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Teen Summer Reading 2014



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Teen Space Event

Art-Attack is an event that occurs every Monday in the teen space at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library. This event host crafting opportunities and everyone from the ages of 13 to 19 can join in.

I attended the event yesterday and it was very interesting. The craft for that day was to cut out pictures from magazines and stick googly-eyes onto them. Some people even made their own cards. Puns were added and a multitude of the famous celebrity faces sat staring around in every direction from there new wobbling and jiggling eyes. They were amusing. The event was very goofy, but in a good way. I am rather interested and wondering what next weeks Art-Attack craft will be. Hopefully next week more people will come and bask in the glory of arts and craft; lets give everyone an art-attack!


Earn the Express Yourself Badge

Express Yourself Badge

Do you know about the Express Yourself badge? You can obtain it within the Teen Summer Reading program. This badge is obtained by writing a book review, short story, novella, group of poems, fan fiction, personal essay or article. Then log in to your Teen Summer Reading account and write about what you wrote for this badge, it's easy! The writings that you do can be posted on any website as long as you send a link within your description of what you wrote. I wrote a book review and posted it on here to get the badge. Writing isn't hard, so lets go out there and earn the Express Yourself Badge, yeah!


Filmfest DC Presents Summer Series at THEARC Theater

Who doesn't love free movies?

Going to the movies is a typical summer pastime. However, with ticket prices nowadays, going to the movies can put quite a dent in your wallet.

Fortunately, this weekend Filmfest DC will be presenting a brief series of film festival favorites FREE of charge. This great opportunity spans from July 11th to the 12th, and also includes the 14th as well. Here's a  list of the movies that will be playing:

Marley (2012)

Friday, July 11th at 7:00pm

Marley is a documentary-biographical film exploring the life and times of the renown reggae musician Bob Marley. Featuring outstanding performances, insightful interviews, and raw footage, this film unearths the intimate details of Marley's personal life and music career.

Belle (2013)

Saturday, July 12th at 7:00pm

Belle is a British drama film inspired by the 1779 painting depicting Dido Elizabeth Belle standing next to her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray. As the illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Captain in the Royal Navy, Dido Belle is raised as an aristocrat. However, her unique social standing brings upon strife, and yet manages to aid in the abolishment of slavery coming to fruition in England.

Ernest & Celestine (2012)

Monday, July 14th at 10:00am

Ernest & Celestine is a French-Belgian animated film that illustrates a world where a civilization of mice live and work beneath the streets of the bears that live above ground. Though most mice are terrified, a young mouse named Celestine, a free-spirited artist, ventures to the outside world and forms a peculiar friendship with a bear named Ernest. However, not everyone approves of their friendship--above or below ground.

All of these films will be shown at the THEARC Theater, which is located at 1901 Mississippi Ave SE. Admission is free, but seats are limited.

Anacostia Arts Center Poetry Slam

Come Out and Support Your Local Youth Poets!

What is a better way to spend your Thursday evening than listening to an array of dynamic youth spitting poetry? Nada.

Today at the Anacostia Arts Center (located at 1231 Good Hope Rd SE) from 6:30pm to 9:00pm, the DC Youth Slam Team will be hosting a free poetry slam open for all teens in the DMV to participate. If you're interested in participating check out the DC Youth Slam Team Facebook page for more details. Or if you're not the performing type, this is a free show, so come out and show your support for these young poets. You won't be disappointed; personally, I've attended a few of these poetry slams, and trust me, these youth are talented. Never have I heard such powerful spoken word emanating from such young minds. 

Did I mention it's free? I promise you, you will not be disappointed.

Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black (multiple authors)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars 

To start off this book contained 12 different short stories about either zombies or unicorns (I’m not going to go into detail for each story). This book came about as a result of a heated debate regarding whether zombies are better than unicorns. A group of friends from the debate banded together and each wrote a story themed around zombies or unicorns. The concept of comparing the dead and decaying zombie to the the pure girlish unicorn was immensely amusing to me, complete opposites butting heads! First off I would like to say I vote team zombie unicorn because zombies are grossly awesome and unicorns are sparkly awesome, so...yea. 

Anyway, I feel that most of the zombie stories were better than the unicorn stories. While the zombie stories included intense situations where the main characters were face-to-face against the dangers of the cannibalistic undead many of the unicorn stories stuck with basing their stories on the paucity and fantastical pomp of the unicorn. It can be noted that the writers of some of the unicorn stories simply forced something dark into their stories to try and make them more interesting, I cannot deny that it kinda worked, kinda. I must say, this was rather disappointing but there were a few that did stand out. In the story “The Third Virgin” by Kathleen Duey, a unicorn searches for a virgin to kill him, for he is an addict; healing people but in actuality taking more years of their lives. A dark story, but I like it, maybe because I don’t like the fluffy “fru-fruness” of unicorns. But seriously most of the unicorn stories were not the best, they were just okay.

In my opinion the best stories are the zombie stories. Most of these stories were full of drama and suspense leaving you at the edge of your seat. In “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Alaya Dawn Johnson, Grayson a teenager infected with a zombie disease, that basically made him a zombie (but without the whole decaying thing), faces danger after meeting the guy of his dreams and finding out that his father is hunting for him. This was by far my favorite one throughout the whole book. It starred a guy on guy relationship which is extremely rare in your average run of the mill YA books (also I think I have a thing for forbidden love stories) and it also had an original ilk on zombies. This story was quite relevant to teenage readers. “Princess Prettypants” by Meg Cabot was most relevant story to teenage readers. This story was about a teenage girl who got a unicorn and reacted how most teenagers probably would: “Ew I don’t want this extremely girly ‘omg’ rainbow farting horse with a stick in its head.” It displays how a person of this age range might feel for another, believing they are in love, but with the twist of cannibalism and being chased by a government agent. The story kept you wondering if the main character would give into his desires and eat his beloved or be captured by his father, very dramatic.

The book was bit flawed in that half of the stories were not that good (lacking in the department of interest) and most of those stories--mainly  the unicorn-themed ones made me feel that the fight between zombies and unicorns was a bit one sided. However, on the brightside the other stories were worth reading the book. So pick your team, raise your deteriorating fist or flashy horn , and dive into the anthology of Zombies vs. Unicorns. This book was a good read, allowing readers to be able to experience the themes from different perspectives by different authors and in many different styles.  If you enjoy a mix of dark stories, light moods, and drama you would like a short story like this one.

Summer looks

I must start by noting that I LIVE for fashion!! Fashion in all seasons is very fun but fashion in the summer is even more fun. Why? Because you can get color crazy, pattern crazy, pull out the shorts, crop tops and bathing suits to say the least. Summer season trends are one of the main reasons why I look forward to this season.

                     Here are a few of my favorite summer 2014 looks: 


1. The matching two-piece set.

You can either rock this look pattern on pattern or solid on solid. This look has become very popular and looks FAB.



2. The crop top bustier and midi skirt.

Crop top bustiers are best to compliment high waist bottoms. It gets no better than this. 



3. The floral headpiece

This look screams goddess. One of the very reasons why I love wearing these head pieces. 



4. The Gladiator Sandal

These sandals are very edgy and can easily add a little flare to a simple outfit. Can't get enough of these.    



5. The Body Chain 

This jewelry piece is one of my new faves. It can help in adding spice to a two-piece suit or a simple crop top. 



6. Midi Rings 

These are my all-time faves. You can wear these year round. Just a new and neat way to decorate the hand. Way to spice things up from the traditional ring. Give it a try. 


Fit Body and Healthy Life

Being a teenager can be stressful nowadays. Sometimes, I become so overwhelmed with school, work, and friends that I do not have time to take care of my mental and physical health. Did you know that there are many factors that can be hindering you from living a healthier lifestyle? Here are a few changes you can make throughout your day to make you body and mind healthier!

1. Sleep  

When you are sleep-deprived, you often crave unhealthy food even when you are not hungry such as potato chips and chocolate cake to give you an energy boost. Try your best to get 8 hours of sleep each night. Do not stay up until the early morning on weekends, avoid falling asleep with the television on, and switch to decaffeinated beverages after 5 p.m. These tips will help you get a good night’s rest to prepare you for the next day. 

2. Breakfast   

When you are rushing to get to school or work in the morning, you may think that skipping breakfast is not such a big deal. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it starts up your metabolism. Aim to eat a breakfast that is full of protein and fiber to help you feel fuller for a longer time period. Teens that eat breakfast also tend to feel less hungry throughout the day which helps them control their cravings and eating habits. Try eating a scrambled egg, whole grain waffles, or whole grain cereal.

3. Water       

Drinks such as sodas, juices, and smoothies have tons of sugar that can initiate your hunger and make you eat more during the day being that they have enough calories to be a snack or a meal! Replace some of those soft drinks with 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. Water is full of EMPTY calories which can make you more energetic and focused. Try to buy a cute water bottle or spice up your water with orange slices and frozen berries.

4. DE-Stress   

Stress can mess with your body’s production of a hormone that controls or deregulates your metabolism. Take at least 10 minutes out of each day for yourself to calm your body and clear your mind. Try to meditate, take a mental timeout, or tie yourself up into a calming yoga pose.

5. Exercise     

Work exercise into your lifestyle because exercise has been shown to reduce stress levels and calm the body. It is best to plan to workout 3 to 6 times a week to keep your body fit and energy up. Now, working out does not mean you have to go to the gym, but you could walk to school instead of driving, ride your bike around towns with your friends, or do crunches during commercials breaks on the television.

Focus on health, not on weight loss. 

If you would like to know more information on being fit and healthy, you can visit the Seventeen website

Celebrities are naturalistas too!

I am so ecstatic about this naturalista movement and to see celebrities supporting and advocating this movement excites me that much more! As of lately, many celebrities have been trading their weave in for awhile to show off their natural tresses. Posting natural hair selfies has become quite popular amongst African American celebrities. Here are some of my favorite celebrity natural hair selfies:


(Pictured here is Angela Simmon's (Reverend Run from Run's House daughter), shoe designer and magazine editor rocking her beautiful and VERY full natural mane. Who would have ever thought she had all that under a weave!? Anyways, I am so happy she shared this pic. I just adore her fro! Get it Angela.)


(Actress, Taraji P.Henson exposes her healthy and voluminous natural mane. Its beautiful if I must say so myself.)

(Posted here is Toya Wright (the ex-wife of rapper Lil Wayne), TV personality, businesswoman and author, showing her 'long hair don't care'. All I could say was "wow")

Other familiar faces have posted natural hair selfies of themselves too, including:

                                 Nicki Minaj, Brandy, KeKe Palmer 



Being that lots of people exemplify and appraise the actions of celebrities their simply postings means a lot to the natural hair gurus--like myself-- in the natural hair community. Seeing celebrities revealing their natural tresses, may influence others who may feel uncomfortable wearing their hair as is to wear their hair in its natural state. Nowadays, it is usually celebrities who set the trends/norms and I feel this is one of the most positive trends being set thus far. I couldn't be more proud and hope this movement continues to linger. #TeamNatural 

Summer Hot Spots!

Are you a teen looking for a cool and relaxing place to escape this summer's heat? Well look no further because the nation's capital has plenty of free events and places you can enjoy during your summer vacation. Check out the suggestions below!


- Public Recreations Centers and Pools
- Gallery Place Mall/Chinatown
- Rock Creek Park
- Library of Congress
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
- Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
- Jefferson Memorial
- Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool
- Smithsonian's National Zoo
- United States Botanic Garden
- United States National Arboretum

Free Events:     


- Jazz in the Garden
- Yoga Share DC
- Summer Sing-a-Long Series
- Friday Night Jazz Night at Westminster Church
- Live Bluegrass Jam at the O St Mansion
- Music on the Mall

There are so many activities you can participate in here in Washington, DC (for free or nearly free). Whether you are looking for family fun, quiet places to spend time alone, or cultural/ recreational activities you are guaranteed to find attractions, festivals, and educational events to visit during your summer vacation here in D.C.