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Tag: William Campbell Powell

Great Britain Across The Genres

London bus by E01. CC BY-SA 2.0.
London bus by E01. CC BY-SA 2.0.

Great Britain has always been a popular setting in all types and genres of literature. While I have read many books set there over the years, I never really thought about exactly how many books I enjoy are set in Great Britain until I started planning a trip to England and Scotland. But as I did start reflecting on some of my favorites, I realized how integral the British setting is to many great YA books across multiple genres. Whether you are an Anglophile looking for a new read, or are simply interested in reading books set there before planning your own trip, this list offers great British settings for fans of all genres.

The Name of the StarThe Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson (2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults– Rory Deveaux isn’t sure what to expect when she moves from the U.S. South to a boarding school in London, but it definitely isn’t getting caught up in a series of horrifying killings copying those of Jack the Ripper. When she becomes a key witness to one of the crimes, Rory gets dragged into the case and might even become his next victim if she isn’t careful. In this, the first of the Shades of London series, plot twists and laughs both come fast and furious. You won’t be able to stop with just one book; but if you start now, there is still plenty of time to catch up with the first two books before the next one comes out early next year. 

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Teen Tech Week: Building a Better Human

TTW14_featureslideMarch 9 – 15 is YALSA’s annual Teen Tech Week, when libraries shine a spotlight on all of the great technological tools that they offer for their patrons. And though this event only lasts for one week, technology is a core element of most libraries’ mission year round. More and more are offering digital labs and makerspaces where patrons can learn to use technology to create fantastic projects and give free rein to their imagination.

Photo by unloveablesteve. CC BY-NC-SA
Photo by unloveablesteve. CC BY-NC-SA

One of my favorite examples of this is the prosthetic Robohand that was recently created for a young boy using the 3-D printer at the Johnson County Library Makerspace. As soon as I read the story, it got me thinking about all of the great stories I have read about technology being used to augment the human body or even change what it means to be a person. And, so, in honor of Teen Tech Week, I decided to create a list of some of my favorite books about technology being used to augment the human body or fundamentally alter humanity as we currently conceive of it.


More or Less than Human: What Can Robots Teach Us About Human Relationships?

Photo By Johnson Cameraface. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Photo By Johnson Cameraface. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Robots have long fascinated humanity. Since the word first emerged in a play in the early 1920s, they have been a major fixture in literature, film and, more recently, in games. io9 recently devoted an entire article to great books that change how we think about robots, but what about ways that literature uses robots to change how we think about other philosophical issues? This post collects some young adult books that have robots as major characters or plot points and uses them to consider other important concepts such as friendship, what it means to be human, and how humans should interact with technology.

Robot Dreams by Sara Varon (Great Graphic Novels for Teens 2008) – This virtually wordless graphic novel combines an adorable art style with a tale of friendship between a dog and the robot he built. After a trip to the beach separates them, each contends with loneliness, depression and efforts to replace the friend they have lost. The story is a sad meditation on the importance of friendship and the difficulty of replacing those who are most important in our lives.

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