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Hello everybody! 

Thanks for visiting the Teens @ CCPL&IC blog. 

This blog started in 2007 as an outlet for announcing and highlighting all things teens happening at the Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center in Fayetteville, NC, including upcoming events, relevant news and updates, book and movie reviews, and photo sharing (though the bulk of our pictures are located on our teen Flickr pages). 

As of February 2011, this blog will no longer be updated.  Please visit our Teen Space on Facebook, the CCPLIC YouTube account, and the teen library website for information, highlights, and upcoming events.

Thanks for reading!

New library catalog!

Hello all,

The Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center has transitioned to a new catalog. 

Older links in this blog that take you to our website to reserve an item will no longer work.  Please visit our site www.cumberland.lib.nc.us and click on “Find a Book” to access the new catalog.

Thank you!

Always,

Missy

Monday night Paragraph 3, the teen writing club at the Headquarters Library, hosted Dwayne Morgan, the 15 year old author of Destiny Star

 He gave us a wonderful synopsis of his book and it’s forthcoming sequel, Fate’s Eclipse, and then talked about how he came up with the idea in the first place.  He even shared a funny anecdotes about early readers not believing that he was the actual writer of the work. 

We talked about the pros and cons of self-publishing, what he’s encountered as he’s promoted his work, and how he’s been received as a teen author.

Hey, teens can write great fiction!  Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, S. E. Hinton, Christopher Paolini, Ned Vizzini…all published as teens.

It was great having Dwayne visit our library and inspire our group with his achievement.  

Thanks Dwayne,

Missy

…and there are lots of resources at the library to help with your noveling needs, aspiring teen authors:

Seize the Story: A Handbook for Teens Who Like to Write by Victoria Hanley

Spilling Ink: A Young Writer’s Handbook by Anne Mazer, Ellen Potter, and Matt Phelan

A teen’s guide to getting published by Jessica Dunn & Danielle Dunn

Full guide here: Paragraph 3 club resources (10-10 rev)  (PDF) Resources and books available to help teen authors write and publish their work.

For more on Dwayne, check out this article in The News Reporter .

..and guess what comes up next month?  NaNoWriMo!!!  Yay!  Check our calendar for write-in events.

…and they’ll offend you and you and YOU!   Well, if I’m doing my job right they will.  There are books in the library that offend everyone because there are books FOR everyone.   It’s like going down the rabbit hole — follow me around that circular logic, my friends.  Wheee!

Just in time for Banned Books Week, a coworker sent me an email about this crazy-crazy happening that took place over the weekend.   I didn’t hear about until now because my computer has died and it just sits there, taunting me, like a big, silver paperweight….holding my music hostage!! *sniffle*  Anyway…

SPEAK up for SPEAK!!!

An associate professor of management at Missouri State University, Wesley Scroggins, has written a diatribe about how Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson is basically soft porn and should be removed from the school libraries in the district where he lives. 

Yes, he’s talking about THAT Speak, which ten years on is still an extremely popular young adult novel.  I’ve mentioned it in this blog before: briefly in a review and as a book that’s been made into a film – incidentally, the film stars Kristen Stewart of Twilight fame). 

So, here is Ms. Anderson’s response. 

…and please, oh please, play the video of her reading her poem “Listen”, which she created based on reader response to Speak.

Now, I took a sharp left turn when I could have been a teacher, so I’m going to go to an expert on this one.  

Here is an extremely well-reasoned and literary rebuttal to Mr. Scroggins’ “willful misreading” (I like that, that says it so well) by Philip Nel, Professor of English and Director of Kansas State University’s Program in Children’s Literature. 

This story has been all over the interwebs and Twitter has kinda exploded (Follow the thread #SpeakLoudly) and Ms. Anderson and Sarah Ockler, whose book Twenty Boy Summer is also being challenged have just done interviews with the paper that printed the initial opinion piece.  (he’s also going after Slaughterhouse Five, but Kurt Vonnegut can’t fight back…)  So anyway, keep an eye out for that article.

Here Ms. Ockler explains a bit more about the situation (who the challenge/opinion piece writer is, why this is a bigger deal than just the removal of one or two books from a school district’s library, and how you can get involved if you want to do something more).  Apparently this is the same area where another school board recently removed Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian.

I just have to say…this reminds me so much of the craziness that happened with Sarah Dessen’s book, Just Listen.  In Florida, an upset parent stood up in front of school board members and began reading portions of the date-rape scene, which by necessity is horrific

Yet instead of saying that yes, that particular scene was unsavory but necessary and that there is more to the book than just that scene, the parent and the school board member running the meeting painted the whole book with the same brush, disregarded the fact that the book was important for so many reasons, and that perhaps, by describing that situation, other teenage girls might recognize that a situation they’d been subjected to was non-consensual…or they might recognize a situation getting bad and get themselves out of it before they are hurt. 

*okay…deep breath*  Go here for Ms. Dessen’s response at the time.

Earlier today I set up the Banned Books Display for the teens in my library.  Every year someone will inevitably say, “…but no one really bans books anymore, right?”  Um, no.  …and people still hold book burnings, too (that Qu’ran incident is only the latest and greatest), though they’re mostly symbolic and feel-good events, “Throw another Harry Potter on the barbie!”  Perfectly fine, yay First Amendment rights and all that…they can burn them as long as they bought them…no worries.

What I worry about is when somebody other than a child or teenager’s parents comes in and takes books away from those teens.  The theme for this year’s Banned Books Week is particularly apt, “Think for yourself and let others do the same.”  

Putting up big walls around teenagers will not keep them safe, for someday they must go out into that world.   Refusing to let them see the reality of choices, even bad choices (for example, what can happen to you when you’re addicted to methamphetamines like the main character in Ellen Hopkin’s book Crank), leaves them vulnerable.

Hopkins, who you may or may not have heard was dis-invited from a book festival earlier this year, says it so well in her Manifesto: “Ignorance is no armor.”  Please read the whole Manifesto.

So, I’ve gone on a bit, but please, share with me and those people who read this blog…have you read Speak, or Just Listen, or any one of the top hundred books banned this decade? 

Please, #SpeakLoudly.  The next book facing a challenge might be one you need to read.

Some folks around the blogosphere who are Speaking out for Speak:

YA author Jo Knowles

http://jbknowles.livejournal.com/390702.html

YA author Cecil Castellucci

http://castellucci.wordpress.com/2010/09/19/speaking-up-for-speak/

Always,

Missy

For a lot of teenagers, 9-11 is their touchstone, the big event that mars their memory. 

I was sitting around with  my friends one evening and we were reminiscing about where we were for the “big, terrible events” in the last 20-odd years…We all remembered the Shuttle Columbia disaster, Waco,  the Virginia Tech massacre, the Oklahoma City bombing and some of us remembered the Challenger disaster …I remembered sitting in my dorm room watching the Columbine massacre unfold over and over again on the television….and we all have a story about “where we were” when the Towers fell on 9-11, that shocking, horrible day.

Those images stay with you for a very long time.  …and everyone deals with them differently.  As a society we cope in a variety of ways, for good or ill, and that makes us who we are as Americans.

My friend and co-worker, Jenn Carrico, wrote a very insightful article about it for the Saturday Extra.  It’s worth reading, in my opinion.  For my part, I simply want to reflect on the fact that teens today have 9-11 as one of the major touchstones of their lives. 

Folks, you grew up in a world where terrorism was able to shut down air traffic for a whole day, and it was suddenly conceivable that fanatics could hijack planes and use them as projectiles bring down buildings on top of innocent people.  The nature of violence had changed.  What was once beyond imagining had become real.

I want to share some books with y’all, being that it’s an anniversary of sorts for September 11th:

9-11 Artists Respond (Volume 1) &

9-11 The World’s Greatest Comic  Artists Tell Stories to Remember (Volume 2)

These graphic novels are collections of short vignettes from various well-known artists.  Some pieces are stark and without words, some are subtle and nuanced, some smack you upside the head.   These volumes include works by  indie artists and as well as pieces by known artists — artists from all styles and genres contributed to this memorial.  They’re poignant and sad, some are cynical and full of dark humor, and some are flat out tributes to the fallen.  These artists poured themselves onto the pages of these books and in doing so helped a nation express our grief.

Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan

Love is the Higher Law follows the lives of three teens as they struggle in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade towers.  Claire is just trying to get her little brother home safely, Peter and Jasper had made plans to hook up at a party that night, but circumstances intervened.  Now Jasper is fending off phone calls from his frantic parents in Korea and Peter is wandering in a daze and has to decide what is really important to him.  The book is filled with Levithan’s trademark humor, despite the stark and horrific subject matter, and music recommendations abound –  you could fill a playlist from these pages.  There is heartbreak and soul-searching in Manhattan, through the eyes of these teenagers, but ultimately, as it must, life goes on.

Other literature of teen interest featuring 9-11:

With Their Eyes: September 11th: a view from a high school at ground zero ed. by Annie Thoms

The Usual Rules by Joyce Maynard

In the Shadows of No Towers by Art Spiegelman

The 9-11 Report: a graphic representation by Sid Jacobsen and Ernie Colon

Cinnamon Girl by Juan Fillipe Herrera

Where were you when the Towers came down?  

I was at work  (The Home Depot, Garden Dept. – that’s how I paid for library school) and a coworker mentioned that a plane had hit the World Trade Towers.  I thought, it must be an accident – that had happened before, small aircraft lose control sometimes and it’s unfortunate.  I hoped that not too many people were hurt.  Then a little while later, she told me another plane had hit the other tower, a big passenger plane that had been hijacked…this was an attack.  We were all stunned – scared – in shock.  My father works at an international airport.  I was worried that something might happen to him. 

The rest of the day passed in a blur.  My coworkers and I wandered around doing our jobs, heading back to the break room regularly for glimpses of the television which for once was tuned to the news channel instead of the music or entertainment station.  I do remember one encounter from that day clearly, though.  I was shifting a pallet display into a corner of the department when a teenage girl and her mom approached me.  The mom nodded to her daughter as if to tell her that it was okay to ask me a question.  The girl seemed very serene, but I could tell that she’d been crying.  When she spoke, her voice shook.

“They said you had the flags out here.  I need a flag, please”

It nearly broke my heart.  Our store had a huge stack of flags that had been sitting on a cardboard pallet display for months and we’d hardly sold any.  I helped the young lady pick one out, and then pulled the display front and center of the store.  The flags sold out within the hour.

That simple act of getting a flag helped that young woman get through the day….and I held onto that moment in the weeks and months afterwards, as I watched the horror on the TV (because I was not able to turn away).

As we remember the lives lost (in the initial attacks and the rescuers who bravely sacrificed their lives in an attempt to come to their aid) let us mark this anniversary as we would any event of such magnitude, with respect and reverence, and learn from our past so that we might not repeat it.

Peace be with you.

Always,

Missy

You’re here?  Why are you still here?!! 

Go look at the PICTURES!  :)

& now there’s video of the COSPLAY RUNWAY! ( added 9-10-10)

Librari-Con 2010 Cosplay Runway: Part 1

Librari-Con 2010 Cosplay Runway: Part 2

Always,

Missy

Members of the Carolina Garrison of the 501st Legion menaced con-goers, to the delight of all.

Librari-Con 2010 was a great success: teens came, they saw, they danced funny little dances (“Uma uma dance” anyone?) and it. was. kinda. awesome.  :)

We got a really nice write up in the Fayetteville Observer, too.

Librari-Con: Fans of anime, manga, converge in Fayetteville

Were you here?  What did you think?  Did you have a good time?  Leave comments and let us know, pretty please! 

Check back after Thursday, Sept 9th and I’ll have the Librari-con 2010 photo gallery updated on the Teen Flickr page! 

PICTURES ARE POSTED! 

Enjoy :)

Thanks to all the library staff and community volunteers who help make Librari-Con possible, and to our enthusiastic Minions (teen volunteers) for their energy and dedication.  You all rock. 

As always, thank you to our artists, guests, and sponsors.  As a public library, we have limited resources and often rely on good will, the spirit of cooperation, and donations to bring this program into being for our teens (and not so teenage) patrons.  :)

Always,

Missy

Update: SRPE (Society for the Refinement of Polyvarietal Entertainment, and Librari-Con volunteers) has a gallery of Librari-Con 2010 pics.  Enjoy!

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