Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Learning to Swear in America

Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy

Well, that Asteroid that is about to hit Earth could possibly be moved; or maybe it will only hit (and annihilate) the entire West Coast.  

And Russia has loaned us Yuri Strelnikov, the seventeen-year-old wonder-kid with a PHD in anti-matter.  

And we have 17 days to figure this out before it hits Earth.  (“The pizzas came in, smelling of oregano and despair.”)  

How do American scientists deal with this?  How does anyone, really, even Yuri?  Wouldn’t you swear?  

But the new girl, Dovie, a slightly pudgie hippie, (her words) won’t teach him.   He’ll just have to continue reciting the Nobel Prize winners, in order, for now.

Romance, impending doom, international intrigue, computer hacking (“Yuri nodded back, thinking that there was remarkably little security around the {Jet Propulsion Laboratory } computers, particularly considering what was at stake… but it had only taken him a cell phone and fifty seconds to hack in- not because he was a genius, but because he was a teenager.”), car chases/crashes, and witty dialog.  This is a movie waiting to happen.  Also not to be missed by science nerds, teenagers, and anyone who likes a great, fast-paced read.

recommended for ages 12 and up

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Girl From Everywhere

The Girl from Everywhere  by Heidi Heilig

I'm one of those readers who always skips over the maps embedded in books.  But to skip the maps in this book would be a big mistake.  The maps aren't just illustrations:  they are part of the story.

Nix was born in Honolulu around 1868 but she has spent her life on board her father's sailing ship Temptation, sailing across the world, across time, and across mythology itself.  She has seen magic and collected mythical artifacts like the caladrius bird that can cure any illness, sky herring from the clouds above legendary Skandia, and a bottomless bag that will carry anything, of any size.  

As long as the captain has a map for it, he can sail the ship to any place or time, real or imagined.

However, the combination of the captain's opium addiction and his obsession with Nix's dead mother are bound to take the Temptation into trouble.  If he succeeds with his goal of revisiting Hawaii before Lin's death, he might even erase Nix's entire life.

With a strong female narrator, a terrific premise, and a fabulous setting ("everywhere!"), this story is sure to be a hit with readers who enjoy a ripping adventure through mythology and history.  With a little less action (and much less blood) than either Bloody Jack (L.A. Meyer) or Pirates (Celia Rees), this book will still appeal to fans of both. There are a few intimate scenes but no body parts on stage--is there Star Trek Sex or not?  If so, it's pretty subtle. The reader will have to decide.

The audiobook, adeptly read by Kim Mai Guest, kept me in the truck and making excuses to drive places so I could listen.

Highly recommended.

Monday, October 3, 2016

WSL First Tuesdays webinar: here's the booklist!

Sex in the Library presented by Mary Jo Heller and Aarene Storms
·       Tuesday, October 4, 2016 from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. PDT
Do you have sex in your library? If not, why not? The authors of Sex in the Library (VOYA, 2013) explain their unique and popular approach to talking to parents, teachers, administrators, and librarians about selection, public and school library missions, censorship, and the power of school and public librarians working together. This interactive webinar features an honest discussion of books and their intended audience. Participants will leave with clear knowledge of books discussed, guidelines for looking at others, and a list of the newest steamy books for teen readers.
First Tuesdays webinars are designed as a continuing-education opportunity for staff of libraries in Washington State. This free web presentation allows attendees to share their skills and successes and learn about new topics. The special-subject presentations, lasting about 60 minutes, are recorded so that others may listen at their own convenience.

Most titles have links to complete book reviews elsewhere on the SITL blog.

Deal With It : a whole new approach to your body, brain and life as a gurl by Esther Drill

George  by Alex Gino

Beauty Queens  by Libba Bray

If You Could Be Mine  by Sara Farizan

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children  by Kirstin Cronn-Miller

It Gets Better: coming out, overcoming bullying, and creating a life worth living  by Dan Savage and Terry Miller

Beyond Magenta: transgender teens speak out by Susan Kuklin

This Book is Gay  by James Dawson

Dime  by E.R. Frank

The Things You Kiss Goodbye  by Leslie Connor

Everything, Everything  by Nicola Yoon

Poisoned Apples: poems for you, my pretty  by Christine Heppermann

All the Truth That's In Me  by Julie Berry

Room: a novel  by Emma Donoghue

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Carry On: a novel  by Rainbow Rowell

All Our Yesterdays  by Cristin Terrill

Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan

Daughter of Smoke and Bone  by Laini Taylor

Divergent  by Veronica Roth

Learning to Swear in America  by Katie Kennedy

The Serpent King  by Jeff Zentner