Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mash Day: Looking for a role model?

I was going through a stack of books the other day that had not been checked out in a long time, and I found this charming little gem of a book; Women Warriors. It's got bite sized stories about "history's greatest female fighters," including obvious selections like Joan of Arc and funny ones like the Powerpuff Girls and Buffy (the vampire slayer). The book also features women you wish you already knew about, like Tomoe Gozen, female samurai, and Lozen, Apache warrior. If you're looking for a new hero, here is your one stop shop. Do your part. Check it out!

But perhaps women warriors aren't your thing. If you're looking for present day role model, one who is confident, ambitious, and unafraid to be himself, look no further than Carlos Duarte, the hero of the Stonewall Award winning Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy. Carlos has unstoppable dreams of becoming a famous makeup artist, and there's no time like the present to make dreams come true. Jealous bosses, unrequited crushes, and family emergencies are just small hurtles on the road to fame and fortune. Beyond fabulous!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

MASH Day- Musical Books

We've written about music in YA books before, and now it's time once again to draw your attention to these gorgeously musical mash-ups! I'll list some of my favorite books that feature music as an important player, almost a character. Follow the link above to see book playlists created by authors and fans.

I've talked about Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist before. I can't help it...I love this book, as well as almost everything David Levithan creates. Nick and Norah run into each other at a club one spring night in New York City, and it's like they are musical soul mates. (The only band they disagree on is The Beatles.) They spend the night getting to know each other while trying to track down a secret show by their favorite band, Where's Fluffy. Both Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have a knack for writing about music. I especially love Levithan's description of how the experience of music changed after 9-11 in Love is the Higher Law.

Speaking of musical David Levithan books, I have to give a shout-out to Will Grayson, will grayson, which Levithan co-wrote with John Green. In this book, Tiny Cooper (arguably one of the greatest characters in American fiction. Ever.) writes a musical about his own life, with the kind of warmth and flamboyance that only Tiny Cooper could achieve. The novel's penultimate scene takes place during Tiny's well deserved standing ovation.

In Debby Harry Sings in French, Johnny doesn't begin to feel complete until he starts listening to the new wave band Blondie, and dressing up like the lead singer, Debbie Harry.

K.L. Going's Fat Kid Rules the World shows how punk rock can change one kid's life for the better, while enabling the downfall of another's.

In Gayle Forman's tragic If I Stay, Mia, a classical musician, is in a car accident that kills her parents and leaves her comatose. From her coma, she must decide whether to return to her life and the challenges in store or move on, and music is one of her guides.

What would you do if your ex-boyfriend records a nasty break up song about you that becomes ridiculously popular? In Audrey Wait!, Audrey has to deal with her sudden, unwelcome fame as a derogatory song about her soars to the top of the Billboard charts.

In Five Flavors of Dumb, Piper is mostly deaf, so everyone thinks it's weird when she starts managing one of the bands at her Seattle high school. She surprises even herself when she brings the band closer to success and musicality than seemed possible.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mash Day - Flesh Eating Horses from the Sea

Happy Mash Day, everybody!
Today we will be mashing up books about mythical killer horses that leap from the sea, are slightly tamed by islanders, then ridden annually in a dangerous, blood-soaked beach race.
Okay, there's only one book I know of that fits this description, but it's SO GOOD it deserves its own shining spotlight.
Scorpio Races (by Maggie Stiefvater- heard of Shiver?) takes place on a misty island where everyone knows everybody else. Puck and her brothers are struggling to survive after their parents are snatched up from their fishing boat by the water horses. Meanwhile, Sean Kendrick is the head trainer for the island's richest man, and he knows more about the horses than his employer or his jealous son.
It is the end of October, and the horses have begun leaping from the surf, hungry for meat. It is time to begin training for the Scorpio races.
In a desperate attempt to save her family, Puck decides that she will run in the races, a bold decision. She will be the first girl ever to do so, and also the first to try racing on a land horse. Sean has won the races four years running.
There are a few winners in the Scorpio races, and there are many casualities. Riders could just as easily be killed as cross the finish line.
This book transcends categorization. It is beautiful and scary. It's got action and dead bodies. And it has characters you might find yourself caring a lot about.
Don't you want to know who wins the Scorpio races? I suggest you find out.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Submit to the Teen Summer Reading Art Contest

2012 Teen Summer Reading Art Contest "Own the Night" from Cedar Mill Community Library on Vimeo.

Have you tilted your head back lately and felt that slight whiff of Spring creep up your nostrils and into your brain, planting a seed of anticipation and yearning? Do you find that metaphor kind of gross? Anyway, Winter is fading away, which, in the library world, means it's high time to start thinking about summer reading. Watch this fabulous video from the Cedar Mill Community Library and learn how you, yes you, can submit to the annual WCCLS Teen Summer Reading Art Contest. One winner's work will be featured on publications throughout the county!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mash Day - Do the Nerdfighter Mash

So here's something a little different on this beautiful Mash Day. I have blogged about the Vlogbrothers (author John Green and his blogger/science nerd/musician/Youtuber brother Hank) and the Nerdfighters (the community that sprouted up around their videos) more than once. Talk about mash-ups; Nerdfighters are an eclectic group of people drawn together for many reasons, including John Green's amazing books, the popularity of the Green brothers' videos, their care for causes supported by The Project for Awesome, and a human need for community. Well, one of the last cities the Greens visited on their 2012 Tour de Nerdfighting was our very own Portland, Oregon. I was there...Were you? If so, you would know that the shindig evolved into an impromptu dance party inspired by Rachel, a founding member of Tigard's Teen Library Council. She asked a question: Can we get up and dance? And the answer: Why not? Watch the video above for a little hint of the joy that resulted. Remember that we are all sharing this planet, mashed together with our individual tastes and ideas and constantly finding in each other kindred spirits. And don't forget to be awesome.



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