The series finale of Doctor Who has just happened and any staunch Whovians in your teen section are probably seeking a way to fill the gaping hole in their lives (until they finally get to see the Christmas Special!) Soon they’ll be checking out DVDs or heading to Netflix to watch old episodes in the series, hoping to pass the time until “The Husbands of River Song.”
To help make the wait until the Christmas Special more bearable, here are a few book recommendations that can ease the transition from Doctor Who back to the rest of the world.
I’m a big series fan. I always have been, since way back in my Babysitter’s Club days. Books, tv, movies, comics; I’m not particular about format, I just love to get to know a group of characters and then follow them through their ups and downs. Whether that means high-stakes urban fantasy, or an emotionally-gripping mirror of the landscape we’re all navigating out here in the real world, I want to get invested. I want to laugh at jokes that are only funny to insiders, and cry at slights that hit deep because they’re drawing on the hundred interactions that led up to them. When I become attached to any imagined world, and all of that world’s quirks and characters, whether as a reader, listener, or viewer (or, for many people, though admittedly not me, gamer), I just want more; any medium will do, just let me stay immersed in that delightful world a little longer.
For the uninitiated, those phrases and words mean little to nothing. To the Whovian Fandom, fans of the British television series Doctor Who, they mean a whole lot. Doctor Who (never Dr. Who!) has been a phenomenon for over fifty years, and with each new Doctor a whole new generation of fans is born. To date there have been 13 different Doctors (if you include the War Doctor, who only appeared in the 50th anniversary special in 2013 and was played by Sir John Hurt). They are all the same person, though- a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey who regenerates every few seasons instead of dying. Though he keeps the memories of his past incarnations, every Doctor is a slightly different man, with a different way of dressing, connecting to his companions, and even reacting to the universe around him, and every Whovian has their favorite.
Chances are, if you’re a Whovian, you did just that!
So, first things first, how many of you have a card for your local library?
I hope all of our trusty Hub readers raised their hands with enthusiasm! After all, having a library card is cooler than being cool, as the 2015 honorary chair Snoopy himself tells us. Besides, a library is a gateway to a host of free and fabulous resources! If you haven’t had the chance to saunter on down to your local public library and receive your very own library card, take advantage of this celebration’s last couple weeks to investigate the process.
But if you need a reminder of just why libraries are in fact so cool, check out these examples of excellent and awe-inspiring fictional libraries.
The Hogwarts Library from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
What library fan could resist the cavernous and mysterious space full of magical texts detailing everything from how to take care of baby dragons to the secrets behind the creation of dangerous potions? The Hogwarts Library is located on the fourth floor of Hogwarts castle and contains thousands upon thousands of books. The space is divided into many specific sections, including the Restricted Section–a roped off area which requires a signed note from a professor to access. As far as we know, the librarian is the stern Madam Irma Pince. Additionally, the library is the site of quite a lot of significant moments and discoveries for Harry, Ron, and Hermione during their time at Hogwarts; it’s clearly a cool place to hang out–or at least a good place to conduct research on dark secrets and even darker magic. After all, as Ron so wisely states in his description of Hermione’s particular approach to problems, “When in doubt, go to the library.” Continue reading Celebrating National Library Card Sign Up Month With Fabulous Fictional Libraries
I’m a pretty big (although admittedly fairly recent) Doctor Who fan. My TARDIS â€œBigger on the Insideâ€ poster has pride of place by my desk at work and my Christmas tree will boast a Dalek and a sonic screwdriver. But some of the dialogue flies past me on the first viewing of each episode (perhaps the phrase â€œfirst viewingâ€ gives a fuller sense of my devotion to the show).
I love that the writing is so fast and furious that I have to work to keep up, and I love being able to uncover new jokes and references when I watch again. And one of my very favorite things is when the Doctor makes a literary joke (or, better still, has an entire episode crafted around a literary reference). I mean, come on, how disappointing would it be to have a Timelord with all of time and space at his disposal who wasn’t really, really well read?!
So: what to read to get the Doctor’s best literary jokes so far? Here’s a list to start with:
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – Doctor Who is a British icon and so is Dickens. Doctor Who Christmas specials have become a bit of a recent holiday tradition (at least in my house), and Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is arguably the best-known British holiday story ever; Dickens and the Doctor are a great match, and the show has done both a straight-up Whovian adaptation (titled, helpfully, “A Christmas Carol”), and an episode featuring Charles Dickens, “The Unquiet Dead.” Of the two, I prefer the latter, because the writing is rife with moments where we get to witness the Doctor and Rose influencing future classic literature while also imagining what Dickens might have been like in person. Plus, I like the 9th Doctor a lot.
Shakespeare (all of it) – The episode written to make lit geeks giggle, “The Shakespeare Code” is so chock-full of great quips and allusions to the Bard’s work I’m still finding new jokes a few years later. Start with the sonnets, then work through the comedies (but make sure to hit Hamlet as well). Extra fun = watching the Doctor coin some of Shakespeare’s most famous lines. Continue reading Your Guide to the Literary References of Doctor Who
With the Common Core and it’s emphasis on nonfiction throughout all subjects being adopted across much of the country, nonfiction seems to be on everyone’s mind. In a lot of ways, I think it’s a great opportunity for libraries and schools to more robustly and interestingly use nonfiction. I’ve recently begun to really enjoy nonfiction – especially history, exploration, and stories of true survival – and I’m glad that we are making strides to promote nonfiction to teens.
This is not really the type of nonfiction I’m going to talk about today. The books I’m talking about may not check out the most often from the library, or they may not be the ones you’d necessarily pick up in the subject sections of your favorite bookstore. They may also be unlikely to win a Sibert medal. But this doesn’t mean that they aren’t great books, it just means that they are a different kind of book.
I’m talking about browsable, high-interest nonfiction. These are the type of books that you can page through for a few minutes, show a funny picture to your friends, and then go on with your day. You may check it out, or you may just look at it when you go to the library.
At my library, some nonfiction subjects that seem to get used a lot – that aren’t Common Core material – are Minecraft books (these definitely get checked out), music, cosplay, fandom related books like Doctor Who or Hunger Games materials, and crafts. Some teens also like to look through the books about music and dating. Here are some titles used by teens recently and I think are definitely work a look.
Rookie Yearbook One and Two: These editions collect some of the content from Tavi Gevinson’s brilliant rookie website. Focused on girls, indie, DIY, and alternative cultures there are some great essays, photoshoots, and songs lists in here. Plus, some of the books have goodies like stickers or tear out Tarot cards!