All Info About Teen Reading

A companion blog to All Info About Teen Reading

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Curled Up Kids Review - Tangerine by Edward Bloor

At times, I also write reviews for Curled Up With a Good Book and its companion site, Curled Up Kids. There, you can now read my review of Tangerine by Edward Bloor. This is one of my all-time favorite young adult books, and one that I actually used in my freshman English classes when I was teaching. I think everyone should give it a try. If you do, let me know what you think.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Interesting Link - Innovative: A Word for the WriTeen

At Innovative: A Word for the WriTeen, a teen writer shares her thoughts on getting published along with author interviews, book recommendations, and more.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Monster Blood Tattoo Trailer

I know it's not a completely new idea, but I've never watched any before, so I'm intrigued by the idea of a book trailer. I have a review of the first book in the series ready to post soon.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

PaperBackSwap Review

PaperBack Swap is a site that allows users to swap unwanted books. It's as simple and as useful as it sounds.

Note:If you're under 18, you'll need to get a parent to sign up for you. That fact did give me pause in recommending this service on a "teen" reading site. However, I've had such a good experience with PaperBack Swap, I couldn't help but spread the word.

When you first sign up at PaperBack Swap, you can receive three credits for posting nine books to trade. Each credit is good for requesting one book. It's sort of a way to try out the service and a thank-you for joining. After that, you receive one credit for each book you send to another user.

There is an extensive teen selection, along with comics/graphic novels, and a genre for every interest. I find it's easier to find a book to request if you have something in mind when you're searching. The site allows you to browse by genre, but there are so many books listed, you could spend hours paging through the lists.

If a book you would like isn't currently available, you can place it on your Wish List. Then if someone posts the book you want, you will be alerted. You may never find one, but you never know. When I signed up for the site, the first books I sent out fulfilled Wish List requests.

It's easy to list a book for trade. You just click on "Post Books" under your account options and enter the ISBN from the back of each book. Confirm you have the correct book and it's in proper trading condition, and you're ready to go. You can increase your chances of making a trade and earning credits by perusing the wish lists and trying to find wishes you can fulfill.

You must pay the postage for all books you mail out. Most books can be mailed via media mail for $2.23, and some of the lightest books can be mailed First Class for even less. There are no additional fees for trading books.

I've had nothing but good experiences with my trades so far. I've been able to find some books I've wanted for quite a while, like The Wave and a few Gossip Girl novels while clearing out my bookshelves a bit. The first few books I requested were in good condition, and they arrived promptly.

Oddly enough, right after I started writing this article, I did encounter a problem with receiving the wrong book, and receiving a book I hadn't requested. Both senders were really helpful, and they were more than accommodating in working out the problem. A site like PaperBack Swap relies on the honesty and the communicativeness of its members, and so far they've passed with flying colors.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Interesting Link - Profile of Author of Total Constant Order

I always feel a bit excited when I see a young adult book featured on the book-focused page of my local Sunday paper. Last Sunday brought a profile Crissa-Jean Chappell, author of Total Constant Order. The main character battles obsessive compulsive disorder, and the author has call on her own struggles to help her write the story. I haven't had a chance to read it, but I think it's worth checking out. I guess it's kind of fitting that the article was more about the author and her creative process and background, but it was the paragraph about the book that I honed right in on.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Summer I Never Had

I recently read Keeping The Moon by Sarah Dessen, and it was a great book, but it started me thinking about a major theme in teen books. The main character, Colie, is left behind by her infomercial-star fitness-guru mother when she goes on a tour of Europe, and Colie is forced to spend the summer with her aunt. Thus begins the summer that changes everything and with the help of an interesting cast of characters, she comes to terms with herself and realizes that she has something special to offer the world. I’ve always been a sucker for these kinds of stories, even those that aren’t written nearly as well as Keeping The Moon (even members of The Baby-Sitter's Clubhad special summers), but I’m left feeling cheated. Why did I never have a life-transforming summer?

In book after book a young female character is torn away from her daily life (family vacation, summer camp, etc.) and this new locale gives her a chance to blossom. She finds new friends, guys start drooling over her, she has a monumental summer romance as hot as the summer sun that bronzes her body and returns to school in the fall a changed person. Does anyone really have experiences like this? Did I just not hang out with the right people?

What were summers in high school like for me? Sitting around the house, reading, watching TV, baby-sitting a friend’s younger brother and occasionally doing something with my friends. And where did I travel? Every summer I was required to spend two weeks in Southern Illinois visiting my parents’ family, where a big Saturday is driving to Paducah, Kentucky to go to the Super Wal-Mart. The people closest to my age were two female cousins who were seven and ten years younger than I was. I can only take so much hide-and-go-seek, and it’s completely their fault that I saw Kazaam (Shaq as a rapping genie – that’s all you really need to know).

I went to two camp-like experiences during my high school years. One was a church-sponsored leadership camp, and while it was fun and I met some cool people, I never kept in touch with any of them afterwards, and I didn’t return with a Diocesan Youth Leadership Camp-boyfriend. I also attended the American Legion Auxiliary’s Girls’ State. The lack of guys at the camp was, I believe, supposed to empower us and allow us to focus on building a model government instead of flirting, but I think it just made everyone cranky. I ended up in a “city” of girls who didn’t really care about the program. Not that I was unnaturally excited to create a fake city council, but I was at least willing to go along with it, and it was certainly a more interesting way of learning about governmental issues than in my high school’s Political Behavior class. The counselors kept us under lock and key, and if I remember correctly, someone in our “city” stole from someone else. I suppose those were important summer events, but not quite in the way I was thinking.

So what would my more realistic big important summer novel look like? A teenage girl would spend the summer between tenth and eleventh grade at a mildly interesting baby-sitting job, sit around the house a lot, read some books, and watch lots of syndicated television. She’d attend driver’s training classes and exit with passable driving skills. On weekends, she might see a movie with friends then return to someone’s house, watch another movie on video and watch people play video games. On extra special days, ping-pong would be involved. Then she would spend a couple of weeks visiting family in an unexciting locale, counting down the days until she could return to cable TV.

Doesn’t exactly scream bestseller, does it? Maybe I should just leave young adult literature to the professionals.

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Top Manga of Summer 2008

ICv2 has posted a list of the Top 50 Manga of Summer 2008. It's probably no suprise that Naruto leads the pack, but I was happy to see the shojo title Fruits Basket holding its own at number 2. See how your favorites stack up, and check out some interesting new titles.

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

First a Book, Now a Movie

One of the things that inspired me to return to this blog was that everywhere I turned lately, I saw a young adult novel turned into a book.

Of course, first is the already-released The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. It's actually based on the fourth and final book in the series, Forever in Blue.

This weekend, Samurai Girl played on ABC Family as a three-part miniseries. Since the Samurai Girl book series was never completed, I was happy to see it at least found new life in this adaptation.

Finally, on October 3, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist makes its way into theaters. There's something about the tone that seems a bit off in comparison to the books, but I'm still intrigued.

I'd be curious to know what you think. Did Sisterhood and Samurai Girl live up to the source material? Does the trailer for Nick and Norah look promising, or do you think they've ruined your favorite book?

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Interview with Christopher Paolini

The Borders Book Club currently features an interview with Christopher Paolini, author of the Inheritance trilogy. Paolini made waves when he wrote Eragon, the first book in the series, at the age of 15. The interview is nearly an hour long, although it is divided into chapters, so you can also watch a clip related to a specific topic, such as his homeschooling experience. What's the occasion for this interview? On September 20, he will release Brisingr, the final book in the trilogy. A hardcover box set of Eragon, Eldest, and Brisingr will also be made available at this time. If you're a diehard fan of the books, check out the countdown on the Borders Book Club page, and get ready for your local midnight release parties.

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Welcome back!

Unfortunately, All Info About Teen Reading is no more. The larger All Info About network has been condensed to a smaller site featuring the owners' content. After some delays and debate, I have decided to continue my work on this blog rather than build a new site from scratch. So look for an influx of reviews from AIA Teen Reading along with updates on what's new in the world of young adult literature.