ages 11-18

To Kill or Not to Kill, That is the Question!

Whether you love it or you hate it, everyone knows about William Shakespeare and his plays: Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Othello, Hamlet, the list goes on.

Regardless of your feelings towards the great bard, this comic is definitely worth a look! Kill Shakespeare starts out in the play Hamlet, where the Prince of Denmark has just accidentally killed the nobleman Polonius and is sent away to England. In the original play, we don't really know what happens to Hamlet during this time and he eventually returns to Denmark. Well now is your chance to see what happened in between! At least according to Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery. Hamlet is lost at sea, and rescued by King Richard III (the name of another Shakespeare play), who tells him of a great destiny in which he is called the Shadow King, a title Hamlet has recently been called in his visions by three crones (from Shakespeare's Macbeth!)

But what is the destiny of the Shadow King? Why, to kill a man who is said to be a god or a wizard. A man who holds a powerful quill and has accumulated a great following of people in King Richard's kingdom. A man named William Shakespeare.

Lumberjanes, the greatest scout group you wish you'd belonged to!

BOOM! studios has in the past few years has been on a roll with their new lines of comics and graphic novels, from licensed products such as Bravest Warriors to their own original comics such as The Woods. Lumberjanes is no exception to this trend.

So what is Lumberjanes about? It follows a group of girls at a summer camp, but this is no ordinary summer camp. From the very beginning of the story the graphic novel shows that something strange is afoot, with bear-ladies and foxes that disappear. Another really cool aspect of the graphic novel is that each section of the graphic novel (which was originally released as an individual comic)has an overarching theme based on one of the Lumberjane badges and so you can try and figure out what that badge is!

The series has been praised for its style and also for being a female led female written series.

The story is intriguing and will leave you asking "what's going on!?!?!" So if you love adventures, comics or even summer camps then this graphic novel is for you!!

and remember "beware the kitten holy"

Gorgeous New Country-Rock: Traveller

Chris Stapleton’s first solo album, Traveller, has earned critical acclaim, particularly from NPR Music. Featured on NPR earlier this month, Traveller has now been ranked in the top 25 albums of 2015 so far by the organization. I think this honor is more than well-deserved! Stapleton’s story is a fascinating one. Born and raised in Kentucky, Stapleton dropped out of college and was driving an ice truck and playing music locally in the evenings. After encouragement from friends and fellow musicians passing through, Stapleton finally bit the bullet and moved to Nashville, where he began working as a songwriter for artists like Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan and Darius Rucker. One of the first songs that he wrote, “Nobody’s Fool,” was ultimately recorded by Miranda Lambert. Stapleton also lent his voice as backing vocals to many songs, but couldn’t seem to break out on his own as a solo act. He even recorded an entire album a few years ago, but his label declined to release it.

Traveller is the result of his final chance in the studio—or rather, what likely would have been his final chance if Traveller had proved a lesser album. Morgan Hayes, Stapleton’s wife, who sings harmony on the album, says that she can tell that Traveller came from a “deeper place” inside of Stapleton. The songs focus on common country themes: heartbreak, homesickness and hangovers, but the lyrics are well-crafted and, to borrow a line from one of the cover tracks, “as smooth as Tennessee whiskey.” Traveller is truly a beautiful album, and worth a listen even for those who don't usually enjoy country music.

2015 Morris Award Winner and finalists!

Every year the Young Adult Library Services Association (YASLA) awards the William C. Morris Young Adult Debut Award for first time authors writing for teens.

This year the winner of the Morris Award was Gabi, a girl in pieces by Isabel Quintero. It is a story about a girl, Gabi, who is having a complicated senior year. From her best friend getting pregnant to another friend coming out, to looking for her own romance and trying to get into college. All while writing poetry and trying to forge her identity. There's a good reason this book won the award, it's great. The characters don't fall flat as can happen sometimes and the struggles that Gabi faces are ones that are easily identifiable (even if you've never experienced them yourself).

The other finalists in the award were

The Carnival at Bray by Jessie Ann Foley a story about Maggie Lynch who is moved from Chicago to Ireland when her mother gets suddenly married. The story follows Maggie as she deals with life and death, love and loss.

The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim by C.K Johnston is a story about an alternate world where dragons abound and cause massive destruction. The story follows Owen a slayer in training, his bard Siobhan (pronounced She-vaughn) as they face a dragon in Canada.

The Scar Boys by Len. Vlahos is a story about Harry Jones who in a college admission essay reveals a childhood defined by his physical and psychological scars and the solace that he found in friendship and punk music.

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender is a story about a girl who is born with wings, to a family that is unwise in love. After a young man becomes convinced she is an angel it is uncertain if she will survive this strange obsession.

To see previous years winners check out These lists

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #537 - “Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.” ~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Our Endless Numbered Days * * by Claire Fuller is a dark and captivating debut that you are not likely to forget for a very long time, and one that you would be tempted to re-read, immediately.

Concert pianist Ute Bischoff scandalized the music world when she married James Hillcoat, a handsome and cocky teenager eight years her junior, who stood in one night as the page-turner of her music score. They settled into a comfortable family life until their daughter Peggy was eight years old. While Ute was away on a concert tour, James, an increasingly obsessed survivalist, took her to a remote hut in the woods, telling her that the rest of the world has been destroyed. For the next nine year, they lived rough in the wilderness, marking their days by the sun and the seasons, and making a life for themselves. Then Peggy saw an unfamiliar pair of boots in the forest and began to search for their owner...

"Fuller alternates Peggy's time in the forest with chapters that take place in 1985 after she reunites with her mother, building an ever-present sense of foreboding and allowing readers to piece together well-placed clues... (her) careful pacing gradually reveals the mystery of a life that is as sympathetic as it is haunting."

A fabulous crossover for mature teens, especially those who enjoyed The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean (a 2008 Printz Award Winner); Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson; Room by Emma Donoghue; and Stolen by Lucy Christopher, (a 2011 Printz Award Honor Book).

* * = 2 starred reviews

Artist Appreciation: Matisse

Kids in grades 3-8 are encouraged to join us at the downtown library Thursday afternoon, June 25, at 2:00pm for a Henri Matisse program! A short presentation will discuss the artist's life and style of work and then attendees will have the chance to create their own art in the style of Matisse.

This is a great way to learn about and create your own fine art!

Need a Picture ID?

If you've been asked for a picture ID and unable to produce it, you may likely be able to get a Washtenaw County ID Card. The ID card process begins June 1st. Applicants must appear in person at the Washtenaw County Vital Records Division. There are point values attributed to a broad range of documents that can serve as proof for applicants to get a picture ID card when they may have been unable to get ID in the past. The cost of the card is $25.00 and is for all ages. Check out the Washtenaw County ID Project on Facebook to find out about events to promote the ID card. Community members are encouraged to get a card in an effort to destigmatize it for those who have no other identification card options.

Graphic novels that are great for young and old.

Crossover books are great, they offer something for the young, old and everyone in between and in graphic novels there seems to be a lot of these texts. I'm going to highlight just a couple of wonderful crossover graphic novels.

For teens and adults Neil Gaiman's Sandman is a great crossover graphic novel. Sandman follows a being named Morpheus or Dream who is one of the seven endless, entities who fulfill certain roles in reality. The 10 volume series (and subsequent prequels) deals with lots of great issues and the reader is invited to question preconceptions about the world within the graphic novel.

For children, teens and adults My Little Pony Friendship is Magic has really captured the imagination of people of all ages, the subculture that has grown up around it encompasses all genders, ages and nationalities. It follows a group of six ponies who are best friends and the adventures that they have. One of the reasons that it has become so wildly popular is because of how it deals with everyday life issues, plus it helps that they throw in lots of references to other pop-culture icons (such as Dr. Who or should I say Dr. Hooves).

The third crossover graphic novel(s) is great for teens and adults alike. Scott Chantler creates a fantasy world that is both fast and interesting in theThree Thieves series. If you are a fan of the fantasy graphic novel genre these books are worth reading!

Programming For Kids

Are you looking for a fun summer hobby? How about learning how to program and/or design your very own video games? AADL partners with Gamestart to host lots of great programming and gaming events, but we also have some awesome new books and tools to help you out!

For younger learners, check out Awesome Algorithms and Creative Coding, which will give you an intro to basic coding. If you think you’re ready for a longer and more in depth look at coding, take a look at Adventures in Raspberry Pi and Adventures in Python.

If video games are your thing, you’ll want to read Video Games: From Concept to Consumer and Video Game Programming for Kids.

Want more? Check out our complete list of programming books and tools for kids.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #535 - “Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” ~ C.S. Lewis

The Royal We * * by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, (co-creators of one of the wittiest celebrity fashion blog, Go Fug Yourself and 2 teen novels - Spoiled and Messy), are charming readers with this modern-day Cinderella tale for adults.

Des Moines native Rebecca "Bex" Porter (Cornell) unlike her twin Lacey, is never one for fairy tales. As an exchange student at Oxford, she looks forward to "art, antiquities and history" and thus pays no attention to the "sandy-haired guy" who answers the porter's bell and who happens to be the heir to the British throne, Prince Nicholas. And when Bex can't resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face.

The novel opens on the eve of the most talked-about wedding of the century, Bex reflects on what she's sacrificed for love -- and exactly whose heart she may yet have to break.

"Parallels to the love story of Prince William and Kate Middleton are obvious, but the authors create their own unique and endearing characters with Bex and Nick along with an entertaining cast of characters including lovable rogue Prince Freddie, Nick's younger brother; Bex's twin, Lacey; and a bunch of colorful school chums. Royal watchers and chick-lit fans alike will delight in this sparkling tale. Pure fun." If you enjoy this debut, I bet you won't be disappointed with (the latest in the Princess Diaries series) Meg Cabot's Royal Wedding.

Minnow * *, the 2014 South Carolina First Novel Prize winner, by James McTeer II is "a memorable coming-of-age story brimming with unexpected encounters with man, beast, and nature, and some magic thrown in for good measure."

Young Minnow's father is dying of a mysterious illness. The local pharmacist points him to a local hoodoo healer Dr. Crow, thus launching him on an increasingly strange and dangerous quest that will take him deep into the South Carolina Sea Islands. There Minnow is to take soil from the grave of Sorry George, an infamous practitioner of black magic, as payment for a cure.

This compellingly dark debut full of Southern mystery and lore is inspired by the author's (a school librarian) grandfather - a sheriff of the Low Country for decades as well as a local witch doctor. A captivating crossover for teens and especially for fans of Karen Russell's beloved Ava Bigtree in Swamplandia!

* * = 2 starred reviews

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