Friday, October 30, 2009

It's Complicated: The American Teenager
By Robin Bowman

Back in 2001 photographer Robin Bowman was invited to spend a long weekend with a friend and her extended family in a remote cabin in Canada. With her talent for photography, and with so many open-minded, friendly teens surrounding her, she decided to do what came natural: interview and take their photographs!

That weekend sparked Bowman's desire to crisscross the nation meeting, interviewing, and photographing teens from all walks of life. Often times she just walked up to them on the street and started chatting with them. If they agreed to be interviewed she would take their pictures, then sat down with them in a quiet place (sometimes her car!) to ask them 26 questions (Yes, everyone got the same 26 questions!). After four years and eight very long car trips she put together this stunning, award winning book that takes a revealing peek into the lives of a very diverse group of teens. You owe it to yourself to take a peek at it! ~ Reviewed by Robbie

  • "My biggest fear is getting older and becoming a bum on the street or something, and having nowhere to live. Sleeping in cold parks. That's my biggest fear. Because nobody grows up and says, "I want to be a bum." It just happens." Excerpt from interview with Shavaris Buie, age 18, Brooklyn, New York.
  • "When I become an adult - then I want more than my family has. I've always strived to do better than what my dad's done in life. He was a three point student; I wanna be a 3.5. He was a good athlete; I wanna be a great athlete. I wanna go out and do better than that and provide something better for my kids . . ." Excerpt from interview with John Srofe, age 16, Terrace Park, Ohio.
  • "I don't like staying with my mom . . . she's not there. She's crazy . . . she acts like she's twelve. I did have a job, but she took my paycheck She had just barely moved into this one place and needed, like, dishes and this and that, so she took my paycheck." Excerpt from interview with Diamond Aviles, age 15, Montello, Nevada.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Maximum Ride, by James Patterson

"A group of genetically enhanced kids who can fly and have other unique talents are on the run from part-human, part-wolf predators called Erasers in this exciting SF thriller that's not wholly original but is still a compelling read." School Library Journal

"I love this series - Best series ever!" Reviewed by Carryl!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Kissing the Bee, by Kathe Koja

This simple romantic tale showcases the talents of author Kathe Koja as she weaves the tale of three high school going through their senior year: Dana, her best friend Avra, and Avra's boyfriend Emil. Dana has secret feelings for Emil, but Avra is slightly too self-absorbed to catch the signs!

Booklist Magazine rated this one of their top 10 youth romances of 2008!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Recently the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on a large survey done on the eating habits of about 100,000 high school students. NPR ran a story on it with the headline: "9 in 10 High School Students short on Fruits, Veggies." I heard the story on the radio, and then surfed to the Centers for Disease Control's website to find the full report. It's official: fewer than 10% of U.S. teens are getting the total recommended amount of both fruits and vegetables! It gets worse: Only 13% are getting three servings of vegetables a day, and only 32% get two servings of fruit! And yet these foods contain the nutritional building blocks essential for helping your body become strong and healthy! So what's a malnurished student going to do????

Well for starts I can recommend a got a couple of terrific books to help you keep motivated to eat health. One of my favorites is The Smart Student's Guide to Health Living, by M.J. Smith. It's a wonderful book backed with easy ways to eat healthy meals and snacks, as well as other tips to keep you at your best. It even has easy recipies for you to try. Honestly the nachos, burrito bites, Bavarian Kraut Casserole, and crab spread (to name a few) sound delicious and a snap to make!

The Right Moves to Getting Fit and Feeling Great, by Tina Schwager, is another great guide to healthy living written just for young women. It covers all the things basics of healthy eating, and she keeps it fairly simple and to the point. But it doesn't stop there! It goes on to talk about body fitness, keeping a positive outlook on life, and exercise, excercise, exercise! She even throws in quick surveys to you can check yourself to see how healthy your lifestyle is . . . or isn't!

I'm not saying to scrap eating the occassional hamburger and fries (I love those too!). But would it really hurt us to snack more on a few more fruits and vegetables, and not go crazy over the chips and candy? Leading a healthy lifestyle isn't about being a fanatic. It's about taking the time to make better decisions about our own bodies! Robbie:-)