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Read this!

by: 
Kallie, Columbine Teen Submission

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D. 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 Oder, Walker leads the battle against the Millenium Earl, the evil "being" out to destroy mankind.

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: 
Violet, Standley Lake Teen Contributor

 

 

                                                                   Perfectly Me

                                                                     

                                                                                    There is no end

                                                                       To the soul within my being

                                                                   To the ideas, dreams, epiphanies

                                                                         That encompass my mind.

 

                                                                                           My soul

                                                                              Is not a cageable force;

                                                                             It runs free with the wind,

                                                                               Dances with the leaves,

                                                                                Refuses to be bound

                                                                                       By anything.

 

                                                                                            My soul

                                                                                         Sees wrong

                                                                                  Tries to make it right

                                                                                 Attempts to tell others

                                                                                        Teach them

                                                                                       Of my values

                                                                                      Of my wonder

                                                                      Of compassion, wisdom, and hope.

 

                                                                                            My soul- 

                                                                                      It dives off cliffs,

                                                                                      Rides waterfalls,

                                                                                Swims against the tide.

 

                                                                                                 I am

                                                                                                  Me

 

 

If you enjoy poetry, you might try checking out Tell The World: Teen Poems from WritersCorps.  This book shares the voices of teens who show the world how poetry can reflect who we are, where we are from, how we love, and why we hope.

 

by: 
Arra, Teen Services Coordinator

I just finished reading The Tyrant's Daughter by J.C. Carleson and I was blown away (not literally thank goodness).  Laila's father, a dictator in an unnamed Middle Eastern country, has been killed and now she, her mom and brother have been relocated to the United States.  Coming from a life of privilege and also from a country with strict laws about how women may act, Laila has a hard time adjusting to her new life.  Luckily, Emmy steps in to show her the ropes of American culture.  However, a US government agent begins to complicate things by manipulating her family to try and gain more influence in her home country.  

Carleson is a former CIA operative who worked in Baghdad during Saddam Hussein's rule.  She has an inside perspective on politics in the Middle East and how the US interacts with these countries.  Usually, I would skip the author's note and essay found in the back of the book but, in this case, I highly recommend reading them as they are well worth it!

If you like this book you may also enjoy Shabanu by Suzanne Staples.

by: 
Meghann Henry, Teen Outreach Librarian

Just in time for Teen Tech week, Sharon, a patron experience librarian from the Lakewood Library shared information about the Digital Comic Museum.  Graphic Novel fans can explore hundreds of pre-1959 comics that influenced the style of many graphic novels today (sorry no Batman, Superman or X-Men here).  These comics give interesting and sometimes eyebrow raising glimpse into 1950s pop culture. So, explore the site and see how things have changed - or in some cases haven't changed much at all!

by: 
Jessie, Columbine Library

Aimee Carter, author of the Goddess Test series, has a new book out!

Pawn takes place in a future United States where society is strictly structured into different social classes. Each person takes a test when they turn 17 that determines their class and the kind of life that they will lead. Kitty tests as a III, which means working in a sewer and never having enough food or money to truly be happy. When the Prime Minister gives her the opportunity to upgrade to a VII she agrees without even knowing what she will need to do. The next thing she knows she is waking up after weeks of being drugged, only to find that she has a whole new body—she now looks and sounds exactly like the Prime Minister’s niece.  Kitty learns that her world and the people who lead it are more gruesome and corrupt than she ever imagined, and she is now a pawn in their evil plots.

If you like dystopian books like The Hunger Games or Divergent you should definitely try Pawn.

by: 
Meghann Henry, Teen Outreach Librarian

I just moved to Denver from Kansas City in December, and since then I have undergone a crash course in Broncos football mania. People are sporting orange and blue at work, to school, even on dates (a color combo that in any other context is not recommended). I have never been passionate about a football team (sorry Kansas City Chiefs), but the love and excitement for the Broncos just might make me a fan.  

Inspired by the football buzz I decided to read, Pop by Gordon Korman. It must have been the Broncos orange and blue on the cover that sucked me in, or that like me the main character, Marcus Jordan, has just moved to a new town.  While training at the park for the upcoming football season Marcus befriends Charlie Popovich, a charasmatic adult prankster.  When school starts Marcus is schocked to find out that Charlie is not only the father of Troy, the starting quarterback at school, but is also a former NFL player.  Tensions rise both on and off the field as the boys compete over football, girls, and what's best for Charlie.

Sports fiction is not usually the kind of book that I tackle (see what I did there), but I enjoyed the very real characters created by Korman and the fast pace of the storytelling. So, in the spirit of trying new things, this weekend I am going to rock some orange and blue and scream GO BRONCOS!

 

 

by: 
Arra, Teen Services Coordinator

The American Library Association has announced the Michael L. Printz Award winner for 2014: Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick.  

Do you think re-incarnation is possible?  Does the past have an influence beyond explanation on what will happen tomorrow? In this futuristic tale, Eric is a journalist who has come to the island of Blessed to investigate rumors of unnatural occurrences.  When he meets Merle, a local girl, he feels as though he already knows her.  This gothic tale is told in 7 parts, each based on a phase of the moon. 

The Printz is selected based on excellence in literature for young adults.  Sedgwick is also the author of the nail-biting suspense story Revolver.   

2014 Printz Honor books include:

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal
Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner
Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool

by: 
Chandra, Belmar Library

Are you a Gallagher Girls fan? A Heist Society enthusiast? A budding spy yourself? Try Also Known As by Robin Benway. Maggie Silver has never had a chance to be a “real” teen. She has spent her life cracking safes to aid The Collective, a mysterious organization that funds missions for spies to right wrongs. 

Her new mission is different though. Instead of just cracking the safe after everyone else does the investigating, info gathering, and other spy stuff, this time Maggie’s going to high school to befriend the son of the man who could expose the agents of The Collective.

Along with keeping her identity a secret, she has to figure out how to properly accessorize her school uniform, go on a first date, and survive a high school party without getting vomited on.  

by: 
Jessie, Columbine Library

Cassie is amazing at reading people. She can take one look at someone and know things about them that they won’t even admit to themselves. She’s so good at reading people that she gets recruited by the FBI for a top secret training group.  The group takes "naturals" like Cassie and helps them hone their skills so they will be experts by the time they’re ready to join the FBI.

The Naturals all live together and practice on cold cases using their special skills. For example, one is a compulsive liar who can always tell when others are lying, and another is an expert at reading other people’s emotions. Imagine living with people like that!  Everything is moving along smoothly until one of the serial killers the FBI is chasing starts communicating with Cassie and the Naturals decide to take action.

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes was exactly what I wanted it to be, full of the action, adventure, and danger of a good spy story.  I was on the edge of my seat trying to guess how it was going to end.  I have always enjoyed Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ books-- she also wrote Every Other Day, about a girl with monster killing super powers that only work every other day, and the werewolf series that starts with Raised by Wolves. Now, with The Naturals, I have a new favorite to add to my list!

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