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August 29, 2014

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Teens Review ‘Mary’, ‘Of Monsters and Madness’, and More

hunt for the bamboo rat

Is creepy back in vogue? Our teen reviewers have turned up titles with an eerie element: the ghost of Bloody Mary, an addict set on revenge, and a riff on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Playing With the Narrative | SLJ Spotlight

SLJ1408-Spotlight-9up-Narr-TN

These teen fiction titles stretch the limits with twists on the traditional narrative.

Kill My Mother: A New Graphic Novel From Jules Feiffer

Kill My Mother: A New Graphic Novel From Jules Feiffer

A brief account of my acquaintance with the work of Jules Feiffer: I first became aware of Jules Feiffer through his phenomenal, and phenomenally funny, picture book Bark, George (1999). I didn’t know anything about the book or the author–I think my wife brought it home to read to the kids–but I immediately fell in [...]

The Invisible Circle

The Invisible Circle

For the last nine months, I’ve been on a mission to get you all to read the great French mystery novelist Paul Halter (posts here and here) and today I’m back with another of his books. As I pointed out in that first post, his books are translated and published by a tiny house called [...]

The March Goes On | Touch and Go

dream

As we mark the 51st anniversary of the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, two first-rate compelling resources on that day and the Civil Rights era now have iPad iterations. Both are essential classroom resources and both are free.

Fabulous Debuts

Fabulous Debuts

It’s the end of August, and we still have quite a few reviews of summer books to share with you. So don’t let this somewhat clumsy grouping at all diminish your regard for the following three debut novels. I start with 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas because, well, great title! And it really does [...]

‘If I Stay’ Needs a Pulse | Film Review

If I Stay

The screen adaptation of Gayle Forman’s ‘If I Stay,’ which hit screens on August 22, is a watered-down version of the hit YA book. The characters on film lack the focus and edge of the book’s incarnations.

A Mystery Unravels | Touch and Go

loose strands

Prepare to spend time with this app. On opening it you’ll find yourself in a labyrinth and a mystery, and it’s up to you to decide how the story unfolds.

Novels in Verse, Literary Street Lit, and High-Interest Nonfiction | What’s Hot in YA

How it Went Down Magoon

Kekla Magoon’s How It Went Down about a black teen who is shot by a white man, is especially timely with recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, and just the right title for young adults grappling with streaming headlines. And, a new book from the queen of verse novels, Ellen Hopkins, will entice fans of the format. The following fiction and nonfiction titles for teens will be perfect for late-summer reading and back-to-school shelf-browsing.

On the Cusp

On the Cusp

High school is behind you, but you’re not quite an independent adult. Today’s reviews cover one book of essays and stories written during–and one graphic novel memoir written about–the college years. Marina Keegan was a talented writer who died days after graduating from Yale. She had lined up a position as an editorial assistant at The [...]

Teens Teach Tech Grants, Giveaways, and Teens’ Top Ten Voting Opens | SLJTeen News

Teens Top Ten YALSA

Looking for a way to get your older patrons up to speed on the latest tech gadgets but short on staff time? There’s a grant for that. Chronicle has a galley for every reader in its giveaway basket, and please note: it’s time for teens to vote for their favorites from the YALSA Teens’ Top Ten 2014 nominee list.

Two Books About Black Youth in America

Two Books About Black Youth in America

“In comparing football players to drug dealers, Almond’s point is that football is among the very few limited options available to black youth,” writes Mark Flowers. The Adult Books 4 Teens blogger considers Burning Down the House, by Nell Bernstein, and Against Football, by Steve Almond.

Teens Review Debut ‘Zac & Mia’, ‘Off Pointe’ and Throne of Glass 3

Off Pointe

Zac & Mia will be of interest to fans of TFIOS, ballet lovers will want to grab Off Pointe, while fantasy gurus looking for a series to dig into ought to check out Sarah Maas’s “Throne of Glass” books.

An Interview With George Pratt

An Interview With George Pratt

On Wednesday, we reviewed Above the Dreamless Dead, edited by Chris Duffy, a graphic novel comprised of poems by the Trench Poets of World War I, and illustrated by contemporary graphic novelist. As promised in that post, today we have an interview with one of the illustrators of that collection, George Pratt. Pratt is a [...]

The Long-Anticipated Film of Lois Lowry’s ‘The Giver’ | Movie Review

BRENTON THWAITES and ODEYA RUSH star in THE GIVER

The film adaptation for Lois Lowry’s 1993 dystopian middle-grade novel The Giver is almost 20 years in the making, starting when actor Jeff Bridges bought the book option back in 1995. Fans of Lowry’s book have long waited for the book’s screen release coming to theaters this Friday, August 15.

SLJTeen Catches Up with Debut Author Anthony Breznican

Brutal Youth

It can’t be easy having your debut novel compared to The Chocolate War, but Anthony Breznican takes it all in stride. Adult Books 4 Teens contributor Diane Colson talks to the author about his inspiration, his characters, and Elvis Costello.

Illustrating the Poetry of World War I, One Hundred Years Later

Illustrating the Poetry of World War I, One Hundred Years Later

There are various dates given as the first day of World War I, from the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914, to the first shots fired by Austro-Hungarian soldiers on July 28 to the August 4th declaration of war by the British Empire, signalling the truly world-wide stretch of the conflict. Whatever [...]

Constructing a Life | A Conversation with Isabel Quintero

gabix

“Adults forget what it is like to be a teen—that on their way to becoming adults they are often faced with situations they don’t know how to react or respond to. I often hear adults say, ‘In my day young women/men didn’t behave this way or that way.’ I have to laugh because, yes they did!”

Sister, Sister: Sibling Drama in Young Adult Literature

sisters

Delving into everything from rivalries and heartbreaks to cold shoulders and warm embraces, three recent young adult novels each explore a facet of that bond among young women coming of age simultaneously, bound by blood, and, often, friendship.

Family Histories and Folktales

Family Histories and Folktales

Today we review two books that offer intriguing, even haunting, stories from unfamiliar cultures. Both are inspired by the family histories and folktales the authors were told by family members, one Native American, one Vietnamese. We begin with House of Purple Cedar, an historical novel that reveals both the daily and spiritual life of one [...]