This year’s Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults comes to us in four categories, each with some excellent titles. In the Adventure Seekers department, you’ve already heard all about my enthusiasm for Finnikin of the Rock. From the Forbidden Romance list, I’ve mentioned my love of Anna and the French Kiss. And the Sticks and Stones category’s Thirteen Reasons Why was a heartbreaking read with a message not to ignore the pain of other people (check out Jay Asher’s essay about his first class visit for the book). But I want to talk about the fourth category, Get Your Geek On.
It’s a good time to be a geek (or a nerd or a dork….). Intelligence is prized as strength rather than stigma, and being adept with technology is a potential career boon instead of a weird hobby. Science fiction and fantasy are popular genres for books, television and movies. Even roleplaying games are making regular media appearances. Geeks have become cool and this list is full of cool geeks. Here are some highlights:
Geektastic, edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci, boasts short stories of all kinds of geeks from an exciting array of authors. With 15 stories by 15 authors interspersed with by comics by Hope Larson and Brian Lee O’Malley, there is something for everyone in this collection, and probably several names you’ll recognize. Highlights include a Klingon cosplayer who falls for a Jedi at a convention, a taciturn LARPing hero, a quiz bowl outcast, and a party full of people pretending to be their online roleplaying characters. The illustrations on the book’s cover are Nintendo-style pixel drawings representing the authors. For a fun activity while reading, try to guess who’s who and check your work against the author bios at the end of each story.