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Cheyenne, Lakewood Teen Submission

I Am Malala is the inspiring story of Malala Yousafzai, the girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban. Malala's story starts with her father's dream of starting a school, which shows that her passion for education is genetic. Malala also ventures in to talk about her life before the Taliban, which is shockingly challenging, much having to do with her father's school. She talks about the beginnings of the Taliban in Pakistan, and how even before she was shot, she had a powerful voice through her blog and copious speeches. She addresses the mistreatment of women as the Taliban's power grew. In the concluding chapters, she gives third person details of her shooting, mainly from her family's point of view. The book ends with her miraculous recovery and new life in Birmingham, England.

I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5. I highly recommend reading it  for book reports, however, it is a fun read all by itself.

Mykenna, Columbine Teen Submission

 Mykenna on her inspirtaion for her illustration...

"I wanted her to be a cute and spunky, shojo-styled girl.

If you love Mykenna's illustration you might check out the manga series, Alice in the Country of Clover: Cheshire Cat Waltz. His name is Boris, and despite his human form and piercings and tattoos, he is not your typical punk teenager. For he is the Cheshire Cat, complete with cat ears and a tail, and a penchant for riddles. Boris is madly in love with Alice, and Alice is vulnerable and lonely. But will she fall for the Cheshire Cat? 


*story synopsis from


Violet, Standley Lake Teen Contributor

You shadow my every thought.



Am in awe by you-

     The music we make,

          The harmonies we create,

               The legends we write,

                   The miracles we put to shame.

You dominate my existence.

We are

          A tangle

                    Of bodies and souls

          Lost in one another

                   Ancient ruins; we explore, discover history

          Make history.

You are my fire

          My passion;

You are my adventure.


My soul aches for yours.


*Artwork by Mona via flickr, creative commons


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?!?

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. 

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 [email protected].

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 [email protected]... 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

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.


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.

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.


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.


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