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What Would They Read?: Parks and Recreation Part 2

2014 July 28
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parks-and-recreationThe time has come to recommend more books to our friends in Pawnee.  I feel like I might have left the more difficult characters for this entry.  Last month, I chose books for Leslie, Ben, April, and Andy.  So let’s get started and see what we have this time around.

Tom Haverford – It is not difficult to select books for Tom. Basically, all you have to do is tell him that a celebrity endorsed the book and he would be all over it.  However, I do think that is a bit like cheating.  There has to be a bookSo Yesterday that fits Tom’s personality and passion for the jet-setter life.  There is a book– and it’s called So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld (a 2005 Best Books for Young Adults selection).  Before the name Westerfeld became synonymous with the Uglies series, he wrote So Yesterday.  In this standalone novel, Hunter has the responsibility to find the Innovators, people who start trends, and present them to the retail market.  Tom, with his big ideas like Entertainment 720 and Rent-a-Swag, will love the adventure Hunter embarks on in a city full of unknown pockets of cool.  Unfortunately Pawnee is not a hub of trendsetting activity.  Tom can live vicariously through Hunter’s story.  Another title that Tom may enjoy is Feed by M.T. Anderson.  In Feed, it is commonplace for everyone to have a feed similar to the Internet directly inputted into your brain.  The program learns your likes and dislikes and sends you advertisements customized to you.  Tom would love having all of that knowledge at his fingertips.  read more…

The Monday Poll: The YA Lit Plot Twist That Blew Your Mind

2014 July 28
by Allison Tran
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surprise_credit_leonwilson

photo by Leon Wilson on flickr

Good morning, Hub readers!

Last week, we wanted to know about your favorite assigned summer reading from high school. 49% of the votes went to Harper Lee’s classic, To Kill a Mockingbird, followed by The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, which captured 17% 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 want to know which YA book has your favorite plot twist in YA lit. Which one did you not see coming? Which one blew your mind? Vote in the poll below, and please add your choice in the comments if we missed it– but remember, no spoilers, please! Not everyone may have read these books, so please refrain from discussing the details of the plot twists. Now… vote away!

Which book has your favorite plot twist in YA lit?

View Results

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Wrapping Up the 2014 Hub Reading Challenge

2014 July 25
by Allison Tran
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Hub Reading Challenge logo

The 2014 Hub Challenge is over and the finishers have been contacted, so I’m here to announce the winner and officially wrap things up!

I’m pleased to announce our randomly selected grand prize winner, Emily L., who will receive a YALSA tote bag full of books. She finished the challenge by reading 25 books, and even managed to squeeze in a few more titles on top of that. Congratulations, Emily!

This year, we had over 300 participants in the Reading Challenge, and 81 finishers! That is truly impressive– kudos to all of you who took the challenge, and extra kudos to our finishers!

A few facts about our 81 fabulous finishers:

  • 32 of them were first-time participants.
  • There were 71 librarians, 5 teachers, 4 YA lit fans, and 1 teen.
  • The most widely-read book was the Morris Award winning title, Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn, with 56 out of 81 finishers having read it.
  • 22 people heard about the challenge right here on The Hub, 15 heard via listservs, 11 heard about it from YALSA, and one person heard about it… accidentally?! (We’d love the story on that!)

Thanks again to everyone who participated and made this year’s challenge so much fun! We hope you’ll join us for the Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge in the Fall and again next year for the 2015 Hub Reading Challenge!

-Allison Tran, currently listening to Scowler, written by Daniel Kraus & narrated by Kirby Heyborne

Summer Lovin’ : Recent YA Books To Satisfy Your Inner Romantic

2014 July 25
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Image: "Untitled" by talitafreak, used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Image: “Untitled” by talitafreak, used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

For many, summer will always be associated with vacation–and vacation reading habits.  And just as we each have an ideal vacation, so too do we have personal definitions of vacation reading. As a generally omnivorous reader, I’ll fill my suitcase and e-reader with anything from favorite mystery series to thrilling high fantasy novels.

However, even I must admit that there is something about love stories that makes them particularly well suited for vacation reading.  It might be inherent optimism in love stories–even those lacking a tidy, happy ending.  They revolve around the belief that human connection is meaningful, fragile, and precious; what could be a more encouraging? Happily, the last few months have produced several rich and varied titles perfect for readers seeking a good love story to dive into this summer.

everything leads to youEverything Leads To You – Nina LaCour

When her older brother offers her his apartment for the summer, ambitious young set designer Emi can hardly believe her luck; it’s the perfect place for Emi & her best friend Charlotte to spend their final pre-college summer together.  But Toby hands over the keys with one condition: they must do something epic in their temporary home.  Then Emi discovers a mysterious letter at an estate sale and the resulting scavenger hunt leads her to Ava.  Ava is different from anyone Emi has ever met and their immediate connection is undeniable and electric.  But life-long romantic Emi hasn’t had the best luck in love and Ava has a painful history of her own. Can Emi & Ava find the way to their own Hollywood happy ending? Will Emi’s fulfill her brother’s challenge by falling in love–or tumbling into heartbreak? (LaCour was named a 2010 Morris Award Finalist for her debut novel, Hold Still.)

Tgeography of you and mehe Geography of Us – Jennifer E. Smith 

In this next story of unusual meetings and communication mishaps, solitary bookworm & native New Yorker Lucy and grief-stricken, recent city transplant Owen find their lives unexpectedly colliding when a city-wide blackout strands them in the elevator of their apartment building.  Following their rescue, Lucy & Owen explore the powerless city’s strange wonderland together.  But when the power returns, their very separate realities come rushing back, tugging them apart.  Lucy’s globe-trotting parents move her to Edinburgh just as Owen and his father decide to hit the road, searching for a new life in the wake of his mother’s death.  But Lucy & Owen can’t shake their connection and through postcards, emails, text messages, & attempted reunions, the two teens navigate life, love, and the true meaning of home. read more…

Tweets of the Week: July 25th

2014 July 25
by Molly Wetta
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This week on Twitter brings you news from San Diego Comic Con and lots of coverage of the School Library Journal virtual conference on teen literature SummerTeen, in addition to the regular slate of book, movie, and library news.

tweets of the week | the hub

read more…

Celebrate Cousins Day in YA Lit

2014 July 24
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imagesDid you know that today is unofficially Cousins Day? Neither did I until I discovered that several different websites devoted to strange and unique holidays both designate today as the day to celebrate the bond between cousins.

I didn’t see my cousins much growing up but I do have fond memories of the few times we did get together on vacation. I thought it might be fun to see how many YA books I could find involving cousins.

we_were_liarsThe obvious book that immediately comes to mind is We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. Not only have I read it recently, but it’s also been featured here by Carly Pansulla in her July 15th post, “Summer Reading: Vacation Destination Books.” Carly’s description of the book is great so if you want to know more about it, check out her post. I will only say that the main narrator, Cady Sinclair, has great memories of spending summers with her parents and aunts and her first cousins, Mirren and Johnny, at their family’s private island off the coast of Cape Cod… until one fateful summer when everything changes.

Another notable book featuring first cousins is meg rosoff’s 2005 Michael L. Printz Award winning how i Photo Jul 11, 5 16 37 PMlive now. This riveting novel is narrated from 15-year-old Daisy’s point of view. She leaves Manhattan to stay with her cousins Osbert, Edmond and Isaac (twins), and Piper, the youngest, on a remote farm in England. Soon after Daisy settles into their farmhouse, her Aunt Penn becomes stranded in Oslo and terrorists invade and occupy England. Daisy and her cousin Edmond fall in love, but when soldiers take over the farm, the boys and girls are separated and sent away to different places. Daisy and Piper struggle to stay alive in the midst of this devastating invasion. The book was made into a film that was released in November 2013.

read more…

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…