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Author: Traci Glass

Traci Glass is the Teen Librarian for the Eugene Public Library system in Eugene, Oregon. She loves realistic fiction, comics and horror movies. and comics. and Batman. Find her on Twitter: @grablit

So You Want to Read an A.S. King Book?

AS King SnapchatWhenever I get a request for an “extraordinary teen book” – and, I get that request all the time – I always recommend books by A.S. King.  From real to surreal, love to hate, red helicopters to umbrellas, A.S. King writes books that make the teen experience feel real.

All of the characters in her books – Lucky, Astrid, Glory, and my personal fave, Vera, (just to name a few) are real people to me.  Sometimes I wonder what they might be doing now.  Eating a sandwich?  Feeling happy?  Riding in the red, invisible helicopter?  Her books helped me through reading slumps, a traumatic death, and plain ole’ boredom.

If you haven’t read an A.S. King book, yet – I have to let you know that you are in for a treat.  But!  With so many books and so many topics and subjects, where’s a reader to start?  Lucky for you, I created a super-simple (ha-ha!) flowchart to lead you directly to the book that will blow. your. mind.  Last year, I was lucky enough to have A.S. King visit my library for Teen Read Week.  When I was agonizing over what I was going to say in my introduction, I came upon the following quote, and it’s stuck with me so long because it’s so totally true.  From the New York Times Book Review:  “Maybe there are writers more adept than King at capturing the outrageous and outraged voice of teenagers, but it’s difficult to think of one.” Yes – that’s exactly correct.

So…without further ado…behold my arrow and box skills below…

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Week in Review: December 4th

Happy Friday, Hubbers!  Can you believe it’s already December?  Where did November go?  I’m just amazed that Midwinter is a month away!  Anyways, I have news on Star Wars (twice!) and a few best of 2015 lists to brighten your weekend.  ICYMI, I’m here to compile all the other fun and interesting news here just for you!  Here’s your Week in Review for Friday, December 4th.

week in review | YALSA's The Hub

Books & Reading

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2015 Young Adult Services Symposium: New Adults

Sorry this wrap-up is so late, dear Hubbers – conferences always knock me out for at least a week after. Anyways, I was happy to attend the “New Adulthood: Literature & Services for NA Patrons” presented by Meg Hunt Wilson, Teen Librarian & Reference Librarian in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (my home state!) and our own Hub member manager, Molly Wetta, Collection Development Librarian at the Lawrence (Kansas) Public Library. They focused on  four aspects of the NA market – what is new adult, appeal and marketing, booktalks, and library services. I was thoroughly fascinated by their presentation, and without further ado – here’s the highlights of their talk at the 2015 YALSA YA Services Symposium.

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So – what is New Adult?

New adult titles are geared towards teens who are just past high school life – 18-25 years of age is the common age range. NA books began as a self-publishing phenomenon, but eventually move on to the “regular” publishing world. The books are mostly set on college campuses, are relationship centric, fast-paced, and emotionally intense. And, oooh! Are they ever steamy! As one of my teens told me when I told her about this panel: “aren’t those the books with a lot of sex in them?”

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Week in Review: November 6th

Happy Friday, Hubbers!  With news on J.K. Rowling (twice!) and my secret boyfriend, Jon Stewart, this week is turning out to be just as exciting as Halloween (ha – just kidding!).  ICYMI, I’m here to compile all the other fun and interesting news here just for you!  Here’s your Week in Review for Friday, November 6th.

week in review | YALSA's The Hub

 

Books & Reading

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Journey Through the 2015 National Book Award Longlisters

NBA2015Happy almost-Halloween, Hubbers! The leaves are changing, it’s cooling down (even in Arizona where I just was – it was 90 degrees! Brr!), and it’s my favorite time of the year. But, on to the books! Over the next couple of months, I thought I’d focus on the National Book Awards longlist for Young People’s Literature – although, due to my trip, I wasn’t able to get as much reading done as I’d have liked. But, we’ll start small this month, and I’ll be working my way through the longlist over these cold & rainy months to come. This month, I’m focusing on 3 books that are fun, interesting and perfect books for all the teens in your life. I know they’ve announced the finalists by now, but I thought it would be fun to celebrate all of the great books that made the longlist since they are all winners to me! Here we go…

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Week in Review: October 9th

Happy Friday, Hubbers!  Wow, that new Twilight news – big surprise!  And, I agree with @alli_librarian – that book is going to take up some shelf space, that’s for sure!  Plus, Doctor Who, Taylor Swift (kind of), and, of course, I worked in a Bachelor/Bachelorette reference.  ICYMI, I’m here to compile all the other fun and interesting news here just for you!  Here’s your Week in Review for Friday, October 9th.

week in review

Books & Reading

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Booklist: Extraordinary New Nonfiction

Can you believe it’s already almost the end of September? I think I must do a lot of my Hub posts at the end of the month because by the time I’m writing them I’m astounded at how it’s suddenly the end of the month.

Anyways. Hubbers! Exciting news! Nonfiction for teens is getting better and better. I had my whole month filled to the brim with great nonfiction that totally read like fiction. I was on the edge of my seat; I wanted to learn more about each topic as soon as I was finished with each book I read. I was excited (for lack of a better word) about typhoid fever, WWII Russia and WWI Russia.

Teens may think that nonfiction is dull and boring (I’m pretty sure that I did when I was a teen), but I think that nonfiction for teens and adults has come a long way. Instead of rote recitation of facts and figures, nonfiction is including stories of hope, triumph, will, starvation, cannibalism (we’ll get to that later), and more in a way that is lyrically beautiful and hooks readers from the very first page.

I actually wanted to read most of these books because I participated in School Library Journal’s annual FREE all-day virtual conference, SummerTeen. If you haven’t participated in the SummerTeen experience, you totally should. It’s a fun day of presentations (Jason Reynolds’ keynote speech was so unbelievable; I’m still thinking about it 2 months later) that you can attend from your desk or in your pajamas – what could be better than that? So, at SummerTeen, I “attended” a great session on new nonfiction for teens that featured some of the books I’ll be spotlighting today. I’ll also be featuring a couple of additional nonfiction books that I loved that I just know the teens in your life will grab up and absorb knowledge from. Join me, won’t you – on this journey through the world of extraordinary nonfiction.

the-family-romanov-candace-flemingThe Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion & the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming  (2015 YALSA Nonfiction for Young Adults Finalist): This book is the oldest of all the ones I’ll be talking about today; it came out in 2014 and was a finalist for the 2015 YALSA Nonfiction for Young Adults award as well as a 2015 Siebert honor book. And, it’s well deserved – this book was so engaging and entertaining, I wanted it to never end.

Now, I’m sure most of us know the story of the Romanovs: Tsar Nicholas II, his wife, Empress Alexandra, and their 4 daughters and 1 son loomed over Russia from 1868-1918, and through their policies created mass inequity between classes while living in decadence. When you first open the book and see that huge family chart with names and dates and all the lines connecting them and theirs, you might feel like “I’m not going to understand one thing in this book” (and “you” was actually me) – but, fear not – this book is so easy to read that first chart will be long forgotten after the first chapter. Fleming does a great job of incorporating not only accounts from those high in power in the government, but also accounts from everyday workers and those so poor they could not afford to eat; it provided a nice balance to the Romanovs who thought that everything was perfectly fine in Russia, and that everyone just wanted to complain. When it finally comes to the end that we all know about, I still ended up learning things that I’m still thinking about many months later (just remember the jewels under their dresses when you get to that part of the story. Good grief.).

Plus, Rasputin. People. That could have been a story all to itself. The book ends with the death of Lenin and the realization that Stalin is now coming into power. I was so mad when this book ended. I wanted to know what happened when Stalin came into power! But, guess what? Then I picked up this next book, and my wishes were granted…

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Week in Review: September 18th

Happy Friday, Hubbers!  There’s been A LOT of exciting news this week regarding new movies, new book deals, and more.  Plus – Chipotle!  Our precious Bachelor in Paradise might be over for the season, but ICYMI, I’m here to compile all the other fun and interesting news here just for you!  Here’s your Week in Review for Friday, September 18th.

week in review

Books & Reading

  • Yes!!  The National Book Award longlist for Young People’s Literature was announced on Monday.  I’ve already read a couple of these titles, and I’m so excited to read the rest.  Plus – for the first time ever, a webcomic is one of the finalists – Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona.
  • Did you love Ava Dellaira’s book Love Letters to the Dead?  Well, I sure did, and so do so many of my teens.  Fortunately, she has a new book coming out in 2018 (no, it has to be now!!) titled 17 Years.  It sounds so awesome.
  • Speaking of M.T. Anderson (see my first bullet point!) – he, along with a few other great authors (Lois Lowry! Mary Roach!) are contributing short written works for Chipotle’s Cultivating Thought series featured on their bags & cups.  A great way to be introduced to new authors while inhaling a burrito.
  • Have you checked out this blog:  Reading While White?  Dhonielle Clayton, co-author of the amazing book, Tiny Pretty Things, shared it via her Twitter feed.  First post was Tuesday, and I can’t wait to read more.
  • One more thing from Twitter:  Do you or teens you know love Sherlock?  I’m assuming Yes!  Then, you need to get Lock & Mori in their hands immediately – it just had its book birthday on Tuesday.  Check out Heather Perry’s Twitter feed for more news about this awesome tale of Sherlock as a teenager!
  • TokyoPop is getting back in the manga game and has a new self-publishing app coming in 2016.
  • Bill Koningsberg, author of Openly Straight and The Porcupine of Truth, is on tour visiting schools and librarians to talk talk about how suicide isn’t the answer for anyone, gay or straight, and he shares his response to being asked to not emphasize the “gay” parts at one school on the Huffington Post blog.
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What Would Cher Read? A Clueless Booklist

CluelessOh my goodness – Summer Reading and Learning is almost over, and I am so thrilled. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Summer Learning, but it’s tiring, yes?

Well, guess what I found out recently turned 20 years old? Me? Unfortunately, no, but something better – the movie of my generation (well, 1 of them, at least) – Clueless.

You know the story; a retelling of Emma, Clueless is led by Cher as she tries to find love and cultivate friendships as well as her wish to be a good person: a person who helps other people. It’s that shining gem starring Alicia Silverstone which also gave viewers our first glance at the never aging Paul Rudd. Seriously – have you seen him in the new Wet Hot American Summer prequel on Netflix? Dude doesn’t age.

Anyways…I decided to watch the movie to relive that summer of my 17th year where I had nothing more to ponder than where I thought Cher had bought that yellow plaid jacket/skirt combo. The movie was just as good as I remembered, and I realized that I’d love to delve more into Cher as a character. What was she like? And, most importantly, what would she read?

So, here it is, Hubbers, my attempt to guess as to what our dear Cher would most enjoy reading if she would happen to come in to the library and ask for some recommendations. And, one tiny nonessential secret before we move on to my top book picks for Cher. I actually hadn’t thought of the movie for a while, but as I was watching Bachelor in Paradise a few weeks ago (no judgement), Ashley I. was lamenting her status as a virgin, and boom! This quote popped in my head: “You’re a virgin who can’t drive.” I figured any random quote that would stick in my head for 20 years must be indicative of a fantastic movie. And, I was right. Anyways, here we go…

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Tweets of the Week: July 31st

Wow! Can you believe it’s already the end of July?! (this is where I need an interrobang key) Summer is just flying by; it will be cool and crisp before you know it. There has been some fun stuff on Twitter this week; be sure to check out these tweets of the week with news about the upcoming All the Bright Places movie (yay!), Kate Hattemer’s upcoming book (double yay!) & summer manga (triple yay!).  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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