28 Authors to check out this month:
"Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. History." - History.com
Here is a list of 28 Black authors to help you honor the achievements of Black authors, and the impact they have on Young Adult literature every day this month. It is my hope and intention that you use this information to guide your reading all year long, and not allow the celebration of Black History Month to remain confined to the month of February.
Author's biographies are quoted directly from their websites (or articles about them) and linked accordingly. All images were borrowed from goodreads.com (unless otherwise stated). Book titles are linked to their record on Destiny Discover for access to more information and/or to place a hold.
Believe it or not, books can be extremely controversial! Every year libraries, school districts, publishers, and book sellers get countless complaints about content of the books they make available to people.
Banned Books Week was created in order to celebrate our freedom to read. This year Banned Books Week is from September 26th through October 2nd. (That's right now!)
Each year the Office for Intellectual Freedom tracks the challenges to library, school, and university materials that people have tried to have banned and compiles a list. Here in the Canyon Library, we believe in protecting your right to free expression and free access to ideas. Students can choose any book in our library. It is up to you and your guardians to decide what that means for you.
What follows is a list of some of the most challenged books in 2020 that you are free to check out from our library. For more information about a title, follow the link to access the book's page on Destiny Discover.
Although we are near the end of the month now, I would feel terrible if I didn't post acknowledging that April is National Poetry Month!
In addition to our regular Poetry section, the Canyon Library has several novels in verse. These books use the format and lyricism of poetry to tell their story. Perfect for poetry lovers looking for their next book!
Here are 10 novels in verse (and their summaries from Destiny Discover) that you could check out from our library today:
Chlorine Sky by Mahogany L. Browne
Picked on at home, criticized for talking trash while beating boys at basketball, and always seen as less than her best friend, a girl struggles to like and accept herself.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.
Crank by Ellen Hopkins
Kristina Georgia Snow's life is turned upside-down, when she visits her absentee father, gets turned on to the drug "crank", becomes addicted, and is lead down a desperate path that threatens her mind, soul, and her life.
Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
Sixteen-year-olds Camino Rios, of the Dominican Republic, and Yahaira Rios, of New York City, are devastated to learn of their father's death in a plane crash and stunned to learn of each other's existence. A novel in verse told in two voices.
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.
Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough
In Renaissance Italy, Artemisia Gentileschi endures the subjugation of women that allows her father to take credit for her extraordinary paintings, rape and the ensuing trial, and torture, buoyed by her deceased mother's stories of strong women of the Bible.
Three Things I Know Are True by Betty Culley
Five months ago, Liv's big brother, Jonah, shot himself. . . . He didn't know that the gun was loaded. But the damage was done. Liv hasn't spoken to Clay, Jonah's best friend, since the accident . . . The gun belonged to Clay's father, and Clay was with Jonah that terrible day.
Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science by Jeannine Atkins
A biographical novel in verse of three different girls in three different time periods who grew up to become groundbreaking scientists
Punching the Air by Ibi Aanu Zoboi
When sixteen-year-old Amal Shahid is wrongfully incarcerated, he uses his poetry and his art to maintain his humanity and fight for the truth in a system designed to work against him.
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
As Will, fifteen, sets out to avenge his brother Shawn's fatal shooting, seven ghosts who knew Shawn board the elevator and reveal truths Will needs to know.
November 3, 2020 is election day, here in the United States of America. In the coming days, the votes will be tallied and counted (and possibly recounted) until the officials declare the new, or returning, winners of various political offices (most notably President of the United States).
Until a winner is declared, why not explore the idea of politics and elections from some YA characters in these books:
Running by Natalia Sylvester
You Say It First by Katie Cotugno
All the the above titles are available to check out from the CHS library through Destiny or as eBooks from the SCV Public Library on Sora.
A few other election-y titles:
Every year, a committee of teenagers nominates a collection of YA books to be named the Teen's Top 10. Then, after a period of voting from teenagers across the country, the Top 10 books for teenagers is announced. This year voting closes on October 15th. Here are the 25 nominees selected by the committee for the public to vote on, a summary from the committee, and how you can read each one!
(Remember, if you are using Sora you can get books from the Santa Clarita Public Library without a library card, but you will need one to use the LA County Library.)
1. #MurderFunding, by Gretchen McNeil **WINNER!**
2. Are You Listening? by Tillie Walden
3. Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff **WINNER!**
4. The Beast Player by Nahoko Uehashi
5. Between Worlds: Folktales of Britain and Ireland by Kevin Crossley
6. Broken Throne: A Red Queen Collection by Victoria Aveyard **WINNER!**
7. Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones
8. The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe
9. Frankly in Love by David Yoon
10. The Grace Year by Kim Liggett
11. The Last Bus to Everland by Sophie Cameron
12. Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki
13. Lovely War by Julie Berry **WINNER!**
14. The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy **WINNER!**
15. My Ideal Boyfriend is a Croissant by Laura Dockrill
16. Opposite of Always by Justin A Reynolds
17. Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell. Illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks **WINNER!**
18. Stolen Time by Danielle Rollins
19. Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan
20. These Witches Don't Burn by Isabel Sterling
21. Warhead: The True Story of One Teen Who Almost Saved the World by Jeff Henigson
22. Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell **WINNER!**
23. We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya) by Hafsah Faizal **WINNER!**
24. Wilder Girls by Rory Power **WINNER!**
25. With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo **WINNER!**
As high school students in 2020, none of you remember the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Every year, during this week, I remember where I was the moment I learned about the terrorist attack in New York City. I remember arriving at school with my mom (who was a teacher there) and having another teacher ask if we'd seen the news this morning. We hadn't. I remember spending the next hour before school started sitting in the office watching the news then spending the rest of the day wishing my teacher would tell us something, anything about what was going on. I remember the weeks following, where every car on the street had a little American flag sticking up from the window as a way of saying "We're in this together." I remember having an assembly on the one year anniversary, in order to honor the first responders and medical workers who were so important on that day. Then, one day, it all became a memory. Something that happened, but no longer affects our day to day life.
But this isn't true for everyone. There are some people who were immediately affected by loss or injury and the attack remains a huge part of their life. Hope and Other Punchlines is a story about the babies of 2001. Hope and her friends and family were each affected by the attack in their own unique ways. This is their story.
The following is a book review which I wrote in September 2019:
On September 11, 2001 four airplanes were hijacked on their way to the United States of America. One landed in a field in Pennsylvania, one hit the Pentagon in Washington DC, and two crashed into the Twin Towers [World Trade Center] in New York City. Almost 3000 people lost their lives as a result of this attack on America.
Hope and Other Punchlines is a fictional story about those who didn't.
Based on a real city in New Jersey, Hope and Other Punchlines takes place in the city which suffered the most deaths in the terrorist attack, outside of New York itself. Abbi, who's middle name is Hope, was photographed in a crown and holding a balloon as her caregiver, holding Abbi, ran away from the falling towers behind them. It was Abbi's first birthday. The image went viral and "Baby Hope" became a symbol for the entire country of hope and joy in times of sorrow.
This is the reality that Abbi has grown up with. She is famous and people are constantly doting on her in public places, thanking her for being Baby Hope and telling her that her picture is handing in their house. Can you imagine how strange that must feel? Abbi is sick of it.
Then, the summer before senior year, Abbi starts to feel the symptoms of 9/11 Syndrome, a very real effect of having been near the towers when they fell. Abbi, convinced she is dying wants to get away and just be a normal girl for one summer before dealing with the illness. So, she gets a job as a camp counselor outside of town. It is here that Abbi meets Noah, a boy who has his own connection to the Baby Hope photo and refuses to let Abbi ignore her past. Noah takes her on a wild goose chase, leading to Abbi meeting all of the remaining people in her viral photo. For some it's joyful; for others its painful. Through it all Abbi remains their rock, as she's done her whole life.
This book brought back all of the emotions I remember feeling on the day of the attack. It reminded me to think about all the people who didn't stop being affected by the attack a few weeks or months later. Living in California and having no family on the east coast, its easy to become disconnected from disasters that happen there. It is important to remain aware and connected to the other people in our country, and to support each other in times of need. This book is an excellent reminder for us.
Plus, I've always wondered how it would feel to go viral. Now I know!
The CDC lists suicide as the second leading cause of death for children and teenagers ages 10-24. Experts say that more teenagers and young adults die for suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease combined. There is an average of 3703 suicide attempts by high school students every day in the United States; 4 out of 5 of these teens have given clear warning signs.
In order to bring awareness to these facts and the serious impact of suicide rates in our country, September has been named National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month.
The following books in our library collection deal with suicide in a way that provides perspective and solidarity to those with mental and physical illnesses that may cause a suicide attempt:
For more information on stress, anxiety, depression and suicide read the materials in Cameron's Collection, found in the Gale Database > Gale ebooks.
If you or anyone you know is in need of emergency help call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 and visit their youth webpage for more resources.
This summer I took a class for my Master's degree which asked me to read, watch, and listen to A TON of different books, movies, shows, podcasts, etc. for young adults. Here is a list of the things I chose and a little bit about them!
Have you ever decided to read a book and it sounds really interesting but you just can't get into it? That's how reading Scars Like Wings started out for me. But, as soon as I took the time to just sit down and read, it got really great!
See below for a review of this new book by Erin Stewart:
If you're looking for a book that is emotionally heavy and slightly uplifting, Scars Like Wings is it. This book tells the story of Ava Lee, a 16 year old girl who lost both her parents, her cousin, and life as she knew it in a house fire. Recovering from her burn injuries has been a long process for Ava and the doctor finally suggests heading back to school. If you've ever read the book Wonder, think about how Auggie felt when he first walked into school. Everybody staring, whispering, children screaming, asking questions and so on. Enough to make any teenager nervous, but horrifying for someone who knows how it was "before." She used to be the popular girl, taking the lead in school plays and giggling with her friends in the cafeteria. Now, she's the different one. This book gets both heavier and lighter (somehow) when Ava makes friends with Piper, another burn survivor, who helps push Ava to be the best version of her "new" self helping to build a new sense of confidence within Ava and (in a round-a-bout way) helping to forge new relationships with Ava Lee's aunt and uncle
Looking toward next week, don't forget that we have our new library game next week! Cupid will be flying around the library pointing out all of the cutest couples that he's helped bring together. Your job is to find the right couple!
In other words, cupid's arrow will be pictured in the library (view-able on Instagram and on the website). Evidence of cupid's arrow will remain on the book he chooses. Your job is to use the pictures and the physical evidence of Cupid's arrow to identify which romance novel is featured in the picture.
Wow! It has been more than a few weeks since I last wrote a blog post! All of the games and activities I planned for the end of the fall semester distracted me from this page.
Over winter break I made the commitment to try to read 4 books. After about a week of break I realized that wasn't going to happen, but I did read 2 books: Verify and Crank.
Verify was the dystopian story that I didn't even realize I needed. It takes place in Chicago about 75 years in the future (which, really, is the main flaw in the book...it's too soon!) In this seemingly perfect society, the American government has made owning and using paper illegal and put all books and school materials, etc on tablets and screens to "help the environment." But in reality, the government has used this excuse to gain control of all the information available to the people. They have removed key pieces of history (like ALL of World War II) and information (the definition of "verify" and "revolution") to keep people in line and make them stop questioning the decisions made for them. The fact that this takes place only 75 years in the future (a time when I hope that you are all still alive and remember these things) is the main flaw in the story line, but if you can ignore that glaring detail, this book portrays for us the kind of world we could end up living in if we stop questioning what we are told and don't verify the information with which we are presented.
For those who don't already know, Crank is a novel written in verse (poetry) that tells the story of Kristina (and her alter-ego, Bree) as she struggles with an addiction to meth. This quick read tells the tale of how easy it is to fall down the hole of addiction and how hard it can be to climb back out. Kristina (/Bree) face a rough road of twists and challenges due to her reliance on the drug to feel good, happy, and able to face the world. If you haven't read this yet, I recommend it for anyone once. Then, if you like it, continue the series to see where she ends up!
Hello, Canyon Cowboys! My name is Miss Gilpin and I am SO excited to be your new teacher librarian! I can't wait to get to know you this year. See you around campus!