Monthly Archives: September 2009

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Teen Librarian Monthly: September

The (delayed) September edition of Teen Librarian Monthly is available to download here

HeadSpace Efford

Create a Comic project
HeadSpace Efford took part in this online Manga storyboard activity in preparation for their first ever Manga RE-con at Waterstone’s in Plymouth. The theory behind the activity is that young people who are interested in Manga but unable to draw to a high standard can take part in constructing their own Manga storyboard. The site also provides similar pre-designed graphic novel templates and blank comic strips for young people who are talented artists. All this can be found on the Create a Comic Project website.

“The Create a Comic Project (CCP) is a youth literacy activity that uses comics to promote creative writing. The CCP uses two kinds of templates for instruction: blank panels, allowing kids to draw their own, and pre-drawn comics with the original dialogue bubbles blanked out. Pre-drawn templates use art from comics all across the web, representing a broad swath of the online cartooning community. The CCP is arguably the single largest multi-comic educational collaboration of its kind.

This website is dedicated to hosting the creations of the students who participated in the CCP. Both original and “remixed” comics are posted here for all to see. Every comic here is the work of one or more children. While I provided guidance and technical knowledge (what a dialogue bubble is, how to read expressions, etc.), I was always careful not to tell the kids what to write. So each comic posted here is the free and open creation of a young mind.”

The group really enjoyed coming up with their own stories and reading them aloud to each other. As with most projects that involve young people they are keen to come up with something with a professional finish. We were able to print their designs in colour for them to take home.

Meet Mangako!
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HeadSpace Efford launched their very own Manga group, hosted by Abi our resident Manga enthusiast. Abi came up with the plan for launch party, prepared the activities, made cakes, designed posters and promoted the group at the Manga RE-con event. The group is made up of four new HeadSpace members and three existing members who love all things Manga.
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It was a great to meet new members at the launch and everyone enjoyed learning to speak some Japanese, trying Japanese food and even listening to Disney songs in Japanese.
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Mangako meet on a fortnightly basis during HeadSpace time and in the next few weeks will be coming up with their own design for a Manga library card, performing a Manga sketch and sharing their favourite Anime.

To keep up with all our activities follow us on Twitter and check out the HeadSpace blog, written by young people for young people.


Article & photos provided by Superlibrarian Emma Sherriff of Plymouth Library Service

The Secret to Teen Power

Dreadnought Competition and the winner is…..

The winner of the Dreadnought competition is….

Jeremy Baker

of Farnborough in Hampshire.

Congratulations your copy of H.I.V.E. : Dreadnought by Mark Walden will be on its way to you soon!

Review: Al Capone Shines my Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko

alcapshinesWhen I picked up the book Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko, the first thing I noticed were the simple drawings on the front and back cover and the irregular colourful lettering of the title. “Hmm,” I thought. “This looks like light holiday reading”. I did indeed take it on holiday with me, and it was indeed light holiday reading, but no less enjoyable for it. Gennifer Choldenko is a good writer. Even in my sunny locale I could see the mists envelopping the prison island of Alcatraz where the story is set in my mind’s eye, and even though I myself am years past the pre-teen angst of growing up, I truly empathised with the main character – Moose Flanagan – a 12 year old boy and felt his internal embarrassment, his awkwardness, his frustration with his friend who doesn’t play baseball and his puzzlement at the vagrancies of his female playmates.

The year is 1935, the United States is battling the Great Depression and Al Capone has been transferred to Alcatraz. Meet a warden’s son – Moose Flanagan. Moose asks Al Capone for a favour – to help his sister get into a special needs school. When his sister is admitted into said school, Moose owes the dangerous gangster. What is he to do? The story then twists and turns through the trials and tribulations of living on Alcatraz, being in close proximity to dangerous criminals, rule-obsessed wardens, impossibly cruel but unbearably pretty girls and the thrill of moving undetected in a place designed to hold the most accomplished of escape artists.

Moose Flanagan as a character has the touch of the Irish about him, he’s well liked by all,
thinks quickly, always manages to say the right thing and has a way with the girls. This”chosen” sort of quality that others see, but he himself does not feel, reminds me greatly of Harry Potter. The story also deals with a young boy who lives in a special place, who faces down a a dangerous enemy and becomes involved in a plot far bigger than by rights he should be expected to handle, all Potter-esque virtues.

In fact, this book is similarly appropriate for the tween and teen markets as the Harry Potter series.
I would therefore not hesitate to recommend Al Capone Shines My Shoes to young adults and adults who are young at heart.

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This review was written & submitted by the awesome Natalie Prescott who currently resides in a medieval town in the Netherlands

Booktrust Teenage Book Prize

The shortlist for the Teenage Book Prize was released yesterday.

Launched in 2003 to recognise and celebrate contemporary fiction written for teenager, the prize (which is judged by a mixed panel of adults and teenagers) has in the words of former judge Matt Whyman ‘fast become the benchmark for quality young people’s fiction in the UK.’

The Booktrust Teenage Prize 2009 shortlist is
:

Auslander by Paul Dowswell (Bloomsbury)
It’s 1942 and Peter is seized from an orphanage in Warsaw by Nazi soldiers, only to be classified as an Aryan and adopted by the prominent Nazi Professor Kaltenbach. Peter is expected to perfectly embody the values of the regime, but he has his own ideas on how to undermine its horrific pursuit of perfection.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (Bloomsbury)
This chillingly fantastical tale is Gaiman’s first full-length novel since his internationally bestselling and highly acclaimed Coraline. Bod is alive…but his friends are not. Raised by ghosts, werewolves and other ethereal graveyard inhabitants, how will Bod reconcile the world of the living and the dead?

Ostrich Boysby Keith Gray (Definitions)
Left despondent after the funeral of their friend Ross, three friends – Kenny, Sim and Blake – steal Ross’ ashes and embark on an epic journey in search of a more fitting memorial. Described as a “modern classic”’ (Jake Hope, The Bookseller), this tale explores deep friendship and devastating loss.

The Ant Colony by Jenny Valentine (HarperCollins)
33 Georgiana Street is home to an eclectic and chaotic assortment of runaways and misfits. Their disparate lives only briefly cross paths as they each purse their isolated existence; no questions asked. Yet below the surface everyone has a secret to hide.

The Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen Grant (Puffin)
Intrigue and eerie mystery lie at the heart of Grant’s captivating debut novel, which entwines ancient German folklore with contemporary life-changing tragedy. The disappearance of ten-year-old Katharina reduces the small German town of Bad Munstereifel to panic. Only young Pia is determined to discover the truth.

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness (Walker)
The second sci-fi fantasy novel in the ‘Chaos Walking’ trilogy and sequel to the Booktrust Teenage Prize-winning The Knife of Never Letting Go, this fast-paced thriller continues the adventures of Todd and Viola. Fuelled by tension and mistrust, the pair find themselves on opposites sides of a civil war in this work of dystopian fiction.

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The Hero Foundation is a shadow of its former self and Lord Eon the most terrible supervillain ever has hatched a plan to tear apart time. Toby and his superhero friends should be able to stop him . . . but Pete has woken up from his coma a different person, Emily has been kidnapped, and Lorna has disappeared.

At the same time, schoolboy supervillain, Jake Hunter has taken his seat on the Council of Evil. Now he will live his dream and exact revenge on the cruel world.

But the cruel world has other plans, and they come in the shape of the Hero Foundation. Jakes not scared of the Hero Foundation. He even has a plan to turn it to the dark side. Until it gets a new member ? Jakes own sister. Is he really so villainous as to try to get her out of the way?

Read the books as separate satisfying adventures . . .or read them together and spot the heroes and villains blasting into each other’s missions.

Which side are you on?

H.I.V.E: Dreadnought by Mark Walden COMPETITION NOW CLOSED

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A renegade faction of the world’s most powerful villains is intent on destroying G.L.O.V.E. (Global League Of Villainous Enterprises) and showing the world the true face of evil. The Disciples begin by hijacking Diabolus Darkdoom’s Airborne command post, then they kidnap his son and his son’s best friend. Unfortunately for them, Nigel Darkdoom (and Franz) also happen to be Otto’s friends. Heading out to America, Otto, Wing et al embark on a perilous and highly unauthorised rescue operation. Cut off from the support of H.I.V.E. and on the run from American security forces the hunt for their friends leads to one of the US military’s most secret facilities. It becomes clear that the Disciples are not all they appear and in a desperate race against time Otto must work out who his real friends are to prevent the Disciples from completing their true objective. Only Otto can save the world from domination by a sinister new world order but it might be that the price he has to pay is just too high. When it comes to the crunch will he be prepared to sacrifice himself?

Visit the Hive Hub where you can find out more about the excellent series by Mark Walden, and read interviews with the man himself. There is an evil laugh generator – essential for any budding evil overlord and a grapple hook game. You can also sign up for the H.I.V.E. e-mail newsletter to find out more about what is happening at the premier school for Villains.

Teen Librarian has one copy of Dreadnought that can be won by answering this (relatively) easy question:

Name the main character in the H.I.V.E series

The answer can be found in the Character section of the Hive Hub and in the H.I.V.E books that you should have on your bookshelves.

Answers to editor(at)teenlibrarian.co.uk

For more details on the H.I.V.E series you can download the press release (which also has the answer to the competition question).

The winners name will be drawn on the 15th September.

Kelly Osbourne: Fierce – new book and website

You think you know Kelly Osbourne?

Find out her story in her own words and online with her new biography and a website for teens & Young Women on advice and her life:

Log on to Kelly’s website live from today at: www.kellyosbourne.com where you can sneak peek at some of Kelly’s personal pictures, and keep up to date with what she’s up to and where she’s going to be appearing. You can also post the best piece of advice you’ve ever had and share it with others. It can be something that comforted you, inspired you, made you feel happier, made you laugh, or something you just want to share with the world. And if you’ve had your own embarrassing moments, just log on to the forum to discover you’re not alone!

fierceWhen you’re little, you think your family is just the same as everybody else’s.

Doesn’t everyone’s mum plan secret exits for when things get tough?
Surely all dads embarrass their daughters at their birthday parties?
But as you get older, you begin to notice that what’s normal to you is completely f***ed up to the outside world, and that sometimes you just can’t explain that what other people think of as weird is actually all about love.

Who is Kelly Osbourne? I’m still not totally sure. But I do know who I’m not, and I want to help other people make the right decisions with the difficult choices we all face when growing up.

So I’ve gone out and got the best advice I can find from people I love, respect and always listen to. I’ve included Louis Walsh’s advice on making it in the music industry, tips from Neil, my sought-after make-up artist at MAC and many others. And for when things get really serious I’ve gone to the organisations that really can help.

In this book I’m sharing my advice and my embarrassing moments, but it isn’t just about me, it’s about you. And I’d love to hear your stories too!

Meet Kelly at an exclusive London book signing on Tuesday 8th September at Selfridges London at 6pm.