Wednesday, January 30, 2013

3rd Annual Teen Poetry Contest

Put on your metaphorical thinking caps and observation specs, the 3rd annual Teen Poetry Contest starts February 1, and ends on April 30th. The Library's teen advisory board, the Teen Think Tank, voted on the theme for this year's teen poetry contest at their November meeting.  The result is you have two themes to choose from when you write your poem(s) for the 2013 poetry contest: Nature or Animals.  Please read the contest rules carefully on this blog's Poetry page.  The link for submitting your poem online is also on the Poetry page.
I lived in England for three years, and during two of those years I attended speech training classes at Peredur Centre for the Arts where I was required to memorize and recite many poems and stories.  Two of my favorite poems were Samuel Taylor Coleridge's (1772-1834) The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (I memorized a section of this for a group performance.), and Kubla Khan (used as a class exercise).  Following are three quotes attributed to Coleridge to help you on your way to writing this year's winning poem.

Coleridge in 1799 from a pastel by an unknown German artist:

“A poet ought not to pick nature's pocket. Let him borrow, and so borrow as to repay by the very act of borrowing. Examine nature accurately, but write from recollection, and trust more to the imagination than the memory.” Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Specimens of the Table Talk of S.T. Coleridge (1835).

“What if you slept, and what if in your sleep you dreamed, and what if in your dreams you went to heaven and there you plucked a strange and beautiful flower, and what if when you awoke you had the flower in your hand? Ah, what then?” -attributed to Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
"I wish our clever young poets would remember my homely definitions of prose and poetry; that is, prose = words in their best order, poetry = the best words in the best order." -attributed to Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge signature

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Make an Origami Bookmark for Valentine's Day

Recently I taught myself to make an origami heart bookmark, and now I can teach you.  I have purchased fancy origami paper (thank you Friends of the Library) for you to choose from, and there will also be heart stickers for the finishing touch.  Or, you may want to cut out a square of white paper then draw/decorate or write a message on the paper before folding.  Or, you could strategically cut a square from a magazine page and then fold.  Stop by the library on Wednesday afternoon the day before Valentine's Day to make a few of these nifty bookmarks to give on Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year - Funny Stories

Check out one of the titles listed below, and start 2013 with a chortle, a giggle, a chuckle, a laugh, or a smile.  This past weekend I wrapped up 2012 with the Sons of the 613, by Michael Rubens.  This darkly humorous, action-packed story made me realize that I needed to create a funny stories book list for this blog.  Sons of the 613 is a story that will have you laughing and crying, and I can't think of too many other books that have done that in the past year besides John Green's, The Fault in Our Stars.

Sons of the 613, by Michael Rubens, 2012.
Isaac is struggling to prepare for his Bar Mitzvah when his older brother Josh, a self-proclaimed "Super Jew" and undefeated wrestler, forces him into a quest to become a man by shooting a gun, riding a motorcycle, falling in love, and more.  Realistic Fiction.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, 1989.  Chronicles the off-beat and occasionally extraterrestrial journeys, notions, and acquaintances of galactic traveler Arthur Dent.  Science Fiction; Witty; Offbeat; Adult books for Young Adults.  BBC Radio audio book version; Book to Movie.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie, 2007.  Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.  Realistic fiction; Native American fiction; Upbeat; Diary format.  Audio book read by the author.
Burger Wuss, by M. T. Anderson, 1999.  Hoping to lose his loser image, Anthony plans revenge on a bully which results in a war between two competing fast food restaurants, Burger Queen and O'Dermott's.  Realistic Fiction.
Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline, 2011.  Immersing himself in a mid-twenty-first-century technological virtual utopia to escape an ugly real world of famine, poverty, and disease, Wade Watts joins an increasingly violent effort to solve a series of puzzles by the virtual world's creator. Science Fiction; Adult books for Young Adults; Offbeat; First person narrative.

Carter Finally Gets It, by Brent Crawford, 2009.  Awkward freshman Will Carter endures many painful moments during his first year of high school before realizing that nothing good comes easily, focus is everything, and the payoff is usually incredible.  Realistic Fiction; First person narrative; First book in trilogy.
Deadline, by Chris Crutcher, 2007.  Given the medical diagnosis of one year to live, high school senior Ben Wolf decides to fulfill his greatest fantasies, ponders his life's purpose and legacy, and converses through dreams with a spiritual guide known as "Hey-Soos.".  Realistic Fiction; Sport Fiction; Bittersweet; First person narrative.

Dead End in Norvelt, by Jack Gantos, 2011.  12-year-old Jack Gantos spends the summer of 1962 grounded for various offenses until he is assigned to help a neighbor with an unusual chore involving the newly dead, molten wax, twisted promises, Girl Scout cookies, underage driving, lessons from history, typewriting, and countless bloody noses.  Autobiographical; Gross.  Audio book read by the Author.
King of the Screwups, by Kelly L. Going, 2009.  After getting in trouble yet again, popular high school senior Liam, who never seems to live up to his wealthy father's expectations, is sent to live in a trailer park with his gay "glam-rocker" uncle.  Realistic Fiction; GLBT Fiction.
Son of the Mob, by Gordon Korman, 2002.  Seventeen-year-old Vince's life is constantly complicated by the fact that he is the son of a powerful Mafia boss, a relationship that threatens to destroy his romance with the daughter of an FBI agent.  Realistic Fiction; Fast-paced; First book of two.
Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie, by David Lubar, 2005. While navigating his first year of high school and awaiting the birth of his new baby brother, Scott loses old friends and gains some unlikely new ones as he hones his skills as a writer.  Realistic Fiction; Angst-filled.
Dairy Queen, by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, 2006.  After spending her summer running the family farm and training the quarterback for her school's rival football team, sixteen-year-old D.J. decides to go out for the sport herself, not anticipating the reactions of those around her.  Realistic Fiction; Sports Fiction; First person narrative; First book in trilogy.
Discworld novels by Terry PratchettColor of Magic, published in 1983, is the first book in this 34 book series.  A slightly disorganized and somewhat naive interplanetary tourist named Twoflower joins up with a bumbling wizard and embarks on a chaotic voyage through a world filled with monsters and dragons, heroes and knaves.  Fantasy fiction; satirical humor.
Tiffany Aching Discworld series by Terry PratchettThe Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, published in 2001, is the first book in this 5 book series.  A talking cat, intelligent rats, and a strange boy cooperate in a Pied Piper scam until they try to con the wrong town and are confronted by a deadly evil rat king.  Fantasy fiction.

Guys Read: Funny Business, edited by Jon Scieszka, 2010.  A collection of humorous stories featuring a teenaged mummy, a homicidal turkey, and the world's largest pool of chocolate milk.  Short stories.
Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison, 2000.  The humorous journal of a year in the life of a 14-year-old British girl who tries to reduce the size of her nose, stop her mad cat from terrorizing the neighborhood animals, and win the love of handsome hunk Robbie.   Realistic Fiction; Diary format; Book to Movie; Angst-filled; First book in series.
It's Kind of a Funny Story, by Ned Vizzini, 2006.  A humorous account of a New York City teenager's battle with depression and his time spent in a psychiatric hospital.  Realistic Fiction; Book to Movie.

Humorous Non-Fiction

How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous, by Georgia Bragg, 2011.  A look at the deaths of 19 famous people throughout history and the circumstances surrounding those deaths.  Biographies; Offbeat; Journalistic.

Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Mostly True Stories of Growing Up, by Jon Scieszka, 2008.  Babysitting mishaps, lazy summer days by the lake, and silly childhood pranks are remembered in this amusing memoir of the life of an adventurous young boy growing up in a family with six brothers.  Autobiography; Fast-paced. 

Smile, by Raina Telgemeier, 2010.  An autobiography in graphic novel format describes how the author lost two of her front teeth in an accident when she was twelve, and her subsequent struggles with various corrective dental techniques throughout adolescence.  Autobiography; Angst-filled.

CakeWrecks: When Professional Cakes Go Hilariously Wrong, by Jen Yates, 2009.  Presents pictures of and commentary on cakes with mistakes, organized into such categories as literary lols, beyond bizarre, and wedding wrecks.
Totally MAD: 60 Years of Humor, Satire, Stupidity and Stupidity, 2012.  Introduction from Stephen Colbert.  Collects humorous articles from the past six decades of MAD Magazine, including classics from "Spy vs. Spy" and the "Fundalini Pages," in a volume that includes reproductions of twelve iconic cover prints.  Satire.