I picked up Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi to take with me during my holiday travels, and was gearing up to write a glowing review when I woke up this morning to find that it has been awarded the 2011 Michael L. Printz award!
I must stay that I absolutely agree with the committee on this win. This is a fantastic read! Ship Breaker is the story of Nailer and his salvage crew, teenagers who make their living stripping copper from wrecked oil tankers in a postapocalyptic United States, near the drowned city of New Orleans and the ravaged Gulf Coast. Nailer and his friends live a hand to mouth existence, so when they find a luxury yacht beached after a horrific storm, they are thrilled at the riches inside. But while going through the salvage, Nailer finds a survivor, and a moral dilemma; grab the riches and run, or help a wealthy heiress regain her birthright.
So, what can I say at this point, except, everyone thinks this books is amazing! Read it!
Here is a little snippet from the selection committee:
“This taut, suspenseful novel is a relentless adventure story featuring nuanced characters in thought-provoking conflicts. Bacigalupi artfully intertwines themes of loyalty, family, friendship, trust and love,” said Printz Award Committee Chair Erin Downey Howerton.
If you are unfamiliar with the Printz award, it is the Newbery-equivalent for teen fiction. As a relatively new award, it doesn’t quite command the same financial or prestige benefits, but getting a Printz is a great boost for any writer, and the selection committee has highlighted and supported several new and upcoming YA authors.
To learn about this and other Printz winners and honor books, check out the YALSA website here.
GalleyCat did a YA Novel “mixtape” where they asked their readers to submit their best YA Novels of 2010, with the stipulation that each novel on the list had to also have a free chapter excerpt available online. Some of the novels, like Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, was a 2007 release, but the list also has some little known titles that deserve more attention, like Karen Healey’s Guardian of the Dead. Overall, the list is great for the excerpts alone. Click here to see the list.
Also, while you are over at GalleyCat check out their interview with Richelle Mead, author of the Vampire Academy series. She talks about the end of the Vampire Academy and the beginning of its spin-off series, Bloodlines. Click here for the article.
Came across this article in the New York Times about the new teen literary site, Figment.com. On the surface, it seems like a neat idea, for teens to upload their stories and poems to a wider audience, but I’m a little leery of the way that the site makes its money. Publishers will pay for the privilege of direct-marketing it current teen lit to Figment.com members, as well as potentially study what teens are reading to identify genres that might blossom into the next big YA lit craze. Twilight and its spin-offs have generated a lot of cash, so publishers are eager to identify the next big franchise.
I think popular literature has its place, but I think that we’ve seen what happens when publishers craft series that appeal to teens purely based on profit (Clique series, anyone?). The danger is a dumbing down of teen literature, and the incessant push to buy merchandise associated with the initial product. I guess we’ll have to see if the site takes off, and since libraries have been involved with initial teen recruitment, it will be interesting to see if librarians begin to promote Figment.com to their teen patrons.
A quick read through on the forums show that teens are reading the Bell Jar and Naked Lunch, so perhaps my concerns are unfounded? All in all, it is great to see teens excited about reading, and I hope it continues.
I’m behind on my Google Reader, so I’ve just started to work through the posts on the YALSA blog regarding the YA Lit Symposium.
The YALSA blog is really a wealth of information, and I encourage anyone with an interest in teen services/teen literature to check it out. One of the many resources offered was a book list entitled “Celebrating Literature by and for Hispanic, Latina, Chicano Teens, A Select Bibliography.” Other interesting links included Malinda Lo’s series, Avoiding LGBTQ Stereotypes in YA Fiction, and a recap of a Pre-Conference Talk entitled, Body Positivity and Size Acceptance in Contemporary Young Adult Fiction.
I thought it was also interesting, one of the posts talked about adding your library to a social networking site like FourSquare where users can “check-in” online and earn points whenever they visit your library. I agree that it might be something that appeals to teens, but I’m not sure how many libraries would actually act on the idea.
Anyway, these are just some of the highlights! I encourage you to click on the YALSA blog link to the left and see for yourself!
A couple of links for the holiday:
Make sure to read through the comments on both, they add a lot to the posts!
The smell of pumpkin pie baking in the oven is making me hungry and happy, so Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
and even though this isn’t a cardigan, it is just beautiful:
I came across this reader’s advisory thread on Ask Metafilter. At first I thought it was a little morbid, then I realized that I had read a lot of the titles, so I’m not sure what that says about me.
I think a lot of these could be crossover titles, especially Life of Pi, the Stephen King titles, and of course Hatchet. If I had to create a wholly YA list, Island of the Blue Dolphins would definitely be on it; one of my all time favorites, as well as Sarah Bishop. They aren’t necessary stories of people trapped together, but more about personal determination to survive in the face of terrible odds.
And of course, you’d need a survival cardigan.
This is pretty terrible. I usually love Leifsdottir, but no, no, no. Maybe there is a way to cut off the Poni? Too bad we’ll never get to see this in person, since it is only available online.
Well, summer is over here in Washington State. The line of children at the bus stop, all bundled in their rain slickers and goulashes, lets you know that not only is it raining buckets, but that school is back in session. So, naturally, once school begins, you start thinking of the days when you can have a break, which brings to mind Halloween!
I’m not a fan of the super-scary side of Halloween; horror movies give me nightmares, and I can’t really read Stephen King, but somehow doing a Halloween program at the local library is tons of fun! Last year we did a combination of Halloween and Dia de los Muertos stories in a “Scary Stories from Around the World” theme. We made skull masks, and somehow they didn’t seem too scary sparkled with plastic gems and a lot of glitter.
Despite my squeamishness, I’m building a YA scary story reading list, and I’ve got a stack of books to work through. I just finished Killer Pizza by Greg Taylor (Amazon Link/Library Link) and it was a lot of fun! Sadly, I find that there are a lot of great books, but a lot of them are out of print! Or are only in paperback, so I can’t request them through the hold system. Don’t worry though, I haven’t let that deter me.
Before I run off to grab a cup of coffee, a big cozy cardigan, and a seat by the window so I can listen to the rain while I read, I leave you with a great post by not martha on a 3D skull cake mold. Wouldn’t that be fabulous for a Halloween program?
Need a Hunger Games word puzzle for your Mockingjay realease party? Check out the Puzzlemaker at Discovery Education to create word search or criss-cross puzzles.
Here is one that whipped up today: Hunger Games Criss Cross Puzzle
Also, if you need help creating the clues, you can use the Hunger Games Wiki to help you with all the major and minor characters and plot points.