Teen Read Week is upon us!!

I am so so so so pumped about Teen Read Week. This year’s theme is Turn Dreams into Reality. This theme is pretty good. But then I saw the graphics…

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This is meh. I was really hoping for something more like this:

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From Illustrated Dreams blog.

 

And the actual one is okay, I guess… I just really wanted to have creepy dream world graphics instead of our typical “reach for the stars…” blah blah blah inspirational quote. What do you think of the graphics this year?

 

 

ANYWAY!!!! Still excited. It’s still going to be the most amazing week ever. EVER.

 

Our big event for the week is:

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We are (insert another word for excited here) about having local businessy people come talk to us. You better be too. And bring your equally excited friends. You do not want to see me cry if no one shows up. It’s really pathetic.

 

Look for other fun things going on all week in the Union.

 

 

 

 

I mean, it could have even looked like the cover of Slide by Jill Hathaway. (She’s from Iowa, by the way.)

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Sorry… I’m done now.

 

Teen Read Week is awesome.

Anime Spotlight: Hail to the King

I don’t want to scare you or anything, but I’m not Molly. This may concern you. Some of you even now could be gnashing your teeth and cursing me for not being the purveyor of all things teen that you are used to, and I understand. You may also be asking yourself, “Hey, stranger typing to me on a computer, whatever happened to the great and beneficent Molly?” Let me answer that question first.

I don’t want to alarm anyone, but several days ago Molly was abducted by aliens. Don’t worry. I’m given to understand they are very kind and treating her well. She is, however, out of galaxy for the time being.

This leads us to me. While enjoying my American breakfast of bacon wrapped doughnuts drizzled in gravy, I received a text from Molly on her way past Jupiter telling me that she was going to be late and asking whether or not I would mind writing an anime review for the CRPL Teen Blog.

So it was off to the haberdasher for a new outfit and with a fistful of dreams I will attempt to write a review worth reading. So, without further ado, the series of the month is…

Azumanga Daioh

I watched this series in less than eight hours. Which is only weird because it is over nine and a half hours long; I might be magic.

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Plot

Azumanga Daioh is a comedy series written by Kiyohiko Azuma, (the same man who would later go on to create Yotsuba!&). Based on a yonkoma (four panel) comic strip of the same name, the title literally translates to Great King Azumanga, (hence the title of the blogpost. Get it?! No? … Psh, whatever, I’m both clever and hilarious). It was adapted into an anime in 2001, the series consisting of 130 five-minute segments squished ever so sweetly into 26 episodes. Set in contemporary Japan, it follows seven eccentric students (as well as their two teachers) from the beginning of high school all the way up to graduation.

 

 

Things I liked

+ The Characters + The series itself is entirely character driven. This may sound strange given that from the ten-year-old genius Chiyo to the psychotically energetic Tomo, each character is basically an anime trope stretched to its extreme. However, through their interactions with one another we are shown that they each have their own hopes, dreams, and problems that define them as characters.

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+ Humor + While the humor may not be funny to some people, it struck me perfectly. It is absurd and zany, and absolutely wonderful. The jokes are timed well and I never found the the running gags spaced far enough apart that I never found myself annoyed at the pacing.

+ Slice of Life + The series can essentially be watched starting from any episode. There is a chronology, but no overarching plot to speak of . More than that however, there is something about this series that feels, for lack of a better term, real. There is no melodrama, no giant mech battles, nor is there a single love triangle. It’s just normal high school: class, sports, and summer vacation. They start off in high school and by the end they have blossomed out and into society at large. If you watch it in order you will find yourself looking back or, depending on your age, looking toward your time in high school. It is a series that can be watched both in pieces, but offers significantly more when watched in order.

Things I Didn’t Like

– Backgrounds – I know this seems like a strange thing to pick out, but it’s a pretty big issue here. While the characters are animated well, the background are little more than outlines which would be more of a problem if attention wasn’t almost exclusively on the characters.

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– Music – It has background music. Period. It is forgettable. It serves its purpose and then it disappears. If you are looking for something that you can listen to on its own and enjoy, you’ll have to look somewhere else.

– The End – Not so much the ending, but the fact that it had to end at all. This much fun is hard to find in a series and should be savored.

Notes

Contains mild language and some adult situations, but nothing objectionable if you are over the age of thirteen, which seeing as this is a ‘teen blog’ seems almost not worth mentioning.

The original manga lasted four volumes and its omnibus can occasionally be found floating around resell shops and bookstores. The anime is a bit harder to come across, but if you look hard enough you can find it available to watch on certain online resources.

Remember that time I mentioned Azuma’s other series Yotsuba!&? You should read it. Like now. Stop what you are doing, come to the library and read it. It’s funny, cute, and full of enough heart that it might literally kill you from its sweetness (or at the very least give you diabetes).

Anime Spotlight

I’ve decided. Each month, I’m going to ATTEMPT to watch an anime series (or at least start it) or read a manga series that I can share with you guys. So, let’s get this party started.

Angel Beats!

After a lot of prompting from my anime clubs, I finally finished Angel Beats (I’d been on episode 4 for a long time……….).

Plot:

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Angel Beats! takes place at a high school acting as a limbo for those who have died, where students learn to give up any lingering attachments they still have from life before passing on. Those in the afterlife school can still feel pain as they did when they were alive, as well as dying again, only to awaken later with no injuries. The story follows the main protagonist Otonashi, a boy who lost his memories of his life after dying. He meets Yuri, a girl who invites him to join the Afterlife Battlefront, an organization she founded and leads which fights against God for the cruel fates the members experienced in life.  Their only enemy is Angel, a girl who has supernatural powers and fights against the SSS.”

(Thank you Wikipedia for having all the infos.)

Things I liked:

This series is short and they ended it in a good spot. (though they could have made it longer and been okay too)

Seamless mix of action, humor, and drama with just a dash of love.

Interesting plot

Awesome sound track. Like seriously good music in this show.

Things I didn’t like:

I thought the romantic aspects could have been more developed.

The series could have been a lot more in depth. It felt like there were some missing pieces (What the heck is with TK?)

It got a little muddle towards the end.

Things to think about:

This show has blood, violence, and mild cursing (this means no f-bombs are flying around).

Hey. We’re on Instagram.

I don’t know if you know, but we’re on Instagram and we are pretty neato.   Follow us @crpubliclibrary.     Also, it’s the finale party for the Summer Reading Challenge tonight! I hope to see you all there. AHA-final-poster for Hazel

What’s your digital future?

-DT

Do you text? Play games online? Can you work a smartphone and a tablet? Then you are most likely a “digital native.”

Welcome digital native to the future.

However, before we begin.

Close your eyes and think of the world in 20 years. It is not going to be like today. Our technology fused world is changing rapidly. You may think that you are fluent in technology but you may not be.

Fluency is learned.

Want to be ahead of the game?

Then instead of playing games online and downloading an app on your phone like everybody else…How about creating them? Fluency in technology is learning how to create things. How to write them.

And it is awesome.

You may be thinking that this is for smart people or that it is too hard to learn but you are wrong. It is easy. Just like learning your ABC’s, (you know that right?) but this time it is a new set of ABC’s for technology. After you learn your ABC’s of technology then you can start to build words and then a sentence and maybe even a story!

Here are some examples of everyday people like you and me who are making a difference and learning to become literate in technology.

An 11th grader named Peter from Oregon built a device that helps kids with ADD. (http://codeorg.tumblr.com/post/92145747203/sotw16)

A 5th grader named Danielle from Florida built an app for fashion. (http://codeorg.tumblr.com/post/91469829263/sotw15)

Technology is rapidly changing the game regardless if human development is changing at all.

Literacy is wonderful. Reading books is beautiful but not enough. We need to start pushing for technology literacy. Learning to program and to code is the future literacy.

Like reading you first learn the basics and the more you practice the better you get. There are so many free and awesome programs online that can help you learn the ABC’s of coding and programming.

Here are just a few:

http://www.code.org/

http://www.codecademy.com/

http://teamtreehouse.com/

http://www.html5rocks.com/en/

http://girldevelopit.com/

Be the change! Be the leader of the future! Become future literate today.

NKF Art

We love showing off what you guys can do. One of our Teen Advisory Board members designs a work of art for the cafe every time she is here. Over time, we have collected these lovelies and now we want to share them all with you! Enjoy!

20140614_125000 20140625_184149 cameras flowers how we get paper image (1) image (1)gravity image (2) image (4) imonaboat kites masks masks2 shapesshelveswaterfallwindows2

We’d love to show off any creative talent you have. If you draw, sing, write, anything – send it in to our blog or email Molly at g a r r e t t m @ c r l i b r a r y . o r g.

Once a upon a time…

As some of you know, the July Contest is “Finish the Story”. I have been getting so many responses! It’s amazing. Here are a few of the ones I’ve received.   Once upon a time, there was a girl named Emma. She had a younger brother named Ethan. One day, Emma and Ethan…

“One day Emma and Ethan decided to go on an adventure. They brought a backpack filled with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and bottles of water. They also brought a tent and blankets. Then they set out on their great adventure into the mountains. They hiked for hours, and just as the sun was setting they found a perfect campsite! The view from the tent was incredible, it look out across the lake and they could see everything. After they had both crawled in the tent and were tucked under the blankets, Emma said, “This has been the best adventure ever!”.”

“were walking in a forest when all of a sudden there was a green light. A space ship came down from the sky and landed in a clearing not far away. Emma ran and hid behind a rock, but Ethan followed the saucer and walked up to it. The space ship opened up and an alien came out. It looked like a ball of goo. It said, “Hi!” Hi?, thought Ethan, it can talk, coooooool.”

“Were walking down Main Street, and they saw the Mayor come out of the woods behind the library. Being as curious as they were, Emma and Ethan decided to find out what he was looking at. When they finally reached a clearing, they saw a small hut. They could hear weird noises coming from inside. When they opened the door, a large amount of steam, and smoke came billowing out. Emma and Ethan both immediately jumped backwards. Out of the mist walked a Sasquatch, it turned and looked from side to side, then blew past Emma and Ethan, knocking them to the ground. They ran home as fast as possible, and never left the comfort of the city again.”

“were sitting in their shared bedroom, reading, like they always do on those boring Saturday mornings. The sun was just peeking into the bedroom window, and the smell of sizzling bacon drifted in from the kitchen. Emma closed her book and waited for Mom to call them down for breakfast. Eventually, she heard the normal shout, but the voice that called it was deep and rough. Ethan still had his nose in his book, making him oblivious to the world. Oh no, Emma thought, what should I do?”

” One day, Emma and Eathan were out on a walk when they passed the new neighbors house. Both of them were very curious on what, or who was inside. Eathan took a risk and went to go knock on the door, but to his surprise no one answered. He turned around and shrugged back to Emma and while he was turned around a large man opened the door to the house. Emma was so scared she ran off screaming, Ethan turned around and shaked the man’s hand. While Eathan stood at the door and had a long conversation with the man Emma was hiding in the bushes watching from afar. Out of the corner of Emma’s eye she saw both Eathan and Emma’s mom walking there dog and their mom saw her. When Emma’s mom reached Emma she crouched down next to Emma and asked her why she was hiding in the bushes. Emma told her mom that Eathan and her were just taking a walk when they came across the neighbors house. But Emma’s mom was still confused why Emma was hiding, so Emma repeated to her mom that they saw the neighbors house and when the large man walked out she got scared and ran away. After a while of discussing the problem Emma and Eathan’s mom walked over to the house and engaged in the conversation. Even Emma got up from the bushes and went to the neighbor’s porch to join the conversation. The families talked and talked for a while, at the end of the day the two families where best friends!!!!!!”

“went to the store and picked out four apples. All of the apples were ruby red and perfectly circular. Emma and Ethan had never seen such beautiful apples before, especially not in this store. They bought the apples and walked home. When they got home, they couldn’t wait to steal a bite of the juicy wonder. Emma had picked her two apples and Ethan chose his. They both took a bite of their first apple and instantly spit it out. The apple felt like sandpaper between their teeth and tasted like they bit into a cockroach. Emma suggested that maybe their other apple would tasted like it looked. It didn’t though. It had the same cockroach, sandpaper qualities. How could such a delicious looking apple, taste so terrible? The next time they picked out apples, they picked the most lop-sided, brown apple they could find, and it tasted like heaven. From then on, they learned to not judge and apple by it’s color or shape.”

“Were in the car, reading good books. Emma looked at her brother and said “You should read this series, Ethan.” “What series is it?” he asked. “Warrior cats!” she replied. “Well, you should read mine.” Ethan countered.

“Well, what’s yours?” Emma asked. “Soul eater!” Ethan answered. “How about we switch books for a day. I’ll read Soul eater, and you read one of the Warrior cats books.” Emma suggested. “Sounds like a good idea, Emma!” Ethan replied with a smile.”

“… decided to write a book, unfortunately niether had any ideas on what it should be about. They threw together many ideas each sounding worse then the next. Until their fairy godmother stepped in and whisked them into the empty pages of the book and let them set about their path of creating the world. They needed to only think something and it would appear, though no amount of thinking or wishing would set them free.”

“…got lost in the forest forever!”

“Once upon a time, there was a girl named Emma. She had a younger brother named Ethan. One day, Emma and Ethan were walking home from school. There was a slight rain falling from the sky onto their heads. Emma, being the older one, was holding an umbrella for the smaller boy beside her. Ethan looked up at his older sister, his emerald green eyes shining softly from a beam of light, that seemed to be ripping its way through the overcast above.

“Emma, what ever happened to our father?” The six year old boy asked curiously.  Emma seemed to be unnerved by the question brought to her, and cleared her throat quietly. Emma contemplated how she should explain to the child that their father was dead, that he took his own life. Ethan knew his mother was in the hospital, because Emma was able to explain that she was sick, but she never found a way to explain their father. After a few moments of silence Emma spoke;

“Daddy was a very quiet man..” She murmured, reviving the memory of the man she once knew. “He usually kept to himself, unless he was around you or I… And of course mother.” She smiled, reminiscing.”He had short brown hair, the color of mahogany, and eyes of the clearest blue skies. He loved to read to us, and write stories of far away lands, and people that overcame the darkness of this earth, but he was never quite able to overcome the darkness that lived inside of him.” Ethan breathed out a sound of confusion and Emma walked him over to a shelter, sitting down on a bench to wait for the transit.

“Father, he was a sad man inside, not because of anything that you or I did, but because of his past. When father was merely 15 he was illegally put into the military. It was 1939, and while most children his age were hearing of the war through radio, he was out, shooting his own gun.  He remained in the military for years, and in the 1950’s he met mama. She was a nurse in the Korean War, the only problem was.. She didn’t belong there. Mama was born and raised in japan, but fled the country because she was going to be forced into an arranged marriage. In Korea, she met papa, and the two fell in love. During the time he was there, he convinced his commanding officers that she was on their side, and she was placed into the bunkers as a cleaning women. She and papa were madly in love, and we’re trying everything in their power to find a way to get her back to the United States, and in a trunk with papas pictures of family, they got her to America. When they got to the states, papa realized mama was pregnant. He got her enrolled in a private institution to learn English, and moved her into his home. In early 1954, I was born.” The transit pulled up In front of the two children and they got on.

“Please continue Emma!” Ethan said, pulling her sleeve. Emma put away the umbrella and took a seat with the boy in the back. “Well, we were all fine, from then until 1964  when You were born. Papa was hurt in his job as a mechanic and there was no money. Mama couldn’t get a job, and neither could I. So daddy started to get sad, it wasn’t for a year that he found a new job on a farm, tending to animals. And mama was able to work there as well, since she knew minor veterinary sciences. As the years went by, things kept getting tougher for papa, and he kept getting harsher toward mama. He eventually fell into the bottle for comfort and mama fell to the comfort of other men, that’s why you don’t remember them much. And when you were four, papa put a pistol to his head, saying he wished he would have been able to provide better for us. It wasn’t until nana got custody of us that we realized he was suffering from depression his whole life. Eventually mama got sick, and was drinking too. She hurt her brain, that’s why she is in the doctors. And now, nana has us. And she is a good woman.” Emma finished,

Ethan was silent for the rest of the ride home, and that night, while he and his sister were in bed, he finally spoke.  “Father seemed selfish” he whispered.

“Oh no, he wasn’t, he was just troubled. Everyone is troubled in some way, but so,e people just can’t handle it.” Emma replied quietly.

From then on, their parents were never brought back up. Their mama died at sixty, from brain damage, and their nana died at eighty, of old age. Ethan grew up and went to the military, he is now a veteran that teaches youth about PTSD. And Emma went to be an artist, and lived until she was fifty. She died of cancer, with four children and three grandchildren. Her and her brother always stayed in contact to talk about their past, and their futures..”