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Spark a Reaction Short Story Contest

Congratulations to Lauranne Wolfe for writing “Silent Fire,” winner of this summer’s teen short story contest. Special thanks to all of our teen writers who entered, and very special thanks to Sharon Linnea, our judge. Read “Silent Fire” below!

“Silent Fire”

            The air conditioner is at full blast, shades on every window pulled down. I count my blessings that I’m sitting in this cool house instead of my own steamy home. My house doesn’t have air conditioning, but Mrs. Wright’s does. I’m very happy to be watching her daughter on this sweltering Saturday in July in Southern California, where the thermometer reads ninety-eight degrees. Since it is set in the shade, it’s probably even more unbearable out than I think it is.

A small hand taps my shoulder. I crane my neck to see Ally Wright leaning over me. I spin around to see her better, at level with her since I’m sitting on the floor. She just went to get a board game she wanted to play with me. I see that the petite seven year-old is holding a box with colorful drawings on it. It’s Clue Jr, her favorite game. Ally loves mystery. Her favorite books are The Boxcar Children and Nancy Drew. She also likes to swim and run around in dress-up with a plastic sword and wooden shield. It’s impossible to keep her away from her cuddly pet kitten, which she named Tiger because of his orange striped fur. I love watching Ally. She’s this really cute, energetic, and spunky little girl.

Now she’s sitting, pulling off the top of the box and setting the game up. She smiles at me when I look up, and her little hands flutter, signing Let’s play!

Ally is deaf. I’ve known her since she was a toddler, and I know American Sign Language, which is why I watch her when her mom has to go somewhere.

I sign back to her, asking what piece she wants. She picks out a piece, then I do, and we start the game. Ally wins easily.

What do you want to do now? I sign.

Can we go outside? She asks.

It’s too hot! I answer. Ally, I think, is used to the weather. But I moved from Alaska five years ago, and still haven’t gotten used to the heat. My parents are scientists, and they had to come here to start a new research project. I still think we should have stayed in a climate zone that didn’t involve us frying in the summer. Here, I wear sleeveless shirts with shorts from May to October, and I still feel too hot sometimes.

Ally is frowning, so I suggest that she get her kitten.

She brightens immediately, running into the next room to come back with Tiger nestled comfortably in her arms. We pet the tiny cat a while, laughing as he tries to pounce on my fingers and licks Ally’s hand with his tiny sandpaper tongue.

The kitten falls asleep on Ally’s lap as she strokes him. Tiger must be the world’s most petted kitten, I think with a smile. Not wanting to disturb him, she decides to read some of a Boxcar Children book I brought with me to give her. I stand up and look at family pictures. Ally as a happy smiling baby, family photos of Mr. and Mrs. Wright with their daughter, and my favorite picture: Ally in my lap, giving me a hug.

I smile at it. It reminds me of all I have to thank the Wrights for. When I moved here, a timid eleven year-old, I had a lot of trouble making friends. I preferred reading to sports, quiet to chatter, and I missed my best friend, Katy. The daughter of another researcher, we’d been together longer than either of us remembered. She was the reason I could sign, because she too, like Ally, was deaf. I’d never thought anything of it. Here at school, during lunch, I’d hide behind a book, avoiding everyone.

I was doing this one day in study hall when a voice came from behind me.

“I didn’t know you knew ASL, Julie,” I jumped, and then saw it was my English teacher, Mrs. Wright. I’d been signing the book as I read without really noticing what I was doing, because I’d always done it with Katy. I was feeling particularly lonely that day.

I nodded at her and gave a tentative smile, because she was my favorite teacher.

“Where did you learn?” she asked.

I hesitated, but found myself telling her all about Katy. She listened intently, and said, “I’m working on my sign language. My daughter, Alicia, is deaf, and I’m trying to teach her to sign, except that I’m just learning myself. If you’d like to sign with me once in a while, it would be a big help.

Throughout middle school, I would slip into Mrs. Wright’s class during study hall to sign with her. We’d also stop a few minutes to talk in the halls. She was determined and was soon able to sign rapidly. In turn, she helped me to open up a little, suggesting a book club I would enjoy and pairing me with other students with similar tastes. I slowly began to have a couple of good friends. When I entered eighth grade, she asked me to watch Ally for the first time, and I was immediately captivated by the joyous little girl. Now, about to start my junior year in high school, I was always the first person she asked to baby-sit.

So, really, Mrs. Wright was the reason I had slowly begun to like living here. Without her, I wouldn’t have any friends, and I certainly would not have met a little girl as wonderful as Ally.

After another minute or two of looking at the pictures on the wall, I flipped on the TV to news, something that Ally found boring, as she did most TV programs. Therefore, I only turned it on if she was reading. The news was talking about some sort of bombing, so I hurriedly flipped to a local news channel. It seemed nothing had changed. The drought was still gripping the state, and if anything, the forest fires were getting worse. Luckily, although there was one not far from where we were, it didn’t seem as if the fire was expected to spread all the way to this area.

I turned the TV off, hearing the door open and close at the front of the house.

“I’m back, Julie!” called Mrs. Wright breathlessly. I stepped into the entryway to find her hauling grocery bags, several of them digging into her wrists.

I rushed to help her carry them into the kitchen, and she said, “Oh, thank you. Sorry I’m a bit late. I had to pull over to let some fire trucks through. I hope the fires stop soon.”

I agreed, putting things into the fridge. Despite her protests, I insisted on helping bring in the rest of the groceries. In turn, she insisted I stay for lunch. The three of us had just sat down when there was a knock on the door.

Mrs. Wright hurried to the door. I peered into the foyer to see a fireman talking to her. “…wind is blowing this way. We’re worried the fire might spread down here. This is just to say that you might want to pack your most important belongings…in case you do need to evacuate. We don’t know for sure at this point.”

Mrs. Wright was agreeing, sounding worried, and then the man was gone.

“Maybe you ought to go home, Julie,’ she said.

“Don’t worry,” I answered. “You might not have to leave at all, and I’ll help you pack, just in case.”

Luckily, she seemed to decide it wasn’t time to argue, sending me to help Ally get together her favorite items as well as some clothes. I then proceeded to load the car, while Ally and Mrs. Wright packed some more. I looked toward the dried forest, feeling the wind blow into my face. I saw a plume of acrid smoke rising from the trees. It was still distant, but not nearly as far away as I would have liked. I swallowed hard and continued setting bags in the trunk. I remembered hearing that this fire had started as a campfire that had not been set up properly and had then escalated out of control. How silly this was: a drought, a forest, and a small campfire. One spark caught, and the flames were now tearing through forests and houses, even threatening my former teacher’s home.

This one little spark should have just been insignificant if the vegetation wasn’t so dry.

I hurried back in and put the last bags in the cars, having in fact loaded my mom’s up as well, glad that I had gotten my driver’s license the week before. Only a minute had passed after I had returned into the kitchen when I heard another knock on the door. I knew who it was even before I saw the firefighter telling Mrs. Wright that they were evacuating the neighborhood immediately.

Ally ran down from her bedroom just as Mrs. Wright turned to go find her. We both saw the panicked look on her face.

She signed Where’s Tiger?

Mrs. Wright glanced at me, “Wasn’t he asleep on the couch?”

“He woke up,” I said. “I don’t know where he is.”

Mrs. Wright looked troubled, “If we can’t find him, we’ll have to go anyway.”

I looked at Ally’s stubborn face and calculated the chance of her leaving her beloved Tiger behind. Zero.

“Give me five minutes,” I told Mrs. Wright. “I don’t think she’ll come without her cat.

No. signed Ally, and I silently cursed. I’d forgotten that she’d recently begun to read lips.

I hurried out of the foyer, leaving Mrs. Wright to plead with Ally, as the little girl shook her head, tears streaming down her cheeks.

“Tiger!” I called. “Tiger!”

I ran through each room, peering under and behind furniture for a telltale puff of orange fur. Nothing.

Painfully aware that time was passing, I was becoming frantic. Tiger wasn’t curled on Ally’s bed. He wasn’t stretched in the sun on the hallway’s window seat, from which I could see the fire, burning ever closer. He hadn’t leapt into the hamper and gotten tangled in a shirt, something the silly kitten had done before.

I couldn’t find him.

“Julie! We need to leave!”

I knew we did. I still took a little more time on the way down, glancing around and calling Tiger.

I passed the basement door, which was slightly ajar. Wait a minute. I called down the stairs, “Tiger!” A faint mew replied. Relief coursed through me.

“Julie!’

“I hear him! He’s in the basement!” I hurried down the steps two at a time and saw quickly what the problem was. The silly creature had managed to scale a pile of crates, to climb into one through a gap between two boards, but couldn’t find his way out. I pried the crate open to rescue him, plucking him out of it as he squirmed. I held him to my chest, and his tiny claws dug through my shirt. Wincing, I dashed upstairs. Ally stopped crying as soon as she saw me holding her pet.

Thank you. She signed.

We have to go, I signed back. I’ll give you Tiger once you’re in the car.

She nodded, and the three of us sped outside. I peeled Tiger’s claws off my shirt and dropped him into Ally’s lap as soon as she was securely seated in her mom’s car, then I ran to my own car. The smoke was being carried by the wind, making my eyes water as I jumped in and started the engine. I drove behind Mrs. Wright out of the valley that her little village was nestled in. When we were safe from the fire, she parked her car on a rise, where many of her neighbors already stood. I stopped too and got out of my car. Ally stayed in her seat, petting Tiger contentedly.

“She knows we might lose our house,” Mrs. Wright said without preamble. “But she’s happy as long as she has that cat and her family, including you.” She was standing in the grass, staring down at the canvas of forest that stretched beneath us, burning.

There was not a sound, and we watched the flames flicker below us, feeling the wind blow.

“I guess it shows that she’s got her priorities straight. Or that she’s just braver than we are,” I said.

“Or both,” said Mrs. Wright.

“Or both,’ I agreed. We both turned to look at the car. Ally’s face was pressed to the window. She smiled at us, pointing to herself, crossing her arms over her chest, and pointing to us.

It was her favorite sign. One I’d always signed to Katy every time we saw each other. The first sign Mrs. Wright had learned when she found out that Ally would never hear her say those words.

I love you.

We both signed it back.

“The funny thing is, even though we might…might lose our house,” stumbled Mrs. Wright ruefully, “one look at Ally makes me feel better. We have our family and friends, after all, no matter what. That’s really all that matters.”

“Definitely,” I said, swallowing hard. “I think everyone knows it. But it takes a bit of a spark to make people really see it.”

That got a shaky laugh from Mrs. Wright as, side by side, with Ally snug in the car with Tiger, we continued to watch the silent flames consume the woods, smoke climbing, then slowly dwindling in the wind.

AWPL Foundation 2014 College Scholarship Competition

college scholarshipThis just in! The Albert Wisner Public Library Foundation has announced this year’s essay topic for their annual college scholarship competition. Three $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to graduating seniors who reside in the Warwick Valley School District. Read on for the details or click this link for a downloadable version: AWPL Foundation Scholarship 2014

“For the eighth consecutive year, the Albert Wisner Public Library Foundation is offering college scholarships to be awarded in a writing competition. Applicants will submit an essay, not to exceed 2,000 words in length, on the following topic: “If I were a wealthy philanthropist, how I might give to benefit my community.”

Submissions will be judged on the basis of responsiveness to the topic, overall literacy and grammatical accuracy, relevance to current events and/or community concerns in the Warwick area, and other criteria as the judges think appropriate. Authors of the three essays judged to be the best of those submitted will each receive $1,000 toward the cost of college tuition, paid directly to their college.

Any high school senior who resides in the Warwick Valley Central School District is welcome to participate. The student need not be enrolled in Warwick Valley High School.

Essays are due to the Library by 5:00pm, April 19, 2014. Students should bring six (6) printed copies of the essay, together with a cover sheet showing his/her name, mailing address, phone number and email address to the Circulation Desk. The essay must not contain any information that identifies the writer; judges will not know who wrote each essay. To ensure fairness to all applicants, the April 19th deadline is firm and final.

The three scholarships will be awarded in early May by Foundation member Glenn P. Dickes and Susan D. Dickes, who have sponsored two scholarships since the competition’s inception in 2007, and by Carol Hope Arber, who added a third award in 2012. Both the Foundation and Library deeply appreciate their generosity.”

 

 

Dec 26, 2013 - Teen News, Upcoming Events    No Comments

PS4 @ the Library!

Hello everyone,

I hope you’re all enjoying your holiday! This week, stop by the library for some quality time with the PS4 we have on loan. I’ve reserved the Board Room for the dates and times below, so stop in and play a few games. We have Need for Speed: Rivals, Madden 25, FIFA 14, and Just Dance 2014. (OK, Just Dance will be tricky in the Board Room. Let me know if you want to play Just Dance, and I’ll check into getting a bigger room with less furniture.)

No registration necessary. Walk-ins welcome.

PS4 Schedule:

  • Thursday, Dec. 26th, 2pm to 4pm
  • Friday, Dec. 27th, 2pm to 4pm
  • Saturday, Dec. 28th, 2pm to 4pmPlayStation4-FeaturedImage
  • Monday, Dec. 30th, 2pm to 4pm
  • Friday, Jan. 3rd, 2pm to 4pm
  • Saturday, Jan. 4th, 2pm to 4pm

 

Happy gaming!

Dianne

 

Oct 12, 2013 - Teen News    No Comments

Who Doesn’t Love a Good Mixtape?

Hi all!

Thanks so much for coming to the Perks of Being a Wallflower Lock-In last night! I really loved all of your comments and insights. I hope you all had fun playing High School Confessions Bingo with M&Ms and making hypothetical mixtapes. As promised, I’ve listed all the songs you wanted to share below.  If you still want to submit yours and didn’t get it to me last night, let me know and I’ll update it. Also, if I mangled the name of your favorite band or attributed a song to someone other than the artist you intended, let me know and I can fix it.

In the spirit of last night’s discussion on mental illness, suicide, and the like, I’ve put together a list of resources for you all, including ways to help out friends. Most of these resources are geared toward teens living here in Orange County, but a few are National Programs that I think everyone should be aware of, like the National Suicide Hotline and the Trevor Project. Have suggestions for the list? Let me know, and I’ll add them!

Oh! And for those of you interested in following our Tumblr, check it out here!

So without further ado, here are your (infinite) playlists:

Naomi’s List:

  • “Love Shack” The B-52s
  • The Nutcracker Suite
  • “What Doesn’t Kill You Will Make You Stronger” Kelly Clarkson
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark 
  • “Keep it Gay” from The Producers
  • “We Can Do It” from The Producers
  • “Hold On Loosely” .38 Special
  • Rhapsody in Blue (yes, Gershwin)
  • “Fat Bottom Girls” Queen
  • “Walk This Way” Aerosmith
  • “Hell to the No” Glee original song

Ian’s Playlist

  • “Clarity” by Zedd
  • “My Blood” by Ellie Goulding
  • “Fix You” by Coldplay
  • “Demons” by Imagine Dragons
  • “Almost is Never Enough” Ariana Grande
  • “The Fight” Kelsey Byrne
  • “Disaster” Jojo
  • “Get it Right” Lea Michelle
  • “Dead in the Water

Kathleen’s Mix

  • “Fallen Angels” bvb
  • “Some Love” Macklemore
  • “White Walls” Macklemore
  • “I’m Not a Vampire” Falling in Reverse
  • “The Parting Glass” Ed Sheeran
  • “Radioactive” Imagine Dragons
  • “Red and Black” from Les Mis

Faith’s Mix

  • “Soldier’s Eyes” Salvador
  • “Falling” Civil Wars
  • “Young and Beautiful” Lana del Ray
  • “Best Kept Secret” Bare: The Musical
  • “Revolution” Diplo
  • “Bravado” Lorde
  • “Somewhere Only We Know” Keane
  • “This Place is a Prison” Postal Service

Sydney’s Playlist

  • “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” Andrew Lloyd Weber
  • “Wrecking Ball” Miley Cyrus
  • “Butterflies” Alana Lee
  • “Think of Me” Andrew Lloyd Weber
  • “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” Simple Minds
  • “Corner of the Sky” Stephen Schwartz (Pippin)
  • “The Way” Ariana Grande
  • “Popular Song” MIKA, Ariana Grande
  • “Forever” The Beach Boys
  • “Seasons of Love” Jonathan Larson (Rent)

Bailey’s Playlist

  • “Pink Tie,” “Take it Back,” and “Puppy Love” by This Wild Life
  • “Quiet” from Matilda the Musical
  • “My Favorite Girl” The Icarus Account
  • “Superhero” Landon Austin
  • “No Faith in Brooklyn,” “Fame is for A**holes,” “No Interruption,” and “Chase is On” by Hoodie Allen
  • “Life Happens” by Brandon and Leah
  • Yours Truly (the whole album) by Ariana Grande
  • “I’m on a Boat” by The Lonely Island
  • “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry

Karina’s Mix is too big to post in its entirety, but here’s most of it!

  • Basically everything ever by The Shins
  • “Flaws” and “Weight of the Living Parts I and II” Bastille
  • “Thousand Mile Race” and “Rustle of the Stars” Silent Film
  • “Interlude: Moving On” and “One of Those Crazy Girls” Paramore
  • “The Ghost Inside” and “Sailing to Nowhere” Broken Bells
  • “Asleep” The Smiths
  • “Sail” Awolnation
  • “History Speaks” Deep Sea Diver
  • “Sellout” and “I Love You More Than You Will Ever Know” Never Shout Never
  • “Roundabout” Yes
  • “Wake Up” Two Door Cinema Club
  • “Head On” Man Man
  • “Constant Conversation” Passion Pit
  • “Float” The Neighborhood

Did you have fun? Want to do this again sometime? Suggest a film or book! Email your suggestions to me (daimone@rcls.org) or stop by in person. Or come to Book Hipsters! We meet every Friday from 3:30pm to 4:30pm in the Board Room.

See you at the Halloween Lock-In!

Dianne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 4, 2013 - Contests, Teen News    No Comments

Win a thing!

mug shot fangirl

 

Like the mug shots? Want a mug of your own? Win one by answering this week’s trivia question!

Today’s trivia question is:

In The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, what is the name of the poisonous berry that kills Foxface?

The first person to answer correctly, in person at the Help Desk wins a shiny new “Today I’m Reading…” mug. Stop in and win a thing!

UPDATE: The mug has been claimed! Thank you, Cristina R., for correctly guessing “nightlock.” Enjoy!

Meet Kim Purcell, author of Trafficked

If you were at the Warwick Children’s Book Festival on Saturday, chances are you saw Kim Purcell signing copies of her newest book, Trafficked. Silvana Molinas, a junior at Warwick Valley High School, got a chance to interview her and find out more about the inspiration behind the novel. TraffickedRead Silvana’s interview below!

 

ME (Silvana Molinas): Tell me a little about yourself and about your novel, Trafficked.

Kim Purcell (KP): Okay. First, I’m from Canada. I was born in a small town in Northern British Columbia called Prince George. Then, I moved to LA 15 years ago and I started teaching English as a second language & working on a different novel. I leaned about the terrible issue of human trafficking from some of my students who had seen trafficking first hand.

 

ME: So, are some aspects of the book inspired by these accounts from your students?

KP: Yes, definitely, many parts of Hannah’s story are taken directly from interviews with my students. I also traveled to Moldova when I learned what a serious issue it was in this country and I decided my girl would come from there. In Moldova, I interviewed at least 40 people, mostly teens, about their lives so I could make Hannah as realistic as possible. I also spoke to many anti-trafficking non-profits in Moldova and America.

 

ME: So Hannah’s story is definitely inspired by others. How hard was it to hear these stories from these girls who have lived through that? Did these girls only make you more determined to write this book?

KP: It was incredibly hard. Just as with any trauma, the girls I talked to had responded differently to the experience. One girl was very guarded and even angry, barely wanted to talk, claimed it wasn’t a big deal, she was over it. Another girl – an American girl from DC – was kept in a hotel room for a year by a guy who she thought was her boyfriend. She spoke with evident pain about the ordeal, pulling at her clothes as she talked, trying to cover her hands, her neck, any bare skin. Another girl, now in her 20’s, told me about being kept in a suburb of NYC, in an unheated garage, forced to work 16 hour days, the mother yelling at her, the father making moves on her. Now she speaks perfect English and is confident and funny. Back then, she was naive and couldn’t speak any English. A lot of Hannah’s story is based on her account. These stories pulled me through the many drafts of this book – about 20 – I had to get it right, for them.

 

ME: Gosh what strong women. Do a lot of them eventually return to their former selves or gain a bit of normalcy in their lives?

KP: They do recover. Many of these girls (and boys) are survivors, determined to make something of their lives. They do carry the scars of their abuse, but like any person who has ever been abused or hurt emotionally, physically, sexually, they can and do move beyond it.

 

ME: What you’re doing, spreading the word about this issue is so important because before I read this book I didn’t know about human trafficking or that it was even an issue and I think that’s the mindset of a lot of people my age. Why do you think that this isn’t treated like the problem that it is by the general public? (I know that’s a very big question but, I hear almost nothing about it in the news and whatnot and I’d like to know why you think so).

KP: I think immigrant issues don’t sell newspapers. Ultimately, many people care more about issues that touch them directly. This is why I wrote about a regular girl who is trapped in a nice neighborhood. It can and does happen everywhere, especially domestic slavery, which is every bit as bad as sex slavery because it often includes sexual abuse in the home. The lines between the different forms of slavery are blurred. It’s very hard to get news organizations to move past sensational or celebrity news because that’s what sells. CNN has had some very good programming about this issue.

 

ME: Speaking of, I think writing about Hannah in a neighborhood like that really hit close to home for me because then I thought, “Wow, this could be happening in MY town and I wouldn’t even know.” This book elicited a lot of different emotions from me, have you gotten any other feedback about the reactions to your novel?Kim3-brighter-eyessmall

KP: I think most people who read it from teens to adults have the same response. I wanted to draw people into Hannah’s world and feel sad and scared for her. It’s the highest compliment to me when someone says they cried. I ended up really loving Hannah and I hope that my readers fall for her too, that they see themselves in her.

 

ME: Oh, well let me pay you that compliment and tell you I definitely cried. Several times. I felt for Hannah right in the beginning; when she was nervous in the airport, so was I.

KP: Ha ha! I’m grinning – told you I love to hear that!

 

ME: I’m glad! Trafficked was genuinely terrifying for me at some points, and Lillian is one of the most horrible and scary characters I’ve ever read or seen.

KP: Thank you!!

 

ME: You’re welcome! Okay, just one more question and I think we can wrap this up.

KP: Okay…perfect.

 

ME: Where (like websites, charities, etc.) can other teenagers like me who want to help end human trafficking go to do so?

KP: I have some great suggestions for that on my website kimpurcell.com. I also love an organization called Love 146 and they have great ways for teens to help.

 

ME: Okay great! Thank you for letting me interview you!!

 

Teen Advisory Board Updates

Thanks to all of you who came out for last week’s Teen Advisory Board meeting. It was nice to see some new faces! Without further ado, I’d like to name this year’s TAB officers. Congratulations!

  • Senior President: Faith Wilkins
  • Senior Vice President: Kate Kisor
  • Senior Secretaries: Hannah Tucker & Jennifer Loboccetta

Our senior officers help run meetings, make school visits, promote high school programs, and more!

  • Junior President: Lizzie Lepre
  • Junior Vice President: Taylor Nelson

Our junior officers suggest and promote middle school programs and lead us off on our “Last Best Book?” wrap up at the end of every meeting.

So what else happened at the last meeting? We made some decisions about our Halloween Lock-In, which will take place on Oct. 26th from 5pm to 9pm. TAB has planned a bunch of fun things to scare and entertain you, so please come! You must be in 6th grade or older to attend.

Our Halloween Lock-In will feature:

  • A haunted house (really!!)
  • Cosplay contest
  • Pin the head on the zombie
  • Pumpkin carving contest
  • Halloween trivia contest
  • Bobbing for apples
  • And a chance to share your own ghost story (or just listen to others…)

You can register for the Halloween Lock-In right here or call the Help Desk at (845) 986-1047 ext. 3. See you there!

Teen Advisory Board elections this Saturday!

Hello everyone,

It’s time for TAB again! TAB meets this Saturday, September 21st at 2pm in the Community Room. New members are always welcome! TAB is a planning group ages 12 to 18 that meet once a month to plan teen events at the library.

Since it’s our first meeting of the season, elections will be held for our TAB officers. Serving as a TAB officer will give you great leadership skills you’ll need for National Honors Society, your college application, and even looks good to your future employer.

A few things to know about our TAB officers:

  • TAB Officers will be nominated and elected at the first meeting of each new school year by our TAB members.
  • Officer positions will be President, Vice President, and Secretary. There will be two sets of each, one set of high school students (Senior Officers) and one set of middle school students (Junior Officers).
  • All officers should be prepared to discuss ideas for upcoming teen programs at the library. All ideas can be emailed directly to the Teen Advisor to be included on the next meeting’s agenda.
  • In addition to contributing program ideas, officers should all be involved in actively promoting these programs to other teens.
  • Meeting agendas will be emailed to all officers at least one week prior to each meeting. Officers are free to make changes. Please email the Teen Advisor and all other officers with any changes made.
  • Officers’ meetings will be held once every two months beyond the regularly scheduled TAB meetings for Senior Officers.

Interested?We’ll be going over all of the individual duties of each officer before nominations are held. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment, or email me directly at daimone@rcls.org.

See you there!

Dianne

Interview with K.L. Going

fat kid rules the world

 

Who’s coming to the Warwick Children’s Book Festival on Sept. 28th? K.L. Going will be there! She’s written several Young Adult books, including Saint Iggy, King of the Screw-Ups, and of course, Fat Kid Rules the World, which some of you may remember as a Battle of the Books choice from 2012. She’ll be signing books AND giving a talk about being an author and getting published at 2:30pm in the Park Avenue Elementary School library. Recently, Warwick sophomore Lauranne Wolfe interviewed her via email. Learn more about K.L. Going and her work below.

Lauranne:  What made you decide to become a writer?
K.L. Going:  I always loved to write as a hobby, but it took a long time for me to consider turning that hobby into a career. In the end, it was a combination of perseverance and opportunity. I kept honing my craft, so when the right story came along, I was able to write it.

Lauranne: Are any elements in your novels based on your own life experiences?

K.L. Going:  A writer always draws from their own life. I don’t directly copy people or events though. Instead, I use the feelings I remember from my own history to infuse my stories with emotion.

Lauranne: What inspired you to write your first book, Fat Kid Rules the World?

K.L. Going: I was listening to Nirvana and researching the history of punk rock, and the idea came to me to write about a kid who gets roped into being the drummer for a punk rock band even though he doesn’t actually know how to play the drums. The idea felt new, and I was able to come up with a compelling voice for Troy, so I decided to go with it.

Lauranne: What sort of research do you do for your writing?

K.L. Going: Actually, I do a lot of research and it’s a fun part of my job. I end up researching the craziest things – what makes parrots talk, when did Star Wars come out, who was president in 1954, men’s fashion, apple orchards, horse back riding, drumming, the history of young adult literature… you name it!

Lauranne: What is the best piece of advice you would give to an aspiring writer?

K.L. Going: Live a great life. The more you experience, the more you’ll have to draw from to create inspiring stories.