Archive for January 26, 2009

American Library Association’s 2009 Awards

On January 26, the American Library Association announced the top books for children and young adults – including the Caldecott, King, Newbery, Schneider Family and Printz awards.
The following is a list of all ALA Teen Awards for 2009:
John Newbery Medal (for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature):
The Graveyard Book written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Dave McKean, is the 2008 Newbery Medal winner.
The Newbery Honor Books named were the books: The Underneath by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by David Small
The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle
Savvy by Ingrid Law
After Tupac & D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson.
Michael L. Printz Award (for excellence in literature written for young adults):
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta is the 2008 Printz Award winner.
Four Printz Honor Books were named:
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume II, The Kingdom on the Waves by M. T. Anderson
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
Nation by Terry Pratchett
Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
Coretta Scott King Book Award (recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults):
We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson, is the King Author Book winner.
Two King Honor Books were selected:
The Blacker the Berry by Joyce Carol Thomas, illustrated by Floyd Cooper
Keeping the Night Watch by Hope Anita Smith, illustrated by E.B. Lewis
Schneider Family Book Award (for books that embody the artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences):
Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor is the winner in the middle school category
Jerk, California by Jonathan Friesen is the winner in the teen category.
Pura Belpre Award (honoring Latino authors and illustrators whose work best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in children’s books):
The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle, is the winner of the 2009 Belpre Author Award.
Alex Awards (for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences):
City of Thieves by David Benioff
The Dragons of Babel by Michael Swanwick
Finding Nouf by Zoë Ferraris
The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti
Just After Sunset: Stories by Stephen King
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
Over and Underby Todd Tucker
The Oxford Project by Stephen G. Bloom, photographed by Peter Feldstein
Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow
Three Girls and Their Brother by Theresa Rebeck
Looks like some of my predictions came true! I am very excited that The Graveyard Book, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, and Nation got their dues.
An annotated booklist will be available in TeenSpace shortly.
Sharon Long
Teen Services Librarian

Best fiction books of 2008

This year’s crop of award winners will be announced on Monday, January 26. In anticipation of the awards, I put together a brief list of my favorite books from this past year. Some of them have been featured on the blog before, and all of them are highly recommended.
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
Seventeen-year-old Jenna Fox is just a name when she wakes up from a coma after a terrible accident. She remembers nothing at first, and when her memories do slowly trickle back, she finds much has changed. Jenna begins questioning her identity and starts distrusting her family as larger issues of medical ethics and humanity come to light. This book was a mix of science fiction and medical thriller with many surprise twists that kept me hanging onto every word until the end.
Becoming Billie Holiday by Carole Boston Weatherford
Best classified as a”fictional verse memoir,” it tells the story of little Eleanora with a big voice. Taking us through the painful details, it is a lyrical journey of how a rough childhood created one of the greatest jazz vocalists from the era of the Harlem Renaissance and beyond.
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
There are a few books on this list that feature strong female characters and a theme of “grrl power.” This is the first of that group. Frankie is a clever, cute, highly intelligent and inquisitive sophomore at Alabaster Preparatory Academy – an “old boys club” if there ever was one. She desperately wants to be involved in her boyfriend’s all-male secret society, the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds. Denied entry into their world, she schemes up ways to prove to herself that she’s capable of more than just being her father’s “bunny rabbit”. Needless to say, hilarity ensues as the hijinks commence.
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
The second book about a strong female character on this list, Graceling is a fantasy for non-fantasy lovers. That’s me – I’ll admit that it’s not my favorite genre. However, I was completely drawn into the world of the Seven Kingdoms and the warrior-girl Graceling Katsa, whose her particular Grace is her unrivaled ability to fight and kill. The story introduces memorable characters, and exciting plot twists that take you on a wild adventure as you watch Katsa transform from a wild girl into a powerful woman in control of her own destiny.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
This charming book has already been reviewed on this blog, but everyone I know who had read it has been moved in some way by this latest offering from Neil Gaiman.
House of Dance by Beth Kephart
Rosie is slowly losing her grandfather to cancer and learns that you cannot buy a dying man a single meaningful thing. You can only give him back the life he loved and awaken the memories. Over the summer, Rosie finds several ways to help him keep his memories alive. She helps him organize his possessions worth keeping In Trust and discovers the House of Dance, where she takes ballroom dance lessons. As his condition worsens, she works very hard to bring back a part of his life that he loved dearly though her dancing. A moving and sentimental tale.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Now THIS is a riveting read. A future dystopian world has destroyed the United States and left behind the North American state of Panem and its 12 impoverished districts. Katniss from the poorest part of District 12, finds herself in the unfortunate position of being a contestant in the annual horror show/reality TV nightmare known as the Hunger Games. 24 contestants (2 from each district; one boy, one girl) must fight to the death on live television as the nation watches them , places bets on their lives and treat them as gladiators fighting in a Roman arena. The non-stop action and clever social commentary (are we so really consumed by vanity that we’d hire stylists to decorate the fighters prior to a death match?) kept me turning page after page. I predict this one will be winning some awards.
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
After a terrorist plot bombs San Francisco, Marcus, a.k.a “w1n5t0n,” is detained and questioned by the Department of Homeland Security. Feeling dejected and abused by the system (and being a whiz kid possessing more computer savvy than just about anyone), Marcus begins to lead the ultimate techno-geek rebellion. It’s a very interesting premise which asks questions of ethics and national rights that have been echoed in our headlines ever since the controversial Patriot Act was passed.
Nation by Terry Prachett
Mau is the only one left on his island after the tsunami wipes the Nation away. He has to cope with his grief and learn how to survive without anyone left to show him how. He finds another survivor in Daphne, a British “royal in waiting” who has survived a shipwreck and finds herself on the island. Together they discover a few more survivors and have to piece together a new world and answer questions of creating a common religion, culture and nationalism where nothing exists. Along all these heavy concepts, Sir Terry Prachett brings the funny in his inimitable way.
Paper Towns by John Green
Nobody writes a better road trip than John Green. His dialogue is spot-on to the degree that if I haven’t said something similar to my friends at some point in time, well, I’ve wanted to, but couldn’t find the right words. In his latest offering, we meet the wild and unpredictable Margo Roth Spiegelman and her childhood friend Quentin. After a bad break-up, Margo enlists Quentin for some late-night pranks. Even though she hasn’t spoken to him in years, Quentin is willing and eager to find a way into her world. After she disappears shortly thereafter, Quentin tries to unravel the mysteries of Margo that culminate in a road trip on graduation day from Orlando to NY.
These were some of my favorites, and I hope that you give them a try as we wait to see if any awards pile up!
Sharon Long
Teen Librarian

Vote for your favorite Cheezy ‘80s movie!

Come to TeenSpace to vote for your favorite movie from the 1980s! The winning movie will be shown on Wednesday, February 18 from 2:00-4:00 in the theatre. ‘80s attire is encouraged on the day of the movie!
Vote for one of the following movies:
The Goonies
THE GOONIES are a group of seven young friends from a small Northwest town who find themselves on a thrilling underground adventure filled with humor and heart-pounding peril as they seek the secrets behind the treasure of the notorious pirate, One-Eyed Willie.
E. T. The Extra-Terrestrial
A being from outer space is accidentally stranded on Earth. In his search for refuge, E.T. wanders into a backyard where he is discovered by ten-year-old Elliott. Elliott assumes responsibility for E.T.’s safety while searching, in a race against time, for a way to reunite E.T. with his own kind in this heartwarming story of friendship and discovery.
Sixteen Candles
Samantha’s (Molly Ringwald) sixteenth birthday should be the most wonderful day of her life, but it’s all but forgotten because of her spoiled older sister’s wedding. To top it off, Samantha has fallen for the hottest guy at school, but, of course, he’s dating the most popular girl in this hilarious gen-x romantic comedy.
Pretty in Pink
Andie (Molly Ringwald), a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, falls in love with “richie” Blane (Andrew McCarthy). When Blane asks Andie to prom, Andie’s best friend Duckie (who is secretly in love with her) is devastated in this teen romance that was one of the most popular “Brat Pack” movies of the ‘80s.
The Karate Kid
Ralph Macchio stars in this warm and wonderful film as the perennial 98-pound weakling who turns the tables on his tormentors. A finely choreographed karate film, THE KARATE KID also shows that humor, courage, pride, and beliefs are what really matter in disagreements.
When a city boy (Kevin Bacon) moves to a small Midwestern town, he discovers some disappointing news: rock music and dancing are forbidden by the local government. Determined to bring some ‘80s-style life into the town, he sets about changing the rules and eventually enlists the help of the daughter of the man responsible for the law. Rousing music, a talented cast, and plenty of trouble make this an entertaining musical drama.
Back to the Future
1980s teenager Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is transported back in time to 1955 where he accidentally changes the course of history through a series of comic misadventures and finds he must return things to the way they were, back to the future.
Adventures in Babysitting
A routine babysitting job becomes a night of comedic mishaps when Chris Parker (Elisabeth Shue), a high school senior, ventures with her charges from a Chicago suburb into the city. A series of adventures takes place on the trip through Chicago’s southside.
Teen Wolf
A nice, average teenage basketball player begins to show werewolf tendencies that suddenly make him popular at school when he leads the team to victory. The underlying message is to be yourself, regardless of how much hair you have on your body.
An unusual Christmas present called a “mogwai” is given to Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan) by his dad with three basic rules for caring for the pet: never get him wet, keep him out of bright light, and never feed him after midnight. When Billy inadvertently breaks one of the rules, the consequences multiply at an alarming rate that builds to an explosively suspenseful climax.

Creative Writing contest for teens sponsored by author Sonya Sones

From Sonya’s Facebook:
WHAT MY GIRLFRIEND DOESN’T KNOW just came out in paperback. Yay! And to celebrate, my publisher is having an awesome writing contest.
The winner of the WHAT MY GIRLFRIEND DOESN’T KNOW writing contest will win a free six-week online writing class from Gotham Writers’ Workshop. And the winning entry will be posted on my website. 10 runners-up will receive a year’s subscription to Teen Ink and an autographed copy of the book.
To enter the contest all you have to do is read WHAT MY GIRLFRIEND DOESN’T KNOW, and when you get to the very last poem, write a continuation of the story. Keep it short but sweet – ten pages or less. And, of course, write it in the same style as WHAT MY GIRLFRIEND DOESN’T KNOW – in a series of poems.
You can read about how to submit your entry right here:
The contest ends April 3rd. I hope you’ll enter!