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Booklist: Hey There, Sports Fan

January 9th, 2016 (11:38 am)

Current Mood: crazy
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.

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.

Chris Crutcher's books are heavy-hitters that combine sports with school issues and family drama. His works are shelved in teen fiction and have been well-received by critics and kids alike. I found Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes to be both realistic and thought-provoking.

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]

Booklist: Set in School and Transition Times

January 9th, 2016 (08:30 am)

Current Mood: nerdy
Current Song: Four Years by Jon McLaughlin

My friend Claire asked for a list of YA books which focused on school life. After giving her some recommendations, I typed up this list, and kept adding more and more titles until I had a booklist populated with characters in various grade levels going through all sorts of transitions.

Elementary and middle school:

The Ramona books by Beverly Cleary - Follow Ramona from age 4 to age 10.

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson - While Astrid spends the summer before junior high at roller derby camp, she can feel her best friend drifting away. Great graphic novel with a sporty punch!

Sixth Grade Secrets by Louis Sachar - Classic girls vs. boys story that also encourages honesty and inspires laughter.

Standing for Socks by Elissa Brent Weissman - Entering middle school, and searching for individualism.

... and, of course, The Baby-Sitters Club. Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia and Stacey are in seventh grade when the series begins. After a handful of books, they are promoted to eighth grade, at which time they gain two additional members, Jessi and Mallory, who are sixth graders. The girls stay in middle school for the remainder of the series. The original four girls finally graduated from eighth grade at the end of the final series, Friends Forever.

Between middle school and high school:
Transitioning from middle school to high school can be exciting, scary, difficult, and overwhelming. The following stories include middle school graduations and/or the summer between middle school and high school.

The Summer I Saved the World...in 65 Days by Michele Weber Hurwitz

Lucky by Rachel Vail (the first in a trilogy about sisters)

Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet by Sherri L. Smith

Freshman year of high school:
I highly recommend all of the titles on this freshman list. They get it, they really do.

The True Meaning of Cleavage by Mariah Fredericks - The separation of two best friends. Highly recommended.

Nothing but the Truth by Avi - This documentary novel chronicles the life of a ninth grade boy whose minor disturbance in class leads to a major media story.

Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar - A fantastic story, a well-written book.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson - School factors heavily into this incredibly memorable story.

Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson - In this case, the freshman is the protagonist's younger sister, Hannah.

So Not the Drama by Paula Chase - Four friends navigate the high school hallways. The first in a series.

Perfect Girl by Mary Hogan - A first crush, a worldly aunt, and so much more.

The Comeback Season by Jennifer E. Smith - Grieving and healing, a girl and a boy, alone and together.

Looks by Madeleine George - One of the two main characters is a freshman, the other a sophomore.

A Map of the Known World by Lisa Ann Sandell - A freshman girl, still reeling from the loss of her older brother, must enter high school without him there to help her.

Because I am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas - The only member of her family to escape her father's abuse, a quiet girl enters high school, finds her place on the volleyball court, and finds her voice.

Deep in the Heart of High School by Veronica Goldbach - Three best friends - three very different girls who play different instruments in the school marching band and have totally different families - march through their freshman year of high school.

Boarding school and/or private school - for elementary and middle school readers:

The Ballet School Diaries by Alexandra Moss - This cute and fun series for kids is set at a ballet boarding school in the UK.

Accidentally Fabulous series by Lisa Papademetriou - The fashionable protagonist goes to a private middle school on scholarship.
- Accidentally Fabulous
- Accidentally Famous
- Accidentally Fooled
- Accidentally Friends

Boarding school and/or private school - for teen and adult readers:

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta - Tracing the roots decades-old struggle for power between three types of kids - Jellicoe School (boarding school) students, local Townies, and Cadets from a school in Sydney - and climbing the family tree. Published as On the Jellicoe Road in Australia. Highly recommended.

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta - An all-boys school goes co-ed. Recommended.

Looking for Alaska by John Green - Coming-of-age at a modern-day Alabama boarding school. Highly recommended.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart - A fresh take on secret societies, with a young girl thwarting some smirky boys. A great book set a modern day boarding school. Highly recommended.

Breathless by Jessica Warman - After something happens to her older brother, Katie's parents send her off to boarding school, and she is surprised by how much she loves it there. The book follows her from sophomore year through graduation.

The Poison Apples by Lily Archer - Three girls at boarding school bond over their family situations: each has recently acquired a stepmother. Though it uses the fairy tale metaphor, this book isn't a fantasy, nor is it magical realism. It is realistic fiction, and it is really good. Modern day.

A Great and Terrible Beauty trilogy by Libba Bray - Historical fantasy set in a Victorian girls' boarding school. Incredibly imaginative and intriguing.
- A Great and Terrible Beauty
- Rebel Angels
- The Sweet Far Thing

Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman - Two best friends consider Pride & Prejudice and get involved in a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Modern day. Recommended.

Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg - A modern-day retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, set in boarding school.

Headlong by Kathe Koja - When a new girl transfers to The Vaughn School, a private school for girls, a lifelong Vaughn student starts to see her school - and her life - differently.

The Gallagher Girls books by Ally Carter - A top-secret modern-day spy school for girls.

The Love series by Emily Franklin - Love starts going to New England boarding school when her dad becomes the principal. Modern day.

The end of senior year:

The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life by Tara Altebrando - One week before they graduate from high school, Mary and her friends take part in their school's official-unofficial scavenger hunt.

The summer following high school graduation:

The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

The Story of Us by Deb Caletti

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

Return to Me by Justina Chen

A Separate Peace by John Knowles
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Good-Bye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton
Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Little Men by Louisa May Alcott
Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery
Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster

Making it through your first year of college:

The Body of Evidence series by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala - In the first book, Body Bags, protagonist Jenna Blake is just about to enter college. The first line of the first chapter: "It was a beautiful day to grow up." There are ten books in this series, following Jenna through a good chunk of her college life.

Very LeFreak by Rachel Cohn - An intelligent but technology-addicted young woman has a difficult time balancing school and fun during her freshman year at Columbia University.

Additional stories in which school is a supporting character:

Keeping You a Secret by Julie Anne Peters - The main characters start seeing each other before school. Literally.

Innocence by Jane Mendelsohn - Oh, the scenes in the lunchroom! I love this book so much.

Swollen by Melissa Lion - Your perceptions of your classmates may differ from the truth. From their truths. From your truths.

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan - I wish all schools were this open and accepting. I wish all people were this open and accepting.

Follow a girl through elementary school, middle school, and high school in the Alice McKinley books by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. The series has over twenty titles. The Agony of Alice was the first book and is set in middle school. The author has since written prequels, making Starting With Alice (third grade) the earliest story on the timeline. The Grooming of Alice describes the summer between her eighth grade and ninth grade years. Alice Alone starts off her freshman year. For the full breakdown of titles and grades, please click here.

Barthe DeClements had fun with her grade-oriented dramadies for young readers:
- The Fourth Grade Wizards by Barthe DeClements
- Nothing's Fair in Fifth Grade in Fifth Grade by Barthe DeClements
- Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You by Barthe DeClements
- How Do You Lose Those Ninth-Grade Blues? by Barthe DeClements

For even more stories set in school, please refer to the categories of cheating and teacher relationships within my Tough Issues for Teens booklist.

Also check out my After Graduation booklist.

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: Wait For It from Hamilton

January 8th, 2016 (06:00 am)

Current Mood: hopeful
Current Song: Wait For It from the Hamilton soundtrack

Love doesn't discriminate
Between the sinners
And the saints
It takes and it takes and it takes
And we keep loving anyway
We laugh
And we cry
And we break
And we make our mistakes
And if there's a reason I'm by her side
When so many have tried
Then I'm willing to wait for it
I'm willing to wait for it...

Death doesn't discriminate
Between the sinners
And the saints
It takes and it takes and it takes
And we keep living anyway
We rise
And we fall
And we break
And we make our mistakes
And if there's a reason I'm still alive
When everyone who loves me has died
I'm willing to wait for it
I'm willing to wait for it...

I am the one thing in life I can control
I am inimitable
I am an original
I'm not falling behind or running late
I'm not standing still
I am lying in wait

Life doesn't discriminate
Between the sinners and the saints
It takes and it takes and it takes
And we keep living anyway
We rise
And we fall
And we break
And we make our mistakes
And if there's a reason I'm still alive
When so many have died
Then I'm willin' to-
Wait for it.

- selected lyrics from the song Wait For It from the musical Hamilton

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]

Best Books of 2015

January 1st, 2016 (04:00 pm)

Current Mood: hopeful
Current Song: My Shot from the Hamilton soundtrack

Total number of books and scripts read in 2015: 178

This year, as with last year, I wrote nearly as much as I read, if not more. I am so grateful for all of the opportunities I had to bring new characters to life, to speak and sing the words of others on stage, on film, and in the studio - and, in turn, to see and hear things that I wrote brought to life by others. Thank you to everyone who gave me the chance to do what I love, to everyone who wrote the stories and songs that I got lost (and found) in this year.

Here is my list of the best books of 2015, containing titles released and read in that calendar year. Please note that a title's placement within a category is not an indication of rank of any sort; titles are typically listed in the order I read them. Click on a title to read my review.

Juvenile Fiction
A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord

Young Adult Fiction
Alex as Well by Alyssa Brugman (published in the USA in 2015; originally published in Australia in 2013)
All the Rage by Courtney Summers
The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
Edgewater by Courtney Sheinmel
The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten (published in the USA in 2015; originally published in Canada in 2013)

Adult Fiction
Dead Ringers by Christopher Golden
Tin Men by Christopher Golden
A Deafening Silence in Heaven by Thomas E. Sniegoski

Notable New Series
Upside-Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins (juvenile fiction)

Notable Conclusions to Series
Beyond the Parallel, the fourth and final book in the Parallelogram sequence by Robin Brande (YA Fiction)

Sounds Like Me: My Life (so far) in Song by Sara Bareilles
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
The Wise Girl's Guide to Life: 100 Tips for Increasing Your Confidence and Happiness TODAY! by Robin Brande

Graphic Novels
Cemetery Girl, Book Two: Inheritance by Charlaine Harris and Christopher Golden

Best of the Backlist - Notable books and publications that I read in 2015 which were published in 2014 and earlier
The Apartment screenplay by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond (I've always loved this film and was quite happy to find the script)
I and You by Lauren Gunderson (stage play)
Yes Please by Amy Poehler (non-fiction)

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: What If I Fall? by Erin Hanson

January 1st, 2016 (06:00 am)

Current Mood: optimistic
Current Song: All This Time (The Pick-Me-Up Song) by Maria Mena

There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask, "What if I fall?"
Oh, but my darling,
What if you fly?

- by Erin Hanson

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]

Best Books of December 2015

December 31st, 2015 (02:10 pm)

Current Mood: awake
Current Song: My Very Best by Elbow

December 2015: 16 books and scripts read

Most of the things I read this month were unpublished and/or unproduced at the time of this posting, so I can't list many of them - but for those of you looking for a book to put in the hands of your middle schoolers in 2016, please put Project (Un)Popular by Kristen Tracy on your radar. It's the first in a new series for tweens, and it will be released in June 2016.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Little Willow [userpic]

Booklist: Tough Issues for Teens

December 31st, 2015 (07:30 am)

Current Mood: hopeful
Current Song: Just Enough by Aslyn

One afternoon in the bookstore, a young woman in her late teens approached me and said, "Excuse me. Can you help me? I want some books like . . . " She named a few teen fiction titles that dealt with drug abuse and anorexia. She looked slightly uncomfortable but mostly excited. I told her that I could recommend many good books. Within minutes, she was sitting on the floor in the teen fiction section, a plastic basket full to the brim with books, with additional titles in her hand and next to her knees and her feet.

We had a great discussion. I was happy on any levels: happy that she felt comfortable enough to come to me, happy that she was open-minded, happy that I got some realistic, well-written books in her hand. This urged me to make a list of books dealing tough issues - eating disorders, loss and grieving, addiction, abuse, and so forth.

Due to subject matter, many of these books are recommended for older teens as well as adults, be they parents, teachers, librarians, or simply avid readers.

I've read every title on this list, and have given each book a rating according to the United States movie rating guide - G, PG, PG-13, or R - based on content, and a number of stars - four being the best - based on quality (my personal opinion).

PARENTAL ABUSE OR NEGLECT - Physical or emotional abuse, alcoholism, etc.
Read more...Collapse )

ABUSE BY OTHERS - physical or emotional abuse; date or acquaintance rape; accusations, secrets and lies
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TEACHER/STUDENT RELATIONSHIPS - be they romantic relationships or rumors or no romance, but a definite abuse of power
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POSITIVE & PLATONIC TEACHER/STUDENT RELATIONSHIPS - teachers positively influencing and educating their pupils
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PARENT/CHILD RELATIONSHIPS - reconnecting with or distancing oneself from absentee parents, dealing with restrictions and expectations
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LONG-LOST SIBLINGS - reconnecting with siblings, or meeting them for the first time
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PHYSICAL DISORDERS/INJURIES/SPECIAL NEEDS - protagonist, siblings, friends
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BODY CHANGES - growing up and dealing with natural physical changes (as opposed to health, weight, or body image issues; disorders/injuries are in a separate list above this one)
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TEENAGE PREGNANCY - may also deal with adoption and/or abortion
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DIVORCE, SEPARATION, AND/OR STEPFAMILIES - parents dating, getting remarried, etc
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CAR ACCIDENTS (and similar accidents)
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ADOPTION - Also foster care, group homes, and counseling
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ACADEMICS - cheating, excelling, or otherwise dealing with academic pressure
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SOCIAL STATUS - at school or otherwise with peers; popularity, bullying, et al.
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INTERNET SAFETY - and/or cyberbullying
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SEEKING SHELTER - family shelters, homelessness, runaways
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I hope that this list helps readers of all ages find books they may be too shy to openly discuss with a bookseller or librarian. I want those readers to know they may leave a comment here and tell me which books they have found valuable. Most of all, I want them to know they can talk to their friends or adults they know in order to get the answers and help they may need.

If you would like for me to add more titles about a certain subject, or if you want more information about any of the books on the list, please leave a comment.

Special thanks to those who have shown their support of this list by offering me links, comments, and compliments, such as Jen Robinson, Bookseller Chick, Robin Brande, Sassymonkey at BlogHer, Daisy Whitney, Caroline, Bookstore People, and Jennifer R. Hubbard.

Little Willow [userpic]

Author Interviews

December 30th, 2015 (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.

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.

Little Willow [userpic]

GuysLitWire: Teen Survey: Calvin

December 29th, 2015 (06:33 am)

Current Mood: awake
Current Song: Metal & Dust by London Grammar

It's time for another reader survey! I interviewed one of my teen customers for GuysLitWire. Here's what he had to say:

Name: Calvin

Age: 15

Grade: 10th

Books recently read for fun: Fall of Giants by Ken Follett - It took me a while, but it was a fantastic read and ultimately awesome! - and Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell - heart-wrenching, and you really want the main characters to get together.

Books recently read for class: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Books you want to read: Winter of the World and Edge of Eternity, the second and third books in the Century Trilogy by Ken Follett.

Books you read as a kid: Harry Potter! Book of choice; just great. My sister read the 7th book 13 times.

Why you like to read: I can't stop reading; it's a passion, and it takes my mind off school.

Favorite book genres/topics: Sci-fi/historical fantasy. Fantasy books transport me into new worlds (so) it's hard to stop reading.

Favorite authors: Ken Follett

Favorite playwrights and plays: West Side Story

Favorite movies: Airplane! My favorite movie by far. I love comedy movies.

Favorite musicians/music genres: Jazz

Anything else you want to say: Reading is awesome!

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: A Mood by Winifred Howells

December 25th, 2015 (07:49 am)

Current Mood: accomplished
Current Song: Bookmark by Novelette

The wind exultant swept
Through the new leaves overhead,
Till at once my pulses leapt
With a life I thought long dead,
And I woke, as one who has slept,
To my childhood,-that had not fled,
On the wind my spirit flew;
Its freedom was mine as well.
For a moment the world was new;
What came there to break the spell?
The wind still freshly blew;
My spirit it was that fell.

- A Mood by Winifred Howells

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.