"I was unhappy for a long time, and very lonesome, living with my grandmother. Then it was that books began to happen to me, and I began to believe in nothing but books and the wonderful world in books — where if people suffered, they suffered in beautiful language, not in monosyllables, as we did in Kansas." (From The Big Sea, one of Hughes’ autobiographies)
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Chicken Soup for the Teen Soul: Real-life Stories by Real Teens
Teenagers write honestly and poignantly about the issues they face and how they overcame them with strength and insight. Delving into the corners of their souls, these poems and personal experiences reveal special moments—a first kiss, the loss of a friend, a chance meeting, or that connection with a special teacher, grandparent, or even a pet. (catalog summary)
1 Year, 100 Pounds: My Journey to A Better, Happier Life by Whitney Holcombe
At age fourteen, Whitney Holcombe stepped onto her bathroom scale and a number glared up at her: 230. That number controlled her life until one day she went for a walk that changed everything. A little bit memoir and a whole lot of advice, "1 Year, 100 Pounds" follows Whitney s journey to battle obesity, negative self-image, and peer ridicule. Through following a healthy diet and exercise routine, Whitney shed the pounds without pills, trainers, or surgery. And along the way, she discovered the confidence to love her body. (catalog summary)
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Growing Up: Stories About Growing Up, Meeting Challenges, and Learning From Life
Collects anecdotes from teenagers about friendship, peer pressure, self-acceptance, family life, relationships, and overcoming obstacles. (catalog summary)
April is National Poetry Month, which is a perfect time to highlight all the amazing poetry that is out there, but . . . UGH . . . POETRY. At least, that’s how I used to feel. When I was a kid I LOVED poetry, especially Shel Silverstein. But as I got older, and school started requiring me to think about the poetry we were reading and what the deeper meaning might be, I started to resent it. I mean, couldn’t I just ENJOY the poetry instead of trying to decipher how the poet might have been feeling when he wrote it? Apparently not.
Then I started working as a youth services librarian, and I was introduced to novels in verse. All of those middle school and high school memories came flooding back, and I wanted nothing to do with it. Until I read one. Then I read another and another. Finally, I realized I LOVED novels in verse! Why? Because they are complete stories told through a collection of poetry. Poetry rarely takes up a whole page, which made the books super fast to read! It also amazed me how by simply changing the spacing or even font size within a poem an additional meaning was made clear.