Art Contest ASAP!

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Teens: Teens Write – Study Tips

Teens Blog BannerBlog Entry 118 - ImageIt’s no secret that studying can be tiresome and boring, especially when there are other priorities during the week. But what if there was a way that you can make studying a little more appealing? Actually there are tips that will make studying more comfortable, fun, and quicker.

The first tip is using highlighters.  Yes, highlighters. Highlighters are the best tools given to students because highlighters can be so helpful. First of highlighters can be used to mark important words and vocabulary words. Also highlighters can be a good visual tool when you want to focus on one specific thing.

The second tip is being comfortable. How can someone study when they aren’t comfortable?  The times when you are going back and forth between different places, you can still be comfortable. You can listen to background music, wear comfortable clothes, drink coffee, light some candles, etc. As much as being comfortable can help, it can also be your worst enemy. You shouldn’t be comfortable to the point where you are falling asleep because that won’t get you any closer to finishing you work.

Tip number three is clear all of the distractions around you as much you can. Sometimes it’s hard when you’re around things you can’t control the sound of but try to get rid of as much distraction as you possibly can. Turn of the TV even if you think you can “double task.” Even though I said music can help you work, make sure once you pick your playlist you don’t keep checking your phone or changing the song because that will also distract you.

Tip number four is do not cram. I say it again, do not cram. Cramming all of the information in your head will not help you in the long term and make things so stressful. Make sure you give yourself an appropriate time to study but also make sure to give yourself enough time to rest.

This goes right into my fifth tip which is get enough rest. Sleepiness causes headaches and a lot of times not enough sleep can make it hard to focus. Sleep is so crucial in a student’s lives and many teens don’t get enough of it. Always try to get a good amount of sleep (7-10 hours) especially before a test.

The last tip is to give yourself 5-10 minute study breaks about every 40 minutes. We all need breaks when we are trying to absorb all this information. Either listen to music, have a snack, turn on the TV for a little bit, draw, journal, take a walk, etc.

Hopefully, using these tips can make studying just a little less boring!

-Sabrina

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Teens: Make Studying Slightly Less Awful

Teens Blog BannerWell, it’s been a lousy week.  Nasty cold weather.  And sure, no school, but with the start of finals still looming next week I doubt any of you have had a chance to relax and enjoy the time off.  On the plus side, you do get two more days to prepare for finals!

While you do all that preparation, in our constant effort to make studying not-terrible, the library is once again hosting Late Night Study on the nights before you take your finals!  You can come to the library on January 15, 20, and 21 from 5-10 to study together or alone, get fed, and use the library’s resources to help you rock your finals.  Or just to get a book or movie to help you forget about the horror – that’s up to you.

In case you’re still not convinced, we’re recycling last year’s list of great reasons to come to the library to study.  Maybe one of these will change your mind:

Blog Entry 117 -  Image 1

We’ll feed you and caffeinate you!  We’ll provide pizza starting at around 5:30 until it’s gone, each night of studying.  We’ll have coffee and other hot drinks for the whole night.  Studying on an uncaffeinated brain and empty stomach is pretty much impossible, so we’ve got you covered.

Blog Entry 117 -  Image 2

We have great study resources!  We have many of your textbooks available here so you don’t have to lug them, laptops so you don’t have to bring your own, plenty of distractions (mostly in book and internet form) for when you need a study break, and you can work with your friends or on your own, in a quiet environment.  It’s like we created this whole dang library just for studying.

Blog Entry 117 - Image 3

The library is all yours from 9-10 p.m.  Seriously – only library staff and high school students allowed.  You’ll have all the space in the world to spread out your books and sit with your friends, without any adults or kids taking up space.

Blog Entry 117 - Image 4

Good luck!

Posted in GEPL Teens