ages 11-18

Meet “It’s All Write!” Judge #6: Bill Konigsberg

Bill Konigsberg has a long history in writing prior to authoring teen novels. As an avid sports fan, Konigsberg covered the New York Mets and other teams as a sports writer and editor for the Associated Press and ESPN.com. He also contributed a fantasy baseball column to several newspapers countrywide. Since writing his award-winning article in 2001, Konigsberg has been a strong advocate for homosexual awareness in sports.

In addition to his debut teen novel, Out of the Pocket, Konigsberg published Openly Straight in May 2013. Openly Straight, featuring a student looking to shed gay labels and stereotypes, was listed on YALSA’s 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults list and was recently awarded the Sid Fleischman Award for Humor.

To learn more about Bill Konigsberg, visit his website and blog.

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

Reminder to all “It’s All Write!” participants: The deadline to submit your story is today, March14! Submissions will be accepted until midnight. Please make sure you have followed the guidelines, and happy (last-minute) writing!

Only ONE WEEK left to submit a story to “It’s All Write!”

The “It’s All Write!” Teen Short Story Contest has already received over 90 submissions, and we are excited to see even more arrive in the next week! If you’re thinking about entering the contest, you still have time to send a story before Friday, March 14, which is one week from today!

Maybe you’ve already written a story, but it needs some editing. The Writing Tips for Teens list features AADL materials focused on story details, grammar tips, and how to get published.

Or maybe you've written five stories and can't decide which one to submit. Consider publishing your other work online! Check out the “It’s All Write!” Writing Resources page. Magazines like Teen Ink and Polyphony H.S. encourage teens to get involved in writing and editing.

If you have questions about the contest, feel free to email Kayla at allwrite@aadl.org or call the Downtown Youth Desk at 734-327-8301.

Stay tuned for future “meet the judge” blog posts, and happy writing!

Cooking on a Budget

For those of us on a budget, making tasty, healthy meals on a regular basis can be a challenge. Good ingredients can be expensive and the most delicious recipes are often complex and call for a number of pricey items. Here at AADL we have a number of budget-friendly cookbooks that can help you eat well while not breaking the bank. Budget Bytes: over 100 delicious recipes to slash your grocery bill in half is a brand new cookbook by the creater of the hugely popular Budget Bytes blog. Caroline Wright’s Twenty-Dollar, Twenty-Minute Meals: for four people is a great cookbook for those hoping to feed small families. Her book includes healthy, tasty recipes in all forms including vegetarian and vegan recipes, pizzas and desserts.

Student cookbooks can also be a great way to find easy, inexpensive recipes. We have The Ultimate Student Cookbook, the Student’s Vegetarian Cookbook and the Student’s Go Vegan Cookbook and Young and Hungry: making the most of fresh and affordable food, as well as several others.

There are also some wonderful cookbooks in our collection for those intending to eat locally and seasonally while also remaining on a budget. Frugal Luxuries by the Seasons: celebrate the holidays with elegance and simplicity on any income is a lovely book that uses seasonally-appropriate, inexpensive recipes. There is also The Locavore’s Handbook: the busy person’s guide to eating local on a budget, which offers practical advice for using local food in easy recipes. This book is especially useful for those of us in Michigan, since author Leda Meredith’s advice is geared towards those living in colder climates!

Meet “It’s All Write!” Judge #5: Catherine Knutsson

Catherine Knutsson published her first novel, Shadows Cast by Stars, in 2012. Shadows Cast by Stars was a finalist for both the Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy and the Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature.

Knutsson proudly celebrates her Métis heritage, which is reflected in her writing. She also loves working with horses, photography, and singing in her free time. When asked for her best advice to new writers, she told Simon & Schuster, “Ignore trends; write the story in your heart, the story that only you can tell!”

To learn more about Catherine Knutsson, you can check out her website or her blog.

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

A "Dystology": the Unwind series

I have to start this entry with a shout out to the kid at Mallett's Creek who informed me that this was, in fact, a series. (I was pretty excited.) Thanks, kid, wherever you are. *high five* I'm passing on your knowledge.

For fans of dystopian novels, if you haven't checked this out, it might be a good fit for you. The first book, Unwind, was written as a self-contained story that was satisfying within itself, but the sequels do not disappoint. It's a disturbingly unique take on the dystopian genre that's been taking over the world lately.

The series follows several different teens through their struggle to survive in a world of extremes. With a devastating moral war behind them, abortion has become illegal for any reason, but in the law's wake comes a startling counter-measure: teens who are unruly or unwanted can be "unwound", put into in a "divided state" with all of their parts going to other individuals in need. Parents get to decide their children's fate.

Connor, Risa and Lev have all been signed over to be unwound. But will they make it through? And at what cost? As the series goes along, author Neal Shusterman explores the some serious morals and ethics as well as what makes a human being human and individual.

Sadly, we'll all have to wait to find out how things end, because the conclusion to the series, Undivided, is not due out until this summer. But with the demand on this series already, surely the AADL is on the watch for it!

Gravity: Visually Stunning, Prize Winning Film

For an entertaining 90-minute break from Earth, check out the movie Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. "Houston" down below is the voice of Ed Harris. Space is depicted as a very dangerous place -- a New York Times reviewer called this film a "Jack London tale in orbit."
Last night the film won seven (7!) Academy Awards, including best director, best cinematography, and best visual effects.
In the film, Sandra Bullock plays Ryan Stone, a star scientist and mother who has lost her young daughter. George Clooney is a seasoned astronaut. Following an accident, the two are stranded in space, facing daunting challenges such as trying to avoid a lethal storm of debris.
Alfonso Cuaron wrote the script with his son Jonás. Cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki is beyond fabulous. State-of- the- art special effects, both analog and digital, made me feel like I was, yes, floating in space.
Rating is PG 13. Currently at AADL there are 680 requests on 40 copies of the DVD and 437 requests on 30 copies of the Blu-ray. Place your order now!

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!

Syndicate content