If you aren’t already downloading ebooks and audiobooks from your local library, you should probably get on that… like yesterday! Once you have that established, though, there are additional sources of free downloadable ebooks and audiobooks you can look into. And, if you love YA, you will love SYNC — http://www.audiobooksync.com — a free summer audiobook program for teens 13+. I know I am technically not a teen anymore because the world prefers to see my age rather than my heart, but I think the “+” has me covered! 😉
This week’s selections are Egg & Spoon by Gregory Maguire and Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone. Though I already read Every Last Word, I totally loved it and may listen to it just to see how the experience compares. I have always intended to read Egg & Spoon but still haven’t gotten around to it, so I will surely listen to that one first. (And I am sure I will be reviewing it on this blog before the summer is over.)
It appears that, while I fully intended to post a quick little something last week, I merely *thought* about posting something. Long story short, I was in Lake Placid, NY, for the 125th Anniversary NYLA Annual Conference! Since I was presenting a continuing education workshop about VolunTeens and overseeing the rest of the YSS lineup, my brain got away from me. Sorry to anyone who has become so accustomed to my OCD and “mandatory” weekly posts. Though I am sure the people who follow me on Twitter figured out that something was up! ;-)
I am about to start writing a book review, but I don’t have long until my kids get off the bus and might end up distracted/waylaid until tomorrow morning. Rather than leaving y’all wondering what the heck happened, I figured I owed you a quick explanation. But, yeah… I need to get going on that book review so I can (hopefully) get it up in the next little bit.
I would like to start off this post by apologizing for the lack of a post last week. I seriously thought I had posted something, but multiple curriculum nights and weeknight soccer games apparently broke my brain. To make it up to you all, and in celebration of my fREADom to read, I am going to post several reviews this week. I typically like to post multiple reviews during Banned Books Week, anyhow, so I’m going to keep the tradition alive with some “edgy” books.
Much like The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (which was the most challenged book of 2014 and yet *another* book I managed not to review even though I loved it), I fear that some readers will complain that I am the Weapon contains drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, violence, depictions of bullying, and that it’s “unsuited for age group” — whatever THAT means! I honestly believe that we need to trust tweens and teens to make their own choice about what they’re comfortable reading, since their lives and their emotional needs vary greatly from person to person. If they aren’t ready to handle a topic that comes up in a book, they’re most likely to simply set it aside and move on. And if there’s something “too mature” in a book, it will often go over the reader’s head — unlike a movie that just spells it right out for ya! I also firmly believe that experiencing the repercussions of unsavory/risky behaviors vicariously through characters in a book is a much safer than testing things out in “the real world.” Wouldn’t you rather your children learned to have empathy for others by witnessing the repercussions of bullying in a book instead of blindly joining up with the bullies at their school because they didn’t really think it was such a big deal? I know I would.
Ben, aka the Unknown Assassin, is a finely-tuned, teenage hitman. He has been trained by “The Program” and reports to people he calls “Mom” and “Dad.” Ben is not his real name, of course. It’s just the name of his persona for this mission, and he will stop being Ben as soon as his mission is complete. This mission is different than the rest, though, because it has such a short timeline. Ben is used to taking time to find his mark, to get close enough to kill them, and then sticking around long enough afterward so as to not arouse suspicion. But this mission is supposed to be completed in no more than five days. Five days! With such a high-profile target, this mission seems nearly impossible. But, Ben is bound and determined to succeed. He’s never failed before, and he doesn’t intend to start now. Except… Something about this mission feels off. Not only that, but Ben also has feelings for the daughter of the mark. The fast pace, action, and adventure are sure to lure guys in, and the romantic undertones are well-balanced enough to enrapture love-crazed teenage readers without turning off the people who couldn’t care less. I definitely need to get my hands on the rest of this series!
Happy Banned Books Week!
How awesome is it that a librarian/book nerd like me was born on International Literacy Day?!? In order to help spread the word about the importance of literacy/problems associated with illiteracy, I thought it would be a good idea to share this infographic [below] from Grammarly‘s blog post about International Literacy Day:
There are a lot of organizations out there to help combat illiteracy. To find out more about how you can help or how some of those organizations work to help people in need of literacy assistance, please check out:
So, I feel kinda bad about not posting a book review this week, but I just don’t have it in me. I’ve been busier this week than I have been in a very long time. Because I’m home with my kids, soccer is in full swing, and I’m getting everything prepared for both back to school and our Labor Day camping trip, I feel like my head is going to start spinning soon. Rest assured, though, the kids will be starting school next week and I will begin to have some semblance of order in my life once again. Until then…
because I’m super excited to share some crazy news with y’all:
For more than a decade, Chrissie has been as a Youth Services [Tween & Teen] Librarian @ the East Greenbush Community Library (in East Greenbush, NY). She is about to “retire” from full-time librarianship to become a mostly-stay-at-home-mom but will never stop reading YA fiction and encouraging other people to read. She is also addicted to video games [especially the Legend of Zelda series], baking, and crafting — hence her addiction to Pinterest. Chrissie still doesn’t know what she wants to do when she grows up… but she’s pretty certain she will never stop loving YA books!
Cath was not just a Simon Snow fan. She was an über Simon Snow fan who actually had followers of her own. How? Cath wrote fan fiction. More specifically, she wrote Simon/Baz fan fiction. And her story, Carry On, got tens of thousands of hits every time she posted a new chapter. While I wasn’t at all surprised to learn that Cath entered college with the intention to be a fiction writer, I was interested in how she struggled with creating stories all her own even though the fan fiction flowed so easily for her. And even more than that, I was impressed by how wholly I found myself being absorbed into Cath’s everyday life and her struggle to adjust to the new realities of her life as a college freshman.