Monday, August 31, 2015

Laughing at My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw

Laughing at My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw

Shane is a 23 year old internet star. He and his cousin started a non profit organization when he was in college and now they travel around the country doing speaking engagements with kids and teens. He's snarky, sarcastic and has already written a book about his life.

Also, Burcaw has spent his life dealing with the effects of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. That means he relies on other people and a wheelchair for a lot of his physical needs. But he's built his organization and social media presence on trying to encourage people to find the humor in everything life deals a person, especially the hard stuff.

This book is one of High School TAB's 2015 Top 10 books. We think the teens chose it because Burcaw's voice is clear, funny and makes his story extremely easy to relate to. Also, his attitude in the face of adversity makes the reader reconsider their own outlook. Once you finish, you'll want to move on to the author's blog, YouTube channel and twitter to keep up with everything that has happened since he finished writing the book.

(note: this trailer contains one moment of language that some viewers might find objectionable)

Friday, August 28, 2015

Read This/ Watch That: We are Monsters Edition

Read This:

Man Made Boy by Jon Skovron
Boy's life is filled with monsters. He spends his days working with his dad, Frankenstein's monster and his mom, The Bride. The theater is filled with creatures and supernatural beings, but Boy longs for something more.

When trying to create his own AI companion goes wrong, Boy has to set off on a cross-country road trip with more characters from many nightmares.

But it's not all terrifying, Boy is just, well, a teenage boy trying to figure out his place in the world and maybe find a girlfriend at the same time.

Like many other teenagers, we think Boy would enjoy the following movie, accompanied with a large popcorn and a midnight showing:

Watch That:
Young Frankenstein (PG)

When Frederick Frankenstein arrives at his grandfather's estate in Transylvania, he finds that it's pretty much just as his grandad left it. Complete with a servant named Igor and a book of unfinished experiments.

Of course... messing around with these goes just about as well as you'd expect... to hilarious results.

Check this out today and find out why people call this one of the best comedies of all time.


More to read

Jon Skovron Week: Man Made Boy

Up and Coming: This Broken Wondrous World by Jon Skovron

Jon Skovron Talks to us about World-Building, Monsters and Hearing from Teens

Jon Skovron Week: Top 5 Books Where the Monsters Don't Stay Under the Bed

Jon Skovron Week: You Need to Meet Misfit

Jon Skovron Lets us in on Some Writing Secrets as Well as How to Make a Good Mix Tape

Teen Wolf Week: Top 5 Huntresses for Allison



Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Up and Coming: "The Marvels" by Brian Selznick

The Marvels by Brian Selznick

Release Date: September 15, 2015

In 1766 there was a shipwreck and a boy and his brother were thrown into the ocean along with their dog Tar. Only the boy survived, but he never got over the death of his dear brother, Marcus. Billy went on to become the founding member of a family of actors so famous that the world knew their last name: The Marvels.

In 1990 Joseph Jervis runs away from his boarding school and goes in search of an uncle who he has never met. He finds that his uncle, Albert Nightingale is living in a house that looks like it hasn't been touched by time. The neighbors all remember a time when the house was full of parties and friends, but now no one exits or enters the building except for Albert and he doesn't seem too excited to add Joseph to this list. But Joe can't get over how beautiful the house is and how exciting the stories that live in his uncle's past must be. He has to find some way to make this new world his own.

If you have read Wonderstruck or The Invention of Hugo Cabret then you know that you are in store for some seriously gorgeous illustrations. You will want to have a whole afternoon free to spend looking at the first part of the book, which is all drawings. They are incredibly detailed and reveal secrets like treasures as you go along. After that you get to meet Joseph and you will be just as charmed as Albert by him. Sometimes you hear authors talk about the "book of their heart" and it is clear that is what this book is for Selznick. Instead of being a big adventure like Hugo, this is the story of a family that you won't soon forget.

More to Read:

Middle School Monday: Block Buster Titles

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Up and Coming: When Love Comes to Town by Tom Lennon

Monday, August 24, 2015

Up and Coming: I Crawl Through it by A.S. King

Librarian M shows some serious book-love for A.S. King's Upcoming Release:

 Release Date: September 22, 2015

I Crawl Through It by A.S. King

A.S. King is back with another great, weird book!

It has:

An invisible helicopter.

A girl who has turned herself inside out.

A naked man in the bushes.

A girl whose hair grows every time she lies.

And, if you can believe it, much more!

This book is so wonderfully bizarre it took a lot of self-control not to include it on my mid-year top five even though it doesn’t come out until September. I might even reread it when September hits, I just love it that much. And it deserves a reread, because I’m sure I’ll get even more out of it a second time through.

More to Read:

Up and Coming: Ask the Passengers by A.S. King

Up and Coming:Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King

Teen Review: Ask the Passengers by A.S. King

Last Minute Reviews! Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King

Teen Wolf Week: Top 5 Tough Guys with Problems for Derek


Friday, August 21, 2015

Read This/ Watch That: The Rat Pack Edition

Every summer we like to do something fun for Fridays. This year we've got lots of picks for book and movie pairings to keep your brain busy. Today, we get in on a few good heists.


The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson
Jackson Greene is always up to something. The principal knows it, the vice principal knows it and so does his former best friend. That's because the last heist that Jackson Greene organized didn't quite turn out the way he had intended.

Gabriela might not be speaking to him, but that doesn't mean Jackson can let her campaign for student body president be sabotaged. One last caper to put a stop to the injustice couldn't hurt, could it?


Oceans Eleven (PG-13)
Who does Jackson Greene want to be when he grows up? One Johnny Castle, of course.

If you ever wanted to know what you need to pull off the perfect heist, you can find it in an Oceans movie. There's the putting together of the perfect team, the finding the perfect location, figuring out the perfect plan...

Get started with this heist movie and you'll be launched into a whole genre of MORE heist movies (which, what could be better?)

Soon you might be ready to join Mr. Greene or Mr. Ocean's team...



More to Read:

Middle School Monday: The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson

E-Only Spotlight: Double Crossed by Ally Carter

Tokoyo Heist by Diana Renn

The Cipher by John C. Ford

Monday, August 17, 2015

Up and Coming: The Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales

Up and Coming: Tonight The Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales

Release Date: September 15, 2015

Arden has always been the girl that people relied on. She's there for her father and brother after her mom's recent exit from their lives. She's the one who will go on the boring errands for drama club and most of all, she's the one her best friend Lindsey relies on to rescue her when she gets in trouble.

But, Arden's sick of it. She longs for a more exciting life without the responsibilities. When she finds the blog of a romantic teen boy online, she can imagine herself being the girl he writes about.

When one night takes Lindsey and Arden to New York City, she has the chance to meet the boy she's read so much about. It's a night out of Arden's real life, where she has the chance to be someone else and decide if that's who she'd rather be.

On top of being an excellent Up-All-Night book, Sales is the queen of writing girl friends. She gets the ins and outs of friendship and how, just cause your friend screws up, it doesn't mean they're a bad person. Arden and Lindsey have a lot to work out, but in Sales hands, you know they have a fighting chance. 

More to Read:

Up and Coming: Past Perfect by Leila Sales

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

Last Minute Reviews! Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales

Radio Week: "Lets Dance to Joy Division" by the Wombats

Friday, August 14, 2015

Read This, Watch That: Tough Teens/Tough Times Edition

Every summer we like to do something fun for Fridays. This year we’ve got lots of picks for book and movie pairings to keep your brain busy.   Today our teen author, Neeka gives us two picks for teens who are tougher than they thought they could be.


Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson

Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel Twisted is written from the viewpoint of a teen who was a forgettable outcast in his earlier years. But ever since Tyler Miller committed what has come to be known as The Foul Deed, he is noticed a lot more—especially since he’s become strong and tall. But his family life remains its uncomfortable self: Tyler’s father is an angry workaholic, his mother a submissive, passive woman.

Tyler is in love with Bethany Milbury—a girl too popular to ever talk to Tyler—and he is willing to do whatever he can to get her to feel the same, even if it means angering his father. Ultimately, Tyler’s morals are tested. He must choose wisely, though, because he knows all too well that actions have consequences.

Anderson’s writing is surprising, makes an impact, and all too believable. Once again, Anderson has created a world with conflicts that resonate with teens.


It’s Kind of a Funny Story

It’s Kind of a Funny Story a 2010 film based on the book of the same name, is about a teen facing a different kind of adversity. Craig Gilner checked himself into the hospital after nearly attempting suicide. The pressures of his parents and elite high school, combined with his personal failures, were causing anxiety. Craig decides to stay in the hospital’s psychiatric wing for a week. He befriends Bobby, an adult also in the wing, and Noelle, another teen. Craig faces a true identity crisis as he weighs what in his life should take importance.

While Tyler and Craig are different in some ways, they are united by the fact that they wonder about the morals of their worlds and what they should hold true

More to Read: 

Radio Week: "I Set Fire to the Rain" by Adele

Radio Week: A Tribute to Regina Spektor

Read This/Watch That: Hard Days Edition