Those of you familiar with the lives of the employees of the Pawnee Parks Department know how they feel about the Pawnee Public Library. The presence of Ron Swanson’s crazy ex wife, Tammy, doesn’t help to mend the fences between these two village departments. However, I would like to believe that this rivalry between the parks Department and the library would in no way hinder Leslie Knope and staff in their love of reading. I mean, obviously they would probably have to get their books through Amazon or a bookstore so as not to encounter Tammy. Let’s see what books the Parks Department would read!
Leslie Knope – Leslie is a very powerful woman who strives at excellence in everything she does. When I think about Leslie, I immediately think of Frankie Landau-Banks. In 2009 Printz Honor book The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart, Frankie orchestrates a mission to infiltrate The Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, an all-male secret society on her school campus, of which her boyfriend is a member. Of course, being a member is not enough for Frankie’s ambition. Instead, she starts to design school pranks and directs the Bassets in carrying them out. Frankie is definitely a teen Leslie would be proud of if she were a citizen of Pawnee. Another title that I would set aside for Leslie is Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer. Bauer’s story includes a mayoral race in a small town. When Hope moves to the small Wisconsin town from a fairly big city, she does not expect to get caught up in the situations of her new home. However, when the owner of the diner she works at decides to run for mayor against a corrupt politician, Hope jumps into local politics with both feet. Bauer’s book combines two of Leslie’s loves: politics and diners. Continue reading What Would They Read?: Parks and Recreation
We have finally come to the end of my Buffy the Vampire Slayer trilogy of YA book recommendations. I had people ask me to include Spike and Drusilla as well as other characters that hang out in the dark. I feel this may be the most challenging entry yet. I mean, when would Adam find the time from acting like Dr. Frankenstein to pick up a book? Also, unless Glory’s minions were reading her the story of her life aloud, I can’t see her being interested in much else. But still, I will do my best to find recommendations for even the most reluctant reader.
Darla – I thought I would work my way through the series chronologically. Unfortunately, that puts the most difficult character first. I can easily think of a title or two for every other character. Darla is a puzzle. Initially, we don’t learn much about Darla until she appears on Angel. Everything we know about her consists of her life as a vampire throughout history. She is the only main villainous vampire with a recurring storyline in Buffy that we do not know the origin story. It’s not until Angel that we learn that she has been a vampire since the sixteenth century. This may be a stretch, but I would give Darla Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick (the 2014 Printz Award winner) to read. Darla and Angelus were together initially 200 years ago, but then were pulled apart when Angelus becomes Angel, the vampire with a soul. Then, like the characters of Eric and Merle in Midwinterblood, the two are brought back together again through a series of circumstances. And of course I have to mention, there is a bit of vampire action in the book as well.
Continue reading What Would They Read?: YA Lit for the Villains of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Last month, I had intention of selecting books for characters of fantastic TV show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Surprisingly, I got lost in a Buffy tornado and did not get a chance to discuss the reading habits of anyone else from the show. Let’s see how many characters I get through this month.
Xander Harris – Xander is not much of a reader, as we learn in the show. However, there are a few references to his love of comics. It would be easy to give Xander a few superhero comics and he would be satisfied. That said, I would stay away from any books featuring Daredevil, seeing what happened to Xander in the final season. I would like to expose Xander to a different kind of book- show him what else is out there.
I thought one of the interesting ways to find a book for Xander would be to look at some of his past crushes, hobbies, etc. The first book that comes to mind is probably one of the most bizarre books concepts that I’ve run across this year, but is still completely a Xander pick. Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith is the story of two boys who inadvertently bring about six-foot tall praying mantises that may eventually destroy the world. This just seems like a book match made in heaven for Xander. Remember when he developed a crush on his entomology teacher who transformed into a giant praying mantis? What does a guy living on the Hellmouth consider the ultimate horror story? What fuels his nightmares? Vampires and demons are nothing for someone like Xander, but give him giant insects and he’ll be squirming.
Xander longs to be a hero. He had his chance during the first season when he became his Halloween costume and became a soldier. Throughout the show, we see Xander recall his military knowledge and assist in situations. A second choice for Xander’s to-read pile would be Divided We Fall by Trent Reedy. In this book, Danny joins the National Guard in order to help protect his state and country. But when the State Government and the Federal Government decide to turn on each other and a second Civil War threatens America, Danny has to determine what side is the right side. Continue reading What Would They Read?: Buffy the Vampire Slayer continued
For several months now I have been creating recommendation lists for some notable characters for TV. I’ve been putting this one off, mainly because I am slightly intimidated to take on a Whedonverse show. So please forgive if I unsuccessfully tackle the pop culture phenomenon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BTVS). Who knows… maybe if I succeed with this one, I’ll try another Joss Whedon masterpiece, Firefly.
In a TV show that centers around so much reading and research mixed with punching and stabbing, creator Joss Whedon does manage to name-drop a few literary titles here and there. In the “Band Candy” episode, Buffy refers to Willy Loman from the play “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller. During season five, Buffy encounters the most popular vampire in all literature in the episode “Buffy vs. Dracula.” I don’t want to jump the gun, but did Buffy actually read Dracula by Bram Stoker? If not, then I definitely am tossing that title to her. Honestly, it’s more of a textbook for her than recreational reading, but so what? If these literary examples tell us anything, it’s that obviously Buffy and the Scooby Gang must love books! So, without further ado, here are some recommendations for our Sunnydale pals!
Buffy Summers – I just want to state for the record that I would never ever give Buffy Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. While the star-crossed lovers scenario might ring a bit true, I believe that Buffy would never be able to get through a book in which vampires don’t kill you, but rather play baseball and sparkle in the sun. There has been much speculation about what Buffy would do in Bella Swan’s world, i.e. whether or not she would slay Edward and his family. Also, as we have seen in several episodes of BTVS, vampires and werewolves aren’t enemies. Angel and Oz get along just fine, although that aren’t fighting over the same girl. That being said, I think we could come up with a more suitable reading choice for Buffy.
We have seen Buffy take on a variety of beasties and demons throughout her seven years, however there is one creature that never proved to be much of a threat: the unicorn. Right away, I would pull the “Killer Unicorns” series by Diana Peterfreund. This book series, starting with Rampant, is about an ancient order of female teenaged unicorn hunters who must join together to stop vicious unicorn attacks. Unlike the random selection of slayers in Buffy’s world, these hunters are descendants from unicorn hunters of the past. The book is full of training, unbelievable realizations, and forbidden love; all things that Buffy can understand in ways other readers cannot. Continue reading What Would They Read?: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Since I got so much positive feedback from last month’s Glee edition of “What Would They Read?,” I thought I would continue with a few more characters. I actually had some recommendations in the comments section which I plan to include in this post.
Last month I tackled reading options for Finn, Rachel, and Quinn. In order to include as many characters as possible, I’m going to do a quick Reader’s Advisory for several more people.
Santana Lopez – I’m going to start this off with one of the recommendations left in last month’s comments section. While Santana does not appear to be a very big reader, she would definitely find some common ground in Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina (2014 Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers). In Medina’s book, Piddy discovers that Yaqui, a girl she doesn’t eve know, has decided to target her in an aggressive bullying situation. Santana would like the book not only because of the strong anti-bullying sentiments she developed while protecting Kurt, but also because of the strong Latina characters with whom she can relate culturally.
Tina Cohen-Chang – As we all know, Principal Figgins has revealed his dislike for Tina’s wardrobe, stating that it makes her look like a vampire. I assume Tina would appreciate a few vampire novels once in a while. In particular, I would give her Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber. While this is a bit of an oldie in the YA perspective (it came out in 2003), I believe that Tina would breathe new life into the title. In Vampire Kisses, Raven is an outcast who dresses in all black and dreams of someday becoming a vampire. When new neighbors move in next door, Raven can’t help but notice that they do not venture out during the daytime and Alexander, the teenaged son, hangs out in the cemetery quite frequently. This could be Raven’s chance to embrace the afterlife of a vampire.
Continue reading What Would They Read: Glee Edition, Part 2
Glee is a wonderful show that comprises a plethora of teen issues portrayed in both dramatic and comedic ways. I’ve watched the show for years, but there is one thing that has always bothered me. Why don’t any of the Glee kids read? There is not one member who discusses a favorite book comments on what he or she is currently reading. One of the few times the library gets any attention is when a small group of the Glee members sing M.C. Hammer’s â€œYou Can’t Touch Thisâ€ in the library in hopes of getting into trouble. Sure, Stephenie Meyer’s â€œTwilight Sagaâ€ is mentioned, but only in reference to Tina’s clothes and Principle Figgins’s fear of vampires. So I’ve decided to take it upon myself to educate the Glee club on books. They’ve been taught about acting, dental hygiene, Spanish, and several other topics. It’s about time that they opened a book.
Finn Hudson â€“ I understand that due to devastating real-life circumstances (the tragic death of actor Cory Monteith), Finn is no longer on the show. However, I would still like to include the character in this experiment of Reader’s Advisory because the character is still important to the show. Finn is an interesting character to analyze. He was the first of the jock/popular crowd to join the Glee club. While at first, viewers may see him as a dumb jock, a deeper, more thoughtful Finn has been revealed over the course of the show. I would recommend Knights of Hill Country by Tim Tharp. The plot of this title can be compared to the relationship between Finn and Rachel. Knights of Hill Country tells the story of a football hero, Hampton, who begins to see more than the football in a town that eats, sleeps, and breathes football. He begins to notice Sara, a girl who usually would not speak to and would definitely not consider dating. Knights of Hill Country is a thought-provoking story about creating your own identity instead of living the character created by others. The death of his father has always been something on Finn’s mind. He might be interested in reading a book about war and the effect it has on those left at home. For a fiction title, I would recommend Personal Effects by E.M. Kokie, which discusses a teen whose brother died in Iraq. If Finn preferred something from the non-fiction shelf, I would give him Ghosts of War: The True Story of a 19-year-old GI by Ryan Smithson. In Ghosts of War, Smithson talks about his experiences in Iraq.
Continue reading What Would They Read?: Glee