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September 12, 2014

by Madeleine

e. lockhart is one of my top favourite “read every book multiple times” teen authors. Her characters get inside your head and stay with you for a long time.

The Boyfriend List The Boy Book  The Treasure Map of Boys Real Live Boyfriends

The Ruby Oliver series (The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, The Treasure Map of Boys and Real Live Boyfriends) is a great examination of what happens when you lose all your friends and have to start learning how to cope and rebuild your life. Though the titles all mention boyfriends and boys in the title, the real heart of the books is female friendship. Ruby Oliver was a happy, mostly well-adjusted teenage girl who was generally well-liked in high school. A falling out involving her ex-boyfriend and best friend leads to her becoming, in her words, a “social leper” and now she has started therapy because of panic attacks. Her therapist helps her work out how she got to where she is and shows her that she has the tools she needs to start the recovery process. As a therapy assignment, Ruby starts writing a list of the boys in her life—those she has dated, kissed, or just had a crush on--but it unfortunately falls into the wrong hands and she goes from “social leper” to “famous slut” as people assume entirely the wrong thing about her list of boys. Ruby learns that while some friendships can be salvaged, some are simply too damaged to ever repair. However, she finds that she can still make peace with those she is no longer close with. Even with all the difficulties Ruby faces, she still faces everything with a healthy dose of humour and is a cool, interesting and complex girl to read about.

The Disreputable History of Frankie-Landau BanksThe Disreputable History of Frankie-Landau Banks

Before the summer before sophomore year, Frankie Landau-Banks went mostly unnoticed by her family and nearly everyone around her. She was always intelligent but was seen as someone who needed to be protected. That summer her appearance changes drastically—she’s “hot” now—as well as the kind of attention she starts to receive. When she goes back to her prestigious boarding prep school, Matthew, the cute, funny and smart guy in the in-crowd takes an interest in her and they begin dating. However, she starts to notice how patronising he can be towards her. She starts to realise that the girls in her new group of friends are expected to stand aside while the guys have all the fun and monopolize conversations at the lunch table. When she finds out Matthew has been lying to her about an “old boys club” type of secret society he is a part of, the Loyal Order of the Bassett Hounds, she makes a plan to infiltrate it and by doing so finds out just how deep gender discrimination is ingrained in her school and the larger society around her. This book is by far my favourite of all Lockhart’s books, and Frankie is one of my favourite literary characters I have ever encountered.

DramaramaDramarama

Dramarama is an good read for anyone in theatre, or just anyone who has an interest in theatre. Unfortunately I never went to drama camp but I love learning about it. Sarah is a self-described “supersonic, hydrophonic, gigantic person, only no one could see it.” She lives and breathes musical theatre and doesn’t fit in at high school in her boring hometown of Brenton, Ohio. When she hears about the Wildwood Summer Institute (a prestigious drama camp) is holding auditions, Sarah signs up right away. She cuts her hair and invests in a new wardrobe. At auditions she runs into Douglas Howard, aka Demi in whom she discovers a kindred spirit. Being gay and African American, he also feels out of place at their high school and shares her love of musical theatre. They become best friends and are overjoyed to both be accepted at Wildwood for the summer and he helps her decide on a new name for camp—“Sadye”. When Sadye and Demi get to camp, they meet all sorts of likeminded, talented people. Demi finds his place at Wildwood and really starts to shine. Sadye, however, has more difficulty. She’s opinionated and outspoken and it does not endear her to many of her peers or the staff. She does not get the parts she hoped for in the plays. Sadye learns a lot about herself and what she wants from theatre, which might not be exactly what she first thought she wanted. There is no shortage of glitter, lamé, jazz hands, humour, and of course, drama, in Dramarama.

Fly on the Wall Fly on the Wall

Ever hear someone say “I wish I could have been a fly on the wall for THAT conversation”? Well, Gretchen Yee ends up experiencing that very thing. Gretchen is having a rough time. It’s hard to fit in when everyone at your artsy high school wants to stand out. Her parents have announced they are divorcing. Her best friend Katja has been pulling away for some reason. Her art teacher is disdainful of her love for Spider-man and comic book art. On top of all that, she just doesn’t get boys; in particular, Titus, who is in a group that call themselves the Art Rats. One day, she wakes up and slowly realises that she has been turned into a fly on the wall of the boy’s locker room at her high school! After her initial horror over her Kafka-inspired transformation starts to hear exactly what kinds of conversations go on inside the locker room and she’s intrigued. Gretchen finds out that boys are, in fact, human, and have fears and insecurities like her own.

We Were LiarsWe Were Liars

We Were Liars is Lockhart’s latest title, and it is a lot darker than her previous novels. It’s also the one that has gotten the most attention—already it has been optioned for a movie adaptation! It is not my favourite of hers, but if you’ve never encountered an “unreliable narrator” in literature before, this is a fun place to start. (I would also recommend Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood as well as The Basic Eight by Daniel Handler.) Cadence Sinclair was born into a life of wealth and privilege. Every summer, she would go to her family’s private island along with her mother, her grandmother, her domineering grandfather, her aunts, her cousins, and the nephew of one of her aunt’s boyfriend’s nephew, Gat Patil. Gat comes from a very different background and Cadence’s grandfather has always seemed to resent him. Cadence, her cousins and her beloved Gat, who she loves the most, were very close and called themselves the Liars. They never saw each other during the rest of the year but summers were theirs. During their fifteenth summer, something terrible occurs to Cadence that causes her to hit her head—something that she doesn’t remember. Her memories are damaged and she has shrunk into herself. She finally convinces her mother to take her back to the island, hoping things will be back to normal, but everyone is acting so differently. Cadence makes it her mission to piece together what exactly happened that fifteenth summer, though the truth might be too awful for her to bear. We Were Liars examines the toll that privilege takes on those who don’t have it and those who can’t imagine living without it.

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September 5, 2014

               

Teen SRC 2014 has now officially come to an end.  A big thank you to everyone who participated this year!  We look forward to hearing from you in 2015 and we hope you have an awesome year ahead. 

And now, to our contest winners.  Drum roll please!  After much deliberation, debate and discussion, our panel of judges has finally chosen the lucky winners of our Teen SRC summer-long contests!  There were so many amazing entries this year, and we were thoroughly impressed with the level of talent and creativity in everyone's work.  It was tougher than ever to pick the best of the best in each category, but alas, we narrowed it down and made some tough decisions.

And your winners are.....
 
             


Grand Prize Winner

Maggie G.

Photo Contest

Winner – Half Liam, Half Me (Arianne C.)

Honorable Mention - Ruler of the Empire (Libby G.)


Artwork Contest

Winner – Frozen Dress (Mary P.)

Honorable Mention – Golden Snitch (Ashlin D.)


Book Review Contest

Winner – The Giver (Libby G.)

Honorable Mention – The Giver (Danica C.)


Short Story Contest

Winner - A Sacrifice That Changed Everything (Stephen C.)

Honorable Mention – A Dream of Reality (Amaris W.)


Poetry Contest

Winner - Adding Tears (Emma G.)

Honorable Mention – Hits Me (Grace M.)


Non-Fiction Story Contest

Winner – Video Games, Revisited (Grace M.)

Honorable Mention – The Reading Tree (April S.)


Survey Contest
Soomin H.

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August 29, 2014

by Alix-Rae

The MTV Video Music Awards took place last Sunday night and as usual all of the hottest stars in pop music were out wearing their best (or worst?) get-ups and  many were ready to shine on the stage with some stellar performances. One highlight for me was Beyoncé's amazing performace that highlighted all of the songs from her new album. I have to say it was quite darling when Jay-Z brought their daughter on stage to present her with her award.

Although I'm not a huge fan of Top 40s music I do find it interesting to watch the big award shows just to keep myself informed about what's popular and since the shows are live - it's fun to see if anything crazy or unexpected is going to happen - and it usually does!

On the topic of music, today's blog post features a variety of teen books where the titles are also song titles. How many of these song titles are familar to you? If you want to take a listen to the song you can check out Hoopla and stream it right away. If you happen to think of any other titles that were inspired by songs leave a comment after this post!

Books with titles that are song titles too!

I Am (Not) The WalrusI Am (Not) The Walrus by Ed Briant (song: I Am the Walrus byThe Beatles)

As the singer and bass player for a Beatles cover band, Toby embarks on a quest to increase his sex appeal, a plan that derails when he finds a mysterious note inside his old bass guitar.

With Or Without You With or Without You by Brian Farrey (song by: U2)

When eighteen-year-old best friends Evan and Davis of Madison, Wisconsin, join a community center group called "chasers" to gain acceptance and knowledge of gay history, there may be fatal consequences.

 

SSince You've Been Gone ince You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson (song by: Kelly Clarkson)

Quiet Emily's sociable and daring best friend, Sloane, has disappeared leaving nothing but a random list of bizarre tasks for her to complete, but with unexpected help from popular classmate Frank Porter, Emily gives them a try.

 

Hold Me Closer, NecromancerHold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lisa McBride (song: Tiny Dance (Hold Me Closer) by Elton John)

Sam LaCroix, a Seattle fast-food worker and college dropout, discovers that he is a necromancer, part of a world of harbingers, werewolves, satyrs, and one particular necromancer who sees Sam as a threat to his lucrative business of raising the dead.

 

Black Hole Sun Black Hole Sun by David Mcinnis Gill (song by: Soundgarden)

On the planet Mars, sixteen-year-old Durango and his crew of mercenaries are hired by the settlers of a mining community to protect their most valuable resource from a feral band of marauders.

 

School's Out ForeverSchool's Out Forever by James Patterson (song: School's Out by Alice Cooper)

After a short stay with an FBI agent who gives them a chance to attend school and live a normal life, the six genetically-altered, winged youths head toward Florida and Max's ultimate destiny--to save the world, whether she wants to or not.

 

AAcross the Universecross the Universe by Beth Revis (song by: The Beatles)

Teenaged Amy, a cryogenically frozen passenger on the spaceship Godspeed, wakes up to discover that someone may have tried to murder her.

 

TToxicoxic by Sara Shephard (song by: Britney Spears)

Toxic is the fifteenth--and second-to-last--volume in Sara Shepard's bestselling Pretty Little Liars series. High school seniors Aria, Emily, Spencer, and Hanna barely survived their most recent encounter with A. And it's not over yet. . . . The police don't believe that the real A is still out there, but the girls know what--and who--they saw. If they don't track down this final tormentor soon, A will silence them forever.

I'll Be ThereI'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan (song by: The Jackson Five)

Raised by an unstable father who keeps constantly on the move, Sam Border has long been the voice of his silent younger brother, Riddle, but everything changes when Sam meets Emily Bell and, welcomed by her family, the brothers are faced with normalcy for the first time.

 

And to top of this list here are some more books in which bands or songs are significantly featured:

           Disenchantments 

Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto by Eric Luper

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Beat the Band by Don Calame

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirsten Cronn-Mills

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour

Happy Reading!

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August 21, 2014

By Brenda

118188_WIC_240x208_1(1)On Broadway and around the world, Wicked has worked its magic on critics and audiences alike. Winner of over 50 major awards, including a Grammy and three Tony Awards, Wicked is “Broadway’s biggest blockbuster” (The New York Times).  Wicked is set to return to Winnipeg’s Centennial Concert Hall August 20-30… but before you go, you’ll want to do some reading first!

Many have heard of the musical Wicked, but did you know that it started life as a book? Wicked: the Life and Times of Wicked Munchkinland Tourthe Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire is the author’s revisiting of the familiar Wizard of Oz story. In it, he steps away from the childhood tale and adds darker twists to his spin. The story centres on Elphaba, the girl who grew up to be the Wicked Witch of the West, and develops through three sequels. Son of a Witch follows Elphaba’s son Liir. A Lion Among Men picks up the plot several years later, and is told through the perspective of the Cowardly Lion. Out of Oz closes the series with the story as seen by Rain, Elphaba’s granddaughter. This long, dark tale is available on CD and in print, perfect to while away the hours on a long road trip. Musical fans may want to check out the Broadway cast recording, or flip through Wicked: the Grimmerie by David Cote, a companion to the Broadway musical.

wicked           son          lion          out

Those looking for more family-friendly entertainment can head to the original inspiration. L. Frank Baum wrote the well-known classic Wizard of Oz on which Maguire’s books are based. The original is available at the library in many formats—book, graphic novel, CD, movie score, DVD, and streaming video. But did you know he wrote at least a dozen other titles in the series? WPL has many of them, including Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, The Emerald City of Oz, and Glinda of Oz. Go back to the source and find out where all the popular characters originated and what happened to them!

So read up, then check out the musical Wicked this summer!  You won’t regret it!

                           Wicked Horizontal Title treatment

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August 14, 2014

par Mirabelle

Le beau temps est enfin arrivé! J’ai toujours profité de ces longues journées chaudes et paisibles pour faire de la lecture. Évidemment, je rigole en disant cela, car je m’adonne à cette activité 365 jours par année! Au moins, en été, je peux faire de la lecture dehors et profiter un peu du soleil. À cet égard, je voulais partager avec vous mes coups de cœur de l’été.

Je veux d’abord vous faire connaître un livre qui s’intitule Le Théorème des K(atherine) de John Green. Ce roman constitue un parfait compagnon pour une journée d’été, car il porte sur les aventures de deux garçons qui entreprennent un voyage pendant leurs vacances d’été. Je ne veux pas trop dévoiler l’intrigue, mais si vous voulez savoir ce que l’archiduc François-Ferdinand d’Autriche, 19 jeunes filles nommées Katherine, des anagrammes, un jeune génie, son meilleur ami et des formules mathématiques ont en commun, je vous suggère de lire ce livre! Cet ouvrage est très amusant et intelligent et les personnages sont fort aimables. John Green sait comment se mettre dans la tête des adolescents! En effet, l’aspect le plus intéressant du roman, selon moi, est sans doute l’amitié entre Colin et Hassan qui est l’élément central de l’histoire. Je vous invite à en faire la lecture – vous n’en serez pas déçu!

Mon deuxième coup de cœur est une série en trois tomes : Le Livre de Saskia par Marie Pavlenko. Vous y trouverez les aventures d’une adolescente qui se nomme Saskia. Celle-ci vit une vie très ordinaire jusqu’à ses dix-huit ans, année durant laquelle elle commence à faire des cauchemars bizarres et est attaquée par une créature mystérieuse dans un cimetière. Cette trilogie possède toutes les qualités d’une bonne série du genre fantastique : un monde fascinant, de l’aventure, de l’action, du suspense et des personnages complexes et attachants. Le parcours de Saskia est réellement passionnant! Bon, je sais que vous avez déjà envie de vous plonger dans le fabuleux monde de Saskia. Vous avez de la chance, car les trois tomes sont déjà disponibles!

Enfin, mon troisième coup de cœur est le premier tome dans la série La Vallée des secrets par Krystyna Kuhn, une auteure allemande. Cette série a connu un grand succès mondial. Le premier tome s’intitule Le Jeu et se déroule dans une école isolée dans les forêts majestueuses de la Colombie-Britannique. Robert et sa sœur Julia arrivent à cette école dans des circonstances mystérieuses. Beaucoup de mystères entourent ce bâtiment isolé, et nos protagonistes tenteront de les élucider. L’école, un bâtiment gothique, est presque un personnage en soi. Celui-ci, et la forêt qui l’entoure, contribuent à établir une ambiance sombre et angoissante. Vous serez envoutés par l’atmosphère de mystère et de suspense que Krystyna Kuhn a élégamment créée.

Je vous remercie de votre attention et je vous souhaite un excellent été! Les titres mentionnés ci-dessus sont tous disponibles dans le catalogue de la Bibliothèque publique de Winnipeg auquel vous pourrez accéder ici.

Mirabelle travaille à la Bibliothèque de Saint-Boniface. Pour elle, une journée d'été idéale serait constituée de soleil, d'un cornet de crème glacée et d'un bon livre.

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