I love books, my iPad, and match-making, so in honor of Teen Tech Week, a YALSA initiative that promotes ethical and competent use of technology, I wanted to pair some of my new favorite books with some of my favorite apps.
Fans of Aristotle and Dante Discover the History of the Universe by Benjamin Alire SÃ¡enz (2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2013 Printz Honor Award) will enjoy the Go SkyWatch Planetarium Guide for iPad or Google Sky Map for Android devices. Both use GPS locators to generate a map of the sky with a guide to all the planets and stars, complete with interesting information. It’s the perfect app to take out into the desert for some stargazing, just like Aristotle and Dante loved to do.
Those who loved Across the Universe by Beth Revis (2011 Readers’ Choice nominee) can explore the universe from the comfort of their own home with Solar Walk for iPhone or iPad or Solar Planets 3D for Android devices. Both these apps are tours of our solar system that allow users to zoom in on planets while learning the history of space exploration. Who says you need a spaceship to navigate through space and time?
If games are more your style, there are plenty of apps perfect for fans of popular books. Readers who can’t get enough of vampires and zombies and loved The Immortal Rules by Julie Kawaga (2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults) will enjoy Infect Them All: Vampires for iPhone and iPad. Beware: it’s addictive!
Readers who love graphic novels like those on the 2013 list of Great Graphic Novels for Teens can make their own with ComicBook! for iPhone and iPad. This app allows users to generate their own comics by integrating their own photos with fonts, borders, and stickers, resulting in endless fun.
Symphonica is a great app for readers who were in awe of Seraphina’s musical ability in Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (2013 Morris Award). The player in this game is the conductor of a symphony and can experiment with different musical elements. Though it doesn’t have any dragons, it does have fun manga-style graphics!
Apps can be both educational and fun. The possibilities are seemingly endless. If it can be done, there is probably an app for it. Readers who can’t find the perfect app to complement their favorite book can even create their own! Yapp allows users to make apps for free without any coding or technical skills.
What are your favorite apps? If you could design your own, what would you make?
— Molly Wetta, currently reading In Darkness by Nick Lake and Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers