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GEPL Teens: Sequels

Teens Blog BannerBy: Hannah Rapp, Teen Librarian

Blog Entry 167 - ImageSequels often get a lot of grief, especially when they fail to live up to the expectations we’ve formed since the first book (or movie, or whatever.) Look at how fans reacted to the final entries into The Hunger Games and Divergent series, or the criticism heaped on the second two Matrix movies. And don’t even get anyone started on the Star Wars prequels. To be fair, often this criticism is warranted – I doubt anyone would argue that the second to Matrix installments were better than the original, and there were plenty of valid criticisms of Allegiant. But often, it comes down to a combination of quality and personal taste. For instance, there were also many of valid criticisms of Mockingjay, but I loved it and thought it was a great conclusion to the trilogy.

But sometimes, there is a sequel that really does rise above, in terms of critical acclaim or personal opinion (and sometimes both.) I read one of these recently. After really liking To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han, I was looking forward to P.S. I Still Love You, and I was excited to finally have a chance to read it this month. To my surprise and delight, P.S. I Still Love You exceeded my expectations, and I ended up loving it even more than the original. This, I suspect, comes down to that magic combination of a skilled writer and my own preferences. Reading about the relationship issues Lara Jean faces as part of an existing relationship appealed to me, as did the treatment of bullying, female friendship, and double standards, among many other things. It felt like a fuller, richer, and more mature book than its predecessor. Obviously, loving a sequel even more than the original doesn’t detract from the first though – I would never have read the sequel if I hadn’t really enjoyed To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and I still recommend it all the time!

This experience got me thinking about those times when sequels equal or even outstrip their predecessors. Critics and fans alike agreed that Toy Story II and Toy Story III were at least as good as the original, and I’ve never met anyone who thinks Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is the best of the series. Sequels have great potential to improve on the original, since less time needs to be devoted to scene-setting or exposition, and more time and energy can be spent on plot, character development, and issues. But it depends on authors, screenwriters, producers, and more understanding their characters and their world, staying consistent with what they set up in the original, and making their sequel go beyond simply repeating what was successful originally. Plus, of course, that all-important personal taste aspect!

Do you have any sequels that you prefer to the original? Have you ever been surprised by a sequel? Do you like a sequel that is widely disliked? Or dislike a sequel that is widely liked?

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Tweens: Tween Book Review – The One and Only Ivan

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One and Only IvanWhat’s your first name and school?: Mariam; Glen Westlake

What are you reviewing?: The One and Only Ivan

What did you review?: A book.

What did you like about it?: Ivan meets Ruby an elephant taken from her family. After Ruby come things started to change.I also liked that Ivan was friends with a stray dog named Bob and a elderly elephant named Stella.Ivan also fulfills his promise to Stella to take good care of Ruby when Stella was taking her lasts breaths before leave the world.

Who would like this?: Someone who likes animals.

On a scale from yuck to best ever, how much did you like it?: It was good.

Posted in GEPL Tweens, Tweens Reviews

GEPL Tweens: Tween Movie Review – 21 Jump Street

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21 Jump StreetWhat’s your first name and school?: Andrew; Hadley

What are you reviewing?: 21 Jump Street

What did you review?: A movie.

What did you like about it?: 21 Jump Street is about two guys that try to become cops. They start out in the park on bike then they see a gang. They fail to stop them. In the end they stop the and and become cops.

Who would like this?: Anyone who likes funny stuff.

On a scale from yuck to best ever, how much did you like it?: Best ever.

Posted in GEPL Tweens, Tweens Reviews

GEPL Tweens: Tween Book Review – Insurgent

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InsurgentWhat’s your first name and school?: Quinn; Hadley

What are you reviewing?: Insurgent

What did you review?: A book.

What did you like about it?: I liked the book Insurgent by Veronica Ruthe because it was very creative and detailed. It also reveled many secrets from the first book. Usually I was on the edge of my seat to see what would happen next. I hope you like Insurgent, the sequel to Divergent!

Who would like this?: Someone who liked The Hunger Games.

On a scale from yuck to best ever, how much did you like it?: Amazing.

Posted in GEPL Tweens, Tweens Reviews

GEPL Tweens: Tween Music Review – Summer of 69

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Bryan Adams Summer of 69What’s your first name and school?: Quinn Hadley

What are you reviewing?: Summer of 69

What did you review?: Music

What did you like about it?: I liked the song “Summer of 69″ because it makes me wonder about the past. The song is about fun in the summer with friends. I infer that the artist of the song (Bryan Adams) is recalling the summer of the year 1969. I discovered this song from my uncle who recommend it to me. I really enjoyed this song and hope you do too! :)

Who would like this?: Maybe someone who loved the show Full House.

On a scale from yuck to best ever, how much did you like it?: Great.

Posted in GEPL Tweens, Tweens Reviews

GEPL Tweens: Tween Book Review – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

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What’s your first name and school?: Mackenzie, St.James the Apostle School

What are you reviewing?: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

What did you review?: A book

What did you like about it?: In the Chamber of Secrets I really liked the way J. K. Rowling really hooked me into the book. My favorite part of the book is when Harry Potter fights with the serpent. It was super cool. It was one of the favorite books I have ever read. I would totally tell a person to read it.

Who would like this?: Someone who really likes fantasy books and also a person who likes other Harry Potter books.

On a scale from yuck to best ever, how much did you like it?: Best ever.

Posted in GEPL Tweens, Tweens Reviews

GEPL Tweens: Tween Movie Review – Project Almanac

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What’s your first name and school?: Eric, Hadley Jr. High

What are you reviewing?: Project Almanac

What did you review?: A movie

What did you like about it?: I liked that this movie was about time travel. I watch a lot of movies that are about time travel and this one was one of the better ones. I liked that the people could of died if they did not fix the problem, and that is why I like this movie.

Who would like this?: People who like time travel or science movies.

On a scale from yuck to best ever, how much did you like it?: Great.

Posted in GEPL Tweens, Tweens Reviews

GEPL Kids – Deja Vu

By: Leigh Ann Vock – Youth Department Page

Goodnight MoonWhen I was given the happy news that I was to become a grandparent, the first purchase I made was a book. And then another and another. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and The Big Hungry Bear by Don Wood were purchased because they were favorites of my children. I couldn’t wait to share these classics with my granddaughter and nurture the love of reading to yet another generation.

 

Leigh Ann Vock GrandchildThe first time my granddaughter sat in my lap and we read together brought me immediately back to my own children’s introduction to books. It was déjà vu of the best variety. “Never too young to be read to” was the adage I had adopted from my former teaching years and I was determined to put this into practice. I was thrilled at the attention my granddaughter gave to the images and simple words that were being shared during our story time. We also read We are in a Book by Mo Willems, twice. She needed to hear the amazing voices I had created for the wonderful characters of Elephant and Piggie.

The Big Hungry BearI have day dreams of hearing that delightful plea “Again?” at a book’s end. I will gladly read over and over again a favorite book to her just as I did with my own children. I Skyped with my granddaughter and her parents yesterday and heard about their day and their trip to the library. When the little toddler was asked what she did today, my heart melted when I heard one of her first words “ BOOKS!”

Posted in GEPL Kids

GEPL Teens: Teens Write – Technology & Teenagers Take 4

Teens Blog BannerBy: Roy M., Teen Blogger

Blog Entry 166 - ImageA big debate that people are having today is whether or not technology is a good or bad thing for teens to have.

Attachment to smartphones can be a good and bad thing. Some good things about smartphones are that you can keep in touch with your friends no matter where you are. You can also look up anything on the internet at any point in time instead of wondering about it until you can get to a computer. Smartphones can also keep you from getting bored. Some bad things about smartphones are that they can be a distraction. Another bad thing is that if you lose it you are out a lot of money. Those are some good and bad things about teens’ attachments to smartphones.

But there are some problems with technology. It could distract a teen during class or even driving because he/she might have an urge to text one of their friends during class or when driving. Another problem is that it could distract a student from doing his/her homework because he/she might not want to do it and he/she would much rather play on his/her phone or watch TV.

Technology can contribute a lot to education and socialization. A lot of schools are adding in more technology to their courses. I remember one time when I was in 3rd grade, my district and my high school district got smart boards in almost all the rooms. Now that smart boards have been around so long, teachers are using smart boards in their lesson plans, whether it’s to take notes on it or watch videos or show projects. Technology has also made it easier to do out of school projects because you can use a phone to plan everything, or video chat, and you can do all the work you need to do over the internet together. Now, my school is getting iPads for some grades so the grades that get iPads no longer have to carry around as many books and can do most of their homework on their iPads. Technology also allows you to be more social with your friends. You can plan where you want to go out or you can just plain talk to each other through text. Technology can also allow you to talk to people from all around the world even if they don’t speak your language. As you can see, technology has played a big part in education and socialization.

Adults who think teens aren’t experiencing the “real world” because of technology are wrong. They are wrong because we are growing up in a time where technology is everywhere. They grew up in a time where not every household had a TV and they didn’t need technology as much, but nowadays most households have a TV, computer, and probably some kind of gaming console. Technology is part of everything now, so adults who don’t think teens learn how to exist in the “real world” because of technology are wrong because technology is everywhere and it’s just part of our lives and culture now.

Overall I’d say that technology is a pretty good thing for teens to have because it makes education and socialization easier, and it keeps teens up to date on how to use all the new technology that comes out.

-Roy M.

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Tweens – 100 Hour Reader

Ladies and gentleman, we have our first 100 hour middle school reader!

CD Superman PoseMeet CD, an incoming 7th grader at Glen Crest Middle School – with a current reading time of 106 hours, and still going! When he’s not reading, he’s spending time in the great outdoors near his home. He particularly enjoys tennis and croquet. It’s no wonder he likes to be outside, he aspires to be a geologist or chemist when he’s older. He collects rocks and likes to learn about the Earth.

1000 Inventions and Discoveries

 

He has his own science lab at home where he studies chemical reactions. CD likes to read science fiction, because it gives him ideas for his next experiment. One of his current favorite is 1,000 Inventions and Discoveries, which he discovered this summer.

To readers still working toward their 100 hour goal, CD recommends finding a book you think is interesting and not wasting your time on a book you’re struggling with. You don’t have to read the whole book in a day, so take your time and enjoy it. “If you’re not a big reader, try an audiobook.”

Good job, CD! You’re a reading superhero!

Posted in GEPL Tweens