Page 1


Volume 2, Issue 1

Teen Zone Manga Mural At the end of 2010, the Ypsilanti District Library Board of Directors approved the construction of a new teen space at Michigan Avenue. The details of architect Dan Whistler’s design were negotiated with administration during the

winter, and in June, with donations from many community members and library funds, construction began. One wall was removed, a glass partition and shelves added, new computers installed, as well as a flat screen TV and an xbox—and the new Teen Zone gradually took shape! At the same time, Michigan Avenue Teen Advisory Group (TAG) members worked with local artist Terrence Thompson on plans for a Manga Mural to be displayed on the magnetic galvanized backdrop along one wall of the new space.

Shout It Out In August 2011, the library partnered with the Ozone House Ypsilanti’s Project Speak Out Poetry Team, 826michigan, and Community Records, and staged an outdoor exhibit of teen talent on the Library Plaza Stage as part of the Ypsilanti Crossroads Music Festival. (continued on page 7)

Inside this issue: Teen Zone Art


Shout It Out


Poetry/Student Writing


Five Bowls of Oatmeal


Photos from Downtown Scavenger Hunt


After Hours Celebration of Writing


Adom on guitar at Shout it Out


Page 2

Teen Zone Mural Art


First, Terrence requested that each teen submit a drawing of him or herself in any anime/manga style.

Jequinnson is a TAG member that has lots of interest in anime, music, and manga. This picture was drawn by him to show his love for manga and art.

Celia is a fun loving girl and a member of TAG as well as Anime Typhoon. This picture is of how Celia sees herself as an anime character. The picture describes her perfectly.


Page 3

More first draft TAG artwork!

D’angelo is a long time TAG member and current co-chair of teen gaming, a regular attendee of anime club and fan of Naruto, as seen by his drawing of himself as the young Killer Bee!

Adom’s self portrait. Adom is 2011-2012 TAG president, founding TAG member and regular anime club attendee.

Terrence’s drawing!


Page 4

Teen Zone Mural Art Two TAG artists, Kaiel Grimes and Celia Schroeder, worked from TAG members’ drafts to create stylistically uniform images.


Terrence’s final images were enlarged, printed on vinyl paper, mounted on foam core and attached to magnets. They can be displayed individually or as a group on Four drawings were then selected to the galvanized metal, and moved for be digitally colored and cleaned by special exhibits. Terrence using Photoshop.

Images below illustrate the group creative process!

Kaiel is a YDL page and a long time TAG member. His self portrait and Terrence’s final image are shown here side by side.

Long time TAG member Daija, current cochair of anime club, as drawn by Celia and refined by Terrence!


Page 5

Two of Celia and Terrence’s final images!

Giami’s self portrait and the final image after Celia’s redrawing and Terrence’s digital coloring!

Founding TAG member Dontrell as a Naruto character, drawn by Kaiel, finalized by Terrence.


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Page 6

Teen Zone Mural Art


The artists’ work was unfurled at the Teen Zone Grand Opening in October!


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Page 7

Shout It Out Watch highlights of the performance by clicking this link!

Shout it Out

Poetry slammers from Project Speak Out performed; the recording of attendees of the library hosted Community Records songwriting class was played, with rappers adlibbing over the beat; short stories written in the 826michigan writing workshops were read, and live music was performed by a Community

Records band and guitarists from TAG. Art work from the library’s comic drawing class was digitally displayed and Ozone’s summer photography class created an exhibit of teen photos. We look forward to hosting a second event this summer!



Page 8

Teen Poetry Spot A kid

He’s digging his ditch, but he’s fallin’ even deeper.

Whose mind unwinds as the room spins.

He’ll never admit it, but he’s scared that

Think’ about what he’s done and where he’s been.

The devil will strip him down till he’s bare.

Weeding out his fictional friends

But he can’t help it, violence is all he knows.

His old life gone, or new one begins.

He’s been fightin’ since he was a toddler

Same mistakes made again, and again, and again.

And he’s damn near grown.

His kin try to help, but he won’t tell ‘em what he’s in.

I watched him suffer for seventeen years

So he takes a pen

They don’t l;ike this kid, they even jumped him in a wheelchair.

And takes a trip to his den.

He’s stressed and confused.

Writin’ down his struggles and troubles, his mind fumbles.

He got a job tellin’ people not to do what he do.

He gets up to stretch… and then he tumbles ‘cause he’s weak The stress and hatred burrow deep His knees sink and his temple falls down to his feet.

Maybe he feels guilty. Guilty of the fact people tag him To be the outcast. So he stands back… But whatever it may be,

He hopes this is a dream

This is the reason why I, I mean

He can’t take the pain, it strains his brain

He, is who he is.

And it drains his name no game. It seems he refuses to change.

-Curtus Small

His mind and body suffer from his stubbornness And he’s filled with hatred ‘cause he lost the love in him, Then he refuses any help when he’s sufferin’. Please help me, I grew up with this kid He needs some direction so he can say where he’s been. My, oh my, look at the time We need to help him, no save him from losing his fight. I’ve seen it first hand… This fight is stopping him from his Dream of becoming a man. He forces his past to be his future.

Regular coffeehouse type gatherings at the library give students the opportunity to share their writing with others.


Page 9 Page 9

Teen Poetry Spot

Inside Story Headline

This story can fit 150-200 words.

A great way to add useful content to your newsletter is to develop and write One benefit of using your your own articles, or innewsletter as a promoPoetry plays a special clude a calendar of uptional tool is that you can role incontent the lives of all ofcoming events or a spereuse from other cial offer that promotes a marketing materials, the library’s teensuch poets. new product. as press market It is theirreleases, personal studies, and reports. You can also research release and from the articles or find “filler” artiWhile your main goal of observations it seems,cles by accessing the distributing a newsletter World Wide Web. You asmight though all of be to sell your the prod-teen can write about a variety uct or have service,much the key to poets of topics but try to keep a successful newsletter is your articles short. passion when they read making it useful to your their poems. None of readers. Much of the content you

them have taken a Inside Story Headline poetry class but some of them seem like they can teach one. This story can fit 100-150 words.

The subject matter that appears in newsletters is virtually endless. You can include stories that focus Crying Out for Help on current technologies or innovations in your field. Brian Bryant

uted internally, you might comment upon new procedures or improvements to the business. Sales figures or earnings will show how your business is growing.

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Page 10

Teen Poetry Spot


uilding e top of a b Sittin’ at th back Reminiscing take ade that mis To when I m ere cryin’ You sittin’ th r face Tears in you r hit you Wish I neve e that mistak Never made bout a g, thinkin’ a in tt si re e h Now I’m break sky stare at the I stand and why I ask myself bye to say good Why I want ack turn it all b Wish I could ght Make it all ri ive you up ’t want to g n o d I n w o Deep d t a fight Not withou u at I love yo You know th u tight uld hold yo Wishing I co a right don’t make s g n ro w o Saying’ tw rong But I was w ren’t right And you we g from n’ everythin si ra e s, e y e Close my sight al long Stay there re er strong I’m no long I jump I’m gone

-Kaiel Grimes

Wishful Thinkin’

Kaiel Grimes

I see her through my window pane I see her all alone shouldering all the pain She’s the only girl I want to give my last name Our life passed by in seconds and that’s when our time came What we had is now lost and that’s just a damn shame I still see our future hidden in her eyes We stared at the devil when we took off his disguise Stood together as we buried it all alive Stood together with a new love now revived I see the emptiness in the tears hidden by the rain I feel her sadness as if she was pumping through my vein No glue, but her broken heart is what I try to maintain Nothin’ but a hope and a wish is all that remain

Many of the TAG members have a poetic interest. “Poetry allows us to express not only our emotions, but our personalities and our state of mind.” —Adom, TAG president,


Page 11


Page 11

Teen Poetry Spot Deep Thoughts

Jequinnson Fisher Currently reading manga while munching on bananas Daydreaming about a plan to be chilling up in cabanas Internet surfing music ‘cuz rap is like Hannah Montana Knowing I’d rather by flying like dopefigurative dragons Living in a world like this it makes it hard to imagine That fairytale happy-ever-after actually happens Instead, the tale is just a government metaphorically slapping While the American Dream was always just to be slacking What is the value of a dollar when every person thinks drastic And all your dreams and hopes fade away just like magic? I guess the point is to not think things so pointless But rather to gather thoughts and focus on your enjoyments

I let my m

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Page 12

Teen Poetry Spot


I miss my baby

But I’m honest and I stay away

And I hold my hand out

I miss this girl

From people that could get me in

And say it’s nice to meet you

I miss me

some trouble

I asked her her name

But how can I miss me

So I think I’m ok

When the wind blew

When I’m still the same


She said her name was...

Until I saw this girl? I was findin' it hard to stay

This feeling


I believe it’s you

Crazy thoughts was flowin'

And I never felt this way

through my brain

I’m like damn, this feeling's true

I didn’t know what I had to do

Like damn I’m loving everything

-Kaiel Grimes

you do I started chasin' you But you weren’t runnin'


And I’m wishin'

The world is split into Two different types of people,

I say I wish

I gave you my number

Wish she was mine

So I’m like why she not textin’

Her beauty is something I can’t

me for

And those who are normal.

even define

I don’t want her to believe the

If you are reading this,

lies But I don’t even know your name So I text her

Share my story with the rest of the world...

Fantasizing about kissin’ your

The year is 2050.


'All I want is you'

And wrappin’ my hands around

This feeling

your pretty waist

Yes, it’s you

Gettin' butterflies every time I

I get the courage

see your face

To finally hit send

Wishin' I had the courage to in-

And she text me back saying

vite you over to my place

'I want you to be my boyfriend' We meet up

People who are special

-Walter McAdam


Page 13 Page 13

Teen Poetry Spot


Break ups

D’Angelo Woods

I can’t promise u that it’s not gonna hurt for a long time Break ups are hard. ‘Cuz we never really know. Finding out someone cheated It could take weeks, months, on u is even harder. years and maybe even Loving someone who doesn’t more. love u back is the hardest of But I can promise u that it’s all all. gonna be ok. But don’t let that stop u. ‘Cuz I too have had my heart Don’t stop loving with everybroken many times before thing u’ve got And having your heart torn into Because Heartache happens to a million tiny pieces…. Simeveryone. ply Sucks. Some more than others. But we’re young and in my U’ve gotta remember that u opinion we just need to live have got to get through life to the fullest now… those heartaches ‘Cuz truth is, u don’t need anyTo get to your true soul mate. one to make u happy in this world. Don’t give up on love ‘cuz You’re the only one who can do something didn’t go your that for yourself. way. Don’t give up on life ‘cuz a Just remember this, u are gorheartache is tougher than geous. being dead. U do have self worth Don’t give up on yourself beAnd your life is valuable. cause your life is precious. There are people who love and care for u even if u feel that there aren’t… There are. Being hurt like this is one of the reasons u HAVE to keep reminding yourself that life does in fact go on. If u need to cry… Just cry. Even if it’s late at night when no one can hear u. Cry because crying is good for the soul. Cry because in the end u will become stronger. U will get over the hurt.

I Never

Cedric Charles I never Got suspended Smoked Fought Cussed Of course these are all lies But you know what? I don’t care My Name Is Cedric Which means I will go to college Get good grades Always be successful Now that you know this Believe me I will be a great person one day

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Five Bowls of Oatmeal: An 826michigan project

November was the month for the annual Five Bowls of Oatmeal 826michigan. Teen writers at YDL-Michigan Avenue’s 826michigan drop in workshop led by Carolyn Racine, wrote a zombie play that was performed mid-month at Rackham Auditorium on the University of Michigan campus. Read the Scrit below or click on the links to see the action! Watch the pre-performance interview by author Dave Eggers! Watch the play performed by actors from the Penny Seats Theater Company!

Zombie on the Couch Collaboratively developed by the Ypsi Drop-In 826michigan Fall 2011 Class Walter McAdam, Derek Ballard, Celia Schroeder, Adomino Small Originally produced as part of 826michigan’s Five Bowls of Oatmeal: The Return of Oatmeal, November 2011 Characters: DOCTOR KEVIN SAMANTHA YOUNG KEVIN NEWSCASTER RECEPTIONIST WAITRESS ZOMBIES (if the cast is large enough) The DOCTOR watches the NEWSCASTER on TV. There is an AX or BASEBALL BAT nearby. Possibly a DESK PHONE. There is a COUCH (or at least a chair) for patients.


Page 15

Zombie on the Couch NEWSCASTER …thank you, we’ll give you more on that story on the six o’clock news. Before we finish our broadcast, we would like to remind viewers that although the zombie plague is over, many zombies still remain. If you or any of your loved ones see a zombie, do not approach it, but report it to a police officer as soon as possible. Good night. The DOCTOR turns off the TV. She sighs.


I want you to cure me of my craving for human flesh. Can you do that?

She puts the weapon away. DOCTOR

Lie down. What’s your name?


It’s Kevin. I… don’t know where to begin.


Are you comfortable talking about how you met your unfortunate death?


Can we start somewhere else, please?


All right. Why are you the only… educated zombie?


I told you, I don’t know. One day, I just sort of realized I was different. I wanted to be around people again, but it’s hard when your body is rotting and you have the urge to kill and eat everyone you see.

A BUZZ from the desk phone. DOCTOR


RECEPTIONIST (from offstage) Doctor, there’s someone here to see you. I think. DOCTOR

Is it on my schedule?

RECEPTIONIST (from of stage) I don’t think so…he’s banging on the door. I’ll go see what he wants. (screams) It’s one of them! DOCTOR The doctor picks up the AX (or BASEBALL BAT) and prepares herself for a fight. She waits. There is a CRASH from off. KEVIN

I wonder… I wonder… how am I supposed to help you?

KEVIN enters. He is a zombie, but somehow is able to communicate. He moves toward her.


Tell me what life is like for you.


I… I don’t feel good about this anymore.


Just start talking.


Don’t pressure me.


Why are you being so stubborn? You said you wanted help!


You’re the doctor, not me.

Get away or else!

She approaches him with the weapon. KEVIN

Wait, don’t!


Why shouldn’t I?


I need help. You’re a therapist, right?


I have nothing to hide.


Yes, but I don’t do zombies.


Well, all I can say is, try and adapt to human society.


That’s not fair.




She rises to leave. It’s impossible! Zombies can’t even talk, so how—I mean, I thought zombies couldn’t KEVIN Where are you going? talk…why can you? DOCTOR Home, and I advise you to do the same. Honestly, I can’t tell you why I’m different from the rest… I hate other zombies. Have Kevin tries to get in her way. you ever talked to one? KEVIN I hate my home! I live in a sewer! I talk to You’re the first. Now, what can I do for mice! you?


Page 16

Zombie on the Couch



I’ve got to go.

They dig in.


I—I miss life itself. Also, being handsome, SAMANTHA It’s so good! and loving somebody. I’m so lonely. Please help me. Young Kevin sighs.

The doctor returns.



YOUNG KEVIN Look outside.

Okay, let’s talk more about how you feel.

What’s wrong?

Kevin returns to the couch.

She does.


Thanks for helping me. I appreciate this.



I’m not doing this for you, but for…



For who?



None of your business. Let’s talk about how you became a zombie, all right?

YOUGN KEVIN I don’t know.


It was a long time ago… in Howell, Michigan.


Flashback begins. YOUNG KEVIN and SAMANTHA are walking toward a restaurant.

(gasps) Oh my gosh!


Let’s get out—

WAITRESS (from offstage) They got inside! SAMANTHA


Samantha panics. She gets up and grabs the oatmeal. SAMANTHA

Honey, let’s eat there! I’m craving breakfast. Plus, I don’t see any of them around here, yet.

YOUNG KEVIN Samantha! Calm down! He grabs her arm.

Young Kevin checks his wallet. SAMANTHA

Let go!

YOUGN KEVIN Hon…I’m almost broke. YOUNG KEVIN No! Sam, I won’t! SMAANTHA

I’ll pay, silly. SAMANTHA

I said, let go!

She gives him a kiss on the cheek. YOUNG KEVIN Fine… (sighs) We’ll eat there. SAMANTHA

She throws the oatmeal in his face. YOUNG KEVIN stumbles backward, out of the shop. He is grabbed by a pack of zombies.

Thank you. SAMANTHA

(calling offstage) I’ll find you, Kevin!

They enter and sit, look at a MENU. A WAITRESS arrives. The scene shifts back to the office. WAITRESS

Welcome to Oatmeal House! What can I get for you?


But she didn’t.


Hello! I’d like the house special.


No. You found me, instead.


And for you, hon?


(shocked) You did that? I… I can’t… Wait, unless… Samantha?


Yes, it’s me. It’s been a long time, Kevin. About ten years, I believe.

YOUGN KEVIN Uh, that sounds fine. WAITRESS

Got it. Hold tight!

She leaves, and returns with a large BOWL OF OATMEAL. KEVIN

Ten… ten years?


Page 17

Zombie on the Couch (continued) KEVIN

Ten… ten years?


I can’t. I really can’t.


Yep. You were always strong willed, it’s no KEVIN Why not, c’mon! wonder that you’ve not lost yourself yet. He moves toward her, but she picks up the AX (or BASEKevin gets up. BALL BAT). KEVIN

Samantha… I’ve loved you still. Even to that time, even to my death.


Take one more step and I’ll smash you with this.


Even when I killed you? You can be so stupid, Kevin.


Why won’t you come with me?


I’m sorry, Samantha. Wait, I know! If you come with me, we’ll be together forever.

(try to cry, actor) I don’t want to go out with you!

He holds out his hand. DOCTOR

KEVIN roars and attacks her. She trips him, and he falls over. Kevin exits. She goes after him and finishes him off, possibly offstage.

(sighs) Kev… you know what? You’re right. DOCTOR goes to her desk and buzzes for the receptionist.

She walks to her desk, does not take his hand. DOCTOR

Don’t worry… he’s dead.


We could be together.


Then… I could make you a zombie.

RECEPTIONIST (from offstage) Good. I feel bad for you, Dr. Yuffie.





(approaches her) Come with me.

RECEPTIONIST (from offstage) All right, Samantha---dear.

She keeps away from him.

Please. You can call me by my real name.


Page 18

Zombie on the Couch


Adom, Carolyn, Walter, and Derek after the play. They lined up for one last picture of the night before heading to the afterglow party at Saba’s in Ann Arbor.

The ending commemorations for the playwrights. They all took a bow.


Page 19

Photo Scavenger Hunt

Caption describing picture or graphic.

Inside Story Headline Inside Story Headline

The scavenger hunt to celebrate Teen Read Week’s Picture It theme was enjoyed by all of the participants and a couple of them asked to do it again sometime. The winners of the scavenger hunt were the TAG president and vice president (Adom Small and Cedric Charles). Congrats to all participants!

Caption describing picture or graphic. Caption describing picture or graphic.


The semester concluded with Celebration of Writing, an afterhours event with pizza and prizes for the longest National Novel Writing Month entry. This year’s award went to Walter McAdam, who wrote 45 handwritten pages! Adom and Celia reenact the play for those who didn't see it.

Edited by Jodi Johnson, Young Adult Librarian, and Adomino Small, TAG President

YDL-Teen Voices  

A magazine showcasing the artistic achievements of Ypsilanti District Library students.