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.
So, it appears that people who follow my blog via RSS feed readers got quite the surprise earlier today. I heard from a reader that my work of editing old posts [to consolidate the categories “award winners” and “book awards”] put a whole bunch of posts back through her feed reader even though some of the original posts were years old… Sorry about that! In the future, I will do my best to avoid updating old posts unless absolutely necessary so that y’all don’t have to deal with that again.
And that means a few things:
- The Teens’ Top Ten list has been announced.
- I will be posting a book review a day, today through Saturday.
- Our library will be hosting it’s 5th Annual TRW Lock-In — with a Hunger Games theme!
Happy Teen Read Week!
“Torch every book.
Burn every page.
Char every word to ash.
Ideas are incombustible.
And therein lies your real fear.” — Ellen Hopkins
I like to celebrate Banned Books Week every year to help raise awareness and remind people that censorship is still a problem, even in our “free” country. The saddest thing, in my opinion, is that some would-be censors don’t even realize that their actions constitute censorship — which is why it is so important to remind people about the basic principles of intellectual freedom and how important that freedom is.
“The number of attempts to remove books from schools and libraries is growing. This is not a thing of the past, sadly. It is a thing of today. What do you say to people who believe that one parent can dictate curriculum? How can we talk to people who view books that reflect the realities of society as dangerous objects that need to hidden away?” — Laurie Halse Anderson
The most important thing to remember is that censorship is not an appropriate response to the fear that our children will have negative experiences or be exposed to dark or scary things. Instead of trying to ban books you wouldn’t want your children to read, just take a more active role in helping your own children to select appropriate reading materials.
“The wish for kinder, gentler literature for adolescents is really a wish for a kinder, gentler adolescent experience. But that just doesn’t exist anymore.” — Patricia McCormick
To celebrate Banned Books Week, I will post a review a day [for the next four days] of books that have been or likely will be challenged.
Happy Banned Books Week!
TJ has really low self-esteem and tends to shy away from boys, but she decides to take a chance on the super-cute new guy, James. When he announces [in class] that he is gay, TJ tries to come to terms with the fact that her romantic feelings will not be reciprocated and pursues a platonic friendship instead. A few of the football players do not feel quite so ready to accept James for who he is, though, and proceed to bully him. James soon becomes known as Pan (short for Pansy) when he embraces the name-calling instead of letting the bullies win. That alone is enough to make me love this book. Although not everything is happily resolved, there is enough positive attitude thrown in that it’s like a novel written for the “It Gets Better” project — except for the fact that it was published about 18 months before “It Gets Better” came to be. But, anyway…
I also liked the realistic portrayal of how awkward high school dating can be. Teenagers sometimes have a hard time being confident in who they are as an individual, let alone trying to figure out who they are as a part of a couple. And teens often find that existing friendships are strained by a budding romance, so it’s certainly no surprise that TJ’s relationship with Caspar (a football player) strains her friendship with Pan. Though Caspar is very different than the stereotypical “jocks,” the mere competition for TJ’s time and affection is enough to start a rivalry between him and Pan.
I can’t say any more about the plot without spoiling the story, but I HAVE to mention that Peter Marino will be at the Teen Read Week Lock-In at the East Greenbush Library on October 15th! If you are a teen (currently in 6th-12th grade) and you live in or around East Greenbush, you should definitely sign up.
Sorry if it seems like I have fallen off the face of the planet… I am busy training VolunTeens and getting geared up for the Summer Reading Club (SRC)! If you would like to be a VolunTeen, you should check out the information on our website. You can also go on our website to find out all about the Teen SRC.
In the meantime, here’s a video of me singing the karaoke raffle song at the Teen SRC Mini-Lock In on Friday night:
If you’re anything like me, you LOVED the Susan Beth Pfeffer Moon Crash trilogy (Life As We Knew It, the dead & the gone, and this world we live in). Well, it seems that she not only has a new book coming out this fall — and you can read the first two chapters of Blood Wounds online! — but that she is in negotiations with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt about a FOURTH Moon Crash book, The Shade of the Moon! Read all about it on her blog: http://susanbethpfeffer.blogspot.com/2011/06/501-is-good-number-for-announcement.html