More than 160 books bought off the list - all books they requested and wanted and now can thoroughly enjoy. Thanks so much for participating and watch this fall when we jump back on the list for a holiday book fair!
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Ever see or read Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days? It tells the story of a gentleman named Phileas Fogg who accepts a wager requiring him to circumnavigate the earth in 80 days' time or forfeit quite a lot of money (£20,000, which, accounting for inflation and all, would be a bit more than $1 million dollars (US) these days). It's a great story, and one I highly recommend for its character development, adventure, and derring-do. But that is not precisely what I'm here to talk about today.
Today, I'm talking about three real-life people who were inspired by Jules Verne's story to travel around the world themselves: Thomas Stevens, who made the trip by bicycle, Nellie Bly, one of the first American reporters to become a celebrity, and Joshua Slocum, a retired sea captain who sailed solo around the world. Specifically, I'm talking about Matt Phelan's remarkable graphic novel about those three individuals, each of whom had their own reasons for their journeys.
Thomas Stevens, 1884
Thomas Stevens decided to leave his job in the mines to seek fame and (hopefully) fortune by riding first across the U.S., then around the world. After traveling from San Francisco to Boston, Stevens secured a sort of sponsorship from the Pope Manufacturing Company. The owner of the company didn't believe that cyclists ought to be paid professionals (hear that, Lance Armstrong?), but he agreed to pay Stevens for his written accounts of his journey.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Thursday, May 9, 2013
The Ultimate Teen Book Guide is a collection of more than 700 book recommendations put together by editors Daniel Hall, Leonie Flynn, and Susan Reuben.
Open this Guide and you'll be opening the door to tons of lovable heroines, deplorable villains, or fantastical worlds....
Ever wonder what your favorite author's favorite book is? Many of today's most popular authors have weighed in on the books they love the most. There are also recommendations by other teens, as well as by librarians, illustrators, editors, and other people who work with and love books.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
A million thanks to Gina Gagliano at First Second for making it happen.
Monday, May 6, 2013
Friday, May 3, 2013
I'm going to avoid a long speech about judging books by covers. I don't actually think the cover to Luis Alberto Urrea's hilarious and fascinating novel, Into the Beautiful North, is bad or off-putting. But I can see how, if you're a guy that doesn't just pick books up and read the first few pages to decide what books to read, you might not see all the qualities this book has to offer.
Put simply, I wish this book's sense of humor and rapid plot were more readily broadcast by the cover. Consider the setup: 19-year-old named Nayeli is inspired by the classic western film The Magnificent Seven to take back control of her home village in Mexico when she realizes there are no men in town to help fight off the recently arrived bandidos.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Here's a thing that's strange: I like reading YA books.
On the face of it, that doesn't seem strange, except that I'm a guy, and that doesn't seem to be acceptable to publishers, book designers, marketing departments, and a whole host of other folks who are responsible for getting YA books onto shelves. No surprise, it's why guyslitwire exists, really.
But yesterday, a new book came into the store, and, despite having a generic YA cover with a girl's face(seen here on the book's goodreads.com page), and an awkward/not quite punny title: Life After Theft, I took a look at the description (maybe it was because of the awkward title?).
It's about a guy who's haunted by the ghost of a klepto, and he agrees to return the stuff she stole so she'll stop haunting him.
That's a book I'm interested in! That's a book with a hook, one which (I think) guys as well as gals will be intrigued by. But the cover and the title? Especially the cover? No guy will ever read it.
That's something deftly avoided by Terra McVoy's newest paperback release, Being Friends With Boys. It's about a girl in high school who's part of a band (she's their manager and writes the songs), and everyone else involved is a guy. The cover is understated, and has a heart in the coffee cup, but it's dark blue and doesn't chase me away. No, I'm intrigued. And for good reason.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
I laughed out loud several times while reading this book, which includes subtle pop culture references as well as different characters' definitions of OTP. Yes, you read that correctly. At one point, someone goes "Squee!" Then there's this great exchange between two characters:
"Labels can't define who we are on the inside."
"Are you being sarcastic?"
"Only if you want me to be."
"I [heart] sarcasm. (No, seriously.)"
The cast of characters is multicultural, which is delightful. Roman's black-and-white-and-gray illustrations clearly show kids with different skin colors, different hair styles, and different fashion senses. Some are shy, some are outspoken. Some are bullies, some are friends. A few are spies. A few are ninjas. Did I mention there's also a raccoon or two, a rabbit or two, and that this is book two in the line? Read the ASTRONAUT ACADEMY graphic novels in order:
#1 Zero Gravity
When I dropped by Dave's blog , I discovered that he's signing copies of his books for his local bookstore, WORD, which is also holding a really cool contest. Want to get an Astronaut Academy-style portrait of yourself (or a friend), hanging out with the character of your choice? Click here to learn more.
ASTRONAUT ACADEMY: Re-Entry will be available May 14th, 2013 from :01 First Second Books.
Related posts at Bildungsroman:
Interview: Dave Roman
Graphic Novel Review: Teen Boat!
Monday, April 29, 2013
Follow this link for all information on how to buy books off the Powells wish list for Ballou High School.
I think in this case, pictures are worth a thousand words, right? We have sold just over 100 books off the Powells wish list for Ballou Library and it is truly wonderful to see these titles unpacked with so much excitement. This is why we do the book fair - because we know how much the books are wanted and will be enjoyed.
In all honesty though, sometimes I feel as if I am nagging the entire internet with posts and tweets trying to cajole folks to spread the word and help us sellout. I wish it was easier; heck, I wish it was unnecessary. I wish that I didn't get emails from people disappointed that we were staying with the same school as years previous, that we had not found someplace "needier". I wish I did not have to explain why Ballou still needs our help and I wish I didn't get frustrated and even a little angry at how a school library in our nation's capitol that has not money for new books deserves lots of novels and science fiction and romance (even with vampires) and all of those other types of books that don't sound serious enough to some folks but are desperately wanted by teenagers everywhere.
Just look at that girl with Redshirts - pretty darn happy, don't you think?
The spring book fair formerly ended yesterday but I'm going to leave the list open for just a little while longer. I can't help but think that seeing these pictures might prompt a few folks to buy a book or two or let some folks know about the book fair who might have missed the initial Guys Lit Wire post. I do hope everyone will share these pictures far and wide though - it's pretty cool to see how excited teenagers can be about the gift of books, isn't it? They make me feel hopeful in a thousand different ways; hopeful and pretty damn happy.