Happy Birthday Masashi Kishimoto!

Today, November 8, is the 36th birthday of Japanese Manga artist Masashi Kishimoto, creator of the hugely popular Naruto series. Naruto, for those not familiar with this collection, is the ongoing story of teen ninja Naruto Uzumaki and his adventures. For those not acquainted with the cultural phenomenon of manga, check out materials like Manga! Manga! : The World of Japanese Comics or go straight to a prime source like the magazine Shonen Jump: The World's Most Popular Manga.
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AXIS Coffeehouse -- So Long, Farewell

/wave by striatic/wave by striatic

Hard to believe it's already here -- this Friday we will be the last of this series of AXIS Coffeehouse! We will take a vacation for the holidays, and return Friday, January 7th. Don't miss our last week of the year and festive send off; come to play games, write poetry and have fun with us. Mallett's Creek, 6:30-8 pm -- come and get it, before it's too late.

A Very Special AXIS Coffeehouse

Jack Skellington by randysonofrobertJack Skellington by randysonofrobert

This week's AXIS Coffeehouse will very special indeed. Not only is it two days before Halloween, but special guest poet Maggie Hanks of Ann Arbor Wordworks will be returning to lead in the creation of some seriously awesome poems!

Join us on Friday Oct. 29th from 6:30-8pm at Malletts Creek. AXIS Coffeehouse -- it's so good, it's scary.

Teen Stuff: Encyclopedia Horrifica

For the month of October, in addition to pumpkins, apples and cider… We are also bombarded with skeletons, spiders, monsters, ghosts, and ghouls. Encyclopedia Horrifica: The Terrifying TRUTH! About Vampires, Ghosts, Monsters, and More is your guide to the “truth” about such creatures, if you dare to find out.

The book includes "true stories" written in a short and fun way, featuring vampires, werewolves and aliens, to name a few. There are tales of hoaxes, séances, curses, superstitions, jinxes, telepathy, and ghostbusting. Along with the stories is a lot of information on various topics, and plenty of interesting photographs and illustrations to keep you turning the pages. It’s just enough to help get you in a ghoulish and spooktastic mood.

Take Part in Art -- Self-Portraiture

charcoal sketch by freeparkingcharcoal sketch by freeparking
Making a self-portrait is almost a psychological exercise -- a way to examine questions of identity, do some introspection into yourself, and think about how you present yourself to the world. It is also an opportunity to be creative and have fun! To explore self-portraiture, you can always come and check out our Youth Art Table downtown, or follow along at home:

Two excellent books on self-portraiture are Just Like Me and Bob Raczka's Here's Looking at Me. To learn more about one of the most prolific self-portrait artists, read Frida Kahlo: The Artist in the Blue House. Grown-ups who want to learn more might be interested in Frances Borzello's Seeing Ourselves: Women's Self-Portraits.

Making your own self-portrait is amazingly easy. You can use any medium and any style -- all you need is some paper and a mirror. The fun part is deciding how you want to look. You can draw yourself with a pet, with a friend, taking part in your favorite hobby, wearing a costume...or any other way you like! For ideas about how to make different kinds of self portraits, check out the projects on this page by Incredible Art. Grown-ups who want to make self-portraits can check out Mixed Media Self-Portraits by Cate Prato.

AXIS Coffeehouse Returns

Tea Cup by SaxonTea Cup by Saxon
The moment you have been looking forward to all summer has arrived! AXIS Coffeehouse is back with more snacks and awesome poetry than ever before.We will return to the Mallett's Creek Branch next Friday, October 1st from 6:30-8 pm. If you have never attended AXIS Coffeehouse, you can listen to some of our regulars reading their poems on our podcast. We hope to see you there!

Could you survive the Hunger Games?


In a dystopian future America divided into twelve districts, twenty-four teenagers must fight to the death each year to sate the corrupt Capitol's need for absolute control and bloody entertainment. That is, until Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark of District 12 provide the spark to ignite nationwide rebellion! Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games series first appeared on the scene in 2008, and finally, after an extremely suspenseful cliffhanger in the second book in the trilogy Catching Fire, fans will find out what happens to Katniss, Peeta, Gale and the entire nation of Panem.

Join us at the Downtown Library on August 24th from 4 to 6 p.m. to celebrate the release of Mockingjay with food and fun. Come in costume, so that I won't be the only one! Brush up your trivia knowledge for a chance to win prizes! And, as Effie Trinket says, "May the odds be ever in your favor."

Here's a list of suggestions for Hunger Game fans.

Printmaking Workshop @ Pittsfield on June 15

Get a head start on AADL Summer Reading’s MAKE IT HAPPEN theme and come take a stab at screen printing! During this hands-on workshop you'll view a quick presentation on how screen printing works, and will get a chance to screen print an original Summer Reading themed logo onto a tote we supply, OR on a cloth item that you bring in. Don’t want a tote and have a blank t-shirt… bring it in!

You’ll also get the inside scoop on other ways of printing, including methods using rubber stamps, foam, potatoes, and stencils. You'll have plenty of play time to make your own designs, choose your method, and print on note cards and/or paper.

This DIY event is for Grades 6- Adult, and takes place at the Pittsfield branch on Tuesday, June 15, from 6:30-8:30pm. See you there!
RedMonstersRedMonsters

Teen Stuff: First Light, by Rebecca Stead

Rebecca Stead has written two novels. Her second one, When You Reach Me, won the 2010 Newbery Medal, for the most distinguished children’s novel. First Light is her first novel, and goes down quite a different road.

Twelve year old Peter lives in New York City. His father studies global warming and is often off working, trekking around like “superman,” as Peter envisions him. The latest project will take his father to Greenland for six weeks, and this time Peter and his mother accompany him.

Concurrently, Thea is fourteen years old, has never seen the sun, and lives in Gracehope, which is a secret word inside the icecaps of Greenland. Her ancestors were hunted and accused of witchcraft generations ago, which lead them to form a secret underground society. Her own mother was one of the crusaders, looking for the tunnel to lead them out of the ice, hoping to expand their world above the ice. Food is rationed, births are limited, and many fear what’s on the other side of the ice wall.

Peter’s adventures lead him to a meeting with Thea. Confused by her and her world, troubled with headaches and visions, and worried about his ailing mother, Peter has a lot to handle in this science fiction/ mystery/ adventure story. After a while this book becomes quite the page turner! (For grades 5 and up.)

Teen Stuff: After Tupac & D Foster, by Jacqueline Woodson

“D Foster showed up a few months before Tupac got shot that first time and left us the summer before he died.” The narrator and her best friend Teeka sit on the front stoop of their Queens apartment building, jumping double dutch and braiding each others hair. One day a girl named D walked around the corner and started talking to them, and it changed the girls' lives forever. They became what they called “Three the Hard Way.” Three best girlfriends, through thick and thin from the ages of 11-13.

Jacqueline Woodson's novel After Tupac & D Foster is told in a retrospective first person through the eyes of the sensitive, quiet and bookish narrator. Through her story we see the differences in the families of the three girls: One a child of foster care, one an only child of a single mother, and one a child in a close-knit family with “too many bothers and sister to count.” The kids on the block, especially D, are fascinated with rapper Tupac Shakur. D identifies with him and some of the words he speaks. Over the short period of time the girls hang out together, they become close, and feel like sisters as they try to figure out their “Big Purpose” in life. Looking back, the narrator talks about the unbreakable bonds of friendship. (For grades 6 and up.)

(Adults: Yes, reading this Newbery Honor book made me want to watch Juice, and then listen to some Tupac albums, and yes I did that.) Thanks, D.

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