Covers, covers everywhere…

-NF

Hello, lovely humans! Well, I’m here to talk about book covers! First of all, I would like to state that in many cases, authors have little or no control over the cover design of their books. (I already knew this, but I’m just passing on general information.) What’s up with that? Well, usually what happens is that publishers will hire a person who is “specially trained” (What?) to know what catches a potential reader’s attention. A few years ago, that would’ve made more sense. But now, we have authors interacting so heavily with their readers, I just don’t feel that’s needed. There are some atrocious book covers out there, you know? Tell me you haven’t seen a book in Barnes & Noble and just gagged a little bit. So, I’m going to talk about what I love in a book cover. These aren’t things that always coincide, but these are separate things I like.

Simplicity. The more stuff you have on the cover of your book, the more it starts to look like an atrocious collage. It
doesn’t catch my attention, it blinds me! Have you ever seen a book cover that looks like a person had a little too much fun with photoshop? “Lets put a person here, a castle! A river! A hailstorm! A sparkly unicorn!” No. Stop. Just stop. It doesn’t look good. Simplicity is mysterious. There’s something about covers with just the title that really catches my fancy. What is this about? What can I expect from this book? Those are the kind of books I want to pick up and examine.

Drawn covers. If you are going to go all out, draw it. Some of the most beautiful covers are drawn covers, like the Percy Jackson series, Artemis Fowl, and Harry Potter book covers. I think it would be good to see more of this in young adult fiction. Hey, drawings aren’t just for kids! You can be very symbolic with your drawings; the Hunger Games covers have some great symbolism. The Maze Runner has got some great covers. Colorful but not overbearing.

Now let’s get down to the meat of it. My biggest problem with many of the book covers today is having real people on the covers. Sometimes it works, but most of the time, not. Who is the person who changed the Maximum Ride covers to the new design?! Who?! You are causing much of my anxiety, do you know that? How do you go from majestic awesomeness to downgrading irritation? Really? What was wrong? You know what I hate? I hate covers with real people on them because that’s basically telling me I’m not allowed to imagine up the person myself. I am not allowed to picture them as I choose to, and that frustrates me!! Sometimes, the cover doesn’t even have to do with the plot of the book. Ever seen a book cover with a girl sitting on a cliff, at sunset, with angel wings, holding a flower dramatically? And it’s about a vampire that solves crimes? Do your book justice. I’m not saying give the whole plot away, but make sure that your symbolism has meaning. Check with someone else if you’re confused, for the sake of the readers out there. Also, one thing we have seen enough of. Girls in long dresses. Sometimes that works. Good job the Selection by Kiera Cass. But ya, so your main character is a girl, but do we really need girls prancing around in long prom dresses on the front of your cover?

In a perfect world, well, my perfect world, publishers, editors, and other important peeps would read this and listen to me. But in this world, it’s 1:00 a.m. and I ran out of Nutella. Well, goodbye blogasphere. I will see you sometime in May. I’m going to do a blog about cliffhangers. Goodbye!

Award Winners Announced!

The big dog of YA awards is the Printz.

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults:
Midwinterblood,” written by Marcus Sedgwick, is the 2014 Printz Award winner. The book is published by Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.
Four Printz Honor Books also were named: “Eleanor & Park,” written by Rainbow Rowell and published by St. Martin’s Griffin (Macmillan);”Kingdom of Little Wounds,” written by Susann Cokal and published by Candlewick Press; “Maggot Moon,” written by Sally Gardner, illustrated by Julian Crouch and published by Candlewick Press; and “Navigating Early,” written by Clare Vanderpool and published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House LLC, Penguin Random House Company.

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Printz Winner

Not that you’d ever run out of things to read in YA, but here are the award winners for adult book that appeals to teens.

Alex Awards for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences:
Brewster,” written by Mark Slouka and published by W. W. Norton & Company
The Death of Bees,” written by Lisa O’Donnell and published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Golden Boy: A Novel,” written by Abigail Tarttelin and published by ATRIA Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Help for the Haunted,” written by John Searles and published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Lexicon: A Novel,” written by Max Barry and published by The Penguin Group, Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Lives of Tao,” written by Wesley Chu and published by Angry Robot, a member of the Osprey Group
Mother, Mother: A Novel,” written by Koren Zailckas and published by Crown Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.
Relish,” written by Lucy Knisley and published by First Second, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership
The Sea of Tranquility: A Novel,” written by Katja Millay and published by ATRIA Paperback, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
The Universe Versus Alex Woods,” written by Gavin Extence and published by Redhook Books, an imprint of Orbit, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience:

The teen (ages 13-18) award winner is “Rose under Fire,” written by Elizabeth Wein and published by Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group.

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Schneider Family Book Award

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Stonewall Book Award

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Stonewall Book Award

 

Stonewall Book Award - Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award given annually to English-language works of exceptional merit for children or teens relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience:

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children,” written by Kirstin Cronn-Mills and published by Flux, an imprint of Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd; and “Fat Angie,” written by e. E. Charlton-Trujillo and published by Candlewick Press, are the winners of the 2014 Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award.

Three Honor Books were selected: “Better Nate Than Ever,” written by Tim Federle and published by Simon & Schuster Booksfor Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division; “Branded by the Pink Triangle,” written byKen Setterington and published by Second Story Press; and “Two Boys Kissing,” written by David Levithan and published byAlfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens:

Charm & Strange,” written by Stephanie Kuehn, is the 2014 Morris Award winner. The book is published by St. Martin’s Griffin, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press, a division of Macmillan.
Four other books were finalists for the award: “Sex & Violence,” written by Carrie Mesrobian and published by Carolrhoda LAB, an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group; “Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets,” written by Evan Roskos and published by Houghton Mifflin, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company; “Belle Epoque,” written by Elizabeth Ross and published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books; and “In the Shadow of Blackbirds,” written by Cat Winters and published by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS.

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William C. Morris Award

What do you guys think of the winners and honorees/finalists?

My Top 13 Books of 2013 and My Top 14 Releases of 2014

- LSJ

Well, 2013 has come to an end, along with all of the amazing books that we read. They may not all have been treasures, but there’s no mistake that there will be some that we read this year that will stay with us for a long time. With that, I’d like to share with you my top 13 books of 2013. Counting down to my favorite book of the year, we start with my number 13….

13. Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral

Although, not one of my top favorites of the year, there is no doubt that this book is unique. Told almost exclusively through pictures and drawings and even youtube videos that you can look up, this book is one of a kind.

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12. The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

I am a huge Sarah Dessen fan, so when her new book came out last summer I had to read it right away. This book did not disappoint. As in all of her books, over one summer everything changes. Although, I did not enjoy this book as some of her others, I loved the friendships and family ties enough for it to be my number 12 book of the year.

11. Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

By the author of the dystopian trilogy, The Chemical Garden Trilogy (one of my many favorites), comes a new start to a Utopian trilogy. This book was unlike anything I’ve read. As with her previous books, I love Lauren DeStefano’s eloquent writing style and her world building does not disappoint. This book takes place on a floating island utopia in the sky, where everything is perfect… until the murders start, that is.

10. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brain Selznick

This book is actually a reread for me. I read it back in 5th grade when it first came out, and loved it. Reading it the second time around was just as amazing as the first. A steam punk novel set in the late 18 hundreds, Hugo is a young boy growing up alone in a train station. Told half in words and half in hand draw pictures by the author, this book is simply incredible.

9. Sever by Lauren DeStefano

The final book in the Chemical Garden Trilogy was a wonderful ending to the series. This has to be one of my favorite dystopian books not for the world, but for the writing. This is a can’t miss series for you dystopian junkies.

8. Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

This was my Christmas read for 2013 and it was adorable. It goes back and forth between Dash and Lily’s perspectives as they pass a little red notebook of dares onto one another as Christmas and the New Year approach.  This was a wonderful book to end the year with.

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7. Wonderstruck by Brain Selznick

Another illustrated novel by Selznick makes my list. I read this for the first time at the very beginning of the year and loved this beautifully intertwined story. There are two stories told in this book, one through drawings and one through words that seamlessly wrap together at the end. This is the perfect book to curl up with on a cold winter afternoon.

6. Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

This was by far the sweetest book I read of the year. A cute contemporary romance set in London, I couldn’t put this book down. This would be a perfect Valentine’s Day read!

5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

My top 5 starts out with The Great Gatsby. I can’t believe that I didn’t read this sooner. You should go read this classic, like right now. And then go watch the movie because it is the only book to movie adaptation that I actually like movie better the book. *gasps* What?! Yes, I know this is library blasphemy.

4. If I Stay / Where She Went (duology) by Gayle Forman

2013 was the year of Gayle Forman for me. I read three of her books this year and completely fell in love with her writing and storytelling. This duo was heart-wrenching, and I’m not going to lie, I was crying

almost the entirety of these novels. But it was all worth it to read the last chapter of Where She Went.

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3. Just One Day by Gayle Forman

I told you it was the year of Gayle Forman for me. There are no words to describe how much I loved this book. The first half takes place in one day in Paris, and the second half follows our main character’s first year at college and a year spent trying to find herself. This book was stunning, and I am currently reading its sequel.

2. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

The first book I read in 2013 and it was very nearly my favorite of the entire year. This is the sequel to Cinder, and they are the first two in a four book series, The Lunar Chronicles (one of my two favorite series of all time). While the first book is a futuristic retelling Cinderella (with cyborgs!), this one is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood (sexy, big bad wolf included…plot twist!). This book still follows our main character, Cinder, but throws in Scarlet as little red. If you haven’t read these books you need to drop everything and go read them now.

And my #1 book of the year is, drum roll please…..

1. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

The last book in the Infernal Devices Trilogy, this book is by far the best series ending I have ever read. Although I pre-ordered this book 5 months in advance, when it came I barely even started it. I kept putting it off because I didn’t want to let go of these characters and this story. 6 months after it came out and I was barely half way through the book and hadn’t read any of it in a good month. One day I sat down for a break from homework, and read the 300 pages I had left, and I’m not going to lie…. I cried through the entire 20 page epilogue (and maybe a little after). This and the Lunar Chronicles are my favorite series, and I can’t recommend them enough!

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And now, moving onto the new year, here’s to another year of fantastic books. Here are my top 14 most anticipated books of 2014!

1. Cress by Marissa Meyer – February 4th

The third of four books in the Lunar Chronicles, this comes out in just a few short weeks, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

2. Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen – February, 11th

This is the second book of the Scarlet Trilogy, a retelling of Robin Hood where one of the merry men, Will Scarlet, is actually a girl, and a kick-butt one at that. I read the first book, Scarlet, back when it first came out in 2012, and have been eagerly awaiting the next book for over two years now. I can’t wait to devour this book!

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3. City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare – May 27th

This one should go without saying. It’s the sixth book in the highly popular, urban fantasy series, The Mortal Instruments. If you haven’t read this series, you might want to pick it up before the second movie comes out soon.

4. Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor – April 8th

This is the last book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy, an urban fantasy with a new twist on angels and demons and it’s even set in Prague!

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5. The Young Elites by Marie Lu – September (unknown exact date)

I loved Marie Lu’s dystopian Legend Trilogy. This is the first book in her new fantasy series, and I can’t wait to see what she does with this new world.

6. The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, Sarah Rees Brennan – September 2nd

This is collection of short stories/novellas about Magnus Bane, a favorite among both Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices fans. Previously available in e-book format, it will be published in hardback book form for the first time.

7. Four: A Divergent Story Collection by Veronica Roth – July 1st

This will be a bind up of four novellas from, you guessed it, Four’s point of view, set before the Divergent Trilogy.

8. The One by Kiera Cass – May 6th

This is the last book in the Selection Trilogy. For this series, think dystopian world meets The Bachelor TV show. Warning… It’s slightly addictive.

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9. The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black – October 2nd

The first book in the Magisterium series, a fantasy written by two of the best YA authors.

10. Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill – January 7th

Lauren Morrill’s debut novel, released last year, made it into My Top 13 of 2013, and I can’t wait to read her next novel. This one is about two girls, both named Sloane Jacobs, who decide to switch places.

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11. Landline by Rainbow Rowell – July 3rd

I love Rainbow Rowell, and even though this is an adult novel, I am super excited about it!

12. Isla and the Happily Even After by Stephanie Perkins – May 13th

This is the third of three romantic companion novels, it is set in both NYC and Paris.

13. Panic by Lauren Oliver – March 4th

I loved Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall, and am interested to see how this slightly dystopian book pans out.

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14. My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins – October 14th

An anthology of holiday short stories by twelve of the biggest YA authors of today, including: Stephanie Perkins, Holly Black, Ally Carter, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Matt de la Pena, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, and Kiersten White. Sounds like the perfect winter read to end the year with!

I hope this gave you some ideas for good books to read. Sound off in the comments below! What were your favorite books of 2013? What are your most anticipated reads for this year? Have you read anything good yet this New Year? Let me know! I’d love to hear it from you.

So we missed December…

December wasn’t that interesting…  We just watched movies and did crafts every week. (I’m being sarcastic. It was a really good month. We watched Avengers in 3D!! It was soooooo cool.) Nope, December wasn’t interesting at all… Not compared to January anyway! January could be the most exciting month of 2014 so far. Did you see what I did there?

What makes January so great, you say? Well, let’s just dive right in.

EVENTS!!!

monthly events just january

You may have noticed the cool new graphics I put in there. Well, we have this awesome new thing called a calendar!  You can get them in the Union. They look like this!

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Aren’t they pretty?

Did you notice that it’s for three months instead of just one? That means that you can keep track of what’s going on months in advance. Because that’s what we all do, right? Right…

We have some things that are special. “What does the fox say, Grumpy Cat?” is our feature event this month. We’re watching Youtube videos. What is better than that? I personally can waste hours just watching cat videos. So if you have a favorite video or meme, bring it in! The rest of us want to share in the hilarity.

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Downtown and Ladd, too!

We also have our regularly scheduled programming. Anime club, Hyperstream, and we’re welcoming back Theatre Club this month!

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Just in case you didn’t get it the first time, there are the dates again. : D

Some things have changed a little bit. Anime Club Ladd is now the first Monday of the month at the same time (5:30 – 7:30). Anime Club Downtown is still the second Tuesday of the month but it’s a little longer now and goes from 3:30 – 5:30.

Now, that is all very cool. Amazingly cool. But we started another new thing! Every month there will be a contest. A contest with a prize, I might add. this month’s contest is to see who had the best New Year’s Resolution. You can send them in through the blog. There’s a link if you scroll up a little bit. I’d make it neon and shiny, but that goes beyond my limited technical abilities.

I can’t think of anything else right now…

Sorry I missed December…

 

November doesn’t have to be boring…

Hey all!

Guess what?

It’s November.  It’s kind of a boring month. There’s Thanksgiving at the end, but the rest is cold and dark and full of things like school. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. The library is amazing. We have so many cool things going on this month.

Firstly, it’s National Novel Writing Month! You can seriously write your own novel. Then, through the library, you can set goals and if you meet your goals, you get awesome prizes. Easy, right?

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Write your own novel? Heck yes you can!

There are some authors and young adult novels you may know that got their start during NaNoWriMo.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth – Carrie Ryan

The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern

Crewel – Gennifer Albin

Slide – Jill Hathaway (Who lives in Des Moines. Just saying…)

Pretty Girl-13 – Liz Coley

Cinder – Marissa Meyer

Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell (She’s from Nebraska. So she’s basically one of us.)

That goes all month long. So you can just sign up and try it. To go along with that, we have writing and editing workshops too! So if you don’t want to write something new, but have some old stuff you’ve been working on, you can bring that in on those days. AND we started a new Theater Club.

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Isn’t this cool?

AND that’s not even all of it! We will now have TWO anime clubs, one downtown and one at Ladd. The downtown Anime Club is on the 12th at 4:30. The Ladd Anime Club is on the 19th at 5:30. There’s also Hyperstream, where we partner with a local business who show you how delightful technology is by editing and programming.

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But wait, there’s stiiiiiiiiiiiiill more. Come in on the 21st at 4 for a super awesome Catching Fire Party! We’ll have games, trivia, and much more including watching the Hunger Games movie. It’s kind of a big deal.

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The movie comes out on the 22nd, but our PARTY is on the 21st.

Guys, I don’t know if you know this, but the library is kinda the coolest place ever. Really. Even if you don’t want to do any of these programs, you should just come down to hang out. We have some awesome chairs and a fireplace. I may have mentioned that before…

Teen Read Week is Here!

Teen Read Week is finally here! For those of you who don’t know what that is, Teen Read Week is a national adolescent literacy initiative created by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Its purpose is to encourage teens to be regular readers and library users.

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This year’s theme is Seek the Unknown @ your library.

We have a lot of fun things planned for this week.

October 14th – Chalk/White Board Day in the Union

  • Help decorate the Young Adult area for Teen Read Week by drawing and writing on the chalk/white board walls!

October 16th – Movie Night at 6:30 until 8:30 location to be determined

  • Hang out and watch a movie to celebrate Teen Read Week.

October 17th – Book Discussion in the Union at 4 until 6

  • Join the Teen Advisory Board members to talk about books, books, and more books. This will be a general book discussion about your favorites, new and old. No spoilers!

October 19th – Author Talk: Christian Schoon at 1:00 in the Union

  • Local author Christian Schoon will be here to talk about his sci fi book Zenn Scarlett, writing science fiction, and to answer any questions you might save for him.
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Zenn Scarlett is the first book in the series.

There are few displays in the Union right now that are important to these events. The first is the Seek the Unknown display. This display features books that are mostly science fiction, but all of them have to do with differing worlds, exploration, or futuristic themes. The other display is the Teens’ Top Ten Nominees for this year. You can vote for these books to make them the Top Ten books of 2013. Voting ends on the 19th, so you have to hurry! If you click on the picture below, it will take you to the voting page.

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Look for these stickers on the nominees.

Hope to see you all at the library next week for these awesome events! You don’t have to register for anything. Just show up and bring your friends.

Everything’s New!

Hi everyone,

My name is Molly and I am the new Young Adult Librarian here at CRPL. Some of you may have seen me wandering around in the GORGEOUS space for teens called The Union. It’s about the best thing in the entire world. I am really excited to be here and want to get started right away with programming for you.

Here are some things you should know about me.

  • I love anime and manga. So if you see me, please come chat with me about it.
  • I just finished reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson.  John Green is fantastic.
  • Audio books are really great and I am happy to give recommendations.
  • Programming for YA is one of my favorite things. I can’t wait to hear your ideas.
Me standing in front of our chalk board wall.

Me standing in front of our chalk board wall.

Here are some fun things happening in the Union.

  • We have a game room. I know, right? A separate room just for playing PS3 and Xbox 360.
  • Very soon we will have a Maker Space. Basically that means we will have two MAC computers with all sorts of editing software.
  • All of our books are new. All of them. And we have sooooooo many. (Our check out limit is 99 items)
  • We have white board and chalk board walls.
  • Did I mention that there is a fire place?
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View from the couch of the Union

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The Gaming Room!

           

September is a busy month, so we have a lot of events and library land holidays coming up.

  • Teen Advisory Board – September 14th, the Union, 11 – 1
  • Anime Club – September 17th, at Ladd Library this time, 5:30 – 7:30
  • STEM Meeting – September 18th, the Union, 4 – 5
  • Banned Books Week – starts on September 22nd, keep an eye out in the Union for anything that might happen that week.
  • National Library Card Sign-up Month (yes, this is a thing) – If you don’t have a library card yet, come in and get one! It’s really easy.

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As you can see, there are a lot of things happening here and we all want you to be a part of it. I can’t wait to meet all of you in person as well. See you in the Union!