Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Teen Writing Contest

The Houston Public Library is running its first teen writing contest. Subjects for your short story or poem are limited only by your imagination. Entries will be judged on originality, use of language and technical skill. You can submit to both categories – short story and poetry.

 1A – Poetry: Grades 6-8
1B – Short Story:  Grades 6-8
2A – Poetry: Grades 9-12
2B – Short Story: Grades 9-12

All entries will have to adhere to contest rules and deadlines. Entries will be judged on the following:
Use of Language
Technical Skill

Prizes for Each Category:
 1st Prize = $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
2nd Prize = $15 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
3rd Prize = $10 Barnes & Noble Gift Card

How to Submit Entry:

By Mail: Houston Public Library | Attn: Rebecca Denham - Teen Room | 500 McKinney St., 77002. Use the fillable PDF form.

Online: complete the form below. Don't forget to upload your document file!

Contest Submission Rules:

Participants must be a current student between grades 6-12.
For each submission fill out the entry form (download here) and attach to your submission. A submission consists of 1 entry form attached to 3 copies of your entry. (If you participate in two categories, you should have two Entry Forms.)

One entry per category per participant
Submit 3 copies of your entry typed on white paper with 1 entry form attached. No handwritten entries will be accepted.

Text & Formatting
Title of work should appear at the top of the submission. Your name should only appear on the entry form. Do not put your name on the copies of your short story or poem attached to the entry form.
Color – Black ink only
Font – Times New Roman
Size – 12pt
Spacing - 1.5 line spacing
No pictures are permitted

All entries must adhere to the word count. Poetry must be 800 words or less. Short stories should be a minimum of 1000 words and not exceed 5000 words.
All short stories must be stand-alone. Excerpts of larger works will not be considered.
All entries must be original work; Fanfiction will not be accepted.

All entries must be received by 5 PM on July 30, 2016

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.