The Library Ninja Blog

Summer is almost here!

It all begins the weekend of May 29-31 with FanExpo Dallas Comic Con at the Dallas Convention Center.  How exciting! If you have never experienced this convention, you should definitely give it a try this year. The Dallas Comic Con comes to Texas every year for those who are comic fanatics, looking for what’s new and searching for the old and rare in the comic world.

Arlington Public Library Summer Reading Club also kicks off May 30 at 1:00 p.m. at the AISD Professional Development Center and this year, our summer reading club has taken the theme “Every Hero Has a Story” in a different perspective, whether you are looking at your hero as a community figure, or a character in a book or graphic novel. Come decked out in your best superhero outfit.  

Can't decide who you should be? Check out this quiz to see what superhero best suits you.  I just happen to be Batman!

Once you have experienced Dallas Comic Con and have bought some comic books to launch your summer vacation reading list, check out our first-ever ArlinCon! We will be hosting this FREE awesome event at University of Texas at Arlington on Saturday, June 20. We will have a cosplay runway and workshop, swag table with giveaways, Lego scenes, tabletop games, 80s mix-tape sing along, movie, and more!

Check out our calendar for more details.

First Official Cast Pic Released of DC Comics' Upcoming Film, "Suicide Squad"

Following the hype of most recent teaser image of Jared Leto’s Joker design, a cast pic has finally been released of the popular supervillain all-star team in DC Comics’ upcoming film, “Suicide Squad.”

Image credit:

For a higher quality image of the cast, check out Suicide Squad's director, David Ayer on Twitter!


Now of course one can’t help but feel the absence of a certain fan-favorite psychopath who appears to be M.I.A. from this epic family photo…

But for those of you who are new to this villain dream line-up, Task Force X, or better known as the “Suicide Squad,” consists of several incarcerated DC Comics supervillains, whom while serving their time, are recruited by the United States government to become part of a special black ops-like unit to go on seemingly impossible and dangerous missions. Basically, these "reformed" villains are now being ordered by the government to pretty much do what they do best, but this time, for the greater good of the free world; and in exchange for their anti-heroic services, the government promises to make their remaining time behind bars/ padded cells a little more... cozy.

The film is set to be released in theaters August 5th, 2016.

5/6/2015 by EJ A. Add a Comment Share this:

Nobody Knows Film Review

The film opens with a shoot of a disheveled young boy opposite a high school girl on a train. Between them is a small, bright-red suitcase that the boy holds onto tenderly. We have no idea where they’re going, nor what’s in the suitcase…Nobody Knows.

2004’s Nobody Knows (Dare Mo Shiranai), is director Hirokazu Koreeda’s moving and ultimately heartbreaking tale of four young siblings forced to rely on each other after being abandoned by their mother in a small apartment in Tokyo.

“I’m Going To Explain The Rules To You One More Time…”

Mother Keiko Fukushima has recently moved into a new apartment in Tokyo with her son Akira and has begun living in her new place on a good note, she introduces herself and her son to the new landlord and his wife, assuring they’ll cause no trouble during their stay and politely explaining her absent “husband”; he’s working overseas. While the movers are unloading their luggage into the new apartment, Akira is paying special attention to two particular pieces of luggage; after the movers have left we then see why―it’s his mother’s secret, her other children.

From bits of dialogue throughout the film, we can conclude that Keiko is a flighty mother, with questionable means as to how she makes her income and has done this previous times before, presenting Akira as her only son, while her other children live in hiding. There’s Kyoko; who’s only wish is to go to school and save up for a piano, Shigeru; the playful loud-mouthed younger brother, who seems to be the reason why they moved in the first place, and the youngest girl; sweet little Yuki.

Keiko promises Akira things will be different this time, she’s fallen in love with a man (something she seems to do very often) and once she feels like this man will provide her with the lifestyle she wants, she’ll mention Akira and his siblings to him. Akira and his sister Kyoko suspect things might not change at all. We the viewer see that Keiko leaves the children for long periods of time, during that time they are not to go outside but Akira, and none of them are given the ability to go to school. Only a couple of days after they move into their new apartment their mother leaves Akira a note and a few thousand yen (Japanese currency) barely enough to cover the utilities and not enough to buy proper food but instant noodles from the convenience store.

Nobody Knows…or Nobody Wants To Know

One of the biggest things you’ll feel while watching Nobody Knows is frustration. Frustration not so much at the fact that Akira won’t call the police and tell them that their mother has abandoned them; somewhere in his mind he hopes she’ll return, all of them do, and he knows that if he does he may not see his brother and sisters again. You’re frustrated that all of the adults, all of the people that can clearly see what’s going on but have no interest in intervening. From the many men that have had past relationships with Keiko that Akira visits to beg for more money, to the young convenience store clerk that Akira confesses to that his mother has disappeared, to shockingly towards the end, someone that could have helped immediately when what was happening to the children could not be denied any longer.

Clocking in at 2 hours and 20 minutes long, Nobody Knows, is a surprisingly gripping film. You hope and wonder if anyone will come to the rescue and watch Akira try and hold his family together, all the while all of the children maintain their child-like innocence and wonder at the smallest things around them. A book version of the film Nobody Knows was released in 2012 by Shelley Tanaka; give it a read then take the opportunity to watch this wonderful film. You won’t regret it!

Rated PG-13

Written by Amina D., YTC Intern

5/4/2015 Add a Comment Share this:
Topics: Movies/TV

Get Ready For Our Teen Lit Finale!

We are beginning to wrap up our 12 week poetry workshop in Teen Zone. We gather poems and begin to memorizing the poems of our past which has allowed our students to be more open minded in learning something new through the art of word usage and poetry. With the help of Motivational Speaker, Mike Guinn, students now have a better understanding of the importance of combining classical poetry and spoken word.

Students are having fun during these workshops, while at the same time, learning about a new poet, a new song writer or a singer, and how they have a great impact  to our daily ways of thinking and emotions in today's society. "It's about being "real" " said one Nichols Jr. High student at the beginning of our workshop. Real about how they live, real about their environmental surroundings, real about school, and the realities of their decisions they have to make on a daily basis. 

In the works of Emily Dickinson, "Hope", she writes:

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -
And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -
I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.
One student decided to sing a rap lyric based on his own situations but inspired by Emily Dickinson:
"You can tell that, I have been from hell and back
When the heat is on, I am fighting back.
In this cold world, where's your lighters at?
Its burning down, but I'm fighting back!
Please join us on Saturday, May 16, 2015 at the Improv Arlington Highlands from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. and support our youth literacy programs through spoken word! See you there!
4/27/2015 by Veronica R. Add a Comment Share this:

2015 Official Teens' Top Ten Nominations Announced!

In case you missed it, the 2015 Teens' Top Ten nominees were announced on last Thursday, National Support Teen Literature Day.

Voting begins August 2015, so start reading and requesting!

Here are a few of the nominees:

For a complete list, click here.

My personal favorites are Unhinged and Love Letters to the Dead.

Don't forget, to check back with YALSA between August 15 and Teen Read Week at in order to vote for your favories. The winners will be announced the week after Teen Read Week.

Which ones have you read and which one is next on your list? Comment below (with your preferred library location) and receive a free book!

Go Center Presents: Police Officer Wiliams, of the Dallas Police Department

Officer Williams from the Dallas Police Department, dedicated his time during this week to talk to our teens in Teen Zone. Teens were eager to know about who he is and what he does, and showed much interest through asking a variety of questions.

Officer Williams talked about his line of work during the night shift in comparison to how police officers are portrayed in movies like "21 Jump Street" or "Let's Be Cops". There are many stereotypes that he talked about, and wanted to make sure to express to our teens that not all police officers on duty are at the donut shop drinking a cup of coffee, but rather the importance of them being very physically active in order to do there job. His experiences have been from car chases to jumping fences in order to help stop a thief from escaping, which ended up leaving him with a serious injury.

Being an police offficer is not an easy job at all, from dealing with people who have terrible attitudes, to car chases, to being injured on the job while trying to stop a criminal. Yet, they find the time to mentor our youth about how it is rewarding knowing that they have done their job to save another life or prevent an accident. 

4/16/2015 by Veronica R. Add a Comment Share this:

YTC Teen Podcasting Workshop

I’m sure most of the adult readers of the teen blog already know how amazing podcasts are, Serial anyone? Regardless of your age, if you don’t know what a podcast is, hop onto your iTunes account and prepare to be amazed! Podcasts or podcasting involves prerecording an audio show and making it available to stream online or via an mp3-enabled device such as an iPhone. A podcast can be on whatever you want. Way back in October of last year, we held a podcasting workshop where teens were taught how to organize, record, and upload a podcast of their very own. We ended the program by all coming together and doing a podcast on the goings-on in popular culture. Since we recorded in October, some of what we talked about is a bit dated (we began by talking about Halloween), however some of the other things we discussed have had a sequel (s) added to the original story, i.e. Five Nights at Freddy’s and Divergent. So if you’re totally unfamiliar with either franchise, why not let some of our awesome teen podcasters give you a primer? 

APL’s Pop Culture Poison

Take a listen at what some of our teens talked about in our first pop culture podcast. You’ll be hearing me and some of our teens that couldn’t wait to share their views with the world which include Iman Gaber aka Emma J., Chase Lee-Clinton, aka Shady Canopy, and Johnny Nguyen aka, Pongo the Dog.

*The podcast is broken down into three different sections, so you don’t have to listen to the whole thing, though I recommend you at least listen to the intro and go from there.

Intro/Section One: Halloween & Horror

Some things of interest: We talked about the (at the time) upcoming films Ouija and Annabelle and how the original Ouija board used to have a slightly creepy Saturday morning commercial. (You can watch here it.) I shared a funny story about some questionable marketing decisions with the release of the 2007 horror film Alien Vs Predator: Requiem on Christmas Day (I mistakenly say Christmas Eve in the podcast).

Section Two: Divergent

I had Emma J and Shady Canopy school me on the YA dystopian series Divergent. This would be a fun listen before you head out to see the second film Insurgent.

Section Three: VG Bros. and Five Nights at Freddy’s

A couple of our gaming obsessed teens, Pongo the Dog (whom you may know if you visit The Lab) and Shady Canopy took the wheels and gave a breakdown on the indie-game hit Five Nights At Freddy’s. FNAF’s has everyone from teens, adults, to popular YouTubers shivering in their seats. What’s Five Nights at Freddy’s about? Well, why don’t you give this section a listen?

Of course listening isn’t enough when it comes to this game; afterwards, check out the many “Let’s Play” videos of FNAF’s and see why you’ll never look at Chuck E. Cheese’s the same way again.

Everyone did an amazing job and our hope is that with this program they’ll have built up the confidence to create podcasts of their own for the world to listen to! Here at Arlington Library’s Lab at the East Branch we have mics, headphones, and all of our laptops equipped with Audacity, a free audio editing software, that we also used on this podcast. So the question is: If you had a podcast, what would it be about? When you’ve figured it out, come on by and start recording!

Written by Amina D., YTC Intern

4/13/2015 Add a Comment Share this:

Teen Review by Hannah W...The 100

I spent my spring break like any normal, well-adjusted teenager should: binge-watchng TV shows on Netflix. One of the series I uploaded to my brain was The 100, a gripping post-apocalyptic tale about a group of delinquent teenagers sent down to earth from The Ark, the space station where all of humanity has lived for the past century in order to test the planet's viability for re-colonization.

I admit, I was skeptical. The plot sounds stereotypical and formulaic, but it really worked for this show. I was hooked. So when I found out my new favorite series was based on a book, I had to check it out. I was devastated to find that the plot was entirely different from the TV adaptation, but I quickly became invested. The 100 by Kass Morgan follows four different characters: Wells, the privileged goody-two-shoes son of the Chancellor, Clarke, the former girlfriend of  Wells, Bellamy, a lower class worker who will do anything to protect his sister, and Glass, one half of a star-crossed love affair who remains on the space station. Every character must make life or death decisions on a regular basis, and the consequences are often catastrophic.

From the intense political drama unfolding on the Ark, which is only hinted at, to the struggle to survive on a planet no human has set foot on in 100 years, which is all too realistic, The 100 is addictive. The emotional conflicts of the characters are well-developed- by this I mean you will be in physical pain due to the emotional trauma of reading this book- and the physical conflicts build suspense perfectly. However, some fairly predictable moments and the radically convenient and sort of overused plot device of isolating a group of teens reminded me that this was, in fact, a YA book, not an Actual Parallel Universe of Feels-Related Suffering.

For fans of the CW show as well of fans of a really good book, I definitely recommend The 100. 4 Stars - Great. Definitely Worth It.

Written by Hannah W.

Other books you may enjoy:


4/8/2015 Add a Comment Share this:

"Attack on Titan" Ban In The U.S.?

                           (Click the image above to read the original source)

So I hate to be the bearer of bad news, guys...

As if Attack on Titan being moved to Toonami's 2AM "death slot" wasn't already bad enough, but now looking back with hindsight, we can see that this was just their way of trying to break the news to us gently...

It's seems like just yesterday that we were getting amped about the Attack on Titan Live Action movie that's making its way to theaters this summer, while at the same time, still patiently waiting for season 2 of the anime to air. Now it seems we're going to be waiting forever. (Well, that is unless you're already looking into travel passports.)

For more info regarding the almost unbelievable decision to discontinue all Attack on Titan anime, manga, and other merchandise from being distributed within the U.S., you can view for yourself all of the disappointing details at the following source link: "Corrupting Our Youth:" FCC's Ban on Popular Anime In United States.

In case you're not in the mood to read a bunch of legal talk and censorship debate, here's a summary of how exactly we're going to be affected by this decision:

What we can expect to happen soon...

  • Attack on Titan is scheduled to be removed from Toonami's Saturday night action block, and will be replaced with old school Toonami line-up anime, Hamtaro effective April 1, 2015. 
  • Attack on Titan is scheduled to be removed completely from Netflix's streaming catalog by April 1, 2015.
  • The Attack on Titan live action film will not be shown in any U.S.. theaters upon the time of its scheduled worldwide release, August 1, 2015. (Effective April 1, 2015)
  •, the host of the popular online Attack on Titan Tribute Game, will begin to terminate service to all of its North American based servers effective immediately on (you guessed it...) April 1, 2015. 

As to be expected, many die-hard fans have already taken to social media to start a petition against the FCC's decision to ban Attack on Titan from U.S.. consumers. While hope is still alive, go to the following link and sign your name on the petition to help repeal the discontinuing of Attack on Titan in the U.S.:AFW (Activists for Anime) Online Petition.

Hey, don't kill the messenger...

Click Here To Read The Original Source




And by the way... Gotcha.

Happy April Fools!

4/1/2015 by EJ A. Add a Comment Share this:

Exploring Our Past Poets

This marks the 5th week of Teen Zone's Teen Lit Poetry Workshop were teens have gather together to recite and create poetry. 

Teens learned and explored the markings of our past poets, which as allowed us to become the artist we are today whether through literature or art. 

Many Teens were excited to acknowledge a new poet they had never heard about.  For example: Langston Hughes, Lenore Kandel, Joyce Kilmer, Shel Silverstein, and Walt Whitman. The list can go on as teens began to read out loud, then recite creatively through emotions, musically through rap, or through dramatically acting it out:

Pot of Gold

Shel Silverstein

I when to find the pot of gold
That's waiting where the rainbow ends. 
I searched and searched and searched and searched 
And searched and searched, and then-
There it was, deep in the grass,
Under an old and twisty bough.
It's mine, it's mine, it's mine at last....
What do I search for now?



I Cry

Tupac Shakur

Sometimes when I'm alone I cry, Cause I am on my own. The tears I cry are bitter and warm. They flow with life but take no form I Cry because my heart is torn. 
I find it difficult to carry on. 
If I had an ear to confiding, I would cry among my treasured friend, but who do you know that stops that long, to help another carry on.
The world moves fast and it would rather pass by. Then to stop and see what makes one cry, so painful and sad. And sometimes...
I Cry and no one cares about why.


We will continue to remember our past poets as we memorize their poems that reflect our modernism and our individualities'. It is never to late to participate!

We look forward to another successful workshop this week on Wednesday at the Northeast Branch Library, Teen Zone. Check out how Classical Poetry can evolve the way we think and produce poems.  

3/30/2015 by Veronica R. Add a Comment Share this: