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#rockthedrop This October!

April 4th, 2016 (05:59 pm)

Current Mood: optimistic
Current Song: House score music

Hey, readergirlz! We have a #rockthedrop update for you, courtesy of Lorie Ann Grover:

YALSA has decided to discontinue Support Teen Literature Day in April. We've enjoyed celebrating the day for 8 years by rocking the drop through Operation Teen Book Drop. We've donated thousands of books to teens in hospitals and those on Tribal Lands. We've left young adult books around the world to be found by happy readers. Well done, all!

SO WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE ANYWAY! We are going to #RocktheDrop in October, on Friday, the 14th, of Teen Read Week. Deal? For now, stash those books to the side, and we'll collectively drop them together next fall. We'll give you a heads up as the time approaches. Let's get those donation piles taller in the meantime.

Be ready to #RocktheDrop on October 14th, 2016. It's going to be a great addition to Teen Read Week. Ready, set, go!

Learn more about #rockthedrop aka Operation Teen Book Drop.

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: Free Verse by Robert Graves

April 1st, 2016 (06:00 am)

Current Mood: awake
Current Song: Lonely People by Orla Gartland

I now delight
In spite
Of the might
And the right
Of classic tradition,
In writing
And reciting
Straight ahead,
Without let or omission,
Just any little rhyme
In any little time
That runs in my head...

- from Free Verse by Robert Graves

Read the entire poem.

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Little Willow [userpic]

Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston

March 28th, 2016 (03:53 pm)
Tags: ,

Current Mood: pleased
Current Song: Bookmark by Novelette

Hermione Winters is about to start her senior year of high school. As summer draws to a close, she heads off to cheer camp with her coach and her teammates, including Polly, her best friend and co-captain, and Leo, her boyfriend. Knowing this will be the last time she attends the camp, Hermione intends to make it the best one ever, to work hard, to enjoy the challenges and the routines and the music and the friendships, and to set a good example for her teammates and friends.

Then, on the night of the camp dance, Hermione is raped - her cup of punch drugged by a boy, she blacks out and wakes up in the hospital. The night holds no memories for her past the blackout. She cannot remember the face of her attacker, nor does she have any recollection of what he actually did to her. All she knows is what the doctors, nurses, and detectives have put together from examining her.

Her town is small; everyone knows what happened. The hallways of her school are filled with whispers and judgmental looks, and her relationship with her boyfriend dissolves. But Hermione doesn't withdraw from social interaction or change schools - the latter doesn't even occur to her. She doesn't like being the subject of gossip or scorn or pity. She remembers who she was, she knows who she is, and she is determined to stay true to herself while dealing what has happened.

Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston was above and beyond what I hoped it would be. Compelling writing, complex characters, realistic dialogue - there is much to praise here. This book could have been riddled with cliches; it was not. It could have been predictable or saccharine; it was neither. The events and reactions were feasible, believable, never farfetched or contrived. The story was layered and nuanced, allowing for warmth and humor sometimes when you least expected it (and most needed it).

Hermione tells her story in first-person narrative. She is an intelligent, resilient, mature young woman who is stronger than she knows. The characters that surround her are so vividly drawn - especially Polly, the fierce and loyal best friend who is equal parts fire and compassion - that any one of them could have a book of their own. And that is one of the loveliest things here: that the supporting characters are truly supportive of Hermione, that she is not dealing with this alone - and also that the supporting characters have their own arcs, their own problems and heartbreaks and priorities.

There is so much I want to say about this book. How it treats subjects such as sexual assault, doctor's visits, therapy, and victim shaming head-on, honestly and openly; how it encourages cheerleaders to be seen as athletes, not airheads; how it includes a variety of characters of various ages and personalities; and, most of all, how it allows its protagonist to be human, to wrestle with emotions and choices and ultimately emerge triumphant not because of or in spite of what happened/happens to her, but because of how she chooses to see herself, not a victim, not a statistic, not diminished, and how she chooses to live, unashamed, undeterred, always moving forward.

I knew before I was raped that this year would be the end of something. I just thought I'd be able to control the ending.

And, again, the magnificent writing: the choice of words, the steady pacing, the characterizations; the importance of a chair, a song, a friend; the details of a waiting room, a quiet house, an exuberant squad; the feeling of flying -- There is so much to applaud here.

Both thought-provoking and profoundly memorable, Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston is a triumph. I encourage people to read and re-read this book and to share it with others. Don't be surprised if you find yourself both crying and smiling as you turn the final page - and then start reading it all over again.

I included this book on my Tough Issues for Teens booklist and will undoubtedly include it on my Best Books of 2016 list.

If you like this book, you will also like Swollen by Melissa Lion and All the Rage by Courtney Summers.

Little Willow [userpic]

Booklist: Hey There, Sports Fan

March 27th, 2016 (11:38 am)

Current Mood: content
Current Song: Sunday Morning by No Doubt

Hey there, sports fan! Looking for a good book? Want a sports-related story to recommend to your favorite young athletes? On your mark - get set - READ!

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin is not only a Newbery winner, but it's also one of my favorite books of all time. Though it is a mystery, one of its main characters is a high school boy who is a track star, so there's your sports angle. With over a dozen main characters of all ages, races, and backgrounds and a story filled with clues, questions, and quirks, there's something here for everyone. I love this book. Read it now.

Maniac Magee is my favorite Jerry Spinelli book and another of my favorite Newbery winners. This may not appear to be sports-related at first, but think about it: Maniac is famous for his running ability. The story's main themes are literacy, prejudice, and community. Side note: The made-for-television movie is a pale imitation of this phenomonal book. The movie tried to be a comedy and cut out some of the book's more serious events and memorable characters.

Novels by Matt Christopher are always related to sports. He wrote over a hundred books, mainly dealing with baseball, basketball, football, and soccer. Over the decades, the Christopher empire has expanded to include trendy hobbies and extreme sports such as hockey, golf, skateboarding, snowboarding, and dirt bike racing. The plots are pretty straightforward: playing in the big game, getting injured before playoffs, trying to make the team, and having a parent for a coach. If you have a reluctant reader who is into sports, give these a try. Middle schoolers might find these books too easy, but I've seen them kickstart kids' reading habits more than once. Matt Christopher has also written a plethora of sports biographies which kids read for fun, to learn about their favorite players, and for biography assignments in class.

Many of The Baby-Sitters Club books by Ann M. Martin include team sports and individual sports. Kristy and Jessi are the most athletic baby-sitters. Kristy's a self-proclaimed tomboy who loves watching and playing sports. She even has a youth baseball team called Kristy's Krushers. Jessi is a highly dedicated ballerina. Throughout the entire series, BSC showed their main characters and supporting characters training, playing, and competing in all sorts of sports. Whether competing in gymnastics, swimming, or horseback riding, the BSC always emphasized fair play and the fact that everyone's a winner.

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson follows Astrid through a summer at roller derby camp. It's her first attempt at the sport, so she falls down a lot and gets bruised a lot, but she works really hard and improves so much, all because she wants to, because she thinks it's fun and because she wants to get better. How awesome to have a protagonist who is self-motivated. This realistic and refreshing graphic novel is recommended for tweens, especially those who like Raina Telgemeier's works. Read my review of the graphic novel.

Dare I include The Gymnasts series from the early '90s? Yes, yes, I dare, because although it perhaps depicted a more idealized life than that really experienced by hardcore young gymnasts, I can't recall another juvenile series that deals exclusively with gymnastics. Written by Elizabeth Levy, this series followed a group of girls who became fast friends through the trials and tribulations of gymnastic practices and meets. Start with book #1, Beginners.

The Julie books by Megan McDonald, part of the American Girls line, take place in 1974. In Meet Julie, after her parents get divorced, Julie moves to another part of San Francisco with her older sister Tracy and her artsy mom, who runs a shop called Gladrags. Shortly after Julie starts fourth grade at Jack London Elementary School, she learns that they don't have a basketball team for girls so she asks if she can join the boys' team. The coach initially refuses her request, but Julie sticks to her guns. She learns about Title IX and turns in a petition with 150 signatures on it. The coach still refuses to hear her out, so she works up the nerve to talk to her principal about the situation and earns a spot on the team. Later books in the series, such as Julie Tells Her Story, include basketball practice and games. Learn more about the series.

Julie's best friend Ivy, who is a gymnast, has her own book: Good Luck, Ivy by Lisa Yee. In 1976, Ivy must decide between competing in a gymnastics meet or attending family reunion . . . unless she can think of a way to do both! Learn more about this book.

Lisa Yee has also written three contemporary interconnected novels which have sporty themes: Millicent Min, Girl Genius (in which the title character is a reluctant participant in summer volleyball), Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time (in which the title character would rather play basketball than study), and So Totally Emily Ebers (in which the title character also plays summer volleyball). Learn more about Lisa Yee's books.

Back to gymnastics. Gold Medal Summer by Donna Freitas puts the spotlight on 13-year-old Joey Jordan, a girl whose love for gymnastics knows no bounds. However, her friends and family are no longer as invested in the sport as she is. Her older sister, Julia, was a title-winning gymnast who retired at the age of 16. Her best friend, Alex, is also a great gymnast but doesn't want to do it any longer. Her parents are financially supportive but emotionally disconnected from the sport, not wanting Joey to go through everything Julia went through. Joey's drive is admirable, especially considering the odds she's up against at home and in the gym, and her summer story is sweet, balancing her practices and meets with her first crush, her friends, and her family. Read my full-length review of Gold Medal Summer. Read my interview with Donna Freitas.

Gold Medal Winter was Donna Freitas' next YA novel. 16-year-old Esperanza (Espi) has loved figure skating since she was a little girl. Thanks to the support of her dedicated mother and her amazing coach, who was an Olympic gold medalist, she is able to realize her dream. Due to her consistently outstanding performances and her excellent spins and footwork, she lands a spot on the Olympic team. Some teammates attempt to psych her out while others (including two boys her age who are also athletes) vie for her attention. Add in all of the press, scheduling, and travel, not to mention her mother being denied admittance to the Games due to her visa status, and Espi nearly gets overwhelmed. When she focuses back in on what she loves - skating, the feeling she gets when she lands a jump or when she's simply gliding on the ice - she is able to rise to heights she never expected. Populated with a wonderfully diverse cast led by a Dominican girl with a heart of gold and fueled by positive messages about working hard and staying true to yourself, Gold Medal Winter is a winning story. I only wish the skating passages had been more descriptive; as with most books dealing with art (be it music, acting, a competition, any sort of performance or action) I always wish I could see and hear and feel more of those important events, especially when they take place at the climax of the story.

The Amazing Days of Abby Hayes by Anne Mazer is an ongoing series about a girl who loves to collect page-a-day calendars, play soccer, and write in her journal in purple pen. Like Skye O'Shea, she has older sisters who are twins. One is a star athlete, and the other is a lawyer-in-training. Like Alice MacLeod, she has a younger brother who is super-smart. Stuck in the middle, Abby really wants to stand out in her own way. The series deals with different events at her school and her home, such as putting on a play or missing a friend who has moved away. There's a moral to every story, but without being too syrupy-sweet.

Now we're into the slightly older part of the list, with stories set in middle school and high school.

With her second novel, Taylor Morris comes out swinging. Total Knockout: Tale of an Ex-Class President has sports, school, family, and politics. After becoming class president for the third year in a row, Lucia bends some rules and gets impeached. She's shocked and determined to get her title back. Lucia's also a boxer who has regular bouts with her best friend Cooper. Read more about the book.

Janette Rallison has written two sports-related books for young readers: Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Free Throws, the story of a friendship tested by competition on and off the court, and Playing the Field, about an eighth-grader who has to get a tutor and raise his algebra grade in order to stay on the baseball team.

Megan Shull has also written multiple stories about young athletes. In Yours Truly, Skye O'Shea, Skye enters middle school and is nearly overwhelmed by her homework, her first crush, and her hockey practice. Skye really loves hockey, but she worries that she'll never be as skilled or as smart as her older sisters. In Skye's the Limit, Skye decides to go to an outdoor camp in Vancouver. Far from home, her inner and physical strength are tested as she battles homesickness, makes new friends, learns how to kayak, and bicycles her heart out. In The Swap, a 13-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl swap bodies a la Freaky Friday; he, like his brothers, is a lifelong hockey player while she is a soccer player. Read my full-length review of The Swap.
Learn more about all of Megan's books.

In No Cream Puffs by Karen Day, Madison becomes the first girl in Southern Michigan to join a boys' baseball team. She has to prove herself not only to her teammates but to her friends, her family, and her town. Set in 1980, I recommend this book to athletes of both genders. Read my full-length review.

Cassie, a member of The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick, moves to a town that doesn't have a hockey team for girls. With the help of two new friends and one girl's older brother, she tries out for the boys' team. When she makes the team, Cassie is thrilled and her friends are happy, but some jealous kids and their parents are upset, and her famous supermodel mother doesn't know what to do. This isn't the main plotline of the book, but it is extremely nice to see a girl playing what is commonly thought of as a sport for boys - and not doing it to make a statement, but because she loves it.

All right, teens: The next set of books are for you.

There are plenty of books - and movies too, for that matter - which focus on athletes training for the big game or competition, only to have accidents! injuries! obstacles! interfere in act three. Luckily, they tend to pull through and win the championship or gold medal, and everyone lives happily ever after. Right?

Thankfully, Girl Overboard by Justina Chen Headley is more thoughtful and less predictable than those stories. The girl in question, Syrah Cheng, is recovering from a snowboarding accident. What will it take for her to get back on that board again? Read my entire review!

In The Truth About Forever, my favorite novel by Sarah Dessen, running is a major theme, both literally and figuratively. Macy's father loved to run and got both of his daughters interested in the sport. Though her older sister Caroline stopped competing in track and field events in the seventh grade, Macy kept training with her father and going to meets. One morning, the day after Christmas, Macy's father dropped dead while jogging. Macy quit the team and packed up her awards. She thought she'd stopped running forever, but then she met Wes and learned two important things: you can't run from the truth, and you can't run from yourself. Read my reviews of all of Dessen's novels.

Here's another great book featuring a runner: Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs. Phoebe must move to Greece in preparation for her mother's second marriage. There, she learns that Greek gods are alive and well, and so are their descendants, which include her stepdad and her classmates. Though this book is obviously a fantasy, it also has realistic drama. It's part The Truth About Forever, part Percy Jackson and the Olympians. After you've read OMG, read the sequel, Goddess Boot Camp. Click over to my review of Oh. My. Gods.

Amazing Grace by Megan Shull is an absolutely sweet story about a tennis pro who takes a much-needed break from it all. This book made me smile. Readers can't help but root for Grace to find her way. Find out more about Grace!

Elisa in Undercover by Beth Kephart is intelligent and quiet. She has a talent for writing and poetry, so she writes notes for boys in her class to give to the girls they like. Once she takes her mother's old skates down to a frozen pond, she discovers a new talent: ice skating. She tries to keep these talents hidden, but, bit by bit, a classmate, a teacher, and hopefully, finally, her family will discover them - will discover her. Read my entire review of Undercover at YA Book Central.

Jersey Tomatoes Are the Best by Maria Padian details one summer in the lives of two best friends: Henry (short for Henriette), a fantastic tennis player, and Eva, a gifted ballerina. Opposite in many ways, the girls are fiercely loyal to one another. Henry and Eva's time at separate summer camps specializing in their professional passions will test their minds and their bodies, but their friendship will prove to be unbreakable. Read my interview with the author.

In the verse novel Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas, Anke's father verbally (and otherwise) abuses her mother, older brother, and older sister - but not her. Instead, he simply ignores her, as if she were a piece of furniture. Anke enters high school and finds herself (in more ways that one) on the volleyball court. Highly recommended. Read my interview with the author. Related Booklists: Verse Novels and Tough Issues for Teens.

Jordan Sonnenblick has a knack for writing realistic fiction featuring teen guys as the protagonists. Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip follows Peter Friedman through his first year of high school. Peter has been a dedicated baseball player since he was little, always playing alongside his best friend AJ, but the summer before he starts high school, he sustains an injury which makes him unable to pitch...ever again. Frustrated and hurting inside and out, he finds himself turning to photography, a craft he learned from his grandfather. As his hobby turns into a passion and leads him to a new friend (a wonderful character named Angelika), Peter becomes a sports photographer for his school. Meanwhile, he finds himself lying to AJ about the extent of his injury, and covering for his beloved grandfather, who is becoming senile. Poignant and realistic, this is a solid story that will inspire honesty and hope.

When the book Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston begins, Hermione Winters, a senior in high school, heads off to cheer camp with her coach and her teammates, including Polly, her best friend and co-captain, and Leo, her boyfriend. Knowing this will be the last time she attends the camp, Hermione intends to make it the best one ever, to work hard, to enjoy the challenges and the routines and the music and the friendships, and to set a good example for her teammates and friends. Then, on the night of the camp dance, Hermione is raped - her cup of punch drugged by a boy, she blacks out and wakes up in the hospital. The night holds no memories for her past the blackout. She cannot remember the face of her attacker, nor does she have any recollection of what he actually did to her. All she knows is what the doctors, nurses, and detectives have put together from examining her. There are many things I love about this book, including the fact that it encourages cheerleaders to be seen as athletes, not airheads. The writing is terrific, and readers will definitely be cheering for Hermione. Read my full-length review of the book.

Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock tells the story of a girl named D.J. who has to pick up the slack on her family's farm when her father's injuries prevent him from doing the bulk of the work. Her two older brothers, now away at college, were big hometown football stars. Could D.J. follow in their footsteps? Give Dairy Queen and its sequel The Off-Season to girls you know who refuse to back down when coaches tell them girls shouldn't play football or shouldn't be allowed to play on all-male teams - and tell them that YES, THEY CAN! Just say no to gender bias, I say. Click here and here for additional posts about disproving and overcoming gender-based assumptions. Continue reading my review of the D.J. books.

If you like Dairy Queen and The Off-Season by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, then you'll like the PrettyTOUGH books by Liz Tigelaar. The tagline for the series is perfect: Who says you can't be both pretty AND tough? In the first book, PrettyTOUGH, two very different sisters play on the same soccer team, one of whom would rather be surfing. The second book, Playing with the Boys, takes place at the same school with a different protagonist. Shortly after moving to town and starting a new school year, Lucy tries out for the soccer team. She doesn't make it, but the letdown is replaced by surprise when she's recruited for the boys' football team due to her awesome kicking ability. After she gets a crash course in football - and a quick crush on a popular boy - Lucy has to prove herself to her classmates, her teammates, her coach, and her widowed father. Read my interview with the author.

Take note: The PrettyTOUGH books, though fictional, are associated with the real-life girls-and-sports association PrettyTOUGH. Both the books and the association encourage young women to try out for sports teams and go for their goals. Girls CAN be both pretty and tough, both on and off of the field!

Along the same lines comes Throwing Like a Girl by Weezie Kerr Mackey, the story of a girl who joins the softball team at her new school. As they practice, Ella starts to bond with her coach and her teammates as well as a slightly older girl who used to be on the team. A nice story which values family and teamwork.

Rash by Pete Hautman surprised me with its inclusion of sports. The story, though continuous, has three definite sections to it. I preferred the first portion because I liked the set-up and the setting of the dystopic future. Deb's son may like the second portion, with its football storyline. Running is also discussed in detail.

Jake, Reinvented by Gordon Korman is a modern retelling of The Great Gatsby. In this story, Jake, the high school version of Jay Gatsby, becomes the long snapper on the football team. I greatly prefer The Great Gatsby, but this book may act as a stepping stone to the classic for those who might initially refuse to pick up Gatsby. (Please, please, read The Great Gatsby!)

Additional notes:

I consider dancing a sport, and I have created a separate booklist for dancing.

This list was initially created for Deb and her son in middle school. I then added titles for other age groups.

I can think of many other sports stories which I have not read, so I'll post some of those titles in the comments below.

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: Marigolds by Robert Graves

March 25th, 2016 (06:00 am)

Current Mood: thoughtful
Current Song: Stuck in a Glass Elevator by Myriad

With a fork drive Nature out,
She will ever yet return;
Hedge the flowerbed all about,
Pull or stab or cut or burn,
She will ever yet return.

Look: the constant marigold
Springs again from hidden roots.
Baffled gardener, you behold
New beginnings and new shoots
Spring again from hidden roots.
Pull or stab or cut or burn,
They will ever yet return.

Gardener, cursing at the weed,
Ere you curse it further, say:
Who but you planted the seed
In my fertile heart, one day?
Ere you curse me further, say!
New beginnings and new shoots
Spring again from hidden roots.
Pull or stab or cut or burn,
Love must ever yet return.

- Marigolds by Robert Graves

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Little Willow [userpic]

Booklist: Multiple Narrators

March 22nd, 2016 (08:10 am)

Current Mood: thirsty
Current Song: So Young by The Corrs

There are two sides to every story - or three, or four, or more. Here are more than a dozen stories for pre-teens, teens, and adults which employ multiple narrators, listed alphabetically by author:

The Poison Apples by Lily Archer (classmates)
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (classmates)
The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler (best friends)
Never Mind! by Avi and Rachel Vail (twins)
The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June by Robin Benway (sisters)
Just Flirt by Laura Bowers (enemies)
Devine Intervention by Martha Brockenbrough (guardian and charge)
Sweetgrass Basket by Marlene Carvell (sisters)
A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley (acquaintances become friends)
When It Happens by Susane Colasanti (classmates, then...)
Take Me There by Susane Colasanti (friends)
If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period by Gennifer Choldenko (classmates)
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (strangers at first)
Naomi & Ely's No-Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (friends)
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (strangers at first)
Backlash by Sarah Darer Littman (relatives, neighbors, classmates)
Mare's War by Tanita S. Davis (grandmother and granddaughter)
Peas and Carrots by Tanita S. Davis (foster sisters)
The Fruit Bowl Project by Sarah Durkee (classmates)
To Be Mona by Kelly Easton (classmates)
Dirty Laundry by Daniel Ehrenhaft (classmates)
Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles (antagonists, then...)
In a Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth (organ donor and recipient)
Jenna & Jonah's Fauxmance by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin (coworkers)
The Patron Saint of Butterflies by Cecilia Galante (best friends)
The Difference Between You and Me by Madeleine George (classmates)
Split Image by Mel Glenn (classmates)
Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes (classmates)
Hit by Lorie Ann Grover (student and teacher)
Takeoffs and Landings by Margaret Peterson Haddix (siblings)
Burn for Burn trilogy by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian (classmates)
- Burn for Burn
- Fire with Fire
- Ashes to Ashes
Grand & Humble by Brent Hartinger (classmates)
The Drake Chronicles (series) by Alyxandra Harvey (best friends - one's a vampire)
Identical by Ellen Hopkins (twins)
Impulse by Ellen Hopkins (patients)
Lemonade Mouth by Mark Peter Hughes (classmates)
A Time for Dancing by Davida Wills Hurwin (best friends)
All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab (classmates)
After Obsession by Carrie Jones and Steven E. Wedel (classmates, then...)
Feathered by Laura Kasischke (best friends)
You Are My Only by Beth Kephart (relatives)
Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles (friends)
Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles (friends, classmates, siblings, neighbors, more)
Going Under by Kathe Koja (siblings)
The Girls by Amy Goldman Koss (friends)
The Cheat by Amy Goldman Koss (classmates)
Poison Ivy by Amy Goldman Koss (classmates)
Blue Plate Special by Michelle D. Kwasney (3 generations of teen girls)
The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan (schoolmates)
Are We There Yet? by David Levithan (brothers)
How to Be Bad by E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski and Lauren Myracle (friends/co-workers)
Leap Day by Wendy Mass (classmates)
Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass (new friends)
The Sisters Club series by Megan McDonald (sisters)
- The Sisters Club
- The Sisters Club: The Rule of Three
- The Sisters Club: Cloudy With a Chance of Boys
The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty (best friends)
The Secret Language of Girls and its sequel, The Kind of Friends We Used to Be by Frances O'Dowell (best friends who grow apart)
Amity by Micol Ostow (residents of the same house, 10 years apart)
Jersey Tomatoes are the Best by Maria Padian (best friends)
A Tale of Highly Unusual Magic by Lisa Papademetriou (two girls connected through a book)
Harmless by Dana Reinhardt (friends)
34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues (friends and sisters)
The Bridge from Me to You by Lisa Schroeder (classmates, then...)
To Feel Stuff by Andrea Seigel (two college students at the school infirmary and an M.D.) [Note: Adult fiction]
The Swap by Megan Shull (classmates)
The Way He Lived by Emily Wing Smith (classmates, siblings, and friends)
This is What I Want to Tell You by Heather Duffy Stone (siblings)
A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl by Tanya Lee Stone (schoolmates)
Give A Boy A Gun by Todd Strasser (schoolmates, teachers, etc.)
Hung Up by Kristen Tracy (strangers, then friends)
The Last Days by Scott Westerfeld (bandmates)
Afterworlds by by Scott Westerfeld (a writer and her protagonist - but the two worlds do not meet/crossover)
Under the Light by Laura Whitcomb (ghost and host)
Leftovers by Laura Wiess (best friends)
Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia (classmates)
How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr (two teenage girls)
Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando (two college-bound girls)
Anyone But You by Lara M. Zeises (raised like siblings)

Note: Jodi Picoult, whose novels often have teenage protagonists but are shelved in adult fiction, typically have multiple narrators.

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: Babylon by Robert Graves

March 18th, 2016 (06:00 am)

Current Mood: satisfied
Current Song: Hey Hey Honey by Secret Someones

The child alone a poet is:
Spring and Fairyland are his.
Truth and Reason show but dim,
And all's poetry with him.

- from Babylon by Robert Graves

Read the entire poem.

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: Carl Sandburg

March 11th, 2016 (06:00 am)

Current Mood: grateful
Current Song: House score music

The dome of the capitol looks to the Potomac river.
Out of haze over the sunset,
Out of a smoke rose gold:
One star shines over the sunset.
Night takes the dome and the river, the sun and the smoke rose gold,
The haze changes from sunset to star.
The pour of a thin silver struggles against the dark.
A star might call: It’s a long way across.

- Carl Sandburg

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Little Willow [userpic]

Author Interviews

March 7th, 2016 (06:00 am)

Current Mood: optimistic
Current Song: The Strange Love of Martha Ivers score music

This is the archive of exclusive interviews with authors I've conducted for the Bildungsroman blog and website, as well as interviews with other artists and actors I've written for other publications. The most recent interview is the first to be listed.

Suzanne Nelson (Serendipity's Footsteps)
Laurel Gale (Dead Boy)
Courtney Summers (All the Rage)
Una LaMarche (Like No Other)
Micol Ostow (Amity)
Julie Danielson and Betsy Bird (Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children's Literature)
Kelly Jensen (It Happens)
Jen Wang (In Real Life)
Shirley Vernick (The Black Butterfly)
Joy Preble (The A-Word)
Kirsten B. Feldman (No Alligators in Sight)
Varsha Bajaj (Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood)
Robyn Bavati (Dancing in the Dark)
Ilsa J. Bick (White Space)
Holly Schindler (The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky)
Alison Cherry (Red)
Chris and Kyle Bolton (Smash)
Alison Croggon (Black Spring)
Shirley Vernick (Remember Dippy)
Jessica Day George (Wednesdays in the Tower)
Shayne Leighton (Of Light and Darkness)
Hilary McKay (Lulu)
Leslie Stella (Permanent Record)
Lauren Baratz-Logsted (The Sisters 8)
Nataly Dawn (singer/songwriter, How I Knew Her)
Doreen Rappaport (Beyond Courage)
Kirsten Miller (How to Lead a Life of Crime)
Caroline B. Cooney (The Face on the Milk Carton)
Dallas Clayton (Make Magic! Do Good!)
Tara Altebrando (What Happens Here)
Kelly Thompson (The Girl Who Would Be King)
Leigh Dunlap (Halifax, A Cinderella Story)
Christopher Golden (Father Gaetano's Puppet Catechism)
Ashley Sandeman (The Thickening Water)
Ned Vizzini (The Other Normals)
Daniella Alonso (Revolution actress)
Megan Frazer Blakemore (Secrets of Truth and Beauty)
Elizabeth Zechel (Is There a Mouse in the Baby's Room)
Donna Freitas (Gold Medal Summer)
Peter H. Reynolds (Sky Color)
Iva-Marie Palmer (The End of the World as We Know It)
Lisa M. Stasse (The Forsaken)
Jennifer Miller (The Year of the Gadfly)
Dave Roman (Teen Boat!)
Tim Lebbon (The Sea Wolves)
Megan McDonald (Judy Moody)
Lisa Papademetriou (Confectionately Yours)
Mary Lowry (The Earthquake Machine)
Cecilia Galante (The Little Wings series)
Gaby Rodriguez (The Pregnancy Project)
Trina Robbins (Lily Renee, Escape Artist)
Susan Lee (Mastermind, Diary of a Mid-Life Crisis)
Beth Kanell (The Secret Room)
Loretta Ellsworth (Unforgettable)
Kristen Tracy (Sharks & Boys)
Anne Ursu (Breadcrumbs)
Erin McGuire (Breadcrumbs)
Tinsel Korey (The Twilight Saga actress)
Alexa Martin (Girl Wonder)
Elisabeth Rohm (Nerissa)
Mary E. Pearson (The Fox Inheritance)
Jane Mendelsohn (Innocence)
Maria Padian (Jersey Tomatoes Are the Best)
Emily Howse (Zitface)
Rachel Karns (Gray)
Shirley Vernick (The Blood Lie)
Janet Lee Carey (The Dragons of Noor)
Tim Lebbon & Christopher Golden (The Secret Journeys of Jack London)
Julia DeVillers & Jennifer Roy (Trading Faces)
Adele Griffin (The Julian Game)
Daisy Whitney (The Mockingbirds)
Maya Gold (Cinderella Cleaners)
Mary Jane Beaufrand (The River)
Loretta Chan (The Struggle to Be Strong)
Jamie Rich (12 Reasons Why I Love Her)
Lisa Shanahan (The Sweet, Terrible, Glorious Year I Truly, Completely Lost It)
Buzzy Jackson (Shaking the Family Tree: Blue Bloods, Black Sheep, and Other Obsessions of an Accidental Genealogist)
Kirsten Miller (Kiki Strike)
Jaclyn Moriarty (The Year of Secret Assignments)
Andrew Auseon (Freak Magnet)
Kristen Tracy (A Field Guide For Heartbreakers)
Sarah Mlynowski (Gimme a Call)
Holly Cupala (Tell Me a Secret)
J Torres and Jason Bone (Alison Dare)
Cecil Castellucci (Rose Sees Red)
Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown (Picture the Dead)
Melina Marchetta (Looking for Alibrandi)
Sarah Kuhn (One Con Glory)
Donna Freitas (This Gorgeous Game)
Holly Schindler (A Blue So Dark)
Barbara Dee (This is Me From Now On)
Julie Bowe (My Best Frenemy)
Meg Cabot (Runaway)
Robin Benway (The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June)
Karen Cushman (Alchemy and Meggy Swann)
Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams (Goddess Girls)
Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall)
Cherie Priest (Boneshaker)
Carrie Ryan (The Dead-Tossed Waves)
Margo Lanagan (Tender Morsels)
Shula Klinger (The Kingdom of Strange)
Rachel Hawkins (Hex Hall)
Jen Calonita (Reality Check)
Elissa Brent Weissman (Standing for Socks)
Kristin Walker (A Match Made in High School)
Carrie Jones and Alyxandra Harvey (Captivate; Hearts at Stake)
Robin Friedman (The Importance of Wings)
Loretta Ellsworth (In a Heartbeat)
Melissa de la Cruz (The Ashleys)
E. Lockhart (The Treasure Map of Boys)
Joan Holub (Shampoodle)
Thomas Randall (The Waking: Dreams of the Dead)
Jacqui Robbins (Two of a Kind)
Laurie Faria Stolarz (Blue is for Nightmares)
Courtney Sheinmel (Positively)
Cynthia Leitich Smith (Rain is Not My Indian Name)
Tom Sniegoski (Legacy)
Laura Resau (The Indigo Notebook)
Tim Raglin (The 13 Days of Halloween)
Barbara Jean Hicks, Sue Hendra, and Erin Clarke (Monsters Don't Eat Broccoli)
Matt Phelan (The Storm in the Barn)
Amber Kizer (Meridian)
Thomas Randall (The Waking: Dreams of the Dead)
Melissa Wyatt (Funny How Things Change)
Tanita S. Davis (Mare's War)
Autumn Cornwell (Carpe Diem)
Cheryl Renee Herbsman (Breathing)
Lara Zeises (The Sweet Life of Stella Madison)
Neesha Meminger (Shine, Coconut Moon)
Alyson Noël (Evermore)
Terri & Brittany MacLeod (113 Things to Do By 13)
Jim Rugg (The Plain Janes)
Jessica Burkhart (Canterwood Crest)
Katie Alender (Bad Girls Don't Die)
Nikki Goldstein (GirlForce)
Grace Lin (Where the Mountain Meets the Moon)
Sarah Darer Littman (Purge)
Rachel Renee Russell (Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-So-Fabulous Life)
Cylin Busby (The Year We Disappeared)
Lauren Myracle (Peace, Love, & Baby Ducks)
Thalia Chaltas (Because I Am Furniture)
Rosemary Clement-Moore (Prom Dates from H&!!)
Carolyn Hennesy (Pandora Gets Jealous)
Amber Benson (Death's Daughter)
Sarah Mlynowski (Parties & Potions)
Linda Urban (A Crooked Kind of Perfect)
Meg Cabot (Forever Princess)
Judy Blume (Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing)
Robin Benway (Audrey, Wait!)
Lisa Ann Sandell (Song of the Sparrow)
Emily Ecton (Boots and Pieces)
Sarah Darer Littman (Purge)
Luisa Plaja (Split by a Kiss)
Courtney Summers (Cracked Up to Be)
Tracie Vaughn Zimmer (The Floating Circus)
Helen Hemphill (The Adventurous Deeds of Deadwood Jones)
Amy Belasen and Jacob Osborn (Jenny Green's Killer Year)
Claire Mysko (You're Amazing! A No-Pressure Guide to Being Your Best Self)
Julie Kraut (Hot Mess: Summer in the City)
Barbara Jean Hicks (The Secret Life of Walter Kitty)
Carol Plum-Ucci (What Happened to Lani Garver)
Jen Calonita (Secrets of My Hollywood Life)
Debbie Reed Fischer (Swimming with the Sharks)
Taylor Morris (Total Knockout: Tale of an Ex-Class President)
Christopher Golden (Serial Interview, Part 13)
Kristin O'Donnell Tubb (Autumn Winifred Does Things Different)
Nancy Viau (Samantha Hansen Has Rocks in Her Head)
Christopher Golden (Serial Interview, Part 12)
Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (In the Forests of the Night)
Christopher Golden (Serial Interview, Part 11)
Paul Miller (Earthling Publications)
Christopher Golden (Serial Interview, Part 10)
Courtney Sheinmel (My So-Called Family)
Suzanne Supplee (Artichoke's Heart)
Brooke Taylor (Undone)
Christopher Golden (Serial Interview, Part 9)
Vivian French (The Robe of Skulls)
Christopher Golden (Serial Interview, Part 8)
E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski, and Lauren Myracle (How to Be Bad)
Christopher Golden (Serial Interview, Part 7)
Christopher Golden (Serial Interview, Part 6)
Alison McGhee (Snap)
Cherry Cheva (She's So Money)
Denise Vega (Fact of Life #31)
Christopher Golden (Serial Interview, Part 5)
Christopher Golden (Serial Interview, Part 4)
Christopher Golden (Serial Interview, Part 3)
E.M. Crane (Skin Deep)
Jennifer Bradbury (Shift)
Tera Lynn Childs (Oh. My. Gods.)
Susane Colasanti (Take Me There)
Christopher Golden (Serial Interview, Part 2)
Suzanne Harper (The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney)
Ingrid Law (Savvy)
Christina Meldrum (Madapple)
Gaby Triana (The Temptress Four)
Christopher Golden (Serial Interview, Part 1)
Shannon Hale (Book of a Thousand Days)
Liz Tigelaar (PrettyTOUGH)
April Lurie (The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine)
Sara Hantz (The Second Virginity of Suzy Green)
Jody Gehrman (Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty)
Laura Preble (Queen Geeks Social Club)
Robin Wasserman (Seven Deadly Sins, Skinned)
Josie Bloss (Band Geek Love)
Cheryl Klam (The Pretty One)
Teri Brown (Read My Lips)
Kim Flores (Gamma Glamma)
D. Anne Love (Defying the Diva)
Cecilia Galante (The Patron Saint of Butterflies, Hershey Herself)
Jennifer E. Smith (The Comeback Season)
Lisa McMann (Wake)
Dorian Cirrone (Prom Kings and Drama Queens)
Carmen Rodrigues (Not Anything)
Mary E. Pearson (The Adoration of Jenna Fox)
Maryrose Wood (My Life: The Musical)
Jennifer Ziegler (How NOT to Be Popular)
Jamie Ponti (Prama)
Siobhan Vivian (A Little Friendly Advice)
Sherri L. Smith (Hot, Salty, Sour, Sweet)
Robin Palmer (Cindy Ella)
Daphne Grab (Alive and Well in Prague, New York)
Lesley M.M. Blume (Tennyson)
Sara Lewis Holmes (Letters From Rapunzel)
Gabrielle Zevin (Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac)
Beth Kephart (Undercover, House of Dance)
Melissa Walker (Violet on the Runway)
Amy Goldman Koss (The Girls)
Meg Cabot (The Princess Diaries)
Liz Gallagher (The Opposite of Invisible)
Justina Chen Headley (Girl Overboard)
Aimee Ferris (Girl Overboard)
Jo Knowles (Lessons from a Dead Girl)
Kirsten Miller (Kiki Strike)
Michele Jaffe (Bad Kitty)
Sara Shepard (Pretty Little Liars)
Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (Naomi & Ely's No Kiss List)
Micol Ostow (Emily Goldberg Learns to Salsa)
Maureen Johnson (Girl at Sea)
Tom Sniegoski (Owlboy: The Girl with the Destructo Touch)
Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Punk Farm)
Erik Brooks (Lucy's Pups)
Eric Luper (Big Slick)
Paula Brehm-Heeger (2007-2008 YALSA President)
Justina Chen Headley, Lorie Ann Grover, and Janet Lee Carey (Readergirlz: 31 Flavorites)
Melissa Lion (Swollen, Upstream)
Christopher Golden (Body of Evidence)
Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles, Ironside)
Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why)
Kelly Bingham (Shark Girl)
Simmone Howell (Notes from the Teenage Underground)
Deborah Davis (Not Like You)
Tom Sniegoski (Billy Hooten, Owlboy)
Sara Ryan (The Rules for Hearts)
Simone Elkeles (How to Ruin a Summer Vacation)
Julie Halpern (Get Well Soon)
Caroline Hickey (Cassie Was Here)
Gretchen Olson (Call Me Hope)
Stephanie Hale (Revenge of the Homecoming Queen)
C. Leigh Purtill (Love, Meg)
Dana Reinhardt (A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life)
Ysabeau Wilce (Flora Segunda)
Christopher Golden (The Menagerie: Crashing Paradise)
Jordan Sonnenblick (Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie)
Sameera "Sparrow" Righton via Mitali Perkins (First Daughter: Extreme American Makeover)
Sarah Beth Durst (Into the Wild)
Kristen Tracy (Lost It)
Alex Richards (Back Talk)
Janet Lee Carey (Dragon's Keep)
Sonya Sones (What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know)
Cecil Castellucci (Beige)
Joni Sensel (Reality Leak)
Dia Calhoun (The Phoenix Dance)
Nina Malkin (Orange is the New Pink)
Karen Day (Tall Tales)
Julie Bowe (My Last Best Friend)
Sarah Miller (Miss Spitfire)
Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak, Twisted)
Elizabeth Scott (Bloom)
Alex Flinn (Beastly, Diva)
Wendy Toliver (The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren)
Laura Bowers (Beauty Shop for Rent ...fully equipped, inquire within)
Jessica Day George (Dragon Slippers)
E. Lockhart (Dramarama)
Mary Wilcox (The Hollywood Sisters)
Debra Garfinkle (The Band)
Kristen Buckley (Tramps Like Us)
Crissa-Jean Chappell (Total Constant Order)
Liane Bonin (Fame Unlimited)
Heather Brewer (The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod)
Shannon Greenland (The Specialists)
Carrie Jones (Tips on Having a Gay (Ex) Boyfriend)
S.T. Underdahl (The Other Sister)
Kerry Madden (The Maggie Valley Trilogy)
Margo Rabb (Cures for Heartbreak)
Jenny Han (Shug, interview two)
Jennifer L. Holm (Penny From Heaven)
Justina Chen Headley, Lorie Ann Grover, Dia Calhoun, and Janet Lee Carey (Readergirlz)
Robin Friedman (The Girlfriend Project)
Tracie Vaughn Zimmer (Reaching for Sun)
Terie Garrison (The DragonSpawn Cycle)
Lisa Graff (The Thing about Georgie)
Alison Bell (Zibby Payne and the Terrible, Wonderful Tomboy Experiment)
Jeannine Garsee (Before, After, and Somebody In Between)
Deb Caletti (The Nature of Jade)
Wendy Mass (Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life)
Paula Chase (So Not the Drama)
Melissa Schorr (Goy Crazy)
Nina Wright (Homefree)
Helen Hemphill (Runaround)
Sara Zarr (Story of a Girl)
Christopher Golden (The Veil)
Garret Freymann-Weyr (Stay With Me)
Lauren Baratz-Logsted (Angel's Choice)
Kirby Larson (Hattie Big Sky)
Lesley M.M. Blume (Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters)
Bonnie Dobkin (Dream Spinner)
Pamela Lowell (Returnable Girl)
Lisa Yee (Millicent Min, Girl Genius)
Raina Telgemeier (BSC Graphix)
Marcy Dermansky (Twins)
Christine MacLean (How It's Done)
Alex McAulay (Bad Girls)
Kelly Parra (Graffiti Girl)
Janette Rallison (It's a Mall World After All)
Amy Saidens (Simon Pulse book cover artist)
Micol Ostow (30 Guys in 30 Days)
Erin Downing (Dancing Queen)
Aimee Friedman (A Novel Idea)
Kelly McClymer (Getting to Third Date)
Jennifer Echols (Major Crush)
Niki Burnham (Do-Over)
Sarah Bushweller and Emily S. Morris aka Libby Street (Accidental It Girl)
Gena Showalter (Oh My Goth)
Justina Chen Headley (Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies))
Bev Katz Rosenbaum (I Was a Teenage Popsicle)
Christopher Golden (Straight on 'til Morning)
Laura Wiess (Such a Pretty Girl)
Cara Lockwood (Bard Academy: Wuthering High)
Caridad Ferrer (Adios to My Old Life, interview two)
Beth Killian (The 310: Life as a Poser)
Jenny O'Connell (Plan B)
Tara Altebrando (The Pursuit of Happiness, interview two)
Susan Taylor Brown (Hugging the Rock)
Jenny Han (Shug)
Justine Larbalestier and Scott Westerfeld (Magic or Madness, Uglies)
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Golden)
Tom Sniegoski (Serial Interview, Part 4)
A. Lee Martinez (Gil's All Fright Diner)
Tom Sniegoski (Serial Interview, Part 3)
Jordan Roter (Girl in Development)
Tom Sniegoski (Serial Interview, Part 2)
Lorie Ann Grover (On Pointe, Hold Me Tight)
Caridad Ferrer (Adios to My Old Life)
Chris Abouzeid (Anatopsis)
Tom Sniegoski (Serial Interview, Part 1)
Ally Carter (I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You)
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist)
Tanya Lee Stone (A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl)
Serena Robar (braced2bite)
Mari Mancusi (Boys That Bite)
Cynthia Lord (Rules)
Sarah Dessen (Just Listen)
Tara Altebrando (The Pursuit of Happiness)
Polly Shulman (Enthusiasm)
Jeanne Birdsall (The Penderwicks)
Amber Benson and Christopher Golden (Ghosts of Albion: Accursed)
Christopher Golden (Last Breath)
Christopher Golden (The Monster Book)
Christopher Golden (Strangewood)
Christopher Golden (Body of Evidence)

Themed interviews with multiple authors:
Tell Me a Secret
What Makes You Smile
Art Saves
Family Ties
Definitions of Hope
Their Favorite Books
Looking Forward

This archive is mirrored at the Bildungsroman website.

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Poetry Friday: Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

March 4th, 2016 (06:00 am)

Current Mood: contemplative
Current Song: Stuck in a Glass Elevator by Myriad

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

- Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

Listen to Mary Oliver read her poem Wild Geese on the program Listening to the World

Related Posts at Bildungsroman:
If I Were by Mary Oliver
Next Time by Mary Oliver
How I Go to the Woods by Mary Oliver
The Uses of Sorrow by Mary Oliver
Starlings in Winter by Mary Oliver
I Want to Write Something So Simply by Mary Oliver

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.