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Check It Out

Courier Article by Charles Sutton
Sunday, May 17, 2009

Some Works to Inspire Summer Reading for Teens

Today marks the start of the Summer Reading Program at Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library. Take the opportunity to discover a new library resource that will help you develop a skill, enhance a hobby, improve your life and influence the people around you. Read outside of your genre. Attend a library program. Discover the many online resources EVPL has to offer.

Here are a few ideas to spark your creativity:

"Dope Sick," by Walter Dean Myers: We all make mistakes and must face the consequences. But, what if you could take back one thing you did? What would it be? That's what Lil J contemplates as he avoids the police for allegedly shooting an undercover officer in a drug deal gone bad.

With the help of the mysterious Kelly and a magical television, Lil J tries to find that place in his life where things started to go wrong. Walter Dean Myers delivers another poignant novel about the struggles of urban teens.

"Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop," by Adam Bradley: Rap is contemporary poetry that should be studied alongside the great poets. Adam Bradley explains the poetics of rap using lyrics from some of hip-hop's greatest lyricists.

"I start to think and then I sink / into the paper like I was ink. / When I'm writing I'm trapped in between the lines, / I escape when I finish the rhyme .." - Eric B & Rakim, "I Know You Got Soul."

"Book of Rhymes" will unravel and demystify this cultural (and often controversial) phenomenon known as rap music.

"Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations," by Nancy Duarte: According to Garr Reynolds, author of "Presentation Zen," presentation and public speaking skills are more important than ever. With that in mind, can you recall a painfully tedious PowerPoint presentation of which you were held hostage? How did you feel? Did the presentation engage you, persuade you, change your point of view? Don't make a PowerPoint mishap.

"Slide:ology" presents visual communication tips that will help you create presentations the right way and move you beyond mediocre.

"Roberto: The Insect Architect," by Nina Laden: Laden builds an interesting tale to encourage all to follow your dreams. Roberto, a termite architect, isn't discouraged from creatively pursuing his passion.

"Not Quite What I was Planning: Six-word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure," edited by Rachel Fershleiser and Larry Smith: "I get inspired at my library." Not quite what I was planning, but it worked.

The six-word stories used throughout were meant to inspire your creativity.

"Coulda, shoulda, woulda: a regretful life" by Joe Maida is one example of the many great memoirs that is sure to inspire you to be creative and express yourself.

Charles Sutton is a teen specialist librarian. Readers may contact him at 428-8217. The opinions expressed in this column are personal and do not reflect policies or official recommendations of the library.