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Posts from Seward Park Library

Branch Special Collections

Several branches throughout the three boroughs have special collections that focus on local history or are of special interest to their respective communities.Read More ›

Bewitched, Bothered and Betrothed: An Intro to Gaslamp Fantasy

"Gaslamp Fantasy" is essentially a sub-genre of Steampunk Fantasy. But, whereas Steampunk often involves gadgets and mad scientists in an alternate Victorian universe, Gaslamp stories are set in a magical version of the 19th century, think Jane Austen or Charles Dickens meets Harry Potter. The stories can take place at any time between the Regency Era (early 1800s) all the way up to the beginning of WW1 (1914). You'll find historical settings, gothic ambience, ballrooms, wit and romance, witches, dark magic, fairies and all manner of supernatural creatures but very little science.Read More ›

Fiction Atlas: Brooklyn in Children's Fiction and Picture Books (Part II)

Where in the world are you reading about? Fiction finds its settings in all corners of the world (and some places only imagined in our minds) but there's something special about fiction set in a familiar city or neighborhood. Let's take a trip out of Manhattan for now, and into the lively borough of Brooklyn! This is one of the most storied areas that make up New York City.

Settlers from the Dutch West India Company first founded the Village of Bruckelen in 1646, though the Lenape Native Americans had lived on the land that makes up the county for hundreds of years 

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Research Like a Librarian: Using "Big6 Skills" for Better Grades!

PSSSTT! Let me let you in on a little librarian research secret: finding information at branches and online isn't hard (anyone can do it). In fact, in this digital age of online databases, Google and Wikipedia we are on information overload. We are surrounded by too much information actually. So how do librarians research? What do we know that you don't?

Well, we know how to evaluate information, dissect it, analyze it, reassemble it and put it to use effectively. One way to do this is through the "

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Fight for Your Right to Read: Banned Books Week 2013

From 2000 to 2009, 8 out of the top 10 books on "The Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books" were specifically written for teens or children. In fact out of that list of 100, 67 were books for teens or children. Titles such as the Harry Potter series (#1), the

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Teen Road Trip Novels: Romance, Reunions and Roadside Attractions

… for the first time in his life Peter understood what the opposite of lost was: that it had nothing to do with maps or directions or stayin on course; that it was, in fact, nothing more than being found.

You Are Here by Jennifer E. Smith

The road trip is an American rite of passage. Nothing is more American than getting in a car, turning it onto a highway and just driving off, destination unknown (or not required).  Windows down, music up and 

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What to Read Next: YA Book Recommendations in your Favorite Genres

Finding a good book can be a Herculean task. It seems impossible and even when you think you've found something will it match your expectations or will the ending have you wanting to throw the book across the room? (Something I have done before!) Here I try to take the guess work out of finding a good book in some of your favorite genres.

Dystopia/Science Fiction

Are you fan of books with apocalyptic landscapes? Technology run amok? Villains with evil henchman? A good dystopian fantasy can immerse you in a world gone bad and have you living a character's paranoia 

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Confessions of an Anglophile

I get asked a lot about my Union Jack tattoo. Mainly, "why?" My answer? "Why not? I just like all things British and Scottish, okay? Geesh. Leave me alone!" But the real answer is bit more complicated. Those stories, those places just always captured my imagination. Growing up in Northern Idaho anyplace outside of my corner of North America was exotic in my book. Or perhaps I should just give the simplest answer, which is, "I blame my parents."

kucinski on flickrMy father was 

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Steampunk: An Introduction for Teens

Jon Foster / Cover of Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

What is Steampunk? For a way to explain a fantasy subgenre, Steampunk is not very descriptive. According to The Steampunk Bible (2011), it can be explained most easily by this equation:

Steampunk = Mad Scientist Inventor [invention (steam x airship or metal man/ baroque stylings) x (pseudo) 

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Fiction Atlas: Brooklyn in Children's Fiction and Picture Books (Part I)

Where in the world are you reading about? Fiction finds its settings in all corners of the world (and some places only imagined in our minds) but there's something special about fiction set in a familiar city or neighborhood. Let's take a trip out of Manhattan for now, and into the lively borough of Brooklyn! This is one of the most storied areas that make up New York City.

Settlers from the Dutch West India Company first founded the Village of Bruckelen in 1646, though the Lenape Native Americans had lived on the land that makes up the county for hundreds of years 

... Read More ›

A List of Lists: April 2013

Visit NYPL's BiblioCommons for these lists and many more. See below for some interesting staff picks from the past couple months, on topics both timely and timeless:

Love Game of Thrones? Recommended Reading from George R. R. Martin - Recommended fantasy and historical fiction reading from Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin. Martin ... Read More ›

OMG! I Love That Song! A Catchy Song Playlist

Last year I wrote a popular blog post entitled "OMG! I Love That Song!: A Guilty Pleasure Playlist" where I confessed my song shame only to find out that many of you shared the exact same musical taste. Than this past February, several of my choices also ended up winning Grammys. I should have named that blog "A Not-so-Guilty Pleasure Playlist" instead. This year this post is once again a "no judgment zone" and I am declaring my love for the songs that I have on constant 

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Fiction Atlas: Harlem in Children's Fiction and Picture Books

Where in the world are you reading about? Fiction finds its settings in all corners of the world (and some places only imagined in our minds) but there's something special about fiction set in a familiar city or neighborhood. This week I thought I'd tackle another famous neighborhood of Manhattan, but now we're traveling uptown to Harlem.

Originally founded by the Dutch in 1658, it was named after a Netherlands village (Haarlem). The character of this stretch of Northern Manhattan, however is most known as a center of African-American commerce and art and residence. 

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2013 William C. Morris YA Debut Award Winners

Every year the Young Adult Librarian Association (YALSA) awards the William C. Morris YA Debut Award for the best novel by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature. It is named for William Morris, a legend in children's and teen publishing who worked tirelessly promoting children's and teen literature and the importance of libraries.

The award honors books that have compelling or high quality writing, 

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Supernatural Romance: Cassie's Picks!

Cassie, a 6th grader, is an avid reader and has pretty much read everything worth reading in the Seward Park teen collection. In fact, to find her something she hasn't read usually takes a lot of effort — on both our parts. Her favorite genre? Supernatural romance. "You're not getting bored by it?" I ask. "Never! It's so interesting to see the connections between the human characters and the supernatural ones. Even if it's the same type of supernatural being there is always a different plot." That's not to say that she likes everything she reads. She definitely 

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Fiction Atlas: The Lower East Side in Children's Fiction and Picture Books

Where in the world are you reading about? Fiction finds its settings in all corners of the world (and some places only imagined in our minds) but there's something special about fiction set in a familiar city or neighborhood. I thought it might be useful to kick this series of posts off with a very local list. Working here at Seward Park Library, nestled on the Lower East Side, I get to experience the neighborhood first hand, and see it changing around me. The rich history and long memories of those who grew up on these streets has been the 

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Alex Awards 2013 = Adult Books for Teen Readers

Browsing the shelves for a good book to read can be intimidating. There’s thousands of new books published every year and how do you know if a book is good anyway? It’s cover? Haha! Every year the Young Adult Library Association (YALSA) publishes lists of books that have been certified by librarians and readers as excellent reads. One of those annual lists is the Alex Awards. The Alex Awards are given to books that have been written for adults but have special appeal for teen readers. 

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Need Help Starting or Running a Business?

NYPL's small business website, smallbiz.nypl.org, can link you to hundreds of free and low-cost assistance programs through its Services Directory. New York City is one of the best places to start a business, and a wealth of small business services is available to entrepreneurs through local & state government, non-profit organizations, economic development corporations and neighborhood community groups. There are hundreds of programs, funded separately, not connected to each other, so 

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Hot Historical Fiction: Girl Spies, Resistance and Nazis

Readers who think historical fiction is blah or boring STOP RIGHT THERE! This list of books, set in Nazi Occupied France, is filled with fast paced adventure, high stakes thrills, nail biting tension, whirlwind romance and daredevil girls who are cool under pressure.

A 2013 Michael L. Printz Honor Book, Code Name Verity (2012) is hands down one the most thrilling historical fiction novels I've read in years. Set in France and England in 

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100 Titles for Reading and Sharing 2012: Con Artists, Besotted Toads, and Evil Puppet Masters - The Best in Children's Fantasy

I'm a big fan of the fantasy genre and have been reading it most of my life. So, of course when it comes to our booklist this year, I'm very happy about the Fantasy titles included, and delighted to talk about them. But before I do, I wanted to talk about the nature of the fantasy genre itself.

The best fantasies are real.

I know that sounds all wrong, but it's the truth. The best fantasies reach right into you, make you believe in that world and characters. In the midst of impossibility, readers are suddenly back dealing with very real issues.  

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