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by: 
Meghann Henry, Teen Outreach Librarian

Kayleigh, Standley Lake TAB

In three words...Who, Are, You?

The unknown being

What's awesome about the town you live in?

It's small, It's rural.  It's not very populated.  It has a lot of back alleys, and places where you can go and look around.

What sucks about it?

What sucks is that we have nosy neighbors.

What's the weirdest thing you can think of to say write now?...now?!?

Jacque the Parrot

What are you obsessed with...why?

Adventures and exploring new places.

Got anything to say about the library?

It's really fancy.

Each month we are featuring an awesome member of our Teen Advisory Board (TAB). You might be wondering, "What is TAB and how can I become one of these AMAZING people?!?!?"  TAB is a group of teens who meet monthly to discuss how the library can best serve teens, to plan events, and most importantly hang out and have a good time. Talk with the Teen Librarian at your location to get involved. 

by: 
Heather, Belmar Teen Submission


Our next contributor to the Levithan Project has stepped up to the plate to write "Chapter 2". If you haven't read the story starter then click on "Chapter 1" to see how this crazy project started.

Chapter 1

...the dust of my disastrous life had almost cleared--when the last person I expected to see sat down beside me...

Chapter 2

     Kyle. Let’s talk about Kyle. I’d known him almost ten years ago when we were small and he would throw sand in my eyes when Mrs. Barker wasn’t looking. He had that mischievous smile that made teachers believe it was always his fault, and even if there was no proof, I was sure it always was.

     Not that he was a bad kid, of course, but problems seemed to come to him like ants to honey. Once he seemed to have superglued himself to the ceiling, and a doctor had to surgically remove a layer of his skin to get the paneling off him. Another time, all the kinds of food he hated spoiled without warning—the exact instant he entered the lunchroom. It was impossible to blame him, it’s not like you can make food spoil at will, but he never denied his guilt. Not once. He just smiled that mischievous smile and moved on.

     I hadn’t heard of Kyle since we went to different middle schools. Seems he’d gotten mixed up with some druggies, and I hadn’t heard anything after that.

    Now, this rugged, dark-skinned guy with that same mischievous smile sat beside me, and casually started talking. I knew it was him. And I knew he was up to something.

     “Hi Marcie,” he said. “What’s up?”

     What are you supposed to say to a question like that? Oh yes, I have just managed to ruin my whole life forever. My family will never forgive me for what I’ve done. And, let’s not forget the killer, it’s very possible that the United States of America is going to sue me, lock me up, and throw away the key. Yay me.

     I fell back on my usual response.

     “Not much. What about you?”

     “Oh, just out and about,” he replied. “I saw you on the bench, and thought I’d stop to say hello. Do you want to go to 7-Eleven with me?”

     Call me a bimbo. Joining a possible drug-addict on a whirlwind adventure to a convenience store, possibly to hold it up, for all I knew, and get myself even more arrested. Maybe not my wisest choice, but it was a chance—and I took it.

      “Why not?” I sighed, and followed him. I absent-mindedly patted my pocket to make sure my phone was still in there. I only hoped I’d remembered to charge it before my parents had effectively kicked me out. “How did you find me, anyway?” I asked. “I hardly recognize you, Kyle—how would you have remembered me?”

     Kyle laughed a little, and there was that smile again, a beacon of trouble that I was reaching for again. “It wasn’t an accident,” he said. “My boss sent me to find you. She has a few ideas for you, about your problems.”

     I froze. He knew?

      “Relax, Marcie. We already know everything. No family, probably no money, either. My boss thinks he might have a job for you.”

     “I’m not working for a drug lord!” I exclaimed. He gave me a funny look.

     “We don’t sell drugs, Marcie,” he said. “Far from it. In fact, we sell…

 

To continue this story email your submission to meghann.henry@jeffcolibrary.org.

by: 
Aurora, Belmar Teen Contributor

So, right now I'm reading Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn. These two have worked collaboratively before, with Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List, and the more well known Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. Now, I've read each of these authors individually and, I am sorry to say, something is simply lacking. There is something completely magical about two authors, each with their own style and process, working together on a novel. 

Of course, I have no idea how it really works, but I imagine that someone gets an idea, writes a few pages that will later transform into the first chapter, and then sends it to another writer, generally a good friend. The story bounces a few more times, and voila, an amazing novel is born. 

Naturally, this is a gross oversimplification, but the concept exists. These books that are co-authored are not limited to one writer's imagination. The ideas bounce back and forth, stretching and growing beyond the bounds of one singular imagination. By collaborating, authors create journeys that they alone could not travel and we, the readers, are the sole beneficiaries. 

Now, rather than just going on about how amazing collaborations are, I thought we could do a bit of an experiment. Call it, "The Levithan Project". I'll write a short passage and I challenge you, my fellow blog posters/readers, to continue the story. Keep it fairly short, between 250 and 1000 words, and email your continuation to meghann.henry@jeffcolibrary.org... Let's see where this story can go! 

Currently Untitled

          Don't you think it's interesting how the smallest disagreements, the most minute details seem to have such an overpowering ability to completely ruin our lives? I mean, look at World War I...or was it the second one? I'm not too good at history. The point is, in World War Something, Austria and Serbia were fighting over the Black Glove, or Hand, or whatever, when suddenly Russia got involved, and the next thing you know, Germany had lost and everyone was dead. I mean, how did everyone get involved? How did it get to be such a big mess? 

          Do you remember when, in elementary school, you would stand in a circle and randomly grab everyone's hands, forming a human knot? Then, when you are attempting to untangle yourselves, that one kid (Tommy, I am talking to you!) always managed to make the entire class trip and fall, ending in one giant pile of seven-year-olds? Well, that's kind of what my life is like right now. Just one stupid little mistake, going over little Jessie's arm instead of under...well it feels like my entire life has collapsed into a heap around me.

          Naturally, there is only one thing to do when life gets this complicated. I went to the park, and sat on my favorite bench. I watched the dads trying to teach their toddlers how to be star baseball players, the college kids playing Frisbee. I stared at the sky, bright blue, except to the east, which was colored in with the faintest brown smog. I took a deep breath of the sweet fall air, trying to forget. I retreated into my bubble, and I had almost calmed down--the dust of my disastrous life had almost cleared--when the last person I expected to see sat down beside me...

 

Well, that's all for me. I Can't wait to see what you guys do with it!

P.S. It's called "The Levithan Project" instead of "The Cohn Project" because a) it sounds cooler and b) David Levithan seems to write more of these collaboration projects. He also worked on Will Grayson, Will Grayson with John Green.

 

More Levithan Project...

Chapter 2

by: 
Kallie, Columbine Teen Submission

My Mad Hatter picture art style is inspired by the work of Katsura Hoshino, who illustrates the  D. Gray-man Series.  

Gray-Man is a manga series, a japanese style comic book.  The series follows Walker, a born exorcist, fighting the Akuma. Together with his fellow exorcists fighting under the command of the Black Order, Walker leads the battle against the Millenium Earl, the evil "being" out to destroy mankind.

 

by: 
Violet, Standley Lake Teen Contributor

A fading ember

Of a hidden dream;

The shatter of faith

As life crubles before them; 

The ache burning in their chests,

The waterfall bound to fall from their eyes-

I want to save them from this,

Terminate the barricade between them and their passions.

Eliminate suffering,

That's what I do.

I'd give courage

To help them have a voice

Which was before a mere whisper.

I'd extend compassion to every being-

A mixture of understanding and kindness-

So they can stand strong on their own

And pass on their compassion, too.

I'd make aware

All those who live behind a mask-

Naive, oblivious;

I'd remove the veil,

Burn it into a collection of ashes.

I'd spread hope and ideas,

Help others think on their own

And be bold against conforming.

I'd preach ideas of harmony,

A common bond strewn between everyone,

A common compassion,

A common awareness,

A common understanding,

A common balance.

 

*photo (c) of James Jordan, 2008.

by: 
Meghann, Teen Outreach Librarian

In three words…Who, Are, You?

Smart, Musical, and Isolated.

What’s awesome about the town you live in?

It's really welcoming. You can ask people questions and more often then not they will help you out. It's not like trashed.  There are very few parts of it that are scary.

What sucks about it?

I don't feel like there are a lot of younger people in my neighborhood.  So, there will be like lots of really old people and then like a couple of families with like six or seven year olds.  Nobody who is teen age.

What’s the weirdest thing you can think of to say right now…now?!?

Banana peel!

What are you obsessed with and why?

I am obsessed with the violin because I absolutley love playing it.  And when I am playing it I feel like I'm in my own little world, and it's just peaceful and it's all music and awesome.

Got anything to say about the library?

The library is an amazing and wonderful place.  You can do all sorts of things here. You can find lots of different books whether it be for studying or just reading, or lots of different things.  It's awesome.

Each month we are featuring an awesome member of our Teen Advisory Board (TAB). You might be wondering, "What is TAB and how can I become one of these AMAZING people?!?!?"  TAB is a group of teens who meet monthly to discuss how the library can best serve teens, to plan events, and most importantly hang out and have a good time. Talk with the Teen Librarian at your location to get involved.

 

by: 
Meghann Henry, Teen Outreach Librarian

The first annual Lakewood Fandom Contest was a huge success! A big congratulations to our winner, Bailey, who created a Dr. Who inspired clock (with all the characters names included on the back). Stop by the Lakewood Library to check out all the amazing submissions.

by: 
Meghann, Teen Outreach Librarian

In three words…Who, Are, You?

Crazy Book Addict

What’s awesome about the town you live in?

The weather and all the people are really nice...and the library is awesome.

What sucks about it?

ummm...it's kind of windy sometimes, and I don't like wind.

What’s the weirdest thing you can think of to say right now…now?!?

PANDAS!

What are you obsessed with and why?

I'm obsessed with books because I have no social life.

Got anything to say about the library?

Everyone should get to the library 'cause it's awesome.

Each month we are featuring an awesome member of our Teen Advisory Board (TAB). You might be wondering, "What is TAB and how can I become one of these AMAZING people?!?!?"  TAB is a group of teens who meet monthly to discuss how the library can best serve teens, to plan events, and most importantly hang out and have a good time. Talk with the Teen Librarian at your location to get involved.

 

by: 
Aurora, Belmar Teen Submission

For some strange reason, it seems like every little girl's favorite Disney princess is Cinderella. (Okay, for all of you shouting at me, not every little girl. But quite a majority.) Whether it is the classic rags-to-riches story or the lovable mice, there just seems to be something timeless about Disney's Cinderella. And, I am proud to say, I hate it. Wait, wait, hang on! Put down the pitchforks and let me explain why. 

First of all, most Disney movies from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves all the way to Frozen, are based off of fairy tales by either the Grimm Brothers or Hans Christian Andersen. Cinderella comes from the Grimm Brothers. Now, most of the original Grimms' fairy tales share rather grotesque elements. For example, in the original "Cinderella," the stepsisters get their eyes pecked out by birds. Naturally, this would never fly in a Disney movie. Nor does Quasimodo's necrophilia in Hunchback of Notre Dame, but that's another story. While most (all) children should not be reading/watching the scene where body parts are forcibly removed by birds, as a teenager, I cannot help but lament the lack of a more severe, more vivid punishment for the stepsisters. So, even if you are a diehard fan of Disney's Cinderella, I would recommend reading some of the original tales, be the Grimms or Hans Christian Andersen.

Now, my biggest, and longest lasting problem with Disney's Cinderella is the characters. Don't get me wrong, the mice are adorable, and I have been known to sing "Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo" on occasion, and Lady Tremaine can give me the shivers. But Cinderella and Prince Charming, you know, the two main characters of the story, are two of the most boring, unappealing characters that I have ever come across. First of all, Prince Charming. He doesn't even have A NAME. He is so uninteresting that they don't even bother giving him a name. He just sits around at the ball, yawning, until Cinderella shows up, and then poof, he's in love, story over. People make fun of Bella Swan (Twilight) for not having a lot of personality, but compared to Disney's Prince Charming, she seems like a delightfully dynamic character. Then there is Cinderella. She has more personality than the prince, I'll give you that. But, what I cannot stand about her is that she will not do anything for herself. She wants to go to the ball, great. But, notice, it is the mice and the birds that band together to make her dress. Then, when her stepsisters ruin her dress, does she take the initiative to find an alternative way to get to the ball? No, she cries in the garden until the Fairy Godmother shows up to make it all better. Then, after the ball, when Cinderella finds herself locked away, she doesn't try to get out herself, rather the mice risk being boiled by hot tea and climb up stairs at least twice their height to get Cinderella the key. It's not that I don't adore the cast of supporting characters. It's that the two leads are extremely lackluster and boring, and don't really take the initiative to do anything in the story. 

However, that does not mean that the Cinderella story should be ignored. The original is, of course, fantastic, and there are tons of rewrites that make Cinderella one of my favorite fairy tales. Just not the Disney version. Try reading Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix. Not only does Ella have no fairy godmother, so she completely takes control of her life, but it explores what happens after the happily ever after. If you like science fiction or fantasy, try Cinder by Marissa Meyer. In this one, Cinder is a cyborg mechanic living in a future where there is a race of people on the moon who can control people's thoughts. And finally, though it may be a kid's book, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine was one of my favorite books growing up. 

 

Auroara is a Belmar Teen who has served on the library's Teen Advisory Board for several years. This is her first Teen Page submission.

by: 
Kenzie, Belmar Teen Submission

  

    Mackenzi knew that she was in for it when she saw the gum in the piano.   She also had a bad feeling that Petra would get angry at her, so she had to do something to make Petra look bad.

     Petra is a very good piano player, her music sounds like birds chirping, and she’s been playing for eleven years. Petra was at church practicing classical music on the piano when Mackenzi pushed Petra off. Everyone though that Mackenzi put the gum in the piano, but it was really Petra. Petra was pretending that she knew nothing about it.  

     “I don’t think you are allowed to play on the church piano,’’ Mackenzi said. Then suddenly, Mackenzi's face was turning red. Mackenzi hated Petra, she thought that Petra was a terrible teenager who was selfish. “I hate you, why do you always have to think only about yourself, why can’t you think about other people?"

     As a result, Mackenzi started to put gum inside the piano because she thought that Petra played horrible, like someone who digs their nails on a chalkboard. “What are you doing? I have a concert tonight. How am I going to play now?” asked Petra.

     “Well you are going to have to deal with it,” Mackenzi said.  

    A light went on, and Petra said, “if you want to work together I can help you practice for the concert.”

     “I would like to help you with the concert. Can we become friends?” Mackenzi asked.

     “Yes we may,” Petra said.

     They worked together to get the gum out. Mackenzie helped Petra practice for the concert and they became best friends and the concert went very well.

 

Kenzie is a Belmar teen who is working hard on developing her writing skills by attending Write Club and looking to teen librarians for feedback. This is her second blog submission, and this time around she wanted to explore mystery writing techniques.

 *photo by Craig Clough, Rock Island, IL

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