Time to Battle it out again!

If you recall, last year we posted about the Battle of the Kids' Books, hosted for the past few years by School Library Journal. This is a bracket-style showdown between some of the best books for kids & teens, with each matchup "judged" by a well-known author. And it's that time of year again!

This year's Battle of the Books began last Tuesday March 13, with an epic showdown every day– judged by a wonderful group of authors of teen and tween books (Sara Zarr! Gayle Forman! Jeff Kinney!).  There are three more matchups left in Round One, and then we move on to the re-matches in Round Two.

One thing that I keep thinking about as I follow this contest – how on earth do you choose between two such excellent books that are so different?  It is interesting to see how each judge considers the choices thoughtfully, in order to make the decision.  Click here to read the thoughtful reviews – and to see which books will be moving on to the next round!

http://battleofthebooks.slj.com/

Teens’ Favorite Books of 2011

We asked our teen book reviewers what their favorite book(s) of 2011 was.  What was your favorite book?  Leave a comment below!

Alex, Sonoma Valley Branch
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
DaVinci Code by Dan Brown
Deception Point by Dan Brown

Alison, Sonoma Valley Branch
Hate List by Jennifer Brown
Forever by Maggie Stiefavater (Third book in the Mercy Falls series)
Nightshade & Wolvesbane by Andrea Cremer
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Between Shades of Gray by Kuta Sepetys
Choker by Elizabeth Emma Woods
Stolen by Lucy Christopher
Hold Still by Nina LaCour
Matched by Allie Condie

Annie, Petaluma Branch
The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
I liked the storyline because it's really cool; two kids find Facebook which in their time hasn't been invented yet.  They soon realize that what they do can affect what happens in the future by what they do everyday.  They take advantage of this and change up their whole future.

Book-to-Movie News!

Attention all Horror-Fantasy fans!  

Joseph Delaney's popular tween-teen crossover series "The Last Apprentice" — now on book 8 or so —  is being adapted into a movie!

The movie, planned as the first in a series, will be based on the first book only,  Revenge of the Witch, and will be called "The Seventh Son."  Stars already lined up include Jeff Bridges (as the Spook) and Julianne Moore (as scary-evil witch Mother Malkin).  No announcement yet who will play the young apprentice Tom (although one rumor says Alex Pettyfer).  The latest IMDb posting has it scheduled for release in 2013.

Haven't read these yet?  Don't be fooled by the location of these books in the children's section of the library — they are seriously creepy!  And the 2013 movie release date gives you plenty of time to catch up!

Revenge of the Witch View full image
Curse of the Bane View full image
Night of the Soul Stealer View full image
 Attack of the Fiend  View full image
 Wrath of the Bloodeye  View full image
 Clash of the Demons  View full image
 Rise of the Huntress  View full image
 Rage of the Fallen  releases April 19, 2011
   
   

 

Inheritance is coming!

This just in!

In a press release today from Random House Children's Books, it was announced that the final book of the wildly-popular Christopher Paolini "Inheritance" series will be released in November 2011!  Wahoo!! 

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Book 1: Eragon

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Book 2: Eldest

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Book 3: Brisingr

Inheritance

Book 4: Inheritance

This exciting news comes more than three years after the release of the previous book.  Author Christopher Paolini (only 17 years old when he wrote the first book) is quoted as saying:  "The burning questions asked by fans around the world will finally be answered in this last installment.  All will be revealed!"

Click here for a link to the Random House publisher's description of the new book.

I'm looking forward to it!  Are you?

Battle of the Books– check it out!

The magazine School Library Journal is running its second annual "Battle of the Kids' Books," which pits 16 of the very best books for young people of the year, judged by some of the most famous authors of children's books. 

Children's books and teen books;  fiction and nonfiction, they are all thrown in together to pick out what is THE. BEST. KIDS. BOOK. of the year. 

Author-judges include folks such as Karen Hesse, R.L. Stine, Barry Lyga, Francisco X. Stork, Karen Cushman and Richard Peck. 

There is one decision a day, starting on this past Monday, March 14th.  Some awesome titles have already been knocked out of the running.  Thank goodness for "The Undead Poll," where readers were allowed to vote for a book to be "resurrected from the dead" after Round Three.

Round One will winnow the list from 16 books down to 8;  Round Two will get it down to 4;  Round Three will get us to the top two books, and then we we get the winner in the Big Kahuna Round. 

Are you interested?  I sure am!  Follow along with me as the winners emerge each day!

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss??

It seems the speculation about who will play Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games movie may almost be over. Now we just need to wait with bated breath to see who will play Peeta and Gale.

www.variety.com

I haven't seen "Winter's Bone," which I guess is what catapulted Jennifer to the top of the casting list.  I definitely don't picture Katniss as a cute blonde, but I guess Hollywood can make people look anyhow they like.  I liked the portrayal of Katniss by Danielle Chuchran (who is also a blonde) in this trailer, so looks don't really matter. 

What do you think about Jennifer Lawrence playing this role?

2011 Sibert Award Winner!

In an earlier post, we shared information about the 2011 Youth Media Awards, which  were announced last week— these are the winners of the prestigious awards for children's and teen's literature published in the past year. 

This post, highlighting the Sibert Award, is for all you nonfiction lovers out there!

 

The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal

The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal is awarded annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished informational book published in English during the preceding year. The award is named in honor of Robert F. Sibert, the long-time President of Bound to Stay Bound Books, Inc. of Jacksonville, Illinois.

 

AND THE 2011 WINNER IS…

 

Kakapo Rescue:
Saving the World's Strangest Bird
written by Sy Montgomery
& illustrated by Nic Bishop

On remote Codfish Island off the southern coast of New Zealand live the last 91 kakapo parrots on earth. Originally this bird numbered in the millions before humans brought predators to the islands. Now on the isolated island refuge, a team of scientists is trying to restore the kakapo population.

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Two Sibert Honor Books were also named this year;  they are:

 

I look forward to some great informational reading! 

 

 

Happy Holidays! and Library Closure

The Sonoma County Library will close on Thursday, December 23 at 2:00 pm, and will reopen on Monday, January 3, 2011.  This closure, with employees having to take a 4.5% pay cut, is part of the Library’s effort to reduce its budget shortfall in these difficult economic times.  Please click here for more information about the ten-day Library closure.

 We know that the closure will be difficult for those of you who count on the library for books, DVDs, homework resources, internet access, and more.  I hope you have all stocked up on good books to read over the break!

 

Here's what I'm taking home to read over the next ten days:

Bright Young Things, by Anna Godbersen

In the spring of 1929, eighteen-year-old Cordelia Grey and her stage-struck friend Letty Larkspur run away from their small Ohio town to seek their fortunes in New York City and soon find themselves drawn into situations and relationships, particularly with the dazzling Astrid Donal, that change their lives forever.

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The Girl Who Kicked a Hornet's Nest, by Stieg Larsson (Millenium Trilogy, bk3)

If and when Lisbeth Salander recovers, she'll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence. And, on her own, she will plot revenge–against the man who tried to kill her, and the corrupt government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life.

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Monsters of Men, by Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking, bk. 3) 

As a world-ending war surges to life around them, Todd and Viola face monstrous decisions, questioning all they have ever known as they try to step back from the darkness and find the best way to achieve peace.

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Pies and Prejudice, by Heather Vogel Frederick (Mother-Daughter Book Club, bk. 4)

Four girls, and their mothers, continue their mother-daughter book club via videoconference between Massachusetts and England, reading Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice," and try to put friendship before romance.

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To all of  you readers out there — I wish you a happy holiday season!

YA Books as TV Shows

In the past few years, there have been several popular YA book series turned into tv shows.  Often when things are adapted for television (or movie), they get cut up, changed, edited, and patched back together to fit "the industry's" vision of what the public wants.  Sometimes it's good, sometimes bad.  I'm curious, what do you all think?  Are you reading and/or watching these books & shows?  Here are some of them:

GOSSIP GIRL

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I've watched a few of the Gossip Girl episodes, and read several of the books – the Library owns all of them, so go ahead and place a hold if you want to check them out.  I thought casting overall was decent, although I was horrified by the casting of Jenny (her defining attribute, which drove the plot in several of the books is her … um… generous chest, which is nonexistent in the show).  Also, I didn't like them changing the character of Serena's brother.  Oh well.

 

VAMPIRE DIARIES:

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The Vampire Diaries books originally came out in 1995.  They were pretty much out of print and forgotten until the TV show came out in 2009.  Now the books are all reissued and spiffed up, with a brand-new sequel just out.  Ian Somerhalder seems a bit old to me, to play Damon (I can deal with 25-year-olds playing high school students, but 35?).  Also, the actress who plays Elena is a bit too likable for my tastes — one of the things I liked about the books is how nasty she is.  Otherwise, I think the show is a decent adaptation.  Too bad it will have to fight off comparisons to Twilight and True Blood.

 

PRIVATE:

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This series is different in that it is actually a web series, playing on the internet and not airing on broadcast television.  The book series debuted in 2006, and the web series in 2009 (DVD just released in August, and we should have it in the SCL collection soon!).  In an interesting twist, the producers conducted an American-Idol-style casting competition, with the top contenders for the role of Kiran competing in a televised reality-TV-style contest.  I haven't seen this one at all, so you'll have to let me know if the best person won.

 

PRETTY LITTLE LIARS:

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This one is a newcomer to the TV show block — it's still in the midst of its first season, and not coming out on DVD until next year.  The books first started coming out in 2006, and are still going strong.  The story of the missing/ presumed dead girl who comes back to haunt her guilty friends has been done many times before, but this series actually does a good job of keeping you on your toes.  I've only seen the pilot of the TV show, and it seemed like the character development and casting did justice to the books.

 

So, are there any other recent TV shows based on YA books that I am missing?  Let me know, so I can add them to my read and watch lists!

YA Fiction Factory? Wow….

I just read this article from New York Books about author James Frey (known for getting busted for falsely claiming his bestselling book was a true story).  It appears that he is recruiting struggling young writers to participate in a sweatshop-style writing project to try to churn out the next Twilight-style commercial success in teen literature.  I must admit that I am a little shocked.  I actually read the "I Am Number Four" book — it was ok, not great, but clearly written with the goal of becoming a movie. 

I wonder what will happen with this company and the stuff they will turn out?  Will any of them actually become popular?  What do you think?

Read the article here:  http://nymag.com/arts/books/features/69474/