Teen Blog

2014 Teen Poetry Contest Winners

11 Annual Teen Poetry Contest

Congratulations to the 11th Annual Teen Poetry Contest Winners!

Each year we celebrate National Poetry Month in April with our Teen Poetry Contest.
Teens in grades 7-12 from Fredericksburg, Stafford, Spotsylvania, and Westmoreland, are invited to submit up to three original poems. Out-of-region library cardholders may also enter. 

This year's winners were chosen (anonymously) by Amanda Rutstein, poetry professor at the University of Mary Washington and manager of the Fredericksburg Writing Center.

Entries were accepted online between April 1 - 14, and winners were selected from participants in grades 7-9 and grades 10-12.

We had 320 entries this year - the most EVER!

Winners are awarded prizes and invited to read their work at Teen Poetry Night at Headquarters Library, Monday, May 19, 7:30-8:30.

And the winners are ...

Level Up by Gene Luen Yang

Level Up by Gene Luen Yang

Level Up's title is a video game reference, but it is also a metaphor for accepting responsibility and gaining maturity as one ages, which are qualities that Dennis Ouyang needs serious help with.

From the first time Dennis ever saw a Pac Man console as a child, he was mesmerized by the power that video games had. The idea of endless entertainment, based on skill and incredibly interactive, transfixes him.

Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going

Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going

Troy Billings is about to kill himself. At 296 pounds, he's tired of being a joke. Every aspect of his life, the way he looks, moves, even the way he breathes, has become a punchline for his peers. If Troy had his way, Fat Kid Rules the World would be a pretty short read. Thank goodness Curt MacCrea enters the picture.

Star Wars Classic Comics: The Rebel Storm by Archie Goodwin

Star Wars Classic Comics: The Rebel Storm by Archie Goodwin

There was a considerable gap between the releases of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi in the early 1980s.  During that time, the expanding Star Wars fan base began to wonder what was happening to the characters in the meantime.  What worlds did Luke, Leia, and Han visit?  What schemes did Darth Vader plot to destroy the rebellion?  Did Chewie ever get a decent flea bath? Two of these three questions are answered in Archie Goodwin’s The Rebel Storm (Classic Star Wars Volume Two), an anthology of comics originally published between 1981 and 1984.  Although sometimes marred by a sense of discontinuity with Lucas’ universe, the best stories in this anthology deserve a place in Lucas’ galaxy far, far away.

King Dork by Frank Portman

King Dork by Frank Portman

If King Dork's cover seems vaguely familiar, that's because it looks like a defaced copy of The Catcher in the Rye. The title and its author Frank Portman are scrawled in ballpoint pen with a blatant disregard for the granddaddy of all coming-of-age novels.

This sums up how Tom Henderson feels about Salinger's classic novel. He notices a Catcher cult amongst most adults, who sing the praises of the book changing their lives. Tom thinks all of this is, to borrow a phrase from Holden Caulfield, "phony," but a particular copy of the book is about to turn his world upside down and inside out.

Great Podcasts for Life-Long Learning

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn

When I can't get my audio learning fix from our many Modern Scholar courses, I turn to podcasts. Podcasts are audio or video-based shows available for download, streaming, or online subscription. Many of them regularly update in weekly or monthly installments, so there is almost always a new episode to catch up on or many past installments to explore.

Paula Fox

Award-winning author Paula Fox had an extremely unusual childhood. Given away by her parents at birth, she spent the first few years of her life in a small town on the Hudson River. Her guardian, a poor minister, was a bachelor who looked after his very ill mother. He was a kind and cultured man who taught her to read and encouraged her to grow. But this pleasant time wasn’t to last.

Don't Get Trapped in the Web Bubble

Don't Get Trapped in the Web Bubble

The Web is as vast and as unending as our ability to create new content, if not knowledge (be mindful of the distinction). That is, almost by definition, as unending as things get, and it can be overwhelming, to put things mildly. As such, many Web services have done their best to personalize their presentations to our individual tastes. In doing so, they are causing us far more harm than good. Click to keep reading. You need to.

How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Bragg and Kevin O'Malley

How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Bragg

How They Croaked begins with a clear warning: "If you don't have the guts for gore, DO NOT READ THIS BOOK." They are not kidding.

American icon Billy Joel once sang, "Only the good die young," but before modern medicine, almost everyone died young. The only difference was whether it was quick or slow and gruesome. Infections, malaria, gout, and tuberculosis were pretty common ways to go. King Tut, Christopher Columbus, Pocahontas, and Edgar Allan Poe were victims of such illnesses.

19th Annual Teen Art Show Winners

Winners of the 19th Annual Teen Art Show

The 19th Annual Teen Art Show is ourlargest show ever!

A total of 136 pieces of art were submitted (42 in grades 9-10,95 in grades 11-12,) and atotal of 94 artists participated (29 in grades 9-10,65 in grades 11-12).

The show continues in the Headquarters Atrium Gallery through March 25.

And the winners are ...

View this slideshow for all winning works. You can also view all winning works on Flickr.