Blogs: Teens

Parks and Recreation Season OneBy the Hollywood Teen Book Council

It has been a little over a year since we had to say goodbye to Leslie Knope and friends. This is the show that brought us Galentine’s Day, “Treat yo self,” and so many heartfelt and funny moments.  Luckily, the library has all seven seasons available for checkout.

Even if there was no love loss between the Parks Department and the Library, (Leslie Knope did say once, “The library is the worst group of people ever assembled in history. They’re mean, conniving, rude and extremely well read, which makes them very dangerous.”); these are characters that continue to stay with us. Just as we are gearing up for more  time in the great outdoors, recreating in our parks, we thought we’d take a moment and pick books for our favorite characters.

Leslie KnopeMy Beloved WorldAdventures with Waffles

Leslie Knope

My Beloved World By Sonia Sotomayor

Leslie Knope is not someone to let anything get in the way of her dreams, and she is inspired by a league of powerful women. Since she is on her path to  Washington, she would be interested in the paths of other women that have landed key roles in the running of different branches of  government.

Adventures with Waffles by Maria Parr

With a strong love of breakfast food, especially waffles, this is a book for Ms. Knope. Where she is all about strong friendships and adventures outdoors, she will delight in the kinship and antics of Trille and Lena.

Hatchet

Ron Swanson

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Ron Swanson is an advocate for self-reliance, and he has his own fantasies of living off the grid. He will enjoy Brian’s story of surviving in the wilderness after a plane crash with only a hatchet to sustain himself.

April LudgateStiff The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

April Ludgate

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

Putting Makeup on Dead People by Jen Violi

As far as working for the City of Pawnee, April’s interest and personality seems to be a better fit for the morgue than the parks’ department. We think she would be fascinated by both Stiff and Putting Makeup on Dead People.

Andy DwyerA Dog's JourneyThe Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

Andy Dwyer

A Dog's Journey by W. Bruce Cameron

We know that Andy has a soft spot for animals. He will enjoy this tender-hearted tale told through the eyes of a dog.

The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

We really think that this is Andy Dwyer’s actual secret identity.

Tom HaverfordModern Romance

Tom Haverford

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

Even though this is written by the actor that plays Tom Haverford, we know that Tom would appreciate the meticulous research that went into this to show how modern technology is affecting the way that we date.

Donna Meaglefamous-in-love

Donna Meagle

Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle

Donna has all the men falling for her, just like Paige in this book. Eventually both with have to choose if they want to be with just one.

Ann PerkinsLumberjanes

Ann Perkins

Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson

Ann is the ultimate best friend. We think that she would enjoy the strong female friendships and the supernatural adventures that take place in the great outdoors.

Ben WyattReady_Player_One_

Ben Wyatt

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Bless the ultimate nerd that is Ben Wyatt. If only this book had some more Game of Thrones references. Still, we know that Ben will love this homage to some of the best things to come out of the 1980’s.

Chris TraegerWhat I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Chris Traeger

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

Super fit Chris Traeger will love this contemplation about a shared passion from one of today’s greatest writers. .

Jerry GergichWhat's in a Name Everything You Wanted to Know

Jerry Gergich (...or Garry, Larry or Terry)

What's in a Name?: Everything You Wanted to Know by Leonard R. N. Ashley

Really what is in a name? Come on, Jerry!

 

-By the Hollywood Teen Book Council

Luna Lovegood

"I think they think I'm a bit odd, you know. Some people call me 'Loony' Lovegood, actually.” --Luna Lovegood, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

There are so many reasons that Luna Lovegood has captivated us. Her airy ways and perceptiveness bring humor  throughout the series. When we first meet her in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J.K. Rowling writes, “The girl gave off an aura of distinct dottiness. Perhaps it was the fact that she had stuck her wand behind her left ear for safekeeping, or that she had chosen to wear a necklace of Butterbeer caps, or that she was reading a magazine upside down.”

Initially, as most of us on the Hollywood Teen Book Council are all avid Harry Potter fans, we wanted to do some sort of a book project around the series. When it came time to get started, none of us could get past wanting to suggest books that we thought Luna Lovegood would love to read.

Here is what we would think she should read, if she hasn’t already . And as Luna says, , “Wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure.”

 

The Theory of Everything

The Theory of Everything by Kari Luna

Luna’s a little bit quirky and so is Sophie Sophia, the girl with an obsession of music from the late 80’s.  Luna will enjoy Sophie’s attempt to find her father, an eccentric physicist who has disappeared suddenly.  Luna will also be glad that Sophie has a friend along on the quest: her giant shaman panda named Walt.

Rats Observations on the History and Habitat of the City's Most Unwanted InhabitantsRats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants by Robert Sullivan

Luna’s interests are varied and thorough, so perhaps she would like this very complete examination of city-dwelling rats and how they have evolved alongside humans.

 

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Aside from Harry, if anyone else at Hogwarts is going to go on a quest, it would probably be Luna.  Unlike Coelho’s shepherd boy, she might come to a quicker understanding of what she needs to find the treasure she seeks.

 

The Magicians A Novel By GrossmanThe Magicians: A Novel by Lev Grossman

Luna attends a school for witchcraft and wizardry, so she might be interested to compare Quentin Coldwater’s school of magic experience in upstate New York to her own.

 

he Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in A Ship of Her Own MakingThe Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in A Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

Ms. Lovegood is a solid character who is always up for an adventure so she might like this story of a girl named September who’s adventure involves a quest  to retrieve a witch's spoon from the terrible and unpredictable Marquess of Fairyland.

 

The Night CircusThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Luna wouldn’t be surprised to see a circus appear with no warning, and she might also like the struggle and love story of two young illusionists.

 

Gutshot By Amelia GrayGutshot: Stories by  Amelia Gray

With so many interests, short stories might be the right kind of fiction for Luna.  This collection is human and dark, and full details of this strange world of ours.

 

A Pattern Language Towns, Buildings, ConstructionA Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction by Christopher Alexander

Luna’s unique thought process sometimes makes communication with others difficult.  Perhaps this book, which helps build a common language and coherence within systems, will help.  It’s strongly recommended if she ever designs or builds a house.

 

Unflattening By SousanisUnflattening by Nick Sousanis

Luna Lovegood sees things differently than your average Hogswartian, so Nick Sousanis’s experiment in visual thinking would be at home in her hands.  This graphic novel disassembles perception and will help her to find even more understanding.  Though perhaps she is already ahead of the rest of us?

 

I can’t get enough of some authors that I love. I also try to slowly savor authors I discover. I don’t read all their books in one fell swoop: I read one every couple months. I am on my third book by Rainbow Rowell: Carry On. I love how Rowell writes about contemporary life, people, class issues and love through her adult and teen fiction.

There’s a reason she’s a best seller. She can tell a love story. I am haunted by the amazing and awkward love story of Eleanor and Park. I want to reread Fangirl which alludes to the romance between Baz and Simon in Carry On. Fangirl has its own marvelous, slow paced romance but I don’t want to give anything away.

I grew up working class: my father was a surveyor’s aide, and my mother was a part time key punch operator. The worries of Rowell’s working class characters really resonate with me. For instance, Eleanor worries about clean clothes with her small wardrobe, and Simon just wants enough to eat like many growing teens. These details add to the realistic aspects of the world she is building. She nails it without rubbing it in your face.

I’m so happy to find another author to love! Have you found any new authors to love lately?

Want to shake up your reading patterns? Tired of reading a book from cover to cover in a sequential order? Here are two reading suggestions from the Hollywood Library’s Teen Book Council where you get to choose the order you read the stories, and invites you to pick your own pattern.

 

Ghosts of Heaven Book CoverSiena Lesher, sophomore

Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

True, history goes in chronological order, but that doesn’t mean all stories flow that way. If you were to rearrange the order of certain events in life, you would wind up with an entirely different plot, and The Ghosts of Heaven proves that. A collection of four short tales, you can read them in any order and get a different story each way. It’s a very interesting set of stories, each written in a different style of writing, and I would highly recommend it.

 

 

 

 

Turnip Princess book coverArden Butterfield, freshman

The Turnip Princess by Franz Xaver von Schönwerth

These German fairy tales were lost in an archive for over 100 years, and were recently discovered a few years ago. The stories are fairly short, but there is a large variety in what they are about. The stories are grouped by topic-- tales of romance, of magic, of animals and of banished princes which can make the book feel somewhat monotonous. I would recommend jumping around in this book, instead of reading it cover to cover.

This book is bland. The stories, for the most part, are told without emotion, just matter-of-factly stating whatever happens. While this contributes to the monotony of the story, I also think it makes it feel more dreamlike, in the way that in dreams the wildest things happen completely deadpan. I would recommend it to anyone interested in fairy tales, or interested in German medieval culture.  It isn’t a gripping page turner, but it was very good nonetheless, especially from a historical perspective.

 

Looking for more great reading suggestions? Try one of these picks of the month.

 
 

Feeling a little frozen these winter months? Needing an emotional jolt? Here are three reader reviews that teens from the Hollywood Library’s Teen Book Council think will break your heart open.

I'll Give You the Sun - Jandy Nelson - CoverAlisa Folen, sophomore

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson is a beautifully written book that weaves together a complex story about friendship, love and a hint of magic. Noah and Jude are twins, but they could not be more different. Noah is an amazing artist, yearning to go to the highly acclaimed art middle school in his town.Jude loves to socialize and hang out at the beach, surfing and arguing with her mother. The story is told from their alternating perspectives, allowing the reader to gain a better understanding of their complex relationship. The language used in I’ll Give You the Sun creates an entire world, and makes an average California beach town seem like the most magical place on earth. Each chapter is told at a different time in the plot, which can be confusing at first. Overall, I would highly recommend to everyone, but especially those who enjoy mystical subplots and figurative language.

 

 

Orbiting Jupiter - Gary Schmidt - CoverElsa Hoover, sophomore

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt

 

Orbiting Jupiter follows 6th grade Jack as his family starts fostering Joseph; a 14 year old boy with a daughter. Joseph, after spending time in a juvenile detention center, is left scared of the world and only wants to be with his daughter. Jack soon befriends him and tries to help him in any way he can. The characters in this book are multi-dimensional and  not at all stereotypical, and they are written to have complex emotions and thought processes. The themes are subtle, and help  to keep the book’s realistic feel. The plot is well executed--at the beginning you are dropped right into the middle of an action so the characters, background and setting are introduced throughout the first few chapters. The whole plot was executed beautifully with a slow burn that made you need to keep reading. The characters and plot were so realistic it made you feel like you were reading a news article (in a good way). So it was inevitable to feel for them and their struggles. I would recommend this book if you have three hours, and want to go on an emotional rollercoaster.

 

The Bunker Diary- Book CoverSiena Lesher, sophomore

The Bunker Diaries by Kevin Brooks

Written in the confines of a minute room, six individuals wait for their fate to be determined. They have no control - “he” has all the power there. “He” put them there. “He” holds all the cards. Told from the point of view of Linus, a sixteen-year-old boy. The Bunker Diary is an excellent representation of the many forms of human nature - from addiction to assertion, as the six try to hold onto the hope of escape. This book was a real page-turner, and very complex for such a simple situation. Just a quick note: don’t start this book late at night - you will finish it at 4:00 a.m., unable to sleep, the last events playing over and over in your head.


Looking for more great reading suggestions? Try one of these picks of the month.

 

What Does February mean to you? I prefer my Valentine’s day with a mix of romance and candy. Visually I am fascinated with candy: All the colors, shapes, sizes and then the textures. February 14th  is a parade of colors and images for me.

As an adult I get my husband nice chocolates and make him a love note. He returns the favor.

I have never had a secret admirer or a sweetheart send me a Valentine. I wished for it as a teen. I longed for a sweetheart and a heart locket.

My Dad though has sent me a valentine every year since someone broke my heart back in the nineties. Do you have a broken heart? My Librarian Heather has the perfect list for this called Divorce Support Group Reads.  

Maybe though you are a teen. And like me you are wishing for a sweetheart. Here’s a list for you of romantic love stories called Teen Romance.

"Stand By Me (1986) is a great movie because  you can watch it fifty times in a row and never get tired of it. You can connect with the characters and laugh at the jokes. It’s an amazing coming of age movie that everyone can enjoy." - Hazel Spivey, Hollywood Teen Book Council

The Hollywood Teen Book Council got together to think about what books  these unforgettable characters would read if they were growing up today.

Gordie from Stand By Me

Gordie - Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt  

Sensitive, nice guy Gordie, much like Okay for Now’s Doug Swieteck, lives in the shadow of an older brother. Both find their support in the communities they create around them. They are both tender and tenacious, smart and strong, and have a writer’s heart.

Chris - Stand By MeGreat Gatsby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris - The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Who would be most likely to reinvent themselves but Chris? Smarter than he lets other see, and with a worldly understanding, we see him drawn to weightier novels full of symbolism. He would both resonate with the observant Nick Carraway as he does with Gordie, and identify with Jay Gatsby.

 

 

Teddy - Stand By MeA Game of Thrones

Teddy - A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Fantasy is Teddy’s  genre all the way, and he would love the escapism of the Game of Thrones series. Full of abrasive characters, and unexpected resolutions will appeal to the often volatile Teddy.

Whales on StiltsVern  - Stand By Me

Vern - Whales on Stilts by M.T.Anderson

Of the group, Vern still has a foot in childhood, where the others are older than their years. He is often the butt of everyone’s joke, but is still a loyal friend. We think that something with a bit of wackiness and humor would appeal to his comic-loving side. A little fantasy, but still set in the current world.

 

Outside of my undying love for various teen idols, I never had much romance in my life in my tween and teen years.  Sure, there were a few flirtations, crushes and dates, and one memorable mad kissing session with a Danish exchange student at a party my parents STILL don’t know about, but I didn’t have a serious boyfriend until my early twenties. Most of my romance back then had to come from books.  Today there is no shortage of romance in books for teens.  Read on to find out about my current favorites just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Isla and the Happily Ever After book jacketIsla is in her senior year at the School of America in Paris and finally has gotten together with Josh, the boy she’s been crushing on for three years.  He’s sexy!  He’s an artist!  He’s crazy about her!  He gets expelled!  Well, the last part isn't so great.  In fact it’s downright depressing.  What’s a girl to do?  Read her story in Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins.

I love "boys in love" books. You get to see what guys are actually thinking about girls, because sometimes you just gotta ask them “What were you thinking?” Six Impossible Things book jacketDan Cereill (that’s pronounced “surreal” NOT “cereal”) has had a pretty cruddy time lately, but has set himself quite an agenda that might just take his mind off the fact that his dad just trashed the family business and then came out.  In fact, his to-do list is made up of six pretty impossible things, the first being to kiss Estelle, the gorgeous girl next door who, basically, doesn’t know he exists.  One day he sneaks into her attic lair and reads her diary, and that just sets him up for some pretty rough going.  What was he thinking? Find out in Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood.

The Heir and the Spare book jacketWhen Evie heads off to the University of Oxford, one of the first people she meets is Edmund, the second in line to the throne, and therefore the “spare heir”.  Evie immediately falls in love with him, but a romantic relationship seems impossible.  She’s American, she’s not part of the aristocracy, and Edmund has a rich girl who is hanging all over him.  Edmund is giving Evie some positive signals though, and then she discovers a family secret that might change everything.  Will she ever get her prince?  Does he even deserve her? The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright.

For more romance featuring teens, swoon over this list.

Maile Meloy's The Apothecary combines the tension of cold war politics with science, and magic. It's a great read for teens and adults. What's not to love?

Find Out What's Available

Trinity collegeIt's never too early to start looking for scholarships. The best time of year to start looking is in the summer or early fall. This lets you find programs before their deadlines have passed, and gives you enough time to complete a well-planned application. Many scholarship programs require an essay and recommendations from teachers or other adults who know you, and these take time to prepare.  

There are many scholarships, grants, fellowships, internships and work-study jobs available. You'll likely encounter some common eligibility criteria. These include which state you live in, if you've performed military service, whether you have minority status or a particular nationality or ethnic background, a religious affliation, or if any of your family members belong to a national or local organization or civic association. If you fit the eligibility criteria, be sure to consider applying! 

Researching

The library is a great place to get started as you research scholarships. Whether you are looking for a scholarship in the humanities, the sciences, the social sciences, or sports, we can help you discover ways to find scholarship awards for higher education. 

Scholarship HandbookThe Scholarship Handbook is organized by common eligibility criteria. It lists scholarships based on which state you live in, whether you have performed military service, if you have minority status or come from a particular nationality or ethnic background, if you have a religious affliation, and whether any of your family members belong to a national or local organization or civic association. Each scholarship program is described by eligibility, basis for selection, application requirements, amount awarded, application deadline, and contact information.

 

"Billions of dollars in scholarships, grants and prizes." The Ultimate Scholarship Book organizes awards into categories such as humanities, social science, science and general. You don't need a perfect GPA or financial need to win a scholarship. There are plenty of awards that have none of these requirements.

 

 

College help for teens: More resources for financial aid, admissions, guides, and Study Abroad.

Saving and paying for college: Additional help with financing college.

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