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October 30, 2014

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Great Reads for Video Gamers

Dirt Bikes, Drones and Other Ways to Fly

This lineup of gorgeous behind-the-scenes browsers, cool book and graphic-novel tie-ins, and magnetic YA novels that star gamers as protagonists is sure to reel in teens who spend their leisure time with game controller in hand.

Teens Review ‘After the Disco’, ‘Fable Anniversary’ | Music and Games

Fable Anniversary

Could the Fable franchise be improved? You betcha. Teens review the latest entry in this gaming series and new collaborative music offerings.

Chicago Public Library to Expand YOUmedia Labs with Additional $2.5 Million

EH_3_4_14_YouMedia

The Chicago Public Library will open and staff six more YOUmedia teen spaces this summer, along with temporary “pop-ups” in 12 branches, thanks to an additional $2 million from the MacArthur Foundation and $500,000 approved by the Chicago City Council.

Teens Review Peter Gabriel, Grammy Compilation, and LEGO Movie Video Game

2014 Grammy Nominees

How can you go wrong with a character named Emmett Brickowski? The LEGO Movie Gameis pleasing fans both young and old, as will cuts from the just released Grammy 2014 Nominees compilation. Peter Gabriel continues to be innovative and inspirational on his latest album, And I’ll Scratch Yours.

Teens Review Bieber’s ‘Journals’, Wii Fit U

Wii Fit U

Justin Bieber times the release of his unusual new album to coincide with appearance of his concert documentary in theaters; our SLJTeen reviewer identifies a more adult sound. Wii Fit U arrives just in time for New Year’s resolutions, and Nintendo is sweetening the deal with a free download, for a limited time.

Teens Review Lady Gaga’s Latest, ‘Catching Fire Soundtrack’, and ‘Battlefield 4′

Hunger Games Catching Fire

Gaga keeps the dance tunes coming on Artpop; the Catching Fire Soundtrack captures the mood of the book and movie; and Battlefield 4 offers “an awesome military playing experience.”

Teens Review Latest from Arcade Fire, Katy Perry, Assassin’s Creed

Prism Katy Perry

Arcade Fire goes big with their latest release, ​Reflektor​; Katy Perry’s new album ​Prism​ roars; Assassin’s Creed IV: ​Black Flag guarantees hours of swashbuckling fun and exploration.

Teens Review the Latest from Timberlake, Panic! At the Disco, and NBA 2K | Music and Games

20/20 Experience

SLJTeen reviewers take a listen to Panic! At the Disco’s new sound which plumbs the music of the 80s and 90s, Justin Timberlake’s comeback triumph, and the newest edition of NBA2K.

Teens Review Keith Urban, NIN, and ‘Splinter Cell Blacklist’ | Music and Games

Fuse Keith Urban

Both Keith Urban and Nine Inch Nails are stretching their musical wings in new releases. On ​Fuse, listeners will hear more than a classic country sound from Urban. ​Hesitation Marks​ doesn’t include a single scream from Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor. ​Splinter Cell Blacklist​ relies on its classic formula—”seek and destroy while staying out of sight.”

Teens Review John Mayer’s ‘Paradise’, ‘Madden 25′, and More

Paradise Valley

I’m not sure what was more of a surprise to me—that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been around for 30 years, or that the John Madden videogame football franchise goes back twenty five years! John Mayer has some ground to make up; his first album debuted in 2001, an Internet only album titled ​Room for Squares​. Hopefully he’ll have the longevity of the turtles and one particular earthbound former football coach.

A Minecraft Library Scores Big: Mattituck, NY, Branch Is a Hit with Kids

A Minecraft Library Scores Big: Mattituck, NY, Branch Is a Hit with Kids

Inspired by the experiences of Connecticut librarian Sarah Ludwig’s Minecraft library club, Elizabeth Grohoski and Karen Letteriello of the Mattituck-Laurel Library (NY) are now using a virtual Minecraft library to attract young patrons. The game allows users to build in a 3-D virtual world with cubes similar to Legos—but without any proscriptive kits and manuals.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Powerful Partnerships, Pi, and Python Behind the Success of Teen Tech Camp

Teen Tech Camp

Imagine a day in your library devoted to the basics of coding in Python and sending a roomful of teens home with computers they can keep. Now imagine doing this for about $30! It’s completely possible, because it happened at Southwest Regional Library, a regional branch of the Durham County Library system in Durham, North Carolina.

Capstone’s Interactive “Super” Ebooks; Gamers Wanted for the Innovation Math Challenge | News Bites

dc superpets

Thirty-two titles from the “DC Super-Pets,” “DC Super Heroes: The Man of Steel,” “Superman,” and “Batman” series are now available as interactive ebooks from Capstone. Educators, student teams, gamers, or programmers can submit entries of games, math videos, infographics, or manipulatives to the WGBH Educational Foundation’s Innovation Math Challenge for prizes of $1,000.

Marc Anthony Returns, Selena Gomez’s ‘Stars’, and More Zombies | Teens Review Music and Games

Stars Dance

Teens review something old (Marc Anthony’s return to his salsa roots), something new (rising star Selena Gomez), and something that just might scare the bejeezus out of you (The Walking Dead: 400 Days).

Teens Review ‘Magnetic’, ‘The Blessed Unrest’, ‘NCAA Football 14′ | Music and Game Reviews

Magnetic

Teens from Floral Park (NY) Memorial High School review Sara Bareilles’ s and the Goo Goo Dolls’s latest albums, and the new NCAA Football 14 video game.

Teens Review ‘Talk a Good Game’, ‘Encore’, ‘The Last of Us’ | Music and Games

Hunter Hayes Encore

Our teens review music for R&B listeners as well as country/western fans; Kelly Rowland, well-known for her affiliation with Destiny’s Child, dishes out tasty tunes on her lastest album ​Talk a Good Game​, while relative newbie Hunter Hayes hits the mark with his special release, ​Encore. Looking for a videogame experience that promises a “gut-wrenching journey full of action, horror, combat, and stealth?” Cue up ​The Last of Us​, a new release for Playstation 3.

Playaway Bookpack Program Launches; Educator Workshop at Serious Play Conference | News Bites

playaway bookpacks

Findaway World launches the Playaway Bookpack program, which features preloaded audiobooks and their print versions. There are currently more than 200 titles available for preschool through young adult readers. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is now accepting nominations for the 2014 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Book Foundation’s Up All Night online exhibit showcases National Book Award Winners and Finalists in Young People’s Literature. Educators interested in integrating educational games into the K-12 curriculum are invited to attend a one-day workshop on August 19 during the Serious Play Conference.

Teens Review ‘Random Access Memories’, ‘Grid 2′, ‘Minis on the Move’ | Music and Games

Minis on the Move

Summer vacation calls for cool tunes and lots of screen time. Daft Punk’s latest album promises to put them front and center on the U.S. music scene—tracks from Random Access Memories will be blasting from car windows. To escape the heat, our reviewer recommends hitting the virtual race track with Grid 2, a car racing game. And for fans of everything Mario, add Minis on the Move to the collection for puzzle fun and games.

Teens Review ‘Golden’, ‘The Great Gatsby’ Soundtrack, ‘Star Trek: The Video Game’ | Music and Games

Great Gatsby soundtrack

Though the reviews of the recently released film, The Great Gatsby, are remarkably mixed, the soundtrack gets high praise from our teen reviewer. It’s hard not to like Lady Antebellum, with their sweet sounds and finely wrought lyrics on love and heartbreak, on their latest album Golden. What happens to Star Trek when it just becomes a shoot-em-up and logic goes by the wayside? Read on for our reviewer’s take on Star Trek: The Video Game.

Teens Review ‘Paramore’, ‘The Next Day’, ‘Save Rock and Roll’, ‘Luigi’s Mansion’ | Music and Games

Paramore

From rock icon David Bowie to relative newcomers, Paramore, music lovers can look forward to good summer listening and lots of choice in styles of music. Longtime fans of Luigi, Mario’s oft-maligned brother, will be happy to see that he finally gets to demonstrate his mojo in ​Nintendo’s ​new addition to the franchise, ​Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon​.