Greetings, Hub readers! I have slowly been coming down from the high that was attending my very first ALA Annual Conference! Luckily, there have been some super fun tweets that I’ve been enjoying this past week! Get ready for some Sarah Dessen bookshelf love, some awesome comics news and don’t worry – I’ll work some Batman in there for you, too! And, new Harry Potter, too?! Yowza!
- @eonline: J.K. Rowling publishes a new #HarryPotter story! Brb, canceling all our plans: http://eonli.ne/1rMQLCC
- @jayasherguy: Off & on since 2008, going from children’s hardcover to paperback to new YA list, THIRTEEN REASONS WHY is today a NYT bestseller for 3.5yrs!
- @tashrow: Mary E. Pearson on The Kiss of Deception & Writing YA Books| Lisa Parkin | http://buff.ly/1zpZAoa #yalit
- @TiffanyE: I’ve actually read 7 of these, but: 15 YA Books You’ve *Probably* Never Read – But Should! from @buzzfeed http://www.buzzfeed.com/sydpres/15-ya-books-that-youve-probably-never-read-but-t-r1ey?s=mobile …
- @sarahdessen: RT @penguindanielle All my @sarahdessen books in release order. One of my favorite authors #sarahdessen
Young adult and adult novels make it to the big (and little) screen fairly often these days. So, just how smug should you feel when you have already read the book? There is no easy answer – so to tackle this issue I have broken down the movie/show tie-ins into categories.
The Book Series Made into a Show
You can feel superior, but do tread lightly as you enter this murky zone. When translating a series of novels into a series of shows major plot elements are likely to be changed to allow for the continuity of the show. Examples of the book series made into a show include Pretty Little Liars (based on the series by Sara Shepard), Gossip Girl (based on the series by Cecily Von Ziegesar; a 2003 Quick Pick & 2009 Popular Paperback for Young Adults), The Walking Dead (based on the graphic novel series by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn and Tony Moore), and Game of Thrones (Based on the “Song of Fire and Ice” books by George R.R. Martin.)
- Pros of pre-reading the book series made into a show:
1) You read the books, you loved them…you watch the show and get more! You can translate your book reading experience into an on-going show and keep the story alive after the series is over and/or whilst you await (impatiently) for the next book.
2) Deviations from the book make for some fun and unexpected surprises. You thought you knew all there was to know about white walkers in George RR Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice series… but after watching the HBO show– what?!
- Cons of pre-reading the book series made into a show:
1) Deviations from the book make for some shocking unexpected surprises. Yes, this is both a pro and a con. These changes may call into question your precognitive skills. For example AMC’s Walking Dead’s many plot changes as compared to the graphic novel series.
- Bragging rights earned from pre-reading the book series made into a show:
Monday morning talk when there was a Sunday night cliffhanger: does <insert character name> die? Then they look your way: do you know? Oh, yeah. read more…
The Margaret A. Edwards Award, sponsored by School Library Journal, is presented annually to an author whose works are deemed ”a significant and long lasting contribution to young adult literature.” Previous winners include Lois Lowry (2007), Chris Crutcher (2000) and Gary Paulsen (1997). On June 28th, at the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, YALSA presented the 2014 Margaret A. Edwards Award to Markus Zusak specifically for his novels The Book Thief, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, Getting the Girl, and I Am the Messenger.
I was really excited about this year’s presentation for two reasons: 1. I Am the Messenger is one of the best books I have ever read and 2. the ceremony was being held on my birthday. There was also an extra added bonus- I’m a native Las Vegan, so I didn’t have to travel to ALA this year. Instead, it came to me!
The Edwards Award ceremony was a brunch this year instead of the traditional lunch, which appealed to me because I’m a big fan of breakfast at any time. When I arrived at the Las Vegas Hotel there were already people in line waiting to get in and the ballroom was all set up and ready for us. In addition to coffee, quiche and other sundries attendees also received copies of two of Markus Zusak’s books. The Book Thief and I Am the Messenger, and reading group guides for both books. Attendees eagerly anticipated the presentation of the award and the acceptance speech and chatted throughout brunch until the presentation started.
For those of you who may not know, Markus Zusak hails from Sydney, Australia, so he came from the other side of the world to accept this award (and he has a lovely accent.) He listed Chris Crutcher, Gary Paulsen and Lois Lowry as heroes, and expressed some awe at being given an award that they had all previously won. After putting aside his speech and telling us he was going to keep it for reference, he told us that his writing career started in the backyard where he grew up, and shared some of the hijinks he and his siblings would get into, including setting up a tennis court in the house, boxing with one glove, and finding new ways of getting his mother to swear, like ruining her garden playing football (or soccer, for those of us who live here in the U.S.), because when she swore in her non-Australian accent it was hilarious. read more…
Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers is one of the most powerful, gut-wrenching novels on war ever written for a young adult audience. Since its publication in 1988, readers have vicariously lived the harrowing experiences of Richie, a bookish high school graduate from Harlem, in the jungles of Vietnam. The story portrays not only the dangers of deadly warfare in a foreign environment but also the incompetence and racism of commanders. It has been challenged many times because of its realistic use of language and violence.
There are many great protest songs from the Vietnam Era, but the one I chose to accompany Fallen Angels is “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. The lyrics speak for the thousands of young men who, like Richie, were thrust into this nightmarish war.
Yeah, some folks inherit star spangled eyes
Ooh, they send you down to war, Lord
And when you ask them, “How much should we give?”
Oh, they only answer, more, more, more, oh
Twenty years later, Myers returns to war with Sunrise Over Fallujah, which follows Richie’s nephew, “Birdy’, through his service during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Birdy’s unit is part of the Civilian Affairs team, charged with helping people living in a war zone. Working closely with Iraqis is both dangerous and enlightening, as Birdy struggles to understand how they are meant to help. Again, Myers does not shy away from the harsh realities of IEDs, tribal warfare, and rape. Like its predecessor a generation earlier, Sunrise Over Fallujah also faced many challenges over content.
In the book, Birdy’s closest friend is Jonesy, a blues guitarist with the ambition of opening a blues club after the war. Jonesy’s outlook on the world is filtered through his immersion in the blues, as when he says about Saddam Hussein: “…Saddam got a tune in his head and he wants to play it real bad. And when it don’t go right he just play it louder. A lot of dudes do that. They call it music, but it could just be war.” (p15) read more…
My science fiction knowledge extends to Star Wars, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the new Star Trek movies. That’s about it– so I was excited to attend the session at ALA Annual that was all about science fiction for people like me: who know very little about the genre.
The program was presented by Dr. Karin Perry, Assistant Professor of Library Science at Sam Houston State University in Texas. She expertly went through a variety of books (some I had actually read!) and broke them down in the subcategories: Apocalyptic/Post-Apocolypic, Steampunk/Biopunk/Cyberpunk, Robots/Androids/Cyborgs/Artificial Intelligence, Space/Aliens/Extra-Terrestrials, Time Travel/Parallel Universe, and Virtual Reality/Gaming.
She covered so many books that it would be impossible to list here, but Karin put her slideshow online which I know I will be referring to for reader’s advisory.
Be sure to check it out if you struggle with science fiction like I do!
Following the fabulous YALSA Coffee Klatch that Lalitha Nataraj wrote about, several of my tablemates and I needed to get the 2014 Alex Awards presentation. The trek, like the layout of the Vegas strip, seemed walkable and relatively close by on paper, but ended up being at the very end of the convention center. Thankfully, all the caffeine that we had just consumed while meeting fabulous YA authors allowed us to powerwalk and arrive on time for the session.
Danielle Dreger-Babbitt, chair of the 2014 Alex Awards committee, got things started by reminding the audience of how the Alex Awards were first given out in 1998, became an official ALA award in 2002, and honor the work of Margaret A. Edwards, who was called “Alex” by her friends. Book jackets of the ten winning titles were shown along with short descriptions.
Typically, three to four winning authors attend the award presentation at ALA Annual. This year, only one author was able to make it – John Searles, who won for his book Help for the Haunted. As John began his presentation, he joked that when he heard there were nine other winning authors he killed them all and buried them in the backyard (a nice tip of the hat to 2014 winner The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell).
What followed was a truly delightful, heartfelt presentation that included home movies (cinematic proof that from an early age John wanted to be an author as the super 8 pans his childhood living room and we see him writing away in a mini steno pad); a picture from high school (with John writing, of course); a scan of a truly scathing rejection note for an early manuscript submission, and photos of John’s hometown library (where he has been immortalized on a quilt featuring local authors). read more…
The original request
A year ago I asked the group a question about books for black MG and YA boys, especially those who were reluctant readers. The response was Bluford High and Walter Dean Myers, and not much else. In the light of the recent loss of Myers, I wanted to pose the question again. Who do you guys see as the next go to author for books to suck in black male readers? Do you know of any such books you would recommend. I was at a session a few years ago where Matt de la Pena spoke and said a young hispanic male had told him “that’s my life in your book.” Who do you see as the authors who could wring a response like that from today’s (and future) black teens?
I love the twang of country music, the songs about trucks, independence, and falling in love. I think I fell in love with country music because most of the songs seem to tell a story, and being a bookish nerd, I loved that.
Here’s a video from Trace Atkins explaining why he sings Country in Songs About Me.
July 4th was National County Music Day and in celebration, I’ve created a list of YA books featuring country music.
Wildflower by Alicia Whitaker
Bird’s family play together with her Dad as the front man, but when he’s sick, he asks Bird to step in a lead the band. At first, Bird’s nervous, but then she finds her groove and starts to shine in the spotlight. There’s a talent scout in the crowd and he requests a meeting with her father. Everyone’s excited about the possibility of being signed – but it turns out he just wants Bird. It’s too good of an opportunity for her to pass up, but is she ready for the hard work and fame?
Somebody Everybody Listens To by Suzanne Supplee (2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults)
Retta Lee Jones takes the advice from her best friend and, after high school graduation, leaves her small town behind in hopes of making it in Nashville. After a string of bad luck, she meets a friend who helps her out. Can she survive and strike it big?
Good morning, Hub readers!
Last week, in honor of the World Cup, we asked your opinion on which YA book features the best soccer game. The top choice was Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor with a whopping 40% of the vote, and close behind was The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares with 32% of the vote. You can see detailed results for all of our previous polls in the Polls Archive. Thanks to all of you who voted!
This week, as summer is in full force, we’re longing to know your favorite YA summer romance. Choose from the following options, or leave a comment to tell us which summer love story makes you swoon!
What's your favorite summer romance in YA lit?
- The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen (32%, 21 Votes)
- Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson (23%, 15 Votes)
- This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith (20%, 13 Votes)
- The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han (20%, 13 Votes)
- In Honor by Jessi Kirby (3%, 2 Votes)
- Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols (2%, 1 Votes)
- In Your Room by Jordanna Fraiberg (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 65
Happy Independence Day! Welcome home from Vegas if you went to Annual; happy long weekend (you earned it) if you didn’t! Catch up on the Twitter world this morning before you (hopefully) unplug and enjoy the fireworks.
You know about net neutrality, but have you heard about Facebook’s mood experiment? That, along with Annual, are some of the big issues of the week. Oh, and a SCOTUS kerfuffle. And a little event happening in Brazil. It was a bit much.
ALA Annual Conference
- @misskubelik the MOST repeated comment about plots they like in ANY book is any that are DIFFERENT. take note! #WeNeedDiverseBooks
- @edrabinski Offered a librarian a pen, she declined, brandishing her quill. true #alaaac14 stories!
- @arielkturner I must remember to dl these when I get home #cardsagainstlibrarianship http://shelfcheck.blogspot.ca/2014/01/cards-against-librarianship-lets-play.html?m=1
- @sarahatmls Library staff have been info keepers, bt w/ tech,it’s critical that we establish ourselves as co-learners, not experts #act4teens #alaac14
- @roselovec TeachingTrayvon.org : curating resources for talking about race. #alaac14
- @molly_wetta More info on readers’ advisory on tumblr — #TumblarianTalk #alaac14
- @librarycourtney I’ve been inaugurated as President of the American Library Association. ♡♥ #alaac14 read more…