Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Banned Books Week... continued

It's banned books week, and I love looking to see which books have hit the top ten banned lists of the year, as well as what authors have been challenged. You can find a lot of that information on the ALA website.

This year, I was surprised to learn that Cinderella has been among the banned. One of my favorite Cinderella stories is Ash by Malinda Lo. Ash is our Cinderella, and she grows up intrigued by the fairy realm and the handsome prince who is cursed to love her. But fate has other plans for Ash, in the form of the King's huntress...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Some thoughts on censorship

In honor of Banned Books Week, I would like to offer some thoughts on censorship.

Censorship is, of course, the act of censoring. And to censor means "to examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable" (Merriam-Webster). (In the Roman republic, the censors kept a count of those who met birth and property requirements to enter the Senate; the basic idea is still roughly the same - taking a measure of, for example, a book to see if it meets certain qualifications, whether these be moral or literary).

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica

Since I started working with the library I have helped with our annual sci-fi/fantasy teen art contest and workshops every year. My first year helping I had the pleasure of booking James A. Owen as a guest speaker. The coolest thing about him: he started self-publishing, selling, and promoting his own comics when he was a teenager. The second coolest thing about him: he's a total book geek, something you'll discover when you read this series, which is sort of like "Lord of the Rings" for the book geek.

The Chronicles revolve around the Imaginarium Geographica, an atlas of imagined lands, and the caretakers who keep the atlas safe. Jack, John, and Charles are brought together by the murder of one of the previous caretakers, which is exactly when they find out that they themselves are the new caretakers.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cold and Furry!

DNA = dieofcute!
Ann Halam's Siberia doesn't just have the usual things I like in a YA novel: a grim, post-apocalyptic setting, a boarding school, a plucky, rebellious heroine, and a heroic journey through the snow (c'mon, I'm a Tucsonan, I need some vicarious cold). It also has an added bonus: cute fictional creatures!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Polly and the Pirates

If you like comics and manga, you should check out Polly and the Pirates. Yeah, I know - ninjas aren't supposed to like pirates. But I have a soft spot for pirates, especially pirate chicks who kick... body parts. And prim and proper Polly is in for a shock when she discovers that her mother was one of those pirate chicks.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Welcome to the Future. It Stinks.

Awhile back, the New York Times ran an article about the "new" trend in YA fiction, novels set in a grim and terrible near future, otherwise known as dystopias. I'm sure they're good at any number of things, but the Times is a little late to the game on this one. In the past few years, dystopian fiction for teens has grown from a few books into darn near its own subgenre. Here, have a few of my favorites.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver - Ever had a bad breakup and wished you could just remove all those awful feelings forever? In Lena's world, they have. Everyone over 18 has been surgically relieved of their ability to love, and doesn't that make life just peachy? Strangely enough, no. (Psst! The library owns it in e-book format as well!)