One more weekend before Labor Day! The end of summer goes fast. Here are some of the things that had people buzzing on Twitter this week. Wednesday was the anniversary of the amendment which gave women the right to vote. Two television reporters were killed by a domestic terrorist. Here’s what happened in the book, pop culture, and library worlds this week.
- @JanniLeeSimner Are you too strange for fiction? http://www.zazzle.com/too_strange_for_fiction_tshirt-235051054610283445 …
- @quirkbooks Matching A Book By Its Cover: A Visual Exercise http://bit.ly/1JxmX7p
- @theswanky17s If you’re a debut young adult or middle grade author being pubbed in ’17 we’ll be launching the Swanky site w/ membership info next week!
- @TLT16 Foster Teens and Orphans in #Yalit #scifi http://www.teenlibrariantoolbox.com/2015/08/reflections-of-reality-foster-teens-and-orphans-in-young-adult-science-fiction-a-guest-post-by-kerry-sutherland/ … a guest post
- @miss_print If you’re looking for YA Historical/Fantasy titles heavy on adventure and light on romance, I have a list for that: https://brooklyn.bibliocommons.com/list/share/323466277_bklynemmac/495416788 …
- @epicreads Pick a dog, get a book recommendation! http://bit.ly/1EiRbIY #NationalDogDay
- @skrishna Today on @HeyPanels I wrote THE SMART GIRL’S GUIDE TO PRIVACY by @violetblue from @nostarch http://panels.net/2015/08/26/lock-it-down-maintaining-privacy-in-the-gutters/ …
- @tehawesomersace Aversive Racism and the Traditional Publishing Model http://justinaireland.com/dammit-this-is-a-blog/2015/8/27/aversive-racism-and-the-traditional-publishing-model …
- @believekarolina Always and forever, amen. http://electricliterature.com/why-we-do-weird-things-an-interview-with-ottessa-moshfegh-author-of-eileen/ …
Today’s post is co-written by myself and Kenzie Moore. Kenzie is a student in her final semester of Syracuse University iSchool’s MLIS program, where she’s been focusing on teen services in between watching episodes of Teen Wolf and going to One Direction concerts. You can connect with her on Twitter.
It feels like every day we meet new tweens who are reading above their grade level and seeking recommendations. Cross-unders, or teen books with tween appeal, were well-covered in this 2013 Hub post from Erin Bush and Diane Colson. The YALSA Blog chimed in with reasons why these books are an important part of a teen collection serving reluctant and ELL teen readers as well as advanced tweens and younger teens. Knowing how frequently we search for titles to fit these diverse needs, Kenzie and I offer some additional cross-under suggestions. Feel free to add your own in the comments!
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie — 14-year-old Junior is going to do something he thought was impossible: he’s going to leave the Spokane Indian reservation where he lives. Not permanently or anything, but he deserves better than decades-old math books, and he’s mad about it. Mad enough to do something. Sherman Alexie’s highly-buzzed book deals with some complicated topics: bullying, racism, alcoholism, but it also deals with what it is like to find your own path to walk as a young person. That, combined with the humor in Junior’s voice and his drawings that pepper the pages, is going to make this a high-appeal book for readers just starting to dip their toes into the teen waters. read more…
British media is really the best, because it has something to offer almost everyone. Love all things Austen? You probably love Downton Abbey! Obsessed with mysteries
(and Benedict Cumberbatch)? Sherlock! Wacky, galaxy-hopping fantasy adventure? You must be a Doctor Who fan. But my personal favorite Anglo import has to be the British comedy.
I’m not sure what, exactly, about British comedy makes it so particularly appealing, but I’ve loved it ever since PBS started airing classics like Are You Being Served and Vicar of Dibley waaaaay back in the day. The Brit Com seems to have cornered the market on ridiculously embarrassing antics from endearingly witty oddballs, and something it about it speaks to me (as to what that says about me…well, we’ll leave that to speculation). But while Brit Coms on TV don’t seem to have the same resonance with teens as Doctor Who and Sherlock, there is one area where they dominate: YA books.
A perfect example? The snarky, irreverent Georgia Nicolson from Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging (2001 Printz Honor book and first of the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson books by Louise Rennison). When you first meet Georgia, she’s just accidentally shaved off one eyebrow (whoops!) and is working on ways to make that look, you know, work. Her fab lingo is just as delightful as her wry observations – I called my school “Stalag 14” all the way through high school – and no matter how you slice it, she remains one of my all-time favorite voices in, er, literature. read more…
The month of August is designated Romance Awareness Month, so it’s a great time to spotlight romance titles.
Not everyone knows what a romance novel really means – I talk to tons of people who aren’t sure.
There’s a fool proof definition: A romance ends with a happily ever after.
In adult romances, books end with the couples married or engaged or together for the rest of their lives. For teens, it’s more likely happily ever after for now. Most teen books don’t end with marriage or the acknowledgement that they found their soul mate (although a few do.). Even in teen romances, the couple falls in love and are together at the end of the book.
It doesn’t matter if you fall in love in the book if the book doesn’t end happily. Nicholas Sparks doesn’t usually write romance. The Fault in Our Stars isn’t a romance. Romeo and Juliet isn’t a romance. Sure those books have elements of romance in them, but they are not romance books; they’re missing that one key ingredient of happily ever after.
Are you a library staff member responsible for purchasing teen materials for your collection? If so, I encourage you to include listening to podcasts about teen literature and other teen media as part of your research into what to buy. In addition to tools such as collection analysis, surveys of your teen user population and media reviews, podcasts produced by those who have a passion for teen materials are a truly valuable resource. Podcasts also have the advantage of fitting easily into a busy schedule — you can listen while you eat lunch, walk or do things around the house…or just eat again…dessert?
In my research for this post, I sampled several podcasts dedicated to teen literature. Finding teen literature-focused podcasts was the main object of my search, although a couple of the podcasts which I will recommend do include discussion of other media. My main criteria for selecting a podcast to recommend were that it be currently active, largely focused on teen literature/media and hosted by someone with a background in teen literature/media (and ideally some experience working in teen library services or teaching).
The following is just a sampling of all the great teen literature podcasts out there—a place to start your listening. If you find that you enjoy a particular podcast, do provide feedback to its hosts to encourage them to continue their work! I also hope that you will add your own favorite teen literature or other media podcasts in the comments area of this post.
For each of the podcasts below, I have included a link to its accompanying Web site or blog. On each site or blog you will find links to podcast episodes as well as an indication regarding recommended listening apps to use. read more…
The following is a reader response from BJ Neary, who participated in and finished the 2015 Hub Reading Challenge.
This is my second year participating and completing The Hub Reading Challenge. I am an avid reader of all things YA- enjoying all genres in YA especially nonfiction, novels in verse, and series books. This year I discovered I had read many books on the list. So I decided to push myself and delve into audiobooks in the Challenge. Below are just a few of the award winning titles I listened to and RECOMMEND in the Amazing Audiobook section of the 2015 Hub Reading Challenge.
Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira was awesome. Laurel is still reeling from the death and loss of her older sister, May. Laurel has transferred to a new school. In English her first assignment is to write a letter to a dead person. This assignment begins a year- long letter writing campaign from Laurel to Kurt Cobain, Judy Garland, River Phoenix, Amelia Earhart, Amy Winehouse, poets and many more…What I liked about these letters is that Laurel researches each subject and the reader learns about the lives of these dead people and we see parallels to May, Laurel, and her family. As Laurel struggles with her guilt, her silence, her own self- image, and her idealization of May…who will she become? As a reader, I savored the New Mexico setting, the flawed (but real) characters, the letters, and Laurel’s journey. Teens will relate to Laurel, Sky, Natalie, and Hannah in their daily lives and interpersonal relationships in high school.
Acid by Emma Pass – I couldn’t stop listening as Jenna Strong is imprisoned by the police (the most barbaric force known as ACID) for murdering her parents when she was 15 years old. But all is not as it seems; if you love action, suspense, and thrillers; you will not soon forget Jenna’s world of lies, espionage, and sinister brutality—what will she do to remember her life as it was and as it is now? This audiobook has riveting plots, characters (nasty and nice) and a dystopian world you won’t forget! read more…
Last week’s poll asked what novelist who typically writes for adults you’d love to see pen a YA novel, and the overwhelming favorite was Gillian Flynn with 38% of the votes, although Junot Diaz was another popular choice with 24% of the votes. You can see detailed results for all of our previous polls in the Polls Archive. Thanks to all of you who voted and commented last week!
This week, we’re looking for your favorite YA novel set in boarding school. Here’s a sampling of YA novels where the characters attend boarding school, but they are by no means the only ones! Vote for your favorite below or share another title in the comments.
Breaking news – There has been a technological revolution where kindles, e-books, and various
online reading apps have taken over the world. Well, not exactly… But with today’s technological advancement it seems as though the popularity of reading books online has dramatically increased. In fact, according to a 2012 survey by Pew Research Center, the average number of books read by a reader of e-book is 24 books compared to 15 books for those who only read print. What makes reading an e-book more popular than reading a print book? I plan to evaluate the pros and cons for both types of books. read more…
Here is a roundup of the tweets of the week:
- @GuardianBooks Accio! From Harry Potter Latin to Hunger Games Rome: the classical jokes hiding in your favourite children’s books http://gu.com/p/4bbga/stw
- @HuffPostBooks 7 classic feminist YA books everyone should read http://huff.to/1LcSyHY
- @ That time I was profiled in the NYT and they mentioned @johngreen‘s The Fault In Our Stars, but not any of my books: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/08/18/magazine/23mag-culturesidebar.html?_r=0 …
- @EpicReads Book Recommendations Based On Your Astrological Sign! ––> http://bit.ly/1KB8E1j