You are here: Home > Blogs > Teen Zone

Latest Posts

On Line

Young Readers Choice Awards continued... continued!

by Patricia - 0 Comment(s)

For those of you who have been waiting for this final category of YRCA nominees, the Senior books (Gr. 10-12) here it is!!

And, for those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, welcome to the Young Readers Choice Awards! We want YOU to read at least two books from one of these lists, and then vote for your fave. I've already written about the YRCA in general and the whole voting thing on a previous blog, so I won't repeat myself, just go there. You'll also see the write-up about the Junior & Intermediate YRCA nominees in previous blogs.

So without further ado, here are the Senior nominees:

Book coverBefore I Fall, by Lauren Oliver: Samantha is a popular 17 year old, who thinks she's perfect. Then.. she is killed in a car accident, and relives the same day over, and over, and over, trying to fix all of the not-so-perfect things she did so she can, well, move on. Think Groundhog Day, in a gut-wrenching sort of way.

Book coverBruiser, by Neil Shusterman: Bronte can’t understand why her family, and especially her twin brother Tennyson, dislikes her new boyfriend Brewster so much. Even though he looks a little rough, he’s kind and gentle with her. Then one day she hurts herself, and when he touches her the wound disappears and she feels wonderful, but he looks worse than ever… There’s a lot of intense family violence in this book, so it’s not for the faint of heart.

Book coverCrazy, by Han Nolan: 15-year-old Jason has a pile of friends... but they're all imaginary. And his father is mentally ill. And his mother has just died. And he's responsible for keeping everything together! Good thing he has the help of Aunt Bee from the Andy Griffith show, Sexy Lady, and a "laugh track" - although they're all in his head... Read this book and you get to be one of his internal characters as well!

Book coverMatched, by Ally Condie: In a highly controlled society, a 16-year-old girl is ecstatic to find out she has been ‘matched’ with not only someone she actually knows, but her best friend! However, she discovers cracks in the perfect system when the picture of a different boy, also someone she knows, shows up on her true love’s profile page. Interested in what caused this glitch, and wanting to know more about the much more mysterious, dangerous Kai, she strays further and further from her chosen path and ideal romance. The first in what is likely to be the next great dystopian series.

Book coverThe Replacement, by Brenna Yovanoff: Mackie lives in a small town with big secrets. Every seven years, a baby is 'replaced' by a fairy child from the underworld. When his strange allergies – to iron, blood, and consecrated ground – get worse and threaten his life, he teams up with Tate, whose baby sister has just gone missing, to uncover the truth. This is a dark gothic tale of the paranormal, with gruesomely thrilling imagery.

Book coverShip Breaker, by Paula Bacigalupi: Another dystopian, post-apocalyptic tale, BUT this time from a male point of view (about time!) The main character ekes out a living by stripping wrecked ships with a band of thieves. But one ship isn’t deserted; they discover a girl, barely alive, who promises to show them a dream-world, a utopia, if they let her live. Interesting use of language makes up for – or adds to, depending on your point of view – the more violent scenes in this fast-paced read.

Book coverWill Grayson, Will Grayson, by David Levithan and John Green: Will Grayson has the biggest gayest friend ever! will grayson (the other one = yes there's two... with the same name, hence the lack of capitals) is sad and depressed. When the two W/will G/graysons happen to meet, all their lives are changed. And a great high school musical is produced! Hilarious and interesting, with lots of unexpected twists, and over-the-line language and scenarios. Not to be missed!

Book coverWinter Shadows, by Margaret Buffie: Cass is living in modern-day Selkirk, Manitoba when she finds an old brooch which becomes a gateway into the world of Beatrice, who lived in the house in the 1850's. They communicate through Beatrice's diary, and bond over difficulties with their respective step-mothers. A great 'time slip' story, with some real insight into the Metis history and way of life.

Okay, that's it for the YRCA selections. Now it's your turn - read, ponder, then VOTE! And may the best book win...

Young Readers Choice Awards continued...

by Patricia - 0 Comment(s)

YRCA logo

Young Readers Choice Awards: Junior Category

As promised, here's the next installment in the Young Readers Choice Awards.

We're asking you to read at least two books from one of the categories, then choose your favourite. For more info on the YRCA and how to cast your ballot, please look at my previous blog, which also talked about the Intermediate books.

This time we're looking at the Junior Category Nominees, those geared for about Gr. 4-6.

Book coverfatty legs, by Christy Jordan-Feton: Margaret is a young Inuit girl who desperately wants to go to school, like her older sister, so she can learn how to read. This means leaving her family to go to residential school. When she finally gets her wish, however, it’s not exactly what she had dreamed… This book is autobiographical, and there is a sequel, called A Stranger At Home. A shortened version of fatty legs has been made into a picture book, called When I Was Eight. A great introduction for a younger audience.

Book coverThe Strange Case of the Origami Yoda, by Tom Angleberger: This book is written in the form of a 'case file' by Tommy and his friends in middle school. Dwight, the biggest nerd of them all (which is saying a lot) creates an Origami Yoda finger puppet which appears to be amazingly wise and prescient - unlike Dwight! Very funny. If you like the 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' series, you'll like this too. There is also a sequel, called Darth Paper Strikes Back - worth reading if only for the title.

Book cover

Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer, by John Grisham: Do you see that? JOHN GRISHAM! The king of adult crime novels has crossed over into the Kid Zone with this story about a 13-year-old boy who knows everything there is to know about the justice system, but can't keep himself out of trouble when a grisly murder needs to be solved. Read it to see if Grisham can handle the critical readers in the shallow end of the pool...

Big Nate: In a Class By Himself, by Lincoln Peirce: The only graphic novel candidate in this bunch. Big Nate has been seen before, in a comic strip, as the less-than-straight-A middle school kid who wisecracks his way into a lot of detentions. A great alternative if you've read all of the 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' books, or want to get into graphics with something new!

book cover

The Mysterious Howling, by Maryrose Wood: This is the first in the series: The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place. 15-year-old Penelope becomes a governess at a children’s school, only to discover that the mysterious howling she has been hearing is being made by two children who were found in the forest and have obviously been raised by wolves. She must teach them not only Latin and Algebra but how to act like humans instead of wolves. 'Howlingly' funny (hee hee).

13 Treasures13 Treasures, by Michelle Harrison: The main character is Tanya, and Tanya is ‘trouble’. Tanya sees fairies, but if she talks about this, people think she’s crazy! Blamed for all of the things the fairies get into, she is shipped off to her grandmother's ancient old house - which happens to be infested with, you guessed it, fairies. Then children in the area go missing, and Tanya wants to find out what’s going on. If you like the Spiderwick Chronicles, you’ll love this book.

Book coverThe Lost Hero, by Rick Riordan: Really sad that the Percy Jackson series ended? Well, don't be! This new spin-off series has appearances by all your favourite characters, while introducing Jason, Piper, and Leo as the offspring of some new gods - this time in their Roman persona's. Another rollicking ride through Camp Half-Blood, with a satyr masquerading as a bus, Medusa working in a chic New York department store, and a race against the clock to keep the world from terrible danger.

Book cover

Lone Wolf, by Kathryn Lasky: This is the beginning of Lasky’s new series The Wolves of Beyond, which takes place in the same world as her ‘Guardians of Ga’hoole’ books. In this one, a young wolf pup is born, despite many problems for his mother, with a twisted leg and a strange mark on his paw, marking him as.. well, either deformed, or special. He survives against all odds, is raised by a mother bear, and eventually makes his way to ‘the Beyond’, a place on the edge of this world where the socially outcast wolves reside... and back again to some new surprises!

Okay, that's it for the Junior YRCA nominees. Look for the next and final posting, about the Senior choices, coming soon.. and don't forget to read & vote!

Young Readers Choice Awards

by Patricia - 1 Comment(s)

YRCA logo

It's Young Reader's Choice Awards time again! The time when the books that YOU select as being the most awesome will get to put those stickers on their jackets saying, 'I'm the BEST and everyone should read me!'

This award is given out by the Pacific Northwest Library Association, which is not only bi-national - including Canada's western provinces AND America's western states - but also the oldest children's choice award in both countries.

Get ready to cast a ballot by reading at least two books from one of the categories, Junior (Gr. 4-6), Intermediate (Gr. 7-9), or Senior (Gr. 10-12). Then, fill out a ballot at your neighbourhood library branch between March 15 - April 15. (For details on the whole voting process, go here.) I'll give a quick teaser of each book, then leave it up to you!

As Easy As Falling Off the Face of the Earth, by Lynne Rae Perkins: Ry, on his way to summer camp in Oregon, manages to miss the train when it stops in the middle of nowhere - and then suddenly takes off again - when he briefly nips out to find cell phone service. He sets off on his own with a dying cell phone and little else, meeting interesting people who help him find his way back home. This is a very funny book, with simple but hilarious sketch drawings showing certain .. important.. moments in Ry's 'adventure', as well as what's going on with his two dogs... hmmmm....

The Card Turner, by Louis Sachar: So this is a book about a 17-year-old boy and how he learns bridge. But wait! Before you skip on to the next title, remember this is Louis Sachar, who also wrote ‘Holes’ and other award-winning stories. In this book, Alton is forced to read and play the cards for his super-rich but very blind and sick uncle, who is an ace at duplicate bridge tournaments, but might also be connected with the mob... If you would love to learn how to play bridge, detailed explanations are provided for every card game. BUT, if you couldn’t care less, the author has helpfully put these parts between asterisks, so you can skip over them and get on with the plot!

Heist Society, by Ally Carter: Katarina tries to leave the family business - thieving - but is lured back when her father becomes the only suspect in the theft of a mobster’s art collection, and the only solution is to find the paintings and steal them back.

Smile, by Raina Telgemeier: This autobiography tells the story of a girl whose front teeth get knocked out accidentally, forcing her to learn how to take the teasing and abuse and throw it back in a goodhearted fashion. This is a graphic novel, which aside from adding visual appeal, makes it a quick read.

The Second Trial, by Rosemarie Boll: 13-year-old Danny starts to fall apart after his mother goes to court against his father, charging him with domestic abuse, and they need to go into Witness Protection. Confused about his dad and hostile towards his mother, Danny starts to act out at school and home. Published by Second Story press, it’s an accessible story for anyone looking for an easier read, but be warned, it’s a pretty ‘gritty’ scenario, no sweetness and light in this one.

Sorta Like A Rock Star, by Matthew Quick: Amber, known as the ‘Princess of Hope’, has a pretty sucky life, living with her man-huntin’ mom in a school bus. But Amber always manages to keep that hope alive, until one day tragedy occurs. Good for teens who can handle the rough side of life. And sometimes really funny!

Halo, by Alexandra Adornetto: In this book, Bethany, an angel new to the trade, is sent down to earth with two more experienced compatriots, including the Archangel Gabriel, to fight the forces of darkness. While here, she meets and falls in love with a human, and learns that good and evil are not always easy to identify.

The Red Pyramid, by Rick Riordan: The first in another series by the author of the Percy Jackson books, focused this time on ancient Egypt. Carter and Sadie Kane watch as their father accidentally releases five ancient Egyptian gods from the Rosetta Stone and is then sucked into the ‘Duat’. While trying to rescue their father, they must also stop the evil god Set from building his pyramid of power and destroying the world. Along the way they discover much about themselves, their family, and the hidden world of ancient Egyptian magic. Tons of action, and, hey, you might learn something too... like what the 'Duat' is!

Okay, gotta wrap it up here. Look for 'sister' blogs about the Junior and Senior categories in the same spot, coming soon....

2013 Freedom to Read Week Contest!

by Carrie - 0 Comment(s)

 

Did you love The Hunger Games? Are you a fan of Harry Potter? Have you ever read a book by John Green, Neil Gaiman, or Lauren Myracle?

Would it surprise you to know that these books and authors, and many more, have been the targets of challenges meant to stop teens just like you from reading them? In fact, many of the 100 most challenged books of the last decade have been books for kids and teens - you can see the whole list here.

Every February Canadians celebrate Freedom to Read Week as a reminder of one of the fundamental freedoms set forth in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression - which includes reading and writing. We're lucky to live in a society that is mostly free from censorship, but even here in Canada we have to keep our eyes open. There are always people who want to "protect" teens by taking away books that offend them - like the ones I just mentioned:

hunger games coverharry potter coverlooking for alaska titlem is for magic coverttfn cover

But books are important, especially difficult, painful, possibly offensive books. As YA author Cheryl Rainfield says,

"Books saved me - realistic books that helped me know I wasn’t alone and fantasy that helped me escape. Books helped me survive the extreme abuse that was my childhood and teenhood. I know how important it is to know you’re not alone in your pain. That’s part of why I wrote Scars...I know what it’s like to have no one to turn to, nothing to help you hang on, except books. To have a book that might help anoth­er teen be kept from them—it seems wrong to me on a deep level."

It seems wrong to us, too. That's why we hold the Freedom to Read Week Contest every year. This year, the question is, "If you didn't have the freedom to choose what you read, what would that look like?"

You can enter in one of three ways:

  • Make a poster (draw, paint or use photography and other graphic arts, 8½ x 14” or 11 x 17”)
  • Write a poem, short story or essay (max. 300 words)
  • Create a film (3 min. or less)

All content must be your own work, except for short, cited quotations. Contest is open to Calgary students in grades 7 to 9. Include your name, school, grade and telephone number with your entry.

To enter:
Send your project by e-mail to
freedomtoread@calgarypubliclibrary.com
AND upload to Teens Create
(http://www.calgarypubliclibrary.com/teens/teens-create)

OR submit a hardcopy to any Calgary Public Library location.

One entry per person.
Deadline for submissions is Friday, February 15, 2013

Where the Wild Things are

Where the Wild Things are

by Tomas - 0 Comment(s)

If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to see it, Fairy Tales, Monsters and the Genetic Imagination, the current exhibition on at the Glenbow Museum, is well worth the price of admission.

According to Mark Scala, the curator of the exhibition: “Monsters are something that we have created in order to embody what we most fear, and so the whole point behind that fascination in our culture is that these are simply imaginary, simply inventions.” Monsters are examples of how we express fears, hopes and wishes.

A few personal highlights include Kiki Smith’s imagining of Little Red Riding Hood, depicted both as a print and a sculpture, emerging from the belly of the defeated wolf.

Patricia Piccinini’s lifelike sculptures feature fantastically imagined creatures -- perhaps the result of genetic manipulation -- engaged in mundane, day-to-day activities. In one an elderly mer-nursemaid is comforted by a small boy while it sleeps; in another, a weary looking creature nurses a baby while also taking on shopping tasks while the human parents are away.

Seeing this exhibition brought to mind a few complementary literary monsters. These monsters, and the stories they inhabit, reflect our feelings toward the unknown, both beyond and within us.

This Dark Endeavour - Kenneth Oppel

This Dark Endeavour, tells the story of a young Victor Frankenstein, whose later [in]famous exploits were told by Mary Shelley in one of the first books to address mankind’s dangerous emerging interest in genetic manipulation.

MonstrumologistNot for the faint of heart (or stomach), Richard Yancey’s Monstrumologist series follows the exploits of Dr. Pellinore Warthrop, as told through the journal of his young assistant Will Henry as they study and contend with a gruesome assortment of monsters (human and otherwise).

Half WorldDarkest Light

Half World and its sequel Darkest Light by Hiromi Goto apply the concept of Hungry Ghosts to the contemporary urban setting of Vancouver. Half World, the waystation between the physical realm and the realm of spirit, has become separated, and it falls to 13-year-old Melanie to enter the Half World and somehow restore the balance. Half World is a vast cityscape filled with grotesque characters whose monstrous forms are based on the sufferings they endured in the physical realm, such as the eel-armed Lilla, and the aptly named Mr. Glueskin.

A Monster Calls

In A Monster Calls, A young boy is visited nightly by a monster that is inextricably linked to the emotional trauma he experiences, and must eventually face.

Don't be afraid of the dark : Blackwood's guide to dangerous fairies, co-written by Guillermo del Toro and Christopher Golden, is a literary prequel (by 100 years) to del Toro's eerie film by the same name. Be sure also to check out del Toro's stunning modern fairytale Pan's Labrynth, in which a young girl trying to save the life of her ill mother has to contend with fantastic and real-life monsters in Fascist 1940s Spain.

GrokeWith a ghost-like, hill-shaped body, cold staring eyes, a wide row of shiny teeth, and a freezing touch that kills any plants she touches, the Groke is a mysterious character that haunts the otherwise pleasant adventures of the Finn-Family Moomin Troll. As the stories progress, the more we learn about this misunderstood creature; Eventually we come to discover she is the product of a profound lonelieness. In many ways, the Groke is similar to Gollum (currently starring in the feature film version of The Hobbit, as you may have heard), whose disfigured shape reflects his inner turmoil.

Why are Dystopian Novels so popular? Because they deal with reality...

by Adrienne - 3 Comment(s)

Why are Dystopian Novels so popular? This current trend not just with teens, it is also popular with many adults. These YA novels have even your parents following them! Why? Because they deal with real life issues that we either face in the world every day, or that the WORLD at large deals with every day. The proof is in the pudding eh? So what issues DO the current faves and bests deal with?

Wither The main issue this book deals with is the possible unknown side-effects of genetic engineering and insufficiently tested cures. This applies today to more than just genetics research; we have many diseases with unknown cures and unknown causes... Do we know the full effects of a lifetime of eating Kraft diner, painting our nails with formaldehyde polish, or spraying DDT on our vegetables and consequent genetic defects? No... and on and on and on with 100 million products and experiments we conduct every day. Diseases like ALS are New and just popping up and others like AIDS and many cancers still have no known cures.

Wither also deals with objectifying women and young girls solely for their looks (very western), reproductive capacities (prevalent in various countries today) and reproductive slavery. Slavery is slavery even within the confines of comfy couches and pretty lipsticks... As well as taking a look at what love really Is and Is not.

Birthmarked also takes a hard look at reproductive slavery, as well as being a case study for third world vs. first world paradigms. Set in 2403 in a society where our world and time is labeled "the cool age", it is an imaginative rendering of post apocalyptic survival - global warming style. The book even dares to propose how various current energy solutions such as using geothermic energy could have negative effects on society; or certain members of society, whenever dictatorship reigns. Our current world deals with global warming; 1st world vs. 3rd world; class issues and divisions within society (some more stark and apparent than others and some more covert); alternative energies and dictatorships Every Day. Perhaps the resonance of these books is not in their outlandish imaginings, but rather in their expressions of current realities made more digestible through the form of story. Check out the movie trailer here.

The Graceling series is perhaps one of the most multi-layered dystopian series of the bunch, teetering into the verge of fantasy, but striking home so closely to reality that I often found the books very difficult to read (even though this consequently made them my favourites of the bunch.) Dealing with issues of literacy and class, ability vs. disability, dictatorships, sociopaths, murder, justice, memory and healing, they also insert things such as birth-control and GLBTQ as givens, positive aspects of this much troubled society.

Bitterblue is the story of both a girl and a society recovering from the effects of a regime of terror. How does one uncover truth? How are "war crimes" dealt with fairly when the entire society is both implicitly guilty and traumatized at the same time? Can a thief be loyal, just, trustworthy and lovable? Can one be treasonous, break the law and yet be loyal and just under the law at the same time? How can just 4% of the population (the statistical existence of sociopaths) cause so much damage?


For some interesting thoughts on Dystopian Fiction check out the following INFOGRAPHIC: Is It Dystopia?

Social Studies 101 coming up, in the form of case studies presented in really engaging YA novels!

Stay tuned next Sunday for Part 2 of this blog: Dystopian Popularity Continued...

The Hobbit

by Monique - 0 Comment(s)

How many of you are as excited about upcoming The Hobbit movie? December 14 can’t seem to come fast enough for me. Having said that, I will need to re-read the novel as it seems like it was such a long time ago since I originally read it. Don’t get me wrong, I do remember what the novel is about, but would love to refresh my memory of its details. I don’t know about any of you, but when it comes to the adaptation of books into movies, I tend to like the book better. The odd time, I have found myself enjoying the movie adaptation of a novel as well; The Lord of the Rings Trilogy being one of those rare occasions.

When I was initially talking to people about the movie, I was surprised to hear that the movie was going to be in two parts, but in doing some digging, I have learned that it will be actually in three parts. I find this news to be exciting. I have to question however, why a novel that is shorter than each The Lord of the Rings (LOR) have been done if they were done in two parts, right? The first part of the three part series will be called The Hobbit : An Unexpected Journey is set to release on December 14 of this year. The second movie, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, will be released around December 13, 2013. The third movie, will have the same title as the novel, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, with news that it will be released on July 18, 2014. I am glad that Peter Jackson is directing The Hobbit, as it will be nice to see a continuation of his work on a book that is part of The Lord of the Ring series.

Don’t get me wrong, I realize that you don’t need to read The Hobbit in order to get the idea of The Lord of the Rings and vice versa, but having read The Hobbit first, does help lay the ground work for The Lord of the Rings. I am also excited to see that a lot of the cast from LOR will be returning to play the characters that they had originally portrayed. Looking at some of the trailers online, I can't wait for the movie to come out in theatres!

We're Off to See the Wizard

by Jilliane - 1 Comment(s)

Well it looks like audiences will be spending some time in the Emerald City in 2013 because two major Hollywood films are set to be released. The first is Dorothy of Oz, an animated film, which follows the more traditional storyline and is jam packed with famous voices including Lea Michele as Dorothy, Dan Aykroyd as Scarecrow, Kelsey Grammar as Tin Man, and Jim Belushi as the Cowardly Lion. My guess is families and Gleek’s will be flocking to see this one.

The second re-imagining of Frank L. Baum’s classic is Oz: The great and Powerful. This film is intended to be a prequel to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and tells the story of how the wizard (played by James Franco) came to be in Oz. This film also boasts an all-star cast with the likes of Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, and Rachel Weiss who are all taking on prominent roles.

If you haven’t watched it already check out the new trailer, which was released at San Diego Comic Con in mid-July. It looks absolutely fantastic!

So I know what you’re thinking, 2013 still feels like it’s ages away. Don’t worry we’ve got more than enough to keep you busy till then.

For those Oz purists, or anyone who might want to start right at the beginning, be sure to start with Frank L. Baum’s first book about the land of Oz, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Once you’ve finished that you might want to move on to other books in the series such as the sequel, The Marvelous Land of Oz. And of course, one can’t talk about The Wizard of Oz without mentioning the 1939 film starring Judy Garland so be sure to check out the DVD/Blu-ray or The Wizard of Oz soundtrack, all available at CPL!

Wonderful Wizard of Oz Marvelous Land of Oz Wizard of Oz Wizard of Oz Soundtrack

Now if you’re looking for a bit of a twist on the classic tale there is plenty out there for you too. One of the most popular spins on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is undoubtedly Wicked: the life and times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire. While most people know her as the Wicked Witch of the West, this book shows her simply as Elphaba, the misunderstood girl who also happens to be green (and it’s not easy being green). If you have yet to read this book be prepared to have all of Oz turned on its head.

If you’re more of a visual person you might also want to check out The Wizard of Oz: The Graphic Novel. Don’t let the name fool you though, this is a completely new interpretation of the classic tale. For one thing Dorothy Gale has been completely updated - she rocks some skinny jeans, a studded belt, wristbands, and a bandana. There is a definite manga influence in this one as well, so if that’s up your alley this may be the version for you.

Another graphic novel which reinvents the magical land of Oz is The Royal Historian of Oz. In this story Ozma (the ruler of Oz) has decided to sever ties with our world and no longer allow stories to be written about Oz. Despite this royal decree Jasper Frizzle is determined to write yet another story about Oz. Needless to say this failed writer has no idea what he’s gotten himself into and he’s about to drag his son Frank with him.

Wizard of Oz the Graphic Novel Royal Historian of Oz

Okay so I couldn’t make this list without adding my personal favorite, Return to Oz (1985). In this film Dorothy (surprise) returns to Oz and finds it is not the same place she left behind. If she is to save Oz she must confront the evil witch Mombi as well as the formidable Nome King. While this film may be found in the kids section, it has more than its fair share of creepy moments. I mean, how many kids’ movies do you know of that start with the protagonist being sent to a sanatorium to be treated by electroshock therapy to forget about the mythical place they claim to have visited?

Another version I really enjoyed was the four hour mini-series Tin Man (2007). This version features a young woman named DG (Zooey Deschanel) who is swept away from her Kansas home and finds herself in the Outer Zone, or the O.Z. as the locals call it. Like the original, DG is desperate to find her way home with the help of some new friends. As the story unfolds, however, it turns out that DG’s new friends have some dark and complicated pasts. If DG is going to get home she will have to find out who she can trust, and survive the attacks made by the evil sorceress Azkadellia and her long coat soldiers. While this version may be a bit too dark for some viewers, if you are interested in seeing what The Wonderful Wizard of Oz would be like with a sci-fi/steampunk edge this one can’t be missed.

One of the newest mini-series to be released is The Witches of Oz (2012). This one falls more into the “family friendly” category and may even be a bit on the cheesy side, but the premise is a spin I have yet to see. In this version little Dorothy Gale is all grown up and has spent her whole life believing that she is the inspiration for the fictional character, when in reality the stories are her childhood memories. Not only does Dorothy have to cope with her newly remembered past, she also has to deal with the residents of Oz who start showing up in New York City…

Wicked Return to Oz Tinman The Witches of Oz

With more than 100 years of lore to draw from, there are countless stories to tell about the land of Oz, so hopefully these will help you get started because 2013 is right around the corner!

~Blog by Kelly~

My Top 3 of 3

by Jilliane - 0 Comment(s)

Over the last 3 years I have done a lot of reading. I've read some pretty lame books, some okay books, some pretty darn good books...and then there are the books that remind you why life is amazing. I only encounter these books about once a year, maybe twice if I'm lucky. Today, I'm going to share my most-amazing-books-ever list. I mean, I might be exagerating a bit when I say 'most-amazing-ever,' but over the past 3 years, these are definitely some of the best that I've encountered.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Persepolis is a graphic novel autobiography by Marjane Satrapi. Satrapi relates her experience of growing up in Iran following the Islamic Revolution. It's not a pretty or sentimental story, rather, it's a riveting, deeply moving coming of age story. Satrapi begins her tale at childhood, depicting her sweet, believing innocence and the many talks she had with God in these younger years. She then moves on to describe her tumultuous youth of exploration and self-discovery all with a heated political backdrop. Her parents, political activists, send her away to live in France where they know she will receive a better education and be free from the opression she would face in her own country.

This beautiful autobiography is not only a peek into the world of nations overcome with political unrest, but it is also a sweet coming of age story. Satrapi explores feminism, religion, politics, family life, romance and growing up. She is not heavy-handed, rather, she lets you draw conclusions and focuses on narrative.

The book was made into a movie, which is brilliant, but skips a lot of content.

A Monster Calls by Patrick NessA Monster Calls was based on an idea by the late Siobhan Dowd, a amazing author who died in 2007 of breast cancer. It's a lovely story of a boy dealing with death. Conor is 13 years old and has a mother who is terminally ill. Conor's mother is hopeful and fights her cancer fiercely. She is determined to stay with Conor, and as a result, Conor has not faced the idea of life without her. Except in his dreams. Every night Conor has the same terrible nightmare.

At exactly 12:07 Conor wakes to voice calling him. He looks out his window to see a gigantic monster. This monster tells Conor that he has 3 stories to tell Conor. He will come each night and tell his stories and when he is done, Conor must tell him a story.

Despite the wild idea of a monster appearing in the night, A Monster Calls is a deeply realistic story. The reader lives through every day with Conor--at school, dealing with his grandmother, visiting his mother in the hospital, and grieving. But every night at 12:07 the monster visits and you hear a story...a story that somehow helps Conor.

The book is beautifully illustrated and is definitely worth a read.

Lost and Found by Shaun TanLost and Found is an incredible collection of my 3 favourite Shaun Tan books. It includes: The Red Tree, The Lost Thing and The Rabbits. Tan's illustrations are vivid and poignant and the stories are meaningful. I read The Read Tree on days when I'm feeling sad. I read The Lost Thing on days when I'm feeling lonely. Finally, I read The Rabbits on days when I need to remember.

Post-Batman Blues

- 0 Comment(s)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you must know by now the third and final chapter of Christopher Nolan’s Batman series, Dark Knight Rises, opened this month to massive audiences worldwide. And I mean massive audiences, like more than a half billion dollars in revenue massive. Now if you’re anything like yours truly this movie could not come fast enough. At midnight on July 20th I lined up with my fellow Batman fanatics to see the two hour and forty-five minute conclusion and suffice to say I was not disappointed.

That being said, I couldn’t help but want more (maybe I’m just greedy). So how on earth do I shake off these post-Batman blues? I mean there are the obvious answers like re-watching Batman Begins and Dark Knight for the nine millionth time. Perhaps I could go back to the Batman of my childhood and check out Tim Burton’s version of Batman and Batman Returns (in my world Batman Forever and Batman and Robin never happened). What to do? What to do?

Thankfully I found the answer where I find most of my answers in life, in a comic book. In an attempt to go further down the rabbit hole I decided to read about the physical and intellectual powerhouse known simply as Bane. Specifically, I began the series called Knightfall, which is Bane’s most notorious storyline in the Batman universe, and also earned him the title of “the man who broke the bat.” This series is an absolute must-read for those who are interested in learning more about the villainous character who stars in Dark Knight Rises.

Another must-read for anyone who enjoys the grittier side of Batman is Batman: Year One by Frank Miller (author of 300 and Sin City). In this incarnation of Batman, Miller tells the story of how a young Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham City and attempts to find a way to restore justice and fight corruption by becoming a masked vigilante. This origin story also illustrates how Bruce Wayne’s relationship with a young Lieutenant Gordon was formed. Whether you are a lifelong Batman fan or still relatively new to the Batman universe this series will not disappoint.

Finally, if anyone has ever wondered what would have happened if Batman and Catwoman had a child then it’s worthwhile to check out the Birds of Prey series. This series features the daughter of Batman and Catwoman, Helena Kyle. In this series Helena Kyle, also known as Huntress, follows in her father’s footsteps and battles Gotham’s criminal element with the help of the other members of the Birds of Prey (including Oracle - formerly known as Batgirl). While this particular series may not appeal to everyone, it will certainly entertain anyone who would like to see some more women in Gotham get in on the action.

Hopefully this will help fight off those post-Batman blues, but hey, if more DC action is still needed there is plenty of time to brush up on Superman lore before the release of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel in Summer 2013…

12345678910Showing 11 - 20 of 109 Record(s)