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Your Connection to Teen Reads
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Tweets of the Week: January 15th

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 07:00

We stay glued to Twitter all week so you don’t have to! This week, Looking for Alaska turned 10, the Oscar nominations made twitter realize we need diverse movies as much as we need diverse books, and Harry Potter is getting a new illustrated edition.

Books & Reading 

@sljournal Kick-butt Heroines, Epic Sagas, and Quirky Debuts | Fiction Grades 9 & Up | SLJ Reviews

@PenguinTeen #LookingForAlaska is a fifth grader…and other thoughts from @johngreen upon the 10th anniversary of his debut novel.

@PWKidsBookshelf First Look: New Illustrated Edition of Harry Potter

@ericsmithrocks 2015 Debut YA Novels You Need to Pick Up This Year: Books from @AdamSilvera @MeliGrey & @laurengibaldi up on @Bustle!

@misskubelik Another amazing IF YOU LIKE… chart this one for THE LUNAR CHRONICLES

@thegayYA “People […] think that straight teenagers don’t want to read about queer kids, and this is completely false.”

@CarolrhodaLab Wow. That’s awesome. RT @johnhornor: This is why young adult fiction is important.

@catagator .@CrazyQuilts has a really great round-up of 2015 debut YA novels by authors of color:…

Movies & TV

@LEEandLOW #weneeddiversebooks because more books = more diverse movie adaptations = more roles for diverse actors = more diverse oscar noms.

@GalleyCat Several Actors Sign On For a #Batman vs. Robin Animated Film  #movies #comics

@TheMarySue Black Widow Confirmed For , Along With Some Other Awesome Characters

Just for Fun

@mstiefvater Oh, I looked out the window and it was all Raven Cycle-y out there.

@marypearson Assassin nuns! I think I see Annith in there!  @RLLaFevers

 Yes this is me trying to sort the characters from Proxy and Guardian into their Hogwarts houses: alex–… How’d I do?

@bloomsburykids v13 YA Novels That Are Actually Taylor Swift Songs…


@helgagrace RA for All: Becky’s RA Training Tips For a Great 2015: Part 1… via @RAforAll #readadv

 #Becauseofapubliclibrary I’ve see juvenile inmates have literacy programming and break the cycle to get a GED instead of more jail time  — Molly Wetta, currently reading Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle for Tumblr’s #reblogbookclub


Why I Reread

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 07:00

photo by flickr user Nick J. Webb

It’s hard to believe that January is about half over! Like Anna, I’m a little late in getting my reading goals for the new year going. I’ve gotten started on the Morris/Nonfiction Challenge (only doing nonfiction books), but as of this writing, I’ve still got 3 and a half books to finish for that. Beyond this challenge, and YALSA’s Hub Reading Challenge coming up in February, my main reading resolution for the new year is to read more new books. Looking back on 2014, I think I reread about 15 books, which is high even for me. I know that I reread a lot this past year largely because we had a big year of transition, but I tend to reread often even during less crazy times of life.

I know there’s a wide range of how readers and librarians feel about rereading. A 2013 informal survey of Hub bloggers shows just one example of this division. I can certainly respect the point of view of those who don’t like to reread, not least because I think many of those readers end up reading a lot more widely than I do. Still, find rereading to be both an enjoyable and a useful practice, and I wanted to share some of the reasons why:

  1. Rereading helps build old favorites to return to over and over again. This is, I think, the standard reason given by fans of rereading. When you read a book many times, you build a relationship with it. Just about every spring, I pull out Pride and Prejudice, so I feel like that book helps get me in a springtime mood. Of course, I also return to my old favorites when I feel stressed and need some comfort, or just when I don’t know what I feel like reading next.
  2. Rereading lets you experience a book differently over time. I have several books that I’ve read 2 or 3 times, even though I don’t consider them old favorites, because I wanted to see if my opinion of them had changed. One that comes to mind is Sunshine by Robin McKinley (a 2005 Best Book for Young Adults), which I didn’t much like when I first read it in college (too squeamish about all things vampire), but have enjoyed rereading it in my late twenties, and now again in my early thirties. Author Rebecca Mead wrote an entire book about her different experiences of reading George Eliot’s Middlemarch at different times of her life.
  3. Rereading can contribute to a fun social experience of a book. I did notice in the Hub post above that even some people who don’t especially like to reread would do so when a movie was coming out, or to prepare for a book discussion. I find that rereading a book often gets me more excited to see an upcoming film or attend a book-related event (Harry and the Potters concert, anyone?).
  4. I’m never going to read all the books. Ok, so I know that nobody is going to read all the books. But I am a slow reader. I am never going to be the librarian who has read all the “next big thing” books before they are published. And while I try to read outside my comfort zone, I am always going to have to rely on reviews and other reader’s advisory tools to help me make recommendations. So in the end, I think that I might as well go ahead and reread that book one more time–who knows what I’ll rediscover?

-Libby Gorman, currently reading (for the first time) Laughing at My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw and currently rereading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

Jukebooks: Girls Like Us by Gail Giles

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 07:00

This week I started with a song, “That’s What Friends Are For, ” by Dionne Warwick and friends, and then chose a book. Going with the spirit of the line,

Keep smilin’, keep shinin’,
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure.
That’s what friends are for.

I selected Gail Giles’s book, Girls Like Us. The story is about two girls, Qunicy and Biddy, who have absolutely nothing in common except mental disabilities. After finishing high school, there is no where for them to go. So they end up as roommates. It’s not friendship at first sight by any means, but by the end they have established a hard-won trust in each other. This is the kind of friendship I connect with the song, a solid connection that holds people together through all of life’s circumstances.

“That’s What Friend Are For” was written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager in the early 80s. Rod Stewart sings it for the soundtrack of the movie Night ShiftHere’s Stewart’s version:


But the Dionne Warwick version is more famously known. In 1986, Warwick recorded it with Elton John, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder as part of a benefit for the American Foundation for AIDs Research. At the time, AIDS was a dreadful, mysterious disease; many musicians and celebrities died while waiting for AIDs research to begin. This is the version of the song most likely to be heard on an oldies station, I’ve omitted the video of that performance because it looks terribly lip-synced. Nevertheless, the voices sound fabulous together, so here’s the audio:

The clip below is from a live performance at the Soul Train Music Awards in 1987. The line-up here is Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston, Dionne Warwick and Stevie Wonder.

-Diane Colson, currently reading an advanced readers copy of Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver