This book starts with a bang, literally. Pirate Emer Morrissey stands on a beach, cutting out the eye of the Frenchman who has murdered her boyfriend. Having performed this ritual, and hidden their treasure, Emer collapses beside the body of her beloved. All at once, she hears a shot, and fires one of her own. Fatally wounded, the last thing she sees and hears is the Frenchman’s lover cursing her to live 100 lives as the dog she is. Emer’s thoughts for the next three hundred years are those of dogs, as she is reborn again and again… until finally the curse runs its course and she is born as Saffron, a modern teenager with the memories of a bloodthirsty pirate, 100 lives as a dog, and an obsession to find the treasure buried on a Jamaican beach 300 years before. All Saffron/Emer has to do is wait until she is 18 and buy a plane ticket.
The Dust of 100 Dogs is original and interesting. It flips back and forth between Emer’s story, growing up in war-torn Ireland, and Saffron’s life a genius (how else would a five-year-old know world history?) growing up in a poor, dysfunctional American family. There is a lot here, and the story keeps you glued to the book. The mix of adventure and family story is interesting, but be warned: both Emer and Saffron have difficult, violent lives.
Teens, don't miss out on the action!
Similar to League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth features amazing graphics, tons of characters to choose from, fun hero abilities to pwn your enemies, and is one of the best tower defense games currently available. It's made by the popular creators of DOTA in Warcraft 3. The game is currently in open BETA, which means it is free to play and helps the developers iron out the bugs for the final version. To get started, create a free account here, then engage in battle with your fellow teen peers on the PC's in the Teen Lounge!
But hey, don't take my word for it, check out the trailer below.
Merleawe travels far from her home to the magical kingdom of Viegald to learn to become a wizard. On her first day of school, she is kidnapped by Vaith, one of the followers of the Master Wizard. He tells her that the Master Wizard has been missing for some time- a fact that has caused political instability. In fact, Viegald is on the brink of war. Vaith tells Merleawe that she is identical to the Master Wizard, and begs her to impersonate him for the good of the kingdom. Aside from the fact that Merleawe knows almost no magic, she is also a girl and a commoner—facts that will make it difficult for her to act like the royal, male Master Wizard. Still, Merleawe decides to go along with the scheme, and that is just the beginning of her story.
Magical x Miracle is a manga series. Merleawe is a fun character, and her predicament is so strange that it makes for a funny book full of misunderstandings and awkward situations. If you haven’t tried this series, you should!
Suzy Green has always been a party girl with wild friends, bad grades, and goth clothes. The story begins with her fighting another girl for the dregs of a bottle of vodka, most of which she has already vomited all over herself. When Suzy’s dad gets transferred to a new city, she grabs chance to create a new identity, vowing to get better grades and stop partying. At her new school, she decides to join the clean-cut popular crowd. Only one problem: at this school, everyone in the in-crowd belongs to a virginity club. Suzy really wants to be accepted… but she doesn’t qualify. She decides to tell one little lie, figuring no one will ever know the truth. Then her ex shows up in town and Suzy has to find a way to keep her new life from falling apart.
The Second Virginity of Suzy Green is an interesting book. It’s set in Australia, so some of the slang and phrasing may be difficult, but it’s worth it. The relationships between Suzy and her mom and Suzy and her best friend from home are great, and there is depth to the reasons that Suzy has been such a wild child and why she is turning a new leaf. Give it a try, especially if you like books about people finding themselves.
The Worst Hard Time is a serious book, but it is absolutely worth it. Through interviews and research, Egan has put together the story of several families and towns living through the Great Depression in Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle. The areas covered in the book are part of what became known as the Dust Bowl, areas where the soil was displaced in dust storms so severe that animals and people suffocated outdoors and families cleaned their homes by shoveling out dirt. It is the story of a unique environmental, economic and human disaster. The families that Egan follows are those who chose to stay in the region, hoping for rain and a return to the boom era of the 1920s. Their stories are amazing, more so because they are true.
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Josh Lieb is a producer on The Simpsons and The Daily Show, and is the author of I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be Your Class President. Given Lieb’s credentials, I am a Genius... could be funnier, but this is still a good book. It is the story of Oliver Watson, a super genius. While most of us have a few hazy memories of our first five years, Oliver remembers the sound and smells of his birth. His second memory is of realizing that his soft, sloppy, simple mother will be terrified of his intelligence, while his self-absorbed, condescending father doesn't deserve to know he has produced a genius son. Oliver decides then and there that he will pretend to be an idiot, while secretly organizing his business and criminal empire.
By 12, Oliver is the third richest person in the world, but at school and home he acts like a simpleton who can barely tie his own shoes. When the meanest girl in school nominates him for class president, he declines, but after listening to his father’s sanctimonious speech on the value of student government, he decides to run. Oliver doesn’t want to be class president: he wants to get his father to notice him and to crush his father’s spirit. What follows is a campaign like no other: Oliver will stop at nothing- not destabilizing nations, stealth missiles, manipulating the press or hiring a girlfriend for his opponent's dad- to be class president.
Check out this awesome online multiplayer PC game in the Teen Lounge.
"Become a powerful Summoner and call forth brave Champions - growing their power and abilities though battles across a unique and visually stylized world. Prepare to experience the best elements of session-based games combined with persistent elements of MMORPG's."
Sign up for a FREE account here that you can use to login and also to download to play at home. This game is rated T for Teens.
Check out more information in the overview and view the awesome trailer below. Let us know your comments on the game!
The Cartoon History of the Modern World is part of a graphic history series that ends with From the Bastille to Baghdad. As the title suggests, it starts just before the French Revolution and ends with the War in Iraq. It is both hilarious and sobering, and gives insight into how we got where we are today.
Far from being a dry textbook list of dates, The Cartoon History is a witty look at historical events around the world. Gonick is good at giving an overview while still discussing how events are interrelated. It’s a fun fast read with quirky drawings and informative text. If you like graphic novels or history, you’re going to love it.
The image on the right is borrowed from Larry Gonick's website, and appears as page 24 in The Cartoon History of the Modern World Part II.
For the girls of Houston’s high society, nothing is more important than to secure an invitation to become a debutante. A high school senior’s debut is her entry into the power elite of Houston’s society women: an old girls network that can be used for anything from attracting the right husband to ensuring support for a political or social cause. Only ten girls debut each year, and for Laura Bell, it has meant a summer “fat camp” (her mom’s idea) trying unsuccessfully to whittle her size fourteen frame down from “debu-tank” to debutante. Not that Laura cares about her size- she’s beautiful, confident, and attracts some of the hottest guys, much to the dismay of the queen of mean Jo Lynn Bidwell. Jo Lynn is willing to go to any lengths to prevent Laura from becoming a deb, but with her two best friends to support her, Laura may be able to beat Jo Lynn at her own backstabbing game.
The Debs is a fast and amusing read. Laura and the rest of the girls live in a luxurious world ruled on the surface by old-fashioned Southern morality, while privately risking their “good girl” status on wild parties and acts that could lead to blackmail and catfights. If you like this, you will also like the sequel: The Debs: Love, Lies and Texas Dips.