(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Charles Darwin’s most famous accomplishment--On the Origin of Species--almost remained unpublished, out of deference to his intelligent, much-loved, and deeply religious wife, Emma, who feared for his soul.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.*
Get an early glimpse of the best new books for fall 2011--this spring. Advance copies of new books are called galleys, and we've got the hookup for a bunch of new books coming out later this year.
So swing by our party on Thursday, May 26th at 4:00pm where we'll be giving away tons of galleys (and eating pizza). Grab a slice and start reading your future favorite book before anyone else does.
Have you ever felt like the world might be a better place if teenagers were allowed to make their own rules--and enforce those rules themselves? The students at Themis Academy have learned that their teachers expect them to be so perfect, those same teachers never seem to notice when someone does something terrible. But the students notice--and, don't worry, they've found a good way to take care of offenders. A jury of their peers tries every case, and when someone is found guilty, they must give up the thing they love the most. The punishment is voluntary, of course, but the Mockingbirds promise you won't want to live with the consequences of not following through.
Author Whitney tells a compelling story of a society of smart, successful teenagers forced to police their own community when the adults aren't quite up to the task. At the same time, she brings up questions of the nature of justice and explores how law and fairness require the participation of everyone in the community. What rules are the right rules? How do you keep everyone safe and happy without infringing on the rights of others? It's a fundamental question of democracy on a small scale . . . because even boarding school is a little like real life.
It can be awfully hard to tell what's happening in Justine Larbalestier's riveting mystery, Liar. Micah, the tough, talented narrator, is a liar to the core. She lies about her whereabouts, her boyfriend, her family members, even her own body. When the boyfriend, Zach, ends up dead, Micah's lies threaten to get her into serious trouble. Even worse, for once, they can't help her ease the pain of her life as it really is--no lies.
No one trusts Micah anymore, not even the reader, so no one can help her with the grief she feels. This book portrays a haunting story of the troubled Micah, the girl who cried wolf (in more ways than you can even imagine).