TEEN BOOK BUZZ
August 26, 2014
Review: The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond
I'm not proud of it, but I'm a difficult reader to please. I have catholic tastes, but it's difficult for me to pin down what I like. I loved Brenda Woods' new children's book about a biracial 11-year old living in a family of blonds. Her African American father died before she was born and she has never met her paternal grandparents.
There is such magical, descriptive language in this book. There's a specificity that makes you feel like you're in a special, but very real world. Violet's experience couldn't be more different from mine but she feels like she doesn't belong, which is something everyone can identify with at some point.
She is an interested and curious kid, a little precocious, a collector of new vocabulary words, and she is direct in that way that girls are before they become teenagers. However, she is not annoying. You feel for her and admire her. She is figuring out how to navigate in a confusing and complicated world, in which adults are still evolving and growing up and sometimes say stupid things.
"If boredom was like macaroni without cheese, what I felt right then was worse. Lemonade without sugar, soda without the fizz. Pitiful."
Flush by Carl Hiaasen
Reviewed by Olivia
The book Flush by Carl Hiaasen is just one of his four funny eco-adventures about Florida. It was a perfect mix of hilarious comedy and a good message that made me enjoy the book so much.
Noah must go to extremes to stop the Coral Queen from illegally dumping sewage and waste into the ocean but he needs the help of many of his friends to do it. The quirky, oddball characters are the perfect people to do the job.
I really enjoyed both the humor and action of the book and the important message it teaches. I highly recommend Flush along with all the other books by Hiaasen to anyone who likes a funny plot and a sense of action.
Flush is definitely a must read.
The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell
reviewed by Oliva
I loved the book The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell, the first book in an amazing fantasy sequence. The book gives a glance at the fairytale world of the classic stories that we all know and love and introduces you to plot and character twists that you would never otherwise know. It's so interesting to see all the old characters like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, The Evil Queen, and more in new stories as the twins Alex and Conner land in their world and must find a way to get back to their home.
The book is filled with action and adventure and is a great book to read for fantasy and magic lovers of all types. This by far one of my favorite books for the suspense and action as well as the magic and the new look at classic characters.
Jake and Lily by Jerry Spinelli
reviewed by Olivia
Jerry Spinelli has done it again. Jake and Lily is another must read for any reader that loves a good story of modern day kids in the real world. I really liked how you could really relate to the struggles and triumphs of both Jake and Lily as they try to deal with growing up and growing apart. The twins have always had a connection and had never been apart but now that's starting to change and Lily just might not be ready for it.
The book is funny and interesting with a plot any kid can easily relate to. SuperGoobers and Goombla take center stage in this funny story. I really recommend this book for kids of all ages because it has a little something for everyone.
August 25, 2014
The Elephant House or the Gorey House
"O is for Olive run through with an awl." "L is for Leo who swallowed some tacks."
Visiting the Gorey House was the surprising highlight of my vacation. Edward Gorey, of course, was a master of the mopey and witty in his black and white illustrations and elliptical, rhyming wordplay.
Gorey is one of those artists, like Raymond Briggs, who has an unclear audience. Are his books for adults with a connection to their childlike selves, messy and alienated, with a love of the macabre and droll, or precocious children with impressive vocabularies?
There were many kids at the museum, doing their best to complete the Gashlycrumb Tinies' Scavenger Hunt.
Visitors were invited to find "A is for Amy who fell down the stairs" and 25 more.
August 13, 2014
Upcoming YA Movies
There's a new crop of YA books turned into movies.
Lois Lowry's classic dystopia The Giver is out this weekend.
Gayle Forman's If I Stay releases on August 22.
James Dashner's Maze Runner comes out September 19.
And of course, the greatly anticipated penultimate film in The Hunger Games series, Mockingjay Part One is out on November 21.
Catch up on your reading to prep for these movies!
July 30, 2014
Shoes, Books, and Birthdays
The Lost Art of Dress by Linda Przybyszewski is a new book about the fashions of yesterday and today. She thinks that our obsession with shoes is a symptom of narcissism. I disagree!
Today I am wearing Hello Kitty sneakers and I think that shoes are an easy way to bring joy to people!
This year is the 40th anniversary of the Japanese icon and there is actually a convention this fall, the first to celebrate the cat with no mouth, who has risen from coin purse to a supposed emblem of "happiness, friendship, and sharing".
This is a roundabout way of sharing these bookish shoes. Some are DIY for you crafty types.
Tove Jansson's 100 birthday is coming up, on Aug. 9. Come to the library for your Moomin needs. And if you were wondering if there are Moomin shoes, of coure there are!
July 16, 2014
Does Summer Reading have to be one size fits all? As a library school student I was pretty jazzed to learn Ranganathan's laws of library science, especially "Every book its reader and every reader her book". So freeing! We don't all need or want the same things and surprising as it seems, almost any book or activity has its fans.
I liked reading Teen Librarian Toolbox's Summer Reading Program spin on Ranganathan's laws. There are a lot of great ideas; it's not just about Pizza Hut coupons anymore!
Confession time: I never participated in the Summer Reading Program at my library. Sometimes we signed up, but structure and summertime were not two great tastes that tasted great together. However, I did spend the summers reading, in addition to other edifying activities such as making friendship bracelets and watching game shows and '70s reruns with my best friend.
How's your summer reading going?
I know a lot of our SSL Volunteers are doing some great summer reading and writing because we've had a busy summer of book reviewers and I love reading their reviews, whether it's The Fault in Our Stars or Catcher in the Rye.