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Tag: Gayle Forman

If You Like This Book, Try This App

photo courtesy of Flickr user William Hook
photo courtesy of Flickr user William Hook
I love books, my iPad, and match-making, so in honor of Teen Tech Week, a YALSA initiative that promotes ethical and competent use of technology, I wanted to pair some of my new favorite books with some of my favorite apps.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the UniverseFans of Aristotle and Dante Discover the History of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2013 Printz Honor Award) will enjoy the Go SkyWatch Planetarium Guide for iPad or Google Sky Map for Android devices. Both use GPS locators to generate a map of the sky with a guide to all the planets and stars, complete with interesting information. It’s the perfect app to take out into the desert for some stargazing, just like Aristotle and Dante loved to do.

Those who loved Across the Universe by Beth Revis (2011 Readers’ Choice nominee) can explore the universe from the comfort of their own home with Solar Walk for iPhone or iPad or Solar Planets 3D for Android devices. Both these apps are tours of our solar system that allow users to zoom in on planets while learning the history of space exploration. Who says you need a spaceship to navigate through space and time?

What We Talk About When We Talk About “Strong” Heroines in Young Adult Fiction

Katniss. Katsa. Tris. These seem to be names most commonly offered as examples of strong heroines in young adult fiction. Katniss, the protagonist of The Hunger Games, volunteers to take her sister’s place in the deadly Hunger Games, where she uses her intelligence and hunting skills to survive. Katsa, the hero of Graceling, is graced with the power to survive against all odds, making her the very definition of strength. Tris, the main character from Divergent, conquers her own fears and joins the Dauntless faction, where physical strength and courage are the paramount values.

These characters are all strong, in their own way, and their stories are all compelling and exciting. When so many forms of media are dominated by men and masculinity, I love that in the world of young adult fiction, there are so many examples of strong female characters. It’s awesome there are so many action-packed novels where it’s the girls who are saving the day.

Katniss, Katsa, and Tris are undeniably excellent examples of strong heroines in young adult fiction. But they aren’t the only ones. In honor of Women’s History Month, I’d like to offer some suggestions of contemporary, realistic, and historical young adult fiction with strong female protagonists.