This week we have a list featuring animals – magical animals, to be precise. If you just want a taster, try a short story from the collection Unnatural Creatures curated by our fave Neil Gaiman. If you know what you’re in for, try the dark tale The Knife of Never Letting Go (Manchee the dog is the comic relief here) or perhaps an interpretation of the Grimm brothers fable The Goose Girl. Whatever you choose, expect a talking dog. Or bear. An animal will probably be able to talk.
Down the Mysterly River / Bill Willingham ; illustrations by Mark Buckingham.
“Max ‘the Wolf’ is a top notch Boy Scout, so it is a little odd that he suddenly finds himself, with no recollection of his immediate past, lost in an unfamiliar wood. Even odder still, he encounters a badger named Banderbrock, a black bear named Walden, and McTavish the Monster (who might also be an old barn cat) – all of whom talk – and who are as clueless as Max. Before long, Max and his friends are on the run from a relentless group of hunters and their deadly hounds. Armed with powerful blue swords and known as the Blue Cutters, these hunters capture and change the very essence of their prey. For what purpose, Max can’t guess. But unless he can solve the mystery of the strange forested world he’s landed in, Max may find himself and his friends changed beyond recognition, lost in a lost world…” (Goodreads)
Unnatural creatures / stories selected by Neil Gaiman with Maria Dahvana Headley ; illustrated by Briony Morrow-Cribbs.
The 16 short stories in this anthology contain accounts of delightfully fantastical creatures, ranging from the familiar (werewolves, mermaids, griffins, and unicorns) to the chillingly mysterious (an ever-expanding, flesh-eating blob; a strange bird that spurs unpredictable changes to its surroundings; and even Death herself). Classic science fiction and fantasy authors Anthony Boucher, Frank R. Stockton, Peter S. Beagle, E. Nesbit, and Diana Wynne Jones are represented, as are contemporary authors such as Nnedi Okorafor, E. Lily Yu, and Gaiman himself. Who would a griffin eat? What does a phoenix taste like? What happens when you question an invisible dragon? Why are there always too many coat hangers? All of these questions, and more, are answered here.” (School Library Journal)
Also available as an Overdrive eBook!
The princess and the hound / Mette Ivie Harrison.
“He is a prince, heir to a kingdom threatened on all sides, possessor of the animal magic, which is forbidden by death in the land he’ll rule.She is a princess from a rival kingdom, the daughter her father never wanted, isolated from true human friendship but inseparable from her hound.Though they think they have little in common, each possesses a secret that must be hidden at all costs. Proud, stubborn, bound to marry for the good of their kingdoms, this prince and princess will steal “your” heart, but will they fall in love?” (Syndetics summary)
Darkwood / M.E. Breen.
“Darkness falls so quickly in Howland that the people there have no word for evening. One minute the sky is light, the next minute it is black. But darkness comes in other forms, too, and for thirteen-year-old Annie, the misery she endures in her Uncle’s household makes the black of night seem almost soothing. When Annie escapes, her route takes her first to a dangerous mine where a precious stone is being stolen by an enemy of the king, and later to the king’s own halls, where a figure from Annie’s past makes a startling appearance.” (Goodreads)
The twyning / Terence Blacker.
“Thirteen-year-old Peter, who lives in a garbage dump with his younger friend Caz, scratches out a living catching rats for the local “sportsmen” and their dogs. He also works for Dr. Ross-Gibbon, a monomaniacal scientist who wants to wipe out all of the rats in London. Efren, an impulsive young rat living in the Kingdom of elderly King Tzuriel, is restless and has trouble following orders. When Peter captures the dying King for the doctor’s experiments, Efren reports this to his superiors, leading to outrage in the kingdom; matters worsen quickly after the doctor puts his deadly plan into action.” (Publisher Weekly)
The knife of never letting go / Patrick Ness.
“Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee — whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not — stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden — a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives. But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?” (Goodreads)
We also have the Bolinda eAudiobook & Overdrive eBook versions.
Winter falls / Nicole Maggi.
“Alessia Jacobs is a typical sixteen-year-old, dying to get out of her small Maine town. Things look up when a new family comes to town. But as she begins to fall for the hot, mysterious son, Jonah, her life turns upside down.Weird visions of transforming into an otherworldly falcon are just the beginning. Soon she learns she’s part of the Benandanti, an ancient cult of warriors with the unique power to separate their souls from their bodies and take on the forms of magnificent animals. Suddenly forced to weigh choices a sixteen-year-old should never have to make, Alessia witnesses two worlds colliding with devastating consequences.” (Syndetics summary)
The goose girl / Shannon Hale.
“Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, spends the first years of her life under her aunt’s guidance learning to communicate with animals. As she grows up Ani develops the skills of animal speech, but is never comfortable speaking with people, so when her silver-tongued lady-in-waiting leads a mutiny during Ani’s journey to be married in a foreign land, Ani is helpless and cannot persuade anyone to assist her. Becoming a goose girl for the king, Ani eventually uses her own special, nearly magical powers to find her way to her true destiny.” (Syndetics summary)
Also available as an audiobook on CD and Overdrive ebook.
Pom Poko [videorecording] / a film by Isao Takahata.
A community of magical shapeshifting raccoons desperately struggle to prevent their forest home from being destroyed by urban development.
Tender morsels / Margo Lanagan.
“Liga’s life is filled with dark hearts and foul deeds. So she chooses a protective path of natural magic to find a safe other-worldly place for herself and her two daughters. But when magicked bears and mischief men break the borders of their refuge the girls must face the truth, and engage with the appeal and risk of the real raw world.” (Syndetics summary)
Also available as an Overdrive ebook.
Since mahou shoujo is a whole subgenre of anime and manga I thought I had better tell you about our super collection of manga and anime that we have in our libraries! Did you even know we had them in the collection? I’ve chosen a few “magical girl” themed anime and manga for you all to check out that you may or may not be familiar with already.
(In case you didn’t know, manga are comics you read and anime are cartoons you watch.)
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (manga)
If you grew up in the 90s like me, you’d probably be pretty familiar with Sailor Moon. Usagi Tsukino (Serena) is a regular girl, until she discovers she is sailor senshi Sailor Moon. Together with the other sailor scouts, handsome Tuxedo Mask and two mystical beings that appear to be sentient stuffed cats, Sailor Moon must stop the evil Queen Beryl from taking over the world.
Cardcaptor Sakura (manga)
This is one of my absolute favourites! Ten year old Sakura accidentally releases a magical set of cards called the Clow Cards, and is enlisted by the guardian of the cards to capture them again. Each card has a special ability and some cards require some serious puzzle-solving to capture. It is written and illustrated by popular manga group Clamp, and it has absolutely beautiful illustrations throughout.
This story takes place in the distant future on the planet Earl, colonized by immigrants from Earth centuries ago. Certain girls and women aspire to be Meister Otomes – bodyguards, attendants and warriors that serve the royalty of various kingdoms. Arika Yumemiya has come to Windbloom Kingdom in search of her mother, a former Otome. Arika enrols at Garderobe Academy to train to be an Otome herself, but she must beware those who desire to use the old technologies of the Otome for destructive powers.
Alice 19th (manga)
Alice Seno is a 15-year-old girl, constantly living in the shadow of her seemingly perfect older sister Mayura. One day Alice rescues a white rabbit from the road, but it is no ordinary rabbit. It reveals its true form and informs Alice she is destined to be a Lotis Master – someone who uses the power of words and communication to enter the Inner Heart of others. Alice soon discovers this is a powerful ability which must be used carefully when she accidentally makes her older sister disappear. Using the power of the Lotis Runes, Alice must get Mayura back.
Full Moon o Sagashite (manga)
Twelve-year-old Mitsuki Koyama loves singing and dreams of becoming a pop star. Unfortunately, a malignant tumor in her throat prevents her from pursuing her passion. However, her life turns around when two surprisingly fun-loving harbingers of death appear to grant Mitsuki a temporary reprieve from her illness and give her singing career a magical push start. (library catalogue)
The Wellington NZIFF programme launched a couple of weeks ago and there are so many to choose from – nearly 150 films are in the programme so it is absolutely chocka. Having given it some thought, I’ve picked out some I think will be hits! Check out my list and let me know what you’re excited for in the comments!
The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet (3D)
From the director of Amelie comes a tale of a prodigious young inventor of completely zany and fascinating products. His perpetual motion machine comes to the attention of the Smithsonian institute and they invite T.S. to Washington, unaware he is just 10 years old. Determined to respond to the invitation, T.S. sets out alone one night on a cross-country adventure to collect his reward for his brilliance.
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
The newest film from Studio Ghibli (The Wind Rises) and eight years in the making, Princess Kaguya is a retelling of a traditional Japanese folk tale. A humble bamboo-cutter stumbles upon a tiny princess-like doll hidden in a bamboo shoot. He takes it home, and he and his wife are shocked when the doll turns into a wailing baby. When gifts of gold and silks continue to appear, the bamboo-cutter and his wife decide to abandon their humble lifestyle to raise the girl as a proper princess.
We Are The Best!
We Are The Best! is the story of 3 young misfits growing up in Stockholm, Sweden in the 1980s. Klara and Bobo are 13-year-old rebels looking for a cause. Despite having no particular musical talents, they channel their efforts into forming an all-girl punk band and enlist their shy, guitar-playing classmate Hedvig to join them. The story is based on a graphic novel by the director’s wife Coco Moodysson and fully embodies the DIY spirit of the punk movement.
Another exciting anime film, Patema Inverted is the story of young and inquisitive Patema who lives in a post-disaster underground world. While exploring one day she falls into a deep pit, but mysteriously finds herself falling upward to the Earth’s surface. However it is an upside-down surface – surface dwellers live by the opposite gravity to Patema. She is helped by a surface boy called Age, who explains that in his world “inverted” people like Patema are considered unholy sinners and she soon finds herself being pursued by secret police. Together Age and Patema must uncover the dark conspiracy lurking behind their inverted worlds.
This is a documentary about the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland and the first proton-smashing experiments conducted there. It also follows closely the thrilling search for the Higgs boson, the particle that gives mass to other particles. It is a fascinating insight into the world of physics and discovering our own universe and looks to be extremely exciting!
The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness
This documentary follows Hayao Miyazaki and visits Studio Ghibli, which in itself looks like a Miyazaki movie. Miyazaki is working on his allegedly final film The Wind Rises, working by hand in a cluttered workspace filled with old technologies. Meanwhile, Ghibli’s other maestro Takahata Isao is working on Princess Kaguya (see above) across town in a completely different working environment. Ghibli producer and co-founder Suzuki Toshio shuttles between the two, managing their differing approaches with love and appreciation for the different challenges each film faces.
We have some really awesome films in the library collection, and a bunch of these sit right among our very own YA section. There are comedies, mysteries, sci-fis and award winners all tucked away amongst the stacks. Here are my picks of our newest additions to the shelves:
From Up On Poppy Hill
This is one of the newest DVDs we have from Studio Ghibli, who have brought us so many other amazing films such as Howl’s Moving Castle, The Cat Returns and Spirited Away. From Up On Poppy Hill is set in Japan, 1963. Umi is a high school girl living in a boarding house. She meets Shun, a member of the school’s newspaper club and together they decide to clean up the club’s vast and sprawling clubhouse. However Tokumaru, a businessman as well as the high school chairman intends to tear down the clubhouse for redevelopment. Umi and Shun must work together to convince Tokumaru that the clubhouse should remain standing.
The Bling Ring
Based on the Vanity Fair article titled “The Suspects Wore Loboutins” The Bling Ring follows a group of Hollywood Hills teens who are mostly rich and all bored. One night they discover Paris Hilton is on the other side of the country partying so they figure they could break into her home, because why not? They find that it’s not exactly hard to get inside and they steal countless items from a slew of celebrities, whose wealth and possessions are so vast they don’t even notice things are missing for several weeks. The ring can only keep up the game for so long before they are caught though, and the defence statements of the teens after they’re arrested are pretty hilarious (and accurate, taken from police records!). Well worth the watch from the directorial wonder Sofia Coppolla, not to mention it has a killer soundtrack.
Legend of Korra Book One: Air
If you’ve seen the original Avatar series (nothing to do with blue people) then you’ve got to see Korra. If you haven’t seen the original, it doesn’t matter, you’ve got to see Korra anyway. Among water-, earth-, fire- and air-benders, the Avatar is the only one who can master all four elements and keep peace with the world. Korra is the successor to Aang, the Avatar from the previous series of the show. In Korra, technology has progressed to a steampunk-like level of technology, drawing inspirations from metropolitan cities of the 1920s. Korra is still coming to terms with her Avatar responsibilities, and travels into the city to live and train with a master waterbender. But everything is not as peaceful as it first appears in the city, and Korra faces an enemy in the Equalist movement leader Amon. Amon plans to rid the world of elemental bending powers forever, and it’s up to Korra to stop him!
From the same animation company that brought us button-eyed Coraline comes Paranorman. Norman loves ghosts, ghouls, mummies, monsters and just about anything scary that lives under your bed. His schoolmates and even his family make him feel like an outsider for his interests, but when he awakens a ghoul from a long hibernation, Norman’s supernatural know-how could be the key to defeating the curse dispelled by the ancient ghost.
I name this the action movie of 2013! And in a year full of them, that’s high praise. It’s the near future and Earth is being attacked again and again from an interdimensional portal in the center of the planet by huge dinosaur-like monsters called kaiju. The current defence involves giant humanoid kaiju-punching mecha robots, each piloted by a team of two people. Raleigh Beckett is a washed-up Jaeger pilot, called out of retirement to team up with rookie Jaeger pilot Mako Mori in a last ditch attempt to overcome the kaiju attacks. Pacific Rim is full of cool martial arts, robots punching giant dinosaurs and amazing robot CGI that Transformers could only dream of. This is one of my picks of the whole year of 2013 so I hope you like it!
Weekend newsflash: The latest film from Studio Ghibli (and the last film directed by Hayao Miyazaki before his retirement!) is showing this Sunday at the Embassy cinema! It’s called The Wind Rises and it tells the story of Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed Japanese fighter planes during World War II. Check out the trailer below and book your tickets over at the Embassy website.
I’ve been on a really big video game kick lately, especially enjoying some “indie” games including Fez and The Stanley Parable. Which got me thinking, I really love when different media types get all mashed up into one another. Here, specifically, I’m going to highlight some rad books and movies that feature video games in some way.
The End Games, T. Michael Martin
Seventeen-year-old Michael and his little brother Patrick have been battling the monsters in The Game for weeks. Armed with just a rifle between them, the brothers must follow the instructions of the Game Master, which they hope will lead them to a “safe zone”, safe and far away from the terrifying Bellows, the flesh-hungry roaring beasts that roam the land. Michael and Patrick are very good at The Game. They are surviving. But The Game is changing. The Game doesn’t play fair.
This book is so exciting, and it uses well-known video game narrative in a novel format, providing us with a thrilling debut novel from T. Michael Martin. Plus, isn’t this opening quote great?
Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life, Bryan Lee O’Malley
“What are you doing?”
“Getting a life.”
You may have seen the awesome movie Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and this is the first of six graphic novels that spawned the movie. Scott Pilgrim is a bit of a loser, he plays in a band in his friend’s garage and shares a bed with his roommate, because Scott can’t afford a bed. Or rent. But Wallace has that covered. Then, Scott meets the girl of his dreams – literally. Ramona Flowers rollerblades through Scott’s idle daydream and he becomes determined to track her down. But to get to Ramona, Scott must first defeat Ramona’s seven evil exes… Not so easy after all.
Scott Pilgrim is so fun because it mashes up video game tropes into its natural narrative. The battles Scott faces with Ramonas exes play out like video game boss battles, and he even earns coins and powerups when he defeats them. The movie is fairly faithful to the books, so watch that if you want, but then ending is different, and the books delve a lot more into little stories that wouldn’t fit into the film. Both are fantastic!
Level Up, Gene Luen Yang
Dennis Ouyang feels crippled by his parents’ high expectations of him. They want him to focus on school so he can become a gastroenterologist (a doctor of the digestive system). Dennis wants to play video games. But he does what’s expected of him, until his father’s sudden death leads him to an academic burnout and gets him kicked out of college. Things are suddenly not so straightforward as they once were, and things keep getting weirder when four sappy greeting card angels appear and take charge of Dennis’s life…
Video game tropes have a lot of fun imagery associations so a graphic novel format suits the mashup well, I think!
Ready Player One, Ernest Cline
It’s 2044 and the world is a pretty ugly place. Like most of humanity, Wade escapes this grim reality by hooking himself into OASIS, a sprawling virtual reality where you can live and fall in love on any of your choice of ten thousand planets. OASIS holds grim realities of its own though – somewhere in the sprawling virtual world lurks the ultimate lottery ticket, hidden by OASIS creator James Halliday behind a series of perplexing puzzles. The ticket yields immense fortune and power – if you can unlock it. The world is aware only that Halliday’s riddles are based on his love of late-20th-century pop culture, and many spend their days idly researching and debating Halliday’s idols. Then one day, Wade stumbles across the first clue. Suddenly, the whole world is watching and competing with Wade for the ultimate lottery ticket, many willing to kill Wade to get to it. The race is on, and the stakes are high. Ready, Player One?
The living-in-a-virtual-reality trope has been widely used, and perhaps is bearing closer on our reality than we realise? Time will tell!
Eagle Strike, Anthony Horowitz
You may already be aware of Alex Rider, teen MI6 agent, but if not, here’s the lowdown. Alex’s uncle was an agent, he was killed, and Alex was brought onboard with MI6. Each book in the series covers a mission assigned to Alex and in Eagle Strike, the fourth book in the series, Alex discovers a plot by popstar-philanthropist Damian Cray to blow up several countries, supposedly for reasons of (obviously crazed) peace activism. Alex has had MI6 backing him up before, but now he’s on his own. Can he stop Cray’s deadly plan in time?
Although not obviously video game based, Eagle Strike does contain this element – Cray catches Alex eavesdropping on him, so he drops Alex into a real life version of Feathered Serpent, the game Cray had been developing as part of his diabolical plot. Pure evil!
Kenji is good at maths, bad with girls, and spends most of his time in the sprawling online reality of OZ. He lives an insular life until the girl of his dreams hijacks him to be her fake fiance at her family reunion. During the reunion things only get weirder when a cryptic email is received, unleashing a rogue AI in OZ and falsely implicating Kenji in the hacking. Kenji must halt and restore the damage to the virtual infrastructure and stop the rogue AI, named Love Machine, before it causes irreparable damage.
If you know of any other great books or movies that fit into this theme, let us know in the comments!
We have some more anime. Here it is…
Avatar, the legend of Aang. Book 2, Earth, Volume 3
The gang visit a library buried under some sand. They learn important things related to Fire Nation and a stand-off ensues with some would-be conquerers. All very exciting stuff, but you understand it’s the library which makes this bunch of episodes a Teen Blog favourite.
Avatar, the legend of Aang. Book 2, Earth, Volume 4
Do you like bending battles? If so you’re in luck, this set of episodes culminates in what can only be described as the best bending battle of the season! Will the Earth Kingdom succumb to Fire Nation? Or can our heroes save the day?
Bleach : the movie. 2, The Diamonddust Rebellion
“When a caravan transporting the King’s Seal is attacked, Toshiro Hitsugaya and Squad 10 are on the ready. As they prepare to protect the treasure that holds immeasurable power, Hitsugaya suddenly abandons the scene alongside the thieves and becomes one of the accused. In response, the Soul Society calls for his capture and execution. Upon hearing the edict, Substitute Soul Reaper Ichigo Kurosaki is immediately suspicious and determined to uncover the facts. But when Hitsugaya refuses to defend his actions and fights against his comrades, it seems his fate is all but sealed. Can Ichigo uncover Hitsugaya’s motives before they destroy his honor, his life, and the Soul Society?”–Container.
“Edward and Alphonse Elric continue on their journey to find the Philosophers stone to restore their lost bodies. In order to do so they must come to face with many people from the past and discover the true purpose of the Homunculi. Will their journey lead them to the promised powers?” – Cover
“Heroine Alice is thrust back into the war against the bloodthirsty undead and the fight against the powerful Umbrella Corporation, and is pitted against a super-human super-weapon, who has been unleashed to destroy her.” – Cover
“Josie Alibrandi has a lot to deal with right now. She’s 17, got the dreaded H.S.C. in front of her and the boy of her dreams seems completely out of reach. Then there’s that other problem. She’s a wog. Sure it’s where Josie comes from but it’s not where she feels she belongs. In fact, Josie doesn’t know where she belongs. With her Nonna in one ear talking about the old country and the stuck-up girls at her school telling her she’s an outsider, it’s no wonder. This year, however, everything is going to change. Josie will let loose, face her fears, uncover secrets – even discover the true identity of her father. It’s going to be a year when Josie finally finds out where she belongs” – Cover
“Life is one long struggle, a challenge for even the fittest animal. Leaving parents, searching for food, building a home, finding a mate – each day brings a new test. These programs, superbly crafted and originally presented, investigate the many amazing ways in which creatures from all parts of the globe face up to and resolve The Trials of Life.” – Cover
“David Attenborough’s study of the world of plants, which demonstrates, with the aid of time-lapse photography, the rich and varied ways in which they flourish.” – Cover
There are only a handful of new books this week. There’s a stack of DVDs though! Quite exciting for anime fans!
Here are the books.
Here’s How I See It: Here’s How It Is, by Heather Henson (270 pages) – The remarkably named Junebug wants to be an actress, but at the age of thirteen she’s still a stagehand at her parents’ playhouse. She feels like she’s becoming the perfect stagehand – this isn’t necessarily good, as it means she feels invisible!
First line: ‘Here’s how I see it: everything is going to be okay, just like Dad said.‘
Ship Breaker : A Novel, by Paolo Bacigalupi (326 pages) – In the grim, grim future (teens like dystopian novels!) Nailer, a teenaged boy, strips beached oil tankers for their copper. He stumbles across an ‘exquisite’ clipper ship beached in a hurrican and must decide between stripping it for parts or helping out the sole survivor (she is rich and beautiful!)
First line: ‘Nailer clambered through a service duct, tugging at copper wire and yanking it free.‘
Wolves, Boys, & Other Things That Might Kill Me : A Novel, by Kristen Chandler (371 pages) – KJ lives in Montana, near Yellowstone park, where introduced wolves are splitting the community. Is she for them or against them? Do I mean the wolves, or the community? Yes to both!
First lines: ‘Wolves don’t actually howl at the moon. Mostly they howl at each other. I’m a girl, so I get that.‘
The Carrie Diaries, by Candace Bushnell (389 pages) – Carrie Bradshaw is the main character in the Sex And The City TV series and films. This book is her ‘diary’ from when she was a teen in Connecticut in the early ’80s, and before she went to New York.
First lines: ‘They say a lot can happen in a summer. Or not.‘
My Worst Best Friend, by Dyan Sheldon (303 pages) – Grace and Savanna are besties! Even soul sisters. But sometimes friendships can turn sour.
First line: ‘The way I saw it when I was in high school, even though there were still millioins of different life forms left on the planet, there were basically only two kinds of girls: Those Girls and everyone else.‘
Out of Shadows, by Jason Wallace (277 pages) – This is set in Zimbabwe, in the early ’80s, just after independence. Robert is new to the country, and finds that some of his classmates are keen for the country to return to the old, white-led past, at any cost.
First line: ‘Go ahead, shoot, I thought, because I was thirteen and deperate and anything, absolutely anything, was better than the fate to which my parents were leading me.‘
Here are the new DVDs! We have added the newest Bleach DVDs (volumes 16 to 20), and we’ve also got the first Bleach film, Bleach : Memories of Nobody. (There’s talk of a live-action Bleach film, btw.) We have added a couple of Ghost In The Shell : Stand Alone Complex DVDs to the YA collection, and the entire first series of Tsubasa in one, six-disc boxed set. Boxed sets of shounen-ai classic Gravitation and FLCL (pronounced ‘fooly-cooly’) are also in. As well as! Death Note : Relight 2 (highly recommended), the first three Bakugan DVDs, a couple more Dragonball Z movies, the 2001 OVA of Spirit of Wonder, and the complete series of the French-Japanese animation, The Mysterious Cities of Gold (which came out in 1982, when Carrie Bradshaw was in high school).