Tag Archives: teens

Authors Who Don’t Narrate the Way You Expect

by Anne Marie
Teen Advisory Group

In general, narrators  are the same. First person, third person– you know, what you read 95% of the time. Point being, they are either in the story, or else they are the all-knowing narrator.

But what about the narrators (who in these cases, are also the authors) who refuse to follow the rules? The ones don’t care about the fourth wall and mercilessly tear it down?

They tell a different story. Here are a couple of my favorites.

 

*Lemony Snicket*

Lemony Snicket ruthlessly throws down the fourth wall. Near the beginning of the first book in A Series of Unfortunate Events, he warns the reader not to read his books. It does not have a happy ending (which is true), so you are better off reading something else.

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And if you watch the Netflix version (which is pretty great– WAY better than the movie), “Lemony Snicket” often comes in and breaks the fourth wall and clears up definitions, much like he does in the books.

But not only does he clear up definitions, in the books he has a very *ahem* strange writing style. I don’t remember which book it was, but one time he was explaining deja vu, and then he repeated the passage exactly to give the read a sense of deja vu.

Another time, he wrote “very” for a couple pages. I don’t remember the reason why, but I know he was making a point.

 

He’s always making a point.

 

And it’s like that in all the books! It is very strange, but hey, who wants to read something “normal”?

 

*Pseudonymous Bosch*

The Name of this Book is Secret’s author “Pseudonymous Bosch” is very secretive of the critical information in the books, even of the author’s name.

(No, you don’t get it. “Pseudonymous” literally means “pen name”. As in: “the name on the cover is not the name of the person who wrote this book”.)

Want an example of how secretive the author is? Here is the first chapter:

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And here is one farther in:

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But unlike Lemony Snicket, this narrator acknowledges his own shortcomings. He realizes he will make mistakes and asks his readers to 1) forgive him and 2) forget the information he gave you.

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Why do I say Pseudonymous Bosch is a “he”? Well, I read the books, and who the author is was one of the biggest secrets in the series, so of course he gives it away.

But you’ll have to read the book to figure out who it is.

 

 

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Let’s Review: Hamlet

By the vice-president of the Teen Advisory Group:

Hi everyone! I am back after almost a year-long hiatus with a new series on English IV books (original, I know). My class recently finished Shakespeare’s play Hamlet and this short post will primarily focus on dissecting its main characters Hamlet and King Claudius without spoiling the plot too much.

hamlet Continue reading

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The North Texas Teen Book Festival is Only 12 Days Away!

On Saturday, March 4 over 80 authors will be in Irving for a free day-long event. This event is called the North Texas Teen Book Festival (NTTBF). While you can find most of this information at nttbf.org and on the NTTBF Twitter feed (@NTTBFest), I might have some more experienced information and tips that can help your day run a lot more smoothly.

So on Valentine’s Day, the NTTBF released its program, which means it’s time to start deciding which sessions you want to go to.

As someone who has been going to the NTTBF since it first started, here is some of my advice:

1) Plan which sessions you want to go to ahead of time and write down all the information.

2) Plan a back up session for each hour because you never know which ones will get full before you get there and you won’t be allowed in.

3) Don’t be upset if the session you wanted to go to is full. Last year, a friend and I couldn’t get into the big “To the Silver Screen” one, so we popped into a very small one about graphic novels. The guy who invented Poptropica was there, and he drew a guy who fell asleep in the first row. He gave the drawing to him, and we all had a good laugh. (Also, some of the authors were kind enough to sign my books beforehand too, but don’t expect that to happen to you.) It was the best session we attended all day!

4) Food isn’t allowed during the sessions, so pick an hour to go eat. There is a great outdoor area on the second floor (I believe), which is shaded and wasn’t all that crowded last year. Also, it was fun to look at the HUGE line of school buses literally stretching into the distance. The food lines are long, expensive, and basic (banana for $3! Stuff like that), so I recommend bringing your own. And bring a lot of good food, because books are heavier then you think, especially when you are carrying them around all day. I guess you could leave for lunch, but good luck finding a parking spot again.

5) Buy every one out of three books there. (In other words, for every two books you bring, buy one there.) The books are sold new by Half Price Books, so it’s not like you are paying $20 a book. Buying books there keeps admission and signings free, which I always appreciate. I tend to buy books for my younger siblings for future birthday presents, mostly because not only am I in a family that reads a lot, but they tend not to cost as much and because lines for those particular authors are pretty short. Also, here is the list of books being sold there.

6) If you are bringing several books, or if you know that one author’s line is going to be long, don’t go to the 3:00 session and instead get in line. There is one big line that goes into where the authors are signing, which is then divided into smaller lines for each author. Last year, the line was so long that it went outside and around the building. And remember, this IS Texas, so outside isn’t always… pleasant. Even in March. Point being, get in line early so you don’t end up in the outside part. Also, if you are outside, don’t plan on having time to get all of your books signed. Pick your favorites, note which authors have shorter lines, and go.

7) Some authors (like Marie Lu and Veronica Ross) require you have a special ticket in order to have a book signed by them, which are handed out during the day. Don’t count on being able to get these tickets, though. They run out fairly quickly, even if you run to get in line from the floor above.

8) This is basically an all day event. If you can go with your friends, great! If you can carpool, even better! But you WILL be both tired and hungry by the end of the day, so going out to eat is a perfect way to wind down and to gloat with your friends.

 

These are just a few tips I picked up in my travels, but if you have any questions, please feel free to ask! I can only help, after all.

–Anne

 

 

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Let’s Review: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas


It’s been awhile since I finished A Court of Mist and Fury and it’s still on my mind. It’s been months (!) and I’m still thinking about it. A lot of authors (especially in the young adult genre) make the romance aspect of their story so predictable. Not Sarah J. Maas though! She threw plot twist after plot twist in this story that my head is still reeling after all of it.

^^ my face throughout the whole entire book

Even though this book is categorized as “young adult”, I would consider it more as a new adult series. There are some sexy times that aren’t censored like most young adult novels. Beware.

One thing I love about this series is the character development. You start off thinking you understand each and every character in A Court of Thorns and Roses. Then you read A Court of Mist and Fury and then you realize that all the things you found holy were a lie because the author decided to throw in some important backstory. Like most people after a major event, the characters change, hence the character development. Each story gives a little more insight into who each character is. A wise ogre once told me, “[People] are like onions. [People] have layers. Onions have layers. You get it? We both have layers.” It’s exactly like that. Every book is like peeling another layer of each character.

If you like finding new OTPs (One True Pairing), then you’d really like this series. There are many couples that I can help but (silently) squeal whenever I think about them because I love them so much. There were some times where I squealed out loud in public when I thought about my OTPs and I’ve gotten some strange looks. It’s okay though. It’s totally worth it.

I find that whenever I read young adult/new adult romance novels, I don’t like the female character because she acts like a damsel in distress all the time. Like, honey, that boy won’t help you unless you help yourself first. Then, in other times, the female is unnaturally emotionally strong. I mean that girl won’t even blink an eye if a puppy was kicked. What will it take to get you to feel sad? Thankfully, that’s not the case with Feyre (the main female protagonist). She’s strong, but she’s also human. She’s feels emotion, dang it, but she doesn’t act weak.

Overall, I liked the story because it was fast-paced and intense. It was like I was on a roller coaster the whole time. There were times where I had to set down the book to wrap my mind around what happened.

If you like fantasy romance novels that are filled with action, heart break, and hot guys, you’ll definitely enjoy A Court of Mist and Fury. My only suggestion is to start with the first book, obviously.

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What Does the Library Mean?

teen-panorama_editWhen you think of a library, what pops into your brain? Do you think about books? What about resources? Maybe you think of the annual Summer Reading Club.

The Flower Mound Public Library means “life, love, happiness, Heather and Jennie [two youth librarians; also sponsors of the Teen Advisory Group],” according to Harshini Cormaty, a freshman at the University of Texas in Dallas. Anne Marie Kluthe said that the library is “a great place to study… but a greater place to get distracted by a bunch of books instead.”

But if you look at Merriam-Webster, a library is “a place where books, magazines, and other materials (such as videos and musical recordings) are available for people to use or borrow.” Sure, the library does hold such items, but it also holds so much more. A regular at the FMPL would know that the library has more than mere books and videos within its confines. It holds adventure, fun, relaxation, and a safe place. But how does it have all that? Perhaps we should explore what the local library has to offer to teenagers.

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Teen Writing Group 

Teen Writing Group is always lots of fun because you get to talk to other people writing stories like you. We had a prompt at the beginning of the meeting about the location on your GPS changing and there was someone there waiting for you. No one has the exact same style of writing so it was cool seeing how our minds would take this. Somehow we ended up with a few Doctor Who references, but as they say great minds think alike. After that we got to work. Heather passed out character charts for us to develop our characters. All in all, it was a great meeting. Hope you come to the next one!

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The North Texas Teen Book Festival is Only 6 Months Away!

Yeah yeah, I know, that’s a long time. The author list doesn’t even come out until November or December, so why are you bringing it up now?

Wait. Okay, let me backtrack. You don’t know what I’m talking about, do you?

The North Texas Teen Book Festival is a yearly event in Irving, Texas. A bunch of authors show up (like, 50+ of ’em) and they get put in groups for decisions based around their books. And we get to watch! Admission is free, AND they do book signings afterwards (also free).

Some reasonable famous authors have showed up in the past. So. Great.

I have a crazy amount of books signed because of this. Wanna see?

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The book where you can’t see the spines I got signed elsewhere. So yeah, it’s a pretty decent portion of my  collection.

Now, the reason I’m bringing this up so early is because they have some volunteer options to help get things ready starting this November. You can get some book swag and volunteer hours and meet other book lovers.

You can find the details at http://www.northtexasteenbookfestival.com/bffs/

In the coming months I’ll be sure to update you on the NTTBF, but until then, hope to see you in Irving!

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September at Your Local Library!

To quote the great poet Silento in his memorable ‘poem’ Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae), “You already know who it is.”

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Just kidding, it’s your neighborhood TAG president, Nim! Welcome to the new school year of 2016-2017! Hope the first week of school has been treating you well, unlike me. 😛 If your week is going well, I have more good news for you. If your week is not going so well, it’s going to start going well now.

IT’S TIME FOR THE SEPTEMBER BRIEFING!!!

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It’s making an appearance after months of hiatus, which I am very sorry about. High school can be rough (so check out the bulletin board in the teen section, and help your fellow teens survive high school!), and I learned that the hard way. Enough about negativity, let’s get to the positive news!!

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  • High School Anime: September 3rd from 1-4:30 PM
  • Middle School Anime: September 7th from 4:30-5:30 PM
  • Random Fandom- CRIME SHOWS: September 8th from 4-5:30 PM
  • Gaming Unplugged: September 11th from 2-4 PM
  • Teen Writing Group: September 14th from 4:30-5:30 PM
  • Middle School Book Club: September 19th from 4:30-5:30 PM
  • Bibliomaniacs: September September 21st from 4:30-5:30 PM
  • TAG: September 28th from 4:30-5:30 PM

 

We do have some new additions to the library programming!

  1. Gaming Unplugged: Come to the libraries every 2nd Sunday of the month to play games!
  2. Middle School Book Club: A book club for middle schoolers/ grades 6-8
  3. Bibliomaniacs: The high school/ grades 9-12 book club! No assignments; just come to talk, rant, and/or fangirl about the book you are currently reading!

 

That’s it, y’all! Be sure to attend the events [especially Random Fandom. You know I’ll be there sobbing over one particular show. ;)] and say hi to us! We’d love to see y’all there.

Also, comment down below about school and what crime shows you like. Maybe you might meet a fangirl of your show. 😀

YAYYY

Nim

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Let’s Review: Frederick Douglass

Next up in English III novels is a fairly short read in the autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by you guessed it, Frederick Douglass. Published in 1845, it captures the plight of slaves during this time. Beaten, raped, killed, and separated from their families, some slaves such as Douglass resolved to escape in search for freedom. Douglass finally succeeded after failed attempts and moved North where he became a free man. His childhood was marked by unimaginable sufferings but he reminds us that other slaves had it much worse which hints at the true horrors of slavery.

Douglass also explains ways how white masters kept slaves subservient, and among them is lack of access to education. Realizing this, young Douglass taught himself to read and write with the help of neighborhood white boys who sympathized with his situation. He also exposes the hypocrisy of white slave owners: they profess their faith to God yet own fellow human beings. Religion was much debated during this time as many whites used the Bible to justify slavery; however, Douglass disproves this and supports his anti-slavery argument not only using religion but also logic and morals.

It was definitely meaningful and inspiring to read the story of such an incredible individual who overcame his barriers as a slave and established himself as an advocate for other suffering slaves like he had been. It is no understatement to say that the works of people like Douglass contributed to the 13th amendment abolishing slavery, and I am happy to say that Mr. Douglass lived to see this day in 1865.

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Unplugged: Love Letter

The library has a variety of games to play and one of my favorites is Love Letter. This game was designed by Seiji Kanai and has pretty simple rules to follow.  There are eight kinds of Love letter but the one we have is the Tempest edition.

In this game you are trying to woo the heart of Princess Annette, but after her mother’s death she has locked herself in the palace and your only way of giving her your love letter is through others in the palace. To play, there is a set of 16 cards, each representing a different person in the castle. Only one card is in  your hand when it is not your turn, and that is who has your love letter. In order to win a token of the princess’s affection, you need to have the person closest to her with your love letter. Simple, right? Except each card does something different when discarded.

To know more, click here for the complete rules or go play the game yourself at the library on April 30 for International Tabletop Day.

 

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