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Category: Pop Culture

What Would a Jedi Read? Reader’s Advisory for Star Wars Characters

Our favorite Star Wars characters need good book recommendations too! Yet, could you figure out a book picks for popular Star Wars characters off the top of your head? The latest and (apparently) final entry into the Skywalker saga within the Star Wars universe is just around the corner. It is always important to reflect on popular culture in the library. Such a large percentage of our collections embrace the idea of pop culture. Also, aspects of the fandoms can be great touchstones for reader’s advisory. If the teen you are trying to help doesn’t know how to explain their needs or desires in a book, asking for the name of their favorite Star Wars character could be the “in” that you need.

NaNoWriMo Inspiration for Teens

With November halfway over, many aspiring writers are trying their best to complete NaNoWriMo (also known as National Novel Writing Month) where they are challenged to write a book by the end of the month.  Life is especially hectic for teens as they juggle school assignments, clubs, sports, etc. So if any teens are attempting to do NaNoWriMo, they need lots of inspiration as they forge ahead on their writing journey. Here’s a round up of some resources to motivate potential teen writers:

Fiction: 

Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2020) Nominees Round Up, October 4 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Best Fiction for Young Adults nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

Wilder Girls by Rory Power
Delacorte Press / Penguin Random House
Publication date: July 9, 2019
ISBN: 978-0525645580

On an island off the coast of Maine, the students of an all-girls boarding school and the wilderness of the island – suffer from an infection of “the tox” which ravaged their bodies and minds as the fight for survival. Friends Hetty, Byatt, and Reece are pushed to extremes as they attempt to uncover the truth behind the mysterious disease while their classmates continue to die after gruesome flair ups of perplexing and grotesque symptoms while they wait for a cure and fight over rations delivered by boat from the mainland.

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.

Building a TTRPG Circulating Collection

 

Have you or your teen patrons jumped on the Dungeons & Dragons wagon yet? No teen program I have ever run has been as popular as my D&D club, even now, an almost-year after starting it. With the proliferation and popularity of Twitch streamers, podcasters, YouTubers, and voice actors gaming live for an audience, it’s easier than ever to get hooked. (Check out shows and podcasts like Critical Role; The Adventure Zone; Dice, Camera, Action; Acquisitions, Inc; and more.) Whether it’s a hobby, a lifestyle, a creative outlet, or a way to blow of real-life stress, lots of teens and young adults are looking to play.

What Would Brian May Read?

My favorite movie of 2018 was Bohemian Rhapsody. I was thrilled to see it, and Rami Malek, win awards, but, as interesting as Freddy Mercury’s story is, I find Queen guitarist Brian May’s story equally as interesting. Not only is he one of the world’s greatest guitarists, he built his own guitar and has a PhD in astrophysics. Although he is now in his 70s he still plays and recently released a new single, “New Horizons”, to celebrate the space probe of the same name as it flew past Ultima Thule, the farthest object in the solar system that a spacecraft has visited. Brian May might be described as a Renaissance Man and I wondered are there Renaissance Teens who might be inspired by these books I think reflect aspects of Brian May’s life?

Nerds in Love: Book Recommendations

It’s March, and I’m getting ready for C2E2, one of Chicago’s best pop-culture conventions. Whether you prefer the term nerd, geek, fanboy/girl, or pop culture enthusiast, 2019 is an excellent time to proclaim your love for things once stigmatized as being not cool, from playing Dungeons & Dragons to cosplaying as your favorite anime character to writing fanfiction of your favorite TV shows. YA authors and publishers are not immune to the geek chic trend; in Publisher’s Weekly May, 2017 article, “In the Age of Conventions, YA fans rule” they argue that the rise of novels with “plots that feature fandom, cons, and cosplay” is inevitable as authors interact more and more online and in person with their fans. In the novels that follow, fellow nerds find friendship and even love in comic book shops, at conventions, and while playing MMORPGS (for the uninitiated, that’s massively multiplayer online role-playing games).

Riverdale Reads

Oh Riverdale – I have a special place in my heart for you, but I think your teenaged residents could use some time away from town quarantines and drug induced hallucinations and really horrible parenting. Luckily, YALSA’s 2019 award winners and nominees have books to help your beleaguered high school students cope with all the drama. (Warning: Season 3 Spoilers)

What Would Anne and Maud Read?

I was incredibly excited when I first heard that Netflix and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation were creating a new series based on L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. My Canadian friends and family were able to view Anne With an E before me and their reviews were mixed. Most had seen – and loved – the 1985 CBC TV series, which faithfully followed the book. It seemed that older friends and family, especially those who had read the books and/or seen the original TV series, disapproved of the “liberties” the new series took with the story line. Younger friends and family, who had less familiarity with the story, were intrigued at the way the new series explored darker themes

In addition to creating controversy, the new series, now renewed for a third season, has sparked a new interest in interest in the author and the world she created. Regardless of what you think of Anne With an E, these books are an exciting way to explore the world of Anne, and her creator, who liked to be called Maud (without an E).

   

Month in Review: November 2018

What happened in YA last month? Here is a quick round up of featured posts on The Hub and other links to keep you up to date when collecting for your teens.

month in review | yalsa's the hub

 

At the Hub

Features: