Wednesday, February 19, 2014
A complete list of this year's nominees (reviewed in the last several months in this blog) follows:
Rise of the Elgen (Michael Vey, #2) by Richard Paul Evans
Outcasts (Brotherband Chronicles, #1) by John Flanagan
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
BZRK by Michael Grant
Tiger's Curse (Tiger's Curse, #1) by Colleen Houck
Framed by Gordon Korman
Legend (Legend Trilogy, #1) by Marie Lu
Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles, #1) by Melina Marchetta
Rot and Ruin (Benny Imura, #1) by Jonathan Maberry
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Everlost (Skinjacker Trilogy, #1) by Neal Shusterman
I, Q.: Kitty Hawk (I,Q., #3) by Roland Smith
Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
These final three titles don't have a lot in common, so it's difficult to group them by genre or intended audience. They are, however, my personal favorites from this year's list of nominees . . . for whatever that's worth!
The other two books in this action-packed trilogy are Prodigy and Champion. Both are already released.
The final title that I'm reviewing is an unusual one, for two reasons. First, this is an illustrated novel -- not quite a graphic novel, as not every page has a picture, but the pen and ink drawings of illustrator Jim Kay add meaning and emotion to the narrative story. The second reason is that the idea for the story was inspired by another YA author, Siobhan Dowd. Dowd was dying of cancer when she conceived the idea for this story, and knew she wouldn't be able to write it. So she shared the idea with author Patrick Ness, who wrote the story in his own way, his own voice, and asked Kay to add the illustrations. There are few examples of this type of collaboration and unselfishness in literature, so this one is worth noting.
Now, on to the book review. . . .
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
If you've been reading much Young Adult fiction at all, you know that dystopian novels continue to be popular. Many of those dystopias take on a sci-fi twist, and this week's four SEBA nominees are no different. These novels will appeal to fans of both dystopian fiction and traditional science fiction.
This is the first book in a trilogy; the second, BRZK Reloaded, is already out.
In book two, Michael and his friends have escaped the Elgen and Hatch, and continue their quest to locate Michael's mother. With 10 electric kids, as well as the 3 non-electrics, they hope that they can avoid the Elgen, but do not realize what they are fighting. After an unsuccessful trip to Idaho and contact with a mysterious and powerful helper, the group heads to Peru to find Michael's mother. There they discover Hatch's evil plan to control the world with billions of electric rats. How can a group of teenagers, no matter their talents, stay alive and rescue Mrs. Vey...... and the world?
Book three in this trilogy, Battle of the Ampere, wraps up this exciting (electrifying?) adventure.
Allie and Nick, along with Leif who's been alone in an Afterlife forest for decades, find a dangerous world of sinking earth and gang children. They also find Mary, who writes books about the Afterlife from her home in the Twin Towers, now home to hundreds of dangerously content children. Allie and Nick do not wish to become like the others, who not only forget their names and history, but even change their appearance to match their vision of themselves.
The two "Greensouls" meet the Haunter who declines to teach them the darker skills of ecto-ripping and skin-jacking; and The McGill, a monstrous pirate of a sunken ship. Ultimately Allie and Nick have to decide which to be: safe but unthinking followers like the Tower children, or endangered but independent thinkers.
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Hopefully, those adventures will include reading some wonderful books. Although we started talking about this year's Wyoming Soaring Eagle book award nominees last fall, we will really be focusing on them now in the final weeks before voting. Students who read at least three of the books on this year's list can vote for their favorite at their school or public library; the voting period is February 15 through March 15.
This week, we will focus on three nominees that will particularly appeal to girls:
Aglionby boys, also known as Raven boys, go to the exclusive boys’ academy for spoiled sons of wealthy parents. Unfortunately, she is drawn against her will to a certain Raven Boy: Gansey.
What the group does not figure on is a power-hungry psychic, a ghost, a murderer, and true magic.
When Mia's family is in a car accident, her parents and brother don't make it. But she does. Her spirit looks upon their deaths as well as her own severaly injured body, and follows herself to the hospital. There, she watches her grandparents, other relatives, her best friend, and her boyfriend as they grieve, worry, and talk to her, hoping that she can hear them and live.
But Mia is grieving too, and is not sure she wants to live with a broken body and the loss of her parents and beloved brother. She feels no physical pain, but the emotional pain of her loss encourages her to let go. Should she leave her family, her friends and go on?
The sequel to Mia's story, Where She Went, is already released.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
To refresh your memories -- the Soaring Eagle book award is sponsored by the Wyoming Library Assocaition and the Wyoming Reading council, to introduce students in 7th-12th grade to a variety of young adult literature. The nominations come from students in this age group; are reviewed by a state committee; and are narrowed to this list. After students have several months to read the titles, they can vote for their favorite each spring.
This year, 13 titles made the final nomination list: a variety of science fiction, dystopia, fantasy and reality fiction. To begin, this week I will review three titles that are geared toward the younger end of the target group. All three of these titles offer action and adventure, and will particularly appeal to boys:
Framed, by Gordon Korman: Gordon Korman has been our visiting author in the junior high schools this week; each year, Campbell County Public Recreation District grant money allows the library to bring an author to visit in the junior high schools. Framed, part of his Swindle series, has been popular with middle school and junior high readers. In the first book of the series, Swindle, we meet Griffin Bing, the "Man with a Plan." Griffin, it seems, always has a scheme for getting rich or making it big, and he always has a group of friends willing to do whatever he tells them . . . unfortunately, his plans result in more trouble than riches! In Framed, Griffin is in more trouble than ever. When he has to wear an ankle alarm; when even his parents don't believe him; when the only person who will talk to him is the meanest kid in JFK . . . then what? Then Griffin's friends come up with a plan of their own -- to find the Super Bowl ring that Griffin is accused of stealing, and find the real thief . . . even if it ends up being the school principal!
Framed is the third title in this series: others are Swindle, Zoobreak, and Showoff. In his school presentation this week, Korman said he intends to write eight books for this series, so Griffin's adventures will continue!
I, Q.: Kitty Hawk, by Roland Smith: In the first book of this series, I, Q: Independence Hall, Q. (short for Quentin) and his new stepsister, Angela, think that they are just normal teenagers, dealing with a newly-blended family. Well, maybe not THAT normal – their parents are world-famous musicians, after all. They quickly discover, however, that their world is even less normal than they thought: Angela’s mother is a deep-level undercover spy who is infiltrating a terrorist group in hopes of destroying it. In a fast-paced adventure that includes a 100- year-old dog, a CIA agent/ bus driver, and Q’s unusual “itches,” the team travels all over the United States to stop the terrorists.
In this third book, Q., Angela, and the others must stop a bombing at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina and rescue the daughter of the President of the United States. . . all before a hurricane smashes into the Eastern seaboard.
The Outcasts, by John Flanagan: John Flanagan, author of the Ranger’s Apprentice series, takes us back to his historic fiction world in The Outcasts, the first title in his spin-off series, The Brotherband Chronicles. This time, readers find themselves in the northern kingdom of Skandia, in a time after Erak has been Oberjaarl for nearly twenty years.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Every Child Ready to Read, 2nd Edition: http://www.everychildreadytoread.org/
Ohio Ready to Read: http://ohioreadytoread.org/
Ohio Early Literacy Crosswalk: http://ohelcrosswalk.wikispaces.com
Day by Day VA Family Literacy Calendar: http://www.daybydayva.org/October/01
Zero To Three: http://www.zerotothree.org/
One Tough Job: http://onetoughjob.org
Brain Building In Progress: http://brainbuildinginprogress.org/families
Wednesday, September 4, 2013