Showing posts with label real life issues. Show all posts
Showing posts with label real life issues. Show all posts

Friday, December 30, 2016

Reality Scoop

I have been interested in writing about the issues of teens and have found that many of the issues that they face are very difficult.  Since I read so much YA fiction, I have seen that there a lot of books that tackle teen topics in a very sensitive and conscious manner.  A few years ago I started to write about real topics that teens are dealing with such as depression, anxiety, lack of sleep, stress, and other mental health issues and pair these topics up with YA realistic fiction books in a column I called Reality Scoop.  I came up with this idea because I feel like many teens could relate to issues they might be dealing with by reading books they can check out from their library.

Here are a few articles that I have written for my column Reality Scoop on the YALSA Hub:

Random Acts of Kindness
Holiday Stress Released
Depression in Young Adult Literature
Autism Awareness
Mental Wellness

I'm thinking of continuing Reality Scoop here on this blog and I am currently working on a list of topics for 2017,

This will be a fun writing project for the upcoming year!

Mrs. Librarian Lady

Friday, August 10, 2012

Finding Meaning and Purpose in Your Life

The third book I have read on the YALSA Top Ten Nominees is "What Happened to Goodbye" by Sarah Dessen. I have been a long time fan of Ms. Dessen because I love Realistic Fiction. She writes with such passion and lets the reader dive right into the main characters life and problems. Hope you will read this one because it is very good! What Happened to Goodybye by Sarah Dessen (2011) McLean's parents are divorced and she is struggling to adapt to a life without her parents together. She goes with her dad each times he moves from town to town because he works a restaurant consultant. Each time she moves she changes her name and her persona, sometimes she a sweet prep girl, or a cheerleader or sometimes even a wanna be bad girl. However this new town she has just landed in has managed to reach out and grab her like no other town has before. This time she just might be able to work on becoming the real McLean and also figure out just where she belongs. As she learns more about herself, she realizes that Dave Wade the boy next door may have some excellent words of wisdom. He inspires McLean to search her soul and find out who her "2 a.m. person" will be. Dessen always create such interesting and diverse characters in her books. I loved the deep conversations that McLean has with Dave and with herself. Finding yourself when you are in your teens is sometimes hard and going through divorce with custody issues, having axes to grind, and being stressed over family separations would only make it harder. I think this is a great book for teens to read, especially for those that enjoy realistic fiction! Happy Reading!! ♥ Mrs. Librarian Lady

Friday, March 02, 2012

Your Best & Worst Night Ever!

"I Love You Beth Cooper" by Larry Doyle 2007

This book is funny in a strange sadistic sort of way. It gives hope to those who go after what they really want and basically don't mind getting smacked in the eye, falling out of a window, almost ran over by a Hummer, losing their pants, and being bitten by a thousand mosquitoes just to be near the one that they adore. I would recommend this book to older teens 16+ that don't mind a few obscenities here and there. Doyle's writing is seriously hilarious and will have you laughing and snickering when some things are inappropriate, yet somehow still funny. I love this book because I can just hear sci fi nerds all over saying hurray for Denis Cooverman! Check out the movie on DVD too it's not too different than the book.

The Final Destiny of Love

“The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous and majorly hot plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, "The Fault in Our Stars" is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love. I hear there is already talk of making this book into a movie. One of my recommendations is to make sure that you are reading this book that you have a whole box of tissues nearby because the last quarter of the book is super emotional. I recommend this book to lovers of realistic fiction. It gets the most points I can give it for being dark,emotional,hopeful and stirring. Way to go John Green you did it again!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Don't Let Hard Times Get You Down

Angry Management by Chris Crutcher Harper Teen, 2009

I've been thinking about this book even though I've been finished for over a week now. I wanted to read it because there has been some controversy over the book and it had been challenged recently by a parent. I found that if you read the book the stories jump out off the pages and fill your mind with problems that real people and real teens have in their everyday lives. The characters are call backs from some of Crutcher's other novels and somehow because he knows these characters so well he is able to bring depth, light, and catharsis to all of their dilemmas and decisions. I think that the anger management classes needed a little more detail and there should have been more storyline leading up to the individual characters and their personal stories, but all in all this book was great. I would recommend this book to any teen that is looking for a realistic fiction or just something interesting to read. I myself enjoy stories that revolve around the struggles of life and how therapy can sometimes help. In teen realistic fiction, it seems that writer's like to set the tone of working it out in your own way that will ultimately help the person in the story. One of my favorite books that I read last year was "Tales of the Madman Underground" by John Barnes which tells the story of Karl Shoemaker a high school senior who has been in a therapy group since he was fourth grade. This is a great book with a story about a young man trying to break loose from the stigma of being in the group for so long and he is so desparately trying to find his own identity, his own true self.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Real Deal

This week’s featured genre is realistic fiction. What I find interesting is that I am a huge fantasy lover and at the same time I love to read realistic stories as well. I feel that young adult realistic fiction has a lot to offer teens today because many of the topics focus on the issues that they are going through at the time. Some of the books that I have read lately have touched on suicide, depression, drug addiction, and child abuse. These issues may not come up in the average teens daily lives, but I think that working with teens has brought me a lot of insight on how they think and deal with things and it can be very helpful for them to read fictional stories that help them to understand that the world is a very big place and they are going to encounter so many different issues as they learn and grow and get older. With that said, realistic fiction can sometimes be a downer, but as with all things in life it has its ups and downs, which makes for pretty great reading most of the time. So here are a few of my favorites and I highly recommend that you read them because they are awesome!

"A good book should leave you... slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it."

~William Styron, interview, Writers at Work, 1958

As always, Happy Reading To You!

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green (2006) Michael Printz Award Honor 2007

What can I say about this book? Well, for starters, it is brilliant and funny and just plain amazing! John Green has a fantastic way of weaving humor into the mundane world and does it with such style that reading this book feels like watching a movie or taking a ride on a Ferris wheel. Colin Singleton is a child prodigy who never made it to a full blown genius and boy that saddens him. He loves to make anagrams and can anagram his ass off in any given situation. Alas, poor Colin has girl issues and he just can't seem to get over the break up with his girlfriend Katherine. Oh and by the way, she is the 19th Katherine that he has gone out with over the course of his 17 year life.
The story just keeps getting funnier and funnier and his best friend Hasan is hilarious too with his smart quips and snide namecalling. The two are always badgering each other with a barrage of insults, but of course there are some compliments in there somewhere I just know it. The two decide to go on a road trip and by golly they end up in some back woods town in Tennessee called Gutshot, and it's there that they meet the adorable Lindsey Lee Wells. From there on things just get funnier because Lindsey has a boyfriend named Colin who the guys nickname TOC which stand for "the other Colin" and Colin decides to come up with a theorem for why he has been dumped by so many Katherines. This lively coming of age tale is wonderfully written and is quite spunky and full of life. I would recommend this book to anyone that is looking for a good book to read that is totally engaging and will have you laughing and crying and cheering in the end for Colin Singleton and his friends. An Abundance of Katherines was also a 2007 Michael Printz Award Honor Book.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan (2010)

I’m gonna start this out by saying that John Green is totally brilliant! Ah, but you knew I was going to say that right? Of course, I also have to give props to David Levithan for this one too. This is one of the few novels written in alternating points of view that I totally loved because it just works. This book is definitely a wild ride for anyone who reads this book. The story is told in two different voices and these voices are two different characters both named Will Grayson.

Even though the book is titled after these two, one thing for sure is that the whole story focuses around the biggest person of all in the story and that is the magnanimous Tiny Cooper. Tiny is such a fun, spontaneous, and joyous young man, and a sheer force of love and power to be reckoned with. That is why both Will Grayson’s find him so irresistible. The first Will Grayson is Tiny’s best friend and confidant, the other is his love interest. By a strange chance meeting the first Will Grayson meets the other in a seedy porn shop called Frenchie’s. This chance meeting alters both of their lives forever. Add to the mix, Tiny’s amazing and genius life story, which is a musical that is written, directed, and produced by none other than Tiny himself. Will Grayson, Will Grayson is an inspirational tale that is creatively written, seductively cool, and so uncontrollably witty you’ll find yourself crying at times and laughing out loud uncontrollably. A must read for anyone that loves a good story!

Glimpse by Carol Lynch Williams (Simon & Schuster, 2010)

Sisters Lizzie and Hope are only one year apart and best friends until Lizzie suddenly tries to end her life. Hope can’t understand why Lizzie would do such a thing and their mother has never paid much attention to either of them. Hope had been having awful nightmares which she really felt like she was awake and Lizzie had been having crying fits for a long time before she tried to kill herself. What does all of this mean? Hope must figure out the puzzle while Lizzie wastes away in a mental institution, and unravel the secrets that will lead her to save her sister. Written in verse, Williams has created a riveting story that is very edgy and provocative!
This novel caught my attention straight away as it is completely written in verse. It is extremely emotional and written very tastefully. The glimpses we as the reader get into Hope’s life are incredible and as I read I became overwrought with grief for her and her sister. This book reminded me that there are so many children out there being abused even by their own parents, which is really very tragic.
I would recommend this book to older teens that enjoy reading realistic fiction on various life issues. It is a fairly fast read because reading the verses goes a lot faster than regular text. I think this book is for older teens because of the nature of the situations involved in the story and the seriousness of suicide and sexual abuse.