Category Archives: Four on a Theme

Sofia’s 5 on a Theme : Children’s Lit

When you pass that line between being twelve and thirteen, it feels a bit as though you’re expected to just stop reading children’s literature, and move on to YA lit.  But that doesn’t mean that children’s literature is bad, or that you’re not allowed to read it anymore.  There are a ton of great children’s books that are still just as great to read when you’re older as they were when you were younger. Here are a few of my favorites!

First TestFirst Test by Tamora Pierce.  Keladry of Mindelan is the first girl to try for her knight’s shield under the new law that women can attempt knighthood. She applies, and gets accepted to the training program, but under one condition—she must undergo one year of probation, and then it will be decided if she is allowed to continue. Kel must prove her worth to the men running the program, and show them that women are just as good at men in a fight. Continue reading

Five Biographies/Autobiographies

You probably rarely read biographies for fun, or maybe you do and you’re looking for some new ones to read. I have recently read several noteworthy biographies that I feel discuss significant people and subjects, and that were actually interesting to read because they were written in new or unconventional styles. There are some really amazing people that have made or are making significant contributions to the world, and I believe that it is important to read about them and their work. So why not try reading one? It might just change your life!

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5 on a theme – Prom

prom dresses

The final months of school are upon us… and that means it’s prom season!  Hallways are already abuzz with prom gossip.  Everyone seems to have something to say about this monumental occasion – whether they love prom, hate prom, or really couldn’t care less about all the hype.

But no matter what your opinion is, you are bound to love at least one of these five prom-related books.


Prom: A Novel Based on the Major Motion Picture by Ellie O’Ryan.  Maybe one of your more typical prom storylines.  One girl, who happens to also be president of the Prom Committee, has to choose between two boys to be her date.  Whatever will she do?

The Prom Book: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need by Lauren Metz.  This book is a guidebook for any teen getting ready for prom.  It is full of tips and tricks for everything you need to plan for the dance – budgeting, wardrobe, etc. – and even has some interactive features.


Will Work for Prom Dress by Aimee Ferris.  The story of a girl who is just trying to make it through senior year, but keeps being dragged into her friend’s crazy schemes to try and get prom dates.

Tessa Masterson Will Go To Prom by Emily Franklin.  A boy confesses his feelings for his female best friend, only to find out that she has asked another girl to prom.  Now he has to decide if he will help defend her against the riled up small town community.

The Anti-Prom by Abby McDonald.  Prom drama breaks out when a young lady’s boyfriend is seen with another girl in a limousine on the night of the dance.  Betrayed, she and some other girls band together to take revenge.

Happy reading!

–Hannah, 16, Greenwood


Four Films for a Rainy Day

Ranging from ludicrous to horrifying, the following films offer food for thought, creative genius and riveting narratives. I’d strongly recommend them for a wet, wet day in need of intellectual stimulation or just plain enjoyment.

Pan’s Labyrinth

Six Words: Fairytales and fascists in 1944 Spain.
Mood(s): Dark. Chilling. Haunting.
“Magic does not exist. For you, for me, for anyone else.”
Bonuses: Creepy monsters. Beautiful set and score.
Additional: Subtitled (Spanish origin). 13+.



Safety Not Guaranteed

Six Words: Time traveler seeks assistant, adventures ensue.
Mood(s): Witty. Quirky. Droll.
“There’s no sense in nonsense when the heat’s hot.”
Bonuses: Lasers. Soup cans. Prosthetic ears. Audrey Plaza.
Additional: Set in Seattle. Did I already say Audrey Plaza?13+.



The Lives of Others

Six words: Stasi policeman attaches to rebellious playwright.
Mood(s): Dramatic. Wistful. Emotional.
“You were under full surveillance. We knew everything.”
Bonuses: Political thriller. Romance. Fascinating history.
Additional: Subtitled (originally German). 14+.



Americanmovie.jpgAmerican Movie

Six Words: Amateur filmmaker makes no-budget movie.
Mood(s): Entertaining. Offbeat. Lighthearted.
“Oh God, Kick-F***king-Ass, I got a Mastercard!”
Bonuses: Side-splitting interviews. Lovable doofuses.
Additional: For anyone with Midwestern relatives. Profanity.

I hope one of these appeals to you! Or better yet, don’t bother looking them up. Do yourself a favor and put them on hold.

Maddie, 17, Teen Center Advisers


PS If you have any stellar film recommendations, leave them in the comments below because I am ALWAYS looking for a good rainy day flick. Living in Seattle means I get to watch plenty of them.

Four on a Theme: Prom

icon-books It’s that time of year again, time for the annual spring school dance.  Prom.  Like it, love it, or leave it, it is here to stay.  Some people go to finish something, some go to start something.  Here are four great books about proms, although you know it’s not really about the dance, but what happens before, during and after.

 promandprejudiceProm and Prejudice, by Elizabeth Euberg
For Lizzie Bennett, a music scholarship student at Connecticut’s exclusive, girls-only Longbourn Academy, the furor over prom is senseless, but even more puzzling is her attraction to the pompous Will Darcy, best friend of her roommate’s boyfriend.

willworkforpromdress Will Work for Prom Dress, by Aimee Ferris
Quigley will work any job to make enough money to pay for an expensive prom dress, but her one potential prom date is an arrogant know-it-all who treats her like a competitor.

 Prom Kings and Drama Queens, by Dorian Cirrone
When high school junior Emily Bennet is caught between a new relationship with the boy of her dreams and planning an alternative prom with her longtime rival on the student newspaper, it forces her to think about her values and make a difficult decision.

itsourprom It’s Our Prom (So Deal With It), by Julie Anne Peters
Azure, who is a lesbian, and Luke, who is bisexual, help plan an inclusive senior prom while Luke is writing and producing a musical about his life, both are working through the crush they have on their friend Radhika, and all three are dealing with problems at home.

Four on a Theme: Soldiers

For Memorial Day, here are four books about young soldiers in different periods of American history.  Thanks to all those who serve.


sharpshooter Sharpshooter, by Chris Lynch
Ivan has never backed down from a fight, and is eager to enlist in the Army to fight in Vietnam, but he soon discovers that this war is different from the one his father fought.


sunriseoverfallujah Sunrise over Fallujah, by Walter Dean Myers
Robin joins the Civil Affairs unit at the beginning of the Iraq War, thinking he’ll be home in just a few months, but the conflict stretches out ahead of him.

operationoleander Operation Oleander, by Valerie O. Patterson
Jess and her friends establish the Order of the Oleander to collect supplies for an orphanage in Kabul, Afghanistan, where two of their parents are deployed, but when disaster strikes and many blame the Order, Jess must find a way to go on.


soldierssecret A Soldier’s Secret, by Marissa Moss
Nineteen-year-old Sarah masquerades as a man during the Civil War, serving as a nurse on the battlefield and a spy for the Union Army, escaping from the Confederates, and falling in love with one of her fellow soldiers. Based on the life of Sarah Emma Edmonds.

Four on a Theme: Cats

icon-booksA few weeks ago, we ran a post on dog stories.  There are a lot of them, it turns out.  Cats, on the other hand, had us scratching our heads (although not with our hind legs).  Cats just don’t run around in as many stories as dogs, and when they do, the stories tend towards fantasy, instead of realism.  With a little work, though, we did find these four cat novels for teens.

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