Tamora Pierce is the author who defined my teenage years. Over several years, I used my weekly allowance to buy at least fifteen of her books. I read Sandry’s Book (the first in the Circle of Magic Quartet) so many times that I am missing several pages from the beginning of the book. She informed my attitudes towards ‘girl power’ (though the Spice Girls may have helped with that), using stories of girls who decided what they wanted, and went for it regardless of what anyone else thought. I first picked up one of her books when I was nine—I was a precocious reader and often read above my grade level. As I grew, so did the characters I was reading about. I’ve been reading her books for fifteen years now and I’ll still make a point of picking up her new books when they come out.
Over the last few days, the hashtag #TFiOS has become very popular on Twitter. The full spelled-out version has been a trending topic on Facebook too: The Fault in Our Stars.
The aftermath of reading The Fault in Our Stars.
The reason for the sudden upswing of popularity is, of course, the release of the trailer for the upcoming movie–an achievement for a book that hasn’t even been released in paperback yet. (As a comical aside, John Green proudly announced on his Tumblr page that he’d posted the first comment on the video as soon as it had gone up.)
The experience of reading The Fault in Our Stars defies words. Like any truly exceptional novel, the ending comes like a punch in the gut. It is sudden, it is abrupt, and to some degree, you could see it coming. Flipping the last page allows you to breathe again. Continue reading
When I was a kid, I loved Sailor Moon. Like many shows, however, that show was banned from my house. I snuck over to the neighbour’s house to watch it when I could, but ultimately I ended up finding a now-defunct website that had transcribed every episode of the Japanese version of the show and so I read all 300 episodes of Sailor Moon.
This was all before I had ever heard the terms ‘anime’ or ‘manga.’ In grade nine, my friends and I started down the deep, deep hole of manga. Every high school paycheck I had went to feed my reading habits. As I get older, my tastes are changing, but I feel that it would be worth it to roughly outline some terms and resources for enabling manga reading online.
Growing up, there was a great focus on reluctant readers in my household. My mom, a prof, did research on boys and reading. She wondered why some boys were so far behind their grade level in reading that they were nearly illiterate by the time they were supposed to be entering middle school. The result? The boys weren’t achieving–weren’t reading–because they found the books boring. Throw in some Captain Underpants or some books about sharks and those boys could be lured in.
Orca Soundings are books aimed at readers just a bit older than the boys my mom researched. Billed as a series of short, high-interest books for reluctant readers, the books feature solidly formed characters in dramatic scenarios. The books were short but fast-paced.
A global listing of published books can only be a useful tool in a librarian’s toolbox. Bowker’s Books in Print (Global Edition) lists items from the U.S., Canada, Australia, Europe and the U.K..
Books are tagged using “Bowker Subject Headings,” which Bowker explains as their “looser” version of LC subject headings. The user is presented with a tag cloud on the home page, allowing the user to navigate to subjects such as “teenage girls,” “vampires,” and “journeys” (I would expect any book that contained all three of those tags to take place mostly at night).
My high school didn’t subscribe to many of the tried-and-true classic staples of literature. I read Steinbeck–after an hour long lecture about the symbology of a turtle crossing the road, I decided that I would never voluntarily pick up another one of his novels. I read Ordinary People, and couldn’t relate to the depressed kid at the center of that novel.
So when I saw that The Catcher in the Rye was on the reading list for this year’s YA Materials list, I was cautiously, tentatively, curious. I went out to the nearest used bookstore and picked up my copy.
The Catcher in the Rye, Little Brown Books Edition. It is very, very white.
The copy I got had a simple white cover. The back cover was even simpler and whiter–there was the ISBN and the barcode. That was it. No synopsis. Continue reading
I have a used bookstore near my house. It’s about a 4 minute walk away, just between the Chinese grocery (which sells cheap veggies and noodles) and the 24-hour high-end grocery store (which despite my dearest wishes, did not have fancy hot chocolate). On a recent trip (for the aforementioned fancy hot chocolate), I decided to stop in to check out the bookstore’s offerings. This would serve two purposes:
- to see if I could get any of the books on my YA Materials booklist, and
- to complete the “YA Section” visit for class.