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¡Viva! YA Literature for Hispanic Heritage Month

2014 September 19
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Image courtesy of Flickr user Classic Film

Image courtesy of Flickr user Classic Film

September 15 – October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month which honors the history, culture, and contributions of Americans of Hispanic/Latino descent. As someone who works in a primarily Spanish-speaking community, this national observance is especially meaningful for myself, my colleagues, and the patrons we serve. Hispanic Heritage Month presents the opportunity to showcase literature in which many of our readers see their personal and unique experiences reflected, celebrated, and made visible to the world around them. Here are a few titles for you to enjoy that feature Hispanic/Latino characters and/or are written by Hispanic/Latino authors. ¡Viva!

Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. marina
I’ve been a fan of Ruiz Zafón since 2001, when he transfixed me with his stunning gothic novel for adults, Shadow of the Wind; naturally it’s been wonderful to see his young adult fiction (orig. published in Spanish) translated into English. The Prince of Mist (2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults) was lauded for its gorgeous attention to historical detail, haunting mood, and suspenseful twists. Ruiz Zafón’s Marina continues the same lush storytelling tradition. Fifteen-year old Oscar Drai’s adventure begins when he encounters the mysterious Marina while exploring an older part of Barcelona. They go to a cemetery where they witness a woman dressed in black placing a rose on an unmarked grave. Marina and Oscar choose to follow the woman, and are soon drawn into a world full of dark secrets involving a dead actress, a reclusive industrial tycoon, and creepy science experiments. read more…

Tweets of the Week: September 19th

2014 September 19
by Traci Glass
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Happy Friday, my dear Hubbers!  Can you believe it’s almost October?!  Me, either!!  Take a break from pondering how fast time goes, and check out these tweets of the week with the brand new Mockingjay trailer(!!!), A.S. King & of course, Batman!  In case you missed it…I’m here to compile it all for you!

tweets of the week | the hub

Books & Reading

read more…

One Thing Leads to Another: An Interview with James Dashner

2014 September 18
by Julie Bartel
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Check out previous interviews in the One Thing Leads to Another series here.

It’s no secret that Utah has more than it’s fair share of wildly talented authors and as a librarian here I’ve had the great good fortune of meeting quite a few.  One author in particular, though, stands out for me simply because it’s been so much fun watching him work his way from local author to world-dominating bestseller and international movie mogul (or something like that.)  Make no mistake, it was clearly hard work, as he’ll tell you himself if you’d like to hear the story (it’s a good one) and I’ve only been observing from afar, like most readers, so it’s not like I have the gritty details.  But, having been on the receiving end (by way of my job) of his impressive “pound the pavement” approach, he’s been on my radar for a long time now and it’s irrationally gratifying to see so many good things happen for him.  Because you know what?  He deserves good things.

It’s not just the great storytelling (though I was a fan all the way back to the first Jimmy Fincher, which I think I first read as an entry in the Utah Speculative Fiction Award contest lo so many years ago) that makes me say that.  Great storytelling he has in spades, sure, but it’s his graciousness and enthusiasm, good humor and kindness, that made James Dashner stand out–those qualities radiated from him the first time he approached my desk at the library carrying a stack of his books.  He believed in himself, which is kind of rare and super infectious, but he was also just plain nice.  He was the kind of person you remember, in other words, even before I read the first page of A Door in the Woods.

So basically, if you haven’t joined Dashner’s Army yet, you probably should.  Read the books.  See the movie tomorrow.  And pay attention, because my guess is that this is only the beginning.  Thanks, James, for taking the time–in the midst of all the madness–to answer my questions, for writing “tail-kicking” stories, and for making a lasting impression.  Don’t take this the wrong way, but I hope you stay choked up for a long time.

 

Always Something There to Remind Me

20131112dashnerMAG-62Please describe your teenage self.

Dork. Nerd. Geek. Must I go on? I did well in school, but storytelling was always my passion. Movies, theater, books. I always wanted to be a storyteller and wrote a lot in high school. I also saw a lot of movies and read a lot of Stephen King novels.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

I wanted to be an author or make movies. My practical side knew that was sometimes tough, so I had all kinds of backup plans–I even became a CPA and worked as an accountant for several years, but I never gave up on the dream. I always kept writing, even when I was working full time.

What were your high school years like?

I had a really good time in high school, even though I was a dork among dorks. I accepted that role and had some good friends and lots of great memories. I grew up in Georgia, and I was either studying, playing basketball, or reading books or watching movies most of the time. I had an English teacher who takes all the credit for my success—Mrs. Becker. Okay, deservedly so. She was fantastic and encouraged my, shall we say, creative take on English class. One example: my senior thesis for AP English was a collection of ridiculously silly limericks. And I got an A! read more…

Jukebooks: Little Blue Lies by Chris Lynch

2014 September 17
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Little Blue Lies by Chris LynchWhen a relationship is built on lies, can it ever be true love? In Little Blue Lies by Chris Lynch, Oliver is proud to be a liar, and thrilled to find a lying soul mate in Junie Blue. Then Junie suddenly dumps him. Oliver desperately believes that they can be together, but how can he understand what went wrong when it was all a bunch of lies? 

Junie lives in a neighborhood controlled by a Mafia boss, known as One Who Knows. Oliver learns through unreliable sources that Junie has a winning lottery ticket, and that One Who Knows expects such a ticket to be turned over to him. Naively, Oliver thinks that he can use his family’s considerable wealth to rescue Junie and win her back.

Lyrics in the song, “Little Blue Lies” by The Stranglers also summon the image of a formidable kingpin.

Mr. Big is on the level
He’s no square
His magic number make our trouble disappear

The Stranglers is a British band that has been around since 1974 – and is still touring today. Their early sound was described by band member JJ Burnel as “…punk plus and then some.” (http://tinyurl.com/l7y6tsu) ”Little Blue Lies” was released in 1995, after founding band member Hugh Cornwell quit the band. Still, the energy and technical polish of the band remained evident.

-Diane Colson, currently reading Talon (advanced reader’s copy) by Julia Kagawa

From Print to Screen, Upcoming Movies from YA Books

2014 September 16
by Geri Diorio
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The popularity of YA literature is undeniable. One piece of proof: the amount of YA novels being optioned for movies. One other, possibly stronger piece of proof: how many of those options actually make it to the silver screen. This year alone we’ve had Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars, and If I Stay. The next few months will bring even more adaptations. Be sure you read the books first!

 

MazeRunnerCover MazeRunnerPoster

The Maze Runner by James Dashner / The Maze Runner movie opens on September 19 (this Friday!)
Thomas wakes up with no memories other than his name. In that regard, he’s like all the other boys in the glade, the garden area in the middle of the maze. No one has ever made it out of the glade, no one has ever gotten through the maze. But soon a girl arrives, the first girl ever to be there, and she remembers more than her name. She remembers things that are terrifying.

 

DraculaCover DraculaUntoldPoster

 

Dracula by Bram Stoker / Dracula Untold opens October 10
Everyone thinks they know vampires now. But Bram Stoker’s original version of the monster is very different from the glamorous, glittery vampires of the twenty first century. In 1897, a vampire was a terrifying creature of enormous power who not only killed humans for their blood, but could damn their souls to hell. And it is all told in quite a modern-seeming epistolary style.

 

the-best-of-me-cover bestOfMePoster

 

The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks / The Best of Me movie opens October 17
High schools loves from opposite sides of the tracks grow apart after graduation. More than two decades later, they both go home to their small Southern town for the funeral of a man who was a mentor to both of them. This meeting brings out memories and feelings neither one has dealt with in years.

 

whereRainbowsEndCover loveRosiePoster

Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern / Love, Rosie movie opens October 24
Alex and Rosie have been there for each other from childhood through turbulent adolescence. There has always been a connection, although maybe not always a romantic one. When Alex’s family moves to America, and the inseparable duo look to become separate, how will they cope after spending their entire lives together? read more…

New and Forthcoming LGBTQ Young Adult Fiction

2014 September 15
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This summer, The Hub did a round up of Speculative LGBTQ fiction and highlighted other notable LGBTQ young adult novels. If you’ve worked your way through those lists and are looking for more LGBTQ fiction, you’re in luck! This post is highlighting teen fiction that features lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and otherwise non-heterosexual identifying characters and themes that are coming out in Fall 2014 and Winter 2015.

In some of these novels, the sexual orientation and gender identity are integral to the plot, and in others, it’s just another characteristic of the protagonist. There’s a great mix of genres and styles so that any reader can find a book they’ll enjoy. With titles from debut authors as well as those firmly established in the YA world, it’s great to see such an eclectic assortment of titles.

New LGBTQ YA Fiction FallWinter 2014-2015 read more…

The Monday Poll: Your Most Anticipated Fall Standalone Title

2014 September 15
by Allison Tran
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fall_leaf_credit_justycinmd

photo by flickr user JustyCinMD

Good morning, Hub readers!

Last week, we asked you to choose your favorite librarian from YA lit in celebration of Library Card Sign-up Month. The results were fairly evenly divided: Lirael from Lirael by Garth Nix came out on top with 28% of the vote, followed closely by Marian from the Beautiful Creatures series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl with 23%. Princess Cimorene from Patricia Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles took third place with 18% of the vote, because who doesn’t love a princess librarian? You can see detailed results for all of our previous polls in the Polls Archive. Thanks to all of you who voted!

This week, Fall is in the air (well, sort of– it’s 100 degrees here in Southern California!) and we want to know which upcoming standalone YA title you’re most looking forward to this season. Lots of us love series, but some complain of sequel fatigue and are aching to find a good book that stands on its own. Luckily, even though series remain popular in YA, there are lots of good standalone titles to choose from! Vote in the poll below, or be sure to add your choice in the comments if we missed it.

Which standalone title are you most looking forward to reading this Fall?

  • Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld (Sep. 23) (27%, 33 Votes)
  • I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (Sep. 16) (18%, 22 Votes)
  • Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer (Sep. 30) (12%, 15 Votes)
  • The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters (Oct. 14) (11%, 13 Votes)
  • Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan (Oct. 7) (7%, 8 Votes)
  • Althea and Oliver by Cristina Moracho (Oct. 9) (6%, 7 Votes)
  • The Body Electric by Beth Revis (Oct. 6) (6%, 7 Votes)
  • Winterspell by Claire Legrand (Sep. 30) (6%, 7 Votes)
  • The Walled City by Ryan Graudin (Nov. 4) (4%, 5 Votes)
  • Love is the Drug by Alaya Dawn Johnson (Sep. 30) (3%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 121

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Tweets of the Week: September 12th

2014 September 12
by Hannah Gómez
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How was your week? Lots happened online. Take a look!

tweets of the week | the hub

Books/Reading

Back to (Realistic, but Fictional) School

2014 September 12
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School Room by Rob Shenk

School Room by Rob Shenk

It’s getting to be that time of year; the temperatures are falling, the edges of the leaves are crisping, football is revving up, baseball is winding down, and many of us are getting used to new teachers and new classes.

To help take the sting out of the end of summer (goodbye till next year, reading on the beach with an iced tea…), I like to throw myself into celebrating the beginning of fall (hello again, curling up in an armchair with a hot chocolate while the rain falls outside!). For me, this means: new notebooks, adding apples to pretty much every meal, and diving into books that highlight all the little rituals of the school year. The following are some of my favorite titles with strong school settings, to help us all get excited for the new semester (even if we can’t actually enroll at Hogwarts, which would, let’s be honest, be the ultimate in back-to-school excitement).

Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

Frankie is really smart (and unaccustomed to hiding her smarts in front of guys, even though sometimes they seem more comfortable if she does), dislikes accepting the status quo, is impatient with her dad’s secretive pride about his own halcyon days at her boarding school, and is (maybe) on the path to becoming a criminal mastermind- an idea she finds morally…ambiguous. A 2009 Printz Honor Book, Teens Top Ten pick, and National Book Award finalist, plus a 2013 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults title, this is one of those books I’m always bothering everyone I know to read.

Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Speculative fiction disguised as a coming-of-age story, Never Let Me Go was an Alex Award winner in 2006, and has quickly become a modern classic. Following a trio of students through their years at a seemingly traditional boarding school, Never Let Me Go is about the complex hierarchies and subtle competitions between friends, but it’s also about how to get the truth from adults, and how to live with truths that are shockingly, fundamentally painful to process. read more…

Thirty Years at the Inn of the Last Home: Celebrating Dragonlance

2014 September 11
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Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, and Larry Elmore at the 2014 Salt Lake Comic Con. Photo courtesy of Margaret Weis.

Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, and Larry Elmore at the 2014 Salt Lake Comic Con. Photo courtesy of Margaret Weis.

This past weekend I spent the vastly better part of three days at the truly outrageous 2014 Salt Lake Comic Con (more on that in another post) and one of the highlights, for me, was the Dragonlance 30th Anniversary Celebration panel, featuring Tracy and Laura Hickman, Margaret Weis, and artist Larry Elmore.

Along with a couple hundred other guests, I was treated to stories about the genesis and development of Dragonlance, a series of gaming modules and fantasy novels first published in the mid-1980s that became one of the most popular shared world settings of all time.  Tracy and Laura provided the show and tell, sharing their original draft of the gaming modules, TSR press releases and calendars, and collection of published manuals, while all four guests contributed to an awesome historical slideshow that featured an impressive array of questionable ’80s fashion, some awesome Dragonlance art, and a rare glimpse into the working environment that produced both Dungeons & Dragons and the Dragonlance franchise. read more…