Spotlight on YALSA’s Nonfiction Award Finalists: Fiction Readalikes for Courage Has No Color by Tanya Lee Stone
Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America’s First Black Paratroopers by Tanya Lee Stone is one of the finalists for the 2014 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. Great nonfiction can encourage readers to find out more about its subject matter, which often leads them to seek out great fiction based on the same topic.
Racism and discrimination of all kinds on the home front and in the military didn’t stop when the US entered the war in 1941. Just like in Tanya Lee Stone’s Courage Has No Color, the following novels examine the wartime experiences of young African Americans at home and in the armed forces during World War II.
The Vampire Diaries based on the L.J. Smith book series is one of the CW’s top rated shows, airing Thursday nights at 8:00 pm. The show is currently in its fifth season and already has a successfully delicious spinoff, The Originals. The show centers around Elena Gilbert, a well liked high school student, who survives the car crash that kills her parents. The Salvatore brothers are vampires who return to Mystic Falls and end up in a love triangle with the aforementioned heroine. What’s a girl to do with so many suitors? Well thank goodness she has two best friends who have a high tolerance for crazy supernatural occurrences, Bonnie and Caroline, to help a girl out. Now, given that this show is in its fifth season and has a particular knack for insane plot twists, there is far more that could be said about the characters in Mystic Falls, but there is no way to do that without getting far too spoilerish. Just know that The Vampire Diaries is a delectable supernatural romance roller coaster ride with a fabulous cast of characters. With that said, have you ever wondered what would be on one of those character’s e-readers or on the Salvatore book shelf? What are they reading in between those breakups, make-ups, and near death experiences?
Here is my recommended reading list for a few of our favorite TVD characters: read more…
Gabe did not ask for the impossible task of living in a girl’s body; really, he’s just an average guy. But being a guy in his head and a girl in his body makes him a problem, an issue, an endless source of frustration and heartache for others. Music, then, is Gabe’s primary language. And for Gabe, it all comes back to Elvis. When Gabe is doing his show on community service radio, “Beautiful Music for Ugly Children,” he captures the attention of listeners who can understand his concept of an “A Side” and a “B Side.” His physical presence, the girl called Elizabeth, is his A Side. Gabe loves his B Side, the side that doesn’t get much play, the side so many others find impossible.
Each night, Gabe pulls out his 45 with Elvis’s “That’s All Right” on the A Side. This was Elvis Presley’s first commercial recording, released in July, 1954. Like so many great songs, Elvis’s interpretation first occurred when he was just playing around with the old blues song, giving it an upbeat tempo. Fifty years later, Rolling Stone magazine called it, “the first rock-and-roll record.” Sometimes, when things get tough, Gabe hears Elvis’s voice in his head saying, “That’s all right, Gabe.”
This video recording is from a 1970 documentary about Elvis titled, Elvis: That’s the Way It Is.
Diane Colson, currently reading Minders (advanced readers copy) by Michelle Jaffe
Now that the weather’s getting colder, I’m reminded more than ever that a good book and a hot drink just go together. But wait– don’t simply grab your same-old same-old tea or hot chocolate mix as you’re reading this. Yes, I saw that. Put it back! Instead, remember that literature is the greatest escape and consider concocting a warm beverage that’s in the spirit of your current reading journey. Whether you’re having a cozy night at home on your own with a great novel or it’s your turn to provide the refreshments for your book club, it’s actually super easy to get a little creative and make something special.
But how do you decide what to make? What ingredients should you use? My advice is to keep it simple and consider just two aspects of your book: setting and main character. Read on for a drink idea to spark your imagination, and then create your own and share your recipe with everyone in the comments section!
It’s hard to believe that it’s been forty years since Roe v. Wade– forty years of continuous discussion, dissension, and dramatic debate on both sides of the issue. And the conversation is hardly over; earlier this year Wendy Davis made filibustering history and just last month the Women’s Health Protection Act was introduced into Congress. Given the prominence of women’s reproductive rights in the news today, it is no wonder that YA literature is also tackling this highly controversial topic.
The books examined below can all trace their thematic heritage back to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, but Hillary Jordan’s When She Woke (2012 Amelia Bloomer List) is the most obvious successor to this seminal work on women’s reproductive rights. A reimagining of The Scarlet Letter, the book is set in a future theocratic American where abortion is illegal and women who are found guilty are charged with murder. Crimes are punished by a method called “chroming” wherein one’s skin is genetically altered to become a color that correlatesto the crime committed. The novel follows the story of Hannah Prynne who becomes pregnant after a steamy affair with a celebrity preacher. Her decision to abort the fetus and keep her lover’s identity secret results in an engaging, albeit disquieting, tale of the limitations of love, the effects of criminalizing abortion, and ultimately one woman’s quest for independence.
Spotlight on YALSA’s Nonfiction Award Finalists: Fiction Readalikes for Imprisoned by Martin W. Sandler
Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans During World War II by Martin W. Sandler is one of the finalists for the 2014 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. Great nonfiction can encourage readers to find out more about its subject matter, which often leads them to seek out great fiction based on the same topic.
Just as Martin W. Sandler uses comprehensive research and first-hand accounts to bring the event surrounding the Japanese American internment to life, each of the following novels addresses the experience of young Japanese Americans in different ways. Weedflower and Thin Wood Walls tackle the internment experience head on, while Beacon Hill Boys examines the legacy of internment for the children and grandchildren of internees. Best Friends Forever takes the form of a fictional scrapbook, illustrating moments in the lives of two young girls separated by the internment.
I belong to a book club where we do a roll call to see what everyone is reading. I am always interested to know what other people are reading or waiting to read- but just knowing what is popular in Ohio or the whole United States no longer satisfies my curiosity. I want to know what teens are reading all over the world.
Canada has a population of 34,000,000 people. Toronto is the largest city with 6,000,000 people but it is not the capital. Ottawa, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec form the National Capital Region. (Canada)
The Canadian best seller list includes some titles that popular here in the United States like House Of Hades by Rick Riordan, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and Divergent by Veronica Roth. (TheGlobeandTheMail) Canada’s best seller lists are divided into Juvenile, Adult and Canadian only. Canada has inspired many famous teen book authors such as Gordon Korman who wrote The Hypnotists, Cory Doctorow who wrote Pirate Cinema (nominated for the 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults list), Graham McNamee who wrote Beyond; a Ghost Story. (Authors)
Which makes me wonder: what are all of them reading?
Thank you to Norma of the Toronto Public Library who has the answers.
- “What are the most popular titles for teens at your library right now?
The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, The Fault In Our Stars and Looking For Alaska by John Green, Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth, The Mortal Instruments series and Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, The Matched series by Allyson Condie, The Maze Runner series by James Dashner, The Dark Rising series by Kelley Armstrong (Fun Fact – Kelley Armstrong was born in Canada and calls Sudbury, Ontario home), The Lying Game and Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs and The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen.
- What genres are most popular with your library’s teens?
Dystopian, some paranormal, and contemporary fiction is seeing increased interest
- In your teen collection, what languages do you carry?
English and French
- Do your teens prefer to read print novels or ebooks?
Hard to say definitively but I’d say print.
I hope to learn and share about teen reading around the world. If you or someone you know lives overseas and works as a teacher or librarian with teens, please message me so I can do a post about the country they live in. To learn more about what other teens are reading, check out my previous posts in this series, like What Are You Reading, Russia? and What Are You Reading, Ukraine?
- Laura C. Perenic, currently reading Crash Into You by Katie McGarry (author of Pushing the Limits, a 2013 Teens Top Ten winner)
Last week, we wanted to know which quest from YA literature you’d want to be a part of. Harry, Hermione, and Ron’s search for the horcruxes from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came in first with 38% of the vote, followed by the quest to find Glendower from The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater with 19%. The quest for Smaug’s treasure from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit was third with 15% of the vote. You can see detailed results for all of our previous polls in the Polls Archive. Thanks very much to all of you who voted!
This week, to celebrate the theatrical release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, we’re asking which Hobbit creature you’d like to be. Tolkien created a rich and varied world in Middle Earth, populated by fascinating beings. Vote in the poll below, and be sure to leave a comment if we’ve missed your favorite!
The fall lineup on The CW has been running for a couple of months now, and we are finally getting used to some familiar faces while we get accustomed to lots of new ones as well. Century-old intrigue, new secret facilities, fallen angels and some old-fashioned family drama are surprising us at every turn. Even if you don’t watch every show on the Network of Beautiful People, we all feel a little connection to the network for the plethora of stories it’s told over the years. If you’re a fan, there are a certain group of “types” you might have in regards to your kind of fiction. You might love the supernatural, or have an affinity for people who kick a little ass. So let’s take the time to check out a few pages–new and old–that can act as alternative entertainment as we approach that time: holiday hiatus.
Hollyweird by Terri Clark. In this lighthearted comedy, a blue-eyed fallen angel must protect a young girl who has just won a trip to meet a TV star. This Hollywood heartthrob, who on his show drives around in a classic car killing monsters in every state, is actually the son of the devil! Written by a Supernatural fan, this novel has all the in-jokes you could ever want, on top of a funny and adorable story in its own right. (I’ll be honest: it was actually this book that spurred me to watch Supernatural, as I’d been afraid by that point that I would never catch up–then after reading it I decided to do what I could to make it so!)
It’s official: there are now seven weeks until ALA’s Youth Media Awards, where the winners of the William C. Morris Award, the Award for Excellence in Nonfiction, and all of YALSA’s other book awards will be announced– so it’s time to start our Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge! We’re hoping the challenge will encourage you to read as many of these outstanding titles as possible.
Challenge objective Read all of the finalists for the William C. Morris Award for debut YA authors, all of the finalists for YALSA’s Award for Excellence in Nonfiction, or both between now and the Youth Media Awards on January 27.
Challenge rewards Beyond experiencing the best of the best that new YA authors and YA nonfiction have to offer, everyone who finishes the challenge may use what they read toward our 2014 Hub Reading Challenge. The Hub Reading Challenge includes prizes, so by participating in the Morris/Nonfiction challenge, you’re getting a head start on reading some of the best books published this year and you’re giving yourself an advantage in trying to win those prizes. read more…