Walter Dean Myers started school, looking to conquer the world. He could read well; he had discovered the powers of the written word. Words failed him, though, when it came time to speak. He had a speech impediment, one that caused him immense frustration: some words he couldn't pronounce. His frustration soon turned to anger. Luckily, a teacher recognized his problem. She told him to write words he could pronounce, and he began to write. He created poems at first, then short stories, full of words that he did not fear reading aloud. He was soon being praised for his writing: it was just a preview of the praise he would receive when he embarked on his life of writing.
Chester Himes had a hard life, even for someone growing up in the 'thirties. He took some knocks early on, knocks many people get in life; it was the racism he encountered in LA that made him bitter, a bitterness which put a fire in his belly and informed so much of his best work. Himes probably would have drawn little consolation over the fact he was breaking new trails for authors such as Walter Mosley. But he did.
William Kamkwamba first encountered the magic that ruled Malawi when he was six. Herd boys found a sack in the road; it was filled with bubblegum! What a treasure! "Should we give any to this little boy with leaves in his hair?", they asked. Of course they did, a double handful of gumballs: so many colors. William ate them all.
Alastair Reynolds is a Welsh astrophysicist who writes spectacular stories and novels about the future. A future where there are several types of humans, and not all of them get along. Interstellar travel is possible; it will take a while, even on a lighthugger, traveling just under light speed. Orbital habitats form the Glitter Band above the planet Yellowstone in the Epsilon Eridani system, all doomed. They just don’t know it yet.
This is an off year for real travel, so I must travel vicariously. Luckily, the library has many trips you can take via a book in your own reading chair.
Free Comic Book Day is a single day - the first Saturday in May - when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their stores. Several Fredericksburg-area stores generously donate comic books to the Central Rappahannock Regional Library so that we can give them away at the library, too.
by Mavis Jukes
Provides information for boys on changes that occur in their bodies during puberty and offering advice on sexual topics, nutrition, drugs, girls, and more.
by David Lubar
When thirteen-year-old Martin arrives at an alternative school for misfits and problem students, he falls in with a group of boys with psychic powers and discovers something surprising about himself.
Suggested for ages 11 - 16
by Gennifer Choldenko
Who can blame 12-year-old Moose for feeling uneasy when his family moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935 for his father’s job at the prison? Humor and pathos, memorable characters, and a strong sense of place highlight this unusual coming-of-age story.
Suggested for ages 10 - 14
Louisa May Alcott did not write because she had the need to get the stories out. Louisa May wrote for one reason: she wanted her family to be rich.