October is an exciting month for any YA lit fan, because it includes Teen Read Week! In honor of this annual celebration of young adult literature, YALSA invited book-loving teens all over the world to apply to share their enthusiasm for reading in a guest post for The Hub. Thirty-one talented young writers were chosen, and we’ll be featuring posts from these unique voices all month long. Here’s Megan Doehner.
Fantasy novels kinda get a bad rep. Sure, when you hear “fantasy” you automatically think of unicorns and princesses, right?
WRONG. Fantasy novels are so much more than that. They let you escape to another place that only exists in the imaginations of authors, and they are generous enough to share their wonderful worlds with us.
Even if you’re not a huge fantasy fan and think that magic and stuff is just a waste of time, I’d still recommend branching out and trying new things. I found some of my favorite books by exploring new reading genres, and firmly believe in the “Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it” attitude.
Here are a few fantasy novels that I think you’ll absolutely love.
Cinda Williams Chima’s novel The Demon King is a perfect example of one of those books that will absolutely blow your mind. Action, romance, adventure, spying, and, of course, who doesn’t love a little magic thrown into the mix? Honestly, this is probably my favorite series in the history of my reading repertoire, and trust me, I have a large library in my collection.
Here’s a little teaser to get you excited.
Han Alister never thought he was going anywhere other than the streets, he was an amazing streetlord to say the least, but he knew that thugs in his position rarely survived past twenty. If only there were something more, a way to get away from it all, a way to get those telltale trademark silver cuffs off his wrists…Raisa ana‘Marianna doesn’t want to get married, plain and simple. She still longs to see the world and find her true love, not be forced into a marriage simply to gain diplomatic ties. She knows she’s in line for the throne, but has never truly met the people she’s bound to rule. What better way to find out about them than to become one of them for a day? Fates have been sealed as these two strangers’ lives slowly intertwine with one another’s, creating a powerful thrill that’s sure to capture your heart. Continue reading Fantasy Novels Get a Bad Rap
October is an exciting month for any YA lit fan, because it includes Teen Read Week! In honor of this annual celebration of young adult literature, YALSA invited book-loving teens all over the world to apply to share their enthusiasm for reading in a guest post for The Hub. Thirty-one talented young writers were chosen, and we’ll be featuring posts from these unique voices all month long. Here’s Natalie Harris from California.
Poetry they say can only consist of roses that are red and little violets that are blue, but they are wrong. There is more depth to poetry than you could ever imagine.
Spoken word poetry is poetry that cannot just be left alone on paper. It demands to be performed, to be shared with someone, and to fill the world with the verses you have created.
Spoken word poetry can be whatever you want it to be about. It can be sad, funny, joyful, serious, even a little bit weird or silly. It’s a way to express yourself, and like Sarah Kay says in her TED Talk in 2011, â€œIt’s not just the average write what you know, it’s about gathering all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected up until now to help you dive into the things you don’t know.â€
I had never heard about spoken word until I immediately fell in love watching Sarah Kay’s TED Talk in my 7th grade English class. In the TED talk she performed her poems â€œBâ€ and â€œHiroshima.â€ She also talked about spoken word and her organization called Project V.O.I.C.E which educates and inspires people about spoken word poetry.
I wanted to know more about spoken word after I heard Sarah Kay, so I looked for more spoken word poets and I loved what each one brought to the table. Taylor Mali continues to make me laugh with his poems â€œTotally Like Whateverâ€ and â€œThe the Impotence of Proofreading,â€ I stare in awe when Rives finishes his poem â€œMockingbird,â€ the way Lemon Andersen speaks gives me chills, and the way Phil Kaye pours his feelings and personality into every word and every poem he says is magical. I can only hope one day I’ll be able to do the same, and that all of us will be able to craft our words with such wit and beauty. Continue reading Spoken Word Poetry: The Art of Performing and Storytelling
[Today’s post is by Lauren, an 8th grader. Thanks for sharing your perspective with our readers, Lauren!]
It’s not really a big deal when someone says to me, “I don’t really read books that often.” Alright, so it might be a small deal. But when I hear a fellow classmate say, “Books,” (pause for obnoxious laughter), “who reads those!” I feel like grumbling. Grumbling is not particularly attractive, mind you, therefore I try not to do it.
When people insult the thing I spend most of my free time doing, my grumbling feels slightly justified. How can someone disregard the slight whoosh when strolling through the automatic doors of the totally not dusty and old but actually super amazing library? The overwhelming sense of being surrounded by so many lives full of emotion and tragedy and inside jokes? How can someone not be in awe of how these incredible people called writers have managed to harness meaningless words and turn them into your best friends?
In case you are one of those people who are unfamiliar with these feelings, I’ll give three reasons why reading is cool and two books worth checking out.
Everybody’s favorite excuse to speak in rhyming couplets is upon us! That’s right; it’s National Poetry Month. In honor of National Poetry Month this year, my fellow Hub blogger Suzanne Neumann and I have made some exquisite book spine poems for you. For those of you who don’t know, book spine poems are made by stacking books on top of each other and forming a witty, free-verse poem from their titles. Check out this gallery of book-spine poems for examples. Our book spine poems, of course, come with a twist. Suzanne and I both composed three poems based on books. Can you identify which books they are?
Happy Leap Day, everyone! Today’s post is written by Lily D., age 16. Lily loves knitting, brain science, and the medieval flute, and shares her room with an extensive library, several musical instruments, and a hamster named Tesla. You can follow her online via her knitting and book review blog, Wildwool. Thank you, Lily, for sharing your era-defining reads (and superb writing skills) with us! –Becky O’Neil, currently reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
I have no memory of being unable to read. Even in my earliest recollections, Thomas the Tank Engine rolls across the page, pursued by Winnie the Pooh and a number of outsized vegetables. My universe continues to be populated, in large part, by fictional characters of all ages, species, and historical eras. While the number of books that I have read (or perhaps “devoured” would be a better word) probably numbers in the thousands, only a few have stuck out as volumes with era-forging power. On average, I find a book like this once every four years, coinciding (oddly enough) with leap years. Since today is Leap Day, I thought it would be appropriate to make a list of the three books that have caused me to dress in strange costumes, compose bad fan fiction, and drop allusions every which way.
At age four, my father kick-started twelve solid years of fantasy readership with J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. It took a year for him to read it aloud to me, a year of magical thinking and giant spiders. After The Hobbit, we moved on to The Lord of the Rings [a series which was recently nominated for the 2012 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults list], but I always preferred Bilbo to Frodo, and it was to the Lonely Mountain, not Mordor, that I returned the most frequently over the next four years. To this day, I think of Mirkwood when I visit a state park and inspect hills in search of round green doors. But any role-play I invented after The Hobbit was nothing to what my fantasy life became after…
Ever wonder what teens see in those little books? Well, here’s your answer:
Thanks and credit go to the Bay Area teens who were interviewed and the following members of BAYA (Bay Area Young Adult Librarians) for putting together this great video: Jack Baur of Berkeley Public Library, Jessica Lee of Willard Middle School, Amanda Jacobs-Foust and Carla Avitabile of Marin County Free Library, Chris Selig of San Leandro Library, and Anna Koval of Casa Grande High School in Petaluma!