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March 19, 2014

New YA

What YA books are you excited about? I can't wait for Cecil Castellucci's Tin Star and E. Lockhart's We Were Liars, coming in May.
Castellucci and Lockhart are some of my faves, mostly because The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks and Beige (among many of their others) are two of the best YA realistic fiction books about girls.

And there's Undivided by Neal Shusterman coming this summer. The first Unwind was one of the creepiest YA books I ever read. As often as I say I'm sick of dystopia, I keep getting dragged back in!

Dorothy Must Die is getting good reviews but I am sick of two tropes: retellings from another character's POV and anti-heroes. I think it's a sign of cultural nihilism that we are more interested in the anti-hero than characters who act morally.

Posted by kathryn at 05:15 PM   VIEW FULL POST

Have a Divergent party!

If you're looking for a way to stretch your Rainbow Loom skills and you want to celebrate the Divergent movie, make a bottle cap fishtail bracelet. Of course there's duct tape involved!

There are lots of other ideas for Divergent crafting and Divergent partying.

Posted by kathryn at 03:48 PM   VIEW FULL POST

February 05, 2014

Valentine's Day Crafts on Sunday!

This Sunday on the 9th at 2:00 we will be making a variety of Valentine's Day crafts, including cards, candy wrappers, and felt hearts.
You may register will us if you like, but registration is not necessary.

This program is for all ages. Your Valentines can be as simple or complicated as you desire.

We will supply the materials, ideas, and support! Please bring your creativity!

Posted by kathryn at 03:13 PM   VIEW FULL POST

Feminist books for girls

A reference question yesterday reminded me of the Amelia Bloomer list. Named for the 19th century woman who advocated for dress reform, the ALA committee develops a list every year that celebrate positive and real depictions of girls and women around the world. The books that they highlight are appropriate for very young readers to teens and new adults.

We have some of the 2013 titles already, but look forward to seeing more on our shelves soon.

Posted by kathryn at 03:01 PM   VIEW FULL POST

Summer Writing for Teens

I was just asked about summer writing programs for teens. Great question. This is a great resource. As far as local options go, GW and Corcoran have summer programs. Sounds like a dream come true.

Posted by kathryn at 02:40 PM   VIEW FULL POST

January 29, 2014

Thoughts on fandom

While Eleanor & Park just won a Printz Honor, I thought Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl was one of 2013's standout YA books. I'll just say that Eleanor & Park was problematic in the way it deals with race and class and that I didn't buy the relationship and leave it at that!

I like that Fangirl's Cath is a regular girl. Dorm life as depicted here is recognizable to me and I thought there were shades of Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep.

Fandom is kind of all over the news lately. It's an interesting thing. Much is made of how The Cosby Show (or is it Cheers? I don't remember. The point stands!) was the last TV show that everyone in the family, in America, gathered around to watch together and now media is super niche oriented and fragmented. There are lots of reasons for this (obviously, the Internet and the cheapness and proliferation of mobile devices are some of them.)

The passion and creativity and humor (just get on Tumblr already!) of fandom and fanfic is a product and driver of the fragmentation of media consumption. There's something so cozy and homey about this obsessive watching and further, participation and deconstructing and reconstructing.

A couple of weeks ago I happened to be listening to NPR and heard a really interesting story about fandom.

Surprisingly to me, S.E. Hinton, the author of what is widely considered to be the first YA novel, The Outsiders, writes fanfic! "If you come across one that's just really good, that's mine," she said. What a delightful lady!

And I'm looking forward to reading Anne Jamison's Fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World. I'm pleased to see fanfiction getting some respect. While I don't engage in it, I think it's a sweet pursuit. The respect and worthiness that fanfiction is accorded is a topic that Fangirl deals with nicely.

As a child I was an avid reader of The Baby-Sitters Club and Sweet Valley High and an avid recorder and creator of the outfits describer therein. I realize now that on the long bus ride to school I was writing fanfiction about the characters from those books. I know from obsession and know that it can lead you to a creative place.

Posted by kathryn at 03:20 PM   VIEW FULL POST