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Teen Connections

Explore peer-to-peer content for Troy Public Library teens, suggested and created by Troy Public Library teens.

Reading Recommendations

Click book covers below to find titles in the Troy Public Library catalog.
BookishAndTheBeast  Legendborn PunchingTheAir TheBalladOfSongbirds  TweetCute

TheGildedOnes TheKingdomofBack TheLivesOfSaints TheQueensAssassin ClapWhenYouLand


The Zine

TheZineHope2022 - Copy

Read the latest The Zine magazine issue written and published by the Troy Public Library Teen Advisory Board team.

Featured Artwork
by Angela 
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by Vaishnavi
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by Madeline
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by Aastha
IMG-3268 - Copy  IMG-6718  IMG-7260 - Copy 


Featured Book Reviews

The Sun is Also a Star
Reviewed By: Swathi
The-Sun-is-Also-a-Star-Cover-1 - Copy"The Sun is Also a Star is a young adult novel written by African American author Nicola Yoon. It is a great read for fans of YA fiction, and anyone looking for a story about love and the immigrant experience. The book tells the story of Natasha, a teenage girl who is undocumented, and Daniel, a first-generation Korean American who is struggling with parental expectations. The plot, similar to that of Romeo and Juliet,  takes place over the course of a day, as they meet and fall in love. Their relationship faces complications, because Natasha’s family is supposed to be deported to Jamaica that same day. Yoon does an excellent job of creating characters with distinct voices and personalities. Natasha is smart and determined, but also skeptical and closed-off. Daniel is optimistic and charming, but also struggling with his identity and his family’s expectations. The novel explores themes of fate, love, family, and the immigrant experience. Yoon shows the complexity of the American Dream, and how it can be a source of hope but also a disillusionment for immigrants. Overall, "The Sun is Also a Star" is a beautifully written thought-provoking novel that will stay with readers long after they finish it." 

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
Reviewed By: Aanvi

InFiveYears"In Five Years is the perfect book for those of us experiencing nervousness about the future and feeling stressed that we don’t have it all planned out. Its message is simple yet meaningful: we won’t know the future until the future arrives. No matter how hard we try to control or foresee it, things will never turn out exactly how we expected. This book taught me to accept that, even embrace it, and just let things be. This is the perfect novel to read in one sitting. While reading, you catch glimpses of the future, but you are not exactly sure where the story is going until the very end, similarly to life. Even after seeing the future, the main character had no idea what it really held. What it appeared to be was nothing like the reality. Seeing the future only added an additional weight. The main character, Dannie Kohan, seems to know exactly what she wants. She has a five year plan with every aspect of her life planned out, from relationship to career. She has a boyfriend with whom she is “perfectly compatible,” a stable job, and good friends. All her needs are fulfilled, and thus she believes that following this plan is what will ensure her happiness. What she learns along the way is that happiness can never be guaranteed or planned for. We experience it in temporary bursts alongside other emotions, and all we can do is enjoy it while we have it and accept its absence when we don’t. The ending of this book altered my perspective on how to approach life. The way the story ended for the main character gave me the much needed reminder that there’s no way of knowing how things will end for me either. I found several similarities between myself and the main character, and thus the main character’s journey impacted me greatly. There are common characteristics between almost all of us and Dannie Kohan, and although this story contains elements of fantasy, we all have something to learn from it."

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Reviewed By: Aanvi
BornACrime"This book is the childhood memoir of Trevor Noah, comedian and host of The Daily Show. It provides a deep look into a lesser known aspect of his life: growing up as a biracial kid during South African apartheid. In apartheid South Africa, Black and White people were banned from having children together. Thus, Trevor Noah—with a Black mother and White father—was “born a crime.” From the moment he was born, society had already rejected him. Noah discusses many significant issues, including racial injustice, poverty, domestic violence and abuse, and alcoholism, all while maintaining the light and humorous tone he is known for. He makes heavy topics much easier to read, incorporating humor into nearly every chapter and including many entertaining anecdotes, reflecting his ability to see the light even in the darkest of times. The book stays true to Noah’s comedic personality, yet at the same time there is gravity to each of his words. Born a Crime is dedicated to Trevor’s mother, and she is just as prominent of a figure in the book as he is. The lessons she taught Trevor are lessons we all could use. The book is extremely well-written, meaningful, and leaves the reader with a message incredibly relevant to today’s times."

Featured TV Show Review

AvatarAvatar The Last Airbender
Current Situation: The genocide of the Air Nomads was a devastating surprise attack by Fire Lord Sozin, wiping out almost the entire population of airbenders, leaving the twelve-year-old Avatar as the only surviving airbender. He fled from his home in fear of his responsibilities and encased himself, along with his sky bison Appa, in a suspended animation within an iceberg. No one is aware that the Avatar is still alive. The Fire Nation's subsequent campaign of conquest against the other nations has led to a century-long war, causing widespread destruction and death. The central characters of the conflict include Fire Lord Ozai, Prince Zuko, Iroh, Aang, Katara, Sokka, and Toph, whose journeys reflect the wider impact of the conflict on individuals and societies. The war is ongoing and must come to a conclusion for the restoration of peace. In committee, you must work with the members of your nations and others to work out a compromise, and prevent the impending mass scale destruction.

History: The Avatar world consists of four nations: the Water Tribes, the Earth Kingdom, the Fire Nation, and the Air Nomads. Each nation has people who can "bend" (manipulate) one of the four elements: water, earth, fire, and air. The Avatar is the only person who can bend all four elements and is responsible for maintaining balance in the world. The genocide of the air nomads has just occurred after the Fire Lord Sozin launched a surprise attack on the Air Nomad temples, wiping out almost the entire population of airbenders. The reason for the attack is unclear, but some speculate that Sozin wanted to eliminate the only nation that could potentially oppose his imperialist ambitions and there is speculation that he realized that the Avatar was one of the airbenders. The Fire Nation's aggression has continued even after the genocide, having started a war of conquest against the other nations. The Earth Kingdom and Water Tribes are forming an alliance to resist the Fire Nation's advances, but they are struggling to counter the Fire Nation's superior technology and military tactics. The Avatar, a young airbender named Aang, was believed to have died in the genocide, but he is actually frozen in ice. If he is discovered and awakened, he must confront his role as the last airbender and the only one who can defeat the Fire Nation's aggressive campaign.

Fire Nation: The Fire Nation is a powerful and aggressive nation in the Avatar world that has a long and complex history. Founded by the firebending dragons, the Fire Nation's early history was marked by periods of prosperity and conflict. Fire Lord Sozin, who came to power in the aftermath of a destructive civil war, pursued an imperialist agenda that led to the genocide of the Air Nomads and the subsequent war against the other nations. The Fire Nation's armies were led by skilled and ruthless commanders such as Admiral Zhao and Princess Azula, and the nation's ability to use firebending as a weapon of war gave them a significant advantage. Fire Lord Ozai's ambition to rule over the other nations and his desire to harness the power of Sozin's Comet to further his agenda were the driving forces behind the war's escalation. However, not all members of the Fire Nation supported the war effort, including Prince Zuko, who eventually joined forces with the Avatar and his friends to end the conflict. Despite this, the Fire Nation remained a formidable opponent throughout the war and only through the coalition's combined efforts were they ultimately defeated.

Earth Kingdom: The Earth Kingdom is the largest and most diverse nation in the Avatar world, spanning a vast territory with varying landscapes and cultures. Its history is marked by periods of unity and division, with numerous regional leaders governing their respective territories. The Earth Kingdom's military might and resources played a crucial role in the war against the Fire Nation, and its armies were led by skilled commanders such as General Fong and General Sung. The Earth Kingdom's earthbenders were known for their ability to manipulate the earth itself, making them a formidable force on the battlefield. However, the nation's size and diversity also made it vulnerable to internal conflicts and corruption, as seen in the rise of the Dai Li, the secret police of Ba Sing Se. Despite these challenges, the Earth Kingdom remained steadfast in its resistance to the Fire Nation's aggression and played a significant role in the coalition's ultimate victory. Notable characters from the Earth Kingdom include the Blind Bandit Toph, King Bumi, and General Iroh, who defected from the Fire Nation to fight against his former nation.

Water Tribes: The Water Tribes are two distinct nations located in the poles of the Avatar world, with their societies shaped by their harsh environments and a deep connection to the spiritual world. The Northern Water Tribe is a prosperous city-state governed by a council of elders, while the Southern Water Tribe is a more tribal society with a more communal leadership structure. The Water Tribes' waterbenders possess the ability to manipulate water and ice, making them formidable opponents in battle. During the war, the Northern Water Tribe faced a devastating siege by the Fire Nation, led by Admiral Zhao, while the Southern Water Tribe remained relatively isolated but not immune to the conflict. The Water Tribes' stance on the war was initially one of neutrality, but their involvement in the conflict became inevitable as the Fire Nation's aggression threatened their way of life. Notable characters from the Water Tribes include Katara and Sokka, who joined forces with the Avatar to fight against the Fire Nation, and Princess Yue, who sacrificed herself to save her people.