Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2002 Best Books forYoung Adults, 2002 Top Ten Books for Young Adults, 2009 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, Teen’s Top Ten: 2003 & 2005) by Ann Brashares: Lena. Brashares does a suburb job of fully developing all four of the girls who wear the magic pants. No girl is an afterthought, no girl is a clone, and no girl is without her issues. Lena’s deal is that she is repressed. All of her friends describe Lena as beautiful but withdrawn. Lena’s reluctance to go anywhere new is first challenged when she is forced to spend the summer in Greece with her grandparents. One repressed protagonist plus a cute Greek guy plus a pair of magic jeans equals… lots of personal growth for Lena!
Today let us delve into one of the most pervasive tropes of our time, one that appears in literature, films, television, and maybe even our fantasies: the Manic Pixie Dream Girl (and Boy) (MPDG/B). Just in case your are not familiar with this moniker, it was identified by Nathan Rabin in 2005 when describing Kirsten Dunsts’ character in his movie review of “Elizabethtown”:
“The Manic Pixie Dream Girl exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.”
Forget the Tarot cards, crystal balls, and palm-readers. Toss aside those stale fortune cookies. You need only look to your bookshelf to understand your deepest personality traits. Look for some of your favorite YA titles below and you may find that my keen “psychic” abilities can be enlightening.
* Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver. There is more to you than meets the eye. You keep your secrets close, and may not be very trustworthy. But you love deeply and are very protective.
* Love is the Drug by Alaya Dawn Johnson. You might have a hard time trusting yourself, but go with your instincts- they won’t steer you wrong. Be yourself and don’t try so hard to please others.
* The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough. You may feel like you are being influenced by forces greater than your own. But it’s OK, go with it. Don’t be afraid to get hurt and great things will happen.
* Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong. Others may call you inconsistent. Your horoscope sign may be best described as “Gemini.” You are brave, smart, and have a keen sense of justice. You develop strong connections to friends and family.
* The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (2009 Best Book for Young Adults). Some would call you are a guys’ guy. But don’t discount the fairer sex, you may find a wonderful friend. You may not be “book smart” but you are clever and can get yourself out of tough situations. Just believe in yourself, and don’t forget to appreciate your dog.
* All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. You are drawn to those in pain and have some dark times. Talking through it may help. We all have to go through difficult times. Let yourself mourn those you have lost. Continue reading YA Book Personality Test
It’s Flashback Friday and The Hub is taking you back to the 1990s! Last week, Jessica Lind discussed the ’90s nostalgia emerging in contemporary pop culture in her post titles The Hub Loves the ’90s. Now we’re going to be flashing back to what young adults were reading in the ’90s. The inspiration for this post was the television show Fresh off the Boat. The show based on Eddie Huang’s best-selling memoir, is about a Taiwanese-American family living in the suburbs of Orlando, FL during the ’90s. The show gave me a very funny librarian thought: what if the tweenage Eddie went to the library on Fresh off the Boat– what would the librarian recommend to him? This thought caused me to crack open the librarian vault and take a journey back to the decade that had us rolling with the homies….
So it’s time to break out your flannel, find those old shoe-lace hair clips, put on Wannabe by the Spice Girls and grab your favorite Pogs, because we’re going to the 90’s!
October is an exciting month for any YA lit fan, because it includes Teen Read Week! In honor of this annual celebration of young adult literature, YALSA invited book-loving teens all over the world to apply to share their enthusiasm for reading in a guest post for The Hub. Thirty-one talented young writers were chosen, and we’ll be featuring posts from these unique voices all month long. Here’s Ryan Goodlett from Kentucky.
Do you ever look back at your life and remember it in segments defined by the relationship you were in at that time? For me, it would be like â€œthe Hayden* phaseâ€ or â€œthe Elliott phaseâ€ and then â€œpre-Westonâ€ and now currently â€œthe Weston phase.â€ (Although I’m one billion times sure I’m gonna marry this one… we’re going on 10 months strong). This is my longest relationship, and I’ve never felt better. I strut through those cold high school hallways like it’s my red carpet, seeing everything through new eyes. I like to think I am very independent. I’m fine on my own or trying to fix the broken, and I won’t be with someone just because I think it’s â€œthe thing to do.â€ But I didn’t realize that trying to fix the broken can be very painful; after all, broken things have sharp edges.
I met Weston in the midst of my endeavor to repair, and was already covered in cuts, waist-deep in someone else’s pain. I mean, I’ve read so many books about teenage love, where one character goes to the ends of the Earth for another, but the other character will just never be satisfied, but I could not recognize this in my own life.
Most recently, I witnessed this scenario unfold while curled up with John Green’s Paper Towns, an exhilarating mystery/romance novel which features Quentin Jacobson and Margo Roth Spiegelman of Orlando, Florida. As I tapped into Quentin’s thoughts and feelings about Margo, and learned of all the crazy things she did, I found myself feeling so very sorry for Quentin because it was so obvious that Margo Roth Spiegelman was not quite on the same planet (or at least had a very different view of the planet) as him. Such a simple yet intricate storyline, I could compare this story metaphorically to not only my own, but to the stories of many others I knew. Young love, the loss of love and the search for love are all captured beautifully in this novel, giving readers plenty of reason to both laugh and cry. Continue reading Life, Love, and the Young Adult Novel
I love Banned Books Week. I find that every year it comes around, there is always a new population of people who have no idea what it is. They look at our displays in our libraries and bookstores and wonder what it is all about. I’ve even had some teens look at my display one year and then ask if they could actually check them out.
I think that is the best part of Banned Book Week: it gives you a way to have a conversation with patrons and readers about censorship, the freedom to read, and the nature of ideas.
Young adult and adult novels make it to the big (and little) screen fairly often these days. So, just how smug should you feel when you have already read the book? There is no easy answer â€“ so to tackle this issue I have broken down the movie/show tie-ins into categories.
The Book Series Made into a Show
You can feel superior, but do tread lightly as you enter this murky zone. When translating a series of novels into a series of shows major plot elements are likely to be changed to allow for the continuity of the show. Examples of the book series made into a show include Pretty Little Liars (based on the series by Sara Shepard), Gossip Girl (based on the series by Cecily Von Ziegesar; a 2003 Quick Pick & 2009 Popular Paperback for Young Adults), The Walking Dead (based on the graphic novel series by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn and Tony Moore), and Game of Thrones (Based on the â€œSong of Fire and Iceâ€ books by George R.R. Martin.)
Pros of pre-reading the book series made into a show:
1) You read the books, you loved themâ€¦you watch the show and get more! You can translate your book reading experience into an on-going show and keep the story alive after the series is over and/or whilst you await (impatiently) for the next book.
2) Deviations from the book make for some fun and unexpected surprises. You thought you knew all there was to know about white walkers in George RR Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice seriesâ€¦ but after watching the HBO show– what?!
Cons of pre-reading the book series made into a show:
1) Deviations from the book make for some shocking unexpected surprises. Yes, this is both a pro and a con. These changes may call into question your precognitive skills. For example AMC’s Walking Dead’s many plot changes as compared to the graphic novel series.
Bragging rights earned from pre-reading the book series made into a show:
This year for the first time, I will be a book giver for World Book Night, which is this evening! This worldwide effort celebrates reading and asks avid readers and book lovers to volunteer to hand out free books to people – the hope is that these book givers will hand the books to non-readers, people who do not have easy access to libraries, or people who may not be able to afford to buy books for themselves. The titles chosen range from middle grade to YA to adult titles; classics to contemporary works; poetry to nonfiction to fiction; English and Spanish; award winners to best-sellers. Book givers can choose which book they are passionate about and hand out 20 copies of them. The authors and publishers of these books have printed special paperback editions and are willing to go without royalties so that they can spread a love of reading and a communal passion for popular titles with everyone. The list is well developed, featuring a decent spread of genres, ethnic and racial diversity, and themes.
If this has you excited, be sure to bookmark the WBN website so you can sign up to be a giver next year. But in the meantime, you can join in the joy and passion by accompanying a friend who is giving out books or by reading one of the books on this year’s list. Here are some ways you can catch up on the YA titles that are on offer…. Continue reading World Book Night 2014
While not necessarily a well-known holiday, Thesaurus Day is celebrated on January 18, the birthday of Peter Mark Roget, creator of Roget’s Thesaurus.
The original version of Roget’s thesaurus, created in 1805 and released in 1852, contained 15,000 words. Over the years, the thesaurus has grown, adding thousands of additional words and synonyms. These days, in addition to print versions of the thesaurus, wordsmiths are able to access the Roget’s thesaurus online through Thesaurus.com. If you are interested in a historical perspective, a 1911 version has been cataloged as part of the ARTFL Project through the University of Chicago.
We’re celebrating a day early here on The Hub by using the thesaurus to swap words in some popular YA titles. See if you can figure out the original titles and then scroll down to check!
The Tome Bandit
The Bonus of Being a Loner
An Excellent and Dreadful Virtue
The Insanity Below
A Chain of Ill-fated Happenings.
The Commander of the Loops
Thirteen Rationales of Cause
The Categorically Bona Fide Journal of a Part-Time Native American