“They say there is strangeness too dangerous in our theaters and bookstore shelves…Those who know what’s best for us must rise and save us from ourselves…” – from “Witch Hunt” by Rush

Yes folks, it’s September, and that means two things are certain:’  students are back in school, and potential censors and book challengers are coming out of the woodwork.’  Recent challenges to Sherman Alexie’s “Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” and Laurie Halse Anderson’s “Speak”‘  were just the first to greet the new school year.’  Interestingly enough, this last week of September is Banned Books Week, and therefore the perfect time think about the potential for censorship, and whether you’re ready for that challenge if it comes your way. Read More →

Well, hello there!’  I know it’s been a long time since my last ATB post (and I know I promised an anti-Twilight edition; it’s still in the works…).’  But I’m back, and this one’s more fun than a barrel of… well, you know.

Now, I don’t claim to know a lot, but there are a few things I do know:

  1. Zombies are cool
  2. Airships are cool
  3. Steampunk is cooler than cool
  4. Seattle is cool (or so I’ve heard…never been there, actually)

So imagine how beyond cool beans with extra hot sauce a book would be if it threw all of these things together, and even had a cool teen protagonist (with an even cooler mom!)!

Enter Cherie Priest, and our latest ATB: The zombie and steampunk-filled tour-de-force, Boneshaker.

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“I tried to join a ping-pong club, sign on the door said all full up!’  I got nicked, fighting in the road an’ the judge didn’t even know…what’s my name…?!” – The Clash

Back in July, there was a rather sprited discussion on YAAC about the idea of reordering some of our most hallowed boxes of stickers.’  Much of the converstaion, it seemed, centered on the idea of service being provided to the 18 – 30-ish age bracket; whether or not we have a responsibility to help transition people to adult services, and how to collaborate in that area with the adult services department.’  I do agree there is a definite need for such collaboration, as little seems to be exist in libraries these days for this crowd.’ ‘ My esteemed colleague Alissa blogged about this very point just a few days past (most eloquently, I might add!).’  But the discussions began on a point of’ ‘ such seeming importance, one I feel like we get overly wrapped up in at times: what’s their label!?

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The many teen novels we have in our collections are often about characters coming of age; reaching that point in life when they must face their insecurities, learn who they are, and take on the responsibilities of adulthood.’  This can happen in many ways, and for many different reasons.

Like, for instance, if the enemy butchers everyone around you and you pretty much don’t have a choice.

Such is the path of Orisian Lannis-Haig, one of the many vibrant characters populating our latest ATB:’  Brian Ruckley’s most excellent fantasy trilogy, The Godless World, which recently concluded with The Fall of Thanes (preceded by Winterbirth and Bloodheir).

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“…between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the sons of Aryas, there was an age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars…”

…and hither to this came…The Accidental Teen Book!

So our latest installment of ATB is not any particular book, but rather two legendary authors, and not even all that accidental, considering that we’re heading back to long before anyone ever thought about writing books just for teens.’  And yet these two gentlemen, and their work, are always great to keep in mind for when that particular teen comes along.’  They are, after all, the progenitors of both modern horror fiction, and the heroic sword-and-sorcery tale.’  I speak, of course, of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard. Read More →

I know what you’re thinking.

Ok.’  Scratch that.’  That would be creepy.’  Let’s just say I know what you’ve thought.’  “Where oh where can I find a book with with the theological implications of His Dark Materials, the glorious steampunk of Airborn, and a great coming-of-age quest so as to appease this poor, demanding, fantasy-prone teen reader!?”

Lucky you – I’ve got the answer, and it’s our next ATB: Jay Lake’s wondrous bit of steampunk philosophy, Mainspring.

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Every year the Alex Awards committee does a bang-up job selecting 10 outstanding books published for adults with appeal for teens.’  But y’know – there’s a heck of a lot more than 10!’  Every so often in my non-YA reading (and for the record, i read a lot of SF, fantasy, horror and comix…) i pause and think “hmm…I wonder if this author realized they were writing an excellent teen book?!”‘  Admit it – you do the same thing.’  I call ’em “Accidental Teen Books (ATB)”‘ ‘  Well, why not share these gems?’  Let’s get to it:

My first ATB comes to us from Scotland bearing claws, pop-tarts and fab ensembles; it’s Martin Millar’s’ grungy comic romp through the lycan underground entitled “Lonely Werewolf Girl.Read More →