AXIS: Info for Teens 12-18.

ACT Plus Writing Test Tips with Kaplan Experts

Thursday, January 17 | 7:00-8:00 PM | Traverwood Branch | Grades 9-12

In March, 2013 you get just one shot at the Michigan Merit Exam (MME). One of the MME components is the ACT Plus Writing Test. During the test you have 30 minutes to read a question, think, and then organize and write a short essay. Intimidating? Yes, but Kaplan instructors will provide you a road map for getting ready to write a dynamic response.

Teen Stuff: Boy21, by Matthew Quick

While there is a basketball theme to the book, Boy21 is not a sports book, and it’s not just for teens. It is a heartfelt and fast paced story of loss, family, friendship, and competition. It's also a book that is on many "best of 2012" lists regarding young adult fiction. From the writer of Sorta Like A Rock Star and The Silver Lining’s Playbook, we meet Boy21, who is one unique teen.

Set in a fictional blue collar suburb of Philadelphia, Boy21 centers around Finley, AKA White Rabbit, who selectively doesn’t say much and calls himself a “minimal speaker.” He goes about his life playing basketball, living with his hardworking father, and hanging out with his fellow ball-playing girlfriend, who is pretty much his only friend. Together they long to get out of the rough and tumble life in Belmont, which is mainly divided between Irish Americans and African Americans.

Life proceeds as normal until one day his coach lets him in on a little secret. There is a new kid heading to town, and Coach wants Finley to keep a big secret about the new kid and stick to him like glue as he helps guide him as he transitions to the new school. It sounds easy enough, but ends up being more challenging than Finley thought. Russell, who calls himself Boy21, has lost his parents in a tragedy and heads to Belmont to live with his grandparents. His coping mechanisms (acting as though he’s from another planet) are hard for Finley to grasp at first, but as the story progresses the boys learn a lot from each other as they find out that they have more in common than just basketball. These boys are coping with more than any teen should, and how they conquer their demons and rise above leaves for a magical ending.

Experience life in the trenches of World War I with Charley's War

On a “Military History – What are you Reading Now” booklist, I came across the Charley’s War series, set in World War I. Having just completed the excellent historical non-fiction WWII graphic novel, Two Generals, I thought I would check out how "the war to end all wars" was covered in graphic novel fashion.

Wow, I was not disappointed. Charley’s War 2 June 1916 – 1 August 1916 is the first in a series of volumes following the life of Charley Bourne, who enlists in the British Army at the age of 16. In this volume you see Charley go from enlistment to the frontlines just in time for preparations for the Battle of the Somme. By the time the attack is launched, you’ll know just enough about his trench mates to be anxious of their fate as they ‘go over the top’.

This series is actually a compilation of a 3 to 4 page strip that ran in the British comic book "Battle Action" from 1979-85. Writer Pat Mills moves the action along at a brisk but smooth pace. Though a few of the characters may seem a bit stock/stereotypical, every one of them is compelling and pulls you in to learn their story. Joe Colquhoun’s artwork – fantastic. As long as you are not turned off by black and white, there is much to like here. The details in the panels and the way they are laid out works great.

The period history seems well researched, and the book includes not only a section where the writer gives current day commentary and he does address a few things that in hindsight may not have been too accurate or likely to have occurred, but also includes a brief independent essay on the Battle of the Somme itself.

You may not agree with the author’s preface, but I think you will agree the graphic novel itself is one grim and gripping yarn.

Test Taking 101 with Kaplan Experts

Thursday, January 10 | 7:00-8:00 PM | Traverwood Branch | Grades 9-12

Approach the ACT or SAT test day with confidence! Kaplan instructors will present strategies for preparing for the tests and guide you through some questions, demonstrating how to arrive at the correct answer.

Comic Artists Forum with Cartoonist and Children’s Book Illustrator Dani Jones

Sunday, January 6 | 1:00-3:00 PM | Downtown Library | 4th Floor Meeting Room

Via Skype, cartoonist Dani Jones will tell us about the joys, challenges, and tricks of juggling work as both a comics creator and as a children's book illustrator.

Dani has created and published her own comics stories, My Sister, the Freak, an ongoing webcomic, and Frosty the Gourdman, a Halloween short story comic. She recently wrote and illustrated the picture book, Monsters vs. Kittens for Stan Lee's Kids Universe and has illustrated other picture books including The Best Mariachi in the World, and Elfis, A Christmas Tale.

Join the Forum to get fresh ideas for your next comics or graphic novel creation. Drawing supplies are provided, so drop in to draw, learn, and network with other cartoonists.

Maker Music for Teens and Adults: Atari Punk Circuit

Friday January 4, 2013: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This Friday, January 4, we'll be making an electronic instrument out of commonly available pieces and parts.

For this Maker Music event, the Ann Arbor Hacker-Makers of All Hands Active will be teaching people how use basic circuitry to create their own musical instrument, the Atari Punk Circuit. What's that? An Atari Punk Circuit uses an assortment of basic electronics and two knobs to allow people to create basic two-tone electronic sounds, kind of like those that used to be the soundtrack to the first video games on the Atari video game console.

Do you need to know electronics to come to this event? No, that's why we're having it! Come learn a bit about electricity, circuits, and have some fun trying out making different sounds. After you're finished, take a look at our Music Tools collection, too!

This event is for adults and teens (grade 6 and up).

Where My Peeps At?

Wednesday, March 20 | 6:00-8:00pm | Pittsfield Branch | 6th grade- Adult

Make a mini stuffed marshmallow Peeps bunny using felt and hand-sewing techniques! We’ll have all the Peeps-colored felt necessary to make the cutest little Peeps bunnies. Guaranteed to be a fun evening of sewing and chatting. Join us!

For more projects with felt, check out these books.

Drop-In Homework Help will resume on January 13th

Circle K LogoCircle K Logo

Tutoring sessions will resume on Sunday afternoons and Monday and Wednesday evenings on January 13. Homework Help will continue throughout the spring. Please read on for more details about homework help at AADL.

Looking for help with your homework? Look no further than AADL’s Downtown Library. The University of Michigan Chapter of Circle K is once again providing tutoring for students in grades K-12. Stop by the Youth Department Story Corner Mondays and Wednesdays between 4:00 and 8:00 pm and Sundays between 3:00 and 5:00 pm to take advantage of this great service!

AADL also provides access to Brainfuse, an online tutoring service. Live tutors are available from 2:00 -11:00 pm every day!

You Wrote a Novel Now What? Revising and Submitting Your Work

Saturday, December 8 | 2:00-4:00 PM | Traverwood Program Room | Grades 6-Adults

Writers: here's your chance to get tips on revision and submitting your work for publication. Dan Wickett, co-founder and executive director of Dzanc Books, discusses what he looks for in submissions; what things automatically put a writer in a hole; and things he's learned about revisions from books that Dzanc has published.

Author, poet, and Pioneer and EMU creative writing teacher Jeff Kass will discuss revisions and what he's learned about submitting work. In April 2011 Dzanc books published Jeff’s book Knuckleheads. There will be plenty of time for Q & A with Dan and Jeff so bring your questions -- whether you are a writer, an aspiring writer, or just curious about the writing process!

This event is held in conjunction with November's NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

NaNoWriMo TGIO Celebration With Author Lara Zielin

Saturday, December 1 | 2:00-3:30 PM | Traverwood Branch | Program Room

TGIO (Thank God It's Over)! Celebrate and recognize the completion of novels by NaNoWriMo participants! Guest author Lara Zielin will share tips on how to get your novel published and the local NaNo organizer be our host. Enjoy refreshments and celebrate!

Join us - whether you were one of the NaNoWriMo participants or a person with a passion for writing! National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a non-profit event that encourages teens and adults to tackle the challenge of writing a novel during the month of November.

Lara Zielin is the author of three young adult books. Her most recent book is The Waiting Sky. This event includes a book signing with Lara's books for sale.

This event is for adults and teens (grade 9 and up).

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