aka YA Literature

Thursday, July 31, 2008


If you have read ATR for a while, you know that I love audiobooks. That is why I feel compelled to post this You Tube video of John Green discussing the making of the Paper Towns audiobook.

Amelia Bloomer List

The current nominations for the Amelia Bloomer List have been posted here. I am soooo happy to see The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks on there. I nominated it, but surely someone else must have as well. It's one of my favorite books of the year so far, and it definitely deserves to be on the final AB list.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Back From Poland

I'm back from Poland! And I have a few things to share.

First, I took autographed copies of Alive and Well in Prague, New York, by Daphne Grab and The Secret Rites of Social Butterflies by Lizabeth Zindel. I was afraid that the students might think these were lame, like who would want more books to read. But I am happy to say that I was so wrong. They were a huge hit! The students have amazing English skills and were really eager to read things in English. The magazines I took were also a hit. I thought the People and Seventeen magazines would be most popular, but it turned out that Time and Newsweek were the most popular. Plus, after I passed out the books, one of the students asked me to write a dedication, and then the whole class wanted one and had each other sign their books too. I'd post a picture, but we're not allowed to post pictures of the students.

The other thing I have to report is about Stephenie Meyer's books. As you can see from the pictures below, I saw them being sold in bookstores in Polish. However, I asked several students who said they like to read if they've ever heard of her, and none had. I told them how popular the books are here in the U.S., so maybe that will peak their interest.

But that's not all! I noticed this book on display as I walked past a bookstore. It was on clearance for $1, so I bought the last three copies they had. I can't read Polish at all, but this is one of my all-time favorite books. I figure that I'll have a chance to have it signed at some point. I bought the extra two copies to give to the Polish students. Too bad it's in Polish instead of English, but at least I can spread the gospel of M.T. Anderson some more. I'd be very interested to know how the translation works since language (and even some made-up terms of the future) is a huge part of the book.

And I noticed that Melissa Marr's books were in the adult romance section at the JFK airport bookstore.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Stephenie Meyer @ Comic-Con

Our dear friend Stephenie recently sat down with the people from Entertainment Weekly to discuss the upcoming Twilight movie, as well as the impending release of Breaking Dawn. For the hardcore Meyer's fans, I doubt there's going to be much new information, but how can you pass up a clip of Steph!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Another One Crosses Over!

I know this books came out a long while ago, but I was somewhat leery of Ms. Hale's first attempt at adult fiction after my disappointment with her, Book of a Thousand Days. However, after stumbling across this book on the shelf the other day, I decided to give it a go. Although I personally enjoyed this book, I definitely wouldn't recommend it for most teens.

Austenland tells the story of Jane Hayes, a young single woman who is completely obsessed with Colin Firth's portrayal of Mr. Darcy in the BBC's version of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. To cure herself of her addiction, Jane vacations at a historic Regency house in rural England, which creates romantic fantasies based on the plots of Ms. Austen's works. It is here that Jane must either overcome her obsession or else succumb to her deepest fantasies in hopes of finding true love.

Austenland is quite unlike Hale's fantasy works, the Princess Academy and Goose Girl series; Austenland instead falls into the vast category of "chick lit". The target audience for this books is definitely going to be the 20-30 year old woman, who is extremely familiar with Ms. Austin's works.

However, what struck me as most odd is the simplicity of Austenland. In fact, this got me pondering why so many of the Adult books I've read lately have been at a much lower reading level than most of the Young Adult fictions out there! Why are so many teen books both longer and more complex than books geared towards adults? Is it that adults have busier lives, and publishers assume they have less time to read? Or maybe there's a general belief that teens need more of a "challenge"?!?! Any thoughts on the topic?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Streams of Babel

Title: Streams of Babel
Author: Carol Plum-Ucci
Rating: B+

The small community of Trinity Falls, New Jersey is perhaps the last place one would suspect as a target for a terrorist attack; however, when several of the residences fall ill from a mysterious, deadly flu, the race begins to solve what is causing these deaths and who exactly is responsible.

Although the story originally follows the plight of four Trinity Falls teenagers who are suffering from the disease, a second sub-plot soon develops following two teenage computer hackers who are working with the U.S. government to solve the mystery. It is quickly discovered that this mysterious illness stems from a poisoned water supply, which only leads to the questions of how and why? The hackers must track a group of terrorists; discover how the water supply was contaminated; and find the true nature of this disease...all before time runs out for the teens of Trinity Falls!

The Good: I don't normally read mystery/suspense, but this novel made me want to start! I loved the fast-paced action that made it extremely hard to put the book down at times.

The Bad: I felt that the author was overly-obvious with some of her clues. I also thought it a bit of a stretch that the teens in the book had just the right knowledge/expertise for each and every situation...I mean, how many suburban teens really know that much about crop irrigation.

Although this isn't necessarily bad, I found myself questioning why exactly the author would chose to set the story in 2002 (Streams of Babel was just published this year.) Like I said, not exactly a negative - just something that caused me to wonder...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

How to Be Bad

Clearly, we all see who has been carrying this blog. Sheryl goes on her little jaunt to Poland and A True Reality just dies. I kept waiting for Cody to step up to the plate because, let's face it, he's the only one actually in a library this summer. That's right, Cody, you better step it up. Don't give me any of that BS about summer programming keeping you busy! Sheryl is counting on you.Moving on. Although I am sitting at home with a 2 year old all summer long, I have been doing some reading. Specifically, I just finished reading How to Be Bad by E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski, and Lauren Myracle. The plot is familiar, three girls going on a road trip together. I really liked how the authors told the story from all three girls' perspectives, though. It was fun switching from Vicks to Mel to Jesse. I was really curious to know which author wrote for which girl. Personally, I liked Vicks the best. This book has it all, drama, romance, cancer, betrayal, and even alligators (alive and stuffed). This is a great summer read, perfect for a day at the beach or poolside.