Author Archive

Mom, Daughter Team Up for Teen Tale

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Popular adult realistic fiction author Jodi Picoult was on book tour in Los Angeles when her telephone rang. It was her daughter, Samantha, who said, “I think I have a pretty good idea for a book.”

The resulting collaboration, Between the Lines: A Novel, is a happily-ever-after fairy tale retold for teens. Similar to Picoult’s adult novels, this story is told in chapters alternating between book character Prince Oliver and loner, 15-year-old Delilah. According to Picoult’s website, daughter Samantha asked her mom these questions:

What if the characters in a book had lives of their own, after the cover was closed? What if the act of reading was just these characters performing a play, over and over… but those characters still had dreams, hopes, wishes, and aspirations beyond the roles they acted out on a daily basis for the reader? And what if one of those characters desperately wanted get out of his book?

Better yet, what if one of his readers fell in love with him, and decided to help?

“Mom,” Sammy said, as I languished in Los Angeles traffic. “What if we wrote the book together?”

“Okay,” I told her, “but that means we’re writing it. Not me.”

If you’re a fan of fairy tales retold, check out this booklist of other modern retellings.

Here are some reviews of this new book by Jodi Picoult and her daughter, Samantha Van Leer.


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2013 Teen Poetry Contest Winners

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

2013 Teen Poetry ContestWord Wise, KDL’s annual teen poetry contest, celebrated its tenth year and it once again was a huge success thanks to all the great teen poets out there. This year, nearly 200 poems were submitted. Library staff reviewed the poems and narrowed down the entries, submitting them to Grand Rapids Poet Laureate, David Cope, for final analysis. Ten winners were chosen and a PDF of the winning poems is available for your reading pleasure.

Congratulations to the winning poets!

A Day’s Worth of Broken Haiku by Alex Courtade

A Ghazal in a Shadow by Alistair Poole

The Script of the Lost by Stephanie Sutherland

Unseen Actors by Karina Bursch

Stars by Makenzie Hutchings

Opening the Worn Cigar Box in the Basement by Hannah Fleming

The Perfect Kiss by Emily Anderson

That Sweet Aroma by Kate Ruehrdanz

The Broken Poet by Paige Jackson

Watching the Stars by Bethany Garvon


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Volunteer Your Way into a Job!

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

School’s almost finished and the promise of summer is in the air. You sure could use a job to pay for all those fun things that require money — movies, fast food, new clothes, a trip to the water park. But you have to take your place behind all those adults and college kids in the employment line. They have previous work experience — how do you get that when no one will hire you?

Volunteer — it’s a great way to get experience in a field you think you might be interested in. Volunteering gets you in the door when a company cannot afford to hire anyone else, but has plenty of work that needs to be done. You get to learn new skills, make valuable community contacts, and get a taste of something you might want to do for a career. Time spent volunteering looks good on a job application. Volunteering hours send a positive message to potential employers. It shows that you possess a strong work ethic. Volunteer hours also look good on college scholarship applications. The possibility of saving money on college tuition is a strong incentive to volunteer.

Your local library is a wonderful place to volunteer. Each summer, teens ages 11 and up can join the Teen Crew to lend a helping hand with the Summer Reading Club. Stop by your library and pick up an application today.

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