Thursday, June 17, 2010

Don't just sit there! Stuff to do this summer

If you and your friends are sitting around this summer looking for something exciting to do, here's a group of books with some big ideas. From making money to photography, summer's a great time to try something new! Be sure to look for these books with the World Catalog and Amazon search boxes here on BookBag, and discover your own new talents -- or explore ones you already have!

Quick Cash for Teens, by Peter G. Bielagus (Sterling) Nonfiction. Are you looking for ways to make some money this summer? Quick Cash for Teens tells how to discover your niche and create a business that is simple, makes use of your skills, and is what author Peter Bielagus calls a "self-seller." Providing details about how to create business and marketing plans, win customers, account for business finances, and more, this book is a great resource for aspiring entrepreneurs. And, if you aren't sure what sort of business you might start, there's a list of 101 of them complete with the required materials, timeline information, start-up costs, and basic things you need to learn for each one.

Teens Cook, by Megan and Jill Carle, with Judi Carle (Ten Speed Press) Nonfiction. If you'd love to learn to cook but don't know where to start, give this basic and fun book a try. Including recipes for both meat-eaters and vegetarians that range from steak fajitas and baked mac and cheese to loaded potato skins, soups, desserts, snacks, cookies, breakfast, and more, Teens Cook offers clear instructions, loads of photos, and advice on avoiding kitchen disasters. For more great cookbooks geared toward teens but that offer somewhat lighter, healthier fare, try Sam Stern's Cooking Up a Storm or Rozanne Gold's Eat Fresh Food.

Digital Photo Madness, by Thom Gaines (Lark Books) Nonfiction. If you have access to a digital camera and a computer, there's a lot you can do with the pictures you take -- and Digital Photo Madness tells you how. First, author Thom Gaines covers the basics of photography, so you'll start out with better photos. Then he moves on to instructions for a wealth of creative projects, such as altering images to make pop art, combining multiple photos in cool ways, and fiddling with the colors in your shots. This book will put you well on your way to becoming a 21st-century shutterbug!

Show Off: How to Do Absolutely Everything One Step at a Time, by Sarah Hines-Stephens and Bethany Mann (Candlewick Press) Nonfiction. This hilarious book provides simple, step-by-step instructions (in pictures!) for how to do "224 fun, freaky, and fabulous things." Some of them are art projects, like making your own manga, and others involve science, culinary adventures, physical prowess (for walking on your hands or running a ninja obstacle course), or just pure awesome-ness. Special icons throughout the book indicate how long each activity takes, whether it makes a mess, and so on. Amuse yourself--and amaze your friends!--with this surprising and slightly kooky manual on "how to do absolutely everything."

Amazing Rubber Band Cars, by Mike Rigsby (Chicago Review Press) Nonfiction. Got a pencil, some cardboard, and a rubber band? You can make your own race-worthy model car (the simplest design in this book). With a little patience and some additional components, such as old computer CDs, you can make other types of moving vehicles, too--including a life-sized rubber band car (that is, one that's big enough for a person to ride in it). With clearly written instructions and some projects that are sophisticated enough to be used for science class, Amazing Rubber Band Cars is just one of many antidotes to boredom that you can find at the library.

Stuff to Hold Your Stuff, by Ellen Warwick; illustrated by Bernice Lum (Kids Can Press) Nonfiction. If you have conquered the basics of using a sewing machine, this book will show you how to translate those skills into a variety of fantastic bags, totes, travel accessories, school gear, and more--like the title says, all kinds of "stuff to hold your stuff." For different ways to make bags, purses, and accessories, check out Shannon Okey's Knitgrrl and especially Knitgrrl 2; for more sewing and fashion ideas, check out Sheila Zent's Sew Teen.

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