Teen News & Reviews

Several star-around words "December" at the upper corner, in its opposite, a cute deer with Christmas lights, stares at you in the snow fields. Christmas pine decorations surround the image, while the our words "Teen Book Reviews" and "By Teens, For Teens" lie in the middle with the sketch style.
–Chenxi

Teen Events at Plymouth Library

Are You An Imposter Or A Crewmate? Join us to play among us via zoom on Thursday, December 30th from 7 to 8 PM. You can sign up here: bit.ly/AmongUsDec30
— Ella

 

Teen Dungeons And Dragons Are you looking for adventure, excitement, or a chance to roll dice? If that piques your interest, the Teen Dungeons And Dragons Group is for you! You could play as a human or halfling, a dragon-born or gnome, a dwarf or elf. This event is on Monday December 13th and Monday December 27th from 6-9 PM. December 13th Link: https://plymouth.librarycalendar.com/events/teen-dungeons-and-dragons-6 December 27th Link: https://plymouth.librarycalendar.com/events/teen-dungeons-and-dragons-1
— Ella
Volunteer at the Plymouth District Library! Become a teen volunteer today to contribute in a meaningful way to the library. Teen volunteers have the opportunity to write reviews on their favorite books and movies. Write for the newsletter and make ads for upcoming events. This is a great leadership opportunity for students in need of community service hours. Make new friends by sharing a common interest for the love of books and movies.
— Zoha
Teen volunteer meeting at Plymouth Library on 1st Thursdays at 7pm
— Isha

ELL Group: Conversation, Reading, and Book Club Every Monday in December Conversation: 10-11 AM Reading: 11 AM-12 PM Book Club: 3-4 PM Practice your English speaking skills in a supportive, nonjudgmental group. Conversation: https://plymouth.librarycalendar.com/events/english-language-learners-ell-conversation-group-4 Reading: https://plymouth.librarycalendar.com/events/english-language-learners-ell-reading-group-3 Book Club: https://plymouth.librarycalendar.com/events/page-page-intermediate-ell-book-club-4

— Lauren

 

Hoopla: e-books, e-audio, graphic novels, movies, TV & music from your library at hoopladigital.com. Libby: e-books, e-audio, magazines, and movies at https://mlc.overdrive.com/. Find out more at bit.ly/3zyhAAq
– Nadinne

Reviews

Graphic Novel Reviews

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier 

Graphic novel cover: Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier with two children facing into the wind.

Ghosts is a graphic novel starring the story of two sisters named Maya and Cat. Maya and Cat move to northern California because their father found a job there and breathing the ocean air will be good for Maya because she has cystic fibrosis. Cat does not want to leave behind her school and friends, but she knows it is for the better.

When Cat and her family first arrive in northern California, Maya and Cat decide to venture into the ocean. As they are breathing the salty ocean air, they notice that an old arcade is nearby. They hurry inside to see that only one person is there. It is a boy named Carlos who tells them that there are ghosts in the town, and he can take them on a tour.

When Maya and Cat arrive home, their parents have dinner with the neighbors. When they arrive home, Cat and Maya realize that Carlos is their neighbor. Carlos keeps on talking about the ghosts, hyping Maya to come and see them.

Soon after, Maya and Carlos head on a mission to find the ghosts.

Cat who thinks that the ghosts are dangerous, reluctantly follows behind. Maya is thrilled when she sees the ghosts. The ghosts pick her up, leaving her levitating. They tickle her, and she laughs. The ghosts survive by taking air from the living, allowing them to move around. The ghosts take too much air from Maya, causing her health to fail. She is now unconscious.

Cat rushes Maya home. Carlos calls 911. Maya is rushed to the hospital. Cat is mad at Carlos for taking Maya into a dangerous place. Will Maya survive?

Read Ghosts today to follow the story of a young girl and her life with cystic fibrosis. See how an innocent-seeming activity can almost kill her.

-Zoha

Displacement by Kiku Hughes

Graphic Novel Cover: Displacement by Kiku Hughes

Kiku is returning home to Seattle after vacation. Or rather, was. In the span of a few moments, her present-day Seattle backyard transforms into the internment camp her grandmother Ernestina was forcibly relocated to in the 1940s. With no way back to her own time, Kiku will have to figure out how to live in the camps  alongside Ernestina and thousands of other Japanese Americans.

The illustration in this graphic novel is beautifully crisp and smooth–not a line is out of place. The author uses an orange and green color palette throughout, which not only looks stunning, but unifies the disparate time periods to emphasize how history impacts the modern day. The intriguing exploration of how Kiku’s time travel works later in the graphic novel furthers that point.

If you’re interested in a sharp illustration of historical events and their impacts on families and futures, it’s time to travel to the library to pick up Displacement.

– Charlotte

Taproot by Keezy Young

Graphic Novel Cover: Taproot by Keezy YoungTaproot’s earthy tones and soft lines evoke the comforting smell of warm earth and living leaves, which might seem incongruous for a story about a necromancer and a ghost.

Blue thought he was used to being dead. It got a little lonely sometimes, not being able to interact with the physical world, but he didn’t mind. Then he met Hamal, who can see him and all the other ghosts in town. Blue helps Hamal get a job as a gardener, and the two become fast friends. Of course, it’s a little hard for Blue to be lonely when he’s in love with his best friend. When eerie disturbances start afflicting the ghosts in town, though, Blue can’t help but wonder if Hamal’s power to see ghosts is putting him in danger.

Taproot is a short and sweet romance story that’ll surely leave you smiling, but its brief storytelling does leave a lot to be desired. The characters are so animated and lively that it’s a shame that the graphic novel ends so quickly, without elaborating on their history or how they interact with their world.

Taproot’s charming characters and environment make reading this graphic novel a succulent experience.

– Charlotte

The Eternal Smile by Gene Luen Yang and Derek Kirk Kim

Graphic Novel cover: The Eternal Smile by Gene Luen Yang and Derekj Kirk Kim: A crowd of your people looking at a sun with a smile on it. The Eternal Smile isn’t a graphic novel–it’s three graphic novels in one excellent anthology.

The first story, “Duncan’s Kingdom,” is a classic comic book story with that heavily-shaded classic comic art style–Duncan must slay the nefarious Frog King with the magic blade he was destined to wield and win the hand of the princess. The second story, “Gran’pa Greenbax and the Eternal Smile,” smashes that status quo with a bombastic Saturday-morning-cartoon feel, both in art and writing. Greenbax’s single goal is to fill his “Pool O’ Cash” so deep that he won’t hit his head when he dives inside; his assistant’s discovery of a mysterious grin in the sky is giving him some very profitable ideas. The final story, “Urgent Request,” follows downtrodden worker Janet Oh as she falls in love with a definitely real Nigerian prince in need of funds.

But what ties the stories together is how they play with the concept of reality, satisfyingly flipping each story on its head. The surprise of each twist is emphasized by a masterful use of contrasting color; vibrance leaches out of colorful palettes, bursts of color break up monotonous grays, and the entire shade of one scene jumps entirely across the color wheel.

Three twisting tales with startlingly sweet conclusions, The Eternal Smile definitely goes the extra smile.

–Charlotte

Book Reviews

Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson 

Book cover: dance of thieves by mary e. pearson. New York Times bestselling author the Remnant Chronicles. Illustration of knife with wings on either side of the hilt on a blue background with silver and red filigree

Kazi, a retired street thief, is now one of the Queen’s most trusted soldiers. She’d proven herself time and time again by successfully completing all of her missions, and now she’s onto her next one. Kazi is sent to Tor’s Watch under the guise of inspecting treaties when there’s really another reason why she’s there; she’s searching for an outlaw who betrayed the Queen years ago and cost thousands of lives. It is believed that he’s being protected by the town’s patriarch, and Kazi won’t stop until she finds him.

The Ballengers claim that Tor’s Watch was the first kingdom after the fall of the Ancients, and they take pride in their history, despite the fact that they aren’t recognized as a nation by the other kingdoms. The Ballengers have survived through many hardships, and there will be more to come. Soon after his father’s sudden death, Jase becomes the patriarch of Tor’s Watch. His most pressing matter is dealing with the growing number of attacks on the citizens, but an unexpected visit from the Rahtan, the Vendan Queen’s band of elite soldiers, throws a wrench in his plans.

Overall, this book was amazing. There was a good balance between action and character development that makes you feel like you’re really in the world the author has created. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who’s looking for a fun read!

-Nikola

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Book Cover: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Beatrice Prior (referred to as Tris) lives in a society that is divided by five factions: Abnegation, Erudite, Candor, Dauntless, and Amity. She is from an Abnegation family. At the age of sixteen, members of her society take an aptitude test to determine what faction they are best suited for. After the aptitude test, she will attend the Choosing Ceremony, where she will publicly announce which faction she wishes to be a part of.

When Tris takes her aptitude test, her results are inconclusive. She has an aptitude for multiple factions, meaning that she is Divergent. Tris is instructed not to tell anyone about her Divergence because it could be a threat to her life. At the Choosing Ceremony, Tris picks Dauntless. Her brother, Caleb, who is around the same age as her, picks Erudite.

Both Tris and Caleb have decided to leave Abnegation. Their parents feel dejected. Dauntless is a faction that values bravery, and only the initiates on the top of the leaderboard get in. Dauntless initiates have to pass two rounds of fighting, face their fears through a simulation and so much more. Will Tris survive? Caleb, on the other hand, is part of a faction that values intellect above anything else. The leader of his faction, Jeanine, is planning to start a war against his former faction, Abnegation by mind controlling Dauntless members. Will Caleb remain loyal to Abnegation or will he betray them? Will Tris help her former faction members survive?

Start reading Divergent today if you want to follow Tris on a dystopian adventure in Chicago. This book will leave you awestruck.

-Zoha

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

book cover: twilight by stephanie meyer. two, pale hands cupping a red apple on a black background

Twilight is the first book in the vampire love series. Written by Stephanie Meyer, this series follows Isabella (more commonly known as Bella) Swan, a teenager who moves to Forks Washington, expecting nothing exciting to happen, until she meets Edward Cullen….

Bella Swan doesn’t want to move to Forks, Washington to live with her father, Charlie, but she wants to give her mom, Renee some time alone with her new boyfriend, Phil. On Bella’s first day at Forks High School, she sees five beautiful students sitting at a lunch table together – Emmett, Alice, Rosalie, Jasper, and Edward Cullen. There is something weird about them – they just don’t seem like the rest of the students.

Later, Bella sees one of the boys, Edward Cullen again during biology class, but something is wrong – his eyes are black! Bella struggles to understand the impossible – freakishly fast speed, avoidance of any project involving blood and any form of sunlight – Edward Cullen is a vampire!

As time goes on, the two find it harder and harder to stay away from each other – which is a problem because the more time Edward spends with Bella, the more chance there is that he can hurt her or expose her accidentally to a foul vampire!

Twilight is a story about forming unique bonds/friendships and is a love story following a vampire and a regular girl who realize no matter how hard they try, they can’t stay apart even if it means it produces danger for the both of them.

If you’re looking for a story that you’ll be stuck reading until twilight rolls around, what are you waiting for? Start reading Twilight today

– Ella

Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Bowman

Book Cover: Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman - illustration: blue and green watercolor wave is background to two birds and a hibiscus flower

Summer Bird Blue is a story about two sisters named Rumi and Lea who shared an inseparable bond. They both loved to write music, and they would compose songs together. One day, Lea died in a car accident. This leaves Rumi and her mother in grief. Rumi’s mother sends Rumi to Hawaii to live with her aunt, so she could grieve alone.

Rumi feels like no one cares for her. Her dreams of being a professional songwriter and composer have died down with the death of her sister. She also feels like her mother does not care for her enough because she sent her off to live far away from her. Rumi’s mother does not confront her about the loss of her sister, even though she was the closest to her. Rumi has completely lost the passion to play music because her sister is gone.

When Rumi comes to Hawaii, she starts lashing out at anybody that gives her the opportunity to including her aunt and her neighbors. Everybody can see that Rumi is hurt emotionally, and they do everything they can to help her. Rumi meets a boy named Kai. Kai usually talks sense into Rumi. He can sometimes be insensitive toward her, but he is always honest.

Mr. Watanabe, Rumi’s neighbor, is someone Rumi can relate to on a personal level. He has been through many tragedies in life, and he helps Rumi cope. Will Rumi restore her passion for music writing and follow the dreams she once had? Will Mr. Watanabe be what Rumi needs to recover from her loss?

Read Summer Bird Blue to figure out how Rumi’s life story has allowed her to overcome her loss and forge a better future for herself.

-Zoha

 

Read More Reviews and Things to Do from earlier Teen e-newsletters!