ages 11-18

Dragons and destiny

Hitomi is a perfectly average high school student, aside from her gift for reading tarot cards. A magical accident involving a dragon sweeps her away to the hidden world of Gaea, where she falls into the company of Van, a boy prince with a mysterious past. There the dangerous Zaibach Empire is doing its best to conquer all the surrounding countries, and Van’s homeland is next on its list. Soon Hitomi’s ability to predict the future is a power that everyone wants to use.

In the ten years since it first aired in Japan, The Vision of Escaflowne tv series has become an anime classic. The Japanese language track features some of anime industry’s best voice talent. Maaya Sakamoto, who is now winning new fans for her recent performance of Haruhi in Ouran High School Host Club, had her first major role in Hitomi; she also sings the opening theme song.

Volume 1 (episodes 1-4)
Volume 2 (episodes 5-8)
Volume 3 (episodes 9-11)
Volume 4 (episodes 12-14)
Volume 5 (episodes 15-17)
Volume 6 (episodes 18-20)
Volume 7 (episodes 21-23)
Volume 8 (episodes 24-26)

The movie version of Escaflowne features the same voice actors but retells the story from the tv series from a slightly darker perspective.

American Born Chinese & The Monkey King

Cleverly interweaving stories tell the tales of Jin Wang, a teen who meets with ridicule and social isolation when his family moves from San Francisco's Chinatown to an exclusively white suburb; Danny, a popular blond, blue-eyed high school jock whose social status is jeopardized when his goofy, embarrassing Chinese cousin, Chin-Kee, enrolls at his high school; and the Monkey King who, unsatisfied with his current sovereign, desperately longs to be elevated to the status of a god. Exploring issues of self-image, cultural identity, transformation, and self-acceptance American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang is a rare treat.

Ever wondered . . .

how a jet's black box works, how a skin graft is grown, or how a pet translator interprets the mood of your dog or cat? Take a look at Cool Stuff and How it Works. This full color picture book uses advanced imaging technology such as X rays, scanning electron micrographs, and infrared thermograms, along with traditional graphics, to reveal the workings of all this and more. A feast for the eye and brain!

It's All Write! Short Story Writing Contest

It's All Write!
Short Story Writing Contest
First Place $250
Second Place $150
Third Place $100
First, Second and Third Place prizes will be awarded in the following categories: Grades 6-8, Grades 9-10, and Grades 11-12

Submissions accepted Monday, January 22, 2007 through Monday, March 19, 2007

So, now's the time to finish up that story you've been working on. If you need some inspiration, I'd start with any short story collection edited by Don Gallo. Destination Unexpected includes a story by Ron Koertge who is the speaker at this year's Awards Program.
Click here for the complete guidelines.
Good Luck!

Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life

Hey, Listen to this! Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life is available on BOCD. Simone is somebody worth getting to know. She's witty. She's adopted. She's in love with a boy who spends most of his time with another girl. Her birth mother, Rivka, steps into her life at age sixteen, and everything she's taken for granted about family, love, and faith needs to be re-examined.

Pas de duck

Fairy tales meet ballet in the anime series Princess Tutu. The mysterious Herr Drosselmeyer offers Duck—a sweet but clumsy ballet student—the chance to help one of her classmates. When she accepts, he gives her a pendant that transforms her into the magical Princess Tutu, whose beautiful dancing has the power to heal people’s hearts. There’s just one problem: whenever Duck acts like a duck, she turns into one. Quack! Is she a girl dreaming of being a duck, or a duck dreaming of being a girl?

The library also has lots of books about ballet and sound recordings of the ballets Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, both of which are referenced in the series.

Full Grand Championship Details!

The AADL-GT 2006 Grand Championships are just under two weeks away, and if you're thirsty for details about the event, you're in the right place. The Grand Championships will happen Saturday, December 16th at the Downtown Library and will consist of three events: The Clan Cup Finals at 12:00 sharp, The Wildcard Tournament starting around 12:45, and then the Grand Championship Tournament itself beginning around 2:00-3:00 depending on wildcard turnout.

The Grand Championship Prize pool WILL contain a BRAND-NEW, HARD-TO-GET Nintendo Wii! Plus, a 2gb iPod nano, and a onyx black Nintendo DS. The champion, second and third place winners get to pick from the prizes in order. The Clan Members that emerge victorious from the Clan Cup will win the first-ever limited edition Clan Cup trophies, plus a small giftcard.

The Grand Championships will be broadcast live on CTN channel 18, so be sure to bring a signed Release Form if you haven't already. We don't yet know when the broadcast will begin, but it will likely begin during the wildcard event. Hope to see you there, and read on for full details about the tournament's new structure.

Just In Case... Justin Case

Convinced that fate is out to get him, fifteen-year-old David Case assumes a new identity in the hope of avoiding what he believes is certain doom... David takes on the identity of "Justin Case" and then meets an older and unusual female photographer who takes photos of Justin after he revamps his identity. Justin's new look catches the eye of many - that and the fact that he has an imaginary greyhound dog that goes with him everywhere. Just in Case by Meg Rosoff is an interesting, if not entirely believable, tale of fate, identity and death. With a mildly telepathic toddler thrown in the mix this is an unusual read.

Rilke remembered

Today is the birthday of poet, Rainer Maria Rilke who was born on December 4, 1875 in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Known as one of the greatest lyrical poets, Rilke spent most of his life traveling and supported himself by getting rich noblewomen to fall in love with him. In one of his most famous works,Letters to a Young Poet,he says:" Search for the reason that bids you to write; find out whether you would have to die if it were denied you to write." Rilke followed his own advice, producing many works, both poetry and prose, including more than 400 poems in French. Rilke was admired by many modern poets including W.H. Auden and James Merrill.

Before J.K. Rowling . . .

Meet Ursula LeGuin, Terry Pratchett, Madleleine L’Engle, Garth Nix, and many other fantasy writers in The Wand in the Word: Conversations with Writers of Fantasy. Read about their childhoods, who influenced them, how they found their niche in the world of fantasy, and what advise they have for people who want to write.

One interesting aspect of the interviews is to learn the influence of certain life experiences on these people’s writing. When asked if growing up in England during World War II affected her as a writer, Diana Wynne Jones responds: “ . . . the entirety of the world as far as I was concerned was stark-staring crazy in a most menacing way . . . Later, I came to think that if only people then had read a little more fantasy, they would have know Hitler for a dark lord.”

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