Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Recently, Christine got a request from Jillian Miller, a high school home economics teacher in Montana, for some classroom copies of the book. The teacher wanted to use them as part of her curriculum. We happily sent her a box of books. Unfortunately, the powers that be at the school apparently wouldn't approve the book for required classroom reading. According to Jillian, they found it "a bit racy and [thought it could] could put some parents on edge." The Bible verses were apparently a problem, too. So Jillian made it optional reading. I asked Jillian to forward me any reviews or reactions she got from her students. Here's the first one:
My name is Courtney and I go to Billings West High School. My sewing teacher, Mrs. Miller, generously let me borrow the novel How It's Done. I absolutely loved the book. I loved how it relates so much to my life as well as other teenage girls' lives. I loved the character, Grace. I loved how she finally stood up to her father. I thought the relationship between her and Michael was great at first until he made a mistake with Liv and just the fact that Grace and Michael did not connect as well as they did at the beginning of their relationship. Throughout the novel, Grace changed and grew and understood life more. She became more mature and just wanted to be free and she thought she was accomplishing that by being with Michael until she felt brought down by him. She realized who she was and she could not get married being so young and experiencing so little. She wanted to live life more and not be tied down and commit to just one person for the rest of her life. I love how she grew and became strong and started standing up for herself. And that is why I loved the novel.
Teen Book Review says The Second Virginity of Suzy Green is "a funny, engaging, and touching story that readers will surely love. Sara Hantz is great at creating realistic, memorable characters, Suzy of course being the best of them." YA Books Central reviewer Bria seems to agree. She writes "Reading this book is like hearing your best friend tell you the story of her like. It is fun, sweet, and hilarious. Sara Hantz really knows how to get into the teenage mind and tells us that we are okay just the way we are. Another great addition in teen chick lit and I hope to see more with this author."
Booklist offered a positive review of Varian Johnson's My Life as a Rhombus, saying, among other things, “…there’s wry humor here, and the sometimes raw dialogue is well done.”
Teen Book Review also got a chance to read Brian Mandabach's Or Not, and they dug it. "It’s a thought-provoking, extremely well-written first novel. Brian Mandabach’s debut is brilliant, and I am really looking forward to reading whatever this talented author writes next." Librarian Lisa Chellman in her blog Under the Covers has an extremely thoughtful and complimentary review of Brian's book. I particularly like this observation: "In Jay Asher’s big debut Thirteen Reasons Why, the main female character finds reasons not to go on living. Or Not, in contrast, is about Cassie’s discovery of reasons to live, even when she’s feeling weighed down by the tedium and sorrow of life. It’s about finding the resolve to hang on, even when she feels helpless and hopeless." She raises some excellent points, and I'll definitely be reading her blog again.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I didn't know anything about KLIATT before I started this job (and until reading the obit today, the name of the magazine was a mystery to me, as I suspect it is to a lot of readers and authors who see it on back covers), but I've come to appreciate the comprehensive coverage of teen books that they provide. KLIATT is not the biggest or the flashiest of book publications by a long shot and I have certainly cursed a few KLIATT reviews, but in its thoroughness and its commitment to making all sorts of teen books accessible to librarians, KLIATT makes a significant contribution to the world of teen literature and we're better off for the creation of Doris Hiatt and Celeste Klein.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
"We always felt that this show would appeal to everyone. Because everyone wants to be a teenager, is a teenager, or was a teenager, and those years are so powerful and evocative--nobody forgets what they were like in high school."
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Monday, November 5, 2007
And, upon further examination, it appears that Micol Ostow is on this tour as well. All the more reason!
UPDATE: Don't miss a Q & A with Carrie on the web site of award-winning author K.L. Going.