Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Summer Reading List Then and Now

Now that Summer Reading Club has started at my branch I've become a Reader's Advisory Zealot. No one is safe from my suggestions. There is no kid in the library that won't know the sound of my voice. You will read and you will like it! I'm just kidding. I do however love introducing people to new reads. I especially love it when a person likes one of my picks. I had a young girl come in the other day and she asked if I remembered when I suggested she read "yellow bird and me". I quickly remembered and walked her over to where the book would be in our collection. Two things were awesome about this transaction. One the girl was actually listening when I talked(you love me, you really love me!ha ha). Two, her mother told me that she wanted to find me so that I could help her find the book she wanted. I suggested some other books that I had read and signed her up for the summer reading club. How excellent! When I look at my reading choices as a kid going through summer reading club and now as an adult I see a change in my reading preferences. I always loved a good story with adventure,activism,or courage in the face of insurmountable odds. But my taste has changed over the years.Here's a small example


Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
The last Olympian by Rick Riordan
Kindred by Octavia Butler

Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary
Tales of a fourth grade nothing by Judy Blume
Sweet Valley Twins by Francine Pascal
The mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
Remember me to Harold Square by Paula Danzinger

The main difference now is that I love fiction with more action in it. Before it was simply a sweetness and light proposition. I loved Beverly Cleary because all of the books were set in Oregon. I imagined riding my bike down the same streets that Henry Huggins rode down. I desperately wanted to visit Oregon after I read her books. Judy blume was just laugh out loud funny for me. I could sympathize with Peter Hatcher and his issues with his younger siblings. I don't know how I got sucked into the Sweet Valley Twins I guess I had a Maalox moment. Now most of the books I've read lately have girls who kick butt and take numbers. All of the books I've listed in my "Now" column have strong female protagonist. Graceling main character learned to kill a man with her bare hand when she was eight. In Hunger Games we have Katniss whose involved in a survival of the fittest game. Taylor Markum leads a twisted capture the flag war while trying to figure out her own history. Kindred was the most creepy for me. Slavery in any book is creepy but to have to endure it. Dana an African-American woman is transported back to 1800's every time her white ancestor is in harms way. So it's a bravery of another kind it's more about survival. The only exception is the last Olympian who's main character is the son of Poseidon. Check these titles out-you'll have a blast! But don't take my word for it!

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