November 4, 2012

I would marry Harry Potter if he were real, and other confessions.

"Younger Americans’ Reading and Library Habits"
"More than eight in ten Americans ages 16-29 read a book in the past year, 
and six in ten used their local public library. Many say they are reading 
more in the era of digital content, especially on their mobile phones and on 

Ha!  I say HA to those who constantly doubt our teenagers and future leaders.  I hear everyday how kids today are ungrateful, rude, and lazy.  Guess what?  So were you when you were a teenager.  Even Ms. Goody Two Shoes here occasionally bad mouthed a teacher or parent (I remember my nick name in one class was "pop-off."  That can't be good).  But also guess what?  You didn't read as much.  I really bet you didn't.  Publishing companies are now making more money off of YA book sales than any other market.  (only to be rivaled by the horny middle aged ladies who are buying the Shades of Gray garbage in droves).  Yeah, yeah you read Lord of the Rings, or Catcher in the Rye, or Huckleberry Finn.  All fantastic, but did you read a 7 book series?  Then did you read another 4 book series?  Ever go to a midnight release of a book when you were a teenager?  Did you?

How can you not be excited by this new study by the Pew Research Center?  Honestly, when I first heard about the results of this study I was not surprised.  Since the creation of Rowling's Harry Potter, kids have not stopped devouring books.  Crazy devouring...and I've seen it.  I've seen students read at a rate that is insatiable.  And this proves it.  What is also cool is that instead of books disappearing due to the creation of ebooks, tablets, and mobile devices real live books are still big with young adult readers.  Now books are being read faster, and books are getting more accessible to more readers.  I also feel there is more out there for them to read.  Graphic novels have never been better.  Great fiction, biographies, and non-fiction are being created everyday that will leave you wondering why you've never read a YA book before.  Yes there is some horrible things out there (but not any worse than Danielle Steele or John Grisham).

I live and breathe with students everyday that crave more to read, more to share, and more to talk about.  The cool thing is we adults can't keep up.  I try, I actually get paid to try.  However, these readers will read all the time.  They will not let other stuff get in the way, especially if they get their hands on the latest of a new hot series.  So get your favorite teen what they really want for Christmas...a book!

Here are some of my most favorite of YA fiction that are steaming up the glasses of this librarian...
   The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, A fantastic story of a Native American boy who is expelled from his reservation school due to neglect then gets sent to a small town school.  This book deals with NA issues, alcoholism, and racism with an eloquence to rival Twain.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Mark Haddon, Narrated by a boy with autism who tries to solve the murder of a neighbor's dog, but unravels much more as he finds out people don't make sense.

The House of the Scorpion, Nancy Farmer, Matteo Alacran was not born; he was harvested with the DNA from El Patron, lord of a country called Opium. Can a boy who was bred to guarantee another’s survival find his own purpose in life? And can he ever be free?

The Enemy, Charlie Higson, They'll chase you. They'll rip you open. They'll feed on you...When the sickness came, every parent, policeman, politician - every adult - fell ill. The lucky ones died. The others are crazed, confused and hungry. Only children under fourteen remain, and they're fighting to survive. Now there are rumours of a safe place to hide.

The Book Thief, Mark Zuzack, It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery....
Narrated by Death, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a young foster girl living outside of Munich in Nazi Germany.

The Perfect, Gentle Knight, Kit Pearson, the story of the six Bell children, each of them coping in various ways in the aftermath of their mother’s death. Set in the 1950s and seen through the perspective of the middle child, 11-year-old Corrie, Pearson’s story illustrates how a rich fantasy life both helps and hinders children trying to cope with loss, loneliness, 

Americus, Graphic Novel, MK. Reed, Neal Barton just wants to read in peace. Unluckily for him, some local Christian activists are tryingto get his favorite fantasy series banned from the Americus public library on grounds of immoral content and heresy. Something has to be done, and it looks like quiet, shy Neal is going to have to do it.

The Princess Academy, Shannon Hale, just read something by this woman...she updates the fairytale like noone else.

Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson, A girl is rapped, she won't tell anyone and it is destroying her from the inside.  An amazing look at being your own advocate and to just speak!

I could go on forever.  What is your favorite YA book?