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Yay! It’s Batman Day!

2014 July 23
by Traci Glass
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Picture Courtesy of Yours Truly!

Picture Courtesy of Yours Truly!

Wow!  You guys!  It’s officially Batman Day – as declared by DC Comics, a celebration of Batman and the glorious 75 years that he has graced us with his batty-presence.  No matter what form of Batman you prefer – animated series, comic books, video games, movies – we are celebrating him in all his inclinations today.  It’s my favorite day of the year (well, next to Halloween and my birthday – so it’s right up there with the good holidays, at least), and we’re going to celebrate it today here on The Hub!  I’ve got a little bit of a history for you (unknown history…exciting!), a few of my favorite stories, and a look at where Batman is going in the future.  So, join me, won’t you, on this little walk down Batman road…

First up, the history.  Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27 long, long ago in May 1939.  And, you know how when you watch Batman or read Batman, there’s always that little tagline that says “Batman created by Bob Kane.”  Okay, simple enough, right?  Well, not right, my friends.  Batman had another creator that has languished in obscurity all these 75 years.  Luckily, a gentleman named Marc Tyler Nobleman did a little sleuthing and found out the real truth behind Batman.   read more…

Jukebooks: While We Run by Karen Healey

2014 July 23
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They always wanted me to sing “Here Comes the Sun.”

It used to be one of my favorite Beatles songs. The lyrics capture so simply the longing for light. The singer talks about the cold, the ice that hasn’t melted in a long time, but he repeats over and over that the sun is coming home.

In 1969, over a hundred and fifty years ago, George Harrison was having a hard winter. He’d been arrested, he’d had his tonsils removed, and he was being forced to comply with the corporate demands of the Beatles’ recording company. He’d even temporarily quit the band.

Then, one winter’s day, he walked around a friend’s backyard with an acoustic guitar and wrote “Here Comes the Sun.”

While We RunIn 2128, Abdi Taalib sings this song with Tegan Oglietti. It should have been impossible, because Tegan had died one hundred years earlier. But thanks to cryonic suspension, Tegan was revived to have a second chance at life. It turns out to be a harrowing second chance. In this sequel to Healy’s When We Wake, Tegan’s friend Abdi takes over the narration. Both teens are coerced to sell  cryosuspension as an option for the world’s desperately poor.  The sales pitch is that refugees in this world can be frozen, sent off on a starship bound for a shining new world, and start afresh. It’s all a terrible lie.

“Here Comes the Sun” is one of the few recorded Beatles songs written by George Harrison. In his autobiography he describes writing the song, exactly as Abdi tells it. He wrote the song in Eric Clapton’s garden. Interestingly, particularly in context to this story, “Here Comes the Sun” was considered for inclusion on a Voyager Golden Record.

Where Are They Now? Morris Award Finalists & Winners

2014 July 22
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yalsa morris winnerHave you ever wondered what YALSA’s Morris Award winning authors have been up to today since they were recognized for their first novels? Well then, this post is the one for you.

For a little background, YALSA has been giving out the Morris award since 2009, which honors debut young adult authors with impressive new voices. This post is not intended to be a comprehensive list of  what all of the finalists and winners have been up to, but it’ll give you an idea of what some of our Morris winners and finalists have been writing since winning their awards. (Be sure to take a look at the full list of Morris winners and finalists.)

Then: 2009 Awards 

  • 2009 Winner – A Curse Dark As Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce
  • 2009 Finalist  – Graceling by Kristin Cashore

read more…

Set a Goal and Read: The Beauty of Large Reading Projects

2014 July 22
by Libby Gorman
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photo by flickr user msbhaven

photo by flickr user msbhaven

Ah, summer. The time for lazy reading by the pool, picking up whichever book strikes your fancy… or frantically completing long summer reading assignments. It depends on who your teachers are.

I definitely had a couple of long, involved reading assignments during my school years, most notably the summer before I started college. It was strongly suggested that we read an abridged version of Don Quixote before term started. Being the rule follower that I am, I went to the library and could only find the unabridged version… so that’s what I read. Even with that experience, though, something about summer brings out my enthusiasm for planning large reading projects.

What do I mean by a large reading project? Well, make no mistake, I completely believe in reading for fun and pursuing those reading materials that interest you. And my reading projects are materials that interest me, but they are those items that I never seem to get around to in the course of my normal reading: really long, thick novels that don’t automatically call to me when I flop down on the couch at night, for example, or lists of books that I wouldn’t remember to get to if I weren’t intentional about it.  read more…

Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before

2014 July 21
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phot source: horla varlanI love books and I love music. That being said, it should not be a surprise to learn that I am a big fan of crossovers between the two.

The Hub is no stranger to this fantastic pairing, either: every Wednesday Diane Colson shares with us a book-and-song match in her Jukebooks series, Jennifer Rummel recently used country music as the basis for a booklist, and I referenced my love of book-themed playlists in a previous post.

While scanning through a list of new YA releases recently, I couldn’t help noticing that many of the titles seemed awfully familiar: quite a few of them share (or are very similar to) titles of songs. They may not be similar topically as the pairings in Diane’s posts, but there is no denying that some of these will have you humming the second you see the covers:

Since You've Been GoneSince You’ve Been Gone

When you hear the title of this contemporary story of best friends, summer vacation, and list completion from author Morgan Matson, you may immediately think of Kelly Clarkson’s 2004 chart-topper, “Since U Been Gone.”

 

Don't You Forget About Me(Don’t You) Forget About Me

This new release from Kate Karyus Quinn is a near-match for the Simple Minds classic “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” but that is where the similarities end between this suspense-filled mystery and The Breakfast Club’s theme. Additionally, Quinn’s debut Another Little Piece immediately resulted in Janis Joplin singing “Piece of My Heart” in my head.

 

read more…

The Monday Poll: Your Favorite Assigned Summer Reading

2014 July 21
by Allison Tran
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photo by flickr user Patrick Gage Kelley

photo by flickr user Patrick Gage Kelley

Good morning, Hub readers!

Last week, we asked which fictional summer camp you’d like to attend. Most of you are packing your bags for Camp Half-Blood as featured in Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson books, which captured a whopping 66% of the vote. 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 are still on our summer-themed kick, and we want to know about your favorite assigned summer reading from high school. Whether you’re still in high school or simply reliving fond memories, what assigned books stood out to you over those long, lazy summers? Did you grimace and groan at the thought of reading something for school even though class wasn’t in session, or did you welcome the chance to have your eyes opened to a book you might not have otherwise chosen? I admit, I was never very pleased to interrupt my avid pleasure reading with assigned titles, but there were a few pleasant surprises along the way. We’ve supplied some common assigned summer reading titles in the poll below, but please add your choice in the comments if we missed it!

Your favorite assigned summer reading in high school?

View Results

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Cool Comics Picks (and Zombies!)

2014 July 18
by Traci Glass
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Afterlife with ArchieHello again, my dear Hubbers!  I’m back again for a round-up of my favorite new-ish comics to share with you!  Yes, I know, I was supposed to do a post on the newest topic in my SuperMOOC comics series, but to tell you the truth, I am super behind on my MOOC.  Who knew that this “Summer Reading” thing would take up so much of my time?  Ha!  So, instead, I’m happy to give you a list of a few of my new favorite titles that will definitely appeal to a whole gamut of comics readers.  From weird Guardians to zombies to our (well, my, I guess) favorite, Mr. Batman, himself, I hope that you’ll be excited to jump into the deep end of the comics pool.  Join me, won’t you?  As always, we start with Batman!

Batman, Volume 4:  Zero Year – Secret City by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo & Danny Miki:  Zero Year is a fun place for both Batman fans and non-fans alike to jump into the current story line that Scott & Greg have created.  Zero Year is going way, way back to how poor little rich boy, Bruce Wayne, not only became Batman, but what that first year was like for him after he decided to don the cape and cowl.  A nefarious group calling themselves the Red Hood Gang have descended on Gotham, determined to take the city down, no matter what it takes.  They also wear these red cone like things on their heads – very amusing, if you ask me.  But they are deadly and will stop at nothing to bring the city to its knees.  However, one thing they didn’t count on was Batman – well, he isn’t known as Batman yet.  So, they weren’t counting on a guy in a suit that looks like a bat.  A fun and fast paced story that readers can jump right into and get hooked – and, trust me, they will get hooked.  Plus – bonus!  Early Edward Nygma, and we all know who he turns in to, right?  (It’s the Riddler, by the way!). read more…

Tweets of the Week: July 18th

2014 July 18
by Jennifer Rummel
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Summer is in full force. If you’re a public library, your Summer Reading Program is probably in full swing: programs, readers look for books, and readers picking up reading incentives.  If you’re a school librarian, I hope that you’re having a great summer. Either way, if you’re crazy busy this summer, here are some tweets you might have missed this week.
tweets of the week | the hub

Upcoming Event:  @sljournal Hottest books, coolest authors. SummerTeen is next week! Register FREE today: http://bit.ly/1oxJEcg  #sljst

Books

read more…

Popular Paperbacks: Movies, Mysteries and More

2014 July 17
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fault in our starsThe excitement this summer for YA books turned blockbusters like The Fault in Our Stars is only just beginning. The If I Stay (2010 Best Books for Young Adults) and The Giver movies both come out this August, with many, many more of our favorite YA titles being optioned for films or currently in development.  Which makes this the perfect time to check out YALSA’s Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults nominees for its 2015 list Books to Movies: Ripped from the Pages. You’ll probably find your favorite titles that have already been adapted for the silver screen (or will be soon).

Each year YALSA’s Popular Paperbacks committee creates lists filled with books that are in paperback (important for those budget conscious) and are interesting and engaging reads on a broad range of themes and genres. We also strive for our lists to have diverse characters and authors that reflect the different background and experiences of the teens we serve. The other 2015 lists are Mysteries: Murder, Mayhem, and Other Adventures (for the whodunit fans), Lock Up: Teens Behind Bars (for contemporary fiction fans) and Narrative Non-Fiction: Inspired by Actual Events (for history buffs and biography fans).

The other great thing about Popular Paperbacks is that this committee accepts and loves to receive field suggestions for any of our lists. We want our lists to be as inclusive and exhaustive as possible so the more nominations we receive the better our list will be. Popular Paperback’s nomination criteria is simple too, be currently available in paperback, have appeal to teens 12-18, not on a previous Popular Paperback list in the last five years and fit the theme of the list being nominating for. The most exciting part is anyone can put forth suggestions for the committee to consider– non-YALSA members or librarians, teen readers, parents, grandparents, anyone! Head to YALSA’s Popular Paperbacks page to get more information or to start suggesting your favorite book to movie or mystery titles.

- Amanda Margis, currently reading Design, Make, Play, edited by Margaret Honey and David E. Kanter and listening to Rebel Heart by Moria Young

Jukebooks: When Mr. Dog Bites by Brian Conaghan

2014 July 16
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When Mr Dog BitesIt can be hard to make friends when you have Tourette’s Syndrome. Filthy words explode from your mouth, unbidden. But Dylan Mist is lucky in that respect. His best friend, Amir, accepts and understands his outbursts. So when Dylan comes to believe he has only a few months to live, he makes a bucket list:

1. Have real sexual intercourse with a girl.

2. Fight heaven and earth, tooth and nail, dungeons and dragons, for my mate Amir to stop getting called names about the color of his skin. Stop people slagging him all the time because he smells like a big pot of curry. And help him find a new best friend.

3. Get Dad back from the war before…you-know-what happens.

Many adventures take place in pursuit of these goals. For one, Dylan and Amir go to the school’s Halloween party (as characters from the Reservoir Dogs). It’s not exactly their scene. As they sip warm, carbonated drinks, the boys survey the dance floor. Dylan notes:

The Beyonce song where she talks about having a rock the size of a grape on her finger was playing. This was a song all the girls seem to love; they loved it so much that they all pointed to their ring fingers when they were dancing as if all the men should go out and spend their hard-earned cash on a bloody silly sparkle ring. Stupid song. Stupid dance. Stupid message. And, as I expected, all the dudes and walking wounded hovered around the edges of the dance floor/gym hall with nothing to do. p253

The girls do love that song! “All the Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” struck a nerve with its saucy lyrics and punchy, upbeat melody. Released in 2008, Rolling Stone magazine named it the best song of the year. The recording below is from the 2011 Glastonbury Festival.