Devlynn, 16, is a volunteer extraordinaire at Seward Park Library. She is a life-long resident of the Lower East Side and will be a junior this fall at Bronx Science High School. This is her list of must-reads, must-watch, and must-do's for summer 2011.
1. Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress series, book one) by Jeaninene Frost
Cat Crawfield is a young, inexperienced half-vampire who hunts vampires, and she is systemically killing all the vampires who live around her in Ohio. Things get complicated when she meets Bones, a very hot, 300-year-old vampire who is an un-dead bounty hunter. He trains Cat to be a better hunter, teaches her about her vampire nature, and uses her as bait. For Cat, it is strictly business — the last thing she wants is to get involved with a vampire — but his kisses and his British accent are pretty hard to resist.
Devlynn's review: I am in love with the character of Bones! I want to marry him so badly! It's not fair that he's not real.
2. Summer Garden Cooking Club at Seward Park Library
The Summer Garden Cooking Club takes place every Tuesday at 4 p.m. We cook with the ingredients we grow in the Seward Park Library container garden (with Devlynn's help). So far this summer, we have made a watermelon and mint salad, basil pesto sauce, sauteed shrimp with oregano sauce, and herbed potato salad.
According to Devlynn, "Gardening is relaxing. It attacks all my senses. The dirt is squishy. You hear the birds sing, smell the herbs and flowers, see all the colors, and then you get to taste the fruits of your labor."
For those of you looking to create your own container garden, Devlynn recommends the book Crops in Pots by Bob Purnell, which has a lot of great ideas and advice for growing cooking ingredients at home.
3. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and Step Up on DVD
Both films star one of Devlynn's favorite actors, Channing Tatum, and she couldn't decide which one was her favorite.
"Channing Tatum is so hot! Bash-my-head-on-the-table HOT!"
Actually, Devlynn's choice for favorite film, Ten Inch Hero, is not yet in NYPL's collection (which we obviously have to remedy), although it is available on Netflix Instant. It stars Jensen Ackles from the TV show Supernatural, and is the story of a bunch of people who work at a sandwich shop in Santa Cruz, California.
"Oh My God! It is so good! I cannot express how much I love this movie. The Library has to buy it!"
4. New York Botanical Gardens
Located in the Bronx, this is one of Devlynn's favorite NYC retreats. She likes to walk around, looking at all the flowers and different gardens.
Devlynn just went to see the Bronx River waterfall. "The hike up there is very fun. The waterfall is very peaceful and relaxing, but going back is awful," she said. Her advice? Go on a Wednesday, as that is the day "...everyone gets in for FREE!"
5. Read Banned Books
For Devlynn, reading books that have been banned or challenged is something of a summer project.
"You have to defy authority. Isn't that the whole point?"
She began by looking up the American Libraries Association's lists of frequently banned and challenged books on the ALA website and then looked at what she had and hadn't read already. She has decided to start with Flowers in the Attic by V. C. Andrews — which is the story of four siblings held prisoner in an attic by their tyrannical, self-righteous grandmother. It has been banned in the past for being "sexually explicit, violent and being inappropriate to age level."