Teen Ink: What Matters

Overview

After publishing four successful books in the groundbreaking Teen Ink series, this fifth-and possibly best-installment takes a close and compelling look at what's really important to today's teens. Partnering with the worldwide Laws of Life Essay Contest, a program of the John Templeton Foundation, this collection offers a unique tapestry of teen expression. Many of the haunting questions of all time are tackled by voices that sing with hope and the reality of being a teenager ...

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Overview

After publishing four successful books in the groundbreaking Teen Ink series, this fifth-and possibly best-installment takes a close and compelling look at what's really important to today's teens. Partnering with the worldwide Laws of Life Essay Contest, a program of the John Templeton Foundation, this collection offers a unique tapestry of teen expression. Many of the haunting questions of all time are tackled by voices that sing with hope and the reality of being a teenager in the 21st Century.

With eloquent prose, insightful poetry, art and photography, these teens present timeless values through their own experiences and explore principles such as, "It's better to give than to receive," "If at first you don't succeed . . ." and "Honesty is the best policy." In Teen Ink: What Matters, you'll find fresh and honest interpretations of these and other ideals that we all try to live by. In addition, teen authors and artists journey into waters filled with forgiveness, generosity, courage, love and bravery through personal expressions about tough challenges, family, friends and everyday events.

Young people from as far away as China and Ukraine reveal fascinating insights in this selection from over 88,000 submissions to the Laws of Life Essay Contest. Teen Ink: What Matters is an uplifting book of hope, reflection and inspiration that will resonate with teens.

A collection of stories and poems by teenage writers, arranged in such categories as "Challenging matters," "Family matters," and "World matters."

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-For this volume, readers were queried about what is important to them. Their responses are subdivided under such topics as heroes, family, self, and the world. Some selections are better written than others, but all adhere to the purpose of the book, which is to allow teens to express their values, priorities, goals, and fears. In "Locked Up," a young man incarcerated for murder writes about turning his life around. In "Both Father and Mother," a 17-year-old shares the joy and sadness he experiences as he raises his younger brother and sister. "Brotherly Advice" is a tribute by an adolescent girl to her brother as he leaves for college. The collection includes pieces by young people from Afghanistan and the former Czechoslovakia. Instructions on how to submit student writing or start local writing contests are included. This title is sure to be popular with fans of the series and useful for teachers looking for strong examples of student writing.-Julie Webb, Shelby County High School, Shelbyville, KY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780757300639
  • Publisher: Health Communications, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/15/2003
  • Series: Teen Ink Series
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 1,399,795
  • Age range: 12 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

John and Stephanie H. Meyer are founders of The Young Authors Foundation, which publishes Teen Ink magazine. All royalties from Teen Ink books are donated to this nonprofit foundation to further reading, writing and publishing opportunities for teenagers. Stephanie Meyer, editor of the book and magazine, holds a masters' degrees in education and social work. John Meyer, publisher of the magazine, holds an M.B.A. and has published two successful business magazines.

John and Stephanie H. Meyer are founders of The Young Authors Foundation, which publishes Teen Ink magazine. All royalties from Teen Ink books are donated to this nonprofit foundation to further reading, writing and publishing opportunities for teenagers. Stephanie Meyer, editor of the book and magazine, holds a masters' degrees in education and social work. John Meyer, publisher of the magazine, holds an M.B.A. and has published two successful business magazines.

Peggy Veljkovic directs the Laws of Life Essay Contest at the John Templeton Foundation. A former teacher of languages with a master's degree in French, she has spent considerable time living and teaching in other cultures and is convinced that when it comes to values, young people all over the world are speaking the same language.

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Read an Excerpt

I Believe by Sarah Meira Hoberman

I
Believe
Firmly
In tear-streaked
Happy Endings
In the soul of Mother Earth
And in her children.
And I believe
That good things happen
To those who sit in the sunshine
And sing their hearts out
Without acoustic guitars.
And I believe,
Yes,
I believe in Walt Whitman
Make fun if you will.
I believe in not caring
Who makes fun
And in caring deeply.
I believe in caring
For anyone who needs a helping hand
That is true chivalry,
Not who holds the door
For whom.
I believe in grammar
And disjointed trains
Of thought.
I believe
In Attention Deficit
Disorder.
I believe in chaos
And myself
And rebellion against rebellion
Why are you laughing?
I,
I believe in math teachers
And science teachers
History teachers
Music and psychology teachers
Art teachers
I believe in English teachers
The Great Gatsby
And Huckleberry Finn
I believe in Jim.
I believe
That it's okay to start a poem
With the words
"I believe"
You're laughing again.
But hey,
You can't argue
With what I say I believe
(My mother cuts down that argument
In ten seconds flat
In ninth-grade bible,
She tells me in triumph.)
I believe in my mother
Does that make me not
Seventeen?
I believe in seventeen
And in Seventeen
And in not being snide:
Stop laughing
I didn't say I read it!
I believe
In losing track
Of the original train of thought
And I believe in writing
Poetry at midnight,
The weak light falling
On purple psychedelic
Mushroom pajama pants;
I believe in my pants.
I believe in the sixties
And the seventies
And the fifties
And the nineties.
I believe in Norman Rockwell
Stan Rodgers
The Beatles
Peter, Paul and Mary.
I believe
In my sister's friend Mary
A beautiful little girl
With cerebral palsy:
I believe in a life
In which Mary walks her walker
Through the halls
Of our high school
Pulling straight A's
In honors math.
I believe in school
And in desks
And in alphabetical order
Starting with Q.
I believe that wings
Are something every human being has
Just nobody knows how to use them.
But listen—I believe
That the best thing you can do for
Yourself
Is believe;
Now will you please stop laughing?
I'm making a point!


Good-Bye, Dennis by Gina M. Antonacci

For some life lasts a short while,
but the memories it holds last forever.
—Laura Swenson

The sound of a soft pink rose hitting the coffin resounds in my head. The gray sky begins to release its own tears. I stand alone, looking down with tear-filled eyes. The only other sound is a lonely crow in a tree, looking for shelter from the rain. I hear my mother softly calling, "Gina, come in out of the rain." I say, "Good-bye, Dennis. I'll miss you." These are the last words between me and my brother.

I had lost my brother, but more than that, my "self" became a pile of shattered glass, and I was frightened these pieces would never be put together again. I could no longer find where I left my soul, or my faith. I knew that my being was somewhere on a dirt road, way off the highway of my mind, and I needed to find it to put myself back together.

Time passed and that gaping hole was still only filled with anger and fear. I was frightened that that girl, so funny and happy, might never be found again.

I realized that those I had surrounded myself with were no longer my friends. They had pushed me aside; they made me feel as though my problems were small. They treated Dennis's death as if he had been a pet who died. More and more anger built inside me, and I began to isolate myself. I felt as though I had no friends, and worst of all, I was completely depressed with the person I had become. Just like my brother, I hated myself.

Sitting alone in my room at night, I did a little homework before falling asleep, telling myself that if I fell asleep I could forget him for one minute. Maybe, just maybe, when I woke up, I would be wherever he was. One night, I was overwhelmed by sadness and began to cry and cry.

Then, almost as if in a dream, my tears stopped. I couldn't figure out why or how, but at that moment I began to laugh and laugh and laugh. Memories of my big brother—taking me for walks, working on art projects with me, tickling me when I woke up in the morning, blowing bubbles together on the front porch—all came back. In that instant, I knew he was okay, and more than that, I knew I was going to be okay.

I decided that maybe somewhere, somehow, someone was telling me to stop crying and get on with my life. I also realized there are people out there just like me who can put on a front for the world, even though deep down they are suffering. That night I asked my mother if I could go to a different school, and we agreed I needed to start my new "self."

The wounds from my brother's death didn't heal like normal ones. I know there will always be that scar on my heart, because, yes, it was unfair that he died, and yes, it is okay for me to be sad.

The problem was that when I was sad all the time, I began to neglect my friends and family. Now I know we all suffer, though sometimes unknown to others. I learned that I needed not only to see myself in this world, but also to see everyone else.

Now my friends always tell me that I am a great listener. When they have problems, they are never afraid to talk to me. I do not always fully understand what they are feeling, but somewhere inside, I remember what it was like to be so unhappy. My brother's inability to communicate in his own life led to his downfall. I never want anyone to feel the way I felt, or he felt: alone, unloved and frightened. I want everyone to realize that none of us is alone; the only way to be alone is to force the rest of the world away.

Even though my brother passed away, and for a long time I was unhappy, somehow in his death I found my own key to happiness. I solve my problems by talking about them instead of keeping them pent up inside. Because of my loss, I learned that I value my friends and family more than is imaginable, and I tell everyone around me that I love them all the time. I am not afraid to hug a grieving person, even if I do not know him or her.

I am a changed person because of what happened. Everyone has pain, but more than that, everyone has value and is loved by someone. Because of my angel, my brother, I am able to find the good in every person.


¬2003. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Teen Ink: What Matters edited by Stephanie and John Meyer, Peggy Veljkovic . No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2004

    Young Wisdom

    This book has an impressive ammount and variety of talent in it. The stories can be humerous, thoughtful, sad and/or frightening. The teens whose work fills this book show a lot of understanding about the joys in life, the big truths, and also the uglier side of humanity. There is a lot of wisdom in these pages and I loved reading it. I recommend this to anyone who wants a good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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