Each year Solano County Library celebrates Teen Tech Week as a way to support the work of young people as they explore, create and share their talents. The Digital Photo Contest is an opportunity for teens to express themselves in our digital world and be recognized for their creativity.
We'd like to thank all the contestants for participating this year for bringing art into the library. Your photos were full of talent, color, and emotion. We hope you all continue to practice your art.
A special congratulations goes to Anna Risse for winning the Grand Prize for her photo piece "The Sword" and congratulations to all the winners who will be displayed in our libraries.
Winner for Best Animal Photo
Winner for Best Architecture Photo
Winner for Best Culture/Heritage Photo
Winner for Best Events Photo
Winner for Best Fantasy Photo
Winner for Best Landscape Photo
Winner for Best Miscellaneous Photo
Winner for Best Nature Photo
Winner for Best Passion Photo
Winner for Best Special Effects Photo
"The Sword" by Anna Risse, Grand Prize Winning Photo of the 2017 Teen Tech Week Photo Contest
Did you get to meet our local authors last weekend at the Suisun City Library? Adelle Yeung (The Cycle of Six Moons), Jess Flower (RedBird), and book blogger Jesalin Belk (Blogging Everything Beautiful) shared their experiences writing for teens. If you’d like to listen to a recording of the event, we have it here.
Want to be a famous teen photographer? Submit your best photos to the Teen Photography Contest 2017.
Submit to TeenTechSolano@gmail.com or on Instagram use #TeenTechSolano2017. Contest runs January 1-February 20.
During Teen Tech Week, March 5-11, 10 winning photos will be featured on the Solano County Library homepage and elsewhere in the community. Entries will be posted to the library’s Facebook and Instagram account.
Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Teen Bookface Contest! This year’s winners are Wesley Gerlach, Jesse Sanchez, Dominic Johnson, Trinitey Benjamin and Kailer Ujiiye. They will each receive a Peet’s Coffee and Tea gift card. Thank you again to all who participated!
by Wesley Gerlach
by Jesse Sanchez
by Dominic Johnson
by Trinity Benjamin
by Kailer Ujiiye
If you like multi-generational family sagas, that take place in rural Georgia, check out Bull Mountain by Brian Panowich. This novel begins in 1949 with the sudden murder of Rye Burroughs by his own brother. Fast forward to 2012 and meth labs hidden in the valleys and gun-running from Florida with plot twists galore, then you'll have a good idea of the story described in Bull Mountain, Panowich's first novel. This is a violent story, well-written and engaging. Give it a try; I don't think you'll be disappointed.
Reviewed by Annabella R.
“The White Rabbit Chronicles” by Gena Showalter consists of a protagonist by the name of Alice Bell. Her father believes in the existence of mysterious creatures that lurk in the night, and Alice has never believed in this until her family’s death in a fateful car crash. Soon after, she is involved in a group that attempt to set out and keep the creatures from harming any innocents.
I really enjoyed the plot and how the story was written. The plot gave a darker, more modern twist to the childhood story, Alice in Wonderland. With zombies, action, plot twists, and the entertaining narration by the protagonist, The White Rabbit Chronicles is a very enjoyable read.
This review was written by Jun from Cordelia
The Imitation Game was a wonderful movie because it taught the viewer about breaking Enigma. Alan Turning, a genius in Britain, creates an intricate machine that overall takes down Germany and saves millions of lives. To improve the movie, the producers could have developed the main female character in more detail. Overall, The Imitation Game earns 4.5 stars out of 5. The movie was clever, interesting, and a success!
Review of The Imitation Game
By Laura W.
Thank you to all the teens who participated in this year’s Teen Summer Challenge. You dared yourselves to do new, exciting things and we hope you had fun along the way! Don’t forget to check out your local library branch and see what teen events are going on during the school year. Congratulations to the following teens who are the grand prize winners of the iPad minis:
Fairfield/Suisun - Jacques Singleton
Rio Vista - Anthony Rickets
Vacaville - Daniel Crist
Vallejo - Amrit Aulakh
Materials: alluminum can
By: Annika (Fairfield teen)
materials: buttons, cardboard boxes, craft paper, craft sticks, packing tape, pipe cleaners
By: Audrey (Fairfield teen)
The main character is Tiana who's loving sweet and kind and enthusiastic. The movie was heart warming accomplishing and persuading.It's heart warming because Tiana and her mom were very strong even though her dad died when she was little. Accomplishing because it shows the audience Tiana accomplishing her fathers dreams of his very own restaurant. And it persuading because it shows Tiana completing her goals at the end of the movie .I would definently recommend this movie to a family member or friend because it's a movie made for everyone and the would really love it. And I love this movie because of the songs characters and plot
Solano Library's 2015 Teen Summer Challenge has seen more creative teens daring themselves to do advanced projects.
Anika, Fairfield teen, sporting her repurposed a tshirt.
Springstowne teen pictured with her robot sculpture made from recycled items.
Jazz trio Finding the Moon shares their music during a teen event at the Vacaville Cultural Center Library.
Cordelia teen Eli G. (pictured in mid air) dared himself in the teen summer challenge to jump from new heights.
Avi K. making savory, cornbread muffins with red pepper and onion for the Teen Summer Challenge. Yummy side dish.
Compare alcohol to water. Water hydrates you and nothing else, in fact, it’s rather boring. Alcohol , on the other hand, usually leaves you drunk, emotionally unstable, without sense, and addicted. This movie is a double shot of Russian Vodka. It is set in Britain in WW11 and explores the lonely childhood of Alan Turing, the man who cracked Enigma, and his lonelier adulthood as a genius. Unlike machines, he never understood how people functioned, was a bit of a jerk because of it, but was also a homosexual man in a time when homosexuality was a criminal offense in Britain. Lonely? One would think. This movie is a captivating experience, travelling back through Turing’s past in a series of flashbacks as the movie goes on. Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch create an astounding atmosphere as they delve deep into the tragic story of a wronged man who never understood people, and a brave woman who helped him learn. I do not recommend this movie to any without a certain level of maturity.
~~“All Book Zone” by Fabian, Angel and Michael
To the tune of “No Flex Zone” by Rae Sremmurd
All Books Zone, all books zone
Read the Rhythm, read the rhythm
All Books Zone, all books zone
Read the Rhythm, read the rhythm
I read a good book, it made life better
I treat these books special, every body's jealous
Free books, got several, they tens or better
I'm a trendsetter, I'm a go-getter!
Young kids got to read books
Dumb kids giving me funny looks
In the library gotta stay quiet
If it's a book, don't gotta buy it
She said, "why you have so many books with you?"
I said, "I'm a reader to the honest with you"
Mind you, my crew right behind me
Went shopping, coulda bought Treasure Island
I read books cuz I'm a reader
They kids follow me like I'm a leader
Read a book, it's story time
All these books better rhyme
Reading a book is not a crime
I'm going to read every word and every line
These books are not to mess with, never messy
Three books I am reading, real loud, its acapella
Awesome like heavy metal
Teen Summer Challenge dares, god bless 'em
The last Teen Writing Club prompt was "Monday's never go well;" member Angel B. wrote this rap. Teen Writing Club meets every month at the Fairfield Cordelia Library, EXCEPT this April. Instead, all teens are encouraged to attend the Teen Poetry-Writing Workshop at the Vacaville Cultural Center Library on April 16 at 7pm.
Monday’s never go well
I’m so hungry can anybody tell
I think I’m gonna go to taco bell
The weather today is hot as hell
My grades fell, my math test was a fail
Oh well, today is still a great day
Today was my payday,
Honestly every day is a great day
So make a worst day, into your best day
Enjoy the nice weather in the bay
Let your friends and family know you love them all day
Keep moving forward like a highway
Keep doing everything your way
I hope love will stay
And everything will be OK
Swaying in the wind
Growing, living, changing
Green and beautiful
The Fault in Our Stars
The movie, tells the amazing story of Hazel Grace and Augustus (Gus) Waters. Despite the fact that they both have cancer, the two teenagers find a road to happiness with their friendship. Overall this will have you laughing and crying all in the same scene! I would give this movie 9 out of 10 stars for its brilliance!
The Maze Runner
by James Dashner
The Maze Runner by James Dashner is an amazing novel that keeps you reading with cliff-hangers and adventure. The main characters, Teresa and Thomas, play a huge role in the breathtaking novel. Overall The Maze Runner is spectacular in many different ways and keeps readers asking for more!
The movie was about a doll that had a demonic curse and in the beginning of the film the doll wrote ‘did you miss me?’ on the wall. Later the woman saw dead people hanging from trees and in the house, so she set up camera’s to catch the killer, the conjurer.
The Red Pyramid is a fantasy/sci-fi book written by Rick Riordan.
This book circles around the story of Carter and Sadie Kane; two young kids who also act as an embodiment for power Egyptian gods. The story is told from both Sadie and Carter’s viewpoint and is well written as well as heart pounding. This book captures the mind so much that you almost feel as if you are in the book yourself. Riordan’s stunning book is one of my favorites now and if anyone read and like the Percy Jackson series I strongly suggest they read the Kane Chronicles as well.
1.) Question: what is the main purpose of being a librarian?
answer: to help people find information and homework help.
2.) Question: why you pick this profession?
answer: she really felt like the library is being a part of the community.
3.) Question: how did you get this job?
answer: she applied for it.
4.) Question: where did you start?
answer: she started shelving books.
5.) Question: do you like your job?
answer: she loves it.
6.) Question: why do you like your job?
Answer: she has a lot of fun.
7.) Question: how do you know where certain books are?
Answer: the Dewey Decimal system
8.) Question: why is the job hard?
answer there are challenges
9.) Question: how long have you been at this?
Answer: ten years
10.) Question: if you didn't pick this profession what other job would have picked?
Answer: services for teens
11.)Question: what are the challenges?
Answers: letting people know about the library
As I walk I turn my head side to side looking at all the houses,
buildings, cars, and buses they are dull and grey,
but when I look up all I see is pretty colors blue rainbows all over and the yellow sun.
I can see the differences between my world and up and sometimes I wish I was part of the sky.
Book Review Written By:
Love Letters to the Dead
By Ava Dellaira, 2014
Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Love Letters to the Dead, written by Ava Dellaira, is about a girl named Laurel who is writing letters to people who have died such as Amelia Earhart, River Phoenix, and many more. It starts off as an English assignment but grows into much more than that. She writes about what’s happening in her life such as how to be brave, her new friends, and falling in love; all while mourning over her sister’s death. As she writes these letters, she learns to be more open to others rather than shutting people out. Laurel discovers herself.
I found Love Letters to the Dead very poetic. It was filled with lines and phrases that a teenage girl would put on her bedroom wall (for the record, that is actually what I did). It was also filled with characters that were both lively and colorful. It has lots of emotion so when the main character mourns, you mourn. Some parts were so strong that I personally gasped at what happened. It wasn’t like one of those classic happy-ending fairy tales. This book touches your heart.
At times, Love Letters to the Dead was boring. In the beginning, it is kind of slow but it soon picks up speed. There is also quite a lot of suspense because Laurel never reveals how May died until the end. Every time she does, she cuts herself off. The only time that she fully talks about it is towards the end. There are a lot of secrets in this book. I also found it rather hard to keep track of all the characters because there are so many and sometimes they have nicknames. For instance, one character named Sky was called Sky all throughout the book up until the end when his mother said Skylar. It confuses you enough to think, “Wait, who is she talking about again?”
This book reminded me a lot of another book called The Perks of Being a Wallflower. In both books, it is narrated by a character that is a freshman at a new school and is going through something that scarred them for life. If you like that book, I would recommend this book because they are very similar to each other.
I would recommend this book to anyone in 8th grade and above because there are quite some intense scenes and also some dirty scenes. There is also some cuss words involved. Overall I think that this book is a book that you would read once, but not twice. But don’t just take my word for it! Rent Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira at any Solano County library and read it yourself.
Book Review Written By:
By Marissa Meyer, 2013
Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Fantasy
In this retelling of the classic Cinderella, Linh Cinder is a cyborg, which means that she is a mix of both human and robot. Set in the future and in New Beijing, Cinder works as a mechanic with an unknown past. One day, Prince Kai, heir to the throne, asks her to fix his android. From that moment on, everything changes for her. She falls in love; she becomes wanted (and in some cases) needed by others for both good and bad reasons; she discovers her own well-hidden secrets. Cinder has something that others want, something others would kill for.
I loved Cinder! At first I thought I wouldn’t like it because it was science fiction, but I loved it! Cinderella is a cyborg? Isn’t that intriguing enough? It was filled with villains that make you just want to stick your hand in the book and personally strangle them. The characters are very well developed. Many are funny and lovable. There are so many plot twists and action so it will never bore you. Some parts left me gasping and wanting more (especially the end). The romance is sweet. It wasn’t sappy and so many parts make you say, “Just kiss already!” Cinder was very interesting and engaging.
There were only a few things I didn’t like about Cinder. At first, I felt that there were too many female characters so it was sort of hard to keep track of all of them. However, you quickly get the hang of it. The second thing I didn’t like about it was that it was some parts were predictable. Yes, there were many plot twists but some of those twists you saw coming a mile away.
Cinder actually reminds me a lot of Divergent by Veronica Roth. Both had independent, feisty heroines as their main characters. In both, the villain was another female who manipulated others so they could take over their regions. There are actually many similarities. If you liked that book, definitely read this book.
I recommend Cinder to anyone twelve and up. Even as an adult, you may even like this book also. This is a book that I would definitely read again… and again. I give this book nine and a half stars out of ten. Check Cinder by Marissa Meyer out at any of the Solano County Library branches and then review it yourself!
Book Review Written by:
By Becca Fitzpatrick, 2009
Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery, Romance
When Nora Grey gets paired up with the mysterious transfer student, Patch, she already knows that not everything is right with him. He somehow knows a lot about Nora, but tends to change the subject when it comes to him. After several mysterious encounters, Nora becomes terrified. She constantly feels a shadow behind her, like someone is following her, like someone is out to kill her. Who can she trust? What’s with Patch? And why is she so attracted to him? As Nora and Patch’s lives become intertwined, things become complicated, secretive, and very dangerous.
I always heard a lot of good things about Hush, Hush so when I finally caved in and read it, I was not disappointed. I didn’t know why I waited so long. From the moment I opened up the book, I couldn’t put it down. There is a lot of suspense and action. Patch isn’t the typical hero. He is mysterious, smooth, and can I say quite charming. You will fall in love with him, just as Nora did. The book is fast-paced and quite unsettling. If the action and suspense doesn’t keep you gripping to your seat, then Nora and Patch’s romance itself could keep you reading the book. Already from the start you can tell that they were bound to be together. The characters were so well developed that you can predict some of the character’s actions already. Hush, Hush is an unstoppable page-turner.
There was almost nothing that I didn’t like about Hush, Hush except for the fact that it was too short. Becca Fitzpatrick ends Hush, Hush making you want more.
When I was reading Hush, Hush, the plot reminded me of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I can already see you, sighing to yourself and already not wanting to read Hush, Hush just because I compared it to Twilight. Yes, Twilight is known for it’s horribleness and bad actors, but let me remind you- THAT’S THE MOVIE. Don’t judge a book by its movie. When I compare Hush, Hush to Twilight, I am hoping that you don’t take this in a negative tone. I just believe that the plots are rather similar because instead of vampires and werewolves you have fallen Angels. I still believe that this book is a must-read for everyone.
I recommend Hush, Hush to all young adults thirteen and up. There are a couple dirty scenes. This is a book that I will be reading over and over again, and each time this book will grip me as much as the last time. Like I said before, Hush, Hush is a must-read for everyone.
Book recommendations by Justin M.
Title/Author: The Popularity Papers. The Rocky Road Trip / Amy Ignatow
Recommendation: I would recommend it to people who have traveled around the world.
Title/Author: Middle School. My Brother is a big fat liar/ James Patterson
Recommendation: I would recommend it to people who have annoying big brothers in their life.
Title/Author: Dork Diaries #8/ Rachel Renee Russell
Recommendation: Everybody should read this book it’s filled with drama.
Title/Author: You care too. Favorite poems for all ages/ Robert Frost
Recommendation: It relaxes you, they tell you something meaningful.
Title/Author: The Bill Martin Big Book of Poetry/ Eric Carte
Recommendation: It relaxes you and is filled with fun nursery rhymes.
Title/Author: Middle School. Ultimate showdown/ James Patterson
Recommendation: You can write in it and it is a fun book to read.
Title/Author: The Red Pyramid/ Rick Riordan
Recommendation: If you’re a fun person get it, it’s good if you like mysteries
Title/Author: I even funnier/ JAmes Patterson
Recommendation: It is really funny
Book recommendation by Elijah M.
Title/Author: Underwater welder/ Jeff Lemire
Recommendation: It was great and and a happy ending
Title/Author: What is it/ Lynda Barry
Recommendation: I didn’t like it too much because it creeped me out.
Title/Author: Cat Warrior
Recommendation: I didn’t like it because it was boring and had boring bad cat characters.
Title/Author: Wolverine/ Carry Hama
Recommendation: It’s a great book because its wolverine.
The sky is red, the sun is black, I’m riding a rollercoaster but my mind is off track. There are lots of ups and downs, smiles and frowns, even kings placing crowns on the heads of clowns. But I really don’t care, life isn’t fair, god has given me a life I can hardly bear, but still, to ruin my life I do not dare.
Everyday I ask him, why can’t you share? My life is going, I just don’t know where, because a life like mine is kind of rare. What do I do, while there’s love in the air? Other people kiss while I just sit and stare, I look to my left and there’s nobody there, I look to my right and there’s a pair, people look at me funny, like there’s sand in my hair.
The clouds are red, the rain is black, I may have left but I’ll never be back, but what I can say is, there’s nothing I lack, my life already sucks, please cut me some slack. I look at the trees, I look at the sky, but what is the point when I just want to die? Why? Why do I try? When every time I fail all I do is cry. And how can I be calm when I’m jealous of every guy?
My heart is grounded, while my mind wants to fly, you can guess by what I write that I’m also kind of shy, why do I need them? All they do is lie. I try to be nice, but they just punch me in the eye, and when I’m upset, all they do is pry, my mind is plain, but seasoned, like a French fry.
The clouds are blue, the sky is white, my mind is racing faster than the speed of light, my life just gets worse, but I still have to fight, why am I like this? It’s just not right. Life is taller than me, I’m not it’s height, I fly through the sky, but still held to the ground, just like a kite, and why are people scared when they know I don’t bite?
You can tell me whole life, just by what I write, I sleep during the day, and fly through the night, and I’m pushing a boulder, with all my might. But I’m getting nowhere, my hands are bare; I love the dark, so give me a scare, I lost my mind and my soul, they were a pair.
Sometimes I just sit, just sit and think, think that I can’t end up in the brink, my mind is empty and cold, like a skating rink, I don’t care if people say I stink, because I already know that I’m their main link, I have a cup, but nothing to drink, and once it’s over, just like a ship my heart will sink, my mind wants to grow, while my heart wants to shrink.
The water is black, the sun is red, you can’t kill something that’s already dead, I jump off the bridge, I take the dive, you can’t kill something that was never alive. I’m steering my life, but I don’t know how to drive, everything gets quiet when I arrive.
I can’t think, because there’s nothing in my head, people call me a coward, just because I fled, what do I eat? Nothing but bread, other people feed, while I’m being fed.
Sometimes I cry, when I go to bed, I already know, that my heart you will shred. There’s nothing in my life, but the tears I shed, my heart is weighing me down, like it’s made of lead, I’m stuck in the past, like my name is Fred, what’s on my mind? Horror and dread, other people laughed while I sat and bled.
I don’t look around, I’m scared of what I will find, I see life in front of me, but I think I’m going blind, I fell in a trap, and now I’m stuck in a bind, and still nobody yet noticed that I’m going out of my mind. It’s been a while, since my contract was signed, and now my soul is black, my body already shined, why do people laugh? All I do is be kind, I already died, my heart flat lined.
The trees are black, the snow is red, don’t lie on me, because that’s not what I said. My mind keeps turning, my heart is burning, I keep making mistakes, so I don’t think I’m learning, my life is soft like butter, and god is churning. How can I be happy when misery keeps occurring? My life is mixed up, and I am stirring. I live in a shack, I peek through the crack, and when I look outside, all I see is black.
Thank you to everyone who particpated in this year's Teen Tech Week Photo Contest.
See the winners of 2017.
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