Bookmarked, SLJ’s teen review group, comes up with three terrific titles to recommend, each completely different from each other, but all compelling stories. Get Stephanie Kuehn’s Charm & Strange, Maurene Goo’s Since You Asked, and Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything on your library shelves-your teens will thank you for it.
From rock icon David Bowie to relative newcomers, Paramore, music lovers can look forward to good summer listening and lots of choice in styles of music. Longtime fans of Luigi, Mario’s oft-maligned brother, will be happy to see that he finally gets to demonstrate his mojo in Nintendo’s new addition to the franchise, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon.
There’s something for everybody in this roundup of reviews from the teen book group, Bookmarked. Shawn Goodman’s Kindness for Weakness is a contemporary coming-of-age story, much of which takes place in a juvenile detention center. Global warming meets mythological monsters and gods in Solstice, by P. J. Hoover. Kara Taylor’s whodunit, Prep School Confidential, explores the obstacles a teen encounters as she tries to track down her roommate’s murderer. Put these on your summer reading list!
Now that The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is out for Xbox and PS3, zombies are officially everywhere, and as our reviewer says, “… who doesn’t like to destroy zombies?” Gamers who like clever characters and inside jokes will find lots of brick-busting fun in Lego City Undercover. Brad Paisley shakes up a pure C&W vibe on his latest album Wheelhouse, which may leave some fans scratching their heads.
Teens Review ‘If You Find Me’,'Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong’, ‘Burning’, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Scream’ | Book Reviews
Emily Murdoch explores kidnapping, selective mutism, and drug abuse in her debut novel ‘If You Find Me’. Which group will get school funding, cheerleading or the robotics club? In Prudence Shen’s ‘Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong’ the two cliques take the fight to the school election. If you never thought the Burning Man Festival would show up in teen fiction, think again—a local boy and a gypsy girl connect there in Elana K. Arnold’s ‘Burning’. Does R.L. Stine still have his horror chops? Read our reviewer’s take on ‘A Midsummer’s Night Scream’, and decide for yourself.
Timberlake’s performance during the Grammy Awards earlier this year may have been panned, but our reviewer finds his efforts on The 20/20 Experience laudable. If you’ve never heard of Son Volt, it may be time to give their latest album, Honky Tonk, a listen. Been missing Lara Croft? She’s back in Tomb Raider, a prequel to the wildly successful franchise that first launched in 1996.
Michael Grant wraps up his Gone series superbly with the sixth book, Light. In Openly Straight, Bill Konigsberg depicts a gay teenager who wants to shed his “gay boy” label and just be one of the guys. And, Caprice Crane takes a crack at finding something new to say about mean girls in high school it with her novel Confessions of a Hater.
Book Reviews from Young Adults: The Moon and More, Love in the Time of Global Warming, A Corner of White
Though I’m surrounded by Walking Dead fans, I’d have never imagined a soundtrack—guess I was wrong! This might be just the thing to listen to while taking part in Run For Your Lives, a zombie-infested 5K obstacle course race that’s going nationwide. Spring training has wrapped up and the baseball season has begun, so there’s no better time to break out MLB 13: The Show, which sports many new features. Ready for some classic gaming? Sounds like Sly Cooper, Thieves in Time has all the moves for a satisfying experience.
What’s your survival plan? In Orleans, Sherri Smith has created a rich and complex world of the future where New Orleans and much of the Delta region are cut off from the United States to prevent the spread of a deadly virus. A new, primitive society emerges, divided by tribes based on blood types. Fifteen-year-old Fen de la Guerre—fierce, tender, and a survivalist—is left to fend for herself and an infant after her O-positive tribe is ambushed. Her journey, which Kirkuscalls “a harrowing and memorable ride,” is one you won’t soon forget.
Nobody’s Secret, the latest offering from Michaela MacColl, continues to get rave reviews. School Library Journal’s reviewer says, “The fast-moving plot makes this a well-crafted page-turner. The dialogue rings true, both to the historical time and to the chronological ages and social status of the characters.” And SLJTeen’s reviewer agrees. M.G. Higgins’s Bi-Normal is going on my to-read list. I just finished listening to David Levithan and John Green’s Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and I’m wondering what advice their openly gay jock Tiny Cooper would give Higgins’s protagonist, Brett Miller.
After surveying the kids in my facility, I created the following system to rate the books that they’re reading: one star = Wack, two stars = Bootsy, three stars = Koo, four stars = Clean, and five stars = That book Go! A book that’s “clean” is “real.” A book that “goes” has action. For my readers, a book is ideally both action-packed and real. What makes a book either or both? As usual, it’s not that straightforward, but here’s one attempt to decipher the question.
OK, rub it in—our music reviewer wasn’t even born when My Bloody Valentine released its first album in 1991…. How about a puzzle game in which a cave with a “wicked sense of humor” is your guide? I don’t usually associate puppets with blood and gore, but the review of Black Knight Sword has changed my outlook.
The leader of our Bookmarked review group, Elizabeth Kahn, is always looking for new ways to keep her students engaged and entertained. Elsewhere in this issue of SLJTeen you can read about a recent visit to her library by Ruta Sepetys, author of the award-winning Between Shades of Gray (Philomel, 2011). She also recently wrangled a stop from Cory Doctorow, who is on the road promoting his latest title, Pirate Cinema (Tor Teen, 2012). Her advice on getting authors to visit your school or library? Just ask—the worse they can so is “No,” and odds are, eventually you are going to hear “Yes.”
There’s just enough on Josh Groban’s new release, All That Echoes, to keep his groupies happy, though he may be stretching it. Fans of Mumford and Sons and The Lumineers can add the “breakout rock band of 2012″ Imagine Dragons to this sound canon. The popular Japanese role-playing game (RPG) Emblem: Awakening makes an impressive debut here in the States, with our reviewer promising “countless hours of serious entertainment.”
You’ve heard of the Follett Challenge, right? The grand-prize winner will receive $60,000 in Follett products and services. More than 100 educators have applied and sent in their three- to five-minute videos, and voting is now officially open. And here’s a shameless plug: the home of our teen reviewers, Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy, is one of the applicants, and it sure would love to have you vote for its video submission. The video with the most votes is up for a $5,000 prize; voting closes on March 18, and you can vote every day.
There’s still time to make good on those New Year resolutions, and if yours was to get in shape, you’ll want to check out Nike + Kinect Training. Fine motor skills can get a workout from all the axe swinging and scything in Devil May Cry. Been looking for some romantic listening? Love Charlie from Charlie Wilson may just be the ticket for your next date night.
A week after the “big reveal” at the American Library Association’s midwinter meeting, everyone is still talking about the latest award-winning titles. Young Adult Library Services Association committees select books for teens from 12 to 18 years of age, with a broad range of reading abilities and maturity levels. Whether they are edgy or informative, these buzz-worthy books will circulate among your students for years to come.