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Women in Comics: Manga

2015 March 6
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For March, rather than focusing on a specific genre, I thought I would take a look at a wide range of manga created by women. Though I think many readers assume that most of the top manga creators are men, in fact there are a number of famous and important works created by women. Here are just a few examples.

Fullmetal AlchemistFullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa – Featuring two main characters, one with a prosthetic arm and leg and the other a disembodied soul in a metal body, Fullmetal Alchemist is a fun series set in a world where alchemy offers practitioners the ability to transform the world around them, but not without a price. The story offers a perfect combination of a steampunk setting, compelling characters, humor, and adventure. Told over the course of 10 volumes, the story is one that has gone on to spawn two anime series, video games, and a series of Japanese novels. This is a great manga for serious manga fans and new readers alike. read more…

Tweets of the Week: March 6th

2015 March 6
by Traci Glass
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Happy First Friday in March, Hub Readers! Just remember…Spring will be here soon (I hope!)! Lots of great tweets around Teen Tech Week – be sure to check it out by searching for #ttw15. For now, look at these tweets of the week with news about the new book by Lauren Oliver, Avengers! Trailer! & the bad boys of YA fiction.  In case you missed it…I’m here to compile it all for you!

tweets of the week | the hub

Books & Reading

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Notes from a Teens’ Top Ten Book Group Participant: Fangirl Fantasy Casting

2015 March 5
by Guest Blogger
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TeensTopTen_winner_WMTeens across the nation voted for the 2014 Teens’ Top Ten list, and the winners have been announced- but did you know how the books are nominated for this list in the first place?

Books are nominated by members of Teens’ Top Ten book groupsin school and public libraries around the country. To give you a glimpse of some of the teens behind this process, we’re featuring posts from Teens’ Top Ten book groups here on The Hub. Today we have a video creation from Marissa Muller of Mount Carmel Academy in New Orleans. 

I love reading books about adventure, romance, and fantasy. I especially enjoy reading books with a strong and relatable female main character. I read because I find it relaxing and it helps get my mind off the problems I’m facing in my world. Reading transports me to the deepest parts of my imagination and lets me live out a thousand different dreams. What I like about being a Teens’ Top Ten / YA Galley Project club is that we are not only reading the books but we as readers feel connected to those books because we are giving feedback to the author and publishers.

I was inspired to make my fantasy casting of Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl because one, it helps people better visualize and immerse themselves in a book, and two, I would love to see this book one day become a movie.

 

Jukebooks: Everybody Knows Your Name by Andrea Seigel & Brent Bradshaw

2015 March 4
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Everybody knows your nameIt’s a really big deal to be selected as a contestant on Spotlight. Teens from all over the country audition for a place on the reality show/singing competition. Some, like Ford, hailing from very small town Arkansas, see this as the chance to escape a bleak future. Others, such as Magnolia, are not even certain why they are there. All come to be molded into sell-able images and, incidentally, sing. But sometimes something genuine happens, even in the world of fake reality.

So here is a book that is chock-full of songs. It was hard to pick one, so I’ve included a playlist that includes songs picked by Magnolia and Ford while they travel cross-country. See if you can guess who picked each song!

 

1. Alicia Keys – “Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart”

2. Bob Dylan – Blood on the Tracks (This is the title of an album, so I’ve chosen just one track, “Shelter from the Storm”)

3. Britney Spears - “Til the World Ends”

4. Spoon - “The Underdog”

5. Fleetwood Mac - “Gypsy”

6. Led Zeppelin - “When the Levee Breaks”

7. Haim - “The Wire”

8. Iggy Pop - “The Passenger”

9. Prince - “I Would Die 4 U”

10. The Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street (Another album! I picked “Tumbling Dice off this one.)

Double Cover Trouble

2015 March 3
by Hannah Gómez
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We all have our share of complaints about book covers – especially YA book covers. Dead-looking girls on covers, pretty dresses, white people, and almost-kisses abound. Lately, it looks like cover design has gotten better. It’s more focused on cool fonts, graphic design, symbolic representation. Slowly but surely, we’re seeing more people of color, and they’re less obscured by shadows, objects, or silhouettes. Happy as this makes me, I am a little worried about these upcoming titles and their ability to stand out in a crowd. A cover, whether we like it or not, directs a lot of a book’s interest and determines its circulation, and these are perhaps a bit too similar to other titles coming up. Make sure you study up now; you’re bound to have to clear up confusion for your patrons or yourselves when these almost-twins are released.

foreverforever
Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer and Forever for a Year by B.T. Gottfried
In addition to similar-sounding titles, these covers feature similar fonts and shared curves, one with a film strip and one with cherries. Hillyer’s book, due out June 2, is about summer camp and second chances. One-time friends accidentally reunite and have the chance to recreate and perfect a summer – and figure out why their friendship ended. Gottfred’s book (July 7) is a romance, but it also deals with how forevers can be broken and it can be hard to pick up the pieces. Still, the plots should be different enough that you can figure out which one a patron is asking for – so long as you keep the titles straight. read more…

The Monday Poll: YA Lit Destined for Broadway

2015 March 2
by Allison Tran
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monday_pollGood morning, Hub readers!

Last week, we wanted you to choose your favorite teen superhero in comics. Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel took the top spot with 45% of the vote, followed by Barbara Gordon as Batgirl, with 32%. Nice choices, Hub readers! You can see detailed results for all of our previous polls in the Polls Archive. Thanks to all of you who voted!

This week, we want you to tell us which YA book would make a hit Broadway musical– and be sure to leave fantasy casting notes in the comments! I feel like I could see the talented Anna Kendrick as Hazel Grace in a musical adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars, personally. Choose from the options below, or we’d love to hear your own suggestion!

Which YA book should be turned into a Broadway musical?

View Results

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2015 Hub Reading Challenge Check-In #3

2015 March 1
by Geri Diorio
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Not signed up for YALSA’s 2014 Hub Reading Challenge? Read the official rules and sign up on the original post. Anything you’ve read since February 9 counts, so sign up now!

2015_reading_challenge_logoAre you familiar with the modern aphorism “don’t read the comments?” In general, online, it is wise advice, but it does not apply to The Hub and it especially does not apply to the annual Reading Challenge! There are so many books to choose from. Look at this list! If you feel overwhelmed, I encourage you to find all the posts tagged “2015 Hub Reading Challenge” and then read their comments, reply to people, maybe start a dialog. Hub readers are encouraging, cheerful, and smart. They offer good, well articulated insights into what they like and dislike about books. You will get a solid feeling about books you may be waffling on. And you can get so much support from your fellow readers as you all work towards completing the challenge.

As you work on the challenge, why not share your progress on social media? On Twitter please use the hashtag #hubchallenge.  If you are a Goodreads person, you can join the 2015 Goodreads Hub Reading Challenge group.

Don’t forget that the titles you read during the Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge count for this challenge but if you’ve read any of the other books before February 9, you’ll have to read them again to make them count.

2015 reading challenge logo - participantYou have until 11:59 PM EST on June 21st to finish at least 25 books.  When you read the weekly check-in posts, again, please don’t forget to read the comments and keep track of your progress by commenting yourself! If you review books online, please include links to your reviews. Also, don’t forget to post the Participant’s Badge on your blog, website, or email signature, and, as always, if you have any questions or problems, let us know in the comments or via email.

If you are a particularly fast reader and have already completed the challenge by reading or listening to 25 titles from the list of eligible books, be sure to fill out the form below so we can send you your Challenge Finisher badge, get in touch to coordinate your reader’s response and, perhaps best of all, to notify you if you win our exciting grand prize drawing! Be sure to use an email you check frequently and do not fill out this form until you have completed the challenge by reading 25 titles. 

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Tweets of the Week: February 27th

2015 February 27
by Katie Shanahan Yu
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Here is a roundup of your tweets for the week! When people weren’t tweeting about #llamadrama and #thedress, they were tweeting about a lot of great #yalit

tweets of the week | the hub

Book News 

TV/Movie News read more…

One Thing Leads to Another: An Interview with Gail Carriger

2015 February 26
by Julie Bartel
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Check out previous interviews in the One Thing Leads to Another series here.

I grew up reading and re-reading Verne, Kipling, Stevenson, Doyle, and the not-Victorian mysteries of Agatha Christie while trying to memorize the entirety of Tennyson’s “Lady of Shalott” for reasons I’m still not certain I could articulate.  At the same time, I fancied myself something of an amateur naturalist (though at 10 I probably wouldn’t have used that word) and spent an inordinate amount of time messing around with age-inappropriate powders and vials that resulted in the cigar-box pinning and labeling of many unfortunate insects.  My teen years were draped in velvet, and at 16 I felt that elbow-length black silk evening gloves were appropriate for almost every occasion, including math class.  And I spent too much time thinking about and trying to procure tea, which was not at all easy to come by in my small mountain-ringed Utah town.

In other words, Gail Carriger is in oh so many ways the wheelhouse of my formative years, discovered slightly later, but no less welcome for that.  The world she creates (and it is a world, both on and off the page) is full of dirigibles, social commentary, mechanicals, custard, tea, diabolical secret societies, werewolves, proper manners, perfect curtsies, and treacle tarts, which is to say it’s delightful and immersive and subversive all at once.  If you’re looking for fun and froth, mystery and adventures, parasols and poison, Gail’s world is what you want; if it’s an ongoing and masterful dismantling of the Hero’s Journey, the Parasol Protectorate series is just the thing; if an unusual heroine (“with family and friends,” as Spike bemoans) flying cheese pie, and subtle examinations of race, class, and gender, among other things, sound exciting, you need to meet Sophronia, of the Finishing School series.  Or you might be, like me, waiting for the release of Prudence (The Custard Protocol: Book One) on March 17th because it’s impossible to resist a book wherein “a marauding team of outrageous miscreants in a high tech dirigible [charges] about fixing things, loudly and mainly with tea.”

Please imagine me performing one perfect curtsy here.  Thank you, Gail!

Always Something There to Remind Me

3GailCarrigerCreamPhoto by Robert Andruszko

Please describe your teenage self.

A demanding, arrogant, overachiever nerd-type with an unexpected interest in fashion who was constantly reading or writing. Not all that different from now, frankly. Except perhaps the overachiever part.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

An archaeologist, because I wanted to touch history.

What were your high school years like? 

I actually really enjoyed high school. I met, made, and kept most of my still-dearest friends. I remember laughing… a lot. I wasn’t a depressive kid. I didn’t have an identity crisis. I was proud to be weird, nerdy, and an outsider. I spoke up in class. I had a healthy relationship with food and exercise. I went to my first convention. I learned to sew and took up cosplay. I was the first to drive amongst my group, so I had purpose. I was a scholarship kid at a prep school so I was challenged. I had some fantastic teachers. And if I did need to escape, I just read books.

What were some of your passions during that time?

I remember being obsessed with Monty Python, Tamora Pierce, and dancing. I was on the swim team, but never really a team player. Dressing up and thrifting for unique fashion was very important. This was the 90s, so grunge was in and it was easy to be stylish on the cheap. I got into throwing massive costume parties and my house quickly became one of the primary gathering places (I had the “cool parents,” still do).

Would you be willing to share a difficult teen experience or challenge that you feel shaped the adult you became?

My parents’ divorce was rough, but then I had plenty of role models. Nearly all my friends were also the children of divorced parents; I just came to it later than everyone else. It didn’t really effect how I thought about romance, but it did force me to rethink how I conceived of family. As a result threads of friendship, and the concept of building one’s own family, and the importance of loyalty weave through many of my books. My main characters are never going to be solitary agents against the universe in a hero’s journey kind of way.  In fact, I react strongly against that archetype. read more…

Jukebooks: Hold Tight, Don’t Let Go by Laura Rose Wagner

2015 February 25
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HoldTightBefore the earthquake, Magdalie was a fifteen year-old girl living with her aunt and beloved cousin, Nadine. After the earthquake, Magdalie and Nadine were everything to each other. The survival of each became entwined with the other. They dreamed of the day that they would travel to Miami together, how they would go see movies, get belly piercings, and live in air conditioning. Too soon, Nadine gets the chance to leave. Magdalie can only try to save money and hope that she will also leave her homeland, if that indeed becomes her choice.

So what kind of music do Haitian kids listen to? Magdalie and Nadine like Justin Bieber, Rihanna, and Beyonce. Of special interest is the ring tone Nadine has for a special boy friend: “Je lui dirai,” sung by Celine Dion. This emphasizes the French influence on two very different cultures – Quebec and Haiti. The novel weaves together the languages of Haiti – English, Creole, and French. The musical tastes of Magdalie and Nadine embrace popular music from all of these influences.

Diane Colson, currently reading an advance reader’s copy of The Truth Commission by Susan Juby.