ages 11-18

Hooked by the end of the first paragraph...

It is amazing how the honest language and direct approach of certain authors grabs you immediately. Alabama Moon by Watt Key is a first novel and a great ride. Ten year old Moon has lived in the forest with his government-hating father his whole life. When he is forced into civilization and encounters jail, bullies and other troubling experiences, he survives by using the instinct and intelligence that helped him in his former life. Moon is a spitfire and this is a fun and moving adventure read for teenagers.

Season 4 Ideas: Qualifying Pools

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Ok, based on some of the ideas we talked about at the planning meeting and our experience with pools at the throwdown, I'd like to propose an alternate qualifying system for the 2007 Super Smash / Double Dash Championship Season, based on set qualifying pools instead of randomized qualifying heats. Read on to find out what I've got in mind.

It’s Not Easy Being Mean (Clique Series)

If you thought The Plastics from Mean Girls were especially callous, watch out for The Clique in Lisi Harrison's Clique Series. The latest It’s Not Easy Being Mean is on Amazon.com Teen Top Sellers list.

Clique Series (Books 1 - 7)
The Clique
Best Friends For Never
Revenge of the Wannabes
Invasion of the Boy Snatchers
The Pretty Committee Strikes Back
Dial L for Loser
It’s Not Easy Being Mean

It's All Write! Deadline for Submissions March 19

Now's the time to put the finishing touches on your short story entry. Deadline for entries is March 19th. Area teens (Grades 6-12) are submitting entries to a short story contest with generous prizes (1st Place $250, 2nd Place $150, 3rd Place $100) The Awards Program is held at the Ann Arbor Book Festival, May 19, featuring teen book author, Ron Koertge.
If you need suggestions for those last few changes, maybe Writing Magic-Creating Stories That Fly by Gail Carson Levine may be helpful.

Need guidelines? click here
Good Luck!

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

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