Attention, audiobook fans! SYNC Audiobooks for Teens is back for another season. SYNC is a FREE summer reading program sponsored by AudioFile Magazine that pairs high-interest fiction and nonfiction audiobook titles based on weekly themes. Each week, participants can download two full audiobooks via the OverDrive App. Just download the app and sign up for notifications for when each weekly download is available (each Thursday morning at 7 am). It’s completely free, and the best part is, these titles are yours to keep! Check out the titles and sign up for updates here: http://download.audiobooksync.com/
Week 1 Titles:
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich
Week 2 Titles:
Feed by M.T. Anderson
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Okay, somehow I missed that yesterday was Thursday and forgot to announce the Sync downloads for the week. The contemporary book is 100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith, which I really liked (which is saying something because I hated the first book I read by him and just had to stop reading another after only 51 pages). The classic book is This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff. Download them here.
As for the new-ish book. We’ve been taking the time this month to recognize mental health and we’ve had some wonderful presentations aimed at helping us understand how the brain works differently in different people. This seemed like a great time to talk about what has been my favorite book I’ve read so far this year.
Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman is a very strange story in the best possible way. It is the story of Colin Bosch, artist in residence on a ship headed for the deepest ocean. It is the story of Colin Bosch, odd high school student. There are pirates and parrots and families.
I don’t want to give too much away except to say, give this book a chance and just trust the story. At the beginning it may not make a whole lot of sense and it may be difficult to follow. But there are amazing “A-HA!” moments in the book once everything falls into place. And there is a great author’s note at the end. You can read it first, if you want a heads up as to what’s going on in the story, but I recommend you leave it until the end.
In short…please read this book. It is wonderful, and beautiful, and amazing.
Oh…and next week…
Today is Star Wars Day! So, grab a Star Wars themed book. We’ve got a bunch. The Shakespeare editions. Novels of the movies. Jedi Academy. But I do love the Origami Yoda series (as evidenced by the poster in front of the circulation desk).
Want to make your own origami figures for Star Wars day? Then grab Art2-D2’s Guide to Folding and Doodling. Learn to draw speedy versions of your favorite Star Wars characters (pre-The Force Awakens). Or make your own origami cast (although you may need the novels to get origami instructions for all the characters). If you make any, be sure to stop by and show us!
Another exciting thing about today…it’s Sync ’16 Eve! Sync is the program that offers free audiobook download all summer long. Two books each week based on a theme. Each year they add more titles and start the program earlier. This year…it starts tomorrow. The first two books are The Great Tennessee Monkey Trail and Vivian Apple at the End of the World. Each Thursday two new books will go up on the site. Once downloaded, they’re yours to keep. So take advantage. There are some ah-maze-ing books this summer. You can see the whole list here. Or grab a flyer from the library or at Mrs. Neft’s desk.
Yesterday, December 1st, marked the 60th anniversary of the arrest of Rosa Parks for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. Did you know that she was not the first person arrested for this? In March, of 1955, a teenager named Claudette Colvin created a spark for the Civil Rights movement.
Colvin had to take the public bus to get to her high school. One day, on her way home, the bus driver told her to give up her seat for a white woman who was standing. Colvin refused, saying she didn’t feel like standing. The bus driver called the police who physically removed Colvin from the bus.
This incident earned her a place as a plaintiff in the the court case that would rule the segregation of buses as unconstitutional, Browder vs. Gayle. When the case went to the Supreme Court in 1956, Colvin, who was 17 at the time, was the last witness to testify.
The book Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice recounts her story, from her childhood through her decision to move to New York. It’s a fascinating story and a look at how the Civil Rights movement was organized and planned. The book includes details on how the African-American community organized to make the Montgomery bus boycott effective, while still allowing them to go about their lives. Most everyone knows the story of Rosa Parks, but before reading this book I knew very little about Claudette Colvin. Hers is a fascinating story and gives much more context to Parks’s story as well.
No, that’s not some secret code. It stands for National Novel Writing Month. Every November, people all over the world sign up to attempt to write a novel in one month. I’ve never tried it. Don’t know that I would. But it’s a neat project and I know people who have tried it (although no one I know has yet published a novel from this exercise).
So, why do I bring this up? Because it’s an unspoken part of today’s featured book.
Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld is actually two novels for the price of one. One story is about Darcy, an up and coming YA novelist who has moved to New York as she finishes edits on her about to be published debut novel…which she wrote during the month of November. (Although NaNoWriMo is never explicitly mentioned.)
The second story is Darcy’s novel about a girl named Lizzie who is trapped in a terrorist attack at an airport. In an attempt to “play dead” and escape the terrorists, Lizzie discovers that she can cross over into the world of the dead. She also discovers she can see ghosts, including the one that’s been hanging around her home.
The chapters alternate, so you get a little bit of Lizzie, then some Darcy, then back to Lizzie. This book is also a good argument for knowing classic literature, because then you can laugh at a girl named Darcy writing a book about a girl named Lizzie. (Here’s why it’s funny.*)
We have both the print book and the audiobook. Westerfeld is a fun writer, who can write all sorts of things…steampunk alternative history, dystopia, suspense/thriller. I almost always enjoy hanging out in one of his books.
*Yes, I linked to Wikipedia. This is one of those times when it’s a good resource.
In honor of today’s student council inductions.I Am a Genuis of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President by Josh Lieb
I have nothing to add.
Don’t forget to check out the Sync audiobooks this week!
The contemporary book is completely new to me. I’m not familiar with the book or the author. It’s A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty.
The classic book is Bram Stoker’s Dracula, if not the original vampire tale, perhaps the most well known. If you haven’t read it already, I highly recommend it. It kind of puts all other vampire stories in perspective, especially if they are going to play with the mythology. If you watch the TV series The Strain, this can be a particularly good companion to it because Guillermo del Toro really uses Stoker’s mythology as the basis for creating his own, new mythology for vampires. In fact, I first read Dracula right before I read The Strain so that I could have some good vampire context.
(Oh, and hey, if you’re playing Bingo, Dracula would be a great choice for a book that’s over 100 years old!)