Saturday, December 20, 2014

Pirate Cinema

Pirate Cinema, by Cory Doctorow follows the story of young Trent McCauley, a savvy and intelligent student who enjoys remixing videos from footage he downloads. In the near-future dystopian Britain in which he lives, this practice is highly illegal, however Trent thinks he is too smart to be caught by the powerful government. He turns out to be wrong and, when his family’s internet access is cut off for a year as punishment, he runs away from home to live on the streets of London. 

There, he meets a group of young people who are protesting a new bill that will make even less-harmful copyright infringement illegal, and decides to create a film of his own to convince the people of Britain to fight back against this dangerous new legislation. I very much enjoyed this book as a warning against what could happen if laws and lawmakers are not kept in check. This novel features extreme corruption of the legal process, as relatively harmless crimes are punished very severely, something which could plausibly happen in the near future or, by some accounts, is even happening already. 

It also provides excellent explanations of the political and corporate issues at hand here, such as the legal powers of companies, the necessity of copyright laws in total, and government corruption. I must note, however, that this book is very bigoted in its various arguments. It is very clear that the author is completely against strong copyright laws and it is important to note that the book leans towards it in all aspects. Those who disagree will most likely be put off by the strength of Doctorow’s conviction about these matters, so this book may not be for everyone. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in technology, technology law, and science fiction as a genre. It is clearly written for a young adult audience, but I feel it can be enjoyed by older readers as well.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

New Winter Programs!

Check out all our new things going on for teens this winter!

All programs begin registering 12/19 

Click HERE for Teen Programs

Click HERE for Community Service

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Dangerous Creatures

In the  book Dangerous Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl begins as six supernatural friends - Ridley, Link, Lena, Ethan, Liv, and John - are about to part ways on the last day of summer. They create a magical bond between them, and then go off to pursue their lives, Ridley going to New York City with Link. Although on the surface Ridley seems to be supporting Link in his dreams and escaping home at the same time, she has a secret agenda that she is working on. 

This stirs up nothing but mystery and trouble for the unlikely pair and their friends, bringing up past problems and complicating their futures. This story is one of many in the Beautiful Creatures series, making it somewhat difficult to get into at first if the other books were not read. However, the characters are very relatable, and it was soon easy to identify myself with Ridley, the main character. 

Her struggles and reactions are representative of what everyone feels at some point in their lives. For this reason, and because the book is not typical or predictable like some teen books seem to be, I enjoyed reading it very much. For those who have read the series, it is definitely a must read. For those who haven't, it is still an excellent read, and has even inspired me to read the first books in the series. I would recommend it to teens who like science fiction, romance, and a twist on a modern heroine. 

 Catherine Costanzo, Grade 12