Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tween Literature: A Glimpse Inside Their World... Oh Yeah, and the Light's On.


Hey yawl, I'm Layla also known as Lamo Layla by these girl bullies at school who hate the air I breathe.  They don't get how really awesome I am, or maybe they do.  You ask me ...middle school girls bulllying are like weeds with flower buds in a garden.  They look pretty but they screw up your garden every chance they get. 

I hail from a small town about 50 miles outside of Norfolk, Virginia.  You think if I didn't say hail from and yawl, I wouldn't have my new nickname?   

Anyway, I was pretty bummed when my parents told me I had to start middle school up North in this gi-normus city.  Apparently, environmental engineers are desperately needed in the city of tall buildings and smog.  Go Figure.  Daddy didn't need much convincing.  They had him at "city."

Just like Violet in  Luv Ya Bunches: A Flower Power Book by Lauren Myracle ...I'm the new kid in school and neighborhood.

What Violet, Katie-Rose, Yasaman and Milla have in common besides all being named after flowers ...nothing.  Yasaman is a computer whiz, Milla is third in command of an A-list crowd and Violet calls herself a film director-in-training. 


I'm a filmmaker-on-the-verge.  I keep my flip camcorder in my backpack and pull it out when nobody's paying attention.  I've got some great blooper footage.   I may need it sooner than I think. 

They would probably be best friends if it wasn't for the evil queen bee, Modessa, who Violet calls Medusa.   Social worlds crash just like in my middle school.  It's like my world is playing out in this book.


Speaking my world, Daddy hails from New York City ...Brooklyn Heights.  He hasn't lived there in a bunch of years.  The closest he's been to Brooklyn is through a pack of Nathan hot dogs.  I've never been.  I know, crazy ...right?  

Mom despises ...no--past tense.  Mom despised the city before she discovered dollar stores, Pho (noodle dishes) and coffee bars.  I'm worried ...she hasn't said "yawl" in months.


Last Saturday, Mom brought home The DivaGirl's Guide to Style and Self-Respect, It's your pocket book to success! ...by Cheryl Ann Waddlington with Sonya Beard.  It's Diva defined. 

Before we moved city-side, Mom never even said the word "Diva" in my direction.  "Baby girl" was her favorite pet name.  Now, I'm this cool iCafe Girl Diva and have a new DivaGirl's guide to show me the way.  

I can use this girl's hands-on guide to life, fashion, makeup and handling yourself in the 'real world."  I'm okay in the self-esteem department, but I know my Modessa, (Violet's evil bee) her name is Tory-the-Terrible ...could stand to read a few chapters.  It don't take a rocket science to see how happy she is after tormenting.  Lately, she's been calling me "Fried Grits and Bacon."  Everybody down South knows you don't fried grits with bacon. 

Anyway, "The DivaGirl's Guide to Style and Self Respect" also deals with serious issues that can hurt our self-esteem and  ability to succeed. It explains all the "whys," so we can make the right decisions.


So why haven't I've been to Brooklyn?  I guess because Daddy's parents moved near us when I was a baby, and my Mom's parents were already there.  We couldn't keep our Brooklyn family away if we wanted to, which we didn't.  They love visiting us in the country. And it doesn't hurt, stopping by Virginia Beach on your way home

I guess we won't see them so much now, since we're not in the country anymore.  But we're right inside the city limits.  At least we have a lawn with a lawn jockey and a backyard.  Okay, so it's not exactly the five acres we had before, but it's better than a concrete jungle.

Guess where I now go to school.  Yep, that's right ...in the concrete jungle surrounded by tall buildings.  It's not in my new neighborhood, but it's where Mom teaches math.  I'm just glad she's not my math teacher.  

You'd think she was ...math problems never go away after the 3 o'clock bell. That's if we had a 3 o'clock bell.  Somebody at this city middle school,where math, science and computer geeks rule, gave the bell's job to a computer lady.  Her fancy voice make us feel good about going to a boring assembly.  We call her Betty.   We took "Byte" added another "T" and Shazam!

Last April, Betty announced that there would be tryouts for a new web show for sixth graders and one for seventh graders.  Whichever group produced the most educational and off-the-wall programming would get a big surprise at the end of the year. 

So I had no problem hanging out with Jenny and her friends in Caught in the Web (How I Survived Middle School), who started their own webcast like here.  It became a hit at Joyce Kilmer Middle School.  What's good enough for Jenny is good enough for me.  I ignored the ugly kids and their nasty comments and won the producer spot.   I see a webcast ratings war in my future.   


To be honest, I never thought of reading the  Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life before I moved.  I was part of the happening crowd at my old country school.  I was the one-to-watch, not the one-to-be laughed at.  I'm not proud, I opened the book and looked forward to seeing me again.  But this time I didn't.  

I did relate to Nikki's battle with her Mom over getting an iPhone.  I see one in my hot little hands when I sleep.  Not happening ...when I wake up.  Nikki is kind of a mean girl herself.  But I like that she sketches and write about her not-so-fabulous life in a snooty school.  Okay, there are two things we have in common. 

Excuse me for a second, Miss Kiki's pointing to the monitor.

Oops ...I forgot to introduce this week's text-webisode.  I can't believe I'm this week's host.  So cool!  I was totally getting to it ... if I hadn't forgotten.  


Welcome to this week's text-webisode:  Tween Literature:  A Look Inside their World ... Oh yeah, and the Light's On.  I'll admit it.  What helped me through this year of crazy was reading.  See, it kinda took forever for the kids to stop teasing me.  I guess I sound, look and dress funny to them.  Like they don't sound, look and dress funny to me.  

It was so cool reading about the same stuff other kids were going through.  Anyway, I found this doubly cool virtual cafe, iCafe Woman Moderne.  It's iCafe Girl Moderne when me and my new friends (I met here) hang out.  They don't fit in their schools either.

At first, I didn't like my new house.  I though it looked like pink tissue boxes stuck together.  But then I saw iCafe Woman Moderne.  My new house looks like a one story version of it.  It's really cool.   Kiki, the owner of the iCafe Woman Moderne, sends her Miracles and Blessings!  These are my picks.  For--

Layla, you already gave your picks through your storytelling.  You're such a natural in front of the web camera.

I did?  I guess yawl ...I did.  YaYa (my Grandmom Douglas) calls me a chatterbox when I get wound up.  

Yes, you did and it was great.  (She turns to the web camera)  You won't find vampires, wizards, serial killers in these books ... she picked ones that turned on the light.

I picked what I see me in.  But I didn't mention the Shadows on Society Hill: An Addy Mystery (American Girl Mysteries) yet.  I loved it!

LAYLA (Con'td.)
Look at Addy, she's carrying a lamp.  Her story show where people are mean to her, but that's a real part of our American History.  But she and her family also finds kindness.  New Millennium kids don't know about that stuff because our ancestors worked hard to make things better for us in 2012.  I think we should honor them by at least learning about the time before us, the good and the bad.

Well put, Layla.


Peggy Strack said...

What a great post about a family move. Thanks for sharing. ~ Peggy

Gayle Herbert Robinson said...

You're so welcome. Stop by again!