ages 11-18

Tsubasa @ Animanga Club, Tuesday, June 5th

Join us this Tuesday @ the Northeast Branch from 7:00 to 8:30 for the June meeting of the AADL’s Animanga club. We'll be watching episodes of the newly released Tsubasa anime, courtesy of Funimation, and doing a trivia quiz and a craft. If you’ve liked any manga series by CLAMP, you won’t want to miss this event, because Tsubasa features crossovers from all of CLAMP’s other series: even its main characters, Sakura and Syaoran, are new versions of characters from Cardcaptor Sakura. Learn more about the anime at its official website.

Not familiar with the series? Come anyway! You can talk about ANYTHING relating to anime, manga, and Japanese pop culture. Snacks and drinks will also be served.

Calling all Summer Babysitters

Summer Childcare Training for Teens - Saturday, June 9th, 10:00 - 3:00 p.m. at the Neutral Zone

Are you hiring a teen this summer to watch your kids? Or is your older child cruise director for the next three months for your younger kids? You can send them to the library for babysitting books but this might be the perfect program for your teen to get ready for their summer job.

Many teens provide childcare during the summer months, and many of them could benefit from some skill development and support. This training will be active and fun and will focus on child development, safety and positive daily activities. Teens of all ages are encouraged to attend, and they will receive gift certificate incentives for their participation. Training will be followed up with support through a website centered support program.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #66

If you love adventures, steamy romance, political intrigues, religious passion, a bit of history painted in vivid colors, or simply a good story well told, you wouldn’t want to miss Tim Willock’s The Religion*.

First of a planned trilogy, it is set against the backdrop of the 1565 Great Siege of Malta. Roguish and disarmingly handsome Mattias Tannhauser, kidnapped by Muslim raiders as a child and trained as a holy warrior is now a soldier of fortune. What he does not bargain for is the charming Contessa Carla La Penautier to complicate his wild and boozy ways.
On the eve of the Turkish blockage of the island - the last strong hold of The Knight of St. John (a.k.a. The Religion), Carla agrees to marry Tannhauser (thus making him a Lord) if he would travel to Malta with her to rescue her son abandoned at birth. With the largest ever Ottoman armada on their tail and a vicious battle imminent, their quest is made even more overwhelming when the Pope’s brutal inquisitor with a secret agenda is working against them.

The story moves at a break-necked pace with non-stop action, without sacrificing good character development, historical details and a complex plot. Remarkable. Sure to become this summer’s blockbuster.

* = Starred Reviews

Be careful what you wish for

xxxHolic by CLAMP, the all-female manga artist group, is the story of Watanuki Kimihiro, a high school student who has always been able to see spirits. When spirits chase him into the shop of a mysterious witch, Yuuko, she offers to grant his wish to never see spirits again. There's just one catch: Watanuki has to work in Yuuko's shop until he pays off the price of his wish.

CLAMP likes to include many crossovers between its series, and xxxHolic is no exception. The first volume of xxxHolic features a major crossover with Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, vol. 1; you don't have to read both for the story to make sense, but it's certainly more fun if you do. (Props to the first person who identifies the other crossover in xxxHolic, vol. 1 in the comments!) If you're a fan of either series, or just of anime and manga in general, be sure to come to the June 5 meeting of the teen Animanga Club: we're going to be screening episodes of the brand new Tsubasa anime.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #65

Successful teen author Shannon Hale is breaking into the adult market with Austenland. Unabashedly chicklit, it is an engaging read you won’t want to put down.

Jane Hayes – pretty, clever, a 30something with a thriving career (graphic artist) and even better hair, has one embarrassing secret obsession. Despite a stream of promising boyfriends (numbered but not named), her heart belongs to Mr. Darcy (as in Jane Austen’s), in the form of Colin Firth.

When Great Aunt Carolyn leaves her a legacy of a three-week, all-expense-paid holiday to a Jane Austen fantasy camp, her bags are packed. At Pembrook Park, Jane swaps her 21st century persona for a 19th century sensibility, complete with wardrobe, country dances, walks in the park and a supply of gentlemen as romantic interest. But when Jane falls for the gardener, breaks the rules and is expelled, an unexpected “Mr. Darcy” (Colin Firth in a wet shirt) comes through with the goods.

The plot is fresh though the ending is predictable. The language is snappy and humorous. The characters are well observed. Although the heroine is not without fault – she is dreamy and vulnerable, she is also smart, resourceful, and endearingly hopeful. I hope we'll meet again.

teenreads.com

teenreads.com is a great source for ideas of something to read. Teen and adult reviewers express their views on the latest books. Here’s a review for Twisted, a book you don’t want to miss.

In TWISTED, Laurie Halse Anderson presents readers with Tyler Miller, whose transformation from a meek, social Mr. Cellophane to a chiseled, admired "tough guy" sets his world on end. As someone who spends his days unnoticed, Tyler finds himself with more attention than he wanted after he vandalizes school property and, to pay for his crime, takes a summer job doing landscaping. The unforeseen side effect is that he returns the next school year with a brand new bod that's turning heads, most notably the head of Bethany Milbury.

The Truth About Stacey

Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey are back in book number 2 of Raina Telgemeier’s graphic novel adaptation of Ann M. Martin’s series, The Baby-sitters Club. The club is faced with a competing “agency” and Stacey is trying to deal with how her parents are handling her diabetes. As always, Raina’s art is amazing. Fans of Lynn Johnston’s For Better or For Worse will see some similarities in style. Raina is great at showing the characters’ emotion with just a few lines and her interpretation is truly timeless.

V2 Launched!

Last night a new 826Michigan book was launched at Neutral Zone. Vacansopapurosophobia 2: Fear of a Blank Page (V2 for short) is a collection of stories and poems written by local youth and teen writers.

According to its teen editors V2 is “one of the niftiest, funniest, saddest, most incredible collections of student writing around. . . Topics range from life lessons learned through cashews, to a romp through modern life with some of Shakespeare's characters, to poetry that could be read beautifully up and down the page."

A copy will soon be available in the AADL collection or if you want to buy your own copy go to 826Michigan and click on the "826Michigan Store" tab in the upper right corner.

Judges for the 2007 "It's All Write!" Short Story Writing Contest

short storyshort story

Thanks for sharing your expertise and giving each story your careful considerations.

Steve Gillis – Author of the novels, Walter Falls and The Weight of Nothing, both finalists for the Independent Publishers Book of the Year. Steve’s stories, articles and book reviews have appeared in over three dozen journals. Giraffes, a collection of stories, was published in February 2007 by Atomic Quill Press. A member of the Ann Arbor Book Festival Board of Directors, and a finalist for the 2007 Ann Arbor News Citizen of the Year, Steve teaches writing at Eastern Michigan University and is the founder of 826 Michigan.

Travis Holland – Travis Holland’s stories have appeared in Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, and Five Points. His first novel, The Archivist’s Story, is published by Dial Press. A graduate of the University of Michigan, where he received his M.F.A., he lives in Ann Arbor.

Jim Schaefer – Jim Schaefer is teaching part-time (English) at WCC and Wayne County Community College, has an M.A. (Teaching Writing) from Eastern Michigan University, is a teacher consultant with the Eastern Michigan Writing Project, and was co-founder and publisher of a small literary (poetry/fiction) magazine for 14 years.

Michael Shilling – Michael just received his MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan. His stories have been published in The Sun, Fugue, and Other Voices. He is currently working on a novel.

Michael Spradlin – Born and raised in Michigan, Michael is the author of Spy Goddess: To Hawaii, With Love and Spy Goddess: Live and Let Shop, which the latter received a Mystery Writers of America Edgar Nomination for “Best Young Adult Mystery” 2006

Carolyn Stone – WCC English-Writing Instructor and Creative Writing Consultant

Shutta Crum - An award-winning poet and author of one novel, SPITTING IMAGE, and eight picture books including THE BRAVEST OF THE BRAVE which was an IRA/CBC Children’s Choices winner, and listed on the Chicago Public Library’s The Best of the Best. Many of her titles have appeared on the Bank Street College’s Best Children’s Books of the Year lists, and have been short-listed for various state awards. A FAMILY FOR OLD MILL FARM, her newest book, is available this month. For more info on Shutta visit her web site.

Ami Walsh – Ami earned her MFA in creative writing from Warren Wilson College. She has received fellowships from The Ragdale Foundation (2005, 2006, and 2007) and the University of Michigan Bear River Writer’s Conference (2006).

Kristen Bledsoe – WCC English-Writing Instructor

"It's All Write!" Congratulations

ron and biancaron and bianca

During the Ann Arbor Book Festival, teen author, Ron Koertge spoke to finalists of the short story writing contest with humor and insightful advice. And the winners are. . .(click "read more" below)

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