Hello again, my dear Hubbers! I’m back again for a round-up of my favorite new-ish comics to share with you! Yes, I know, I was supposed to do a post on the newest topic in my SuperMOOC comics series, but to tell you the truth, I am super behind on my MOOC. Who knew that this “Summer Reading” thing would take up so much of my time? Ha! So, instead, I’m happy to give you a list of a few of my new favorite titles that will definitely appeal to a whole gamut of comics readers. From weird Guardians to zombies to our (well, my, I guess) favorite, Mr. Batman, himself, I hope that you’ll be excited to jump into the deep end of the comics pool. Join me, won’t you? As always, we start with Batman!
Batman, Volume 4: Zero Year – Secret City by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo & Danny Miki: Zero Year is a fun place for both Batman fans and non-fans alike to jump into the current story line that Scott & Greg have created. Zero Year is going way, way back to how poor little rich boy, Bruce Wayne, not only became Batman, but what that first year was like for him after he decided to don the cape and cowl. A nefarious group calling themselves the Red Hood Gang have descended on Gotham, determined to take the city down, no matter what it takes. They also wear these red cone like things on their heads – very amusing, if you ask me. But they are deadly and will stop at nothing to bring the city to its knees. However, one thing they didn’t count on was Batman – well, he isn’t known as Batman yet. So, they weren’t counting on a guy in a suit that looks like a bat. A fun and fast paced story that readers can jump right into and get hooked – and, trust me, they will get hooked. Plus – bonus! Early Edward Nygma, and we all know who he turns in to, right? (It’s the Riddler, by the way!). read more…
Summer is in full force. If you’re a public library, your Summer Reading Program is probably in full swing: programs, readers look for books, and readers picking up reading incentives. If you’re a school librarian, I hope that you’re having a great summer. Either way, if you’re crazy busy this summer, here are some tweets you might have missed this week.
- @earlyword :YA Galleys To Read Now http://wp.me/p2wfaE-n9i http://fb.me/6VNM22Kbw
- @sarahdessen :Missed yesterday’s 5 Fun Facts about books I have abandoned? Check it out here. Failure: it happens. https://storify.com/sarahdessen/five-fun-facts-about-books-i-have-written-and-aban … #fb
- @catagator: Fan of debut novels? Here’s what’s coming at you in YA debuts this month: http://stackedbooks.org
- @Scholastic · Have you heard? We’re announcing a new multi-platform series: TombQuest! Author @mdnorthrop stopped by for Q&A: http://bit.ly/1n7w5nf
- @Candlewick · Did you miss Neil Gaiman at Carnegie Hall? Here is @SLJournal‘s recap: http://ow.ly/z809i
- @yainterrobang · Want to share this week’s #yalit releases on Tumblr? Check ‘em out here: http://tmblr.co/Z8To7r1LYoOpZ
- @BookRiot · Our YA Fiction For the Rest of 2014 Preview was so big, it couldn’t fit into one post. Here’s part one: http://ow.ly/z7GIC
The excitement this summer for YA books turned blockbusters like The Fault in Our Stars is only just beginning. The If I Stay (2010 Best Books for Young Adults) and The Giver movies both come out this August, with many, many more of our favorite YA titles being optioned for films or currently in development. Which makes this the perfect time to check out YALSA’s Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults nominees for its 2015 list Books to Movies: Ripped from the Pages. You’ll probably find your favorite titles that have already been adapted for the silver screen (or will be soon).
Each year YALSA’s Popular Paperbacks committee creates lists filled with books that are in paperback (important for those budget conscious) and are interesting and engaging reads on a broad range of themes and genres. We also strive for our lists to have diverse characters and authors that reflect the different background and experiences of the teens we serve. The other 2015 lists are Mysteries: Murder, Mayhem, and Other Adventures (for the whodunit fans), Lock Up: Teens Behind Bars (for contemporary fiction fans) and Narrative Non-Fiction: Inspired by Actual Events (for history buffs and biography fans).
The other great thing about Popular Paperbacks is that this committee accepts and loves to receive field suggestions for any of our lists. We want our lists to be as inclusive and exhaustive as possible so the more nominations we receive the better our list will be. Popular Paperback’s nomination criteria is simple too, be currently available in paperback, have appeal to teens 12-18, not on a previous Popular Paperback list in the last five years and fit the theme of the list being nominating for. The most exciting part is anyone can put forth suggestions for the committee to consider– non-YALSA members or librarians, teen readers, parents, grandparents, anyone! Head to YALSA’s Popular Paperbacks page to get more information or to start suggesting your favorite book to movie or mystery titles.
- Amanda Margis, currently reading Design, Make, Play, edited by Margaret Honey and David E. Kanter and listening to Rebel Heart by Moria Young
It can be hard to make friends when you have Tourette’s Syndrome. Filthy words explode from your mouth, unbidden. But Dylan Mist is lucky in that respect. His best friend, Amir, accepts and understands his outbursts. So when Dylan comes to believe he has only a few months to live, he makes a bucket list:
1. Have real sexual intercourse with a girl.
2. Fight heaven and earth, tooth and nail, dungeons and dragons, for my mate Amir to stop getting called names about the color of his skin. Stop people slagging him all the time because he smells like a big pot of curry. And help him find a new best friend.
3. Get Dad back from the war before…you-know-what happens.
Many adventures take place in pursuit of these goals. For one, Dylan and Amir go to the school’s Halloween party (as characters from the Reservoir Dogs). It’s not exactly their scene. As they sip warm, carbonated drinks, the boys survey the dance floor. Dylan notes:
The Beyonce song where she talks about having a rock the size of a grape on her finger was playing. This was a song all the girls seem to love; they loved it so much that they all pointed to their ring fingers when they were dancing as if all the men should go out and spend their hard-earned cash on a bloody silly sparkle ring. Stupid song. Stupid dance. Stupid message. And, as I expected, all the dudes and walking wounded hovered around the edges of the dance floor/gym hall with nothing to do. p253
The girls do love that song! “All the Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” struck a nerve with its saucy lyrics and punchy, upbeat melody. Released in 2008, Rolling Stone magazine named it the best song of the year. The recording below is from the 2011 Glastonbury Festival.
It’s summertime! And if you’re anything like me, that means finding a spot to curl up with a cool breeze, a tall glass of something iced, and a stack of good books. Now, I don’t always match my reading to the season, but sometimes I like my books to feel like an extension of the atmosphere I’m experiencing, rather than an escape from it. Especially if I’m lucky enough to be on vacation (or happily anticipating one); sometimes I want to read all about other people having the same disruption to routine that vacations bring, living outside of their regular schedules. And sometimes, y’know, I just want to savor the season as much as possible: sun, sand, water, just-picked fruits and veggies – celebrate the many incarnations of a summer vacation with the following vacation-themed reading.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Destination: Private island estate
This is the book that prompted the whole list of summer destination-themed titles; I devoured it in a single sitting (with a pitcher of iced tea, natch) and upon finishing was, a) blown away by the plotting – avoid spoilers!- and b) immediately ready for absolutely everything in my life to be summer-themed, because the setting was so deliciously drawn. Cady, our protagonist, is returning to her family’s summer retreat on a private island after spending the last two years away. She is suffering from excruciating migraines and trying to reclaim the easy, uncomplicated rhythms of the vacations she shared with her cousins in summers past, but she’s hindered by memory loss. As the incomplete flashbacks of previous years on the island draw the mystery closer to the dormant truth, the pages go by faster and faster until the truly shocking finale.
This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
Destination: Lakeside cottage
This is the first collaboration between cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki since 2008’s much-lauded Skim (a personal favorite and a 2009 Best Books for Young Adults top ten selection), and like that nuanced, thoughtful graphic novel, this nuanced, thoughtful graphic novel is equally beautiful, with pitch-perfect dialogue and a subdued palette awash in blues and purples. The fully-realized characters are visibly bubbling over with complex, rich emotions, their relationships displayed with all the hesitations and missteps of real life. The gorgeously rendered scenes are alive with all the details of small beach town life; the magnificence of plunging into the water on a warm day, the lazy delights of an afternoon indoors after too much sun, the importance of marshmallows at a bonfire. I swear I could hear the gulls while I read. read more…
One of best programs I attended at the recent ALA Annual Conference in Vegas was the very popular session on Monday afternoon presented by Jennie Rothschild and Angela Frederick called Stranger Than Fiction: Reader’s Advisory for Nonfiction.
It seems like everyone’s talking about nonfiction these days because of the emphasis on the Common Core. Rothschild and Frederick suggested a large number of interesting and appealing nonfiction titles for teens, many from YALSA’s award and selection lists like the Alex Award, Excellence in Nonfiction Award, Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, and Outstanding Books for the College Bound. They also had a lot of suggestions for great nonfiction read-alikes for popular fiction titles.
The books they recommended are notable for their interesting subject areas that can be read for pleasure, not just for assignments; have appealing layout/style or design, and, despite that so many are published for adults, still have great teen appeal. Rothschild noted that since there isn’t a lot of teen nonfiction published compared to children’s and adult, teens are used to reading up or down. Many of the nonfiction titles are notable for their narrative style that reads like fiction and the fact that they complement so many popular fiction books.
Here are some of the highlights:
Subject read-alikes for Bomb: The Race to Build –And Steal –The World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin (YALSA 2013 Award for Excellence in Nonfiction, 2013 Sibert Award Winner, 2013 Newbery Honor Winner; National-book-award-finalist for Young People’s Literature):
- The Ultimate Weapon: The Race to Develop the Atomic Bomb by Edward T. Sullivan (YA)
- Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm, graphic novel (adults and older teens)
- The Radioactive Boy Scout by Ken Silverstein (adult)
- The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Keiran (adult)
- The President Has Been Shot by James L. Swanson (YA)
- Lincoln’s Last Days by Bill O’Reilly & Jon Zimmerman (YA adaption from adult book)
- Ghosts in the Fog by Samantha Sieple (Middle Grade)
- The Notorious Benedict Arnold: a True Story of Adventure, Heroism and Treachery by Steve Sheinkin (YALSA 2012 Award for Excellence in Nonfiction and YALSA’s 2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound (OBCB)
Today is Bastille Day – a French holiday commemorating the beginning of the French Revolution in the late eighteenth century. On this date in 1789, crowds stormed a prison known as the Bastille, broke it open, and released the prisoners inside. Since the prison was symbolic of the powers of the king, its fall marked the beginning of the revolution, and the downfall of the monarchy.
If you are interested in viewing this part of French history through fiction, or if you are simply a Francophile and enjoy any stories set in “Marianne,” there are many wonderful books to choose from. Grab a café au lait and a croissant, get comfortable, and consider any of these half dozen titles to get you started.
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly (2011 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults)
Andi is a modern day New York teen, forced to spend her winter break in Paris with her father. She’s angry at the world after the death of her little brother, and nothing seems to be able to get her to care about anything. While in Paris, Andi finds a journal belonging to a young actress named Alexandrine and finds comfort in its words. Alexandrine won’t mind her privacy being invaded – she lived more than 200 years ago, during the French Revolution. As Andi reads about Alexandrine’s struggles, she feels herself growing closer to the actress until one night, their two personalities seem to merge. Has Andi traveled through time?
Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Allyson is at the end of her three week, post-graduation trip in Europe. She’s a meticulous, careful, thoughtful person and her trip has been the same – well planned, not a detail left to chance. When she meets Willem, a lively, itinerant actor, and he invites her to spend a day with him in Paris, she should say no. This is not on her itinerary! But Allyson says yes, and has an amazing 24 hour adventure with Willem in the City of Lights; romantic, risky, fun, exciting, and challenging. Maybe breaking out of her careful plans is the best thing that could happen to her.
The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner
An unusual group of people band together during the French Revolution. Yann, a young, gypsy orphan works for a magician, along with Tetu, a dwarf who is Yann’s guardian. When the magician is murdered, and Yann’s life is threatened, Tetu and Yann should flee France. But the Revolution is beginning, and a lovely young noble woman to whom Yann is attached, Sido, is in danger, precluding his escape from the Terror.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults)
A fun love-story that includes wonderful descriptions of the City Of Lights and life within it. Anna is very upset at her father for sending her to a Parisian boarding school for her senior year. But after she meets the charming Etienne, she thinks life in Paris might not be so bad after all. It’s a pity Etienne has a girlfriend… read more…
Good morning, Hub readers!
Last week, we asked about your favorite summer romance in YA lit. 32% of you chose The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen, 23% are partial to Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, and 20% are swooning over This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith. You can see detailed results for all of our previous polls in the Polls Archive. Thanks to all of you who voted!
This week, we’re sticking with the summer theme, but taking our questions to the great outdoors. There are lots of amazing summer camps depicted in YA lit. Which one would you pack your bags for? Vote in the poll below or add your choice in the comments!
What fictional summer camp are you hitting this year?
- Camp Half-Blood (Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan) (66%, 39 Votes)
- Wildewood Academy for the Performing Arts Summer Institute (Dramarama by E. Lockhart) (12%, 7 Votes)
- Space Camp (Dangerous by Shannon Hale) (10%, 6 Votes)
- White Pines (Summer State of Mind by Jen Calonita) (7%, 4 Votes)
- Siegel Institute (Empress of the World by Sara Ryan) (3%, 2 Votes)
- Camp Fusion (Windchaser by Krissi Dallas) (2%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 59
The seventh annual Odyssey award presentation was held at the ALA Annual Conference on Monday, June 30, 2014.
The Odyssey Awards are the awards for the best audiobook of the year produced for children and/or teens in English and available in the United States. It is a joint award presented by ALSC and YALSA.
The room was packed full of librarians and audiobook fans. It was definitely exciting to see all the honorees that were able to make the presentation of awards. Here is a slightly blurry photo of the awards winners that were present:
From left to right:
- Booklist consultant, Rebecca Vnuk
- 2014 Odyssey Chair, Ellen Rix Spring
- Daniel Kraus (author of Scowler, 2014 Odyssey Winner)
- Timothy Federle (author/narrator of Better Nate Than Never, 2014 Odyssey Honor Audiobook)
- Kirby Heyborne (narrator of Scowler, 2014 Odyssey Winner)
- Kelly Gildea (producer of Scowler, 2014 Odyssey Winner)
- Sunil Malhotra (narrator of Eleanor & Park, 2014 Odyssey Honor Audiobook)
- Rebecca Lowman (narrator of Eleanor & Park, 2014 Odyssey Honor Audiobook) read more…