So…who has been to see Oz the Great and Powerful? I haven’t yet, but I would like to thank it for prompting this blog post, which has taught me a name I didn’t know existed for one of my favorite types of books: Portal Fiction!
How often have I gushed about how I love stepping into another world, like Alice, Coraline, or Tiffany Aching?! I read the term “portal fiction” and experienced that awesome “there’s a WORD for that?” feeling.
…these books feature protagonists who are transported from our own familiar world to another realm, where they encounter exhilarating adventures and come face to face with conundrums that challenge their perceptions and abilities, uncover hidden aptitudes, and help them learn about themselves.
Got any other favorite titles about stepping into another world? Add them in the comments!
Posted on March 1st, 2013 by Mickie.
Can’t get enough of Sam and Dean Winchester and their other worldly adventures? Do you like your horror not so black, but with cream and sugar? Could you laugh at a funeral? Fans of the darkly humorous CW series Supernatural will love these quirky, somewhat funny horror stories. Click on to see the books in our catalog…
Does your school require you to read at a certain AR Level?
Are you tired of trying to track down books that are at your level and are interesting and WPL owns them AND they are available to check out?
It is so much work to find the perfect book, it can bring on a full panda rage.
Yeah, we feel your frustration…but get ready, friends, your life is about to change.
Introducing the brand new Accelerated Reader Search brought to you by your friends at the Westerville Public Library.
Then use our tags to find subjects and genres that you enjoy…
And then limit by availability to show what you can take home with you today.
We are pretty excited about this so give it a whirl and let us know what you think – BUT WAIT, THAT’S NOT ALL!
Act now and we’ll throw in the helpful smiling face of your local librarian who would love to show you how this nifty AR Search works, how to pick out great books that you’ll love and much, much more. This special offer will not expire!
Have you heard? Monday was the big day for award announcements in libraryland for youth, and here at WPL, we gathered around our online streams of the announcements like it was the Oscars — ’cause, well, in our world, it pretty much is! The big awards you probably know about are the Caldecott (most distinguished American picture book for children) and Newbery (most distinguished contribution to American literature for children). But did you know there are awards for teen books as well?
In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, fifteen-year-old Shorty, a poor gang member from the slums of Site Soleil, is trapped in the rubble of a ruined hospital, and as he grows weaker he has visions and memories of his life of violence, his lost twin sister, and of Toussaint L’Ouverture, who liberated Haiti from French rule in the 1804.
There’s also the Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, which went to The Fault in Our Stars, written by John Green, narrated by Kate Rudd, produced by Brilliance Audio:
And don’t forget the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. Believe me, when a nonfiction book gets an award, it’s GOOD. No dry textbook stuff here! Don’t miss this year’s winner, Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal- the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon:
In this suspenseful combination of science and history, Sheinkin masterfully exposes the international race to develop an atomic weapon and bring an end to World War II. This true-life spy thriller features an international cast of characters and will keep readers on the edge of their seats. -YALSA award site
Finally, I want to mention the The William C. Morris YA Debut Award, which honors a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens. Many of you already know this year’s winner, Rachel Hartman, and her book Seraphina:
In a world where dragons and humans coexist in an uneasy truce and dragons can assume human form, Seraphina, whose mother died giving birth to her, grapples with her own identity amid magical secrets and royal scandals, while she struggles to accept and develop her extraordinary musical talents.
These are just a few of the MANY awards that were announced this week. You can see a full list of the ALA Youth Media Awards (including honor books), and you can browse and reserve all the books from the library. Happy reading!
Posted on January 20th, 2013 by Becky.
If you’ve read a teen book in the past, oh, 20 years, you’ve proooobably read (or at least heard of) Caroline B. Cooney’s The Face on the Milk Carton. When Janie is a teenager, she sees one of those “Missing Children” pictures on a carton of milk — and recognizes it as herself (!!!). Several other books followed that one, as readers demanded to know more of Janie’s story: Whatever Happened to Janie?, The Voice on the Radio, and What Janie Found. Well, Caroline B. Cooney was planning to stop there, but a question from her editor, Beverly Horowitz, got her wheels turning again:
I said to Caroline, ‘Gee, whatever happened to Janie and Reeve? By now they’d be in college,’ ” Horowitz recalls. “She said, ‘I’m finished with that.’ And then a few weeks later she called me and said, ‘Oh my goodness, I’m not finished with them.’
And so, the final book in the series, Janie Face to Face, came to be. Read more about it here! (Some spoilers if you haven’t read the rest of the series!) Curious? Browse and reserve all the Janie books (they even have spiffy new covers!).
Airy, another avid reader at Beta Books, our read-’em-before-they-are-published teen book club, has submitted our latest review! Check out her thoughts below. Curious? Get the scoop here, sign out a book from the Teen Center, and mark your calendar for the next meeting!
Author: Laura Buzo
What did you think of the cover? I think that the cover is okay.
Did you think it matched the story? Okay.
What did you think of the book?
The book was very interesting, and my favorite part is when Amelia and Chris’s relationship intensifies.
How would you rate this book? 4 stars — Awesome. I loved it and would give it to a friend.
Jayla, another voracious reader at Beta Books, our read-’em-before-they-are-published teen book club, has submitted our latest review! Check out her thoughts below. Curious? Get the scoop here, sign out a book from the Teen Center, and mark your calendar for the next meeting!
Title: Out of the Easy
Author: Ruta Sepetys
What did you think of the cover? I loved the book cover design of the ARC and definitely wouldn’t change it. It’s artistic and I think the birdcage is a metaphor relating to Josie Moraine’s (the main character) life.
What did you think of the book?
I thought “Out of the Easy” was very distinctive from most YA novels. While reading, it was easy to get lost in the story. I really liked Josie – she was a tough heroine, but also had her flaws which made her seem more real than fictitious. And the setting for the story, New Orleans, was perfect. The only things I disliked were the mystery elements (which were too weak and made me lose a little interest in the story) and the supporting characters could have had much more depth to them.
I would definitely recommend this to a friend who enjoys historical fiction, but not to someone who is use to fast-paced novels.
How would you rate this book? 3 stars – Pretty good. I wanted to see how it ended.
Can’t wait to get your hands on the super anticipated Halo 4? I know many of you are pretty darn excited and have lots of questions about what is going to happen with Master Chief and the gang… Will Cortana go rampant? What will humanity and the UNSC *do* with all that Forerunner technology?
Sorry–I don’t have the answers, but I can suggest some books to read while you wait!
Posted on October 31st, 2012 by Mickie.
What are you dressing up as this year? Let me see your costume and I’ll predict your next good read…
Ah, the classically misunderstood female character! Persecuted throughout history for not meeting social norms, you have seriously Feminist leanings and are good at chemistry! You should read:
The hero/scoundrel scourge of the sea is a wonderful choice for those who like adventure and struggle with the complexities of grammar…you should read:
Oh, geesh…really? A sexy firefighter? A sexy Abe Lincoln!? What is WRONG with you? You should be spending more time with the witch and your parents should roll back your curfew. Here…read about how to be sexy and still wear a ton of clothes:
Poor vampires–they think they want to drink blood like the creatures of the night, but what is really going on? Iron deficiency! Make a sammy!
Wow…phone it in much? You can’t wear your regular clothes for Halloween–that is cheating! Get a real costume…like a MICHIGAN sweatshirt, then we will all know that you are in disguise. Read about someone who is a classic geek masquerading as a successful actor, writer, director and cool guy extraordinaire!
Oh a spooky ghos—what? you aren’t dressed as a ghost…you are a goth? Oh. uh…sorry *awkward silence* HERE–read this!
Aren’t you precious? You secretly suspect that you were adopted by peasants to hid your identity! Too bad you have to put up with pretending you are just an average Jo….read this:
Those of you who came to this month’s Beta Books meeting got to pick the brain of a special guest speaker: YA writer Jody Casella! Her book Thin Space will be out in September 2013, so she was the perfect person to talk to us about the real world of generating ideas, writing books, revising them (and revising again…and again…and again!), getting published, and — a topic that never gets old with us — what makes the best cover art?!
Jody wrote an awesome post about her visit on her blog — be sure to hop over and check it out. As she writes,
These kids were smart and talkative and interested, with their own stories to tell. We talked about unreliable narrators and books we liked and things that got stuck up our noses. Also, how to come up with titles and unlikely names for killers and what to do if the middle of your story starts getting boring. (Answer: make a character die.)
Aw, shucks! Thanks, Jody, for sharing your book and your wisdom with us (and playing along with our crazy nametags and icebreaker games!). Beta Books will be counting down to the release of Thin Space right along with you…and then, of course, we would love to have you back to gab about the final cover.
Posted on October 18th, 2012 by Becky.
So, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know alllll about The Hunger Games book series and movie. (And if not, oh no! It seems you have a giant rock on top of your life! Get out from under there and get some fresh air — quick!) We’ve blogged about books you’ll like if you liked the HG series, and we’ve tagged a bunch of readalikes in our library catalog, too.
But what I really want to mention today is the series that came before all the HG madness: The Giver series, by Lois Lowry. That’s right: long before Katniss strung her first arrow, Ms. Lowry penned a novel about a dystopian community in which authoritative control wasn’t doing the people all that much good. Sound like a familiar theme? The book was so amazing that it won the 1994 Newbery Medal, and the recent publication of Son joins Gathering Blue and Messenger to complete what is now called The Giver Quartet. Lois Lowry talks about it, and the inevitable Hunger Games comparisons, in this article in The New York Times Magazine.
So whether you read The Giver back in the day, or are just discovering it as you realize what a cool lens dystopias offer for speculating about our world and what it could become, it’s time to pick it up and see the apple again (read it and you’ll know what I mean).
Posted on October 17th, 2012 by Mickie.
Is life in this after-the-boy-who-lived time getting you down? Are you feeling less magical and more Muggle? Are your friends planning an intervention if you don’t stop inspecting the school bathroom sinks for “The Chamber of Secrets part II?” If any of these things describe you, you may be suffering from Post Potter Problems or PPP for short.
We feel your feel–it is sad knowing that the fun is over, but believe us–there are other GREAT magical reads waiting to be asked to dance. So stop shouting, “Accio Book 8!” to the heavens and check out these other great magical reads!
It’s a happy day when there’s a new book by Raina Telgemeier! Lots of readers at WPL loved her graphic novel Smile, about her own experience as a girl when she fell and knocked out her two front teeth, resulting in years of braces, headgear, and surgery.
She’s just released her latest book, Drama, in which main character Callie does the set design for her middle school play — and as much of the drama happens off-stage as on-stage! Check out the trailer below! Have you read it yet? Tell us what you thought in the comments!
Are you a math geek? I’m not, but I still appreciate a good equation now and then…and I love a good math doodle. Have you seen this cool doodle video by math-fun guru Vi Hart? Check it out – you’ll never look at your in-class doodles the same way again.
All excited about math now? Go read these! Ok, ok – these aren’t all “math” books, but hey sometimes math is the story and sometimes math just makes the story better!