aka YA Literature

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Kindle on The Daily Show

Jeff Bezos was on "The Daily Show" talking about the new Kindle. He sure laughs a lot. I like how Jon Stewart points out how Amazon Prime shipping isn't free and that Kindle costs quite a bit, especially considering you also have to pay to download individual titles.

I'm not totally sure how I feel about digital books and/or Kindle. I like ebooks for things like reference books because it's easier to search and cross-search, not to mention have multiple users, store, maintain physical integrity, etc. But when it comes to reading a book cover-to-cover, particularly fiction, I prefer a hard copy of a book. But we're in a digital age and we should take advantage of it, not to mention that if we're talking about teens, they are really comfortable with digital media. I wish there weren't so many formats. I think we need to move to formats that can be used on many different platforms. Students love their iPods, for instance. We need formats that cross media players not just for convenience but also so we as libraries can offer downloads more easily. This is another problem with Kindle because it can't work with the idea of libraries lending. I wish we could offer a way for students to download audiobooks to their iPods. The Playaways are ok, but I feel they'll be obsolete in a few years.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ranger's Apprentice

John Flanagan's 6th book in his Ranger's Apprentice series, The Siege of Macindaw, is coming out this summer. I haven't read any of these, but this is a no-brainer to buy for the library since I have multiple copies of all the other books in this series and a number of fans eagerly awaiting the latest edition. Penguin was offering a free online version of the first book, The Ruins of Gorlan, until Feb. 15. Don't know if it's still available. I would have posted about it sooner, but I just got a couple of ARCs today. I'm saving one ARC to pass around to my students at school who love this series. Not only will it make me the best librarian ever with them, but I will only let them read it if they promise to do a review and then I will post the review on the library website. Hahahaha, I am diabolical and mercenary like that!

As for the ARCs, I'm giving the others away to commenters who leave suggestions for read-alikes for Ranger's Apprentice. I suggest it to my readers who devour series novels. I've suggested Judson Roberts's Viking Warrior series ---- any other suggestions?

Monday, February 16, 2009


Two of my most favorite books of the year (that are also now on my all-time list), Hunger Games and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, won Cybils Awards. My students love Hunger Games, but I still have not gotten a single person to check out TDHOFL-B.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Book Review: All We Know of Heaven

I love Jacquelyn Mitchard's adult novels and I was so pleased to discover that she was also writing for the teen set. Last year, I read and enjoyed her debut teen novel, Now You See Her. One thing I really like about Mitchard's books are the unusual plots. Now You See Her is about a teen girl who staged her own abduction. I liked the book well enough and hoped that Mitchard would continue writing YA literature. Last week, I picked up her second YA novel, All We Know of Heaven. All We Know of Heaven is the story of two best friends who get in a really bad car accident. While one is in a coma, the town buries and mourns the other. The only problem? The have confused the two girls and the one who is swollen and almost unrecognizable in the hospital is the one the town thinks they have buried. They (the hospital, the small town, the parents, etc.) soon realize their mistake and the story is about the complications and pain that arise thereafter. Sounds implausible, right? But Mitchard totally sells it. I found the story completely riveting and the characters well drawn. I still prefer her adult novels, but I do hope Jacquelyn Mitchard continues to write teen lit.

More Lists

Finally both the Rainbow List and the Amelia Bloomer Project list are out! Obviously, I'm most excited for E. Lockhart's Disreputable History to be included since I love it so. Hunger Games is a good choice too, and now I really need to read Graceling!

Friday, February 6, 2009

"Vampire Diaries" TV Show

According to Variety, the CW has picked up a pilot of L.J. Smith's "Vampire Diaries." I am hopeful and pretty happy since this is my favorite of the vampire series. I'm interested to see how they're going to string this out into an entire series, however. I'm also happy to learn that Harper Collins has ordered three more books!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sunshine, Beaches, and Books

This past weekend, I visited our former coworker, Susan, who relocated to Southern Florida a couple years ago. While enjoying the beautiful beaches (and less than warm weather), Susan and I decided to make a quick stop at the Main Library of the Miami-Dade County Library System.

I was extremely impressed with the wonderful location of the library. Located just miles from the beach in the heart of central Miami, the Main Library shared a large plaza with the Miami Art Museum and the History Museum of Southern Florida. The three buildings were arranged around an enormous central plaza, that I can only imagine would not only be great for an urban lunch, but also perfect for large family programs co-sponsored by the three cultural organizations!
The interior of the library was equally impressive architecturally; however, the collection within was somewhat disappointing. (I would assume that the library system relies more on its neighborhood branches, located in places where people actually live, while the main branch is more of a figurehead for tourists.)

After searching the two floors, I finally discovered the Young Adult collection buried in the corner of Government Documents. Now, while the Young Adult collection was rather attractive, I have to question the library's decision to place in in Gov. Docs! It didn't exactly create a fun environment where teens could visit and actually be "teens"; in fact, on the day of our visit, the only person in the YA area was the library's security guard (who was sending text messages.)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Teen Lit Fest

I went to the Humble ISD Teen Lit Fest this weekend and got to meet a bunch of YA authors and see over 1,000 teens excited to see them too. I get to meet lots of authors at librarian conferences, but it's a lot more fun to see them at places like this where there are a lot of teens who love their books and are as excited as I am.

Pictured with the school mascots from left: Judson Roberts, Deb Caletti, Neal Shusterman, Gail Giles, Rene Saladana, Terry Trueman, and Sonya Sones.