How do you fit reading into life? Everywhere of course! Here are some fun suggestions of how to incorporate books into (almost) all parts of your life. I guess there are some events where books don’t belong… But you may be surprised by these multitasking opportunities.
Some fast paced audio that will make you want to work out every day and never stop!
The Knife Of Never Letting Go (and Chaos Walking series)
The action-packed audio book will help you keep up an energetic pace and be thoroughly entertained all the while. Podehl’s amazing narration enhances Ness’ Sci-fi world which consists of only men whose thoughts are audible. Bonus: best talking dog voice ever.
Here is a thrill ride of a book that will keep you on your toes. Follow Cheyenne, a sixteen year old girl who is blind, as she gets kidnapped accidentally by a car thief. Clever Cheyenne methodically and systematically plans her escape while poor mistreated wannabe criminal Griffin tries to do the right thing in spite of his horrendous family.
This nail-biting gritty tale is perfect to listen to and get in shape! You will run like a Dauntless trying to catch a train as you join Tris on her epic search for the truth in post-apocalyptic Chicago.
Forget the Tarot cards, crystal balls, and palm-readers. Toss aside those stale fortune cookies. You need only look to your bookshelf to understand your deepest personality traits. Look for some of your favorite YA titles below and you may find that my keen “psychic” abilities can be enlightening.
* Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver. There is more to you than meets the eye. You keep your secrets close, and may not be very trustworthy. But you love deeply and are very protective.
* Love is the Drug by Alaya Dawn Johnson. You might have a hard time trusting yourself, but go with your instincts- they won’t steer you wrong. Be yourself and don’t try so hard to please others.
* The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough. You may feel like you are being influenced by forces greater than your own. But it’s OK, go with it. Don’t be afraid to get hurt and great things will happen.
* Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong. Others may call you inconsistent. Your horoscope sign may be best described as “Gemini.” You are brave, smart, and have a keen sense of justice. You develop strong connections to friends and family.
* The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (2009 Best Book for Young Adults). Some would call you are a guys’ guy. But don’t discount the fairer sex, you may find a wonderful friend. You may not be “book smart” but you are clever and can get yourself out of tough situations. Just believe in yourself, and don’t forget to appreciate your dog.
* All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. You are drawn to those in pain and have some dark times. Talking through it may help. We all have to go through difficult times. Let yourself mourn those you have lost.
Do you know the feeling that comes sometimes when you finish reading a really great book, the one in which you don’t want the story to end? You can always hope for a sequel or a companion novel. If there is a film adaptation, you can experience the world, again, there. Or you can keep the world alive by creating something yourself.
I recently attended the DML2014 conference in Boston and found myself surrounded by people passionately talking about ways to interact with digital media. As a blogger for The Hub, I immediately focused on the ways that people were using these programs and communities to create content based on YA books. This also tied in well with last week’s Teen Tech Week theme of DIY @ your library. Below, I have listed a handful of ways that youth and adults are taking their favorite stories and making something new.
Create a Program
One of the tools that was frequently mentioned at DML2014 is Scratch, a web-based programming tool that allows users to create and share games, videos, and stories. I searched Scratch for projects related to popular YA titles and found a wide variety of program types including interactive quizzes and games, slideshows, and still image fanart. A few examples include a Divergent Aptitude Test Simulation, Snape’s Potion Game (Harry Potter), and The Mortal Instruments: Downworld Attack game. These users have found a way to continue interacting with books that they enjoyed while also learning how to code computer programs. Scratch is only one of a number of options available in this area, too.
Emceed by YALSA President Shannon Peterson, the program began with the Morris Award winner and finalists, introduced by Dorcas Wong, 2014 Morris Award Committee Chair.
Carrie Mesrobian, author of Morris finalist Sex and Violence, gave a heartfelt speech recounting the significance of libraries in her formative years. She was an avid library user during her youth, but never interacted with librarians as a teen. Despite this, she said, “No matter that I never spoke to a single librarian, the librarians kept the shelves stocked… Librarians regularly and reliably provided me with the books I needed.” And for that, she said, she is “forever grateful.”
Evan Roskos, author of Morris finalist Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets, had everyone in stitches byobserving that being honored for the Morris is a truly a once in a lifetime opportunity because, well… he can only debut once. He then told a story about how his book empowered a teen reader to get help for their mental health concerns. Of course, the inspiring nature of this anecdote turned to hilarity as he observed that “Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets actuallycaused someone to seek therapy.” He concluded by sharing his four-year-old son’s reaction to seeing his book cover. “Daddy, YOU wrote Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus?” This author is just as hilarious and thoughtful as his book.
Carrie Mesrobian is a finalist for the 2014 William C. Morris Award for her debut novel, Sex & Violence. The award honors previously unpublished authors with the year’s best books for young adults.
Evan Carter has moved around from one town to another his entire teenaged life. His father, a Ph.D in math and computer science, is hired by clients all over the country and he drags Evan along. Not since Evan’s mom died when Evan was 11 has his dad really been present in Evan’s life in any sense. Evan, nearly 18, is used to his dad’s distance because he’s got other preoccupations – girls. Even though he might be the new guy at all his schools, he’s never had any trouble meeting and hooking up with them. He even has a strategy and can profile a girl as “The Girl Who Would Say Yes.” That’s worked well for him until he hooks up with the wrong girl named Collette at his Charlotte, NC school and finds himself nearly killed after her ex-boyfriend and another guy savagely assault him in the school’s communal showers. Afterward, Evan and his father move to the family lake in rural Pearl Lake, Minnesota so Evan can recover from a multitude of injuries, including a broken nose & ribs, hearing loss in his left ear and the removal of his ruptured spleen.
During the spring and summer at the lake he has the chance to hang out with other local teens his age. They are celebrating their last summer before college doing “last things” they haven’t done before. Evan tries to fit in with them and pretend everything’s okay but he’s quiet and withdrawn and is suffering from PTSD. Therapy helps but he’s still unable to shower inside so the lake becomes his nightly bathtub. He’s also obsessed with having short hair since when he was beaten up it was long and easy for his attackers to grab.
As one of the posts highlighting the 2014 Morris Award finalists, we are very excited to share an interview with Carrie Mesrobian. Her debut novel, Sex & Violence, is about a boy who has moved from school to school and never really developed close relationships with people, though he’s very good at identifying the girls who will say yes to sex without the burden of an emotional attachment he doesn’t have the time or inclination to form. After a brutal attack that leaves him physically and emotionally broken, he spends the the summer on a Minnesota lake getting to know his family, a girl he comes to see as a person and not just a conquest, and ultimately, himself.
First off, congratulations on Sex & Violence being named a William C. Morris Debut YA Award Finalist! Sex & Violence is a novel that I’ve continued to think about months after first reading it. I read that Sex & Violence was a working title that ended up sticking. Do you think the bold title has affected the way the book has been received?
I think so. And this is a credit to my editor, Andrew Karre, because the title was his idea and, because I couldn’t think of anything better, I just stuck with it until I became accustomed to it. Recently, he and I were on a panel discussing sex in YA lit and someone asked a question about the title. Andrew explained that he feels that good titles set up expectations and reverberations in the minds of readers. While there are sexual and violent scenes in the book, the book is more about sex and violence as topics, not literal portrayals. And so that provides a kind of surprise to readers going in thinking one thing and getting another.
I think certainly some readers were probably turned-off or hesitant about picking up the book because of the title. And some readers felt the opposite. And still other readers thought it was a YA version of 50 Shades of Grey. Credit to Andrew Karre, again, because no matter what you did, the title made you contend with the book, right away.