It's no secret that teen books over the past several years have become more popular with older (and younger) readers. And as the popularity has grown, the books themselves have gotten longer, become series, and gotten some serious cover makeovers. A Short Story in Teen Book Covers
I know we have a lot of manga readers out there... sometimes the Teen Zone is littered with random volumes of Naruto, Bleach, Fruits Basket, and Death Note. I see people carrying stacks of volumes down to the main desk for check out, using their chins to hold the pile steady. And I love reading it too... they can be quick reads, but pack a powerful punch, whether it's action, comedy, romance, or horror. Or sometimes all of those things. Shiny New Manga!
But what can make me crazy about some series is the way they go on and on. And on. For instance Naruto's 58th volume comes out today. Do you know how much shelf space that takes up? Reading some of these series is a big investment in time, space, and money. Luckily, you have a library that loves to provide you with manga! That's why I want to take a moment to tell you about some of the new series we've added over the past year, and some sleepers you may have missed. Read more
Next week is Teen Read Week - it's a time to celebrate just how amazing teen literature is right now. It's kind of funny, but books written specifically for teens didn't always exist. After all, we didn't always recognize that there was a phase between childhood and being an adult. It was in the early 1800s that the term "young adult" was coined. And as we moved into the 20th century many novels written for adults appealed to these so-called young adults - Teen Read Week... let's be rock stars! Lord of the Flies, The Catcher in the Rye, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and Lord of the Rings, but they weren't marketed or necessarily written with teen readers in mind.
It was in the 1980s that we first saw a strong push to write and print books for teens, with teen protagonists. And this was kind of a mixed bag. Writing for and about teens may be one of the hardest things to do - how do you capture the language and feelings of adolescence (ugh, what a blah word!) without sounding dated or like you're trying to hard? In the 90s, we saw a real boom in the teen lit market - because hey, teens do read! And they like to read about other teens, whether they're living in a fantasy world, traveling back in time, journeying amongst the stars, or right next door to us. Now we see adults and kids clamoring for teen books like The Hunger Games, The Ranger's Apprentice series, The Book Thief, Going Bovine, or The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.
I'm excited about the Hunger Games movies. I probably shouldn't be - I've been burned a little too often by books-turned-to-movies. And I'm most disappointed when books I loved turn out to be lackluster films, and my love for The Hunger Games movie - casting for Katniss The Hunger Games burns like a thousand fiery suns! Okay, fan-girl moment over.... So the latest news for the upcoming trilogy is that Katniss has finally been cast - just a couple of days ago Jennifer Lawrence of Winter's Bone won the role. Read more
You might not know it, but librarians like to share literary jokes and library videos. Okay, it sounds kind of lame when I type it out, but it's still true. I have enjoyed watching the escapades of the Jane Austen's Fight Club ninja librarian, destroying people for talking on their cell phones and answering reference questions in a puff of smoke. I have owned a Rex Libris poster, threatening punks who fail to turn in their books. And I keep up on my Unshelved comics. And so, in keeping with this tradition, last week I was called into the office of another librarian so she could show me the lasted combo of Jane Austen and pop culture... Jane Austen's Fight Club.