When the Spanish influenza epidemic reaches Portland, Oregon, in 1918, seventeen-year-old Cleo leaves behind the comfort of her boarding school to work for the Red Cross. This is well researched historical fiction based on the real-life pandemic considered to be the most devastating in recorded world history.
Minutes after eighteen-year-old Bennett Bardo of Gordo, New Mexico, asks Sophie Gilkey, his dream girl, to prom and she says yes, she is abducted by aliens. Bennett catches a ride across the galaxy with a band of misfit musicians to find her.
Recently I learned that some authors are creating music playlist to go with their books. Most great movies have awesome music to go with them; something that captures key moments in the story, expands the feel of the whole experience, or even helps to define characters and scenes. So many authors (and fans!) have begun asking: Why not soundtracks for books?
Note: Links open in a new window.
I think that is a great idea! What better way to enhance the story, add to character, bring a book to a whole new interactive level, or even be able to take a piece of the book and the characters it brought to life with you! I've found that when I am reading certain books I naturally listen to specific songs the whole way through - instinctively creating a kind of playlist as I read. It really sets the tone and immerses me in that world.
Recently I read Relativity by Cristin Bishara which is a surprisingly realistic science fiction book about a girl who discovers a way to access multiple versions of her life and must choose which version she wants to be her own. It was fast paced, jumping from world to world, life to life, really giving you a lot to think about along the way. Bishara has created a playlist to go with the story, one I wished I had discovered before I read the book. Click the CD for a link to the author's website and the music playlist and click the book cover for a link to the book in the library catalog.
Eleanor and Park (2014 Printz Honor Book) author Rainbow Rowell says that with every book she writes she makes a playlist to go with them. She actually works on them at the same time she writes the story! She has created quite an extensive playlist, with links to songs, videos, and commentary for Eleanor and Park. Again this would have been awesome to read while listening to the music, as the music aspect is deeply embedded in the story, creating a beautiful dynamic between the two main characters. The mixed tapes that Park makes for Eleanor and that give her a glimmer of light in her life truly captures the ways music connects people. Click the CD for a link to the Eleanor and Park website and click the book cover for a link to the book in the library catalog.
Music was also an integral part of the book If I Stay by Gayle Forman. It's a story about a girl who looks back on her life after a tragic accident and must decide if she wants to stay or move on. She is a gifted classical musician who's father is a former rock musician so music has been part of her childhood. She falls in love with a rock musician and their relationship is bound up in the their love for music and is key to their story as is the way that music ties her to her parents and family. The author, Gayle Forman, has put together a playlist of some of the songs from the book in the order that they appear in the story. Click the audiobook cover for links to the playlists, video trailers, and a talk about musical inspirations for the book and click the book cover for a link to the book in the library catalog.
For a list of books with playlists check out the Young Adult Library Services Association's (YALSA) wiki Books/Authors with Soundtracks/Playlists.
For links to the library catalog for these and other books with playlists or that have music as a central part of the story check out the links below.
Welcome back everyone! This is the last post in the Super Power Saturdays blog series. We have covered a lot of different books this summer – super powers in fiction and graphic novels, unique teen powers in fiction, heroes in the real world in nonfiction, and more. If you missed any of these posts, or just want to re-read them, links to them are at the end of this blog post. Now, after reading all these great books, it’s time to take that super powered inspiration and channel it into creating our own stories. So, to wrap things up we will look at books that can help you create your own stories, characters, graphic novels, and even find out how to break into the writing and graphic art business! A few great ones to start with are:
- So, You Want To Be a Comic Book Artist? By Philip Amara
- Seize the Story: A Handbook for Teen Who Like to Write by Victoria Hanley
- Your Name in Print: A Teen’s Guide to Publishing for Fun, Profit, and Academic Success by Elizabeth Harper
- Making Comics by Scott McCloud
- Comics and Graphic Novels by Richard Spilsbury
- Draw Your Own Manga: Beyond the Basics by Haruno Nagatomo
- Spilling Ink: A Young Writer’s Handbook by Anne Mazer
- So, You Want To Be a Writer: How to Write, Get Published, and Maybe Even Make It Big! by Vicki Hambleton
- Immersed in Verse by Allan Wolf
- Drawing Manga: Animals, Chibis, and Other Adorable Creatures by J. C. Amberlyn
- Thrice Told Tales: Three Mice Full of Writing Advice by Catherine Lewis
- How to Write Your Life Story by Ralph Fletcher
For some online fun here are some apps and websites to help you start your own comics. Bitstrips is a free App that can turn you and your friends into comic characters. BUBBLR is an interactive site that lets you create comic strips using photos from flickr. Make Beliefs Comix, also an interactive site, has different online features and options, as well as printable downloads and writing prompts, to help you to create your own comics.
For links to these and other great books about creating your own stories, characters, and graphic novels check out the Draw Me! Write Me! book list in our catalog.
Blogs in this Super Power Saturdays blog series:
- Teen Super Powers! (Teen Fiction)
- Teen Graphic Novels: We Started It All!
- Teen Powers Abound: All Kinds of Powers! (Teen Fiction)
- Teen NonFiction Flies!
Booklists from this blog series:
- Teen Powers
- Teen Graphic Novels: We Started It All!
- Teen Powers: All Kinds of Powers!
- Teen NonFiction Flies!
- Draw Me! Write Me!
Happy “Super Powered” Reading!
The Paralympic ski racer, YouTube star, and motivational speaker documented his coming of age as an amputee cancer survivor, and through investigating past dates gone wrong, to discover why he was still single.
When Stephen moves to the small, midwestern town where his father grew up, he quickly falls in with punk girl Cara and her charismatic twin brother, Devon. The town has a dark secret, right out of an urban legend. The twins are caught in the middle of this secret, and Stephen must decide where his allegience lies.
Back to school, back to friends, back to homework, back to tests. There are are a lot of different responsibilities pulling you in different directions at the start of the school year, and they all seem equally important. There isn’t even time to read a good book.
That’s not true! While it may seem like there is hardly time to even breath while you are getting used to new classes, new teachers, and new material, there is still hope.
In fact, making time to read can help you stay relaxed and focused. After a long day at school, you may just want to jump right into your homework, but sometimes you need a brain break. A quick chapter of a good book could help you get that little break you need. Reading can also help take your mind off all the school work you have to do before you pass out. Have you ever done your math homework right before bed and then started dreaming about the pythagorean theorem? For your sake, I hope not!
Collections of short stories, poems, or vignettes are a perfect pick for the school year; if you don’t have a chance to get back to the book for a couple of days, you won’t have to worry about remembering where you left off. Here are some great books to help you get into the habit of making time to read for FUN!
- House on Mango Street by Cisneros
- Poems for Homeroom: a Writer's Place to Start by Appelt
- Geektastic: Stories from the Nerdherd
- Corsets and Clockwork: 13 Steampunk Romances
- Girl Meets Boy: [Because there are two sides to every story]
–Submitted by Katie R.
In an alternative version of Victorian London, seventeen-year-old Dodger, a cunning and cheeky street urchin, unexpectedly rises in life when he saves a mysterious girl, meets Charles Dickens, and unintentionally puts a stop to the murders of Sweeney Todd.
Shy, sixteen-year-old Lark is happiest close to home, tending her garden and gathering herbs for medicines. When Lark has visions that warn her that monsters called Troths will soon invade her village, she is summoned on a journey to seek help from the legendary Riders of Tarnec. The journey will make her visions reality and bring her closer to knowing her inner strength.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be your own boss? Do you want to take control of your own finances? Babysitting can be a very rewarding and profitable. However, there are a few things you need to know before you can start handing out your business cards. How do you change a diaper? What happens if there is an emergency? How can you get your name out there? What if the kids start fighting? Don't panic! The UAPL is here to help. You can find the answers to these questions, and so many more in the books below!
- Don't Sit on the Baby: The Ultimate Guide to Sane, Skilled, and Safe Babysitting
- Babysitting Rules: A Guide for When You're in Charge
- Babysitting Activities: Fun with Kids of All Ages
- The Babysitter's Handbook: The Care and Keeping of Kids
Want more? We also have many fiction books about adventures in babysitting. Check out: