On November 11th, one hundred and one years ago, the Armistice was signed to bring the First World War to an end. So far removed from that time and place, it can hard for readers to connect to the holiday unless they have a friend of family member in the military. Of course, there are some great books to help teen readers understand what happened so long ago.
The Supervillain and Me by Danielle Banas Macmillan / Swoon Reads Publication Date: July 10, 2018 ISBN: 9781250154354
In Abby Hamilton’s world superheroes are real, and she would know; her older brother Connor, aka The Red Comet, is one. When she meets the new super in town, known as the Iron Phantom, she’s not sure what to think. To her, he seems like one of the good guys, but he’s been linked several crimes in town and her superhero brother and her father, the mayor, think that he’s more supervillain than superhero. When the Iron Phantom asks for her help to clear his name and discover the secrets of city hall, she isn’t sure who to trust, who the Phantom truly is, or how she really feels about the mysterious, attractive super.
Last month, a reader (and YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Honor writer!) pointed out that while I said the poll was asking about “authors,” based on the options provided, what it was really asking about was fiction authors. So true! My *personal* reading habits are heavily biased towards fiction, and it’s showing in the poll! So this month, I’m taking up the excellent suggestion to run a poll featuring nonfiction authors who write for multiple audiences. I’m sure I’ve missed some good ones; please shout them out in the comments! Continue reading Monthly Monday Poll: Favorite Dual-Market *Nonfiction* Author
With Season 2 of the popular podcast Serial nearing the end of this current season, the FX original limited series, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, and the runaway Netflix hit Making a Murderer, our fascination with crime stories doesn’t seem to wane. Maybe the draw is that we want to see justice served, or we want to know if we could spot the true crime in a situation, or maybe it has something to do with the fact that, as one of the lawyers in Making a Murderer says, “We could all say that we’re never going to commit a crime. But we can never guarantee that someone else won’t accuse us of a crime.” Whatever the reason, one thing it does is challenge our worldview.
For readers that enjoy a suspenseful or thriller type mystery, true crime can be a great nonfiction option. True crime can also be a great gateway to other narrative nonfiction for readers that don’t see themselves as nonfiction readers; through it they might find themselves spellbound. Here is a list of heart-pounding true crime books and other media.
The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden & the Trial of the Centuryby Sarah Elizabeth Miller
One of the most followed crime cases of the late 1800s, Miller reexamines the brutal crime that left Lizzie Borden’s father and step-mother hacked to death with an ax, and why so many thought it was Lizzie’s doing.
We are in the midst of Hollywood’s award show season with what seems to be an endless variety of shows every weekend. Each show bringing new red carpet styles, Youtube-able acceptance speeches and a new list of what films to watch. In the spirit of this flurry of film festivities and movie lists, we thought a readalikes post would be the best way for us at the Hub to partake in all of this fun. So in preparation for the quintessential award show, the Oscars, we’ve come up with a list of a YA readalikes for some of this year’s most talked about films – The Academy Awards Best Picture Nominees.
Special thanks goes to Hannah Gomez, Jennifer Rummel, Erin Daly, Tara Kehoe, Sharon Rawlins, Jessica Lind and Wendy Daughdrill for helping to create these booklists.
As someone who is very open about her love of reading, I often find myself in a position of being asked for book recommendations. If I know someone’s reading tastes well, this is usually an easy task. There are also plenty of amazing lists out there that help for making recommendations for someone who is able to give you a specific example of their interests, like The Fault in Our Stars, dystopians, or contemporary romances. It’s those others, though, the ones that don’t consider themselves “readers,” so they are hesitant to name a book they’ve enjoyed that require a little more thought.
Over the past couple of years, I have begun keeping (and updating!) a mental list of “go-to books” that I can easily start with when making recommendations to these individuals. Here are a few of my most frequent go-to recommendations:
For the Simpsons Comics Fans Who Want a Non-graphic Novel:
Bad Unicorn by Platte F. Clark
While this book isn’t for everyone, it does has been very well received when I am able to get it into the right hands. These readers are the ones that will laugh out loud and grab it from you when you explain that it is about a killer unicorn named Princess the Destroyer. I have recommended this many times and have received positive feedback from the readers. I have even heard them telling others about it. Bad Unicorn has been getting many more reads than I anticipated the first time I saw it.
I began recommending Graceling after it popped up a few times here on The Hub. While your reader has to be okay with high fantasy, I have found it to be an easy sell to someone who has worked their way through a variety of dystopian and post-apocalyptic future novels and is ready for something new. I think it is more approachable to readers coming out of the Hunger Games series than other fantasy series such as Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness. Continue reading Go-To YA Book Recommendations
Summer is here! It’s been here for a while but there is a something about July that seems to be the prototypical summer month: school is neither just getting out or just about to begin; it’s hot but you aren’t sick of it yet like you are at the end of August; and even the word “July” tends to lend itself to being drawn out in a long, slow, lazy way.
With summer at its height, lots of people are on vacation and there is national focus on reading. Almost every library has a summer reading program and many schools require students to read over the summer. Even people who don’t normally read feel pressure to pick out a good “beach read” for their summer vacations.
So I wanted to know what some of my other Hub bloggers were reading for the summer. Are they reading YA or taking a break and sneaking in – gasp! – an adult book? And are they reading from any interesting locales? Here are pictures that feature your Hub bloggers reading– or the stacks of books they plan on reading this summer.
I’m reading Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins in my little town on Boston’s North Shore: no vacation for me until the summer is over! Luckily for me I live a short, five-minute walk from the beach. There is nothing like the cold New England sea to make you want to read some Southern Gothic YA fiction!
X-Men: Days of Future Past was certainly the big hit at the box office this holiday weekend, raking in $111 million dollars over four days.
This makes it the fifth biggest Memorial Day weekend opening ever, which is quite the accomplishment for my favorite band of ragtag mutants. We first heard of the premise for Days of Future Past during the credits of the last Wolverine movie. This new X-Men film brings together our old cast of characters that we were introduced to 14 years ago with the new ones from X-Men: First Class (2011), who just happen to be the younger versions of the characters from 14 years agoâ€¦ Confused yet? Just wait until you get to the end of Days of Future Past. In fact, for an in-depth analysis of the ending to Days of Future Past and its timeline implications, check out this article from Entertainment Weekly.
The basic premise of the film is that the future has gone all-out genocidal on mutants and those that support mutant rights. The government started the Sentinel program as a way to specifically target the mutant gene, and thus kill mutants without collateral damage; however, the program pretty much led to the destruction of humanity as we know it. Pretty bleak future, so the X-Men send Wolverine back in time to try and alter it for the better of mankind and mutants alike. Wolverine is tasked with getting Magneto and Professor X to work together (no small feat there) to stop Raven/Mystique from killing Trask, the founder of the Sentinel program, which is apparently the catalyst for all of the future bad. As with any movie that involves time travel and the butterfly effect, the ending can make your brain hurt while you try to calculate just how much of the original X-Men timeline was impacted by this one movie. Although I have to say even with the brain freeze feeling it left me with, I was pretty satisfied with the whole shebang.
The trailer for the movie is here:
Since the X-Men films in general have never really stuck too close to their source material, I thought it would be more fun to do a “What Would They Read?” list of YA lit for my favorite band of mutants. The characters chosen for the list were the ones heavily featured in this particular film, so I apologize in advance to all of my fellow Rogue fans!
Magneto â€“The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World’s Most Notorious Nazi by Neal Bascomb (2014 YALSA Nonfiction Award) & â€œThe President Has Been Shot!â€: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy by James L. Swanson (2014 YALSA Nonfiction Finalist) When we first encounter Magneto in the film, he is stuck in a concrete prison underneath the Pentagon. For the simple reason that he has copious amounts of time, he gets two books on this list! The Nazi Hunters tells the story of Adolf Eichmann’s capture. Eichmann was the head of operations for the Nazi’s final solution and was finally found in Argentina 16 years later by Israeli spies. Given that Magneto’s background story is deeply entrenched in the WWII era as well as the Nazi concentration camps, this seems like the perfect read for him. Eric/Magneto dedicated his life to righting the wrongs done to him and others in those concentration camps, and it strongly shaped his distrust in governmental organizations. It seems only fitting that he would enjoy the story of how spies and survivors finally brought Eichmann to justice.The second book chosen for Magneto, â€œThe President Has Been Shot!â€ has more to do with his Days of Future Past plot line and why when we first encounter Magneto he is imprisoned underneath the Pentagon. Let’s just say that he would definitely enjoy this dramatic retelling of the events surrounding the Kennedy assassination. Continue reading What Would They Read? X-Men: Days of Future Past Edition
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. Continue reading ALA Midwinter 2014: YALSA’s Morris/Nonfiction Award Program & Presentation
Since 2005, January 27th has been designated International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this day, the world takes time to acknowledge the millions of victims of genocide at the hands of the Nazis during World War II. Below are some books that address this difficult and important period in history.
Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein – This companion to 2013 Printz Honor bookCode Name Verity offers a horrific and visceral story of the RavensbrÃ¼ck concentration camp. The book follows Rose, a young American pilot, who finds herself in RavensbrÃ¼ck after her plane is captured by the Germans. There she meets others women who have been captured and subjected to medical experimentation. With vivid descriptions and a clear attention to historical detail, this book is a powerful read for those who want to more fully understand the Holocaust. [Edit: Earlier today, this book was awarded the 2014 Schneider Family Book Award in the teen division.] Continue reading International Holocaust Remembrance Day