ages 11-18

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #64

If you had missed Still Life, Louise Penny’s debut of her Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series, don’t despair. Check out the books on CD while you are waiting for the second in the series A Fatal Grace, due out this month.

Still life was the winner of the New Blood Dagger in Britain and the Arthur Ellis Award in Canada for best first crime novel. It was also named one of the Kirkus Reviews Top Ten mysteries of 2006.

This lovely cozy is set in Three Pines, a ficticious and picturesque small village in Canadian Quebec, a short drive from Montreal. The beloved local retired teacher is found shot to death in the woods and Chief Inspector Gamache from the Sûreté du Québec must sort out the killer among the locals which include artists, a gay couple who runs a little bistro and only B & B in town, a cantankerous poetess, teenage troublemakers, a too-eager to inherit estranged relative.

Snappy dialogue, well drawn characters, lovely and atmospheric settings made for a pleasurable read. Don't miss this one.

2007 Andre Norton Award

The first book in an amazing trilogy, Magic or Madness, by Justine Larbalestier was chosen as the winner of the 2007 Andre Norton Award. The story? When her rational, magic-hating mother suffers a mental breakdown, Reason is taken to live with her grandmother, Esmerelda, where she discovers that something as simple as stepping through a door can bring forth a world of danger and yes, magic!

What a page-turner! The action is tense and suspenseful. And the portrayal of the dark side of magic. . . well, just try it and the two other titles in the triology, Magic Lessons and Magic’s Child.

Lloyd Alexander, 1924-2007

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One of our best-known writers for children, Lloyd Alexander, passed away on Thursday at the age of 83. Alexander was the author of over 40 books, mostly fantasy novels for children; his series included the Prydain Chronicles, the Westmark Trilogy, and the Vesper Holly Adventures. He won the National Book Award for The Marvelous Misadventures of Sebastian, the American Book Award for Westmark, and the Newbery Medal for The High King. Read the Washington Post obituary or visit his website for more information on this great author.

As a child, I wrote a fan letter to Lloyd Alexander, and he took the time to write a very kind reply. I know several other people who have similar stories. He’ll be missed.

"It's All Write!" Awards Ceremony with special guest Ron Koertge

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Winners of the "It's All Write" contest will be announced and all Finalists honored at the Awards Ceremony on Saturday, May 19th at the Modern Languages Building, Auditorium 3, corner of Washington and Thayer Streets, as part of the Ann Arbor Book Festival. Ron Koertge, a nationally known teen book author and poet, will be the featured speaker.
Students who participated in the 2nd Tuesday Writers Series and who read Stoner and Spaz and Margaux with an X can meet Ron and have him sign their books.

Rurouni Kenshin @ Animanga Club, Thursday, May 17th

Join us this Thursday @ the Malletts Creek branch from 7:00 to 8:30 as we travel back to Meiji-era Japan with the Rurouni Kenshin anime and manga. We'll be watching episodes of the anime, courtesy of Media Blasters, and doing a fun trivia quiz (with small prizes for the winners!). Not a fan of Kenshin? Do you think Peacemaker Kurogane or Kaze Hikaru has better swordfighting action? Come anyways! You can talk about ANYTHING relating to anime, manga, Japan--and give us your ideas for summer events. Snacks and drinks will also be served. See you there!

Teen Volunteers Needed at AADL

Summer is quickly approaching and with it the busiest season of AADL’s year. Volunteers are needed at AADL’s four branches (Northeast, West, Malletts Creek, and Pittsfield) to sign up Summer Reading participants June 15-June 29. If you are interested and between the ages of 12 and 18, stop by the information desk at a branch and pick up some forms. Return the completed forms by June 11.

Jump in and lend a hand to make this our biggest summer yet!

If you don’t know, now you know

Check out Tyrell by Coe Booth, the winner of the 2007 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Fiction. Fifteen-year-old Tyrell lives in a South Bronx homeless shelter with his mother and seven-year-old brother Troy. His mother refuses to find a job, his father is in jail, and his little brother is smart as a whip but stuck in special education classes so his mother can continue to collect Social Security checks. He wants to stay faithful to Novisha but how can he with Jasmine knocking on his door? Tyrell needs to make money to appease his mother, make sure his brother gets the education he deserves, stay faithful to Novisha, and help Jasmine realize her potential. And he wants to do it all without hustling. I can't put this book down! I hope there will be a sequel.

Already read it? What did you think? How unique to the Bronx is Tyrell’s situation?

Make a Custom Wallet at Malletts Creek!

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Have you guys ever heard of Poketo? It’s a collaborative network of artists who got together a couple of years ago to start making cheap, wearable art featuring up-and-coming designers. They make clothing, bags and stationary, but they’re mostly known for their wallets, which display original designs between two thin pieces of flexible plastic. Sound cool? We’re going to make our own wallets based on those produced by Poketo at Malletts Creek on Wednesday, May 16. We’ll have plenty of supplies and images on hand, but feel free to bring your own, too.

Gary Snyder

Today, May 8 is the birthday of poet, Gary Snyder who was born in San Francisco in 1930. When he was a student, he worked as a logger, a forest ranger and a seaman. All of these experiences informed his life as a poet, drawing on his closeness to nature, concern for the environment and a respect for the primal forces that affect humanity. He first started writing while working on a trail crew in Yosemite National Park. Snyder also spent eight years in a Zen Buddhist monastery in Japan where he developed his love for solitude and all it could teach him. His poetry is characterized by its spareness and contemplative quality and use of work, family and nature as metaphors for more universal themes. Here is one that examines the origins of poetry:

How Poetry Comes to Me

It comes blundering over the
Boulders at night, it stays

Want a read with nonstop action?

On New Earth where violence has been banned for generations conflicts are settled in the fantasy computer game Epic. Getting ahead in the real world means winning in the gaming world--and everyone plays. The unjust treatment of his parents by the Central Allocations committee, which ruthlessly rules the planet, sets teenager Erik and his friends on a perilous mission to challenge the committee and put an end to Epic.

Author Kostick was a designer for the world's first live fantasy role-playing game in England, and his expertise is evident in this gripping first novel. Clip up for the read of your life!

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