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Tag: Jennifer Ziegler

Happy Birthday, Jane Austen

Jane Austen was born 238 years ago today in Steventon, England. Her work has grown more popular, even though she only finished six novels. Who could forget the masterpiece Clueless (based on Emma)?

With so many spin-offs, prequels, and modernizations of her work, we’re celebrating her today with a list of teen titles.

Titles inspired by Pride and Prejudice:
Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman (2013 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults)
When Julie’s best friend geeks out, she goes all in. Ashleigh’s decided that Julie’s love of Pride and Prejudice is the next big thing. Soon Ashleigh’s convinced Julie to wear a vintage gown while sneaking into a dance at the local all boys prep school. Could they find true love waiting for them?

I was Jane Austen’s Best Friend by Cora Harrison
Jane’s cousin Jenny chronicles their daily routine, where we get an in-depth look into the Austen’s way of life. When Jane falls deathly ill, Jenny sneaks out of school to mail a letter to Jane’s mother. While outside, she meets a boy and fancies herself in love.

Pies and Prejudice by Heather Vogel Frederick
The 4th book in the Mother-Daughter Book Club series takes Emma and her family to England for her first year of high school with a house swap. To make the others feel included, the club reads Pride and Prejudice and chat via video. The remaining members of the club at home start a pie business in order to bring Emma back home for spring vacation. The family who swapped houses with Emma’s family has two teen boys that act just like Bingley and Darcy.

Choose a Book by Its Cover

Every Day was one of The Atlantic Wire's most Wonderful Book Covers of 2012
Every Day was one of The Atlantic Wire’s most Wonderful Book Covers of 2012

Choosing a book by its cover is typically frowned upon, but lately I have been finding that it can be a great idea for both readers and libraries! Creating a book display centered solely on book cover art is not a new concept, but it is a visually appealing way to successfully recommend some good books. My library first learned about creating book recommendations based on the cover art for teens from another local teen librarian who was asking her teen advisory board to choose the next year’s lineup of book displays, with most of her displays choices being centered on similar visual imagery on book covers. What has been a surprise to me, though, is how popular some of our cover-themed displays have been with readers of all ages. They are eye-catching, they draw a browser in, and, as a result, we are constantly restocking these displays.

Try these alternatives to the “classics”

School will be starting in less than a month & that means English class and those literature “classics”  you’re forced to read. To this day, I’ve never been able to get through Moby Dick. I think that’s why I love the current commercial so much for Microsoft I heard on a radio station about the girl doing to book report using initialisms. Part of it goes something like this, the girl says it’s about LFW (looking for whales) and “OMGROTDC“ (Oh my God, rolling on the deck crying)  – is, of course, the captain’s response to losing his leg.

I do love Jane Austen so I don’t think it’s so bad having to read her, although I understand that guys don’t feel the same way. But, if you’re not into reading Austen’s books set in the Regency Period, try this recently published contemporary tribute to her Sense and Sensibility called Sass and  Serendipity by Jennifer Ziegler. Gabby Rivera’s almost 18, and a senior in high school. She’s very sensible, responsible  and grouchy all the time – completely unlike her younger sister Daphne, 15, who’s always dreaming about the perfect guy. Daphne’s popular, upbeat and isn’t afraid to feel things – and is head over heals over a new guy at school. Gabby’s the opposite. She doesn’t have any friends except guy pal Mule (why he’s named that is a story in itself).  She once had feelings for a boy but he tragically died and she ended up completely debilitated. She never wants to feel that way again. Their parents have divorced and their rent’s gone up so much they’re forced to move. Unable to find a decent place, they end up in the carriage house of a wealthy family. Gabby hates their son, Prentiss, without really knowing him because she believes he caused the death of his cousin Sonny, the guy she once loved. Like Sense and Sensibility, misunderstandings ensue and Daphne has a extremely humiliating experience before it ends happily. I have to admit that after reading it, I prefer the original because I thought both girls in Ziegler’s version were a lot less sympathetic than Austen’s and their heartbreak unnecessarily drawn-out (the review in Kirkus says it reads like “sisters on the verge of a nervous breakdown”). Despite that, their problems are compelling in a car crash kind-of-way and readers who have sisters will relate to their love-hate relationship.