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Looking Back at How Bullies Changed Our Lives

Bullying is a horrible thing.  It sticks with you forever.  It poisons you.  But only if you let it.

These lines, from Heather Brewer's story "The Secret," touch on the prevailing themes of a new book called Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories.  Since October is National Bullying Prevention Month, it seemed especially appropriate to share this book right now.

Dear Bully is a collection containing stories by many authors who have written books for 

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Dystopian Romances for "Hunger Games" Fans

Do you love Suzanne Collins's Hunger Games trilogy? Are you REALLY hoping that the new Hunger Games movie is going to do justice to the book? Do you want to read more books in which the world as we know it has ended... and a dark and dangerous world has taken its place? Where a dark and dangerous guy (or, for that matter, a blonde and dangerous guy) will look deeply into your eyes and inspire you to fight against the society 

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Get Ready to Save Apathea in ... AMERICUS!

I followed a link the other day to the First Second Books website, one of my favorite publishers of graphic novels. I'm already a huge fan of Vampire Loves, the Color of Earth trilogy, Robot Dreams, American Born Chinese, Brain Camp, and

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Kingsbridge Teens Recommend: More of our Favorite Books, Music, Movies, and TV

As the school year ends and the members of our Teen Advisory Group plan to ride off into the sunset (or at least take a vacation or go to summer camp), I thought I would share some more of their favorite books, CDs, and DVDs that they enjoyed this year.


Mistwood by Leah Cypess

This book is about a shape-shifter named Isabel who doesn't remember anything from the past.  She only knows that she exists to protect the handsome king.  Mystery and magic fans 

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Sherlock Holmes Reimagined for Middle School and High School Students

He is instantly recognizable, even to people who have never read any of the novels and stories written about him.  He uses his powers of deductive reasoning better than almost anyone.  He never actually said, "Elementary, my dear Watson" except in the movies.  And even though he's one of the most famous detectives the world has ever known, he never really existed.

Sherlock Holmes was created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who wrote many short stories and novels about this character who soon became more famous and popular than his creator (and 

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The Challenges of Finding a Pocket-Sized Poem

Thursday April 14th is Poem in Your Pocket Day.  This tradition began in New York City in 2002 and expanded nationally several years later.  If you go to New York City's PIYPD page, you can learn about special events that will take place that day, and even read some poems by mayor Michael Bloomberg.  But let's get to the real question... how will you pick the right poem for your pocket?

First, let me begin with a story from my own past that emphasizes the 

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Lynda Barry's Graphic Novels About the Creative Process

Lynda Barry, most renowned for her comic strips and graphic novels featuring the character of Marlys, has written and illustrated two different books that incorporate cartoon characters into an unusual and inspiring exploration of the creative process.  One focuses more on writing and the other focuses more on artwork, but the graphic novel format means that fans of words and pictures alike will be able to appreciate both books.

What It Is

In 2008, Lynda Barry published a book that asked the 

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Sita Sings the Blues: A Groundbreaking Film For Teens, Adults, and Just About Everyone

I first learned about the animated film Sita Sings the Blues when it was featured in the New York International Children's Film Festival (Since I know you're wondering, I'll tell you that I got on their mailing list originally because of my deep and abiding love for the short films of Wallace and Gromit).  Anyway, since I'm a fan of animated films, especially films that I can enjoy and also recommend to my teen patrons, I 

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New Graphic Novels & Manga for Teens (and Grownups, Too!)

Here are some of the latest and greatest graphic novels around, as recommended by the American Library Association's 2011 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list.  See if you agree with my favorites from this list, and feel free to recommend some of your own!

Brain Camp by Susan Kim

Camp Fielding is a special, invitation-only educational summer camp for kids whose parents wish that they were 

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Kingsbridge Teens Recommend: Favorite Music from 2010

After discussing 2010's music CD releases with the members of the Kingsbridge Library's Teen Advisory Group, I learned a few things about popular music. I learned that just because a performer was popular with teens all over the country didn't mean that this performer was popular with MY teens (like Taylor Swift, for example). I learned how to pronounce Ke$ha's name correctly (excuse me for not knowing how to pronounce something with a DOLLAR SIGN in it!)  I learned that many teens are of the opinion that "only old people buy music from 

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RIP BFF: Teen Novels About Death and Friendship

There are many novels about death in the young adult section of most libraries.  Some of them deal with the death of the teen narrator, or with the death of a parent or another family member.  But today I'm going to focus on stories where death and friendship are intertwined.  Many of these stories are especially poignant because (let's face it) we choose our friends, not our families, so often our friends are closer to us than family members could ever be. 

When we read realistic fiction we're looking for a real-life experience, with all of 

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Kingsbridge Teens Recommend: Our Favorite DVDs of 2010

To jumpstart our brainstorming session of DVDs that were released in 2010, I printed out a list from of their top-selling DVDs and brought it to my last Teen Advisory Group meeting.  My kids agreed with some of titles on that list, violently disagreed with others, and used the titles on that list as starting points to remember even more of their favorite films and TV shows that were released this year.  Their favorite DVDs of the year were filled with plenty of action, special effects, humor, and horror.

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Reading Recommendations From the Kingsbridge Library's Teen Advisory Group

Lucia is a fan of Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm.  In this story, an 11-year-old girl named Turtle is sent to Key West, Florida to live with her aunt and cousins.  And while she's there, she finds a long-lost treasure map.  This is a funny and dramatic story that takes place during the mid 1930s.

Solen recommends Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth by Jeff Kinney.  Greg Heffley has always been in a rush to get 

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New Teen Novels About Fake Vampires, Dark Prophesies, and Other Unusual Subjects

Finbar Frame has a lot of things going against him.  He's not a popular star athlete like his brother, he's allergic to the sun, and... oh yes, his name is Finbar.  When a girl on the train sees Finbar's pale skin and bandaged arms, she has a suspicion about what he really is.  When she asks what happened to his arms and Finbar answers, "Too much sun," she's not repulsed or confused as most people would be.  Instead, she's delighted. 

That's because she thinks that this strange boy must be a vampire like the one in the 

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Kingsbridge TAG Reader's Choice: Some of My Favorite Books From 2010

Right now, the teens in our Teen Advisory Group are reading a boatload of books so that they can recommend their personal favorites.  Solen, our top reader of the year (so far!) wanted to share some of his favorite books from 2010, and here they are:

Gods of Manhattan: The Sorcerer's Secret by Scott Mebus

This book is about a boy named Rory and his friends who go on an adventure to stop a war between the gods.  All of this is taking place in New York City, near the George 

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Why You Should be Reading Teen Novels by Suzanne Supplee

A few years ago I picked up Suzanne Supplee's novel Artichoke's Heart, which caught my eye because the unique title seemed at odds with the box of chocolates on the cover.  But the more I read this story, about an overweight girl named Rosemary who gets diet books, a treadmill, and tickets to a conference called "Healing the Fat Girl Within" for Christmas, the more I was hooked.

Rosemary is a great narrator.  She's funny and sarcastic and angry and smart all at the same time.  Yes, she wants to 

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The Vampire Academy Series Continues, in Spirit Bound

Will Rose be able to protect her best friend Lissa, with whom she shares an unusual psychic bond?  Will Lissa and Rose be able to help Victor Dashkov break out of prison in order to save Dimitri, who loves Rose but also wants to kill her?  How will Rose's new boyfriend react when he learns that she wants to save her old boyfriend?  And is the love between Rose and Dimitri doomed to fail because he's an evil undead vampire?

Hmmm.  Perhaps we should rewind this story a little bit.

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Novels In Verse For Teens: Glimpse by Carol Lynch Williams

Hope and Lizzie are sisters who are just one year apart.  They've been close for many years, but one day when Hope comes in and sees her sister Lizzie holding a shotgun, she realizes that their lives are very different now.  And that Lizzie has been keeping secrets.  After Lizzie is taken away from the family, Hope is left behind with their mother and with a lot of questions.  Why was Lizzie so quiet and depressed lately?  What secrets was she keeping?  And why would she want to kill herself?

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Hot Off the Presses: Exciting New Graphic Novels For Teens

Revolver by Matt Kindt

Imagine if the film Groundhog Day was put into a blender with a parallel universe and a generous dose of darkness.  If you drank the smoothie that was made from these strange ingredients, then you might have the first inkling of an idea of what Revolver was all about. 

Sam goes to bed after another day of his boring, dead-end life.  But when he wakes up the next morning the world has changed, and it's anything but 

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The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern

As her sophomore year of high school begins, Jess is suddenly having trouble fitting in to the school scene.  She never had problems like this before, but her best friends Bizza and Char have turned into too-cool punk wannabes overnight and now Jess feels completely and utterly alone.  It's time to reinvent herself and join a new group of friends.  But will she choose the math crowd, the band crowd, or even the Dungeons & Dragons crowd?  Which of these cliques will accept her?  Where will Jess really fit in?  And can Jess hang out with 

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