Do you ever listen to NPR, probably (?) not BUT nevertheless I have to mention something I heard on “This American Life” with Ira Glass. It was Brent Runyon reading the first chapter from his book The Burn Journals. I have never read this book though have heard about it. When Brent was 14 years old he stepped into his bathtub at home, wrapped in a bathrobe soaked with gas and, yes, lit a match. He lived. And he is continuing to live on Cape Cod. So, what do I do? I go to our YA non-fiction section and pull the book to read. I also pull a fiction book Brent has written (Maybe) and Jack Gantos’ A Hole in My Life. That last book I have read. So, none of these books are the pretty kind. They are the kind of reading you might take up when the world sucks hasn’t been kind and you need someone else’s story to take your mind off your own. You know you will never BE this person, but you could be a friend, an acquaintance, an enemy or just a passerby and there is something in THIS person’s story you hear loud and clear. Everyone has a story. Everyone doesn’t write their story. And everyone who writes their story certainly doesn’t get it published. Going back to Brent Runyon, though, he didn’t get through this life changing event alone, and he didn’t write the book alone. Read the dedication. What is your prompt to pick up a book, to go looking for it. This time mine was the radio. I am looking forward to reading this story even if it doesn’t feature gorgeous vampires, extraordinary powers or really big words, just a kid who survived real life.
Please check out the links to your computer right. Highly recommended are the Readrgirlz & Guylitwire for recommendations. Also, the book reviews – so far – are all mine (but I feel I’m fairly decent at doing this) but WOULD I LIKE TO HAVE LOCAL TEENS REVIEW BOOKS ON THIS BLOG? For sure, so please contact me via the firstname.lastname@example.org email if you even want to take on one book you highly recommend. Other than that, I’ll just keeping keyboarding away and searching for great links and great books for Sandwich teen readers. Thanks.
Not your ‘Twilight’ or ‘The Clique’ blogspot…it’s for guys. Visually all over the place but who isn’t these days. Lots to connect to and recommended by the ALA (make up your own acronym). Look for your next decent read, graphic or otherwise. Content on this runs the gamut….it’s not for middle school and even a little edgy for junior high. Use at your own discretion. http://guyslitwire.blogspot.com/
TBD check this out!!!! Watch the video and drop a book this April 16th. If you haven’t yet checked out the Readergrlz website just click next door left and enjoy. Please.
Blogging is a fine art, rather discipline. Reading is a fine pleasure, rather a finest pleasure. So all the books that I haven’t been writing about have been read but not reviewed. But here’s a somewhat new one….What would a combination of Twilight, Harry Potter, The Bartimaeus Trilogy and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (with a little ‘Holy Grail-like’ object thrown in) be like? It might be like City of Bones by Cassandra Clarke, a cool dark story of demons, ‘Shadowhunters’ and other worldly creatures heading towards the ultimate confrontation. Cary (Clarissa) is a 15 year old (really, almost 16) girl who ‘sees’ things when others don’t, like people slaying weird creatures and, well, weird and truly icky creatures. Her mother disappears under dark circumstances. She finds out she’s the daughter of a ‘Shadowhunter’ mother and a former husband of her mom is the brilliant and ghastly planner of the end of the ‘Downworlders’ (fairy folk and such) and all things magical. Powers, runes, ‘glamour’ (sorry for all the single quotes) and characters that are individually charming, powerful, evil, good and in-between. Not exceptionally well-written (but very readable) and not entirely a new story device, the author still hits on a good story image that will take more books to reveal the ultimate picture. Older read. And, as I mentioned…demons and magic. So if you rather not think about things unseen or that raise the hairs on the back of your neck, there are lots of other choices for you.
PS: City of Bones is also funny. The sequel is entitled City of Ashes.
Best place, of course, is WORD OF MOUTH. These are the books your friends say you gotta read (or listen to). Next, try some LISTS. Lists can be your friends, too, like NOVELIST and its inclusive category of Award Winners List. Novelist is a library-subscribed database, maybe not all inclusive, but certainly a great starting point for finding SOMETHING TO READ. Go to the library main page and click on Novelist to start. I’ve included some good websites on this blog, but believe me there are more out there. I often just go to AMAZON to look for quick reviews and you’ll find more LISTS there, too. I do like TEENREADS.COM a lot for current and upcoming releases. The AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION’S ‘YALSA’ (Young Adult Librarians) is also something you can look at without joining. PUBLISHERS also have some great ‘I love what we’re publishing’ sites that can direct you you to their featured authors. Well, this is a QUICK entry into the blog. Oops, almost forgot….if you have an author you enjoy reading, go to the AUTHOR WEBSITE….often, the author will say who they LOVE TO READ and steer you onto more good stories and books. GOOD LUCK! LOVE THE BOOK! (and don’t forget you can DOWNLOAD AUDIO BOOKS through the OCLN catalog… FREE! MP3s the best bet…take the book with you on that bus ride…)
SPEAK OF THE DEVIL… I get Kristen Cashore’s blog regularly and in the newest, yes, she makes RECOMMENDATIONS of her favorite books/authors. This girl is a reading FIEND (in a nice way). She also must be very savvy in the ways of blogging as you get the full complement of video/audio/highlights accoutrements. Just fun. Try it.
PS: Do check out the websites to the side. Hmmmmm, I think I need to go to James Patterson’s or Anthony Horowitz’s sites. GUYS READ, TOO. Oh, that reminds me of another site….http://www.guysread.com, you choose what level you need to see….John Scieczka’s offering with other Guy authors to all those guys out there who read (REAL BOOKS).
Anita Silvey, former editor of the esteemed Horn Book, recently wrote a scathing article about the Newbery Awards. Recent choices seem to be, shall we say, hmmm not really the material she thinks makes a Newbery book. How about Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, this year’s award winner? I hope everyone reads this one, adult, teen, younger reader. It’s much more than just a scary story. And, like Gaiman’s Coraline has one of the best villains you could imagine. The American Library Association has a whole list of awards it hands out…this year’s Printz Award (realistic teen fiction)Marlena Marchetta’s Jellico Road for instance. We all have our favorite books. You choose your award winner and start spreading the word. Be sure to back it up with more than just, ‘Oh, it was just SO interesting.’ By the way, what is YOUR award winner?