Hunger Games “Audition”

If there’s one thing that is sure to go along with buzz about wildly popular books, it’s buzz about them being optioned for film and who will play the characters.  Entertainment Weekly has already wondered who might play Katniss Everdeen and Haymitch in a Hunger Games feature film, but we still don’t know.  But why wait for the feature film? Why not make your own? Hey, studio execs might just see it!  I came across this video circulating through Facebook friends and was blown away by it.  It’s definitely professional (created by a production company), but it’s hard to believe this is not the actual movie.  I dare you to watch it without crying.  (**warning!: though an emotional and moving scene, this video also contains some disturbing/violent images.)

Dystopian Novels Debated in New York Times

Today’s New York Times features young adult literature in its “Room for Debate” feature.  Check out what authors Scott Westerfeld, Andrew Clements, and more have to say about dystopian novels (such as Hunger Games.)

What do you think? Is there a reason for the trend? Is it indeed a trend (after all, dystopia is not a new concept)?

I loved the movie…now how do I find the book it was based on?

There’s nothing I love more than discovering a cool resource that ties directly to something I love. I’m a big fan of both books and movies, and thus often find myself irresistibly drawn to movies based on books (even if the movie ends up disappointing in comparison).  Sometimes a movie will lead me to a book I haven’t yet discovered, and vice versa.

Staff members at the Mid-Continent Public Library have created a really great resource designed for people who like movies and books and the links between them.  In a section of their web site called “Based on the Book,” staff members use the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) to compile a list of over 1,250 books, novels, short stories, and plays that have been made into movies. The movies listed pertain to English-language, feature-length films released in the United States since 1980. While the list is not specific to YA/teen films and books, tons of YA films/books can be found on the list. The database is very user-friendly and can be viewed by Movie Title, Movie Release Year, Book Title, or Book Author.  Staff members periodically update the database, so be sure to check back every now and again!

The Mid-Continent Public Library consists of 30 branches serving Clay, Jackson, and Platte Counties in Western Missouri. Be sure to check out their web site for access to some more great resources, including a terrific section for “Teens ” that includes recommendations (books, movies, music) and various lists of teen-relevant web content!

KDL What’s Next

Are you trying to remember the name of the third Maximum Ride book? What about the second Fablehaven book or the fourth Artemis Fowl book? The Kent District Library has been doing this for years by publishing their What’s Next?: Books in Series for over 10 years. This includes a version for youth books. Their website is free, and the print version is available for ordering right on the website. The majority of the website is text only which should make mobile access easier to access than other sources.

My favorite lists…are “favorites” lists.

On 11/24/10, Gayle Forman posted on the NPR web site a short list of what she considers “the year’s best teen reads.”  Her list stayed away from fantasy or popular “dark romance” books and focused on “just real people in real situations with real emotions that we all can relate to.”  Seeing her list, of course, compelled me to think back on my year of reading. What were my favorite discoveries in 2010? What trends did I see in my own choices?  And what have others noted as their recent favorites and/or “best of” picks from 2010?

Just a small sampling of some interesting recommendations/lists you may want to check out in addition to Gayle Forman’s list (as noted above):

  • “YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten (2010)” (Following this link will also lead you to a wealth of other lists recommended by YALSA – just look to the left of the page for the other available menu options/lists…)

What were some of MY favorite reads/discoveries from 2010 (and some not-so favorites)?

The Morris Award Shortlist Announced

This month the William C. Morris YA Debut Award committee chose its top five books for the award short list.  I don’t think any of us anticipated how difficult it would be to select just five.  We were all a bit overwhelmed by the high caliber of new authors this year and there were some fierce discussions as we whittled down our list in those last few weeks.

What makes a Morris Award winner?  Simply put, the committee’s charge is to select books by debut authors with overall integrity that have compelling, high quality writing and will appeal to a wide range of teens.  While those may be clear guidelines, they don’t quite capture the spirit of the award.  Many of the books we read this year certainly met our charge, but in each of the finalists the committee found a little something extra.  These books have fresh voices and lyrical prose.  They challenged and surprised us as readers. These five authors pulled us into their stories and didn’t let us go until the very end.  We can’t wait to see what they do next.

Summer Hayes
Chair, 2011 William C. Morris YA Debut Award

Pima County Book Trailers: And Then There Were None (2009)

Since 2006, Pima County Public Library has hosted a summer video project called That’s My Take where teens write, edit, and produce high-quality edited short films to promote books and reading.

These videos are really excellent– not only well-done artistically, but they explore a range of books — from classics to newly published.

Today we feature Agatha Christie’s classic murder mystery, And Then There Were None, produced in 2009 by Chloe Carlson, Davin Carlson, Marianna Hauglie, and Elizabeth Horner. It’s a great example of a teen trailer that does not necessarily have to have teens in it. I read this book when I was in 7th grade and loved it, and this trailer does a fabulous job of capture the gripping element of this eerie murder mystery. Well done!

The project is a collaboration between the Pima County Public Library and Volunteer Center of Southern Arizona, Voices: community stories past and present, Pan Left Productions, echoPark Productions, and the University of Arizona School of Media Arts.

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares

The day that Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares was released, it was also announced that the book would be made into a movie. MTV caught up with authors Rachel Cohn and David Levithan weigh in on who they think should be cast in the movie and what scenes should make the cut.

So, who do you think should be cast?  My vote is for Dakota Fanning and Caydon Boyd.

Fan-Made Book Trailers That Make Me Want to Read…

I get inspired to read books in a number of ways. Probably the #1 reason I pick up a book is a recommendation by a friend, family member, or trustworthy source (some blog I frequent, for example). But every now and again, I stumble on something by sweet happenstance and find my craving for a book explode. Case in point, I was getting caught up on my twitter feed the other day and followed this link retweeted by @teenink for a fan-made book trailer for the book Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith:

This book just climbed way up on my “to read” list thanks to this awesome book trailer!  And if you’re interested in the book, be sure to also check out Cynthia Leitich Smith’s author web site.

–Nicole Dolat