aka YA Literature

Thursday, December 31, 2009

What Boys Are Reading

Just wanted to post about what boys are reading in my library right now. Other than manga, these are the books that are all checked out and that boys are always asking for.

If you're a YA librarian and you don't yet have the Halo Encyclopedia, this really is a must-have. The only way I knew about it was a student suggestion. He happened to be there when I was going through the magazines that had just arrived, and as he was looking at the gaming magazines, he said I should get the Halo Encyclopedia. I looked into it and saw that Microsoft had asked DK to create one like their previous ones with Star Wars. I know how great those are, so I went ahead and ordered a copy when it came out. It is SOOOOO popular. I haven't been checking out our one copy, but I ordered another so I can have one that circulates.

2009 Favorites

Since it's the last day of the year, I think I can safely assume I'm not going to read any more books that would need to be on this list. Except for my top pick, they aren't in any order:

1. Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork (I hope this wins the Printz!)
2. Fire by Kristin Cashore
3. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
4. Sacred Scars by Kathleen Duey
5. Front and Center by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Book that wasn't a top book but that I liked a lot and more than I expected: So Punk Rock by Micol Ostow

Favorite Covers:

I chose this one not quite so much because I personally loved it but because it's one of the best nonfiction covers I've seen in a long time. Compared to other books along these lines, for boys, and nonfiction, this one is just fabulous. It looks like the book is going to have a lot of action and put you right into that action.

Favorite non-YA books I read this year:
The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
NurtureShock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman (fantastic if you have kids but also interesting and useful if you're a teacher)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Things that make me go 'hmmm'

I was just looking at my dad's Amazon wish list for some Christmas gift ideas, and his three most recent additions are Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns, and An Abundance of Katherines. This is not his usual type of reading, so I'm really dying to ask him how and why he found out about these books and decided he wants them. Even though I'm always pestering my dad to use the library more instead of buying all his books, I think I know some books he'll be getting this year. Too bad I don't have a chance to get them autographed.

Twilight vs. Vampire Diaries

The New York Post has an article by Ari Karpel called "5 Reasons 'Vampire Diaries' is Better Than 'Twilight.'" It seems primarily concerned with Twilight: The Movie vs. VD: The TV Show. In that comparison, I wholeheartedly agree. I particularly liked the point about how VD has gritty blood-sucking vampires and a strong girl who is actually more than a little freaked out by the vampire revelation. I'd like to add into the movie/tv comparison in favor of VD that (in my opinion anyway) (1) the acting is much better, and (2) while Taylor Lautner and Robert Pattinson are quite attractive young men, Ian Sommerhalder and Paul Wesley are hotter (also my age). And it has real humor (I'm a huge Damon/Ian fan). As for a comparison of the two books, I liked them both but I did like Twilight and New Moon better than the Vampire Diaries. By Breaking Dawn, though, I couldn't even finish the book (tried twice), so I'm not sure where I come down in comparing the entire series. This isn't based on anything particularly objective so much as my subjective reading enjoyment of the stories. However, I do think the differences point out an important aspect of why vampires are so attractive and enduring---people can reimagine and reinvent them in many different ways that can all work.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

YALSA Nonfiction Award

YALSA announced its Nonfiction Award Shortlist. I'm not a huge nonfiction reader, especially in YA. I do want to say, however, that a nonfiction book that has been EXTREMELY popular at my library this year is Ryan Smithson's Ghosts of War: The True Story of a 19-Year-Old GI. All of my copies are constantly checked out.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

NPR's Best YA of 2009

NPR's Best YA Fiction of 2009 includes Marcelo in the Real World. Although I'm still holding out until I've officially given myself the entire 2009 to find something I might like better, this is my top book of the year, hands down.