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Extra-Curricular

by Tomas - 0 Comment(s)

Beyond the the lessons offered in the classroom, the complex social world of school is a rite of passage for many. Everyone's experience is different, and can range from affirming to harrowing. Luckily, there is bound to be a book or a movie that will speak to your experience. Whether you are just starting a new school, a seasoned veteran or just reminiscing, these materials may add further nuance, or comfort, to your experience.

Fatty LegsFatty Legs, a true story, is one of a growing number of books that shed light on the traumatic impact of the Residential School System in Canada. Set in the 1940s, in an Inuvialuit community in the Arctic Circle, Fatty Legs tells the story of Margaret, a young girl who desperately wishes to attend one of the church-run schools that had been established in a town. Her enthusiasm for learning is soon matched with a need to survive, as she struggles to maintain her identity within a system designed to destroy it.

Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time IndianThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is indeed based on author Sherman Alexie's childhood experiences. The story follows Junior, who after an explosive encounter with one of his teachers, leaves his school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend the nearby all-white farm town highschool. Equal parts humour and heartbreak mingle in this story, along with the two worlds that Junior occupies.

Chocolate WarA classic YA story, before such a category even existed, The Chocolate War definitely falls within the harrowing category. Through the simple act of refusing to take part in the annual chocolate sale, Jerry Renault unexpectedly throws the entire system of the Trinity Catholic Boys School into chaos, and pits him against both the local student mafia and instructors, who maintain and depend upon this system.

SmileDramaThese two graphic novels by Raina Telgemeier present two coming-of-age stories that are sure to resonate with anyone who has ever been in middle school. After a traumatic visit to the dentist, resulting in a horrifying combination of corrective surgery, headgear and retainers, eleven-year old Raina struggles to lead a 'normal' school existence. Drama follows the theatrics on and off the stage as our hero Carrie takes part in her school's production of Moon Over Mississippi.

Deathly HallowsHarry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsReally, what more needs to be said now about the Boy Who Lived... and also managed to graduate from the most famous school of Witchcraft and Wizardry?

Freaks and GeeksIn my humble opinion one of the best depictions of school life, Freaks and Geeks also launched the careers of several cast members (James Franco, anyone?) and its creator, Judd Apatow.

Napoleon DynamiteGentlemen BroncosWith Napoleon Dynamite and Gentlemen Broncos, Director Jared Hess offers two decidely quirky takes on the social order of school, of both the home and institutional variety.

In addition to these Fictional stories, the Calgary Public Library also has a great selection of non-fiction titles that can help you navigate the sometimes arcane and confusing rituals of the educational system.

Drama YearsSurvive Middle SchoolMajor in Highschool97 things to do before you finish highschoolHighschool hazingWhere should i sit at lunch?

Of course, this barely scratches the surface of what is out there, so let us know what titles you would recommend!

Teen Mags: The Young Wanderer

by Emily - 1 Comment(s)

Over the next little while I'll be blogging about magazines where teens can get their creative work published. If you're a writer, or an artist, these magazines can be a great place to start showcasing your work to others. When you're starting out, getting magazine publications shows that you're serious about being a writer. Unfortunately, most magazines publish work by writers who have a bit more experience and have been writing for a fairly long time. This is why teen magazines are an awesome place to send out your writing, because they only publish work from teens, and are often run by teens too.

For this post I want to introduce you to The Young Wanderer. The Young Wanderer is "a student-led online magazine based in Alberta with the aim of showcasing the thoughts and perspectives of high school students across Canada." They accept submissions for the six topics they cover on their site: Business, Culture, Politics, Sciences, Sports and Arts. They publish fiction, non-fiction essays, photography and visual art.Teen Writing

I know when I'm picking places to send my work I often have to be a bit more suspicious of online journals that I haven't heard of before, because you don't want to send your work out just anywhere. One of the things I do is read the work they've published, and look at the design of the page. The Young Wanderer has lots of great writing aleady up, and the website is really well designed, so it's definitely a trustworthy place to send your work. You should check it out for yourself so you can read some of the writing that's already been chosen. This will help you figure out if your work is ready to be sent to them.

Volunteering for a magazine is also a great experience for a young writer. I noticed on the The Young Wanderer's website that they say they are constantly expanding their editorial committee. This means they'd probably be happy to have some more volunteers, so you might want to ask them about that through their contact form on the website. Volunteering for a teen magazine would look really great on your writer's resume! If they are interested in having you volunteer for them make sure you take your job seriously, nothing frustrates editors more than volunteers who sign up to help out and then suddenly disappear.

Are you interested in sending your work out, but you don't have very much written yet? That's ok! Use the idea of submitting to magazines as an inspiration to get you writing and stay tuned for my other posts on magazines you might want to check out!

Teen Review: The Art of Racing in the Rain

by Courtney N - 1 Comment(s)

Art of Racing in the Rain

Book Review: The Art of Racing in the Rain
By Garth Stein
Book Review by Cindy Z

The Art of Racing in the Rain had intensely captivated me within the first five pages of the novel. Under the perspective of a dog with a complex mind, we experience his souls which dealt with distress, loss, and affection. Stein has unconditionally developed an immense suspense; within the book, the reader will develop fondness for the dog and without doubt, tear up with a surge of sympathy and compassion. His life is a race, a life packed with life lessons to become a champion to complete a race; it emphasizes on the ability to overcome the deadliest obstacles. We observe the resilient dog’s soul travelling through our world taking say in what humanity is incapable of. You wouldn’t stop reading until you’ve reached the very last page; overwhelmed with the new atmosphere Stein has created, allowing us to accept a new interpretation of the world.

Over the moon?

by Tomas - 1 Comment(s)

Maggot Moon

The 45th anniversary of the moon landing came and went recently, but you can be forgiven if you missed it. Here on Earth, there’s been no shortage of tragedy and conflict that overshadowed this anniversary. Of course, 45 years ago, the story wasn’t so different, and the moon landing was deeply wrapped up in it.

In the 1950s scientific research that was developed for military purposes was put towards the goal of space exploration, primarily by the two Super Powers that emerged following the Second World War. From the launch of Sputnik to President Kennedy’s promise to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade, the ‘space race’ was another field of competition in the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Maggot Moon, by Sally Gardner, is set in a fictional country much like this one, but with a twist. The world that 15 year-old Standish Treadwell lives in exists as a ‘what if’ scenario… a bleak totalitarian world that resembles what might have been had the outcome of the war gone a slightly different path.

Standish is caught up on the machinations of the totalitarian ‘Motherland’ whose ambitions to reach the moon are pursued at the expense of its citizens. In the book, the moon landing is similarly a symbolic accomplishment for the government, a demonstration of its technological and military prowess. As an escape Standish and his only friend Hector fantasize about launching their own rocket. Bypassing the moon altogether, they set their sights on “Juniper”, an imaginary planet which embodies their desire to transcend the terror of their world, in favour of a new one full of possibility and hope.

http://www.maggotmoon.com/

Maggot Moon

Teen List: The Top 10 Things to do in Calgary

by Courtney N - 0 Comment(s)

yyc summer

Avanti sent us her top ten things to do in and around Calgary this summer:

1. Sleep - No alarms, no schedules, just time to sleep!
2. Hike - Take weekend trips to Banff and Jasper to enjoy the great outdoors.
3. Boat - Rent a boat and spend a fun-filled day at the lake!
4. The Calgary Stampede - Enjoy the greatest outdoor show on Earth!
5. Festivals - Check out the scene with Globalfest, Expo Latino and Tastes of Calgary, to name a few.
6. Calaway Park - Roller coaster, anyone?
7. Calgary Zoo - “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!”
8. Farmers Markets - The food looks AMAZING!
9. Drumheller - Badlands, hoodoos and dinosaurs: a great combination!
10. Spruce Meadows - Lots of cool tournaments to watch!