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Archives - October 2015

October 31st is just around the corner! How does it compare to the scary stories you grew up reading, or being told around campfires? Teen Board member Rachel D. breaks it down, below.
October 23, 2015

Teen Read Week - Interview with Evangeline Denmark

Posted by Shara
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YA authors love Teen Read Week as much as YA fans! Were psyched that the talented team at BookSparks got a chance to sit down with Evangeline Denmark, author of CURIO, to talk about what inspires her to write for teens, how she is celebrating Teen Read Week and more. See her answers, below!  
No one can deny how important a book’s cover really is --- it’s your first impression of the story, it conveys a mood, a sense of mystery, a character. Either it draws you in or it doesn’t. That’s why Todd Strasser had such strong opinions about what the cover of his latest book, THE BEAST OF CRETACEA --- an epic space adventure based on MOBY DICK --- would look like.
October 20, 2015

Vampire Series - Top Three

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Halloween is just around the corner, so why not get into the spirit by picking up a few eerie reads? You can go with conventional horror, fast-paced thrillers, or, according to Teen Board member Alyssa L., the vampire niche. A huge fan of vampire series, Alyssa breaks down her favorite three, below. Be sure to check them out (but maybe with the lights on).
Secrets, secrets are no fun…or are they? In the below blog post, author Ann Angel talks about the power of secrets, and how they can both help and hurt you, depending on the situation. Also, in the spirit of her anthology THINGS I’LL NEVER SAY: Stories About Our Secret Selves, she asked some of her author friends to share their own secrets from their teenage years. They will move you, make you laugh and make you think…make sure to read them below, and to check out the full anthology!
The tale of Orpheus and Eurydice is one of time’s most famous love stories --- a pair comes together through the power of music, and ill-fated snake bite kills Eurydice on their wedding day, and Orpheus goes all the way to the underworld to bring her back. Considering David Almond’s newest book A SONG FOR ELLA GREY is based on this ancient Greek tale --- this time, following high school students in Northern England --- we had to ask, does he consider himself a romantic? See his answer below, and be sure to head to the next stop on the A SONG FOR ELLA GREY blog tour!  
When a stranger appeared at Meg Murry’s door on a dark and stormy night, her entire life changed. In turn, Madeleine L’Engle’s 1963 classic A WRINKLE IN TIME changed thousands of readers' of lives, as well. Praised for its fantastical plot, rife with tesseracts and the lovable Mrs. W's, its realistic characters and its delicate balance of whimsy and heart, A WRINKLE OF TIME is not free from criticism. It comes in at #90 on the American Library Association’s 2000-2009 list of Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books and has been cited for everything from offensive language to “Satanic undertones.” Below, YA author Leila Sales (THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE, TONIGHT THE STREETS ARE OURS) and Teen Board member Alison S. challenge the challengers, explaining why they love A WRINKLE IN TIME and would recommend it to readers everywhere.
While plenty of books are wholly original, no one can claim that literature is immune to trends. TWILIGHT set off an entire slew of vampire titles, and dystopians flooded the young adult market for years. In 2015, books featuring protagonists with mental health issues have dominated the YA scene. In this blog series, Teen Board member Alison S. takes a look at another trend that continues to stay strong in adult and YA literature alike --- fairy tale adaptations. See her first post, below, focusing on Gregory Maguire’s CONFESSIONS OF AN UGLY STEPSISTER!
Sure, teens talk in the hallways at school and at the back of the classroom, but there’s a lot more gabbing that happens after the bell rings, whether it’s on the phone, through text messages or online. Lauren Myracle decided to explore all of the conversations that happen when friends aren’t in the same place at the same time, and her 2004 novel, TTYL, is the first that’s written entirely in text message format. While the book has been called “revealing and innovative” and explores some real issues like friendship, dating and underage drinking, it has also appeared on the American Library Association’s Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books list time and again since it’s been published (in 2011, it came in at number one). Below YA author Linas Alsenas (BEYOND CLUELESS) and Teen Board member Alyssa L. talk about why they loved the book and give all of those book-banners a piece of their minds.
What makes the perfect protagonist? Is it someone who is such a good person that you wish they were your best friend? Nope. Is it someone who is so beautiful that you can daydream about them while turning every page? Wrong again! According to Jennifer Jenkins, author of NAMELESS --- a new young adult novel that follows a girl named Zo who infiltrates an enemy clan to help her people --- it’s about making characters feel human, or, in other words, flawed. See her reasoning below, and decide whether or not you agree!