Book Reviews for Young Adults By Dawn States
So you just finished a great book and are wondering what to read next? Or do you have those summer reading blues? Then these links are for you! These people who wrote the following blogs take the time to read the book and post an informative review about the book.
Some of ones I usually go to are YA Books Central, a really fun site, Young Adult Book reviews, and the awesome Reading Rants. I also like to browse the award winning books in Young Adult fiction (mainly I look at the Alex award winners), which you can find a list of these here and a list of past winners. There is actually a list of award winning books and the title of the award and also in particular, check out the Printz award winners.
The options are seriously endless, and the links above are good staring places for finding the next awesome book. Do not forget to ask your librarian for some great titles too! Many of the books listed in the links are available at the library, so be sure to check that out! Happy reading!
Interview with Lisa Hess
I recently had the pleasure to interview local author Lisa Hess. Lisa took the time to explain to me how long she has been writing, what got her into writing, her inspiration, and her advice for other aspiring writers. Lisa has been writing for twenty years, which included articles, books based upon her experience as a school counselor, and then her debut novel Casting the First Stone. Her first memory of writing creatively was in 7th grade, where her English teacher instilled an “avenue for self-expression and a developing vocabulary” through creative writing. Lisa describes being published to be a lot of hard work and both awesome and scary at the same time. She said it is a scary thing because publishing a book is “a lot like putting a piece of you out there.” Lisa’s favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird and she really enjoys books that have realistic and well-developed characters in them. She is drawn to the genre of women’s fiction, and her novel Casting the First Stone is Christian Women’s fiction that deals with realistic characters and problems. Her books in the works currently are two non-fiction books (one of which is an ingenious approach to organizing) and two novels, which are inspirational. Her advice to writers is also inspirational, she says “Don’t give up. Any kind of writing is good writing. It is not insurmountable to be an author. Even if you only write a page a day, by the end of the year you have a book.” Lisa has followed through on her own advice, as at one point in her life she was only able to write fifteen minutes a day! Her last comment in the interview was heart-warming, as Lisa said “Libraries are awesome! I wish more people knew how libraries inspired writers and readers alike.” Be sure to check out her book available through the work county library system http://millennium.yorklibraries.org/search/a?searchtype=Y&searchscope=23&SORT=D&searcharg=hess%2C%20lisa and her great blog www.L2hess.blogspot.com .
Why Adults Read Young Adult Novels
With all the awesome young adult (YA) novels appearing on library shelves such as Code Name Verity, The Hunger Games, and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, is it any wonder that adults are snapping up these books as fast as the teens? Reading young adult literature is nothing that adults should be ashamed of, as many YA books contain fresh topics, interesting plots, and well-developed characters. With this appeal of crossing over to YA for adults, are there any books on the adult shelves that would also appeal to teens?
Jennifer Hubert-Swan, author of the amazing blog Reading Rants was kind enough to answer my email concerning this inquiry. She has taken time to compile a booklist of suggestions that are typically considered adult books, but also have appeal for teen readers. You can find this list here through this link.
In addition to these suggestions, some books that may appeal to both teens and adults are Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman, When a Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. These are just a few titles in the plethora that exist, but the main thing is to have fun with what you are reading and not to be scared looking at other shelves! (That is for you too, adults!) These and other book titles can all be found through our library catalog and eDownload listings.
By Dawn States
Let Summer Begin!
We absolutely can’t wait! After months and months of dreaming up fun activities, buying new books, and scheduling fabulous program presenters, we are ready to fling open the doors for summer readers! Last year around 12,000 kids and teens from birth to 18 joined our free summer program, and this year we expect that many or even more! The official kickoff will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 31 at the York Expo Center - Horticultural Hall. Who better than the Maryland Science Center (MSC) to get things rolling for the GO and Experiment! Fizz Boom Read summer reading club and physical activity program?
This summer is all about science, and the MSC educators are coming to present “Science Unscripted”. The tricky part is that they actually won’t know what they are doing that day until volunteer audience members pick cards from their deck of science experiments! Will it be static electricity? Fog? You’ll want to come see!
Face painting favorite Changing Faces 4 Fun, and the Tech Guru will be there too. Kids can register early a day early for the summer program which starts June 1st at www.yorklibraries.org/src and at York County Libraries during their regular operating hours.
Kids can sign up at any time during the summer, although most join in the first two weeks so they have extra time to read, search for posts, and attend more free programs. Many local businesses donate prizes to encourage kids to keep their reading and learning skills growing and to stay healthy and active over the summer months. Thanks to the generous support of corporate sponsors, the York Water Company and Wellspan Health with additional support by Highmark, there is no cost to participate in the program.
Interview with Judy Wolfman
Interview with Judy Wolfman
By Dawn States
Judy Wolfman has been a York County resident and local author for many years. She did not intend to start writing, but as a teacher of pre-school, first grade, and developmental first grade, she often found herself putting together her own material. She presented workshops through TESA - an educational series for teachers. One of the strategies was to teach children how to analyze material, which prompted her to create a twisted story of “Little Red Riding Hood”. Her colleagues liked it and encouraged her to turn it into a play, which she did. York Little Theater produced the play, which was later submitted to a contest and won first place out of forty-four entries. She then submitted it to Pioneer Drama, Inc. who published it as “Red vs. the Wolf”. Ten Years later, music was added and republished under a second title “The Real Story of Little Red Riding Hood.” Both versions of the play are still active.
Judy was again inspired when she taught a unit on farming. The traditional material she used was boring and she thought individual farms would be much better. Her cousin, a professional photographer, came to the York Fair to take pictures for a pig calendar; the following spring he visited a pig farm and since Judy was then retired she tagged along. After talking to the family who owned the pigs, she realized it would make a great book and combined facts and story for a unique approach. She sent her proposal to several publishers and patiently waited for a response. Finally, she heard back from a publishing company who wanted to see the manuscript and her book Life on a Pig Farm was published! Schools and libraries loved this book and requested similar ones on other farms and subsequently nine more Life on a Farm books.
Judy still writes, and her most recent book for kids is a biography on Milton Hershey that is currently being illustrated. She has also published her first book for adults about the Holocaust entitled Not My Time. Be sure to check out these great new releases and the other books that are already available through York County Libraries. Judy’s advice for young writers? Be persistent and never give up!