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Teen-Friendly Horror Movies That Won’t Make Parents Scream in Outrage

Teens and horror movies go together like peanut butter and jelly. It is one of the biggest reasons why the majority of horror films strive to get a PG-13 rating to secure their primary demographic. Despite this link, many parents hate how dark/sexual/illicit-substance-using these movies tend to be. I would argue these features really contribute to their appeal even though teens may not admit to it though.

My personal history with horror is tumultuous at best. After viewing a specific part of Poltergeist at the age of 8 when flipping through TV channels one summer night, I became a certified coward. That mentality reigned over my teen years. I finally started opening my mind to the possibility of enjoying horror in my twenties. I am so incredibly grateful that I did; and like any late-age convert, I’ve really become a “high brow” horror fan (engrossing story lines, good production value, awesome acting). This fact means that I have some good picks for horror movies which teen patrons will love and that won’t have parents coming in the next day to file a complaint.

What Would Fred Read?

I laughed cried and marveled at Won’t You Be My Neighbor, the biography of Fred Rogers, the host of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. I didn’t grow up watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and was amazed by the thought Fred Rogers put into each episode and the range of current topics he addressed. He looked nerdy and trained as a Presbyterian minister; he was a man on a mission. He chose children’s television as his means to nurture young children and help them make sense of the world. He was very concerned about people’s feelings and making personal connections with his viewers, speaking directly to them and looking into the camera as if looking into their eyes. I think a teen Fred Rogers would enjoy books that do the same sort of thing.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marvelous Meta-Horror for Halloween Season

Horror is at its scariest when it puts you into the perspective of its terrified victims, but if you’ve read or watched widely in the genre, it can be harder to feel those vicarious thrills, especially when you’re busy yelling at the characters to stop being so stupid. Enter meta-horror: where your extra knowledge of the genre is part of the fun. In meta-horror, the characters may realize that events are happening like in a horror movie; or the story may break the fourth wall and deconstruct horror tropes to do something unfamiliar. It may be as simple as including “wink-wink” references that a horror fiend may be delighted to recognize. Either way, these meta-horror books, movies, and games can be scary, clever, or funny, or all three. You can recommend these titles to your high school teen horror buffs who are looking to put their horror knowledge to good use.

BOOKS

Alone, by Cyn Balog (Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers 2019 nominee)

Seda’s mother inherits a crumbling mansion that was once a murder mystery hotel. Her mother is supposed to renovate and sell it, but she seems more interested in keeping it in the family. Seda likes all of the secret passages and macabre decorations at first, but it turns oppressive when a blizzard strands a group of teenagers at the house. To keep their new guests entertained, her mother decides to host a murder mystery like in the old days.

Books to Read Based on Your Divergent Faction

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you know that Veronica Roth’s new book, Carve the Mark, has been released and fans are super excited! For new fans, this book might bring them to Veronica’s original phenomenon, Divergent.

In honor of this I have compiled a list of what books you should read based on your Divergent faction. Don’t know your faction? Take a quiz here!

Get your pens and papers or Goodreads account ready, here are some books you’ll love (hopefully!) based on your faction. And if you’re divergent, your list will be even longer!

 

Erudite: The Intelligent

  • The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

11-year-old Flavia de Luce, who dreams of being a chemist and has a passion for poison, must clear her father’s name in a murder case. By gathering clues, Flavia is able to tie two deaths together and investigate new suspects. This book is perfect for an Erudite because Flavia is tenacious and smart and uses her incredible depth of knowledge to crack the case.

Six unlikely outcasts band together, with the brilliant criminal Kaz leading the way. They must break into a fortress that is known to be impenetrable, without their pasts getting in the way. Six of Crows is great for an Erudite reader as all six characters have to use their smarts and skills to pull off the heist of a lifetime.

Kestrel’s Commander father wants her to join the military or get married, but she has other plans. When she saves the life of a slave, she discovers he is much more than he seems and her new path is set in motion. Kestrel, just like an Erudite, uses her wits and strategic planning to find her way out of difficult situations.

5 Books to Read Based on Your Ilvermorny House

It’s Harry Potter season!  Everyone knows about the Hogwarts houses and most people have taken the sorting quiz but what’s the new American wizarding school all about and how do you pronounce it?  Ilvermorny (ill-ver-mor-ney) is where American witches and wizards go to study their craft.  If you’d like to learn more about the history, you may visit the Pottermore website.  You can get sorted into an Ilvermorny house on Pottermore while learning the character traits associated with each house.  After you get sorted, check out the following books that you may enjoy based on your new American wizard house.

Thunderbird House- Thunderbirds have soul and they attract adventurers.

thunderbird-house

Harper is a ballerina. She works hard but she can’t seem to be as great as her best friend.  When she comes up short on her dream, Harper decides to find her meaning of life on an Antarctican expedition.

Leila is on a road trip to see the Northern Lights and she meets four teens on her travels.  Although their time together is brief, Leila makes a deep impression.

Minn is stuck with her father and new stepmother in Mississippi.  When Minn overhears that her mother is ill back in her hometown of Ohio, she steals her stepmother’s money and hops on a bus.  On her way, Minn meets an attractive photographer, a homeless teen with Down’s Syndrome, and other nefarious people.

Zen likes trains especially the rails in his alternate universe in space.  When a mysterious man named The Raven pays Zen to steal a box from the train of the emperorer, Zen isn’t sure if The Raven is evil or if it’s the government that’s evil.

Blue Riley’s mother has died and her sister has run away. Desparate to find her only family, her sister, Blue makes a deal with the devil.  On a cross country trip to locate her sister, Blue encounters new friends, loves, and enemies.

Movie List: Movies to Inspire the Spirit of Earth Day

Earth Day is Friday, April 22 2016. This year there will be a landmark signing ceremony of the Paris Agreement, a United Nations effort to combat climate change. While it is actually better to get outside and take part in a conservation effort as a way to personally celebrate Earth Day, here is a list of teen friendly movies to get you into the spirit of things.

Movies for Earth Day

 

FernGully: The Last Rainforest, 20th Century Fox

By way of Australia, this 1992 classic introduced us to Crysta, a fairy in a tropical rain forest that was previously free from human intervention. After she accidentally shrinks a young logger named Zak, they have to work together to prevent more deforestation and the ominous pollutive company Hexxus.

WALL-E, Disney

Wall-E is a lonely robot left behind to clean up the planet after it has been abandoned by humans after it was destroyed by mass consumerism. He inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind.

Into the Wild, Paramount Vantage (2010 Fabulous Films for Young Adults)

Based on the 1996 book by Jon Krakauer, a young college graduate leaves his worldly possessions behind to experience the great outdoors. His body is found in the Alaskan wilderness, this is the incredible story of a young man seeking enlightenment, but only finding death.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind; Kaze No Tani No Naushika, Disney

Caught between two warring nations, pacifist and warrior Princess Nausicaä struggles to prevent them from destroying themselves and their dying planet.

Whale Rider, Newmarket Films (2009 Fabulous Films for Young Adults)

True Crime: Books, Podcasts, and Documentaries

With Season 2 of the popular podcast Serial nearing the end of this current season, the FX original limited series, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, and the runaway Netflix hit Making a Murderer, our fascination with crime stories doesn’t seem to wane. Maybe the draw is that we want to see justice served, or we want to know if we could spot the true crime in a situation, or maybe it has something to do with the fact that, as one of the lawyers in Making a Murderer says, “We could all say that we’re never going to commit a crime. But we can never guarantee that someone else won’t accuse us of a crime.” Whatever the reason, one thing it does is challenge our worldview.

true crime stories for young adults
CC image via Flickr user Tony Webster

 

For readers that enjoy a suspenseful or thriller type mystery, true crime can be a great nonfiction option. True crime can also be a great gateway to other narrative nonfiction for readers that don’t see themselves as nonfiction readers; through it they might find themselves spellbound. Here is a list of heart-pounding true crime books and other media.

Borden Murders Cover                  Chasing Lincoln's Killer              hole-in-my-life-cover

The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden & the Trial of the Century by Sarah Elizabeth Miller

One of the most followed crime cases of the late 1800s, Miller reexamines the brutal crime that left Lizzie Borden’s father and step-mother hacked to death with an ax, and why so many thought it was Lizzie’s doing.

Chasing Lincoln’s Killer by James L. Swanson (2010 Best Books for Young Adults)

Relive the heart-racing account of the twelve-day chase and capture of John Wilkes Booth and his accomplices in this historical thriller.

Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos (2003 Printz Honor Book, Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults 2006, 2003 Best Books for Young Adults, 2004 Selected Audiobooks for Young Adults)

Shortly after graduating from high school, Gantos accepted an offer of $10,000 to help sail a boat full of hash from St. Croix to New York, eventually landing him in prison.

Take Five: Favorite Holiday Movies

This time of year, many are watching their old holiday favorite movies, and the Hub bloggers are no exception! Today, we’re sharing our favorite more obscure holiday movies.

Take Five The Hub

Every December I will always watch Sandra Bullock in While You Were Sleeping.  It is absurd and I love it.  I am wholly enamoured with all of the characters.  For me it has always stood apart from other Romantic Comedies.  Lucy is both optimistic and forlorn in her attempts to find love while working at the train Station. When Lucy protects a man after he has been robbed, she unexpectedly becomes part of his life. I love the change-ups both expected and unexpected.  Don’t look closely at the plot though it will all unravel in a minute. — Laura Perenic

My favorite holiday movie that may very well be under-appreciated is Surviving Christmas, which stars Ben Affleck as this guy Drew who doesn’t have any family and he’d much rather go on a trip to Tahiti instead of celebrating Christmas.  His girlfriend gets mad at him and after a recommendation from his therapist he goes back to his childhood home to sort out his problems.  A new family lives in his old house and when Drew shows up at their door the movie gets funnier and funnier.  I love this movie because it’s a total clique on how you can find true love and how you can create a new family and live happily ever after.  Definitely a spirit building movie and I love to watch it every year! — Kimberli Buckley

Documentaries for Teens: Feminism

Though feminism has been around, arguably, since the Suffragette Movement, and though girls and young women have benefited hugely from the accomplishments of Second Wave Feminism, many teens are still hesitant to self identify as feminists or feminist allies. This may be due to a lack of understanding of what feminism actually means, or a false notion that sexism no longer exists and feminism’s work is done. However, just as Second Wave Feminists engaged in consciousness raising groups in order to make their fellow women aware of everyday patriarchal injustices, many young women, particularly on social media sites such as Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook, are actively engaged in drawing attention to everyday sexism as well as the intersections of racism, classicism, cissexism, ableism, and the ways in which mainstream feminism has (and in many cases still does) excluded other marginalized groups.

The library can serve as an excellent place for consciousness raising whether through book clubs, service projects, or topic specific forums. Documentaries can serve as a jumping off point for these discussions. Here are a few to get you started.

Miss Representation (2011)

The recent release of female-centric films and television shows such as Suffragette, Grandma, and Supergirl may spark young women’s thinking about why there isn’t more female representation in media. Miss Representation, directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom and Kimberlee Acquaro addresses the lack of good representation of women in media and the implications it has for female leadership. This documentary makes a compelling case for teaching media literacy in schools. Available for streaming on Netflix. Visit the official website’s curriculum page.

Girl Rising (2013)

Take Five: Favorite Teen Movies

With the changing of the season, it seems like a perfect time for a movie marathon, and after reading the submissions from a handful of Hub bloggers about their favorite teen movies, I bet you’ll be ready for a marathon, too.

Take Five The Hub

What’s your favorite teen movie? 

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  Hands-down the best teen flick ever.  Sly Ferris.  Moody Cameron.  Fun-Loving Sloane.  And (of course) super angry/jealous Jeanie.  One of the best movies of all time!  And my second place choice:  Dazed & Confused.— Stacy Holbrook

Clueless. Based on Emma by Jane Austen (one of my favorite authors) and it perfectly captures the styles of the ‘90’s. — Carla Land

Sixteen Candles.  John Hughes makes moves that totally express the teenage experience in such a normal way.  Sixteen Candles was a movie my older sister loved, and when I was a teenager, I identified so much with Sam (embarrassing grandparents, unrequited crush) that I wanted to be her – if only to end up with Jake Ryan in the end!  —Traci Glass