Teen Book Talk features book, movie, and local event reviews written by local teen writers. This week, we’re sharing a review of a movie, Black Panther.

Teen reviewers select which books and movies they’d like to review, and also which local events to attend and review. All opinions are those of the reviewers. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Janice L., teen reviewer

Name of Movie: Black Panther

Release Date: February 16, 2018

Rating: PG-13

Your rating: 5/5

Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction film

Brief Summary:

The movie follows T’Challa, the recently throned King of Wakanda and Black Panther. Wakanda is a mythical, prosperous African nation that replies on its own self-sufficiency to defend its people. Wakanda is introduced as the world’s most advanced civilization that thrives off of the indestructible alien metal vibranium found only in Wakanda that gives people superhuman abilities. The movie begins with T’Challa seeking vengeance by taking down Ulysses Klaue, who infiltrated the isolated nation, resulting in many deaths of the Wakanda people, and stole vibranium. The plot thickens as T’Challa discovers the truth behind how Klaue managed to infiltrate Wakanda and meets the man at the heart of this truth. T’Challa is challenged by this man who has a different perspective on the future of Wakanda’s relations with other countries. T’Challa must reconsider his values and the future of Wakanda as he seeks to defeat the man.

Review:

Although the movie was felt rushed towards the end, I feel that the producers still managed to wrap up the movie well. Overall, I loved the plotline of this movie because it was different from the movies that I’ve watched. This is most likely because Black Panther is my first Marvel movie, so I was surprised by the incredible cinematography in the movie. I was encouraged to watch the movie by my English teacher because we were learning about the Civil Rights Movement and the various civil rights activists during that time period. In addition, almost everyone in my class were impressed by the movie, so I didn’t want to miss out on watching this film!

As my English teacher pointed out, I also found it interesting how Black Panther alludes to the ideological struggle between black activists in the Civil Rights Movement. The perspectives of two main characters in the movie mirror the perspectives black activists held on the most effective method to liberate oppressed people of African descent around the world, more specifically in the USA.

Overall, Black Panther presents an interesting portrayal of conflicting perspectives in the Civil Rights Movement. I would highly recommend watching this movie from this perspective if you haven’t thought about how the movie related to the Civil Rights Movement before. The incredible cinematography and fast-paced nature of the movie made this movie a memorable one.

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If you would like free help filling out either the FAFSA* or CADAA* form (*Free Application for Federal Student Aid / CA Dream Act Application), there is a free workshop at Granada High School (Livermore) on December 5, 2018 (Wednesday), 5–8 P.M. This workshop is for high school seniors and their parent(s)/guardian. All information can be found here:  FAFSA Flyer English. This free workshop is sponsored by Pedrozzi Foundation and requests for information should be directed to the group: (925) 456-3700.

FAFSA Flyer Spanish

 

Dublin Library is not affiliated with the Pedrozzi Foundation, and does not endorse the program in any way. This is simply an informational announcement for our community.

Teen Book Talk features book, movie, and local event reviews written by local teen writers. This week, we’re sharing a review of a movie, Lady Bird.

Teen reviewers select which books and movies they’d like to review, and also which local events to attend and review. All opinions are those of the reviewers. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Collette L., teen reviewer

Name of Movie: Lady Bird
Release Date: November 3, 2017
MPAA Rating: R
My rating: 5/5
Genre: comedy, drama, coming-of-age

With the Oscars coming up in about a month, a bunch of great films have been gaining recognition in the media recently. Among these critically-acclaimed films is Lady Bird , Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut detailing the senior year of a Catholic school student who goes by the name of “Lady Bird”. The film mainly focuses on the complicated yet tender mother-daughter relationship between Lady Bird (Saoirse Ronan) and Marion (Laurie Metcalf).

Through luscious cinematography and a bittersweet Jon Brion-composed score, Lady Bird characterizes early-2000’s Sacramento with a unique sense of love and warmth. The conversations that Lady Bird has with both her classmates and her family are similar to the ones I have with my own, proving just how realistic the dialogue in this movie is. Additionally, Gerwig handles every character, even the small ones, with such care that every plotline in the film feels important.

This movie made my heart swell twice its size. I’ve seen it twice in theaters and I cried both times. What’s interesting is that Lady Bird is not a particularly sad film, and yet it made me feel emotional in ways that I’ve never felt when watching a movie before. I identified with Lady Bird’s specific brand of adolescent confusion, as well as with her interactions with her mother. Hollywood doesn’t usually give love and attention to mother-daughter relationships in the way that Lady Bird does, so I think that it’s wonderful to see a female-directed film that is able to capture this complex female relationship is such a truthful fashion.

All in all, Lady Bird is a beautifully shot film with a splendid screenplay and talented actors. If you’re still unsure about whether or not you’d like to go see this film, I’d like to note that I geeked out over this movie with my English teacher, so you know it has to be good!

 

 

 

 

Last Thursday evening, the Dublin Library hosted a special program as part of United Against Hate Week (November 11-18, 2018). The library held a film screening of Waking in Oak Creek, and then held a community discussion.

One of our teen volunteers attended the event, and wrote the following about the program:

“A few days ago, I attended the “United Against Hate” program that took place here in the Dublin Library. At the event, we watched a film called Waking in Oak Creek, a heartwarming documentary about a community’s effort to support love and peace after a tragic shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

The film was very moving. It told the stories of the friendly Sikh worshipers who were horribly attacked, the brave police officers who came to help, and the supportive community that came together in the aftermath. Rather than focusing on the tragedy itself, the film was mainly centered on the people’s uplifting efforts, leaving us all with hope and positivity.

Once the film was over, we all came together and discussed what steps we could take to support the ideas of love and peace throughout the city. Everyone contributed new and meaningful ideas to the discussion. We hoped by that spreading awareness and by making everyone feel like a part of the community, we could prevent future tragedies and create a safe, peaceful environment for everyone.

In the end, the “United Against Hate” event was a great way to bring people together and to support a positive message. It definitely moved me, and I hope that everyone in the community will take action to support the cause.”

Archit K., teen reviewer

Event: “United Against Hate” Program at the Dublin Library

Event Date: November 15, 2018

Film Watched: Waking in Oak Creek

Film Release Date: September 9, 2014

MPAA Rating: N/A

Personal Score: 4/5 stars

Film Genres: Activism, Documentary

 

 

 

Teen Book Talk features book, movie, and local event reviews written by local teen writers. This week, we’re sharing a review of One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus.

Teen reviewers select which books and movies they’d like to review, and also which local events to attend and review. All opinions are those of the reviewers. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Lipi B., teen reviewer

Book: One of Us Is Lying
Author: Karen M. MacManus
Book Format: Book, Audiobook
Year of Publication: 2017
This book will appeal to those who enjoy murder mysteries and crime fiction with teen protagonists. You may enjoy this book if you liked the books Pretty Little Liars and Bone Gap.
Age Range: 14 and up
Rating: 4.5 stars

It’s Monday afternoon, and five students walk into detention. Among them are: Bronwyn, the Yale-bound and academically motivated rule follower, Addy, a ready made homecoming princess, Nate, a criminal on probation for drug dealing, Cooper, a star baseball pitcher, and Simon, the collectively disliked creator of the high school’s popular gossip app. However, Simon dies before the end of detention. After further examination, an accidental death is ruled out, leaving the four students that were in the room with him as suspects for his murder. What’s even more intriguing is the fact that the day before he died, Simon had secrets about each of the four students in the room queued up to post for everyone to see. So, which one of them was willing to kill to protect their secret? Or were they the perfect scapegoats for someone else? One of Us Is Lying is a story about deception, finding hidden truths, and above all, how far one can go to preserve their secret.

One of Us Is Lying is likely one of the most exciting books I’ve read in awhile. The book does not hesitate to jump straight into the action, with the story starting off with the murder that is the central focus for the rest of the story. Though this story is a murder mystery, Karen M. MacManus truly gives the characters their own voices and unique perspectives, providing the reader a real connection and attachment to each student. The character development in One of Us Is Lying is something of a marvel, as the case progresses, the characters become their own independent figures with different interests, romances, and lives. Even though each perspective change is labeled at the start of the chapters, I found the characters easily identifiable and distinctive. The pacing of this story is just right, fast enough to prevent boredom but not so fast that the events become confusing.

One of Us Is Lying succeeds where many other books tend to fail-providing an equal amount of personal information and case information. Many other stories tend to get carried away with the character’s personal lives and sideline the case until the very end. However, One of Us Is Lying manages to equally distribute both parts throughout the story. This book does have some thematic elements in it, but nothing too serious; I would urge only ages 14 and up to read it. I devoured this book in one sitting, and thought about it for days afterwards. It is my belief that no book can be
perfect, but this book was near perfect. I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys murder and/or mysteries, and it is my hope that you will find it as exciting and intriguing as I did.

Upcoming teen releases in 2019 that I’m looking forward to reading!

(listed in no particular order. All links go to http://www.goodreads.com as it is too early for them to be listed in the library’s catalog.)

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

You Asked for Perfect by Laura Silverman

The Girl King by Mimi Yu

Sleepless v.2 by Sarah Vaughn

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Sherwood by Meagan Spooner

Internment by Samira Ahmed

 

waking-cropped

How does one cope with senseless violence? Join us for a documentary about how one community worked together to overcome tragedy, stand up to hate, and create a safe town for all, after worshipers at a Sikh temple were killed by a white supremacist. A guided discussion afterwards will help people reflect on the film and current events.

Waking in Oak Creek Film Screening and Discussion
Thursday, November 15th

6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Virginia Bennett Room

Waking in Oak Creek” depicts the year following a tragic hate crime at a Sikh temple in suburban Wisconsin, as thousands gather for vigils and community events to honor the victims and seek connection. Together, a community rocked by hate is awakened and transformed by the Sikh spirit of relentless optimism.

The documentary is 35 minutes long and will be followed by a discussion led by a representative from Jakara Movement, a grassroots community-building organization. This event is in honor of United Against Hate week, visit their website for more events happening in communities around the Bay Area.

 

Can’t make the event, but want to know more about strengthening community, teaching tolerance, and respecting diversity? Then check out the following book lists:

 

Children’s book list for United Against Hate: Children’s books about being kind, accepting, and inclusive towards everyone
come with me

Sample book:

Come with me, by Holly M. McGhee,
illustrated by Pascale Lemaitre

Frightened by news of angry people around the world, a young girl gets her parents’ help in learning to be compassionate and brave a little at a time

 

 

Adult book list for United Against Hate: Books about the aftermath of tragedy, the power of forgiveness, and the importance of building community
chughbook

Sample book:

The Person You Mean to Be: how good people fight bias, by Dolly Chugh

An award-winning social psychologist reveals her research findings in unconscious bias and offers tools for respectfully and effectively talking about politics, being a better colleague to people who don’t look like you and influencing change. 50,000 first printing.

 

 

Adult books on Kindness and Gratitude

Sample book:

Triumph of the Heart: forgiveness in an unforgiving world, by Megan Feldman Bettencourt

When Megan Feldman Bettencourt found herself embittered after a breakup and a string of professional setbacks, she met an extraordinary man named Azim. Azim had forgiven the man who killed his beloved only son, and even reached out to the killer’s family. He truly seemed to be at peace.

 

 

Immigrant Stories: Adult and Teen fiction and nonfiction about immigrants and refugees

 

Sample book:

The Newcomers: finding refuge, friendship, and hope in an American Classroom, by Helen Thorpe

Follows the lives of twenty-two immigrant teenagers from nations devastated by drought or famine or war, over the course of their first school year in America.

 

 

Diverse Memoirs: See a new perspective with these biographies by people of color from the past few years

 

Sample book:

Heavy: an American memoir, by Kiese Laymon

An essayist and novelist explores what the weight of a lifetime of secrets, lies and deception does to a black body, a black family and a nation teetering on the brink of moral collapse.