What Would Fred Read?

I laughed cried and marveled at Won’t You Be My Neighbor, the biography of Fred Rogers, the host of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. I didn’t grow up watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and was amazed by the thought Fred Rogers put into each episode and the range of current topics he addressed. He looked nerdy and trained as a Presbyterian minister; he was a man on a mission. He chose children’s television as his means to nurture young children and help them make sense of the world. He was very concerned about people’s feelings and making personal connections with his viewers, speaking directly to them and looking into the camera as if looking into their eyes. I think a teen Fred Rogers would enjoy books that do the same sort of thing.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What Would Mary Shelley Read?

On January 1, 1818, the first edition of Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus was published anonymously in London. The author, Mary Shelley, was only 20 years old. It wasn’t until the publication of the second edition, in 1823, that Shelley was given credit for her book. This year we are seeing a surge in books commemorating the 200th anniversary of the book’s publication.

Mary Shelley was a woman ahead of her time. I think  she would enjoy reading these books by female authors.

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Marvelous Meta-Horror for Halloween Season

Horror is at its scariest when it puts you into the perspective of its terrified victims, but if you’ve read or watched widely in the genre, it can be harder to feel those vicarious thrills, especially when you’re busy yelling at the characters to stop being so stupid. Enter meta-horror: where your extra knowledge of the genre is part of the fun. In meta-horror, the characters may realize that events are happening like in a horror movie; or the story may break the fourth wall and deconstruct horror tropes to do something unfamiliar. It may be as simple as including “wink-wink” references that a horror fiend may be delighted to recognize. Either way, these meta-horror books, movies, and games can be scary, clever, or funny, or all three. You can recommend these titles to your high school teen horror buffs who are looking to put their horror knowledge to good use.

BOOKS

Alone, by Cyn Balog (Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers 2019 nominee)

Seda’s mother inherits a crumbling mansion that was once a murder mystery hotel. Her mother is supposed to renovate and sell it, but she seems more interested in keeping it in the family. Seda likes all of the secret passages and macabre decorations at first, but it turns oppressive when a blizzard strands a group of teenagers at the house. To keep their new guests entertained, her mother decides to host a murder mystery like in the old days.

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What Would Ruth Read?

This seems to be the summer of the documentary for me. I recently went to the movie theater to watch RBG, the biography of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and was pleasantly surprised to see a multi-generational audience sitting in cross-generational groups. There were at least two grandmother-granddaughter pairings. And that got me wondering, if Ruth Bader Ginsburg were a teen now, what would she read?

According to the documentary, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a serious young woman, not given to small talk. When she had something to say, however, she was thoughtful, articulate and powerful. She spent much of her career working for women’s rights, often coming back to the line in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution that promised everyone “the equal protection of the laws.”

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Page to Screen: Upcoming YA Movie Adaptations

In between reboots of this franchise, spin-offs to that one, and vaguely worded continuations of another, Hollywood often turns back to the books for creative inspiration for new movies and television shows. While not every book gets its screen debut after the rights are purchased, those that do are immediately held to a higher standard by we book people, who hope the film or TV show will honor the original while showing us something awesome that we didn’t even know we wanted.

Here are five upcoming movie or TV adaptations of young adult books that both scare and excite me.

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Release date: August 3, 2018

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Women in Comics: Star Wars

With the latest Star Wars movie, Solo: A Star Wars Story, coming to theaters later this month, it seems like a great time to explore Star Wars comics. In the years since the first Star Wars movie was released, there has been a huge range of licensed books and graphic novels set in the Star Wars universe and many of these stories have been created by women. This list features a few of these comics. Star Wars fans will see some familiar characters and a few new ones as well, but throughout there is the same sense of adventure that is found in the movies. Whether you and your patrons are getting ready for the new movie or want more stories after seeing it, this list will have something to fit your need.

Han Solo coverCaptain Phasma coverRogue One cover

Han Solo by Marjorie Liu with art by Mark Brooks – Let’s start the list with a perfect read for Han Solo fans waiting for the new film to come out. In this action packed story, Han is convinced to help the Rebellion one more time and has a chance to compete in a race along the way. Liu’s story captures everything fans love about Han Solo and offers a thrilling addition to his legend. Brooks’ art captures the action perfectly contributing to a sense of tension and suspense throughout the story. Continue reading Women in Comics: Star Wars

Magic in the TeenSpot

Seemingly out of nowhere, Magic: The Gathering has become a new obsession in the TeenSpot department at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. I always find it interesting which games become popular with our teens. Most of our regulars tend to be die hard Yu-Gi-Oh players, or fanatical about Roblox. I was a bit surprised (and very excited) to watch this new passion for the Magic: The Gathering card game to unfold. Continue reading Magic in the TeenSpot

Five Podcasts to Try for Fans of “Welcome to Night Vale”

Audio fiction podcasts are finally getting their comeuppance thanks largely to the success of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast. Serialized fiction podcasts are an engaging storytelling medium that is drawing the attention of teens and listeners of all ages. Since its start in June of 2012, this darkly funny podcast with its premise of local radio news show has been enchanting listeners. Set in the sleepy desert town of Night Vale, it has all the government conspiracies and unexplained phenomena of X Files, but are explored with a “News from Lake Wobegon” flavor ala Prairie Home Companion.

Welcome to Night Vale logo

The 2015 book Welcome to Night Vale debuted in the top ten on the New York Time’s best seller list and continues to be a teen favorite. The podcast was first produced by Commonplace Books, but is now being produced by the creators own company Night Vale Presents. Night Vale Presents also produces other podcasts “both from the Night Vale artistic team and from other artists with a similar vision for independent, original podcasting.” Be sure to check out Alice Isn’t Dead, The Orbiting Human Circus, and Within the Wires. Continue reading Five Podcasts to Try for Fans of “Welcome to Night Vale”

Books to Read Based on Your Divergent Faction

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you know that Veronica Roth’s new book, Carve the Mark, has been released and fans are super excited! For new fans, this book might bring them to Veronica’s original phenomenon, Divergent.

In honor of this I have compiled a list of what books you should read based on your Divergent faction. Don’t know your faction? Take a quiz here!

Get your pens and papers or Goodreads account ready, here are some books you’ll love (hopefully!) based on your faction. And if you’re divergent, your list will be even longer!

Erudite: The Intelligent

  • The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

11-year-old Flavia de Luce, who dreams of being a chemist and has a passion for poison, must clear her father’s name in a murder case. By gathering clues, Flavia is able to tie two deaths together and investigate new suspects. This book is perfect for an Erudite because Flavia is tenacious and smart and uses her incredible depth of knowledge to crack the case.

Six unlikely outcasts band together, with the brilliant criminal Kaz leading the way. They must break into a fortress that is known to be impenetrable, without their pasts getting in the way. Six of Crows is great for an Erudite reader as all six characters have to use their smarts and skills to pull off the heist of a lifetime.

Kestrel’s Commander father wants her to join the military or get married, but she has other plans. When she saves the life of a slave, she discovers he is much more than he seems and her new path is set in motion. Kestrel, just like an Erudite, uses her wits and strategic planning to find her way out of difficult situations. Continue reading Books to Read Based on Your Divergent Faction

9 Books to Read If You Miss Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Though the show aired one to two years before most of today’s high school seniors were born, Buffy the Vampire Slayer still has a cult following amongst fans of all ages. I have even heard a child in the children’s section of the local library singing songs from the musical as they browsed books. If you’re like me, a crazy fangirl of the show, you miss it immensely. It had humor, heart, and the characters became like family. It has such a huge following that it, thankfully, has continued in graphic novel form. Fans continue to write fanfiction, attend cons to meet the actors, and in general, keep the Slayer alive. Another way to do this is by reading novels that could easily be set in the same world, or that Buffy (and Giles!) would definitely approve of.

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