I am a senior at Darien High School right now, well at least for 5 more days. On Friday I graduate and move on with my life and as exciting as this is, it is also extremely frightening. Next year I will be a freshman at Lafayette College, my top choice. I have no idea what I am going to major in or what i should do but I do know that whatever I do it has to be what I love. Here is some advice to those of you who want it:
Specifically for Juniors in High School, get your college essays done this summer. It may sound really annoying and horrible but trust me, it was the best decision that I made this summer. If you thought junior year was hard, just wait for the first semester of senior year, your life will get even crazier. As a first semester senior you will be applying to colleges, finishing up with SATs and ACTs, possibly playing a sport, doing homework (the homework does not calm down right at the beginning of senior year) and trying to remember everything from doctors appointments to writing thank you notes to the teachers who wrote your recommendations. So even though it might be the last thing you want to do on your summer vacation, do your college essays, you will thank me for it later.
Another piece of advice is not to stress out over school. If you do not get into an ivy league college that is fine! Many of the greatest minds today did not go to an ivy league college, Steve Jobs (the co-founder of Apple) dropped out of college and look where that has gotten him! For those of you who are not thinking about college yet, do not stress out about your grades. All anyone wants to see is that you are trying your hardest in school even if you really hate the subject.
Do not listen to your parents! Well sometimes you need to like if your mom or dad tells you to go clean your bedroom, you should probably listen to them. If they are stressing you out about your schoolwork and how you need to be perfect, this is when I give you permission to not listen to your parents. Parents want their children to be perfect in every way: school, sports, the arts, whatever; but what they need to realize is that their child is a ball of perfection anyway. There is no way that you as a student can be perfect in every aspect and you know it but sometimes your parents need reminding. I was lucky to have parents who accepted me, they wanted me to do my best and they knew that my best was not on the path of valedictorian or the sports star and they loved me for it.
That is just a little advice from a senior who does not regret anything about her life. I am happy just the way that I am, so bring on all the haters. My last little piece of advice is the same that everyone has been telling you for many years but it should be repeated. Just be true to yourself and happiness will come.
Winners will be announced at the Stories & Shorts Award Ceremony on Monday, August 22nd at 7 PM
Ariel Aberg-Riger, Chief Creative Officer, Fourth Story Media (NY)
Alice Look, Acting Managing Producer at A&E Television Networks
Manny Perez, Chief Executive Officer of Alexandra Productions (CT)
Best Book Trailers
Thursday, June 30 at 1 PM in the Teen Lounge
Learn film-making techniques to plan, shoot, and edit a teaser about a book you love.
This contest is a part of Teen Summer Reading. Entry forms are now available in the Teen Lounge, at the Welcome Desk or as a pdf on the website.
Can't wait to see what you make!
(photo courtesy of Flickr user Stepheye)
This summer, the Darien Library will be introducing our first ever Teen Writers Group. We're looking for teens who want to tackle that novel they've been planning, find just the right voice for their blog posts, practice their poetry, or spruce up their writing skills in general.
You can come with a piece of writing complete or half-done, or with no writing at all. We'll start with some quick (and fun!) writing exercises to get everyone going, and then focus on individual work, with opportunities to respectfully discuss and provide feedback on each others writing. The group will meet on the second Thursday of June, July, and August in the Harris Writing Room--you can come to as many or whichever sessions you choose. Email Erica Leone at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or just drop in for the first meeting at 3:30 on June 9. We'd love to have you join us.
images courtesy of Flickr users Phil Gyford, Valerie Renee, and Rennett Stowe
Evolution, Me and Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande
YA Real BRANDE
Raised in a close-minded religious household, Mena’s worldview, already shaken by her churchmates’ treatment of a gay student, is further disrupted by a science unit on evolution and by a burgeoning relationship with her smart, funny, sensitive lab partner, Casey.
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher
YA Real CRUTCHE
Overweight outcast Eric Calhoune begins to slim down as a result of his competitive swimming, a transformation which threatens to shake his long-term friendship with troubled Sarah Byrnes, a fellow misfit covered in scars from a early childhood incident. But Eric refuses to let Sarah slip away into silence.
Charles Darwin’s most famous accomplishment--On the Origin of Species--almost remained unpublished, out of deference to his intelligent, much-loved, and deeply religious wife, Emma, who feared for his soul.
The Half-Life of Planets by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin
YA Real FRANKLIN
Hank’s Asperger’s syndrome has always made him a little awkward around girls. But that may make him the perfect fit for Liana, who has developed a bit of a reputation for kissing too many boys and has decided to take the summer off from making out. But as the two share more of their interests with each other--music for him and astronomy for her--they begin to develop a satisfying, if unexpected, romance.
Through a series of poems told from two perspectives and in a variety of forms, a friendship turns to romance and unfolds, with trauma and joy, from there.
Teen Love: On Relationships by Kimberly Kirberger
YA 306.7 KIRGBERG
Kirberger delivers compassionate, thoughtful answers to teens letters asking questions about love and relationships--with quotes, cartoons, poems, and stories to illustrate the issues discussed.
Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
YA Real LEVITHA
Paul meets Noah--the cute new boy in town--at the bookstore and the two fall in love. But Paul’s ex-boyfriend returns, and Paul gets tripped up by his complicated feelings for a boy he stills cares about and the importance of his new relationship with Noah. The sweet and deeply-felt romantic concerns unfold against a backdrop of a fantastical school where the cheerleaders ride Harleys and the quarterback--Infinite Darlene--is also the homecoming queen.
Street Love by Walter Dean Myers
YA Real MYERS
In this modern-day Romeo and Juliet story told in verse, intelligent, ambitious Damien meets strong but struggling Junice, determined to keep her little sister with her after their mother’s imprisonment.
Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet by Kashmira Sheth
YA Real SHETH
The third of three daughters, 16-year-old Jeeta watches as her mother attempts to arrange marriages for her older sisters while despairing of ever finding a husband for sharp-tongued Jeeta. But watching her two sisters’ relationships, one contented and one deeply troubled, and secretly spending time with a boy named Neel, Jeeta begins to wonder if the traditions in her hometown of Mumbai may not offer the best path to happiness.
Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick
YA Real SONNENB
Steven’s a dedicated drummer, a sarcastic sort-of-nerd, a sometimes-confused best friend to fellow musician Annette, and overwhelmed brother to leukemia patient Jeffrey. As Jeffrey’s illness strains his family almost to the point of breaking, Steven finds that his friends--especially Annette--and even his distant crush, Renee, can keep a guy on his feet at the worst of times.
Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork
YA Real STORK
Marcelo’s father worries that Marcelo’s school for people with cognitive disabilities has not fully prepared him for the real world, which he must learn to navigate with his high-functioning autism. So Mr. Sandoval insists that Marcelo spend the summer working at his law firm, where Marcelo meets Jasmine, who enjoys his company as he is, and uncovers a mystery he feels compelled to follow to the finish.
How much random information do you have stored in that head of yours? Come put it to use May 19 at 3:30 in the Teen Lounge. Join our battle of wits as you compete in teams to answer trivia questions, win wikiraces, and solve puzzles. Ready, Einstein?
photo courtesy of Flickr user dorfun
The end of the school year can leave everyone feeling a little tired and a little roughed up. Recover with these books about people who learn, lots of times the hard way, to like themselves a little bit more.
YA REAL Brande
Smart, hardworking, Snickers-loving Cat decides to become her own science fair project. She’ll forgo TV, cars, and processed foods to live like prehistoric humans. She loses weight and produces a killer science project, but all her research didn’t prepare for the attention she gets with her hot new body. Is she still the same old Cat, or has she evolved into someone new?
YA REAL Bray
Fifty teenage beauty queens. One plane crash on a desert island. All their combined pageant “talents” didn’t prepare them for this scenario. They’re not in danger of being winnowed out for makeup flaws or imperfect bodies anymore; but the lack of food and water might do it instead.
YA REAL Flake
Maleeka doesn’t have the right clothes, the right friends, or even the right skin. But neither does her teacher, Miss Saunders, who has a huge birthmark across her face--and doesn’t seem to mind it. Trying to keep her grieving mother afloat, and her own social life intact, Maleeka may not even have the time to learn to love herself the way she is.
YA BIO Gantos
YA author Jack Gantos writes about his harrowing year spent in prison, during which he learned to replace his risky adventures with the far more fulfilling effort and focus required to become a successful writer.
YA REAL Going
Liam is a talented athlete and a popular kid, but his so-so grades aren’t enough for his dad; he moves out of his parents’ house and in with his cross-dressing uncle, Aunt Pete, where he learns to meet his own expectations, and not everyone else’s.
YA REAL Saenz
Living in a residential treatment center for his drinking and post-traumatic stress disorder, Zach slowly discovers how to reclaim his life, his happiness, and his sense of self.
YA 305.235 Strong
Photographers, writers, athletes, politicians and more all contribute their essays on boys facing challenges in life and coming out stronger.
YA 305.235 Strong
A collection of stories about how a variety of talented, driven, and sometimes frightened girls transformed themselves into remarkable women—like Eleanor Roosevelt and Maya Angelou—who have helped change the world.
Real-life teenager Rae describes her panic attacks and social anxiety like this: 'It's a game of catch-22 I constantly play with myself. If I keep acting normal, I hope one day I will be, but every time I try, I just let myself down. I'm so entirely sick of this game.'
YA GN Yang
In three intertwining stories, a mythical monkey wants desperately to become a more powerful god, while all-American teenager, Danny, cringes at the presence of his cousin, a walking Chinese stereotype and Taiwanese-American Jin tries to balance his background and his urge to blend in.
YA REAL Zusak
At 19 years old, Ed has basically led a pointless life, until the night he stops a bank robbery and starts receiving anonymous notes that lead him to help others in need and turn his life into one of meaningful action.
For the past few weeks, one of the most exciting parts of my day has regularly been the news of one or two more characters cast in the upcoming Hunger Games movie. Katniss, Peeta, and Gale have all been chosen, and the tributes are coming in fast now. Today, two more tributes we added. Stanley Tucci also joined the cast as Caesar Flickerman, for whom I have a very clear picture in my head, and it didn't look quite like him. What do you think?
If you haven't looked yet, this slideshow gives a quick rundown of the characters cast so far. I generally feel pretty positive about these choices, but I'm reserving judgment until I see who the producers pick for Haymitch. So what about you? Are you all convinced?
That's right on June 6th and June 7th Teen Librarian, Erica Leone and Children's Librarian Kiera Parrott will be in the house! We come bearing awesome and entertaing booktalks about our new favorite teen reads just in time for the summer.
*In efforts to remain green we have made the Middlesex Booktalking Flyer available in PDF here.*