Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Holiday Memories

Gather around the hearth as several or our YA patrons discuss their favorite holiday memories and what they're hoping to receive for Christmas.

Sara Boyer

My favorite Christmas memory is when my brother and I woke up at 5 a.m. to spy on Santa. We were like 7 years old. I hope to get a ton of hoodies.

Isiah Sarille

My family Christmas memory is my grandma, grandpa, aunt Korina, uncle Raul, cousins Angelica and Alex. We like Christmas and I believe Santa Claus is real. Me and my aunt Korina can go shopping for whatever I want to buy at the many different stores. It's very cold for winter so we can have hot chocolate to keep warm!  I hope my grandparents don't like the winter for Christmas.

Braden Unruh

I think my greatest Christmas memory was last year. It was my favorite because that year my sister and I waited for everyone to wake up, and it felt like my family was really together. I think the thing I would want the most for Christmas is maybe a drill.

Hannah Wright

I like the Christmas months the most because you can read or hear about the Christmas story from the Bible. You can also spend the day with family and friends. And when you go outside at night you can see all the Christmas lights people have decorated their houses with. What I'm really wanting this year is that everyone will have a very good time. Whether they are part of my family or not. And that everyone will have a Merry Christmas.

Selena Martinez

Around Christmas time 3 years ago (2015), my family sparked the idea of going to California for the holidays. Now, we were going for a relative's birthday, but they decided to have some fun while we were there. I can't remember every single detail, but I do recall when we went to Knotts Berry Farm, Disneyland, Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the Santa Monica Beach. Christmas was the same festive-wise, but the people I was celebrating it with were different. My family settled in California rarely came to Indiana, so it was nice to visit them around this time.

This year for Christmas, I don't want to receive any possessions as gifts. As a matter of fact, I just want to give more this year. I want more smiles and kind gestures shown in the community. I'm simply wishing for a Christmas that will bring joy.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Tackle Twelve - Spotlight on Read a Caldecott or Newbery Medal Winner

As part of BPL's Tackle Twelve promotion, 16 reading challenges have been issued. This week's blog takes a closer look at 'Read a Caldecott or Newbery Medal Winner' and offers up recommendations.

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

2015 Newbery Medal Winner
2015 Coretta Scott King Honor Award Winner
New York Times Bestseller

Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with the highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.

Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly

2018 Newbery Medal Winner

Lives of four misfits are intertwined when a bully's prank lands shy Virgil at the bottom of a well and Valencia, Kaori, and Gen band together in an epic quest to find and rescue him.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

2013 Newbery Medal Winner
#1 New York Times Bestseller
Soon to be a major motion picture!

When Ivan, a gorilla who has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall, meets Ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides that he must find her a better life.

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool

2011 Newbery Medal Winner
2011 Spur Award Winner
Kansas Notable Book

Twelve-year-old Abilene Tucker is the daughter of a drifter who, in the summer of 1936, sends her to stay with an old friend in Manifest, Kansas, where he grew up, and where she hopes to find out some things about his past.

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

1979 Newbery Medal Winner
Ranked #9 among all-time children's novels by School Library Journal (2012)
Adapted as the 1997 feature film Get a Clue

Each of the sixteen people invited to the reading of a very strange will are given $10,000, a set of clues, and the chance to become a millionaire.

The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson and illustrated by Beth Krommes

2009 Caldecott Medal Winner

A bedtime verse about the light in a house during the night.

My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann

2003 Caldecott Medal Winner

Something always seems to go wrong when Rabbit is around, but Mouse lets him play with his toy plane anyway because he is his good friend.

Golem by David Wisniewski

1997 Caldecott Medal Winner

A saintly rabbi miraculously brings to life a clay giant who helps him watch over Jews of sixteenth-century Prague.

Tuesday by David Wiesner

1991 Caldecott Medal Winner

A whimsical, hilarious look at the events that unfold on a particular Tuesday, on which outlandish things begin to happen.

One Fine Day by Nonny Hogrogian

1971 Caldecott Medal Winner

A fox begins an unusual adventure when his greediness causes him to lose his tail.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Getting to Know...Selena

Introducing another valuable member of our YA Volunteer Team, Selena Martinez! A 13-year-old eighth grader, Selena has accumulated 5.75 hours since August.

FAVORITE BOOK GENRES: "All the Bright Places" is my favorite novel.

FAVORITE TV SHOWS: Stranger Things, The Flash, Arrow

SOMEONE I LOOK UP TO: My mom. She's done a lot for me and the people around her.

MY SPIRIT ANIMAL: Bird. They're free-spirited and can fly off whenever to wherever they want.

SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT MYSELF: I've been a vegetarian since March 31, 2018.

FAVORITE QUOTE: "We do not remember days, we remember moments." - Cesare Pavese

FUTURE PLANS: I want to go to college. I hope to become a dentist and travel as much as possible.

AN INVENTION I WOULD UNINVENT: Phones or portable electronics. Although they do amazing things, they've done some serious damage to society.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Fictional Librarians

While perhaps not as popular as some occupations (medical, legal, law enforcement), librarians have been known to pop up here-and-there on television, in books, in movies, and (wait for it) even books. And even though all don't necessarily feature the stereotypical look (I do have glasses, but almost never wear my hair in a bun), most are generally intellectual, with a unique sense of style. Do you have a particular favorite? Several of the notable:

Barbara Gordon, Batgirl
First introduced by DC Comics in 1967 as a female counterpart to Batman. Busy tackling reference tasks by day, fighting crime by night! Arguably the first true librarian-as-superhero.

Eveylyn Carnahan O'Connell, The Mummy
1999 Hollywood film that produced several sequels and spinoffs. Who can forget her classic line to husband Rick (Brendan Fraser), "Look, I may not be an explorer, or an adventurer, or a treasure seeker, or a gunfighter, Mr. O'Connell, but I am proud of what I am. A librarian."

Flynn Carsen, The Librarian
Character appeared in the 2004 television film The Librarian: Quest for the Spear. Two subsequent films followed, in addition to a long-running tv series (2014-2018). True to many studying the library sciences, Carsen holds 23 academic degrees.

Henry DeTamble, The Time Traveler's Wife
Novel published in 2003 by author Audrey Niffenegger. DeTamble is a librarian at the Newberry Library in Chicago. A rare genetic disorder causes him to involuntarily travel through time.

Madam Irma Pince, Harry Potter
First mentioned in the Philosopher's Stone (1997). JK Rowling, speaking about the irritable Madam Pince, "I would like to apologize for your and other librarians present here today and my get-out clause is always if they'd had a pleasant, helpful librarian, half my plots would be gone. 'Cause the answer invariably is in a book but Hermione has to go and find it. If they'd had a good librarian, that would have been that problem solved. So...sorry."

Rupert Giles, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Fictional character created by Joss Whedon for the television series (1997-2003). Served as mentor and father figure to Buffy Summers. Occult expert of the Scooby Gang, librarian. Rupert's story is continued in the comic book Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight (2007-2011).

Tammy Swanson, Parks and Recreation
Deputy Director of Library Services in Pawnee, Indiana. Ruthless manipulative, and conniving, Tammy II battles wits with ex-husband Ron throughout the seven-season (2009-2015) television comedic run. Trivia note: According to her library card, her full name is Tammy Swanson Swanson. This is because Tammy and Ron married twice.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Tackle Twelve - Spotlight on Read a Celebrity Memoir

As part of BPL’s Tackle Twelve promotion, 16 reading challenges have been issued. This week’s blog takes a closer look at ‘Read a Celebrity Memoir’ and offers up recommendations.

Pretty Mess by Erika Jayne

The model, singer, and reality television star traces her rise to fame, the ups and downs of her family life, and the obstacles she overcame to achieve success.

And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready by Meaghan O'Connell

When Meaghan O'Connell got accidentally pregnant in her twenties and decided to keep the baby, she realized that the book she needed -- a brutally honest, agenda-free reckoning with the emotional and existential impact of motherhood -- didn't exist. So she decided to write it herself.

I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O'Farrell

Presents a memoir told entirely in seventeen near-death experiences stemming from a dangerous childhood illness, accidents, an encounter with a disturbed person, and the author's daily efforts to protect her daughter from the vulnerabilities of a high-risk condition.

Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved by Kate Bowler

A divinity professor and young mother diagnosed with Stage IV cancer shares her perspectives on friendship, love, and death while describing her efforts to remain true to her faith in spite of impossible hardships.

Stronger by Jeff Bauman

A survivor of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, who helped to set off one of the biggest manhunts in the country's history, discusses his experiences that day and his ongoing mission to walk again after losing both legs.

Tiger Woods by Jeff Benedict

In 2009, Tiger Woods was the most famous athlete on the planet, a transcendent star of almost unfathomable fame, fortune, and what appeared to be the perfect life. But it was all a carefully crafted illusion. As it turned out, Woods had been living a double life for years. Thus, leaving the world to wonder, who is Tiger Woods, really?

Robin by Dave Itzkoff

Presents a compelling portrait of Williams that illuminates his comic brilliance and often misunderstood character, his struggles with addiction and depression, and his relationships with friends and family members.

Everything is Possible: Finding the Faith and Courage to Follow Your Dreams by Jen Bricker

A gymnast, performer, and motivational speaker who was born without legs, describes the challenges of growing up different and inspires readers to remove the words coincidence and limitation from their vocabularies.

Lennon: The Man, the Myth, the Music -- The Definitive Life by Tim Riley

Granted access to previously untapped files, the author challenges many popular assumptions about the Beatle's life by presenting an authoritative examination of Lennon's life and creative legacy.

The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish

The comedian and actress presents autobiographical essays that reflect on her disadvantaged youth, her discovery of comedy, and her struggles with gender, race, and class boundaries in the entertainment industry.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Getting to Know...Isiah

Introducing another valuable member of our YA Volunteer Team, Isiah Sarille! A 17-year-old eleventh grader, Isiah has accumulated 16 hours since August.

FAVORITE BOOK GENRES: Graphic Novels. Catwoman and Harley Quinn

FAVORITE TV SHOWS: Reba, Sanford and Son, Mama's Family


MY SPIRIT ANIMAL: White tiger and my dogs


FUTURE PLANS: Helping my grandparents

FAVORITE QUOTE: "You're gonna be alright!" - Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil

Monday, November 5, 2018

Recently Added to the YA Bookshelf

Taking a look at some of the most recent additions gracing the shelves of our YA department:

9 From the Nine Worlds by Rick Riordan

Join Blitzen, Sarirah, Hearthstone, Jack, Alex, Mallory, T.J., Halfborn, and more on an unforgettable journey through Rick Riordan's unique take on Norse mythology.

These Vengeful Souls (Book 3) by Tarun Shanker

On the run with the grieving Sebastian Braddock, Evelyn must decide if her need for vengeance against the evil Captain Goode is strong enough to put her friends at risk.

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (Book 2) by Mackenzi Lee

In this much anticipated sequel to the bestselling The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue, Felicity Montague uses her womanly wits and wiles to achieve her dreams of becoming a doctor; even if she has to scheme her way across Europe to do it.

Muse of Nightmares (Book 2) by Laini Taylor

As humans and godspawn reel in the aftermath of the citadel's near fall, a new foe shatters their fragile hopes, and the mysteries of the Mesarthim are resurrected.

The War Outside by Monica Hesse

Teens Haruko, a Japanese American, and Margot, a German American, form a life-changing friendship as everything around them starts falling apart in the Crystal City family internment camp during World War II.

Escaping from Houdini (Book 3) by Kerri Maniscalco

A luxurious ocean liner becomes a floating prison of madness when passengers are murdered one by one, with nowhere to run from the killer.

Sadie by Courtney Summers

Told from the alternating perspectives of nineteen-year-old Sadie who runs away from her small Colorado town to find her younger sister's killer, and a true crime podcast exploring Sadie's disappearance.

Requiem (Book 3) by Lauren Oliver

The final book in Lauren Oliver's bestselling trilogy about forbidden love, revolution, and the power to choose.

Seafire by Natalie C. Parker

Follows Caledonia Styx and her all-female crew as they strive to defeat the powerful fleet of Aric Athair, the vicious warlord who has taken their homes and families.

The Second Life of Ava Rivers by Faith Gardner

Eighteen-year-old Vera, eager to start college and escape the celebrity her family has endured since her twin's disappearance twelve years earlier, finds her world turned upside-down again when Ava returns.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Flash Fiction Winner Hanna DePoy - 10th Grade

Off My Axis

The world spun again, like my mind was its axis and my eyes were the twin suns giving light to the
sane people who still roamed freely around the globe. The cool glass that separated the world from me was never warm and never just clear. No matter which window I gazed through there were always little diamonds of thin metal laced through the panes of glass. It kind of upsetted me but my therapist never wanted to know about that kind of stuff. She just nodded, crossed her fingers my brain would heal itself, and gave me new drugs. She wasn't the best, but she was the only one who would agree to meet with me, even though everyone says otherwise, I saw a paper that reminded me that I was a threat to other's mental security. Geez I'm pretty messed up then since I'm the worst of the worst, that always make me giggle, and I guess that scared some people.

I missed the real world, the commotion and chaos, but most of all, the never ending noise. It was far too quiet in my world now, I always had noise in my life and I somehow would find a beat and dance or rap if I wanted. I reached up and stroked the smooth scar tissue where my ears used to reside before the incident, but I really don't remember what happened. No matter what anyone tries to make me remember, nothing ever works, but why does anyone want to know? I was just an average Jane Doe and then I was something to be looked at and poked or prodded whenever someone wanted. I wonder how bad someone would feel if they really knew what happened to me. All too soon I was consumed by a spell cast by the wicked witch called my brain and I remembered it all.

Somehow I was back in the dank dungeon called a lab by some weird professor, strapped down to a cold metal table with huge inch thick leather bands that Hulk may have been able to break free from, but not me. My mad scientist had a proud face with salt and pepper hair and bushy eyebrows that make her kind of look like Einstein but she wouldn't look right without them. She was tall for a woman, but had an obvious limp like one of her legs had to be dragged around.

"You ready to be the next best creation of Mankind than Wifi?" she once asked with an accent I couldn't place but shook my head anyway. "Too bad honey bunches! You are gong to be wether you want it or not."

She took my head and rolled it to the side viciously and stabbed a thick needle into my jugular and I was barely conscious as I saw her pick up her scalpel and rip into my ribcage like a bloodthirsty maniac. It was weird seeing your blood spill, and feeling all the pain, but not being able to move to stop it or scream for help. The world went dark as I focused on the woman's crazy grinning face as she carved another line.

I resurfaced later shivering and wincing as I felt my rib cage and then realized I was in freezing cold water. I started to choke as I screamed and inhaled the water I was surrounded in. Instead of suffering and feeling my lungs reject the substance, it welcomed it and I began to breather normally, while surrounded by water. My ribs moved to the flow of the circulating water and when I looked down at the cuts in my sides, they bristled and continued breathing for me. I was a human and I now had gills. Like a fish. My ears popped and I felt so much pain, but I didn't know why. I was pulled out of my tank then and shot up again before the shooting pain of switching to air could allow me to scream for help, the world was dark before I could breathe without pain.

I woke later, back in my tank with my gills doing their thing while I floated, this time the water was so cold that I couldn't feel the chill on my ears. I reached up to rub a little warmth into them and they were no longer there, just my smooth bumps that covered the once open canals.

Gills, I could hide, but how do you explain why you don't have ears? I floated there in my tank until the mad scientist let me out to check if I could still breathe air. I was placed in my holding cell and the shooting pains begun again as I changed from fish to human being. The scientist looked pleased with herself and stalked over like a predator to my cage as I lied on my back and cried as my lungs inflated.

"Well don't you look--."

I was ripped back to the present so quickly that my sides ache like I was just pulled out of the tank in real life. A pair of overly bright car lights swaying past my window. Bright lights always blinded me at night when my lights already were turned off, not by me though I would keep them on all the time to show the world I was still here, just a little off my axis.

My therapist is in my room now, she looks worried and scared, I reached out and took her cold hand in my warm ones and looked her in the eye. And said my first words to her rather than signing like I have for two whole years--another perk of being deaf.

"It's going to be okay, no need to be scared of the newest Frankenstein on the street. you want to know my favorite quote of Mary Shelley's?"

She barely managed to nod.

"Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change."

My mind couldn't handle a great and sudden change, so it broke. I hoped I didn't just break my therapist's because she just ran out of my room, leaving the door open, which they aren't allowed to do at the Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital. Especially not with me.

Minor formatting. Story appears as submitted by the author, unedited.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Flash Fiction Winner Brianna Pollard - 7th Grade

Nowhere to Run

There is no way to escape. There is no way to escape from being tied up to this metal stake, in the middle of a burn pile. I took a desperate look around, for anything. My neck locked mid-swing sending a shot of pain through my neck, once I comprehend what I had seen, a shot of pain tore through my heart. Camdon stood there with a blank look on his face, holding the lighter. Let me back up.

Just like any other day, I was walking to the training center. I was from the eighth generation of people. Of Monsters. I'm not the kind you're thinking of, at least not all of the time. That's why I'm going to the training center. Only mistakes go there. Only I go there. I am different, I have changed. She is waiting, the monster is waiting, the psychopath is waiting. She has control over me. She is Ms. Marybeth Tinning.

"What's taking you so long? Don't make me use the pillow and add your body to the rest of your siblings!"

"I'm sorry, mother. I was not trying to anger you. Please forgive me." I said these things with as much contempt as my weak body could muster.

"I will forgive you, just finish by tomorrow."

There is no way that I can possibly finish these by tomorrow. If I don't, she will kill me the same way she killed all the others who dared disobey her. The same way she killed the family that I had. I had no choice but to work all night, and into the next day. Then she came, like whirlwind of hatred, pure hatred. She began to yell at me before she even checked to see the wonderful work I had lost sleep over.

"You incompetent rat! What have you been doing all this time? Sleeping, no doubt about it. You are entirely, and utterly useless. Where is the incomplete project that you have for me?"

"I have it all done ma'am if you'll look,"

"You useless lier, if it is all done then show me."

I walked towards the cold metal table in the middle of the room, and remove the cloth that had been covering the dead man. The autopsy project had been my assignment, and I had completed it in time. As the monster that served as my mother approached the autopsy table, I knew that she could see the precise V incision on the man's chest. The wonderful incision on the side of his head in order to remove the bullet that had been so deeply embedded in his brain.

"Wow for once in your life you actually completed something. Of course, the autopsy might be completed, but your incisions are sloppy and jagged."

"My incisions are perfectly fine, and you know it. the only thing sloppy here is your, your..."

"Is my what?"

"I apologize for speaking out of turn, if my cuts are not good enough for you, then kill me and find someone else to do this."

"I can't find someone else because no one else knows what to do."

"You cant get ride of me because I know things that you need, I get it now. I am important to you, I am important to your survival. It is too bad you never really connected with me. Then I might stay."

"Why wouldn't you stay, and where would you go?"

"I would not stay because there is nothing here for me to stay for. It's not like my mother cares for me as a child and not as a science experiment. Yes, I've found out about what you did to me as an innocent baby, yes I know. I would get as far away from here as possible. As far away from you as possible." little did she know that I had a gun, friends, and an escape plan.

"Please don't leave I can change, I will start to love you just don't leave me here all alone."

"You and I both know that's not true. As soon as I would begin to trust you the slightest bit, you would stab me in the back, literally, and physically. There will be no changing on your part, we both know this. You always have, and will always be a monster."

"Well, if that's how you feel, then I have no choice but to put you into isolation."

She really does know the best way to punish me. She knows how I hate to be alone. She isn't even really my mother, she's my donor. She donated the ingredient for my life. She did so for one child in each generation. I am different, I have known this for my entire life, yet only now did it dawn on me as to why. I've noticed how my sheets end up torn in the morning, I've noticed how the monitors take a step back away from me. I've observed how the others in my generation cower at the very sight of my shadow. I was a mistake, I came from the birthing pods this way, but worse. She would not let them kill me off, sweet right?

Wrong. She wanted me alive for experimentation. She wanted to find out what made me different, there were no others that had the same malfunction as I do. No matter how many tests, or how much research, there was no reasoning for the way I am. There's no explanation, I am a cold-blooded, sick, psychopathic murderer. And She is my next victim...

I've head it's not unusual for violent parents to get murdered by their abused children, but I am far past abuse.

Twelve Hours Later...

Crouched there next to my mother's cold dead body, something I had read quite some time ago resurfaced in my mind, "Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change." This isn't the end of my story, but the beginning.

Minor formatting. Story appears as submitted by the author, unedited.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Flash Fiction Winner Emery Porter - 7th grade

Hopefully Hopeless

As I feel the old pages of the Frankenstein book by Mary Shelley between my fingers I look outside of the fast moving car. I then find a bookmark to a certain page that has a quote highlighted in it. My dad had just given me this brand new book for my birthday and I was confused on why there was already something in it. I then read it, "Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change." I only had a brief second to think of what this quote might mean when something did suddenly change my life, again.

Earlier that morning

I woke up with the birthday song sung to me by my whole family. I slept in the same room as my two sisters Charlotte and Charlie, they were a set of twins. In the room next to mine is a set of triples, but is occupied by only two, the girls, Bella, and Harper. Then the third triplet Logan sleeps in his own room. All of my siblings are older than me, I'm the baby of the family. I Mya Lee Hope, was thirteen.

I hurried and got dressed and went downstairs for my birthday breakfast that my dad always fixes the birthday kid on their birthday. When I got there I realized my dad was overseas and wouldn't be able to make me a birthday breakfast for me. My siblings all pitched in to try to recreate the special birthday breakfast, but it just wasn't the same. I took a couple bites and each one made my eyes fill with tears. I was going to go to our library when I heard a knock at the door. I opened the door to find two soldiers standing there. My mom came to the door and started bawling. I had no idea what was about to happen.

The first soldier spoke, "I'm sorry Mrs. Hope, but I'm afraid your husband has died in action, they were not able to find his body." My mom just stared blankly at him with tears running down her face. She then closed the door and went to her bedroom and cried the rest of the night.

I on the other hand was sad, but mostly sad that no one would celebrate my birthday because they were all busy being sad about dad. I then got one of those cake in a box type things and baked it. I sat there alone with just a single candle. I then blew out the candle saying this as salty tears fill my eyes "Happy birthday, Mya." I then heard another knock at the door.

"I got a package for a Ms Mya Hope." The delivery man said to me.

"That would be me," I respond as I wipe tears from my eyes.

"If you could just sign here, please." The delivery man said right after I said it was for me.

"Of course." I respond and then sign for the package. I look at the box then I closed the door.

My dog Bailey came to greet me. "I think more people celebrated your birthday than my birthday." I said out loud to my dog, she barked.

I then grab a knife and opened the box. I find two things a book and a letter. The book was called Frankenstein and it was by Mary Shelley. I then opened the letter and immediately I knew it was from dad. I then walked straight to my room and thought that when I was strong enough to read it I would. So, I marched to my room with the whole box, and I set it on my bed. My sisters looked at me strangely, I faked a smile and walked out to finish my cake.

My mom came downstairs and called a family meeting. We all walked into our normal family meeting room. Everyone sat down on the couches in our living room. I offered cake, but no one seemed like they wanted any.

"I know that we all have suffered a big, tragic loss. I've been thinking that we shouldn't dwell on this one moment. We should all move on, and focus on Mya's special day. We're going out to Mya's choice or restaurant. Ok? Everyone get dressed and lets get a move on it's already 7:30." My mother states in a uplifting voice.

"You heard her lets go." Logan reminds everyone.

I get dressed as fast as I can, then think of where we should go. I then stop and think about the Frankenstein book. I grab it then I hop in the car. I'm wearing one of my favorite outfits. I have a nice baby blue shirt on that says believe and a pair of jean shorts and flats. I end up picking The Dusty Spoon. It's a more run down place on the outside but inside is beautiful.

"Hey mom I want to go to The Dusty Spoon?" I say as the rest of my family gets in the car.

"Sure honey wherever you want." My mom responds.

Everyone sees the book sitting in my lap but they don't say anything. We start driving. It's about a twenty minute drive from our house to the restaurant. So, I open my book and start reading. I get lost in my book then we hit a bump and I drop my book on the car floor. I then see something stick out of the book. I turn to that page and find something highlighted in it. I read it, "Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change."

I thought about it for a second then a big semi came and smashed right into our car. Everyone around me was dead, my family, dead. Ambulances came and dragged everyone out. I didn't remember much because I lost consciousness in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

Minor formatting. Story appears as submitted by the author, unedited.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Flash Fiction Winner Amber Barber - 7th grade

The burning is so painful, breaking ribs would be better than this. The burning wasn't stopping. It was supposed to stop. Wasn't it? Trying to speak, more pain came over her like a blanket.


More pain. I can't bear it much longer! Everywhere just hurts with excruciating pain. The bright white light blinding her as she tried to move then the world went black.

"Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change," Was the last thing that was said to her when she was normal.


"Sitting on the paper and a bed...again." Rebecca mumbled. Remembering was the worst.

"Good afternoon Miss. Clearwater how was your day?"

"Good." Just up to the part when I walked in here.

"Alrighty then lets get started, so you still can't remember what happened October 31st?"

"Nope, just know what you told me."

"So you don't remember getting in the car? Driving with your parents to your grandparents house? Not even the simmi that hit you?"

"Nope" Thanks for being so gentle about it though.

Looking down not remembering how she got her right arm and left leg removed just to be replaced with metal was something no one on Earth could imagine. Later on they told her it was just an experiment, that she wasn't supposed to live was even worse.

"Like I said hundreds of times I only remember the pain of waking up."

"Alrighty then, so all of your attachments are in good condition," looking at his notes, "I do however want to look at your control panel" said Doctor Black moving in his swivel chair to Rebecca's back. The slight tug of the back of my head didn't hurt, but I still wasn't used to it.

"Nothing out of the ordinary but...ah there we go is that better Miss.Clearwater?"

A small sentence came across my vision that said "retina eyesight improvement'


Doctor Black can walk a very fine line of polite and rude. Doctor Black gave me a pat on the back and then swiveled back around to finish up.

"I would like to ask you something very serious Miss.Clearwater, the government ask me to ask you for permission to make more cybors like yourself. If you say yes then you will be saving people from losing their legs, arms, or other body parts, you may even save some lives, but......if not then you will be saving them from, what you personally think of a living burden, becoming a cyborg."

"WHAT!! Why would I have to give permission, NO, never in my life would I have chosen this life. Do you know the stairs I get from people, how awful it is to be able to take my limbs from my own body! I would rather die than be a cyborg! NO, NO, NO."

"Alright jezz, okay calm down I'll say you said no."

I ran out of there as fast as I could. This would be a great time to cry. but I don't have tear ducts, however, I can blush and I felt the heat rising up to my face. After slamming the door to my 2 bedroom apartment I noticed something out of the ordinary.

I thought I closed my bedroom door?

White letters filled my vision '3 heat sources found inside a range of 20 feet...15 feet...10 feet' I didn't know what to do '7 feet' but my network told me to turn around '5 feet' and run the other way. Just as I was turning to open my door the worst pain shot through my back and to ground rushed to meet me.

"......coming to wake up in a minute."

I was on the floor and mentally checking for injuries. 'Arms and legs restrained, zapped by 100 volts, unconscious for 3 hours, 28 minute and 46 seconds.'

"What are we going to do after?" the mysterious voice said again.

"I dunno, let's just wait until we get the answer we need." Another voice.

I opened my eyes. My sensors were blocked by something, probably to far underground to get a signal. So I don't know where I am, what these crazy people want, or how I am going to escape.

"Ah-Miss.Clearwater what a pleasure for you to join us."

"No, no a pleasure would be for you to let me go."

"O, you can go whenever you like as long as you give permission for us to make more cyborgs."

"Why do you want permission to make more monsters, and aren't you the government or something do whatever you want, just leave me out of it."

"Sorry no can do, see I would love to make more cyborgs, but we need a cyborgs permission and signituar to make it official. We need someone who is experienced with cyborg parts. I would go get another cyborg, but your the first of your kind."

"No. Absolutely not"

"I hoped you'd say that! Keep zapping her until she gives in."

A short bald, smiling, man comes up with a taser.

What do I do? What do I do?


Heat rushed over her. It burned her some of her human skin.

Great just great.



White letters filled her already smoky vision 'grenade, gunshots, 2 bullets, gun identification: 22.'

Trying to see what was going on and trying to undo restraints isn't the easiest this I've ever done. Wheezing in and out, coughing from the smoke I felt the rope fall and slowly crawled to a window.

Strong hands grabbed me pulling me up I made my move to defend myself, a 50 per mile fast puch, when I heard metal on metal. I looked up and saw a metal hand press firmly against her punch. Another cyborg.

Minor formatting. Story appears as submitted by the author, unedited.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Flash Fiction Winner Ashlyn Brooke - 7th grade

Graduation day

They all thought that there wasn't going to be a future. "Nothing is more painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change". The war going on, threatened our existence, and it didn't help that the war was between the states. There was only so many people that believed we should build the USA back up again. We all split up into colonies. There was already barley any survivors, and there was a disease going around. People thought that it could possibly be the end of the world, especially when the monsters of the disease are lurking and waiting for their next victims beyond the boundaries.

"Oh great it's graduation day, another day from another year," I said sarcastically.

"Oh stop, you could be picked," Amy, my mom, replied.

By the way my name is Jake. I'm 19 and I get to graduate today. I live in a colony that's called Captive Colony. Graduation day is going to be happening in the other four colonies, as well. After everybody graduates there is going to be a representative from Tumbleback City visiting each colony to announce the winner from the graduates to be tested. Only one of the four candidates will pass and be relied on to carry the country, of course there are people from past years too. For the past 3 years they have failed, even with the help of each other. Hopefully this time, the person can do it with the help from the past candidates. Maybe, just maybe, I'll be picked.

As I'm walking up to get my diploma it finally hit me. I'm alone. I'm an adult and have to survive alone. I have to find a job, get my own house, pay for food, and pay bills. Maybe have a family, but I'm not sure. Of course that's only if I don't get picked.

"Hey Jake, sit next to me," Terra, my best friend asked me.

"No. I was just going to sit alone," I remarked.

We both laughed until the representative stood looking over everybody.

"Good evening ladies and gentleman. My name is Thomas and I am the representative from Tumbleback City. This year, one of the graduates will be coming back with me, as usual. Hopefully this year will be better than lasts. Okay, now drum roll please......the person that is coming back with me is Jacob Willis."

At first I didn't realize that he said my name until Terra pushed me. As I started walking it got louder and louder. People were cheering, I was getting high fives and hugs from people I didn't even know or recognized.

"Hello Mr. Willis," Thomas said shaking my hand.

"Hello, please call me Jake," I replied in delight.

"We will be leaving tomorrow morning, and your testing will be starting in the evening. It will give you time to meet the other four contestants," he cut to the point.

"That works for me, happy to see you then."

When I got home I went straight to my room and started packing. After that I went downstairs and had my last family dinner and my last family game night. There were a bunch of tears and hugs. Terra came over also. Even she was crying and she is the toughest girl I know because she never cries. The rest of the night was lonely. Everybody went to bed before me and when I did, it was hard to fall asleep.

The next morning I said all the goodbyes I needed to and left for our town square. Thomas and I got on a train and headed to Tumbleback City. It felt like forever to get there but really it was only like 3 hours. Okay, I guess you could say forever. We were the farthest colony from Tumbleback City. When I got there, there were two other boys and two other girls.

"Hi my name is Jake," I informed them.

"I don't care," the girl with the blonde hair said.

"Okay then," I replied.

"Anyways my name is Rachel," the girl with light brown hair said.

"My name is Luis," one of the guys informed.

"My name is Gage," the other guy informed.

"Okay so what's up with that other chi-," I asked.

"-I don't know but what I do know if she keeps that attitude up she won't even be able to have an attitude," Rachel interrupted.

"Whoa slow down," Luis and Gage said surprised, at the same time.

"Okay listen up!"

We all turn in shock to see that it is just one of the representatives.

"Your testing starts now. What we will be having you do is try to stay alive out of the boundaries for two days. You will get one weapon, one change of clothing, three food packets, and three water bottles."

"What happens if we get the disease?"

"Then you have to try to live on your own."

"Oh, c'mon you have seen what that disease does to you. It takes over your mind, makes you go crazy, makes you turn into a...a monster."

"Well, that's why you get a weapon to kill anything that has that disease."

As he walks away I start to say something.

"I don't know about you guys but that guy sounded suspicious when you brought up the disease. Like, they were looking for something inside us."

"I know. I regret asking him that." Luis announced.

"Well I guess we should go choose our weapon," Gage informed.

I chose the knife. Then, I got my clothes, my food packets, and my three water bottles. I hopped on the helicopter along with the other four and we headed beyond the boundaries. It's a total dead land. With bombs going off, monster looking people and animals walking around, attacking each other. It's all bare. Nothing to look at. It's a...it's no man's land.
Minor formatting. Story appears as submitted by the author, unedited.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Flash Fiction Winner Johan Jimenez - 7th grade

One winter day I was in class. We were studying poetry and my teacher, Mrs. Dole, had about five
poems that we were supposed to interpret the meaning of. One of which was, "Nothing is so painful to the human mind as great and sudden change." I was skeptical of this and thought to myself "Ya right", "I could think of dozens of other ordeals worse than that."

I soon found out I was wrong.

I guess The saying is kinda evil or something I mean just look at me now. Anyways I had seen a scrap of paper with the saying on it, edged deep into the paper. I thought it was pretty creepy but decided to rip it up and throw it away, as I was unbeknownst to the cruel luck it gave me. It felt like it was watching me but I ignored the strange feeling. Later next hour I saw a group of kids around a part of Mrs. Springfields wall and soon sall it said "Nothing is So Painful" etched into the wall and everyone not knowing who did it. I was the last one to see it as I had been in the bathroom for most of the passing period so people suspected me of doing it and told Mrs. Springfield that I was guilty. Soon I found myself in the principal's office. My mom walked in.

"What is going on here?" she demanded.

Before I could speak Mrs. Springfield snapped.

"Your son just wrote in my wall nothing is so painful with a crowbar for no reason."

"With a crowbar?" I questioned

"Yes Migel found it outside my doorway."

"Is this true?" my mom inquired.

"Of course not" I exclaimed. "Wait I have an idea!", "Check the cameras."

About two minutes later Mrs. Houston (our camera operator) pulled up the tape on a screen and we all huddled around it we watched an empty hallway for a while but when they were about to give up we heard a scrape and and a crash the camera went black.

"See your son took out the camera and then went in my room and vandalized my wall!" Mrs. Springfield shouted.

"But that's not enough proof", my mom returned.

"But think about it it makes total sense."

"That's it." principal Burlington said, "Your are suspended for two weeks"

Soon I found myself in the car going home when "CRASH" My mom hit a tree I called an ambulance. Six minutes later the ambulance came I was unhurt but my mom not so much her spinal cord was broken and had a few broken ribs. At the hospital that night she died from her injuries.

And on the news I had learned my dads work went up in flames only one survived, and it wasn't my dad he was too busy to notice it blocking the exit.

That night I was in an orphanage trying to sleep but I couldn't, I couldn't even focus on anything. My world was changing way to fast I couldn't take it no more so I ran away that night. I ran till I found myself in a dark alley somewhere far away from where I've ever been before. That night I found in sharpie marker "To the mind" scribbled on the trashcan I laid beside.

"What's the deal with that I said aloud", then I remembered the poem in language arts the other day and moved somewhere else for the night pretending like it had nothing to do with my luck.

I was wrong.

The next day I was seeing things my eyes were all blurry and I couldn't see right because everything I see has four words written on it and I see creepy shadow people that say the same words which are Nothing Is So Painful. So if you underestimate the pain of Great and sudden change, guess what? Your wrong.

Minor formatting. Story appears as submitted by the author, unedited.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Flash Fiction Winner Keely Miller - 10th grade

It happened

Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change. Waking up in a warm bright place is the first thing I remember. The last thing that I remember is pure agony. My life changed so suddenly. I remember walking in the dark, down the street from the town coffee shop. A single street light shines down the dark street.

The air was different that night, for it had a bitter taste and was warm. There was a shadow stalking me. Its footsteps coincide with mine. I was unaccompanied. No one was insight on the dark street, my only thought was to make it home and bolt the door. I was three blocks away from my apartment. The noise grew louder. I picked up my pace. Hoping it wouldn't notice. My apartment was in a secluded area that took some time to get to. I don't know why I'm being followed. I've never done anything wrong before.

I grew up in a small town with the same people I've always known. Wake up; smelling the fresh air and go on with my regular days routine. The same thing everyday in and out. Except for tonight. Two blocks away. I turned the corner of the old book store.

The steps its still growing louder. I broke into a sprint. The concrete under my feet was uneven and cracked.

The warm air stinging my throat. I could hear its steps right next to me. 1 block away.

All I wanted to do was be in my secure home. My eyes were burning with tears as I ran. I ran for what felt like an eternity, never letting up my pace. I could see my garden in front of my apartment.

The steps started to die away from me. I didn't let up. I made it to my front porch. I could barely see. My face soaked with tears. I reached into my bag for my keys. I was trembling with fear. The light from my living room flooded the front lawn. My keys slipped through my fingers and onto the cement sidewalk with a clatter.

That's when I heard its low heavy breathing. I didn't dare to look behind me. The steps drew closer and closer.

I swooped down to retrieve the keys and managed to find the right one and insert it into the keyhole.

I felt a cold hand rest upon my shoulder. I stood petrified with fear. Then it slowly turned me to face the creature. I gazed upon the face of my monster. It had fair skin with sunken eyes. Red flared its cheeks. Its mouth curled into a horrifying grin. "Why are you doing this," escaped my mouth.

"Because it's fun," it said.

I was writhing in pain. My body was in complete anguish. I tried to scream but nothing came out. It looked at me with an apathetic look and turned then disappeared into the night. I tried to stand. Hoping. Praying that I could get to the neighbors.

I felt myself fall to my knees. The pain started to go away. I started to lose consciousness. I could feel myself slipping away. Relief started to flood my body. Had someone come to my aid. I didn't feel anything. I don't feel anything.

I opened my eyes to see a brilliantly white scene. Nothing and no one is in eye shot. I rose to my feet. Glancing around to find the slightest sign of life.

I realized my hands felt caked with something. I peered down to see blood. My blood. I reached for my head feeling the warmth of it trickle down my face. My arms and legs covered in bruises. I went to scream. Nothing came from my throat. My fingers traced my neck. There was a gash in my throat, for blood oozed from it.

From the distance a dot started to approach me. As it drew closers I realized I had seen this person before. The dark figured stopped right in front of me. I mouthed, "What happened."

With a reply, "you died, come it has been waiting for you to join us."

My mind felt as if it had burst with this sudden change in realization. I had really died. And the person who was in front of me was it. My murder.

Minor formatting. Story appears as submitted by the author, unedited.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Flash Fiction Winner Mazerick Hullinger - 7th grade

The Wasteland

"Nothing is as painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change."

- Unknown

The person who said that had no idea how right they were. It all started in 2083 when a 36-year-old woman, known as genie, (French for genius) created something revolutionary. She created terraforming robots that were capable of taking a mountainside and transforming it into an exact replica of Mount Rushmore, and fast. She sent these nanobots out to create abundant farms in lands of poverty. They created lakes in places of drought, literally overnight.

Little did she know, she had created a virus. The robots were created with mercury which was a huge mistake on génie's part. This mercury infected the fluids that made the farms functional. It created a new type of disease. once you have the disease you wouldn't notice until it was too late. It was so undetectable that you could drop dead immediately after or several days later and never know you had this wretched disease.

almost everyone in the world was infected. The world discovered this the next year. The world dropped into the apocalypse. Most of the world died off, leaving 200 people alive. These people were forced to find each other and fix the ecosystem. Only 15 survived this journey to meet in a small town known as Legitown in North North America (Canada).

These people had to find a way to stop the robots. They split into three groups that would look for and destroy the robots, group beta, alpha and, omega. The strongest, man Buford led omega, the smartest man Balijeet, led beta, and the fastest woman, Isabella, led alpha.


"Do you think we are actually gonna find anything out here," said Chris.

"There has to be something out here," said Isabella.

"Yeah Chris, those spooky magic robots have to be somewhere," said Alex.

"Is that really what we are calling them now," asked Jake.

"Definitely not," replied Chris and Lacey at the same time.

"If we don't find anything I hope the other groups do, because if they don't, we're all gonna die of starvation," said Chris.

"...Way to lighten the mood Chris!" said Alex.


"Man, this place is messed up," said Chase.

"I am not entirely sure what you expected Chase, but yeah, pretty messed up," said Emma.

"What are we looking for again," Asked Brody.

"You've got to be kidding me," Said Balijeet.

"Nope!" replied Brody.

"We are looking for robots that killed all of our friends and family," said Zane.

"Ooooooooooooooooooh thanks for reminding me!" said Brody. "It would be nice to find them."

"My gosh, when we find these robots, you two are gonna be the offering," said Morgan.


"You think these things will be sentient," Asked Brock.

"What's a sentient," Asked Buford. "Nevermind,"

"What are we gonna do when we find these things, just try to kill them as fast as possible? Or are we gonna try and fix them," Said Kim.

"Kill," said Buford.

"Guys, we found something," Yelled Johnny and Mike.

Everybody ran to them to find a field filled with metallic bees nurturing the field with a strange liquid.

"This has to be them," said Brock.

"What are we gonna d-," Johnny was cut off by the sound of Buford shooting all of the robots dead.

"me kill evil bugs," said Buford.

"I suppose that answers that." Said Johnny.

When the three regrouped later that day at Leitown, the alpha team announced that they had killed the "evil bugs". So they had won, they were able to start rebuilding civilization. By 3000 the entire world was repopulated and doing well. It was no longer a wasteland.


Minor formatting. Story appears as submitted by the author, unedited.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Flash Fiction Winner Katie Barnes - 10th grade

"Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change." That's the quote I see
everyday, at five o'clock. Out of all the posters in the room, that's the one I always notice. Maybe it's because it's big and bright, or maybe it's because it's the only one on the wall I face. But I know it's because it reminds me of her. The flowers, the colors, the stripes, all of her favorite things.

Often I find myself looking at the poster instead of looking at my therapist, Mrs. Sammons. It's easier to think of the happy memories I had with my mom before she passed away, instead of talking to someone I barely know about her. Most of the time I can't even answer Mrs. Sammons's questions, not because I don't pay attention to her, but because the questions are too hard to answer. She's tried to get me to open up, and I know it's what my dad wants me to do, but it's just too hard.

"Sydney? Sydney? Are you listening?" Mrs. Sammons asks, smiling my way.

"Uh, yeah, sorry." I whisper, looking down.

"So do you want to talk about how things are going at home, you know, without your mom?" She sympathetically adds.

"No." I answer too quickly.

"Ok, that's fine. You take your time, I know this is hard, but it will get easier. Anyway, it's six now if you think you are done for the day."

"Yes. I'm done." I stand up and leave, not looking back.

I decide not to text my dad to pick me up, because he's going to ask me how it went, like he always does, but today I especially don't feel like dealing with him, not now at least. So, I walk home. It's good to clear my mind. When I get home, I hurry inside, passing by my dad's office and escaping to my room upstairs. I lock the door, which my dad hates me doing, but I really don't care.

I sit on my bed and stare at the wall. Bad choice. The wall has a bulletin board on it with pictures of what I refer to as my "past life," the life before my mom died. After she dies my life completely changed. I quit all my extra curricular activities, cut out my friends, and ignored my dad. Now I lay down and cry. I miss my old life. My sports. My clubs. My friends. My mom.

Five o'clock. I dread it everyday. It comes too soon, even though my day seems to drag on. So I make my way, once again, to Mrs. Sammons's office my 473rd day of therapy. She welcomes me with a smile as always, and ask me about my day, I shrug.

"So, Sydney," she pauses, "do you want to talk about your depression?"

My head bolts up to look her in the eyes, no one has ever called me depressed before. My mom was depressed and I never want to be like her. I never want to make people feel like the way she's made me feel.

"I'm not..." my voice trails off, maybe I am depressed...

"I'm so sorry, Sydney," she hurries to correct herself, "I shouldn't have said that. I apologize."

She knows. And yet she still talks about everything like it never happened and I should be ok. I'm not ok. I don't think I ever will be. I never got to say goodbye to my mom because her life was apparently so bad, she decided to end it. I went to sleep with her there, and woke up with her gone. I'll never forget the police showing up at my house, telling my dad they found my mom's car by an abandoned bridge, a note taped to the wheel. My dad lost it, obviously, but somehow he's managed to get better, and he wants me to as well. It's not working.

"I'm done." I say standing up.

"Sydney, it's only 5:30."

"I don't care, I'm done." I begin walking out of the room.

"Sydney..." She tries again, but I'm already out the door.

I make it home and my dad is standing in the kitchen, obviously waiting for me. He looks upset. I brace myself for whatever comes next.

"Syd, sit down, we need to talk." He pulls out a chair for me, I sit down.

"Sydney I just got a call from Mrs. Sammons. She told me that you're having a hard time opening up. It's been over a year since you started meeting with her, and she says you haven't made much progress. Can you try a little harder to open up?"

"Are you kidding me?" I ask.

"I just think you're not..." He begins.

"I'm sorry mom's death is harder on me than it was on you. I know it's been easy for you to forget about her, but there isn't a second that goes by that I'm not thinking about her!" I yell, tears pouring down my cheeks.


"Don't talk to me," I scream as I run upstairs, lock my door, and curl up on my bed, crying harder than I have in a long time.

My dad doesn't check to make sure I'm up before he goes to work, so I stay home from school. I would've done it anyway, but not seeing him made it easier. I stay in bed for a long time, staring at the ceiling, wanting to cry again but having no tears left. I finally manage to force myself to go downstairs to eat, but I'm not hungry. I try to watch T.V., but I can't pay attention. I'm about ready to go back to bed when the doorbell rings. I ignore it, but it rings three more times, so I decide I should answer it. I open the door and my heart stops.

"Sydney?" My mom smiles at me, but I don't smile back.


Minor formatting. Story appears as submitted by the author, unedited.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Flash Fiction Winner Macenzie McManis - 7th grade

Bittersweet Melancholy

Mary Shelley once wrote, "Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change." Before all of this, I would have disagreed, how bad can change be? It's often good for you. Let me answer that, change can ruin everything. It will change the way you think, how you learn, and the person you'll be. It all rides on change. You don't stay the same forever do you? After being turned upside-down, my view on life have changed greatly. I'm Levi, and this is my story.

One dry, winter day, the sun shone through the leafless trees, my gaze traveled along the lines in the rough bark, mentally tracing them. My vision turned back to my small house where my mother lived. I began to sprint up the stone steps, my shoes making satisfying thumps. The glass front door suddenly opens, the glare of the sun hitting my eyes before disappearing. My mother stood in the doorway.

"Get inside, Levi! You're going to catch a cold!" I was going to have far more worries than that, soon.

I reached the door, my rosy fingers gingerly touched the freezing glass as I quickly closed the door behind me. The warmth of the house making my fingers numb. Smiling, I smelled the familiar scent of coffee. We're big coffee drinkers, even if it's bad for your teeth. I quickly ran to my room, dropping off my backpack, before rushing back into our grey and white themed kitchen to grab an apple. Walking into the living room munching on my red fruit, I spotted my mother sitting on the khaki couch.

"I have something to tell you at dinner, so don't run off," Mother stated solemnly. My heart felt as if it sunk into my chest, dread running through my system. I nodded, sitting on the couch, finishing my apple as I watched the news blatantly.

After a while, I spoke, "Is the news good? Or bad?"

"Depends on how you take it."

I sighed, she hadn't given me any clues to what the news was, it angered me.

I returned to the kitchen, throwing away the core of my apple, the slightly yellowing inside disappearing into the black trash can. I sauntered into my room, relenting the fact that I had homework. Zipping open my backpack, I swiftly retrieved it. Picking up a pencil from the inside of my desk, I began working.

Sometime later, I finished my homework, shoving the papers inside my bag. With the smell of cooking food, I quickly darted through the hallway into the kitchen, tripping on the floor.

"What's for dinner?" I asked, my nose twitched due to the steam that rose out of a pot on the stove.

"Just simple macaroni and cheese, I'm making it the way you like it, extra cheese and milk," she answered.

"Nice," I smiled, watching as she poured noodles into the pot. I turned away, not particularly interested, turning to the living room. I sat on the couch, jumping at the coolness, and reached my hand down the arm, groping around for the box my electronics reside in. My hand hit it, and I quickly pulled it upwards. I peered inside, box sitting on my lap. Pulling out my DS, IC replaced the box. I mashed the buttons as I attempted to beat a boss that I've been at.

I heard footsteps, "Supper's ready!"

"Coming!" I shut off my game, replacing it. I rushed to the kitchen, stomach growling.

I pulled out a wooden chair from the table, seating myself and watched as she placed a bowl in front of me. I have to wait for it to cool, as not to burn my tongue, but the smell urged me to take a bite. I hungrily lifted a forkful into my mouth, flinching at the burning feeling. I dropped the fork, gingerly chewing the noodles in my mouth, grimacing.

Mother sat down in front of me, smiling, the laughter in her eyes at the sight of my face. I awaited for the news that she was to tell.

Finally, after some forkfuls of the moderately warm noodles, Mother spoke, "So...I was offered a new job," she started, "It's in Michigan."

My thoughts ran wild, "Are you going to take it?"

"Well..." she started, and I knew our fate, "I think I am."

I comically stopped eating halfway to my mouth, "But Michigan is states away. I'll have to move schools..."

"But," Mother interrupted, "We will have a bigger house, and this new school has better academics."

She attempted to continue, but I ran off into my room, shutting the door. It took me so long to get used to the kids here and now we were moving? It took me at least four years before I found my best friend Toby. I was going to have to say goodbye. There would be no more after school football practice or laughing because somebody didn't do their homework. Everything would be different. I'd be the 'new kid' again. This changes everything.

Taking a deep breath, I opened the door, seeing Mother still sitting at the kitchen table, and I sat down, "When?"

She looked at me, "What?"

"When are we moving?" I repeated.

Mother gave me a surprised smile, "I was hoping sometime next month, I've already arranged things."

I took a breath, not enough time. Even if she could give me a year, it would not be enough time. It wouldn't ever be enough time.

"Okay," another breath, "I'll arrange goodbyes."

"Oh! I'm planning to have a going away party, you could invite anyone."

I gave her a sad smile, feelings conflicting inside of me. This was truly sad news, but through the melancholy of leaving home, my mother is letting me have a bittersweet ending. I should feel lucky, as not everyone even gets a bittersweet ending, but I can't feel gratitude. Not right now.

Not everyone beats that boss in their video game.

Minor formatting. Story appears as submitted by the author, unedited.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Talk About Fall

In this week's edition, some of our YA patrons describe what they love best about autumn!

Isiah Sarille
My grandmother and I making pumpkin rolls, chilly weather (and getting warm), dressing up like Harley Quinn for Halloween, watching scary movies (with popcorn).

Sara Boyer
Crunchy leaves, pumpkin everything, Thanksgiving, fall colors.

Braden Unruh
One of the things I like about fall is that, in that time (mostly October), there is one of the four Great Gatherings...as I like to call them. The Gatherings are as follows: Easter, Halloween, my birthday, and Christmas. October is great because Halloween is a time of the year when family gathers to just have fun. Another thing I like about fall is the weather getting colder, and things seeming to slow down.

Hannah Wright
What I like about autumn is that it is not so hot out anymore. And I enjoy being able to see the leaves changing into their many different colors. It's also a time when we can start drinking hot chocolate without worrying about being too hot afterwards. When it rains I can hear the drops landing on the fallen leaves, and I can watch the rain as it falls.

Sarah Stine
There are many things about fall that I enjoy. One is the cooler "sweater weather." Halloween is an overall big part of my love for this season. Two classics about fall include the leaves changing colors and falling from the trees. It's so pretty! One of the final things I love about this time of the year, another classic, is apple cider.

Skyler Stine
The one thing I like about fall is the beautiful trees and the cool weather. Another is that I can be with my friends and play basketball and other sports. I love to scoop pumpkin guts out of the pumpkin. I also love Thanksgiving.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Frankenstein Discussion

Community Book Chat 

5:00 to 5:45 p.m.

If you haven't already (there's still time!), pick up a copy of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein at the Adult Desk. The books are available on a first-come, first-served basis and will be yours to keep, thanks to a grant from the Indiana Humanities! After reading the book, join us for a community discussion guided by Library Director Chris Scandling.

Guest Speaker

6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Kyoko Takanshi, associate professor of English at IUSB, will discuss "What Frankenstein Read: Lessons on Education from Mary Shelley's Classic Novel." Takanshi specializes in 18th and 19th century British literature with a focus on the history of the novel. She has been teaching at IUSB since 2011. The community is invited to hear Takanashi's insights into this interesting topic.


This program is made possible through a Community Read grant from Indiana Humanities. One State / One Story: Frankenstein is an initiative designed by Indiana Humanities in partnership with the Indiana State Library and Indiana Center for the Book.

Monday, October 8, 2018

The Monster Lives

You've finished Mary Shelley's masterpiece in plenty of time for BPL's Community Forum (October 30), now what? Celebrate by checking out the following collection of Frankenstein inspired works -

Hideous Love: The Story of the Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein by Stephanie Hemphill

In this free-verse novel, Hemphill tracks Mary's turbulent young life, including her relationship with poet Percy Shelley and their travels across Europe.

Mary's Monster: Love, Madness, and How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein by Lita Judge

Drawn from Mary's painstaking journals, Judge's book spotlights the circumstances that inspired the unforgettable creature. More than 300 illustrations accompany this selection.

Cadaver and Queen by Alisa Kwitney

When Elizabeth enrolled at Ingold as its first female medical student, she knew she wouldn't have an easy time. From class demands to being an outsider among her male cohorts, she'll have to go above and beyond. So when she stumbles across what appears to be a faulty Bio-Mechanical, she jumps at the chance to fix it and get ahead in the program. Only this Bio-Mechanical isn't like the others. Soon Elizabeth realizes that it's Victor Frankenstein, a former student who died under mysterious circumstances.

Henry Franks by Peter Adam Salomon

While a serial killer stalks his small Georgia town, sixteen-year-old Henry tries to find the truth about the terrible accident that robbed him of his mother and his memories.

Man Made Boy by Jon Skovron

Tired of being sheltered from humans, seventeen-year-old Boy, son of Frankenstein's monster and the Bride of Frankenstein, runs away from home and embarks on a wild road trip that takes him across the country and deep into the heart of America.

Mister Creecher by Chris Priestly

In 1918 London, fifteen-year-old Billy, a pickpocket, meets Mr. Creecher, a monstrous giant. Their relationship turns from convenience to a strong bond as they journey northwards on the trail of Victor Frankenstein.

Spare and Found Parts by Sarah Maria Griffin

Nell Crane has never held a boy's hand. In a city devastated by an epidemic, where survivors are all missing parts, Nell has always been an outsider. Her father is the famed scientist who created the biomechanical limbs that everyone now uses. But she's the only one with her machinery on the inside: her heart.

Teen Frankenstein by Chandler Baker

When science prodigy Tor Frankenstein accidentally kills a teen boy in a midnight car accident, there's only one thing for her to do: use her science project to bring him back to life.

This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel

When his twin brother falls ill in the family's chateau, sixteen-year-old Victor Frankenstein embarks on a dangerous and uncertain quest to create the forbidden Elixir of Life.

Strange Star by Emma Carroll

Told primarily by servant Felix, Lord Byron and friends gather to tell ghost stories on a stormy night in 1816 Switzerland. Then, a young girl arrives with her own dark and dangerous tale.

This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee

When a talented mechanic in 1818 Geneva brings his brother back from the dead using clockwork parts, the citizens think they may have inspired the recently published novel Frankenstein.

Gris Grimly's Frankenstein by Gris Grimly

Retells, in graphic novel format, Mary Shelley's classic tale of a monster who develops a mind of his own, learns to loathe himself, and hate his creator.