Friday, January 27, 2012

Hunger Games Buzz

Attention citizens: The Hunger Games movie release date approaches and lots of interesting tidbits have been popping up, both fan and studio produced, and adding to the buzz. Like the amazing map of Panem above. The creators used hints from the books, knowledge of North American geography, tectonic predictions and mathematical modeling to envision the world of Panem. Read about their process here.

Also, check out this nifty promotion: an e-magazine written from the Capitol's creepy perspective to build anticipation for the Hunger Games, the biggest annual event in Panem. Learn about the trendiest capital fashions, painting your nails with Capital flair, and this darling tribute from district 12 who volunteered for the games so her sister wouldn't have to go. Adorable!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mash Day: Bad Advice, Good Advice.

Does it ever seem like everyone wants to tell you what to do all the time? And most of the time, people's advice just isn't that helpful. So perhaps you turn to movies to give you some hints for guidance in your life. Movies. The perfect source for examples of people making excellent decisions. Or not.

In How to Fight, Lie, and Cry Your Way to Popularity (And A Prom Date), you can glean wisdom such as "The best way to take the popular girl down: Be more abusive than she is. Then apologize to the whole school and all will be well." (That's Mean Girls, by the way.) Yes, you can learn terrible lessons, gathered from 50 well known movies and bundled into this goofy book. Test your Lousy Life Lesson Know How. What movie would you need to watch to learn this? "It's okay to date a dead, murderous vampire as long as he's hot and has great hair."

But seriously, there are some people out there who have good advice to offer. And their stories have a little more poignancy.

Dan Savage gives advice for a living. He's pretty successful at it. His advice for young people who are being harrassed due to their perceived sexual orientation or gender identity is: It gets better.

When several young people took their own lives after being bullied, Dan Savage wanted to do something about it. First, there were thousands of YouTube videos made, instigated by Dan and his husband Terry. Ordinary people and famous people, including The President, made videos recounting their experiences and encouraging young people to hang in there. Then they put together a book. It Gets Better is a written collection of stories and statements gathered as an offering for LGBT youth. You can check out the book. You can also check out the website. I just did, and realized that today is National Gay-Straight Alliance Day. Hey! Happy GSA Day. And don't forget to be yourself.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fault In Our Stars

Our copies of John Green's new book The Fault in Our Stars have finally arrived! As you may know, the author signed all 150,000 copies of the first edition, which includes those we bought for the library. Yay!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mash Day- Mysterious and Fantastical

Welcome to another Mash Day here at TPL Tigard Teen. This is where we highlight media that blends stuff and that you can find at the library. Today I'm sharing mystery novels that have a touch of fantasy, or fantasy novels with a touch of mystery, depending on how you look at it. YA fiction tends to boldly go where no lifeforms have gone before, so there's lots of fabulous and experimental genre blending. Makes sense for books written for folk who are just starting to figure out what they like, what is made of awesome and what exemplifies suck. Try out one of these books and get hooked (or not).

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy:
I recommend this one A LOT. It's a mystery; It's supernatural; It's noir; It's dark; It's hilarious; It's scary. Read it!

Straw House, Wood House, Brick House, Blow by Daniel Nayeri:
This is the ultimate mash-up: A collection of four novellas, each in a different genre, including a crime story in which every wish comes true and only the Imaginary Crime Unit can stop them.

A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb:
Helen has been haunting people for over 130 years, but she's finally met a teenaged boy who can see her and help her solve the mystery of her past. Supernatural-mystery-romance. Yum.

Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix:
Two teenagers learn that they were found as babies on a plane that appeared out of nowhere filled with other babies and no adults. To unravel this mystery they must travel through time.

I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells:
John Wayne Cleaver insists that he is not a serial killer, in spite of certain rather grim tendencies, but when people in his town start showing up brutally murdered, he finds himself on the case and wondering whether the perp is a man or a monster.

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard:
Emma solves crimes with the help of her twin sister. Her dead twin sister.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Winter Monster Mash Up

Welcome to Mash Day #2, where I will be mixing up some materials & suggesting a few things that I think have some vague connections and attaching threads. First, I would like to introduce myself; I am Amber, making my debut here in the Teen Blog. Our first ingredient today is monsters. A huge handful of monsters.

Lisa mentioned A Monster Calls last week, so I will say little more. But the monster who calls happens to be terribly ancient and usually rooted, a walking yew tree with stories to tell that have no heroes or happy endings. If you don’t mind a dark, heavy tale, you should definitely read A Monster Calls.

The Monstrumologist books by Rick Yancey are completely, totally, disgustingly full of oozey, dripping, flesh eating monsters and the scientists that love to hunt them. So if that’s your game, have at ‘em. Just don’t eat your lunch while you are reading.

If you can make it to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, you will find many odd things, including a levitating girl and a boy who is a living beehive. What you will not find are monsters with vacant eyes or slashing teeth. But it will be challenging to get to Miss Peregrine’s, because it has carefully been hidden away in a pocket of time in order to protect those children from the aforementioned monsters.
One interesting feature of Miss Peregrine’s is that the book is sprinkled with odd and eerie photographs. Clearly, the author was inspired by the collection of images. If you are looking for photographic inspiration, here is one of my favorites:

The New Earth From Above: 365 Days is a weighty volume of aerial photography. Documented are things like: a mountain of refrigerators, a bright green golf course plunked down in the middle of a desert, and a giant hand sculpture rising from a sandy beach. The world is a weird place.

And back to the fictional world, Flash Burnout stars an edge-y photographer who is inspired by the grit of downtown Portland. He’s got a girlfriend, he’s got a best friend (who’s a girl), and he’s got a problem making it all work out. Isn’t that just how it is sometimes?

So remember: Take a picture, it lasts longer, and happy reading.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Semicolon Lessons

So, every couple of years I forget how to use a semicolon. What can I say? Life (and punctuation) is confusing. I was just composing a sentence that I was pretty sure could be better with a semicolon, so I asked the Great Google what I should do. I found this handy guide from the folks at The Oatmeal. *smirk*

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Mash Day

Welcome to the first of our series of Mash Days when we celebrate books and media that feature mash-ups of different themes, genres and formats. This has almost nothing to do with M.A.S.H. the movie/television show, but the title is similar and I can't resist sharing a picture of my buddies from 4077.
Today, my friends, I'd like to discuss fabulous mash-ups of prose and pictures, or illustrated books for teens! You may be thinking that your picture book days are over, but they are so not, because these books are not to be missed:

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick: Yes, there is a movie out and I'm excited about that, but before the movie there was as absolutely gorgeous book. Wonderful words narrate Hugo's story and then are seamlessly taken over by pages of breathtaking black and white drawings. Brian Selznick's brand new book Wonderstruck has the same format and is equally stunning. BTW, just so you know, Hugo isn't torturing a live mouse in the picture on the left; that's actually a toy.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness: These illustrations combined with the author's words create the dark atmosphere of this tale of a boy with who is suddenly haunted by the monster of his mother's illness, and another monster he wasn't expecting: Something ancient. Something wild.

Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie and illustrated by Ellen Forney: I have recommend this book dozens of times and will keep recommending it as long as I have the power of recommendation. If you haven't read it yet, for pity's sake hurry. This is Junior's story. He's a 14-years-old Spokane Indian living on the reservation who decided, quite controversially, to go to high school off the reservation. His comics interspersed with his narration emphasize his enduring sense of humor as he navigates the tragedies and challenges of his life. Read it!

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Dave McKean: Nobody Owens began his life as he knows it when his family was murdered, and when he was pursued to the graveyard where his toddling legs had taken him, the killer couldn't touch him. A ghostly family adopted Nobody and extended to him the protection of the graveyard so he could fade away into the shadows and never be caught. But what happens when Nobody decides to enter the world of the living? These illustrations make this fantasy seem extraordinarily real. I'll never look at graveyards the same way again.

Wintertown by Stephan Emond: Evan's dad has high ambitions for him that do not include his dream of being a comics artist. Lucy has begun making destructive choices. This and the fact that the two only see each other during winter breaks has always been in the way of their friendship and continues to be an obstacle as their affection for each other grows into something else. Evan and Lucy take turns telling their story interspersed with Evan's comics.

As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth by Lynne Rae Perkins: A teenaged guy encounters one calamity after another as he's lost in the U.S. and trying to find his way home. In the meantime, his dogs are also lost, and their story is told through comics.

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler: 16-year-old Min writes a letter to her boyfriend explaining why she's breaking up with him, complete with illustrations.

Wildwood by Colin Meloy and Illustrated by Carson Ellis: Prue and Curtis venture into the Impassable Wilderness to rescue Prue's baby brother. They discover dangers and wonders they'd never imagined, and these illustrations really bring the woods to life.

These are just a few suggestions among a wide range of great books. Stop by the library if you want to know more!



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