ages 11-18

Calling All Cup Stackers!

CupStackingCupStacking

Maybe you’ve been practicing at school or maybe you are a cup stacking fanatic at home. Either way, come to the library to practice your cup stacking skills and work on besting your greatest time at the 3-6-3 stack.

Meet at the Pittsfield branch on November 22 at 2 PM. We will start with some drills and move on to the tournament, ending by 4 PM. Prizes will be awarded to the top three fastest stackers. This tournament is for ages 8 and older.

Guys and Teens - Short Stories

If you're a Teen you may enjoy these books of short stories. If you have already been a Teen, you are sure to enjoy them. How Angel Peterson Got His Name by Gary Paulsen, has great read-aloud possibilities for family reunions, or fireplace sit-arounds. If you like to sample multiple authors, try Tomorrowland for glimpses of the future, or Every Man For Himself for slices of contemporary lives.

Book lover fights crime!

Read or DieRead or Die

The protagonist of Read or Die isn’t exactly your classic secret agent. Yomiko Readman is a mild-mannered substitute teacher who has a habit of spending every last cent she earns on books. But, as a monster quickly discovers when it tries to steal one of her books (which she hasn’t even finished reading—the horror!), she can put up a pretty good fight with her special skill for using sheets of paper as weapons.

Yomiko’s talent brings her to the attention of the British Library Special Engineering Force, which is investigating a rash of thefts involving rare books. Can Yomiko and her colleagues uncover the mastermind behind the thefts before their sinister plan comes to fruition?

Writers recommend....

The most recent book recommended in the "You must read this" feature on NPR is Tillie Olsen's Tell Me a Riddle. Scott Turow talks about the profound influence Olsen's novella had on him as a young writer in college. Other titles recently discussed on the program have been Pale Horse, Pale Rider by Katherine Anne Porter, recommended by Alice McDermott and Maud Martha, Gwendolyn Brooks' only work of fiction described as "indispensable" by Asali Solomon whose book of short stories, Get Down was recently published.

Shedding light on Happy Meals

Many of us eat McDonald’s burgers and Chicken McNuggets and yet know very little about what we’re putting in our bodies. Chew on This! Everything You Don’t Want to Know about Fast Food shares what fast food industry officials would rather you not know about what’s in the food, what it does to the body, and about their campaign to lure children into a life long habit of fast food eating.

What if you ate nothing but fast food? Check out film director Morgan Spurlock's 2004 film, Super Size Me and see.

Clay -- Wierd & Scary or Dirt & Water?

Clay by David Almond is the odd story of two teenage boys in England who get pulled into the disturbed world of the new boy in town. A boy who creates saints and creatures out of clay - with an eye on creating his own clay man to commit disturbing deeds. With a crazy aunt and a priest to round out the picture it's a typical David Almond tale. It left me a little cold and I would be interested in what others thought of it...

November New and Noteworthy

Margherita Dolce Vita* by Stefano Benni.
“An elegant little piece of dark comedy” by a prolific Italian author (FFF in translation). Wise and charismatic 15 yr.-old Margherita and her odd-ball family are transformed by their new neighbors from hell.

Harlem Girl Lost* by Treasure E. Blue.
A bright young woman fights her way out of the mean streets of New York, only to be drawn back in to save her man. A lurid, gripping debut and a self-publishing sensation.

Last Seen Leaving* by Kelly Braffet.
New Age spiritualist searches for her estranged daughter who has not been seen after being picked up by a stranger on a deserted highway, while a serial killer is on the loose. Gripping.

Love in a Fallen City* by Eileen Chang (Ailing Zhang).
Six vibrant stories depict life in post WWII China and bristle with equal parts passion and resentment.

Eifelheim* by Michael Flynn.
Young modern historian obsesses with the mysterious disappearance of a German village from all maps during the Black Death. The story intersects with the heartbreaking saga of stranded aliens from a distant star.

Vince and Joy* by Lisa Jewell.
Tired of all the heavy stuff around? Try this deliciously addictive read filled with London oddballs. First loves reunite after 17 years of miscommunication, disappointments and all the things life throw at you. Romantic.

The Sky People* by S.M. Stirling.
First of a new alternate history series with "broad-brush pulp sensibility". Space colonization and a classic love triangle.

The Orphan's Tales : In the night garden* by Catherynne Valente.
“A beautiful relayed, interlinked fairy tales” of magic, adventure, quests and murder, told by a mysterious young woman with tattoos around her eyelids. Think Sheherezade and the Arabian Nights.

Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall* by Bill Willingham.
Re-imagined new lives and backstories for fairyland citizens , the likes of Snow White and the Big Bad Wolf, now living as secret refugees in New York - probably the “smartest mainstream comics going”.

*= Starred Review(s)

The women behind poets dying young

I know Halloween overshadowed (no pun intended) everything on October 31, but we must also remember John Keats who was born on that day, as well as his cronies Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley. John Keats was born on October 31, 1795 and died an untimely death from tuberculosis on February 23, 1821. Shelley and Byron also died young, leaving only William Wordsworth, the father of the Romantic poets to live to a ripe old age.

A new novel, Passion by Jude Morgan looks at the lives of their wives and lovers including Mary Shelley and Fanny Brawne.] Morgan's novel gives us a glimpse of early nineteenth century life where these women flouted the more rigid conventions of the time and created their own identities apart from the men they loved.

Youmacon is here!

Youmacon, “Metro Detroit's first and only anime con,” is being held this weekend, from November 3-5, 2006 at the Hilton Detroit/Troy. The full programming schedule has now been posted on the con web site. Be sure you don’t miss the featured guests, who include Caitlyn Glass, voice actress for Winry in Fullmetal Alchemist, and Matt Hill, voice actor for Kero in Cardcaptor Sakura.

Don’t worry if you missed pre-registration--on-site registration will be available!

Community service opportunity, Saturday, November 11

Join Washtenaw Youth Mentoring Coalition to rake leaves for local senior citizens in need of help on November 11 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To register, contact Jen Chapin-Smith of Ann Arbor CIL, by phone (734-971-0277 x23) or via e-mail (jchapin@aacil.org).

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