In Public Library Land, we are entering full speed ahead for Summer Reading. Honestly, it’ll be what a lot of my posts focus on the next couple of months. Being the only teen librarian means all my energy goes into making sure we have a good SRP! Plus, I love sharing my successes (or failures) with fellow teen advocates.
I know you’re probably thinking, But wait! Summer Reading isn’t for another month! True, but a lot of the month of May is going to be spent promoting our SRP and that means school visits! (In my case middle schools.) It also means book talks. So, I thought I would share, over the month of May, the books I will be talking about.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Welcome to a futuristic Chicago. Society has been divided into five factions based on a virtue — Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Tris, at 16, has decided which faction she will belong. She’ll say good-bye to family and all that she knew of life as an Abnegation and begin anew as a Dauntless. The only catch? Only 10 initiates will move on to become full fledged members. Tris’ courage will be challenged every step of the way as she proves she has what it takes to be Dauntless.
What grades: 6th, 7th, and 8th. While it may not work for all 6th graders, I think most will be able to handle it, especially since they’ll technically be 7th graders a few weeks after I visit.
Why I picked it: Beyond that fact that it’s amazing?! (Because it is!) Full of action it’s a book that will appeal to both girls and boys. It is a great read-a-like for Hunger Games, which my kids adore. A HUGE bonus factor for my area is that Roth is local; it was fun to read a book where I knew exactly where they were.
Teaser: Reading pg 53 (“They’re jumping off”) to pg 58 (I don’t think. I just bend my knees and jump)
Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Saba’s world has just shattered by a killer sandstorm and four mysterious horseman. They killed her pa and captured her twin brother, Lugh. Now she must leave Silverlake, the only home she has ever known, and brave a world that is unknown to her. A world that full of lawless people that will manipulate her to earn gold. Saba soon discovers that saving her brother will be much harder than it seems. Rescuing Lugh will mean defeating a corrupt society from the inside. And with the help from her friends, Jack and the Free Hawks, they may just have what it takes.
What grades: 6th, 7th, and 8th. Again, may not be suitable for all 6th grades, but the violence is no worse than Hunger Games, which I know they’ve read.
Why I picked it: Another solid read-a-like for Hunger Games and good for girls and boys. Plus, Saba kicks butt and takes names. I love, love, LOVE when new strong females appear on the scene. The stylization is a little wonky (thinking old southern talk & odd spellings) that takes a bit to get used to, but once you do it flows nicely. Also, I wanted to highlight our reviewer program and this was the biggest buzz of my June ARCs.
Teaser: I haven’t been able to find a good read-aloud passage for this one, especially with the style/language, but if anyone has a good suggestion please leave it in the comments! I’m leaning towards skipping the normal teaser and do more a pre-pub/reviewer hype instead.