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I am a youth services librarian, which means I work with children, tweens and teens. I love being asked about great books to read! The opinions and content of this blog are my own and are not that of my library system. My blog content is my own and not that of any committee or organization I'm involved in. A Note to Authors/Publishers: I would be happy to review your book, share guest posts, author interviews or other book promotions on my blog. Please contact me at greenbeanteenqueen (at) gmail (dot) com

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

YA Movie News

Oh my goodness! It's been so long since I posted YA Movie News and there is so much exciting stuff to share!

-Jessica Brody's Unremembered Trilogy has been optioned for a film.

-The Fault In Our Stars isn't the only John Green book heading to the big screen. Paper Towns is getting the film treatment and John Green will be on board as a producer. 

-Summit has picked up Dork Diaries for the big screen

-As is the trend with popular franchises, Summit announced they will split Allegiant into two films. Sigh...I love YA novel film adaptations but I really wish they would stop with this making the movies last forever thing. Just because it worked for Harry Potter doesn't mean it will work for everything else.

-Ann Brashares' The Here and Now was picked up by the producers of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. 

-Blake Nelson's novel, Recovery Road, has a pilot order from ABC Family.

-Paramount is working on a film adaptation of Lisa McMann's Wake starring Miley Cyrus by attaching a writer to the project. This one has been in the works for a while so it will be interesting to see if it actually happens.

-Summit is just making themselves known as the YA novel adaptation company with the purchase of the film rights to John Corey Whaley's Noggin

And there are so many trailers!!!















Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Day in the Life of a Librarian

Each day I walk into the library, I get to look forward to something new. While the general routine may be the same each day holds something different. I never know what questions I'm going to be asked and I love that! Here's what my day looked like today:

8:20- arrive at work, go through opening procedures for department 

8:35-gather story time books and music 

8:40-check in with M  about plan for the day, what needs to be done

8:45-set up story time. Since I was doing back to back story times, I decided to do all sings and dancing without any crafts or activities to make the set up easier

9:05-check email, respond to messages that need answers right away, email manager about an upcoming staff meeting

9:15-on desk, youth services coordinator visits department to get feedback about sumner reading program, branch manager stops by to get stickers fir an outreach visit, sign up for upcoming staff training

9:30-P arrives for shift. We talk about the May schedule and I make adjustments to the schedule 

10:00-time for toddler story time! The Freeze Dance and playing with the parachute were the kids favorite parts of story time 

10:30-10:50-break

10:50-set up story hour room for preschool story time, adjust music I need for my preschool group.

11:00-this us only my third week back from maternity leave, so I'm still seeing lots of my regular patrons for the first time since I've been back. I got to catch up with one if my story time families and talk books and movies which is always fun!

11:15-preschool story time. I ended up reading the same books (Dance With Me, If You're A Monster and You Know It, and From Head to Toe) but I added longer songs. I included Greg and Steve's Listen and Move-one of my favorites!  The kids loved it!

11:45-clean up story time and put books in bin for a repeat of my story time plan on Friday 

12:05-rove through the teen department, take DVD cases up front to the circulation department, check mail, visit youth services coordinator to talk about purchasing a new diecut for our machine to use for summer reading, catch up with C when she arrives for the afternoon and talk about the schedule and email it out to staff, reply to emails 

1:00-1:20-break

1:30-3:00-supervisor training webinar 

3:00-visit teen department then head back to children's department after training, catch up with staff about what's been happening, make list of what to talk to branch manager about during meeting tomorrow, answer questions at desk and help patrons, update calendar with meetings and schedule for May, swap story times with M for next week and adjust the schedule (there is always so much to do with the schedule!!!)

4:00-4:20-break

4:20-answer questions at desk, visit teen department, straighten up department, organize desk for tomorrow, make to do list for tomorrow, one last email check

5:00-head home
 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

So You Want To Read Middle Grade: Nonfiction for Middle Grade by Sarah Albee


Sarah Albee writes nonfiction for middle grade readers. She is the author of Poop Happened and Bugged. You can find her online at:  http://www.sarahalbeebooks.com/

 

I write nonfiction for middle graders, and my mission is to get kids who’ve been traumatized by deadly-dull social studies textbooks to unthink that they hate history. One tactic I use is to select a subject kids will be interested in—be it sanitation, insects, clothing, disease, poison—and trace it chronologically through history. I feel an obligation to entertain them, to astonish them, to make them laugh. After all, they could be reading fiction. I want them to see that history is full of conflict, tension, controversy, emotion, drama. 

Humorous writing does not equal unserious writing. Some of my favorite adult writers – Mary Roach, May Berenbaum, Stephen Jay Gould--are serious scholars and hilarious writers. Most of my favorite middle school history writers are that, too. They understand that to snag the interest of a middle school kid, to expect her to pick up a nonfiction book that hasn’t been assigned to her, it’s our job to make it irresistible. How? Through the use of humor, offbeat topics, engrossing stories, and lots of fascinating—or disgusting, or lurid--details.
           
Here are some of my favorites, new and backlist, that may help change kids’ minds about history.

 

How They Choked by Georgia Bragg (Walker, May, 2014)

A delightful follow-up to her wickedly-wonderful How They Croaked (Walker, 2011), both of which are enhanced by Kevin O’Malley’s evilly-funny illustrations. Bragg combines humor with impressive research, as she recounts stories of famous flawed figures and their fabulous fiascoes. As she points out in her intro, “sometimes historians lose sight of the fact that their subjects were human beings. Real people make mistakes (even historians).”

 



The Raucous Royals Test your Royal Wits: Crack Codes, Solve Mysteries, and Deduce Which Royal Rumors are True written and illustrated by Carlyn Beccia (HMH 2008)

Beccia’s biographies of twelve European rulers are funny, fascinating, and thoroughly-researched. She’s a hilarious writer (check out her blog here). http://www.raucousroyals.com/ Her breezy, conversational style engages readers and invites them to be active participants, to recognize that contemporary sources can be unreliable, to learn to interpret biases and sort out facts from rumors. It’s an excellent mentor text for helping kids “identify author’s point of view and purpose.”

 

 
Tales of the Cryptids: Mysterious Creatures that May or May Not Exist by Kelly Milner Halls, Rick Spears, and Roxyanne Young (Millbrook Press, 2006)

For kids fascinated by cryptozoology (and I know many), this book gives evidence for and against mythical monsters like Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and Champ, as well as examining confirmed real-life monsters like giant squids and the coelacanth. The authors present eyewitness accounts, blurry photos, and speculative reconstructed models. They include interviews with experts on both sides of the argument, and discuss famous hoaxes. “For Further Investigation” provides websites and sources for curious kids interested in following up.
 

 
Women of the Frontier: 16 Tales of Trailblazing Homesteaders, Entrepreneurs, and Rabble-Rousers by Brandon Marie Miller (Chicago Review Press, 2013)
Miller profiles 16 women of the western US, and every story sucks you in with electrifying details and masterful storytelling. Kids will love the gritty, gripping accounts of life on the frontier, liberally interspersed with fascinating excerpts from letters and diaries and other primary sources. Miller’s unflinching accounts of the horrors of privation, insects, disease, and, yes, laundry—make every story a page-turner.


And on my to-read list:

 
 
Lives of the Explorers by Kathleen Krull (HMH, August 2014)

I am a big fan of all of Krull’s Lives of… books and can’t wait for this one!

 

Bad Girls: Sirens, Jezebels, Murderesses, and Other Female Villains by Jane Yolen and Heidi E.Y. Stemple (Charlesbridge, 2013)

 I love the sound of this book for its approach to the lives of some of the baddest (or possibly just misunderstood or misguided) women in history. As Booklist’s reviewer put it, “ . . . both an introduction and afterword focus on how history changes its opinion on people’s actions, the way history’s winners get the glory, and whether circumstances shape events more than personalities do.” Plus it’s got an awesome cover.






Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Monday, April 7, 2014

Shattered Cover Reveal

I'm excited to reveal the cover of Shattered by Mari Mancusi, the sequel to Scorched.




And check out Mari Mancusi's blog for a very special giveaway of a dragon egg pendant:


http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/YWE1MTIzYTQ0NjBjNWU3OTkzOTliMzU0NWU0MTU1OjEx/.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Into the Dark (The Shadow Prince) by Bree Despain

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary/Greek Mythology

Release Date: 3/11/2014

Add to Goodreads

About the Book: Haden Lord is a prince of the Underrealm-but he's a disgrace to his father and the court. It comes as a surprise when Haden is chosen by the oracle as the new Champion-the one to cross through Persephone's gate in order to bring back the latest boon. Only Haden's quest is different. His chosen girl, Daphne Raines, isn't an ordinary boon-she's the cypher and could be the key to restore immortality to the Underrealm. Haden goes undercover at Olympus Hills High School and has six months to return with Daphne. But fate has other plans as Daphne and Haden uncover more secrets about the Underrealm and their destiny.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I really love stories based on Greek Mythology, so when I first heard about Into the Dark I was excited but wary. The Persephone myth seems like a popular trend right now in YA and I wasn't sure how yet another offering of the story would measure up. I was not disappointed as Into the Dark has a fresh, unique take. It may be inspired by the myth of Persephone, but the story is original take on the myth of Persephone as a launching point for a new tale about the Underrealm.

At first glance, it might seem like another girl meets boy with supernatural powers romance. But don't let first impressions deceive you. Yes there's romance between Haden and Daphne, but it's not insta-love. It's a relationship that's brewing all throughout the novel as the two spend time together and get to know each other. Haden isn't a brooding, mysterious lead. Instead he's somewhat awkward as he's trying to navigate a human world he doesn't understand. He's from the Underrealm and his lessons about humans are dated at times so his language and manners are a bit stiff as he tries to figure out how to communicate with Daphne. I found this aspect of Haden actually charming and funny at times. Sometimes his mannerisms reminded me of a cross between Sheldon Cooper and Data from Star Trek which is kind of an odd statement about a romantic lead I know but I found it endearing. 

Daphne is a strong character who is independent-and not about to be swept off her feet by a mysterious stranger. Daphne and Haden don't have a "meet cute" moment. In fact Haden messes up their first meeting pretty badly and ends up getting punched in the face-not your typical love at first sight moment which I appreciated. Daphne wants to make her own choices about her future and Haden wants her to as well instead of trying to control her or decide her future for her. And there's no love triangle-yay!!!

The cast of supporting characters is well rounded and not just stock sidekicks and best friends. They are all involved in the future of the Underrealm-even if they don't realize it. Both Daphne and Haden have characters around them but they are all woven into the story together. The story is mainly about Daphne and Haden but there are rich subplots with Daphne's new friend Tobin determined to find his missing sister and Daphne's estranged father wanting to make up for lost time. I really enjoyed the layered plot and how all the stories and characters tied together. I felt it made the novel have more of a mystery feel than just romance. There are lots of twists and while some things were a bit predictable, I was still pleasantly surprised by others. 

This is the first in a series and while there are still many unanswered questions at the end, I didn't feel as though I was led hanging. The book had a good conclusion that left me satisfied while still eager for more. A great start to a new series perfect for fans of mythology.

Full Disclosure: reviewed from egalley from publisher


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