If anyone could appreciate creating lists of books for their favorite TV and movie characters, it’s Jessica Day. She would probably assign book suggestions to her stuffed animals and then present them in the form of a jaunty song. While we patiently wait for the next season to start up, I thought I would compile a list of books that the characters of New Girl would enjoy.
New Girl provides a large cast of characters that are so over-the-top that it feels authentic. I mean, who wouldn’t want to play a round of “True American” and climb atop furniture while spouting random historical facts? For those who are not familiar with the premise for the show, it’s fairly simple. Jess answers an ad in Craigslist and moves in with three guys, Nick, Schmidt, and Winston. The guys are not used to living with a girl, and Jess turns out to be much more than they expected. Jess has several quirks that set her apart from the other girls they know, but it soon comes out that they have their own bizarre traits as well.
If you haven’t seen the show, I suggest watching it immediately. After watching an episode or twelve, come on back and see what books each character would read.
Jess – While this title is a bit on the older side of YA lit, I would not be surprised if Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli was sitting on Jess’s shelf. Stargirl wears granny dresses and plays the ukelele, which are two things I would most definitely see Jess doing as well. Jess has a celebratory air about her and she would relate immensely to a girl who wants to do her own thing, despite how many people around her wish she would just conform to the rest of the crowd. In a similar vein, I would also give Jess Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick. Amber Appleton would most assuredly be buds with Jess and Stargirl, but this book skews slightly into drama when Amber’s story is revealed. Continue reading What Would They Read?: New Girl
Last weekend the Avengers returned to save the world and entertain us with their witty banter. We last saw them battle against Loki and the Chitauri he brought to Earth via a wormhole in New York City. Now they are facing Ultron, an artificial intelligence bent on ridding Earth of humanity. It’s been three years since the Avengers had to assemble to fight another big bad. Obviously they must have had some serious down time to focus on their reading. Last time the Avengers fought evil, The Hub provided a reading list for the Avengers. I think it’s only right to give them a few more choices to peruse before they are called again to fight.
Captain America/Steve Rogers: Let’s start at the beginning with the first Avenger, Captain America. Captain America first started fighting evil back in the time of World War II. Since then he has tried to acquaint himself with the events that have occurred, particularly in pop culture as Tony Stark is quick to fire off a reference or two. In order for Cap to find some kind of camaraderie in his predicament, I would recommend Eoin Colfer’s W.A.R.P. series, starting with book one, The Reluctant Assassin. In this book, Riley is pulled from his home in Victorian London along with his mentor Garrick, a dangerous assassin, to help the modern-day FBI capture Garrick before he finds his way back to his own time. While Cap and Riley come from different time periods, Cap can definitely relate to the out of place feeling.
Ironman/Tony Stark: Tony Stark can be a bit obvious regarding his personality. He loves being the best, he loves the ladies, and he loves his ability to buy everything. As we know from the first Ironman movie, his interests expanded when he was captured in Afghanistan. This is why I decided to give Stark The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith. This is a fairly new book which tells three different stories. The first story belongs to Ariel, a Middle Eastern teenage boy who is adopted by an American scientist and his wife. The second story is Ariel and his adopted brother Max at summer camp. The third story tells of the ill-fated crew of a ship called The Alex Crow which was sailing in the Arctic Ocean. The three stories eventually intertwine in a way that Stark would find quite intriguing. I’ll leave the discovery of the connection to you..no spoilers! Continue reading What Would They Read?: Avengers Assemble!
On Saturday, January 31, I had the privilege to not only attend the “Best Fiction for Young Adults (BFYA)” feedback session, I also was able to bring four of my local library teens to participate in the session. Here is a picture of the five of us after the session posing with all of our swag bags. My four teens joined up with other teen readers to comprise a group of 60, all ready to do what teens do best: share their opinions.
Just a little background, if you are unfamiliar with the BFYA list: throughout the year, librarians add books published that year to a nomination list. From this nomination list, a committee reads the titles and ultimately whittles the list down to a BFYA Top Ten list. In order to ensure that the best books make the Top Ten list, the committee holds a feedback session in which teens can share why they think a book should or should not be on the list. The teens lined up at microphones that faced the committee members rather than the large crowd of librarians and teachers who stopped in to get the firsthand knowledge presented by the teens. Each teen had no more than 90 seconds to prove their point and were allowed to write up their reviews ahead of time. Unfortunately, due to the length of the nomination list, not every title was reviewed by the teens during the session.
Before I begin to share the details of the session, here is the BFYA Top Ten list:
The Carnival at Bray by Jessie Ann Foley
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
The Gospel of Winter by Brendan Kiely
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Jackaby by William Ritter
Noggin by John Corey Whaley
The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim by E. K. Johnston
Vango by Timothee de Fombelle
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
The Young Elites by Marie Lu
There was one phrase that was constantly heard throughout the BFYA session. That phrase was, “I completely disagree.” Continue reading ALA Midwinter 2015: Best Fiction for Young Adults Feedback Session Recap
There are certain fandoms I’ve been apprehensive to take on due to their immense fanbases. I definitely breathed a sigh of relief when I completed the blog posts for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly and realized that they turned out to be successful. I’m still debating when I’m going to dive in and take on Doctor Who. It’s probably my most frightening concept to date, but I promise it will happen. I just need a little more psyching up and then I will do it. Today, however, I will attempt to impart my recommendations for one of my favorite shows of all time: Supernatural.
The basic plot of Supernatural is a something that has been recently retold in a variety of YA books. It’s a basic story about two guys (in this case, brothers Dean and Sam Winchester) who travel around and take on a plethora of supernatural and paranormal creatures while dealing with their own personal demons which range from recovering from a trip to purgatory to actually being the human embodiment of Lucifer.
There are three books in particular that resonate as perfect readalikes for the series. First, Sarah Rees Brennan has a series that begins with The Demon’s Lexicon(Best Fiction for Young Adults Top Ten, 2010). In this book, two brothers, Alan and Nick, hunt demons avenging their dead father and taking care of their crazy mother. There are definitely similarities between Alan and Nick and Dean and Sam are very evident. Perhaps the Winchesters can take a break and read a bit about another duo who fight the evils lurking in the dark.
A second selection to seek out is Anna Dressed in Blood and its companion, Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake. The main character is a boy named Cas, who coincidentally shares his name with the Winchester’s angelic friend. Cas travels around with his witch mother and a cat that can sense ghosts. Dean and Sam will find comradery with Cas as he sets off to avenge his father’s death while wielding an athame with the the power to destroy ghosts. Like Sam Dean, Cas is challenged to overlook his predispositions to kill ghosts and determine whether or not this particular case involving the spirit called Anna Dressed in Blood is not quite like the others.
Finally, I would definitely hand over Kami Garcia’s new series called “The Legion.” Garcia’s series begins with Unbreakable. The story begins with a female protagonist named Kennedy who finds her mother murdered by something supernatural. She only survives due to twin brothers named Lukas and Jared who whisk her away from danger only to inform her that there will definitely be more danger down the road. In turns out that Kennedy, the twins, and two others are the descendants of members of a group called The Legion that fight against ancient evil spirits. Secret societies full of knowledge regarding the killing of all things evil? Sounds a bit like the Winchester’s new discovery, the Men of Letters, only with a lot less resources. Now that I covered a few titles that Sam and Dean can share and read together, here are a few titles specifically chosen for each of their personal tastes. Continue reading What Would They Read?: Supernatural
OK, it’s time for a little make believe. I’d ask you to close your eyes, but I know that will make reading the rest of this fairly difficult. Imagine it’s Christmas morning and you just noticed that your stocking is filled to the brim with goodies. Upon closer inspection, you notice that it’s not just any random gift. Santa has stuffed your stocking with books upon books. It truly is a merry Christmas.
Everyone makes their own personal Santa. One Santa would only ever bring candy and never socks. Another Santa would leave the sweets at home and fill up the stocking with silly little knick knacks. In my imagination, Santa stuffs as many books as possible in my stocking. The question is, how well does Santa know your personal reading tastes? Below are several of our favorite holiday characters. Let’s see what books Santa stuffed in their stockings.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – Rudolph’s story is a familiar one. I mean, the basics of his life are squeezed into a song. Aside from the magical ability to fly and his glowing nose, Rudolph’s story is about trying to fit in when others make you feel like an outcast. This is a common theme in many teen books. Rudolph would definitely enjoy science fiction stories that include other characters with powers. For example, I guarantee there were several “X-Men” graphic novels. Who wouldn’t want to relate their issues with the issues of superheroes? In addition to the “X-Men” graphic novels, I bet Santa would throw in the “Maximum Ride” series by James Patterson, starting with The Angle Experiment. Similarly to the X-Men, Patterson’s books are about kids with powers that would normally exclude them. Instead, these powers bring the kids together. Who could forget about Harry Potter? Harry Potter spends his whole life up to the age of ten thinking that he wasn’t as good as the other kids. Then he discovers in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling that he is actually more special than his rude family. Also, just like Rudolph and his reindeer friends, Harry gets to do the same things as the other wizards, but still must deal with being treated different. Rudolph’s nose will always glow and Harry’s scar will always remind people that he was not killed by He Who Must Not Be Named. Of course, let’s not forget the parallels between Rudolph’s relationship to Santa and Harry’s relationship with Dumbledore. The similarities are definitely there. Obviously, Rudolph will have quite a few books to read in the time before next Christmas. Continue reading What Would They Read?: Holiday Edition
After a slight break to feature various spooky monsters, I’m heading back to the ship “Serenity” to finish off a few more characters. I promised you all I would not leave you hanging. Back in September I told you all about the crew of “Serenity.” The comments section hit on an obvious title that I overlooked so I wanted to make sure that it was added. Blog reader Shari said that Kaylee would also love Cinder by Marissa Meyer. After I read that comment, I mentally kicked myself and I’m not ashamed to say it hurt a bit. Of course Kaylee would love the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer! Not only is it futuristic, it’s set in a world where Chinese influences run abundantly…just like Kaylee’s world. Also, with as much as she likes to take apart and fix “Serenity,” she would love a story where cyborgs run freely. Great suggestion! I just wish I thought of it first. :P
Ok, back to the ship.
Inara Serra – Inara is a very proper lady by those viewing her merely for her profession. A companion is basically a fancy prostitute and Inara holds her head up high at the prestige she gains. However, we witness every episode a subconscious, or sometimes very conscious, desire for real love. Her schoolyard relationship with Mal makes the audience cheer for their snarky exteriors to melt away and their true romantic feelings to take the lead. That is why I believe that Inara would love books that regard strong female characters in a positive light, but still has a bit of romance. I would recommend The Selection by Kiera Cass to Inara particularly because America stands tall with her convictions instead of following the crowd of wannabee princesses. The romance is there, but it’s America who decides to whom those romantic tendencies will flourish. In a similar vein, I would slip Inara Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund. This title is a bit more romance, but the secrets kept by the main characters definitely taking center stage over the romance from time to time. And I believe that Inara’s secrets are fairly unmatched. Continue reading What Would They Read?: Firefly Part 2
I know some of you are patiently waiting for the conclusion of my Firefly post in September. Unfortunately you will have to wait a little bit more as I am interrupting my own series of posts to bring you this Halloween Monster Edition of “What Would They Read.” I promise I will finish Firefly next month. As I see it, we Firefly fans are used to things we love and look forward to being abruptly ended. It’s sad, but true.
OK, back to monsters…
There were two ways I considered approaching this blog post. I could go the easy way and match various monsters with books that include characters from the same species. For example, Dracula would just love to read The Twilight Saga because of all the vampires. Sure, I’ll throw in a few of those. The real challenge lies in finding books for these monster archetypes that more reflect their personality types. It’s a bit more difficult, but I’m up for the challenge. Go big or go home, right?
Dracula – Before vampires became a standard villainous character is several movies, shows, and books, Bram Stoker brought us the original vampire story. Some may say that there’s a historical connection to the evil ruler, Vlad the Impaler. I’m not going to debate for or against that idea, but I will say that guy was fairly creepy.
Those who have read the original novel, Dracula, know that while the vampire was super spooky, he was also very lonely. He used his vampire ways to try to get friends and girlfriend. True, he didn’t go about this search in the conventional way by simply introducing himself to new people. Instead, he charmed the mentally unstable Renfield and made him his somewhat friend, although I think the term is closer to minion than friend. Once he decided he wanted a woman in his life, he did not go about courting her in a traditional manner. After a few midnight visits full of blood drinking, Dracula had Lucy right where he wanted her; in a coffin. Continue reading What Would They Read?: Monster Edition!
I was nervous a few months ago when I tackled the popular series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the “What Would They Read” series here on The Hub, where we pair up favorite TV characters with YA lit recommendations– but I’m even more apprehensive with this blog entry. Joss Whedon’s Firefly found its end far too soon and yet has been kept alive by extremely passionate fans. This is a massive undertaking in the vast world of fandoms. Feel free to comment on my selections below.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Firefly, here is a brief synopsis: Firefly takes place in a future world with new star systems with moons and planets that have been terraformed to replicate life on Earth. Although the technology of the future is far more advanced that technology today, the new settlements on the moons most resemble the Old West. The Alliance is the central government, comprised of the only two superpowers left; America and China. Because of China’s power, Chinese influences in fashion and language and dispersed throughout everyday life. The show follows a specific ship that resembles a firefly named Serenity. Captain Malcom Reynolds and his crew live on the shady side of the law, delivering stolen government goods to planets in need and making deals with some unpleasant people. In an attempt to appear more respectable and make a little extra money, Mal decides to take on a few passengers. Instead situations because even more complicated.
It is true that a majority of Serenity’s crew would no sooner read a book than play professional football, I would like to believe my statement that there is a book for every reader. With no further ado, here are my reading recommendations.
Mal Reynolds – Initially, Mal has a stern, no-nonsense personality. Although, as the show progresses, we see a bit of a sense of humor emerging for time to time. There’s no question that Mal would prefer a book with a strong action-packed plot with a slight hint of a romance. Mal may think he’s kidding everyone with his love/hate relationship with Inara, but we know it’s there. Also, Mal was on the losing side of the civil war against the Alliance and thus does not respect government authority. For Mal, I would definitely recommend Legend by Marie Lu (2012 Teens’ Top Ten) as well as the other two books in the series, Prodigy and Champion. Mal and Day have similar personality traits, the main one being their need to help out the little guy from being trampled by the oppressive government. Continue reading What Would They Read?: Firefly
It’s time once again to consider what books our favorite TV characters would read. While reading isn’t boring, it’s not that exciting to watch. So the question remains, what books would they read? This month I decided to bring the past to the present. Our six beloved teens from the 1970s probably read the classics like The Hardy Boys and books by Judy Blume. It definitely makes me wonder what books would the gang from That 70s Show read if they were teens today.
Eric Forman â€“ Let’s start with the unofficial leader of the group. When Eric is not obsessing over his on-again, off-again girlfriend or battling with his hard ass father, Eric has one other fixation, Star Wars. We know he went to see the original several times and has even had fantasies in which he is Luke Skywalker. I know he would plow through all of the different amalgamations of Star Wars graphic novels, from the first episode to the Clone Wars and beyond. I would also like to give him something I stumbled upon a few months ago that is just fantastic. Ian Doescher has blended together two things that have never combined before: Star Wars and William Shakespeare. I would give him Doescher’s William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope (2014 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults). Just the image of Jabba the Hut in Shakespearean dress is enough to make this title a favorite.
Jackie Burkhart â€“ We know that Jackie is a reader. On several occasions Jackie mentions reading Nancy Drew mysteries. I’d like to bring Jackie to the new millennium with a few options that are a bit more modern, but still with the Nancy Drew core. First, I’d give Jackie Lulu Dark Can See Through Walls by Bennett Madison. Unlike Nancy Drew, Lulu isn’t that excited to beginning investigating a mystery, but when her designer purse is stolen, she takes the case. Instead of ending every mystery with a hot fudge sundae like Nancy Drew would do, I’d bet Lulu would celebrate every mystery with a latte. I’m sure millennial Jackie would approve. Continue reading What Would They Read?: That ’70s Show
The time has come to recommend more books to our friends in Pawnee. I feel like I might have left the more difficult characters for this entry. Last month, I chose books for Leslie, Ben, April, and Andy. So let’s get started and see what we have this time around.
Tom Haverford – It is not difficult to select books for Tom. Basically, all you have to do is tell him that a celebrity endorsed the book and he would be all over it. However, I do think that is a bit like cheating. There has to be a book that fits Tom’s personality and passion for the jet-setter life. There is a book– and it’s called So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld (a 2005 Best Books for Young Adults selection). Before the name Westerfeld became synonymous with the Uglies series, he wrote So Yesterday. In this standalone novel, Hunter has the responsibility to find the Innovators, people who start trends, and present them to the retail market. Tom, with his big ideas like Entertainment 720 and Rent-a-Swag, will love the adventure Hunter embarks on in a city full of unknown pockets of cool. Unfortunately Pawnee is not a hub of trendsetting activity. Tom can live vicariously through Hunter’s story. Another title that Tom may enjoy is Feed by M.T. Anderson. In Feed, it is commonplace for everyone to have a feed similar to the Internet directly inputted into your brain. The program learns your likes and dislikes and sends you advertisements customized to you. Tom would love having all of that knowledge at his fingertips. Continue reading What Would They Read?: Parks and Recreation Part 2