Paper Towns is the latest YA novel by award-winning author John Green. Exploring the disappearance of an intriguing classmate, the characters end up delving into what's real and what isn't, in people and in places. Paper Towns is the featured book for the library's next Teen Book Talk. Plenty of copies of the book and audio are available right now at the library for checkout.
Rebecca Swain, reviewing Paper Towns for the Orlando Sentinel says,
Paper Towns has convinced me that jaded adult readers need to start
raiding the Teens section at the bookstore. Green, who grew up in
Orlando and uses the city as a backdrop for the story, taps into the
cadence of teenage life with sharp and funny writing, but transcends
age with deeper insights.
The Book Talk will meet at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, April 9. Teens in grades 7 through 12 are invited to attend.
Our goddess of Children's Services, Maria, is raving about a YA novel, Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher. She listened to the audio and says it had her on the edge of her seat. The story begins as the story of a group of misfit kids who form a swim team, The Cutter All Night Mermen. But the tale spins into far more than an us-against-them adolescent tale.
Lots of buzz these days on great writing and original concepts in YA lit. Maria says this is a book to put high on your list.
TLC, the library's Teen Council, held its holiday party on Friday, December 16. A good time was had by all with cookie decorating, pizza-eating, and a gift trade-off. Caroline Boucher, last year's volunteer group advisor, made a surprise appearance.
TLC has been supplying the library with ideas, fundraising, and teen advisory for several years now. With the help of lots of teen input, our Young Adult area has been transformed, and our YA book collection has grown mightily.
Teen Reading Groups across the country have spoken and we have the results! A survey taken by the American Library Association's Young Adult branch (YALSA) during this fall's Teen Read Week (October 16-22) lists the following as the best teen reads of 2005:
1. Girls In Pants:The Third Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares (Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2005).
2. The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen (Viking, 2004).
3. Looking For Alaska by John Green (Dutton, 2005).
4. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult (Atria Books, 2004).
5. Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick (Scholastic Press, 2004).
6. Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2005).
7. The Gangsta Rap by Benjamin Zephaniah (Bloomsbury, 2004).
8. Teen Idol by Meg Cabot (HarperCollins, 2004).
9. The Garden by Elise Aidinoff (Harper Tempest, 2004).
10. How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship & Musical Theater by Marc Acito (Broadway Books, 2004).
Christopher Paolini, a young author who has taken fantasy fans by storm, will speak Thursday, September 1, at 7 p.m. at the Milwaukee Public Library Centennial Hall. This appearance is sponsored by Milwaukee's own Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops. Tickets are available--$2 each--at any Schwartz location. The doors open at 6. For details, call 414-963-3111.
Paolini's latest book, Eldest, is currently in process at the library. Place your hold today--Alice Baker patrons get dibs on our copy. Early reviews praise it highly, calling it superior to Paolini's first book Eragon.
What? School isn't even out yet and already you're wondering how to keep young adults reading and otherwise well-occupied for the long summer stretching invitingly out ahead? Here are some web sources for teen reading--a mixed bag of teen reading blogs, teen writing blogs, and book lists. Links courtesy of KidsLit.
Young Adult fiction is just burgeoning these days--lots of good writers and good, thoughtful books for kids on the cusp of adulthood. Here's an interview with Margo Rabb, the author of the Missing Persons YA mystery series.
“Since I started out as a literary short story writer, some acquaintances spoke to me as if I was crazy for writing for young adults in a commercial way, as if it’s a dishonor to my craft,” she writes. “But young adult novels, and mysteries, were so important to me as a kid and teenager. The books that I read at that age affected me very deeply, and I remember those books more vividly than some books I read last year.”
Any Nancy Drew fan will agree with that last statement, along with the Trixie Belden, Judy Bolton, Hardy Boys, Three Investigators and even the Tom Swift crowd. There is a resonance that these books carry into adulthood, a sensory memory that devotees of the genre cling to as much as baseball fans continue to root for their favorite team and a table-full of hungry holiday guests will demand the absolute same style stuffing that Grandma used to make… exactly. Whether or not we are all dwelling in some sort of childhood fantasy world is up for debate, but I happen to think that reading a good book, no matter the target age, is a good thing. And as Margo discovered, writing in this genre can also teach an author a thing or two about their craft.