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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Wanted: Beta Readers!

An author is looking for beta readers for his new book! Shawn Snider wants you to read At Stake, a young adult book about vampires, and give some feedback. If you do, you can get a gift card! From the author:

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read and enjoy a beta copy of my book, At Stake. There will be a question or two at the end of each chapter—but this ain't no middle school book report, people! Skip questions, scribble in the margins, read the last page first. Whatever floats your boat. And when you're done, send it back and trade in for a $5 Barnes & Noble gift card.


The week Becca Sanchez discovers Uncle Don is a total whack-job begins with a moving van and ends in handcuffs. First, her creepy history teacher moves in next door. Then her uncle tries to stake him. That’s right, stake. As in vampire. When a student goes missing, Becca starts wondering if maybe crazy Uncle Don isn’t so crazy after all. She decides to find out for herself. But when she’s caught shooting her teacher with a holy water spitball, she lands herself in a whole heap of trouble with the school and, worse, her mom. Becca and her friends concoct a plan to kill the vampire before he can turn the Halloween Dance into his own personal buffet line. But she can’t get rid of the nagging voice wondering if this is all just a series of unlikely coincidences and her teacher is simply a creep. Because this is real life, and really … vampires?

Click the link to start!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Bonus Post: Teen Dominoes!

We're having an awesome event on Saturday. We'll be setting up books like dominoes! It will go a little like this:

Come help us make something amazing! There will be pizza!

Teen Dominoes @ Main Library

Were you ever obsessed with dominoes? Put those skills to use and help us make a domino chain of books! Enjoy pizza, fun, and book dominoes! You may even end up on an impressive video to promote the library. Come back in a month for the Teen Reed Kick-off (October 11) for the video premiere!
Ages 11-17 Event.

Main Library-downtown Harrisonburg

Audiobook Dream Narrator?

Back in 2012, Flavorwire made a list of their ideal celeb narrators for classic and modern novels, including Joseph Gordon-Levitt for The Catcher in the Rye. Which got us thinking...
  • What is your favorite book?
  • Who would your ideal narrator be?
  • Would you include sound effects/music or just stick to the narrator's voice?
A lot of movies (many of them based on books) have main characters that narrate the action. But what actor would you love to narrate your favorite audiobook?

Comment with your audiobook dreamcast!

PS don't forget that you can download audiobooks for FREE! All you need is your library card! Here's the link to the downloadable media page through our library (OneClick is for audiobooks), and here's a list of all the supported devices.
You guys, I use these services all the time. They're supercool.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

YA Movie Adaptations!!

There are so many YA movie adaptations hitting screens. Before we begin, I'll just say: SPOILER ALERT. Now, let's break it up by book:

The Giver - in theaters now!

If I Stay - in theaters now!
  • Here are some observations about If I Stay and why it did/didn't work. **Spoiler alert!

The Maze Runner - release date: September 19, 2014

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 - release date: November 21, 2014

Movies in production:
Available now:
  • The Fault in Our Stars
  • Divergent
  • Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters
  • How I Live Now
  • THG & Catching Fire
  • Beautiful Creatures
  • The Book Thief
  • The Spectacular Now
  • The Percy Jackson movies
  • The Host
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  • I Am Number Four
  • The Twilight series
  • Youth in Revolt
  • City of Ember
  • Stardust
  • Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies
  • Eragon
  • The Princess Diaries movies
  • I Know What You Did Last Summer
  • The Neverending Story
  • Marvel movies
  • DC Comics movies
  • The Harry Potter series (in the Juvenile section)
  • Inkheart (in the Juvenile section)
  • Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (in the Juvenile section)
  • The Chronicles of Narnia movies (in the Juvenile section)
  • ...and tons more! Check out the books, then watch the movies!

Also, check out this list of YA books that should be turned into movies! What are your thoughts? Want to see your fave YA book on the big screen? Comment with your suggestions!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

"Different Viewpoints, Different Worlds"

If you're not already following the Diversity in YA Tumblr, you're missing out. They post news, articles, quotes, videos, and more promoting diversity in young adult literature, both in content and authors. They recently had a guest post from an author in the YA genre--Livia Blackburne, who has a new book, Midnight Thief. I'm going to repost her entire article so you don't have to jump to Tumblr, and because it's so interesting.

After you read it, comment with your take. Have you read a book or heard a story and had a completely different outlook on it than someone else?

Different Viewpoints, Different Worlds

By Livia Blackburne

Flashback 1: I finish outlining my new WIP and realize it’s the most Chinese story I’ve written to date, though it doesn’t contain any Chinese characters.

Flashback 2: In my predominantly white/Hispanic middle school, we watch Disney’s The Little Mermaid and discuss the themes. I’ve drawn the conclusion that the story is a fairy tale about a young girl who’s rewarded for disobeying her parents. To my surprise, everybody else frames it as a positive story of Ariel following her dreams, breaking free of societal expectation and finding true love.
Fast forward several years and I’m in college, hanging out with a group of Asian American friends. The Little Mermaid comes up in conversation, and someone remarks that the story is a fable about selfish behavior paying off. This time, people nod in agreement and the conversation moves on without a hiccup. Apparently that conclusion is a no brainer for a group of people who grew up in a society that valued filial piety above all else.

Flashback 3: I’m discussing Lord of the Rings with a friend. She argues that many fantasy novels trying to emulate LOTR actually miss the point. In The Lord of the Rings, Frodo fails to complete his quest and it’s Gollum who accidentally destroys the ring by biting off Frodo’s finger. My friend thinks that this is a reflection of Tolkien’s Catholic worldview, in which humans are too weak to resist the lure of evil and God’s intervention is needed to destroy it. Many fantasy novels following in Tolkien’s tradition, however, take the trappings of middle earth and turn it into stories of a hero fighting evil and emerging triumphant.

Until recently, it made me very uncomfortable to be identified as a “diverse writer.” I’m Chinese American. That part’s undeniable, and I’m proud of my heritage. But my debut novel Midnight Thief is a Western medieval fantasy, simply because that was the genre I’d read and loved as a teenager. Did it make any sense for me to get extra attention as a Chinese writer when the actual book I wrote wasn’t recognizably Chinese?
But here I am writing a blog post for Diversity in YA, so I obviously got over my discomfort with being labeled diverse. What changed?
It was, in fact, the flashback described at the beginning of this post. I’d outlined a new novel, one that told the story of two lovers bound by duty to the point of tragedy. One character was a brown skinned desert dweller, and the other was a pale skinned visitor from the forests — definitely not recognizably Asian, but the story still felt strongly Chinese to me. If I had to describe it, I’d say had a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon vibe.
That was when I realized that writing diverse fiction wasn’t simply about including people who looked, dressed, or spoke differently. Diverse fiction certainly encompasses those things, but at its core, diversity in fiction is about presenting the world through different viewpoints. Everyone’s life experience, regardless of their ethnic or cultural background, gives them a unique lens through which they see and interpret the world. My Asian American friends told the little mermaid’s story in a very different way than my Caucasian classmates. Likewise, Tolkien’s view of humanity had huge implications for Middle Earth.
Once I understood this, I realized that Midnight Thief, though a western fantasy, still deals with themes that were core to my experience as an Asian immigrant. My main character Kyra is an orphan, a child of one people who’s raised by another. Kyra wrestles with whether she’s a product of her ancestry or the culture she grew up in — certainly questions that I also faced while growing up. In addition, early reviews have pointed out the moral complexity of Midnight Thief’s warring people groups. One race in particular at first seems evil, but eventually becomes more sympathetic as the reader learns more about their worldview. I like to think that my experience straddling two different cultures helped me slip into different perspectives and tell that tale.
I do plan to write an Asian-inspired fantasy at some point. I have a soft spot for kung fu movies and would love to work some drunken boxing into a storyline. But even before that happens, my cultural background will still be influencing my fiction in other ways.


Livia Blackburne was born in Taiwan. She spent her childhood in Albuquerque, her twenties in Boston, and now lives in Los Angeles. Midnight Thief, her debut novel, is now available.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Authors Sort Their Characters Into Hogwarts Houses!

At LeakyCon last weekend, BuzzFeed asked famous YA authors to sort some of their characters into Hogwarts houses, and the results are amazing. The photos are here (and the drawings are hilarious--I mean, let's just say that some of these authors should stick to writing *ahem*JohnGreenGayleForman*ahem*), but I'll type them up here:

John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
Augustus Waters - Ravenclaw
Hazel Grace Lancaster - Gryffindor

John Green (Looking For Alaska)
Alaska - Ravenclaw
Pudge - Hufflepuff

Gayle Forman (If I Stay)
Mia - Gryffindor
Kim - Ravenclaw
Adam - Gryffindor

Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park)
Eleanor - Gryffindor

Rainbow Rowell (Fangirl)
Levi - Hufflepuff

Holly Black (Magisterium: The Iron Trial)
Callum Hunt - Slytherin

Holly Black (The Coldest Girl in Coldtown)
Gavriel - Gryffindor

Holly Black (The Darkest Part of the Forest)
Hazel - Hufflepuff

Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss)
Anna - Ravenclaw
Etienne St. Clair - Gryffindor

Stephanie Perkins (Lola and the Boy Next Door)
Lola - Gryffindor
Cricket Bell - Hufflepuff

Stephanie Perkins (Isla and the Happily Ever After)
Isla - Ravenclaw
Josh - Ravenclaw

Scott Westerfield (Uglies)
Shay - Slytherin
David - Gryffindor
Tally - Gryffindor

Lev Grossman (The Magicians)
Julia - Ravenclaw
Janet - Slytherin
Quentin - Ravenclaw
Alice - Gryffindor

So what do you think?? Are there any that you agree with? What about ones that you disagree with? Comment with your suggestions for characters they didn't sort!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

TTT Voting - Starting August 15!

You guys are definitely enjoying the Teens' Top Ten nominee books we received from YALSA. We barely have any on the shelf at any given time! (To know if you have one of these books in particular, see if it has a blue sticker on the spine. It has been chosen.)

Here is the complete list of 25 nominees, including synopses and a cool intro video.
  • The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett
  • Of Triton by Anna Banks
  • Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
  • Love In The Time Of Global Warming by Francesca Lia
  • The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau - download it through Overdrive or OneClickDigital
  • The Eye of Minds by James Dashner
  • Earth Girl by Janet Edwards
  • The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason - download it through Overdrive
  • Maybe I Will by Laurie Gray - download it through Freading
  • The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry
  • Splintered by A. G. Howard
  • Teardrop by Lauren Kate
  • Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg
  • Monument 14: Sky On Fire by Emmy Laybourne
  • Six Months Later by Natalie D. Richards - download it through Freading
  • Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  • This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
  • Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
  • The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
  • This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
  • Winger by Andrew Smith
  • A Midsummer Night’s Scream by R.L. Stine
  • Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Tucholke
  • In The Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters - download it through OneClickDigital
  • The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

  • If you see one you really want to read, put a hold on it! Check it out! Read it! Download it! Listen to it! Fall in love with it! Or maybe just have a crush on it. Then you can vote on your favorites when the Teens' Top Ten voting starts on August 15.

    What better way to have your voice heard than vote for the Top Ten YA books? Oh right! Comment below with which of the 25 nominees are your faves, or which ones you think should have made the cut!

    Wednesday, July 30, 2014

    Before the Summer Ends + HARRY POTTER BIRTHDAY PARTY!!!

    It's the end of July! That means you've got some serious summer reading to fit into the last few weeks before school starts up again. To give you some inspiration, check out the following:
    • YALSA is having a Teen Blogging Contest for Teen Read Week! If you're passionate about YA lit and love to blog, this is perfect for you. TRW isn't until October--more about that later--but you only have until August 1 (that's Friday!) to sign up for the contest! Click here for more information.
    • This one isn't just for the girls! Meg Medina, author of Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass and The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind, and Gigi Amateau, author of Claiming Georgia Tate and Come August, Come Freedom, made a summer reading list of books about amazing girls. This list is awesome, and should be required reading for any kid, in my opinion. (I'm still working my way through some of them!) Fun fact: Both authors live in Richmond!
    • Veronica Roth did an interview with Goodreads about her Divergent trilogy and subsequent prequel(ish) quartet of short stories about the male lead, Four. It has some major spoilers, so don't read it unless you've read at least up to Allegiant. Before you go back to school, this is a perfect time to get caught up on one of the hottest literary trends of the past few years! Then read the interview to get some questions answered for you.

    The coolest and most awesome thing you can do before July ends is come to the Harry Potter birthday party we're having at the library tomorrow night! It's going to have everything: Butterbeer, Hagrid's (cup)cakes, wandmaking at Ollivander's, the Sorting Hat, and even Quidditch. That's right--the JMU Quidditch Team is going to be here to teach us the greatest wizarding sport ever and help us play a game. It's going to be amazing, so put on your best HP costume and come to the Main branch to throw Harry Potter the best birthday party he never had!

    Happy Birthday, Harry Potter!

    Teens (ages 11-17) are invited to celebrate Harry Potter's birthday by drinking butterbeer, making your own wand, and playing his favorite wizarding sport with the JMU Quidditch team. You'll even be sorted into one of the Hogwarts Houses!


    Main Library-downtown Harrisonburg

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

    Bonus Post: New eBooks!!

    I've told you before about how you can check books out online. Well since you guys did such an awesome job of doing just that in June, we're getting some more ebooks for you guys to borrow! Isn't that amazing?! And I was allowed to give you guys a sneak peak into an eBook you can check out starting tomorrow. Wanna know what it is? Well do you? I'll give you a hint: I talk about it all the time on here.

    That's right! Starting tomorrow, you can check out TFIOS through your phone, e-reader, tablet, computer--you name it! Simply go to our website, click "Downloadable Media" on the left, and click on the Overdrive button. (You have to go through our website to see what's available through your card.) You can browse through our entire online collection or just select "All Teen" to see just YA books.

    Overdrive works just like the library, just through the interwebs. You can put up to three items on hold, and your checkouts last two weeks. You just don't have to worry about returning it to the library; it will disappear after your checkout time is up (which is great because I forget all the time). We get new books constantly, so keep checking to see what's available.

    Also check out our other online lending services! Freading also has eBooks, Zinio has magazines, and OneClick is for audiobooks. (Don't forget that audiobooks count on your summer reading!) We also have all of these resources for you to look at/download. We're just full of free gifts!

    Also, check out SYNC. They give away two audiobooks a week--one current YA and one book that's more likely to be on your summer reading list for school. It's only available until August 13, so take advantage of it now!

    You only have a few weeks of summer left, so why not spend it getting some fun reading in before you have to worry about homework again?

    Comic Book News!

    • Marvel made some huge announcements this week:
    Get excited, guys!! 
    • Bad news for Archie comics fans! **Spoiler alert!
      • Archie died in last week's issue. Check out CNN's article to learn how it happens, including comic panel pages.
      • But don't worry! The comic won't end. It will apparently still take place in an "alternate timeline." Abed from Community would be concerned.
    • Batman is turning 75!
      Well not really Bruce Wayne himself, but the comics are! How can you celebrate, you ask?
      • Well, you could read them. We have Batman books in just about every section of the library.
      • You could also check out the 1960's TV show. It's being released on DVD for the first time ever! POW!
      • Or if you want something a little more current, they're adapting the comics into a new TV show. It's called Gotham, and it's going to air this fall. It takes a look back at Bruce Wayne as a kid but really focuses on Commissioner Gordon's start when he was still a cop. The website is already up and trailers are out. Here's one:

    What do you guys think? Does it do Bob Kane's comic justice? Or does it follow too much in Christopher Nolan's footsteps? Or is it just blech? Comment with your thoughts!
    (Personally I really love Batman so a Batman TV show is a big deal for me and I don't know what to think about this can't we just rewatch the Michael Keaton/Tim Burton Batman again???
    This should keep you guys satisfied throughout ComicCon weekend, right? Right??