Category Archives: Teen Book Reviews

Reviews of YA books you’ll love.

Teen Writing Prompt 722


It’s 70 degrees outside but it’s suppose to be freezing. Lately, when I give students in my writing class a writing prompt each and every story is about doom! I guess that’s because things seem so bleak and there is so much violence all around us.

Write a story about the weather changing. Why is it changing and how does your character react to the change? Is it getting colder and colder? What’s the deal? Be creative and have some fun

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How to Plan Your Stories

How to Plan Your Stories

Years ago when I was working with WriteGirl, a teen mentorship program for teen writers I took part in a writing workshop. Every month we worked on a different genre and that month it was fiction. I was told to create a character and to think about what that character wanted. Years later that character and writing exercise evolved into my first novel.  I just finished my manuscript this year.

I want you to try that exercise. I’ve added a few more components. Let’s see how it works for you.

Think about a character. What does your character want? Love, success, revenge? Now think about who or what wouldn’t want your character to achieve his or her goals. Remember it can be a thing. In the book Up in the Air, the protagonist was Mount Everest.

Now create a flaw or special skill for your character. This doesn’t mean that your character has to be a superhero. Everyone is unique what makes your character different?

Now create obstacles that will make things difficult for your character to get what he/she wants. I’ll check back and add more on my next post.

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What I’m Reading


I am back to the I am Number Four series. The Fate of Ten has finally been released.  I can’t believe I missed the release date. So many books of my book list are series and I just end up reading more and more series so it’s difficult to keep up. Undivided by Neal Shusterman is also out. That book is part of the Unwind series. I think I left off at book three. Looks like I will be catching up on a lot of books.

Sometimes it’s difficult to remember what happened in the last book. I think you should all think about this especially if you are writing a series. Find a way to bring your reader back to the story. Maybe have your character reflect on what has happened to them. Anyway keep up with your writing and reading. I’ll post a review as soon as I finish the book. Happy Writing!

Teen Book Review- The Fate of Ten by Pittacus Lore


I just finished reading The Fate of Ten by Pittacus Lore aka James Frey. This is the sixth and was suppose to be the final book in the I am Number Four series. Sometimes when writers extend their series the last books tend to drag. That’s not the case in The Fate of Ten.  This book is filled with lots of action and suspense. The Fate of Ten reveals how it all started as the Mogadorian ruler Sektrakus Ra and his army of Mogs attempt to defeat humans and take over our world.

The end of the last book left us with John’s best friend, Sam developing legacies after the Lorien deity was released onto the Earth. Other humans are equipped with these special powers and they team up with John, and the other Lorians to fight for the Earth. I really enjoyed this book and read it over Thanksgiving weekend. Great book! It doesn’t disappoint. I think this book is a good example of how to write a long series and still somehow find a way to keep the story moving forward. Check it out!


Teen Writing Prompt 720



Write a poem using the letters of the alphabet. Here’s how I feel today after hearing what has happened in France. I don’t was to trivialize what has happened. Why don’t you work on this poem and share how we all feel.

This Morning

Another day has begun

But I feel shaken.

Chaos everywhere.


Everyone hurting.



Hurting people

I want to scream

Scholastics Arts and Writing Competition


writng 3The Scholastics Arts and Writing Competition has finally posted their deadlines. This is a great competition. This one is for art students, cinematic arts and animation, and writing. There are many categories are:

  1. Critical Essay
  2. Dramatic Script
  3. Flash Fiction
  4. Humor
  5. Journalism
  6. Novel Writing
  7. Personal Essay & Memoir
  8. Poetry
  9. Science Fiction & Fantasy
  10. Short Story
  11. Writing Portfolio (seniors only) *

There are cash prizes and medals awarded. Selections from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are published in the National Catalog and The Best Teen Writing, which are distributed to schools and libraries nationwide and a variety of teen publications. Check out the deadlines and go to the website for more information. Good luck!

The writing deadline is December 15, 2015

The arts deadline is January 5, 2015.

Teen Scholarship

Teen Scholarship

Anthony Quinn Foundation Accepting Applications for Arts Scholarship Program

The Anthony Quinn Foundation has announced the deadline for its 2016 Scholarship Program, an annual program that aims to perpetuate the legendary actor/artist’s vision for an art-conscious society.

Through its scholarship program, the foundation supports high school students’ extracurricular study of the visual arts and design, performing arts, media arts, and the literary arts. Scholarship amounts range from $1,000 to $3,000.

Scholarships may be used for a recognized pre-college, summer, or afterschool arts education program, but may not be used for either secondary school or college tuition.

To be eligible, applicants must be a young adult in high school who demonstrates exceptional talent, dedication, and a strong commitment to personal artistic growth and who will benefit from financial support.

The foundation will begin accepting applications on October 15, 2015. Full applications must be returned no later than January 3, 2016.

Visit the Anthony Quinn Foundation website for complete program guidelines, a promotional video, information about previous scholarship recipients, and application instructions.

Teen Scholarship



This isn’t a writing scholarship but it was so unusual I had to include this one on my blog, especially since I am a vegetarian. I posted this one early so that if you are a vegan or vegetarian you could start working on applying for this great opportunity. Check on the amount of the cash prize. Pretty impressive huh?

Are you a vegetarian who promotes the lifestyle? Three high school seniors graduating in spring 2016 who have promoted vegetarianism in their communities or schools will be awarded The Vegetarian Resource Group College Scholarships in the amount of $10,000 (one award) and $5,000 (two awards) in 2016.

. Qualifying applications and essays become the property of the sponsoring Vegetarian Resource Group. Applicants are judged on courage, compassion and strong commitment to promoting peace through a vegan lifestyle. Vegetarians do not consume fowl, meat or fish. One $10,000 and Two $5,000 scholarships are awarded. Go to the website for complete details

The deadline to apply is February 20, 2016

Teen Arts Competition – Young Arts



I know it’s early and school has just begun but the Young Arts Competition is back for another year. This competition is great for students in the performing arts, fine arts, cinematic arts and of course writing. You could have a chance to win $10.000 plus be part of a great mentorship program.

YoungArts is accepting applications from 15-18 year old artists for its 2016 Program through October 16, 2015. Applicants have the chance to:

  • Win cash awards of up to $10,000
  • Take Master classes with world-renowned artists
  • Perform and exhibit in the most prestigious venues in the country
  • Become eligible for nomination as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts
  • Opt into the Student List Service, a directory of YoungArts applicants that is sent to the best colleges, universities and conservatories in the nation.

For more information and to view the video about this great program go to the Young Arts website.

Teen Book Review Crossed by Ally Condie



I just finished reading Crossed by Ally Condie. I really enjoyed seeing Cassia evolve from a love stricken teen to a rebel. This book focuses on Cassia’s quest to find Ky after he’s been taken by the Officials and sent to another community. In this book you’ll see how Cassia becomes a strong person who is capable of doing things she never thought she could.

This book has romance of course but a large focus in this book is action. Here, we discover the darker side of Society and several secrets are revealed. I hate giving too much away by writing a long review. Just check out this book. I think you’ll enjoy it.