aka YA Literature

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Best Books for Young Adults 2009

YALSA has the BBYA list up now. Here's the Top Ten:

Bowman, Robin. It's Complicated: The American Teenager.
Conner, Leslie. Waiting for Normal.
de la Pena, Matt. Mexican WhiteBoy.
Dowd, Siobhan. Bog Child.
Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games.
Fletcher, Christine. Ten Cents a Dance.
Monninger, Joseph. Baby.
Pratchett, Terry. Nation.
Tamaki, Mariko. Skim.
Voorhees, Coert. The Brothers Torres.

I'm happiest about Mexican Whiteboy and Hunger Games since I really liked both of those.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

End of the culture of the book?

There was a really interesting interview with author Larry McMurtry published in the Houston Chronicle yesterday. In it he talks about the end of the culture of the book:

I’m pessimistic. Mainly it’s the flow of people into my bookshop in Archer City. They’re almost always people over 40.

I don’t see kids, and I don’t see kids reading. I think little kids love to have stories read to them, but when they get to 10 or 11 or 12, they run into this tsunami of technology: iPod, iPhone, Blackberries.

They don’t resist it, and it’s normal that they wouldn’t; it’s their culture. I’m not so sure they ever come back to reading. Some will, but most won’t.

I find that quote so disturbing, but it is something I see every day teaching reading to high schoolers. My classes do a 20 minute silent reading rotation each day and they hate it! That would have been like a little piece of heaven for me when I was in high school. I have comfortable couches, a great selection of books, and yet it is still torture for them. I think McMurtry might be right, books just can't compete with the "tsunami of technology."

Monday, January 26, 2009


I'm basically just posting to say that I'm pretty happy with the Printz Awards this year - - - unlike last year where I really barely even liked the books, let alone thought they should get awards. I couldn't even get through White Darkness. Of course, I'm happiest about TDHOFL-B, since I love it so much.

The Nation: This is the only one I maybe wish wasn't on the list. I haven't read it, but (a) the cover is pretty bad and no one will pick it up, and (b) I've convinced a couple of my good readers who like my suggestions to read it and neither of them could finish the book.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dakota Fanning in New Moon

According to E! Online, Dakota Fanning is being cast as Jane in New Moon. I was thinking that Jane was younger than that, but I haven't read NM in a while.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I love audiobooks.  My library buys audiobooks on Playaways.  What I like about Playaways is that they are attractive to the students since they are similar to their iPods, many students don't even have CD players, and I don't have to keep track of the CDs.  However, the batteries die quickly and frequently, and, most importantly, there is very little selection.  I read all these reviews for new audiobooks and Playaway has hardly any.  I'd like to get more audiobooks, but if I only buy Playaways, I have very little to choose from.  I wish more YA books would get produced on Playaway, especially since I see that as one of the best ways of getting students into audiobooks.  Actually, downloading it from iTunes is probably better, but then they have to pay for it.

Friday, January 9, 2009

So long, Mia Thermopolis

Shortly before Christmas, I received an advance copy of Princess Diaries, Volume X: A Forever Princess by Meg Cabot. I have been following the Princess Diaries series ever since the first book and it was a bittersweet feeling to hold the final installment in my hands. While I was ready for some closure already, I was also sad to say goodbye to Mia. I have to say, this was my favorite book in the whole series aside from the first one.

A Forever Princess starts at the end of Mia's senior year. For her senior thesis, she has written a romance novel which she is trying to get published under a pseudonym. She is also still dating J.R. and planning on losing the big V to him on prom night. I won't say any more to avoid giving away key plot points, but I will say that I loved the way it ended and the all drama along the way.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

My New Year's Resolution

Instead of resolutions about eating right and exercising that will be gone with the wind after a few weeks (if that), I've decided on two book-related resolutions that I think I can actually do.  First, I am going to record all the books I read.  I did this in 2007 but totally got off in 2008.  I'm going to be diligent about it this year.  Second, I need to read more "boy" books.  I tend to read very girly books, and this makes it hard for me to do good readers' advisory for boys.  I'm still not sure if it'll totally help since I don't really like the "boy" books even when I read them (usually, not always), but at least I'll know some more plots.  Related to this, I also need to be reading the books that are not the self-sellers.  When book covers and plots sell themselves, I don't need to be reading them as much.  It's the ones that need a hard sell (but are good!) that I need to be reading.  That's why I brought The Possibilities of Sainthood home to read over the Christmas break: because no one has checked it out but all the reviews have raved about it.