Saturday, January 30, 2010

RIP JD Salinger

JD Salinger, the great American writer who died this week, did something amazing for young people. He was one of the first to recognize that Young Adults and teens did not have their own spaces, their own art and literature, and were not empowered to simply be themselves. In Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield is a 17-year-old who speaks frankly about feeling disenfranchised. He has been expelled from school, he can relate to almost no-one, and the idea of growing up seems like a joke. Catcher in the Rye was to become one of the most frequently challenged books in the US, and it is still controversial today, though it is common in high school reading curriculum.

Because of people like Salinger, our society finally acknowledges that teens have their own incredible culture, and we're slowly building spaces for them to celebrate it. Sometimes the progress can seem excruciatingly slow, but it's all happening and it's exciting. In the spirit of Mr. Salinger, leave us a comment if you have any ideas about how your teen space or programs at the library can be better!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

You're a Printz

Librarians around the country met, discussed, and awarded the Printz medal for a distinguished book published for teens.  They chose Libba Bray's...

Mad cow disease, jazz and a road trip told by an awesomely unreliable teen guy. Check out her book trailer for a preview of how wacky and wonderful her book is.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Kissing Stories

Three beautifully told, strange tales are gathered in Laini Taylor's Lips Touch: Three Times. Goblins, shapeshifters and demons darken these stories of young love. Each is introduced with a series of detailed drawings, illustrating key elements of the plot (I loved looking back at these after I finished the story).  Goblins feed on the longings of unnoticed girls. A demon bargains with an older women for saving souls and giving curses. A girl awakens to find one of her eyes has changed colors and brings old secrets to the surface. Dark and daring, this is spell-binding read from beginning to end. For fans of Libba Bray's Great and Terrible Beauty and Cassandra Clare's City of Glass.

Friday, January 8, 2010

2009's Most Awsomest

Now that we're several days into the decade and I'm starting to get used to writing "10" instead of "09" on my various correspondence, it's time to reflect back on the last year of the oughts and decide on the best of the bestest, as well as the worst of the worstest. These are my opinions, please do share yours!

Most Awesome Trend: Zombies! OK, I know this has been going on for a while, but zombies really invaded this year, bringing with them books like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and films like Zombieland. The zombie horror comedy wins the best new genre award, as far as I'm concerned. So take that, Supernatural Romance.

Most Heinous Trend (Shut up. I was partially raised by Bill and Ted. You know, before Keanu Reeves started wearing black leather trench coats.): The Diary of a Wimpy Kid doppelgangers. I didn't notice this until this year, but there are several DOWK look-alike series, which may be the best books in the world but the fact that they are so clearly ripping off Jeff Kinney totally disqualifies them from the readable category in my mind and makes me lose my faith in human creativity.

Best Library Moment: There's really too many to choose from. The best zombie contest at the Zombie Tea Party. The dance performance at the Teen Talent Show. All the times I led patrons to the bestseller shelf to find something that had 680 holds on it. The Gathering of the Ages. The impromptu jerking dance-off in the teen room. One teen's reaction every time I used the word "imprint" during the werewolf party. (She squeaked.)

Worst Library Moment: The ceiling leak above adult music.

Best Book: If I Stay for emotional response, Going Bovine for laughter and tears, and Love is the Higher Law for overall brilliance.

Best Youtube Video: Muppet Bohemian Rhapsody. The. Best. Ever. Freddy Mercury, I wish you were still around to see this:

Most Awesome Fashion Statement: I saw a teen wearing an old-school Pearl Jam t-shirt today, except it was brand new. Which means he just bought it. Which means Pearl Jam is cool again and my musical tastes are suddenly relevant. That rules.

Most Heinous Fashion Trend: I don't mean to be judgmental here, but somebody's going to have to explain to me the skinny jeans with the saggy butts.

Best Movie: Never want to see it again, but District 9 rocked.

Most Disappointing Movie: The Hangover. Dude, where's my funny?

Most Awe-inspiring Spectacle: My birthday present from my brother-in-law. Don't ask. Just, don't.

Favorite New Punctuation: The. Periods. Between. Each. Word. For. Emphasis.

Worst Term Bloggers Have Started Using: "After the jump." Ugh.

Best Twilight Inspired Language: Fursplosion. Twihard. Sparkle Motion.

Worst Twilight Inspire Language: Team so-and-so.



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