Monday, April 28, 2014

Meet Kristen!

There’s a new face at the Headquarters Library, too! Introducing Kristen!

Hometown: Inman, South Carolina
Education and Work Background: I'm about to graduate Converse College with a Bachelor of Arts in History. I've worked at several awesome places so far, including the library, GameStop and a movie theatre.
Family: My family includes my mother, father, younger brother, step mom, 2 step brothers, a step sister, and my Pomeranian Moxie.
Hobbies: Surfing the web, playing with my puppy, playing video games, watching Netflix and reading, of course.
Favorite Quote: "Just because you can doesn't mean you should." - Acheron from Sherilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series
Favorite Teen Books: Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Seer and the Sword by Victoria Hanley, Uglies series by Scott Westerfield
Favorite Non-Teen Books: The Black Jewel Series by Anne Bishop, First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones, Merry Gentry series by Laurell K. Hamilton
Recently Read: Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones, Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Why You Want to Work With Teens: The teen department is truly where I feel at home. I've grown up in this department and working anywhere else just pales in comparison.




Meet Leslie!

There’s a new face at the Landrum Library! Meet Leslie, our newest Teen Services Assistant!

Hometown: Roebuck, SC

Education and Work Background: B.A. in German from Furman University, Spirit Halloween; Buck’s Rock Creative and Performing Arts Camp

Family: Mom, Dad, Sister, Beautiful Kitten (Chairman Meow)

Hobbies: Reading, Sewing, Embroidery, Painting

Favorite Quote: “You can draw water out of a water-well,” said the Hatter, “so I think you could draw treacle out of a treacle well—Eh, stupid?” Mad Hatter, Alice

Favorite Teen Books: Tanith Lee’s Wolf Quartet; A Matter of Profit by Hilari Bell; Star Crossed and Liar’s Moon by Elizabeth Bunce; Brave Story by Miyuki Miyabe; Megan Whalen Turner’s Thief series

Favorite Non-Teen Books: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran, Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Recently Read: American Gods by Neil Gaiman, A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie

Why You Want to Work With Teens: I love teen literature and proving to teens that there’s no such thing as not liking to read.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Susan's Book Review: Smile by Raina Telgemeier

Teeth issues defined Raina’s adolescence and Smile is an autobiographical graphic novel that follows her from 6th grade to 10th grade. When she first found out she needed braces to correct an overbite, she didn’t want them. Then one night after a Girl Scout meeting, she falls and knocks her two front teeth out (well, one was actually shoved up into her gum. *shudder*). Suddenly braces are the least of her problems! Over the next few years, her dentist tries every trick: he fuses her teeth to her bone; they don’t take. He pulls them and gives her fake teeth on a retainer. She gets headgear (she only has to wear it at night, thankfully). She gets braces and they attempt to shift her teeth and make new front teeth. Meanwhile, Raina is desperately trying to be normal and fit in at school, get a boy to notice her, and find friends who accept her for who she is. You know, she’s a teen.

Raina is about a year and a half older than me, so the pop culture of her teen years was also the pop culture of mine. She goes to see The Little Mermaid (although she acts too cool for it) and comes out mesmerized and convinced she wants to be an animator. She breaks with her longtime group of friends after years of small abuses and one unforgivable public humiliation, and that opens her up to finding like-minded friends who encourage her creativity. Raina does a great job of capturing special moments like finding out your passion could be a career, obsessing over a boy who has never even spoken to you, or realizing your friends aren’t really your friends. Her style of illustration is colorful, bold and straightforward. The art and text go together seamlessly, an advantage of being an author-illustrator, I imagine.

I felt sick reading the panels where Raina falls and is rushed to the dentist. Knocking out my teeth is a big fear of mine. Most fears I can manage by avoiding them, like roller coasters or public speaking, but losing my teeth could happen any number of ways! Anyone who knows me well knows that I love teeth. It’s what I look at when people speak and I’m positive I could recognize anyone I know (and most celebrities) from the nose down.  As I read Smile, I kept flipping to look at the author photo in the back and I’m impressed! Everything looks normal. Raina never mentions what anything costs in the book, but I wonder the price tag on her smile. In any case, she turned her dental horror into a great coming-of-age story that won the 2011 Eisner Award for Best Publication for a Teen Audience. I hope she continues to mine her teen years for more awesome graphic novels!