ages 11-18

Now Available Through AADL: 20 Knitting Patterns to Make Your Favorite Mochimochi Land pals!

Mochimochi Land was launched in 2007 as a place where knitted toys and people can live together in a spirit of tolerance. Now, thanks to a partnership between Mochimochi Land and AADL you can access a collection of delightful knitting patterns to create your own friends!

AADL is overjoyed to partner with Anna Hrachovec, to offer 20 DRM-free Downloads of Mochimochi Land Knitting Patterns to all AADL Cardholders. All you need is to have an AADL library card. Then, login with your linked AADL online account, and all of these patterns are yours for the knitting!

The characters that inhabit Mochimochi Land are original designs by Anna Hrachovec, a knitter who lives in Chicago. Anna finds inspiration in Hello Kitty, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, and illustrators like Dr. Seuss and Mary Blair. Anna’s knitted toys have been featured on The Martha Stewart Show, all around the web, and in print.

Controlled Burns in Ann Arbor's Natural Areas

Tuesday Feb. 25th | Traverwood | 7:00-8:30 PM | adults and teens (grade 6 and up)

Forest fires are usually a bad thing -- when they aren't meant to happen! However, many Natural Area Preservation organizations around the country use a method called controlled burning to actually help the land. Prescribed or controlled burning is sometimes used in forest management, farming, or prairie restoration and stimulates the germination of some desirable forest trees, thus renewing the forest.

The Natural Area Preservation of Ann Arbor will visit the Traverwood branch of the AADL to further explain what controlled burns are and why they are used in natural areas. This event is for anyone interested in helping with the burns or those who just want to learn more about them.

To learn more about the forests of Michigan, check out these great books in the AADL collection:
- Trees of Michigan: field guide
- Roadside guide to Michigan plants, trees, and flowers: an ecological approach
- Trees of Michigan, including tall shrubs
- Trees of Michigan and the Upper Great Lakes
- Michigan trees: a guide to the trees of the Great Lakes Region

Teen Stuff: Far Far Away by Tom McNeal

Far Far Away is “the strange and fateful tale of a boy, a girl, and a ghost.” Jeremy Johnson Johnson is a quiet teen who keeps to himself in his bookshop home in the town of Never Better. For he is the boy who hears voices, namely one voice: that of the ghost of Jacob Grimm, of Grimm’s fairy tales. Jacob is there to guide Jeremy and protect him from the Keeper Of Occasions – whose identity and evil intentions are unknown. Jacob is the narrator of the story, which leaves for an amazing viewpoint of our main character Jeremy and all that happens in town.

One exciting thing that happens in the sleepy town of Never Better is over at Green Oven Bakery. When green smoke exits the chimney the community knows that the famous prince cakes have been baked! One bite of this delicious cake makes you fall in love with the first person you lay eyes on. Rumor has it this is what happened to Jeremy’s mother, who went to the bakery and then ran off for good with another man, leaving Jeremy’s father in a bed of depression for years. One dark thing that happens in the town of Never Better is that children occasionally go missing and the sheriff doesn’t seem to want to do much about it.

Far Far Away by Tom McNeal is a bit of fairy tale and a bit of a mystery – an original and quick read that surely will take you far far away. The book is currently an Edgar Award Finalist and was recently listed as a Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults.

Meet “It’s All Write!” Judge #4: Siobhan Vivian

Siobhan Vivian was a boisterous child in Rutherford, NJ; she always wanted to have fun and enjoy life. One of her most favorite enjoyments was and still is writing. After graduating from the University of the Arts for Writing for Film and Television, she continued on to receive her Master’s degree in Creative Writing. Now she teaches at the University of Pittsburgh in addition to going on tour for her books.

Siobhan Vivian recently coauthored Burn for Burn with Jenny Han in 2013. All of her books have been published with international editions, including those for Greece, France, Germany, and the UK. YALSA listed three of her books in their annual Best Books for Young Adults: The List (2013), Not That Kind of Girl (2011), and Same Difference (2010).

If you would like to learn more about Siobhan Vivian, check out her website and blog.

Stay tuned for the rest of the “It’s All Write!” judges in forthcoming blog posts!

New Teen Nonfiction: This is NOT a Writing Manual, by Kerri Majors

Kerri Majors was once a teen writer, fantasizing about the day when her book would be published. She'd be featured on "Oprah," and smile politely to her friends with a hidden smirk of pride. But one day she realized that writing was not what she had expected: it really was difficult to face the naysayers and her more successful friends, and she really did need to find a job in addition to her first calling.

Majors has come a long way since then, and her new memoir serves as inspiration to passionate young adult writers with a dream. This is Not a Writing Manual exposes the harsh realities as well as the glorious triumphs that Majors faced as an emerging writer. She does not impose strict grammar rules or stiff writing advice. She simply writes honestly, providing "therapy for writers."

Kerri Majors is best known for her creation of YARN, an online writing magazine for teens. She loves reading YA novels, identifies herself as a California girl, and lives in Massachusetts with her family. To learn more about Kerri, visit her website.

Meet “It’s All Write!” Judge #3: Roland Smith

Roland Smith is a prolific author of teen and youth fiction as well as youth nonfiction. He started writing on a typewriter when he was just five years old in Portland, Oregon. In college he stumbled across the opportunity to work at a children’s zoo, which opened his eyes to the beauty of nature and wildlife. As an animal keeper he traveled the world and worked with animals for over 20 years! He now writes full time, and still expresses his interest in animals through his nonfiction books for children.

Smith just published the fourth book in his I, Q mystery series, I,Q: The Alamo in July 2013. He is well known for his novel Peak, which won the National Outdoor Book Award in 2007, several state awards, and was listed on ALA’s 2008 Best Books for Young Adults.

If you would like to find out more about Roland Smith, visit his website or his blog.

Stay tuned for the rest of the “It’s All Write!” judges in forthcoming blog posts!

Game Start Festival: Saturday, March 1st at Menlo Innovations

Curious about making games? Know any kids or teens who aspire to be future game-makers?

Local organization GameStart is throwing a party at Menlo Innovations (505 East Liberty LL500, Ann Arbor, MI 48104) on Saturday, March 1st, 10am-2pm and everyone is invited! GameStart is an organization that offers classes using games to inspire interest in art, math, science, and programming.

For their event on March 1st, they'll have games to play and give a preview of their upcoming classes for this year, including: Game Mechanics and Design, Minecraft Programming, Computer Animation, and Video Editing. Although there is a fee for many of their classes, this event is free and open to all (and particularly recommended for students in grades 3-8).

AADL will be there with a table of fun stuff, along with other guests from the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, Maker Works, Backyard Brains, AHA! and the Youth Arts Alliance. Stop in to check things out and celebrate the power of interactive learning!

Later that day, 3-5pm, the GameStart staff will also be offering a no-fee class on Storytelling with Computer Animation at the downtown AADL!

New Teen Nonfiction: Expressing the Inner Wild

Expressing the Inner Wild, a new addition to AADL's teen nonfiction collection, showcases some of the most extreme self-decorators of the world. Gordon covers everything from hair to jewelry to tattoos, and includes eye-catching photos on every page. Although perhaps not considered "wild" as indicated by the title, many sections discuss cultural practices throughout the world, including piercings in Ethiopia and face painting in Papua New Guinea. Amazing holders of the Guinness World Record also make appearances. Teens interested in fashion and pop culture will love this collection of status symbols and design.

Fun With Die-Cuts: Using the Sizzix Big Shot

Wednesday, February 19 | 6:30-8pm | Downtown – MPR | For grades 6th through Adult

Join us for an evening of paper craft fun. We will be using Sizzix Big Shot die-cut machines to create an assortment of paper die-cuts that can be use in making cards. There will be instruction on how to use the machine, and we’ll have all the paper and cards on hand for you to get creative with.

Soon several Sizzix Big Shot Machines will be joining AADL’s new collection of Art Tools that will circulate! This is a chance for you to explore all that the Sizzix Big Shot can do for your paper craft projects before it goes into circulation.

This event is for teens and adults, grade 6th and up.

Meet “It’s All Write!” Judge #2: Rebecca Donovan

Rebecca Donovan started writing when she was trapped inside during a blizzard, and is still loving it years later. She is best known for writing the bestselling “Breathing” series, including Reason to Breathe, which she originally self-published online. Donovan is not only #15 Most Popular Teen Author, but also #81 Most Popular Author overall on Amazon.com. She has a massive online fanbase and contributes regularly to her personal blog.

Before becoming an author, Donovan majored in psychology with a minor in sociology. She’s a devoted optimist and loves attending concerts whenever she can. To find out more about Rebecca Donovan, check out her website.

Stay tuned for the rest of the “It’s All Write!” judges in forthcoming blog posts!

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