Archive for the ‘Great Summer YA Reads’ Category

Graceling by Kristen Cashore – Review – My Journal May 4th, 2010

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010
The fourth in the Great Summer YA Reads from Bibliobabe is Graceling by Kristin Cashore.
With all of the thousands of reading suggestions in Read, Remember, Recommend for Teens, there are sure to be tons of books every teen will want to read this summer. Bibliobabe will highlight some great choices over the next few weeks – books that are sure to appeal to everyone, most in a series for continued reading enjoyment.
Keep checking back for more Bibliobabe young adult picks worthy of some sunny weather, summer reading.
Journal entry for: 5/04/2010
Read: Started 4/22/2010. Finished 4/27/2010.
Remember and Recommend:
If you are looking for an adventure with a fascinating leading lady and enough pages to last through a family trip in the car, a long plane ride, or some fun days at the beach, Graceling by Kristin Cashore is an outstanding pick.

To be ‘Graced’ means to have special powers. These are not Super Hero powers per se, more extra-human powers. A Graceling might be able to see as well as an owl at night, sense storms, swim like a fish, or in the case of Katsa, the amazing heroine of the story, fight an entire army and not get hurt. She has incredible endurance, doesn’t need to sleep, eat or rest like a normal human and is insensitive to pain. Her compassion for others contradicts her Grace and guides the appreciation of her truly human nature, even if she accepts her King’s bidding to kill on demand.

A Graceling is known not only by their extra abilities, but by their eyes; they are two different colors. Katsa has one green and one blue. These eyes are disconcerting to most she comes into contact with, alerting them to her abilities and bringing forth a prejudice that leaves Katsa with few friends.

Katsas’ future is reshaped when a prince of another country comes to the Muddlin court (Katas’ home). Po, the seventh prince of Leneid is also Graced with fighting abilities similar to Katsa. His gold and silver eyes mesmerize and befuddle Katsa to the point that she is comfortable with Po only when trying to beat him in the arena. What follows is a slowly developing, realistic romance between friends – albeit friends that attack and fight each other with enough force to leave an army dead. Po is also deeply compassionate and his influence on Katsa serves as a sculpting tool, softening her more deadly and angry edges, while allowing her skeptical heart time to learn about love.

Graceling is the 2009 winner of the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature and the 2009 winner of the SIBA Book Award in the YA category.

If you dive into Graceling and are left with a craving for more adventure, the tale continues with the 2009 Cybil Award winning novel Fire.

Graceling is mentioned on the following lists in the Read, Remember, Recommend for Teens reading journal:

* YALSA Teen Top Teen Award, page 33
* Amelia Bloomer Project, page 66
* Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, page 83
* Love Stories for 13-15 Year-Olds, page 91

Post to Twitter

The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay – Great Summer YA Reads Series

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010
The third pick in the Great Summer YA Reads from Bibliobabe is The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.
With all of the thousands of reading suggestions in Read, Remember, Recommend for Teens, there are sure to be tons of books every teen will want to read this summer. Bibliobabe will highlight some great choices over the next few weeks – books that are sure to appeal to everyone, most in a series for continued reading enjoyment.
Keep checking back for more Bibliobabe young adult picks worthy of some sunny weather, summer reading.
Are you sick of Team Jacob and Team Edward yet? Looking for some new cute guys to root for? If you haven’t met Gale and Peeta from Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games series yet, get ready to pick sides.

Katniss, the kick-butt heroine of the The Hunger Games trilogy, is one of the most likable characters in young adult literature since Scout (To Kill a Mockingbird). She is tough, pretty and a survivor. She takes care of her Mom and little sister, providing food that otherwise would be absent. Her best friend is a dark-headed boy named Gale. Gale and Katniss scour the woods near their home hunting to find meat and any editable plants available. When their “district” holds its annual lottery for the Hunger Games, Katniss finds herself leaving behind Gale and her family to join fair-haired boy named Peeta for a life altering and threatening game.

This dystopian novel will stick with you long after your 1984 and Lord of the Flies assignments have been filed away. What is a ‘dystopian novel’?

According to Wikipedia, a dystopian novel is: “A vision of an often futuristic society, which has developed into a negative version of Utopia. A dystopia is often characterized by an authoritarian or totalitarian form of government. It often features different kinds of repressive social control systems, a lack or total absence of individual freedoms and expressions and a state of constant warfare or violence.”

Now, don’t let this definition scare you. In simpler terms, it basically means a futuristic novel where the government rules differently from our current system. How different then our government? In Hunger Games, the government forces its “districts” to give up their citizens for a televised “Survivor-like” game which can only end in death. The government in Hunger Games certainly fits this definition!

When you finish The Hunger Games, Collins has ensured your summer reading excitement with Catching Fire, the second in the series. The third and final book, Mockingjay, will be released August 24th.

The Hunger Games is mentioned on the following lists in the Read, Remember, Recommend for Teens reading journal:
YALSA Teen Top Ten Award, page 33
Cybils – Children’s and Young Adult Blogger’s Literacy Award, page39
YALSA’s Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers, page 57
Amelia Bloomer Project, page 66
Golden Duck – Clement Award, page 84
Connected Youth Science Fiction List, page 88
Do you have some recommendation for “Great Summer YA Reads”? Leave a comment and let me know.

Post to Twitter

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater – Review – My Journal April 23rd, 2010

Friday, April 23rd, 2010
The second in the Great Summer YA Reads from Bibliobabe is Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater.
With all of the thousands of reading suggestions in Read, Remember, Recommend for Teens, there are sure to be tons of books every teen will want to read this summer. Bibliobabe will highlight some great choices over the next few weeks – books that are sure to appeal to everyone, most in a series for continued reading enjoyment.
Keep checking back for more Bibliobabe young adult picks worthy of some sunny weather, summer reading.
Journal entry for: 4/23/2010
Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater
Read: Started on 4/10/10, finished on 4/16/10
Remember and Recommend:
Have you been missing tales of furry, cuddly wolves – who might also make great boyfriends? If so, Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver series is the ticket to some exciting summer reading, without the worries of a pesky vampire to spoil the fun.

Grace is a cute, smart, slightly introverted seventeen year old girl in chilly Minnesota. She is completely normal, except for her obsession with the wolves that live in the Boundary Woods behind her house. When she was six, she was pulled from a tire swing by these same wolves and bitten. A horrible death was barely avoided by an aggressive male wolf – with beautiful eyes. Since that time, Grace watches for ‘her’ wolf, taking pictures, leaving scrapes of food, and watching for any news concerning the welfare of the pack.

When another teen turns up missing (and ultimately dead), Grace’s hometown reacts by hunting the wolves. When a wolf is shot, Grace’s questions about her wolf are answered. In that moment, Grace not only gets a new cute boyfriend, but that boyfriend is the human form of ‘her’ wolf. What happens next is an exciting romance, filled with suspense, longing and fear.
Accolades for Shiver:
• Indies Choice Book Award Finalist
• ALA Best Books for Young Adults
• ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers
• Amazon Top Ten Books for Teens
Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2009
• Border’s Original Voices Pick & Finalist
• Barnes & Noble 2009 Top Twenty Books for Teens
• CBC Children’s Choice Awards Finalist
• SIBA 2010 Book Award Finalist
• Junior Library Guild Selection (Shiver and Linger)
• Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Nominee
Glamour‘s Best Book to Curl Up With

Sound like the ‘stuff’ of a good summer read? Good news! Shiver continues with the July 20th release of Linger, the next in the story of Grace and Sam (and new wolf named Cole) – a werewolf love affair to remember.
Comments:
While reading Shiver, I couldn’t help but wonder that if the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer hadn’t been written, the Shiver and Linger series probably wouldn’t have been. The similarities between the two series were many – including the obvious werewolf theme, but also the impossible romance between one who ‘shifts’ and one who doesn’t, the romance itself taking place largely in the girl’s room without the knowledge of parents, the smart and beautiful heroine who is introverted and last but not least, the negligence of the heroine’s parents – requiring the girls to cook every meal. I did enjoy reading Shiver, and am curious enough to read Linger, but the originality still goes to Twilight.
Have you read Shiver? What did you think?

Post to Twitter

Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen – Review – My Journal April 20th, 2010

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010
The first in the Great Summer YA Reads from Bibliobabe is Hatchet by Gary Paulsen.
With all of the thousands of reading suggestions in Read, Remember, Recommend for Teens, there are sure to be tons of books every teen will want to read this summer. Bibliobabe will highlight some great choices over the next few weeks – books that are sure to appeal to everyone, most in a series for continued reading enjoyment.
Keep checking back for more Bibliobabe young adult picks worthy of some sunny weather, summer reading.
Journal entry for: 4/20/2010
Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen
Read: Started on 4/6/10, finished on 4/7/10
Remember and Recommend:
My first “Great Summer Reads” recommendation is Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen. Now, before you make even a single, itty-bitsy, tiny groan, let me say that I read Hatchet in two sittings and thought of it continually in between. It was awesome! I have mentioned it to everyone I have met since and was so happy to find that my sister (who is a teacher) has read this to her classes thirteen times over her years of teaching.

I don’t want to give too much away about this fun little treasure, but I will give just enough of a ‘teaser’ to entice you into reading it. Brian, a thirteen child of a recent divorce, is flying over the Canadian wilderness in a bush plane. There are no other passengers – only Brian and the pilot. Skipping ahead, Brian is alone in the seemingly endless wilderness with nothing – nothing but his thoughts and a hatchet his mom gave to him before he got on the plane. What ensues is one of the best survival stories ever written – for kids, teens or adults.

As an added bonus, Brian’s story continues in four more books. The series will help you survive the summer vacation doldrums by surviving in the Canadian wilderness with Brian. The four other books in the series are: The River, Brian’s Winter, Brian’s Return and Brian’s Hunt.
Hatchet is mentioned on the following lists in the Read, Remember, Recommend for Teens reading journal:
Action and adventure, page 55
Iowa Teen Book Award, page 154
Minnesota Book Award, page 160
Maud Hart Lovelace Award, page 161
Sequoyah Award – Oklahoma, page 172
Virginia Reader’s Choice Award, page 182
Soaring Eagle Book Award – Wyoming, page186
Have you read Hatchet? What did you think? Leave a comment!

Post to Twitter