Monday, June 20, 2016

Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design Origins Awards Winners

The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design has announced the winners of the 2016 Origins Awards. The nominees and winners were selected by the Academy. 
Game of the Year
Codenames (Czech Games), designed by Vlaada Chv├ítil.
Board Games
Star Wars: Imperial Assault (Fantasy Flight Games), designed by Justin Kemppainen, Corey Konieczka, Jonathan Ying.
Also winner of the Origins Fan Favorite award!
Card Games
7 Wonders Duel (Repos Productions), designed by Antoine Bauza, Bruno Cathala.
 Also winner of the Origins Fan Favorite award!
Collectible Games
DC Comics Dice Masters: War of Light (WizKids), designed by Mike Elliott, Eric M. Lang.
Also winner of the Origins Fan Favorite award!
Family Games
Codenames (Czech Games Edition), designed by Vlaada Chvatil.
 Also winner of the Origins Fan Favorite award!
Game Accessories
Terrain Tiles (Lost Battalion Games), designed by Becky Siebe.
Fan Favorite Winner:  Castle Panic: The Dark Titan (Fireside Games), designed by Justin De Witt
Miniatures Games
Star Wars Armada (Fantasy Flight Games), designed by James Kniffen, Christian T. Petersen.
Also winner of the Origins Fan Favorite award!
Role-Playing Games
Star Wars: Force and Destiny (Fantasy Flight Games) Designed by Jay Little
Also winner of the Origins Fan Favorite award!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

2016 Tony Award Winners

Best play

"The Humans"

Best musical


Best revival of a play

"A View From the Bridge"

Best revival of a musical

"The Color Purple"

Best book of a musical

Lin-Manuel Miranda, "Hamilton"

Best original score

Lin-Manuel Miranda, "Hamilton"

Best leading actor in a play

Frank Langella, "The Father"

Best leading actress in a play

Jessica Lange, "Long Day's Journey into Night"

Best leading actor in a musical

Leslie Odom Jr., "Hamilton"

Best leading actress in a musical

Cynthia Erivo, "The Color Purple"

Best featured actor in a play

Reed Birney, "The Humans"

Best featured actress in a play

Jayne Houdyshell, "The Humans"

Best featured actor in a musical

Daveed Diggs, "Hamilton"

Best featured actress in a musical

Renee Elise Goldsberry, "Hamilton"
Best scenic design of a play

David Zinn, "The Humans"

Best scenic design of a musical

David Rockwell, "She Loves Me"

Best costume design of a play

Clint Ramos, "Eclipsed"

Best costume design of a musical

Paul Tazewell, "Hamilton"

Best lighting design of a play

Natasha Katz, "Long Day's Journey Into Night"

Best lighting design of a musical

Howell Binkley, "Hamilton"

Best direction of a play

Ivo Van Hove, "A View from the Bridge"

Best direction of a musical

Thomas Kail, "Hamilton"

Best choreography

Andy Blankenbuehler, "Hamilton"

Best orchestrations

Alex Lacamoire, "Hamilton"

Special Tony Awards for lifetime achievement in the theatre

Sheldon Harnick and Marshall W. Mason

Special Tony Awards

The National Endowment for the Arts and Miles Wilkin

Regional Theatre Tony Award

Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn, NJ

Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award

Brian Stokes Mitchell

Tony honors for excellence

Sally Ann Parsons, Joan Lader and Seth Gelblum

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

June is LGBT Month

June is LGBT (Pride Month).  Celebrate by reading a book about a LGBT teen from our collection.

Andrews, Arin.  Some Assembly Required. YA B Andrews A

Barakiva, Michael.  One Man Guy.  YA FIC Barakiva

Bausum, Ann. Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights. YA 306.766 B

Bick, Ilsa J.  Sin-Eater’s Confession.  YA FIC Bick

Burd, Nick.    The Vast Fields of Ordinary. YA FIC Burd

Clark, Kristin Elizabeth.   Freakboy. YA FIC Clark

Cook, Trish.   Notes from the Blender.  YA FIC Cook

Danforth, Emily. The Miseducation of Cameron Post. YA FIC Danforth

Farizan, Sara. If You Could Be Mine. YA FIC Farizan

Farizan, Sara. Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel. YA FIC Farizan

George, Madeleine.   The Difference Between You and Me.  YA FIC George

Gephart, Donna. Lily & Dunkin. YA FIC Gephart; 6-8

Green, John & Levithan, David.   Will Grayson, Will Grayson.   YA FIC Green

Hilder, Tanuja Desai.   Bombay Blues.  YA FIC Hilder

Hill, Katie Rain.  Rethinking Normal.   YA B Hill H

Katcher, Brian.   Almost Perfect.  YA FIC Katcher

Knowles. Jo.   See You at Harry’s.  YA FIC Knowles; 6-8

Kuklin, Susan.  Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out.  YA 306.768 K

Levithan, David.   Two Boys Kissing.   YA FIC Levithan

Lo, Malinda. Ash. YA Fantasy FIC Lo

Moskowitz, Hannah.  Not Otherwise Specified.  YA FIC Moskowitz

Peters, Julie Ann.  She Loves You, She Loves You Not.   YA FIC Peters

Polonsky, Ami.  Gracefully Grayson.  YA FIC Polonsky; 6-8

Saenz, Benjamin Alire. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.  YA FIC Saenz

Sanchez, Alex. Rainbow Boys.  YA FIC Sanchez

Smith, Rachel Lee.  Speaking Out: Queer Youth in Focus.  YA 306.76 S

Talley, Robin. What We Left Behind. YA FIC Talley

Telgemeier, Raina.   Drama.  YA Graphic FIC Telgemeier

Thrash, Maggie. Honor Girl. YA Graphic B Thrash T

Walton, Will. Anything Could Happen. YA FIC Walton

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Mental Health Awareness Month: General Mental Illness Fiction

This last list deals with teens living or having a parent with different types of mental illnesses.

Dawn, Sasha. Oblivion. Egmont, 20145.
Sixteen-year-old Callie Knowles fights her compulsion to write constantly, even on herself, as she struggles to cope with foster care, her mother's life in a mental institution, and her belief that she killed her father, a minister, who has been missing for a year.

Easton, Kelly. To Be Mona. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2008.
High school senior Sage tries to hide her mentally ill mother and get a popular football player to go out with her, but eventually she realizes that abandoning her real friends and letting herself be manipulated by others does not make her feel better after all.

Harrar, George. Not as Crazy as I Seem. Houghton Mifflin, 2003.
As fifteen-year-old Devon begins mid-year at a new prestigious prep school, he is plagued by compulsions such as the need to sort things into groups of four.

Hopkins, Ellen. Impulse. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2007.
Three teens who meet at Reno, Nevada's Aspen Springs mental hospital after each has attempted suicide connect with each other in a way they never have with their parents or anyone else in their lives.

Kuehn, Stephanie. Delicate Monsters. St. Martin’s Griffin, 2015.
Three psychologically damaged teenagers uncover dark secrets and even darker truths about themselves.

Leveen, Tom. Shackled. Simon Pulse, 2015.
Six years after her friend Tara disappeared from a shopping mall during a game of hide-and-seek, prickly, anxious Pelly thinks she spots her buying coffee with her captor. Pelly, who has an unnamed mental illness, goes to online rather than traditional school and works as a barista. When she serves coffee to the girl she thinks is Tara, she thinks she sees the girl mouth the words "Help me." Pelly calls the police, but they are unconvinced by her story, and Pelly instead begins following leads on her own.

McCormick, Patricia. Cut. Front Street, 2000.
While confined to a mental hospital, thirteen-year-old Callie slowly comes to understand some of the reasons behind her self-mutilation, and gradually starts to get better.

Nolan, Han. Crazy. Harcourt, 2010.
Fifteen-year-old loner Jason struggles to hide father's declining mental condition after his mother's death, but when his father disappears he must confide in the other members of a therapy group he has been forced to join at school.

Phillips, Linda Vigen. Crazy. Eerdman’s Books for Young Readers, 2014.
While growing up in the 1960s, Laura uses art to cope with her mother's mental illness.

Polsky, Sara. This is How I Find Her. Albert Whitman &Company, 2013.
High school junior Sophie has always had the burden of taking care of her mother, who has bipolar disorder, but after her mother's hospitalization she must learn to cope with estranged family and figure out her own life.

Scelsa, Kate. Fans of the Impossible Life.  Balzar + Bray, 2015.
At Saint Francis Prep school in Mountain View, New Jersey, Mira, Jeremy, and Sebby come together as they struggle with romance, bullying, foster home and family problems, and mental health issues.

Shaw, Susan. Black-Eyed Suzie. Boyd Mills Press, 2002.
Suzie's stay in a mental hospital helps her tear down the walls of a devastating psychological prison she calls "the box".

Smith, Hilary T. Wild Awake. Katherine Tegen Books, 2013.
The discovery of a startling family secret leads seventeen-year-old Kiri Byrd from a protected and naive life into a summer of mental illness, first love, and profound self-discovery

Vaught, Susan. Freaks Like Us. Bloomsbury, 2012.

A mentally ill teenager who rides the "short bus" to school investigates the sudden disappearance of his best friend.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Mental Health Awareness Month: Fiction about Schizophrenia

This week's list is books about teens living with or who has a parent with schizophrenia. next week, I'll post a list of varied books on mental illness.

Anderson, Jessica Lee. Border Crossing. Milkweed Editions, 2009.
Manz, a troubled fifteen-year-old, ruminates over his Mexican father's death, his mother's drinking, and his stillborn stepbrother until the voices he hears in his head take over and he cannot tell reality from delusion.

Atwater-Rhodes, Amelia. Persistence of Memory. Delacorte Press, 2008.
Diagnosed with schizophrenia as a child, sixteen-year-old Erin has spent half of her life in therapy and on drugs, but now must face the possibility of weird things in the real world, including shapeshifting friends and her "alter," a centuries-old vampire.

Averett, Edward. Cameron and the Girls. Clarion Books, 2013.
A boy suffering from Schizophrenia falls into a love triangle with a girl in his junior high class--and a girl in his head.

Axelrod, Kate. The Law of Loving Others. Razorbill, 2015.
After Emma returns home from boarding school, she realizes her mother is suffering from a schizophrenic break, and suddenly, Emma's entire childhood and identity is called into question, pushing her to turn to her boyfriend, Daniel, for answers, but perhaps it is the brooding Phil who Emma meets while visiting her mother at the hospital who really understands her.

Barkley, Brad. Jars of Glass. Dutton Children’s Books, 2008.
Two sisters, aged fourteen and fifteen, offer their views of events that occur during the year after their mother is diagnosed with schizophrenia and their family, including a recently adopted Russian orphan, begins to disintegrate.

Bock, Caroline. Before My Eyes. St. Martin’s Grifffin, 2014.
Told in three separate voices, dreamy Claire, seventeen, with her complicated home and love life, shy Max, also seventeen, a state senator's son whose parents are too focused on the next election to see his pain, and twenty-one-year-old paranoid schizophrenic Barkley teeter on the brink of destruction.

Carlson, Melody. Finding Alice. WaterBrook Press, 2009.
On the surface, Alice Laxton seems no different from any other college girl: bright, inquisitive, excited about the life ahead of her. But for years, a genetic time bomb has been ticking away. Because of Alice's near-genius intelligence, teachers and counselors have always made excuses for her "little idiosyncrasies." But during a stress-filled senior year at college, a new world of voices, visions, and unexplainable "knowledge" causes Alice to begin to lose her grip on reality.

Cronkhite, Lisa M. Disconnected. Poisoned Pen Press, 2014.
Seventeen-year-old Milly is being bullied by Amelia Norris, but she can't tell a soul. Milly's reasoning, she does not want anyone to know where her tormentor lives. They share one thing in common. Both coexist as one in the same body.

Denman, K.L. Me, Myself, and Ike. Orca Book Publishers, 2009.
Seventeen-year-old Kit is paranoid, confused and alone, but neither he nor his family and friends understand what is happening to him.

Ellison, Kate. Notes from Ghost Town. Egmont USA, 2014.
Young artist Olivia Tithe struggles to keep her sanity as she unravels the mystery of her first love's death through his ghostly visits.

Fensham, Elizabeth. Helicopter Man. Bloomsbury, 2005.
A homeless Australian boy sticks by his schizophrenic father as their fragile world disintegrates in this moving story of courage and devotion.

Firmstom, Kim. Schizo. James Lorimer, 2011.
Dan is a fairly normal fifteen-year-old, but at home, things aren't normal at all. His mother is schizophrenic, and her behaviour is only getting more and more erratic. Dan could just run away, but he's worried about what would happen to the nine-year-old brother he's fought so hard to protect.

Fuqua, Jonathan Scott. King of the Pygmies. Candlewick Press, 2005.
After hearing what he believes are other peoples' thoughts, high school sophomore Penn learns that he may have schizophrenia and makes some important decisions about how to live his life.

Gonzalez, Ann. Running for My Life. WestSide Books, 2009.
Andrea faces the challenges of high school as her relationship with her schizophrenic mother crumbles, and she searches for support for her own mental illness through her therapist, family, friends, and running.

James, Brian. Life is But a Dream. Feiwel & Friends, 2012.
When fifteen-year-old Sabrina meets Alec at the Wellness Center where she is being treated for schizophrenia, he tries to persuade her that it is the world that is crazy, not them, and she should defy her doctors rather than lose what makes her creative and special.

Leavitt, Martine. Calvin. Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2015.
Born on the day the last Calvin and Hobbes comic strip was published, seventeen-year-old Calvin, a schizophrenic, sees and has conversations with the tiger, Hobbes, and believes that if he can persuade the strip's creator, Bill Watterson, to do one more strip, he will make Calvin well.

Price, Charlie. Lizard People. Roaring Brook Press, 2007.
While visiting his mentally ill mother at a psychiatric hospital, high school junior Ben Mander starts talking to a young man who claims that he travels back and forth between the present and the year 4000, searching for a cure for mental illness.

Prinz, Yvonne. If You’re Lucky. Workman, 2015.
Determined to clear the fog from her mind in order to uncover the truth about her brother's death, seventeen-year-old Georgia secretly stops taking the medication that keeps away the voices in her head.

Schantz, Sarah Elizabeth. Fig. Margaret K. Eldeberry Books, 2015.
In 1994, Fig looks back on her life and relates her experiences, from age six to nineteen, as she desperately tries to save her mother from schizophrenia while her own mental health and relationships deteriorate.

Schindler, Holly. A Blue So Dark. Flux, 2010.
As Missouri fifteen-year-old Aura struggles alone to cope with the increasingly severe symptoms of her mother's schizophrenia, she wishes only for a normal life, but fears that her artistic ability and genes will one day result in her own insanity.

Sheff, Nic. Schizo. Philomel Books, 2014.
A teenager recovering from a schizophrenic breakdown is driven to the point of obsession to find his missing younger brother and becomes wrapped up in a romance that may or may not be the real thing.

Shusterman, Neal. Challenger Deep. HarperTeen, 2015.
Suffering from schizophrenia, Caden's internal narratives are sometimes dreams, sometimes hallucinations, and sometimes undefinable, dominated by a galleon and its captain, sailing with an enormous, sullen crew to the deepest point of the Marianas Trench, Challenger Deep.

Suma, Nova Ren. 17 & Gone. Dutton Books, 2013.
Seventeen-year-old Lauren has visions of girls her own age who are gone without a trace, but while she tries to understand why they are speaking to her and whether she is next, Lauren has a brush with death and a shocking truth emerges, changing everything.

Trueman, Terry. Inside Out. HarperTempest, 2003.
A sixteen-year-old with schizophrenia is caught up in the events surrounding an attempted robbery by two other teens who eventually hold him hostage.

Vaught, Susan. Freaks Like Us. Bloomsbury, 2012.
Jason is "Freak" to his peers and even his ADHD friend Drip, but not to Sunshine, who--though selectively mute--shares her thoughts and feelings with him. Now she's vanished, and Jason, whose schizophrenia has shaped his life, is a suspect in her disappearance

Wray, John. Lowboy. Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2009.
Possessing paranoid schizophrenic beliefs that he can save the planet from climate change by cooling down his own overheated body, sixteen-year-old New York youth Will Heller pursues a terrifying and delusional odyssey through the city's tunnels and backalleys.

Zappia, Francesca. Made You Up. Greenwillow Books, 2015.

Armed with her camera and a Magic 8-Ball and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Teen Review: Minecraft

Minecraft by MB

Do an of you readers have any game consoles? Well if your answer is yes, then you're in for a treat. The game I want to talk about is Minecraft. Let me guess, you were either shocked or surprised by this. This game however is a good game in my opinion.

Many think it's lame, but to be honest it's good for an architecture project. If you actually think about it, Minecraft has many settings to help you with your gaming experience. This game has settings like survival which lets you have a real life experience of building your life but with the threat of being killed by a creature like a zombie.

On the other hand though, the other setting is creative which lets you build what you want and you don't have the risk of dying. There are also settings that are more in depth like infinite, flat, and old.

Infinite is when the world is never ending and goes on forever. The second setting flat is the architecture experience that I was talking about earlier, this is where your imagination goes wild to build anything. Finally, old is a setting of the original Minecraft land.

Over the years, Minecraft has gained a modern look and with the new settings of changing the world from a creative world to survival. For most, many believe that this game is boring because of the building that is the base of this thing, but if you really look at it in a different perspective, you can absolutely see that this game is more than just building.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

School Library Journal Writing Resources

Below is a list of resources recommenced by School Library Journal

Tools To Spark Writing: Fiction
The Young Writer’s Program challenges kids to write a novel in the 30 days of November. The site offers workbooks and resources that will motivate your students and allow them to unleash their inner novelist. Grades 4–12

Tools To Spark Writing: Nonfiction
KQED Do Now allows students to respond to a current issue each week using social media. The issues range from politics to the arts and sciences. In this age of fractured political discourse, Do Now helps students practice constructive online conversation. Grades 8–12
National Geographic Education Who doesn’t love National Geographic’s images, videos, and articles? Kids can use the vast resources at this site to spark their imaginations and get their writing juices flowing. Grades 1–8
Newsela Offering daily news stories, differentiated by reading level, Newsela is a popular resource for  teachers seeking to help keep students stay current. Have your students use these high-interest pieces as a jumping off point for argumentative blog posts. Grades 2–12
New York Times Learning Network Though primarily a space to find lessons related to New York Timescontent, the Learning Network’s high-interest pieces lend themselves to writing assignments. Additionally, the Learning Network periodically runs writing contests for young people. Grades 7–12

Publishing Platforms for Kids
Figment This teen writing space (you need to be at least 13 years old to register) provides a community of peers who support one another as they go through the writing process. Figment offers the opportunity to join groups and enter contests. Grades 8–12
Kidblog Younger students can hone their blogging skills at this safe, closed platform. A student’s Kidblog experience is moderated and managed by a teacher. Grades 1–8
Wattpad My 13-year-old niece turned me onto Wattpad, where she writes fan fiction about her favorite novel, S. E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. This is a great and popular place for teens to share their stories with peers. Beware of inappropriate content however; teachers should manage carefully. Grades 8–12
Youth Voices This vibrant online community allows students to write and communicate about issues that are important to them in a variety of formats, from blog posts to videos. The space has a long history as a publishing platform and social networking space, along with committed educator involvement. Grades 8–12

Reference Tools and Thesaurus Rex If your students need to look up the definition of a word, is a handy online resource. Not only does it provide definitions, it pronounces words and has fun features such as a word of the day. Thesaurus Rex is an app, so it’s only available on mobile devices, but it will give your kids synonyms and pronunciations of words, and it can also sort synonyms by relevance. Grades 6–12
EasyBib makes it, well, easy for students to cite sources and create bibliographies in a variety of formats. One caution: the free version includes ads. Grades 9–12
Wikipedia, as I’m sure most of you know, is an online collaborative encyclopedia written by those who use it. It is one of the most visited sites in the world. And it trades on the idea that the crowd will get it right more often than not. Your kids probably already use it, so why not help them understand the pitfalls and how they can contribute to the building of a knowledge base for others to use? It’s translated into multiple languages and has a Simple English Wikipedia version for users whose first language isn’t English. Grades 8–12
Zotero A free, open-source research tool, Zotero helps you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources. It doesn’t have the most user-friendly interface, but its features are robust. Grades 9–12

Stories That Inspire
StoryCorps is an oral history project, a treasure trove of compelling one-to-one interviews between people who know each other. I’ve more than once shed a tear listening to a StoryCorps piece—your students will find a story that moves them, too. Grades 4–12
TED Playlist for Kids Various TED talks can work with different ages groups. That said, the good people at TED have curated videos they think are especially relevant to young people. Some of the TED talks are given by teens, others simply focus on issues that young people will likely find fascinating. Grades 9-12
Youth Radio If you listen to National Public Radio, you’ve probably heard a piece narrated by a Youth Radio reporter. Youth Radio provides well-researched stories of interest to teens, produced and reported by teens. Grades 9–12

Online Identity and Digital Citizenship
OK, so this isn’t a site devoted to writing. But if you want your kids to write online, they need to understand what it means to create and value their online identity, and how to interact responsibly with others—particularly if they expect to give or receive feedback. K–Grade 12