Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

TPiB: Steampunk in the Library

“I cannot imagine how the clockwork of the universe can exist without a clockmaker.” – Voltaire

Steampunk: Steampunk is a subgenre of speculative fiction, usually set in an anachronistic Victorian or quasi-Victorian alternate history setting. It could be described by the slogan “What the past would look like if the future had happened sooner.” It includes fiction with science fiction, fantasy or horror themes.(Urban Dictionary)
Steampunk is not tricky, it’s a way of looking at the world through a different lens.  Worlds that exist in the books of Cassandra Clare, Kady Cross, Kenneth Oppel, Cherie Priest, and Scott Westerfield and HG Wells help set the ideas that you’re looking for, and with these crafts to tie into those worlds, your teens will be into steampunk in no time….  Have ideas that have worked for you?  Share in the comments!


For day wear with a twist, think about creating a charm bracelet with shrinky dinks and old world charms added in.  If you don’t have the means to make the photos at your workplace, think about making them at home and bringing them in the day of with using teen volunteers to scouring old magazines for images. 

 Over the Cresent Moon’s blog has this example:

For a top hat with steampunk style and duct tape pizzaz, take a look at what Cut Out and Keep has on their site:
Or for your special someone, how about a button ring?  Lana Red has an easy tutorial: 

For those who have a writing bent in them, what about creating smash books (scrapbook by way of a junk drawer) with your teens?  Over on the Craftster site, there was some interesting ideas to get you started, like this one:
It starts from scratch, but if you get a DIY journal from Oriental trading like these, you could easily add embellishments to steampunk them out.
You could also collect all those metal tins (mints, gum, etc.) that your staff and teens have around, and make mini scenes and modge podge pictures into the insides and outsides of them.  Go Make Something has a good tutorial for prepping them (although I’m sure there’s others):

And the Guides from the Mesa Library has an awesome directory for steampunk and other crafts…

How did Frankenstein become the man who created a monster? The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein series by Kenneth Oppel (Reviewed by Susan Little)

Today Christie is talking about Frankenstein re-imagined for the 21st century, but how did Frankenstein become the man who created a monster?  Kenneth Oppel has written a prequel that answers that question and high school teacher by day and library aide by night Susan Little reviews it for us today.
This Dark Endeavor (The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein book 1)
by Kenneth Oppel
Simon & Schuster Books 2011 (ISBN: 2403154)
“You must abandon this dark endeavor.”

The Frankenstein brothers, Victor and Konrad, are twins.  They are inseparable and love adventures in around their home in Bavaria.  One day as teenagers, they are exploring their home when they stumble upon the dark library.  They are fascinated by it.  They discover books dedicated to the dark arts and alchemy.  When Konrad becomes deathly ill, Victor seeks out the secrets of the dark library to cure his twin.  But Konrad dies anyway.  Victor suffers the loss of his twin and his shame at shouldering the blame for his death.  So ends the first book of the series.  The book is very interesting and good.  It has creepy and odd things in it but not like the second book, which is better.
“Why?” I asked her. “Why was it only me you attacked?”
“Because it is you,” she whispered, “who is the real monster.”
Such Wicked Intent (The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein Book 2)
Kennth Oppel
Published by Simon & Schuster Books 2012 (ISBN: 9781442403185)

In the second book Victor makes an instrument using a mystical book that allows him to crossover to the spirit world to talk to Konrad.  Konrad is trapped in house just like his earthly one.  A evil spirit of some kind is trying to enter the house.  Meanwhile, Victor is trying to make a body for Victor according to what he has learned from the book.  The creature, however, is not Konrad but a minion of the spirit from the spirtual world. At the end there is a battle between good and evil.  This was a good book that built up to a much better climax than the first. 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ER4E5mxIV_s]

Susan came to me and mentioned that she had read This Dark Endeavor and really liked it.  I offered her a copy of the sequel, Such Wicked Intent, if she reviewed it for me. That’s how we roll around here.  I, too, have read this series – because Susan liked it so much and told me to – and it is really very good.  And in the spirit of confession you should know: I have written 3 papers on the original Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1 in high school and 2 in college) and I really didn’t like it.  I know many will find that to be a statement of blasphemy, but it was really boring if you ask me.  These books are not.  So Frankenstein has been redeemed for me.