ages 11-18

The Braid

When their family is evicted from the Western Isles of Scotland in 1850, teenage sisters Jeannie and Sarah are torn apart. Jeannie goes with her parents and younger siblings to Cape Breton, Canada. Her older sister, Sarah, hides so she can stay behind with Grandma. Before they separate, the sisters braid their hair together, and cut it off, each taking half of the braid.

Though likely separated for life Sarah and Jeannie each tell their stories through poems that are knitted together and resonate with those things most important to both sisters, home, security, and heritage. The Braid made the 2007 Best Books for Young Adults list.

Pet & Wildlife Photo Contest - WINNERS!

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Our first annual Pet & Wildlife Photo Contest was a huge success! Over 40 entries were received and winners were chosen in 4 categories: Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8 and Grades 9-12. Visit the Downtown Youth Department anytime during the month of March to see ALL of the entries. This evening, March 12, was the award ceremony and every winner in each category was in attendance. First place got a $25 gift certificate to Borders and Honorable Mention got a a $10 gift certificate for Borders. Without further ado the winners are…

Maison Ikkoku

Rumiko Takahashi might just be the wealthiest woman in Japan—if you have read the Maison Ikkoku series then you know why. Her characters are well developed, interesting, and well loved all over the world.

Yusaku Godai, a starving student, moves into a boarding house run by the beautiful, young, and widowed Kyoko Otonashi. Young Godai quickly falls in love only to find that he has many rivals for her affection (including a dog named after her late husband).

After you’ve read the book, don’t forget to check out the anime version.

Magic Lessons

If you enjoyed Justine Larbalestier's Magic or Madness as much as I did, you'll be happy to hear that the sequel, Magic Lessons, just landed at the library. The Magic or Madness trilogy is the story of Reason Cansino, an Australian teen who's been raised not to believe in magic. But when she walks through a mysterious door in the basement of her grandmother's Sydney house and finds herself on a snowy New York City street, she has to admit magic is real.

The third and last book of the trilogy, Magic's Child, is being published later this month. You can read previews of all three books in the series on Larbalestier's web site, which also has a cool glossary of some of the Australian slang used in the books.

Pet & Wildlife Photo Contest Deadline!

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Time is running out to submit your photo of a pet or wild animal! Drop your entry off by 9:00 PM this Thursday, March 8 - at the Downtown Library Youth Department Desk. Winners in 4 categories (Grades K-2; Grades 3-5; Grades 6-8 and Grades 9-12) will be awarded gift certificates to Borders at the Awards Ceremony on Monday, March 12, 7:00-8:00 PM at the Downtown Library Youth Department. Contest Guidelines after the break

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #55

Finn* by first-time novelist Jon Clinch, is an imaginative reconstruction of the life and death of Finn, Huck's father, "Pap.".

In Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck and Jim find Pap Finn's body in a house floating down the Mississippi River, among such oddities as women’s underclothes, a wooden leg and two black cloth masks, and the walls covered with “the ignorantest” kind of scrawling.

Shunned by his father, Adams County Judge James Manchester Finn and his successful brother Will, Finn is a violent, bigoted, ne’r-do well drunk, and often in trouble with the law. He blames his black sheep status on his on-again, off-again relationship with his black mistress, the mother of his pale mulatto child, also named Huck.

Working from a few tantalizing hints in Mark Twain's text, Clinch not only fleshes out the shadowy figure of Huckleberry Finn's father but creates clever and plausible backstories for the likes of Widow Douglas and the Thatcher family, and all the while, following Twain’s lead – allows the Mississippi to play a prominent role in the unfolding tale. Highly recommended.

* = Starred Review

Announcements from New York Comic-Con

One of the more interesting anime-related announcements at last weekend’s New York Comic-Con was the introduction of the English-language voice cast for the U.S. release of the Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle anime. You can see the cast listing and watch the NYCC panel online at the official Tsubasa anime website; you'll be happy to hear that some fan favorites—such as Vic Mignogna, the actor of Edward Elric in Fullmetal Alchemist—will be lending their voices to the main characters. The first dvd won’t be released until May, but until then, you can follow the adventures of Syaoran, Sakura, Fay, and Kurogane through the original manga by CLAMP.

Happy 46th birthday, Peace Corps

On March 1, 1961, President John F. Kennedy stood on the steps of the Michigan Union and by executive order announced the beginning of the Peace Corps. This experiment in activism was a huge success with many young people out of college as well as older retirees venturing to far off countries to teach, help with farming and start health clinics. The Peace Corps is alive and well today, still offering those who want to serve exciting and challenging opportunities.

Blue Jean Pocket Purses

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We supply the blue jean pocket, along with beads, ribbons, and sequins. You create the perfect tiny tote for your backback or purse.
Wednesday, February 28 at Northeast Branch from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Teens welcome. No registration.

Career Skills Workshop for Grades 9-12

Learn where to look for a job, how to create a resume and beef it up, and how to ace the job interview. Join us in the multipurpose room of the Downtown Library this Sunday, March 4 from Noon to 4 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

Register at the Downtown Youth desk or call 327-8301.

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