The Snow Queen is one of those fairy tales where you really can talk about “the original.” Unlike other fairy tales, in which we use the term “original” to talk about any number of versions from various times in history we can’t really pin down, this one was written and published by Hans Christian Andersen in 1845. It almost feels not like a fairy tale at all, because if you’re used to the usual (I could say Disneyfied, but it’s really far more common than that) fairy tale structures and characters, this one doesn’t follow. It’s about children, not teenagers or adults; it’s quite long and divided into chapters; and it’s really more of a classic hero’s epic, with challenges and magical beings trying to deter the hero – only the hero is a girl, Gerda, and the person she’s rescuing is her childhood best friend, Kai, who otherwise isn’t all that interesting.
So that’s what’s interesting about The Snow Queen. It’s about a girl doing stuff. Being the boss. Having an adventure and traveling. Rescuing a boy who doesn’t even try to rescue himself because he has ice stuck in his chest, freezing his metaphorical heart. So, like everyone else, I waited with baited breath for Disney to mess it all up.
Warning: from here on out, this post contains what you may or may not define as spoilers, depending on how much you think the surprise of a Disney movie lies in the plot, as opposed to in the sound and look of it all. read more…
Today marks the anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition in the United States, brought about on this date in 1933 with the passage of the 21st Amendment. As such, it was the end of an era for all of the groups who had taken up the cause of national prohibition of alcohol and lobbied for it to be written into law (via the 18th amendment).
YALSA selected five books as finalists for the 2014 William C. Morris Award, which honors a book written for young adults by a previously unpublished author. YALSA will name the 2014 award winner at the Youth Media Awards at 8 a.m. ET on January 27 during ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia.
The 2014 finalists are:
Drew, also known as “Win,” has been isolated in a New Hampshire boarding school since he was 12. Though he excels at both academics and athletics, he is concealing a horrific secret that has driven him to the brink of madness. With the help of his friends, can Win confront the beast within him before it’s too late?
Evan Carter bounces from school to school—he has no friends and views girls as nothing more than a means to sexual release. When a brutal attack leaves him physically and mentally broken, Evan must evaluate what matters in his life and learn how to “accept responsibility, but not blame.”
James has a lot on his plate: strained relationships, a fractured family, and an all-consuming anxiety. He deals with depression by hugging trees, “yawp”-ing at the world like his idol Walt Whitman, and conversing with his imaginary therapist—a pigeon named Dr. Bird.
When Maude Pichon moved to Paris, she never dreamed she would end up working for the Durandeau Agency as a “repoussoir”—a foil for society’s elite who believe a plain face alongside them makes them look more beautiful. A countess hires Maude as a companion for her daughter, Isabelle, but as the girls’ friendship grows, Maude finds herself torn between her integrity and her livelihood.
At the height of the Spanish flu pandemic, WWI, and the Spiritualism movement, outspoken Mary Shelley Black is adrift in a fear-ravaged San Diego. While her childhood friend Stephen challenges her heart, his antagonistic spirit-photographer brother, Julius, represents everything her scientific mind abhors. When the unthinkable happens, how will Mary Shelley endure the unbearable losses, not to mention the evolution of her supernatural abilities?
Excited about the finalists? Be sure to participate in our Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge, which begins next week!
In Eat, Brains, Love by Jeff Hart, the zombie virus has changed everything for Jake. The career aptitude test, unhelpful as it was, now means nothing. After you become a zombie, you have no tasks beyond eating. Optimistically, however, Jake reflects on a song lyric, “Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places.” Nice sentiment for a guy with such a grisly lifestyle.
The song, Scarlet Begonias, is by The Grateful Dead, a band that compliments Jake’s new lifestyle. The group was formed in 1965, just in time to play a role in the emerging psychedelic scene. Their music defied categorization, with bits of rock, reggae, country, and countless other genres appearing in their performances, which generally included long improvised segments. Their music was so unique that the band attracted a loyal group of followers, known as Dead Heads. More than a band, The Grateful Dead was a musical force that lasted for over three decades.
“Our audience is like people who like licorice,” Jerry Garcia said. “Not everybody likes licorice, but the people who like licorice really like licorice.”
-Diane Colson, currently reading This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett
Today is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This annual, United Nations-sponsored event aims to “further raise awareness of disability and accessibility as a cross cutting development issue and further the global efforts to promote accessibility, remove all types of barriers, and to realize the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in society and shape the future of development for all.” This year the theme is “Break Barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all.” In recognition of this day, below is a list of books set around the world featuring characters with a variety of disabilities who are facing a host of barriers in their own lives.
The White Bicycle by Beverly Brenna – This 2013 Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book follows Taylor Jane Simon, a Canadian teen with Asperger’s Syndrome, as she travels around France during the summer. While I have not yet started this book, one of the main points that has been mentioned again and again in relation to it is the way that Taylor’s voice and perspective shine through. read more…
Good morning, Hub readers!
Last week, we wanted to know which YA book makes you the hungriest. A lot of you must be in the mood for lamb stew, or maybe it’s Peeta’s delicious baked goods that make your stomachs rumble– The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins topped the poll with 36% of the vote. Relish by Lucy Knisley came in second with 20% of the vote, followed by The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson with 16%. Several commenters weighed in with their most delicious suggestions, including Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams, Sunshine by Robin McKinley, A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park, Gabrielle Zevin’s Birthright books, and the Mythos Academy series by Jennifer Estep. Thanks for the great suggestions, Bridget, Tiffany, Alissa, and Kelsey!
You can see detailed results for all of our previous polls in the Polls Archive. Thanks very much to all of you who voted and commented!
This week, we’re asking which literary quest you’d like to join. Adventure? Mystery? Danger around every turn? Vote in the poll below, and be sure to leave a comment if we’ve missed your ideal quest!
Which literary quest would you join?
- The search for horcruxes with Harry, Ron, and Hermione (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling) (38%, 76 Votes)
- The quest to find Glendower (The Raven Boys series by Maggie Stiefvater) (19%, 38 Votes)
- The quest for Smaug’s treasure (The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien) (15%, 31 Votes)
- Sabriel’s journey into the Old Kingdom to find her father (Sabriel by Garth Nix) (11%, 22 Votes)
- Will’s search for the signs (The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper) (10%, 20 Votes)
- Quentin’s search for Margo (Paper Towns by John Green) (7%, 15 Votes)
Total Voters: 202
We posted a teaser last month about our upcoming Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge, and now that it’s just one week away, it’s time to share some details of this exciting challenge.
The 2014 Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge will begin on Monday, December 9. Once the challenge starts, you’ll have until the Youth Media Awards at ALA Midwinter (which begin at 8AM Eastern Time on Monday, January 27) to read all of the books on the shortlist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, all of the books on the shortlist for the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults, or both.
Only books that you both begin and finish within the challenge period count, so if you’ve read any Morris or Nonfiction shortlist titles before December 9, you’ll have to re-read them to count them. However, if you complete the Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge, the books you read for this challenge may be counted toward our 2014 Hub Reading Challenge. So by participating, you get a head start for the next challenge, which involves fabulous prizes! It’s like earning extra credit in school, only way more fun.
With one holiday past and more to come, this month will prove to be a busy one Sagittarius. Between parties, shopping for the perfect gifts, and getting those decorations placed just right, there will be many distractions to contend with. But all that fun and excitement can come with a cost. Just don’t forget in all the hubbub and chaos what is truly important, time with friends and family, opportunities to reflect on the past year and a chance to plan all the coming year’s adventures. Hopefully these books will get you into a joyful frame of mind.
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley
Lucy Knisley has grown up around food her whole life so it’s no surprise her memoir of her childhood would focus on this delicious topic. Her parents instilled in her at a very young age an appreciation for fine foods that has spanned her childhood and into adulthood. Besides interesting stories and great art, Knisley also shares her favorite recipes as well. This book would make a perfect gift for your foodie friends or you could relish it all on your own.
Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff
Delilah Dirk is never what you expect her to be. The daughter of wealthy parents and a former member of the Queen’s Court, Delilah also has no problems running through markets, stealing a pirate’s treasure and flying all over the world looking for adventure. Selim, a Turkish Lieutenant, is equally stunned by Delilah when she implicates/rescues him from a Turkish dungeon and follows her along for the ride. This graphic novel has enough adventure for two books and vibrant art that belongs on a museum wall, as long as Delilah doesn’t steal it.
Cherish this special time of the year Sagittarius and starting preparing for the next adventure just around the corner.
- Amanda Margis, currently reading Money Boy by Paul Yee and listening to Fat Vampire by Adam Rex.
Now that Thanksgiving has ended for another year, many of you are probably turning your attention towards holiday shopping. Whether you are planning to brave Black Friday sales today, wait for Cyber Monday deals or procrastinate until the last second, the bloggers at The Hub have put our heads together to come up with some great suggestions for the book lovers on your list. read more…
Here’s some news you might have missed.
Two conferences were held this week – check out Twitter for more info under #alan13 and #ncte13
- @catagator: 2014 contemporary YA titles to get on your radar: http://www.stackedbooks.org/2013/11/2014-contemporary-ya-books-to-get-on.html …
- @ValPayneCNN: Im soooo excited about this!!!! ‘Fear Street’: R.L. Stine and the return of teen horror http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/25/living/young-adult-fear-street-books/index.html?sr=sharebar_twitter …
- @MacKidsBooks: Looking for Thanksgiving themed books to read this week? We’ve got you covered! http://ow.ly/rcMbi
- @kishizuka: SLJ Best Books 2013 Adult Books 4 Teens http://ow.ly/rcWvt Nine out of 21 titles are debuts #sljbestbooks
- @ChelseyPhilpot: Most young adults prefer printed books to e-readers, study finds http://fw.to/aRKB9zM
- @IceyBooks: Hitting Shelves (98) — November 26th, 2013 http://goo.gl/fb/Gf8X4
- @Scholastic: Drumroll, please… RT @EW: The Best YA Novel of All Time bracket game: And the winner is… http://ow.ly/raMMU
- @PWKidsBookshelf: How Hans Christian Andersen Revolutionized Storytelling | Brain Pickings http://pwne.ws/1aSp2Go
- @KateMessner: I believe kids should read books about all different religions & @HornBook has a great list out today: http://www.hbook.com/2013/11/choosing-books/recommended-books/world-religions/#_ …