According to the Mayan Calendar, this Friday (December 21, 2012) is supposed to be the end of the world as we know it. Whether you believe this or not, this is the perfect time of year to check out a book from the Dystopian Genre!
A Dystopia is a story set in a world very much like ours--or sometimes in our world in the distant (or maybe not so distant) future--but with some very significant differences due to a cataclysmic event, social upheaval, or something else that causes drastic changes.
The most well-known in this genre is The Hunger Games, but here are a few more really great Dystopian reads:
In Article Five, the Bill of Rights has been replaced by the Moral Statutes. A young rule-breaker journeys across a dangerous landscape to rescue her mother.
In Wither, the human lifespan has been dramatically reduced because of too much genetic experimentation. This is one teen's story.
In Life As We Knew It, a rogue meteror knocks the moon closer to Earth and causes widespread disaster. A teen keeps a journal about her survival experience.
The Giver. In this classic, a young boy is chosen as his society's next memory keeper--and learns the terrible truth about his world.
Welcome to Elsewhere, a world much like ours--except that everyone ages backward from death to birth. When Liz, 15, arrives here, how will she cope?
Need more? Check out our Dystopian-themed Reader's Advisory bookmark. Or ask the Teen Librarian for recommendations. --AJB
Need a last minute gift? Stop by the Teen Area this Thursday (Dec. 20) between 4-7 p.m. and make a Hot Cocoa Cone. This traditional (and tasty!) holiday craft makes the perfect stocking stuffer for that hard-to-shop-for person. But if you want to keep it for yourself, that's OK too.
Please Remember: Supplies are limited, so as a courtesy to others who want to try the craft, we ask that you make only one cone per person. Thank you!
When a group of boys learn that a mythical pirate treasure was supposedly hidden near their seaside town, they set off to find it. With the riches, they plan to save their homes, which have been marked for demolition by a greedy land developer. Along the way they elude deadly booby traps, have a run-in with a band of wanted criminals, and test the bonds of their friendships. Will they find the treasure they seek? Watch and find out! One thing's for certain, The Goonies is an exciting adventure that will thrill new audiences and bring a happy sense of nostalgia to those who have seen it before. --AJB
What do YOU want to see in the Teen Area? Is there a certain book, movie, CD, or program you want to suggest to staff? Attend the Teen Advisory Board this Saturday (Dec. 15 @ noon) and let us know what you think is important! Because we can't know unless you tell us.
The Teen Advisory Board meets once every other month on Saturday. If you're not able to make it to this session, don't worry. The group will meet again Saturday February 23, 2013.
Attention High Schoolers and NHS Members: You can earn community service hours through regular participation in the Teen Advisory Board.
Incredibly compelling is the best way to describe the memoir Ghosts of War. Ryan Smithson felt the need to do something meaningful after the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11. Opting for the military rather than college, Smithson joined the Army Reserves at the age of 17. Two years later he was sent to Iraq as an Army engineer. This novel recounts his experiences while there and after he returned home. His story is not the one you see on the news. This book describes what really happens during daily life as a soldier in a war zone - the danger and boredom, as well as the small moments of humanity. Ghosts of War will make you think about the sacrifices American soldiers make every day to guarantee our freedom. KR
Ryoko is just your average high schooler--IF you can overlook the fact that he's a Manga character (yes, really) trying to adapt to and live in our world.
When a mysterious rift appears between Ryoko's world and ours, Ryoko is sucked through--along with some nasty monsters. He quickly falls head-over-heels with Marissa Montaigne, a pretty classmate with a jealous ex problem. As the two become friends, then more than friends, they begin to learn about each other's worlds. This is depicted with the switching back and fourth from, and sometimes blending of, Manga and western styles of artwork. Despite their differences, and the disapproval of friends and family, these two manage to make things work. The ending, although predictable, is nothing if not satisfying.
Although I typically don't read novel-length comic books, preferring instead stories with an exponentially larger print-over-graphics ratio (all the better to use my imagination with, my dears), I happily dug into Mangaman when it was handed to me by a coworker. I was pleasantly, and appreciatively, surprised. There's drama, there's romance, there's some serious weirdness, there's well-done artwork... But there's also a decidedly strange and unique plot (where the afore-mentioned serious weirdness comes in) that's like something straight out of a made for the Sci-Fi Channel movie. Totally awesome!
The overall: Not sure how well-received this one will be with patrons. The shameless mixing of the two genres/styles could alienate both Otaku and fans of western-style comics. Or it could fascinate them both so much we can't even keep the book on the shelf. As a fangirl of neither, but an appreciator of both, I say this: Like Marissa daring to befriend Ryoko, give Mangaman a chance. You might discover something incredibly cool. I know did! --AJB
Stop by the Teen Area and pick up some of our themed reader's advisory booklists--all fully-annotated and in convenient bookmark format! Did you like the Hunger Games? We've got a booklist featuring read-alikes you might enjoy. Want a re-told fairy tale? A sports story? A funny story? A romance? A novel narrated by an animal? We've got all that and more! Not sure what sort of book you want? Our booklists can help you narrow it down. Pick up one--or ten--today!
Carson Phillips needs to beef up his school resume in order to get into Northwestern, the college of his choice, so he can someday live his dream of getting out of his small town and becoming the youngest ever editor of The New Yorker. The plan: Show up those administrative monkeys by cranking out an amazing, jam-packed issue of the school literary journal. Completely jaded and openly sarcastic about everything within the confines of his small town--including the zombified sheep who populate his high school halls--Carson isn't exactly Mr. Popularity. So getting the requisite contrabutions from other students is harder than scaling Everest with nothing but a toothpick and roll of dentil floss. Unless, of course, Carson has blackmail ammo. And perhaps he does.
For Christopher Boone, a 15-year-old with severe autism, life is strictly routine. And that's just how he likes it. Then something awful happens to shake things up: A neighbor's dog is viciously murdered, and Christopher is falsely accused of the crime. Christopher then makes it his mission to get to the bottom of the case and find the real killer. Like his hero Sherlock Holmes, Christopher sees things others miss, and this makes him the perfect one to crack the case. But can he handle what he discovers when he finally does?
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon may not be for everyone, but it is a fantastic read for anyone looking for something a bit different from the average whodunit. And this book, written from Christopher's unique perspective, is definitely that! So if you're looking for a book that is both absorbing and challenging, check this one out. The way you see the world will never be the same. --AJB
Just a reminder to all We Cause Scenes members: The group will not be meeting this month due to schedule conflicts with many of the members. The program will resume again in January, as scheduled, 1-3 p.m. the second Saturday of each month.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all Scenes members!