If you’re a fan of Stranger Things, you have seen them play and talk about the game Dungeons and Dragons (also known as D&D). By the time the kids in the TV series started playing it, since the show takes place in the 80s, Dungeons and Dragons would have already been around for more than a decade.
Did you know that Dungeons and Dragons, created by Gary Gygax and David Arneson, started in 1974? Or that it was inspired by war combat reenactments with plastic toy soldiers and by Lord of the Rings? Maybe you’re not sure what Dungeons and Dragons even is…
Whether you realize it or not, your gaming and literary world was heavily inspired by D&D. World of Warcraft, Diablo, Skyrim, and many other video games are descendants of the game you see the characters playing in Stranger Things. The difference is that the action in D&D takes place in your imagination and not on a computer screen.
How does that work? Think of it like reading a book. The author, known as the “Dungeon Master,” or “DM,” tells you the story by describing what you see, except with D&D you get to play the character and choose where the plot goes. Kind of like this:
DM: You walk into a cave. It’s dark, but you smell the putrid stench of someone who has not showered in weeks.
Player: I light a torch!
DM: The room ignites in a soft amber glow, and hiding in the shadows you see a goblin with a treasure chest in his hand.
And so the story continues, with you as the hero!
Starting in January, Richmond Public Library will be putting together a Dungeons and Dragons game just for teens! Dungeon Mastered by James, Digital Services Tech (and author), we’ll be using much of our in-house tech to enhance the game. 3D printed figures, maps displayed on our media wall with six screens, characters generated on iPads, and much more!
Watch this blog for more information and our website for registration in this program! (Registration opens December 18th!)
Okay, I’ve got your next great read!
Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brant is such a fun book to read. It’s about senior Eva Walker who is a math genius. She isn’t popular, but she’s fine with that because she has a super power. Whenever she touches people (or if she even touches their belongings), she sees a vision of their emotions and childhoods. She has spent her whole life trying to avoid touching people because her super power is a lot to deal with and it makes it hard for her to connect with others.
This all changes when she meet the new boy in school, Zenn. He needs her help in math and goes to her for tutoring, but the more they get to know about each other, the more they are drawn to each other.
Eva is funny and self-deprecating, and such a fun character. If you’re looking for a good romance with a bit of a twist, try this one out. You won’t regret it!
Read this book. Just do it. It will be a long, hard, and uncomfortable journey but I am also telling you now that you will not be able to put this down. Also, do have a box of tissues handy, you’ll need it, BUT, If you are sensitive to rape and animal cruelty this is not the book for you. No matter how much pain this causes me, don’t read it if you can’t handle it, because this is a dark and disturbing book.
The Female Of The Species by Mindy McGinnis is told from the perspective of three different characters: Alex, whose sister was raped and murdered; Jack, the popular guy who desperately wants to get to know Alex; and Peekay, the preacher’s kid whose ex-boyfriend ditched her for the popular girl Branley, and who now works at the animal shelter with Alex.
Alex knows something is wrong with her. In her words she “feels too much” and ever since her sister was reported missing and later found dead, her symptoms have worsened. Describing herself as a wolf amongst a flock of sheep, Alex struggles to contain herself. When the three friends meet at a party, Alex reveals her dark side, well aware of the danger it brings her and everyone around her.
This book is definitely up there with The Hunger Games and there’s a reason it’s in the RPL ten. I would recommend this book to older kids because of the profanity and the content. It is a novel centralized around sexual assault and murder after all. I would rate this book a 5/5. It was a riveting and emotional novel with down to earth characters.
This month, we were at McNair Secondary and Burnett Secondary talking to teen about the latest and great YA books. We love coming to the schools, talking about great books and getting to hear from the teens in Richmond.
This was our first time at Burnett and we had a blast! If you’d like us to come to your high school, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of Teen Read Week, read and vote on a couple of our favourite “heavy hitters” to see which book will win! Come in to the Brighouse Branch to vote in person or comment on this post to vote online. Voting ends October 19th.
Help create the Teen’s Top 10 list by voting on your favourites from the short list of 26 books. Voting ends October 14th.
Let us know what your favourites are by commenting on this post!