aka YA Literature

Saturday, May 29, 2010

How is the SI Swimsuit Issue Like Custom Kicks?

Answer: They both tempt me into censorship.

I admit it. I don't put out the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Call me prude. Call me a censor. It just doesn't have much "sports" content and isn't appropriate for my high school. But I hate not to subscribe to SI because of the one issue. It's otherwise a really great magazine. I have another confession. I've ripped an ad out of a magazine before putting it out. It was either that or don't put out the entire magazine. See, magazines are so tricky because you can't evaluate what is in each issue until you get it. You can only look at the magazine as a whole and decide if you want to subscribe or not. And so what to do when you get an issue that has one random objectionable ad or one article about oral sex tips?

So I have this really cool book called Custom Kicks by Kim Smits and Matthijs Maat that is all photos of how people have customized their shoes. You can see some pics on Amazon here. The only problem is that this student discovered (actually, it was his mom) that there is this one picture of a woman's bare bum with just pink paint on it. It's really unnecessary (imo as a hs librarian, of course) to the rest of the book. So do I get rid of the whole book? Do I just leave it in the collection and pray that I don't get any parent complaints? If it weren't for that one picture...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

YA in Korean

Since my blogmate always updates us on the Polish book market, I thought I'd check out what was available in a Korean bookstore. First, let me say I have never seen so many Graphic Novels in my whole life! There was partically an entire floor devoted to nothing but Manga. I'm also proud to say that our two favorites were front and center (though it took me FOREVER to find the Twilight series since I was looking for the traditional black covers I've seen on all other editions.

I did notice a boy looking at "The Hunger Games", and it was all I could to to control myself and not gush about how wonderful that book is! (I didn't want to give the Koreans the impression we American librarians are complete crazy or anything...)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Set in a future where oil is scarce and climate change has ravaged the U.S. Gulf Coast, Nailer works the light crew that scavenges lighter metal materials and fittings from old tankers along the beach for money. His mother is dead, and his father is a drug-addicted, unpredictable, mean and abusive drunkard. After a "city killer" storm attacks the coast where Nailer lives in utter poverty, he and his best friend Pima discover an expensive private clipper washed ashore. They begin to scavenge as many riches from it as possible before anyone else discovers it's there. In the process, they find a girl aboard who survived the crash, and Nailer must decide if he'll save her or let her die. Saving her means not only that he'll lose the opportunity to scavenge from her boat, but he'll also be putting his life in danger to protect her from his father and other political forces much bigger than any he's known. What follows is a series of ethical decisions, complex moral revelations, and lots of adventure and suspense. It's probably a bit more of a "guy" book than a "girl" book, but some girls should like it. (I did, afterall.) I will definitely be recommending it often and to many people. The story was unique and suspenseful with fantastic characters (and violence), but what I think I loved the most was the way the world and the setting were established. That's not usually something that is very significant to me, but in this case Bacigalupi did such an amazing job at showing (not telling!) how deplorable the conditions are and how the climate had affected the world. You could really imagine the danger and the grime and the rust that infused their daily lives.

I don't love the cover because I don't think it really captures attention on the shelf, but I personally like the colors and hopefully I can push it on to some students.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New Soul Screamers Book

You may remember that I really liked My Soul to Take and My Soul to Save, so I am eagerly awaiting My Soul to Keep on June 1.

I'd mention that you can post this widget on your own blog for a chance to win a book and a t-shirt, but then you might do it and that would be even less chance for me to win. And I really want a shirt! Nay, I NEED a shirt!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

I finally got a copy of Will Grayson, Will Grayson and stayed up until about 3:30 this morning reading it. This should tell you how much I loved this book. It was hilarious with amazing voice and characterizations.

But it won't be for everyone. As I was reading it, I was thinking how I'm going to have to tell my assistants that whenever they check it out to someone that they're going to have to give them some kind of warning. The students must be completely okay with cussing and homosexuality and reading about boys involved in physical homosexual relationships. There's no actual sex described in the book (I think all the main characters are virgins, except possibly Jane), but they definitely discuss sex. I loaned my ARC of this to a student who is a huge Boy Meets Boy fan, so I know there are some readers for whom this is an acceptable and even fantastic book. But it's not for everyone. Just as well that the cover is kind of bleh and nondescript.