17 Again – film

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Bibliographic Information:

Title: 17 Again
Director: Burr Steers
Main Actors: Zac Efron, Matthew Perry, Leslie Mann
Studio: New Line
Release date: 2009
ISBN: 1-4198-7384-9
Running time: 102 minutes

Genre(s): Comedy, Fantasy, Drama, Kids & Family

Reading Level/Interest Age: Rated PG-13, of interest to teens and older

Readers Annotation: Mike O’Donnell’s adult life is going nowhere fast. When he gets a chance to be 17 again, can he change his future for the better?

Plot Summary: Mike O’Donnell was a high school basketball star in the year 1989, with a bright future ahead of him. When his girlfriend gets pregnant his senior year, he turns down a chance to go professional and it drastically alters the course of his future. At 37, he is faced with losing his job, the end of his marriage, he can’t relate to his teenage children, and he regrets the choice he made as a teenager. He finds himself back at his old high school to reminisce about the good old days, and runs into a mysterious janitor who asks him if he would want to return to being a teenager, and Mike says yes. Later, as he is driving, he sees the same janitor about to jump off a bridge, and when he goes to save the man, there is no one there, and Mike falls into the river instead. When he comes out, he has transformed back to his 17-year-old self.

Needing a place to stay, Mike has to convince his millionaire friend Ned that he is the 17-year-old version of himself, and they decide to pretend that Mike is Ned’s son, Mark. As Mark, Mike enrolls in his old high school in order to secure the scholarship he lost out on twenty years before and make his life better. Mike’s teenage son Alex and daughter Maggie are attending the high school as well, and he befriends his children so he can get close to his wife Scarlett again and keep an eye on Alex and Maggie. He finds out that Alex is being bullied but is very good at basketball, and that Maggie is dating the captain of the basketball team, his son’s bully. As the school year goes on, Mike realizes he has a chance to help his son realize his true talents and help his daughter get out of a bad relationship, as well as try and fix his failed marriage. His wife Scarlett is confused by Mark since he looks so much like her ex-husband did at 17, and rejects his advances since he’s only a teenager.

Events come to a head when Ned goes on a date with the school principal and Mike has a party at his house, which ends up having a huge turnout. Maggie’s boyfriend breaks up with her for not sleeping with him, and Mike comforts her as “Mark” only to find that his daughter has developed feelings for his teenage self. His wife Scarlett shows up at the party looking for their son, and she gets upset after “Mark” kisses her and tells her that he’s actually her husband, not believing him. The next morning, “Mark” and Ned go to Mike’s divorce hearing with Scarlett, and “Mark” reads her a letter from Mike that reveals what he’s realized about their marriage since being a teenager again. Scarlett finds out that it wasn’t a real letter and Mark was just saying those things that only her husband would know, finally realizing that Mark was Mike all along when she compared him to the picture of her husband from an old yearbook.

At the end of the film, “Mark” and Alex play in the championship basketball game, and events play out almost as they did in 1989, except Mike lets his son shine in the game to win the scholarship and goes after Scarlett instead. They reconcile, and Mike turns back into his 37-year-old self. He repairs his marriage with Scarlett and becomes the high school’s new basketball coach.

 

Critical Evaluation: I think most teenagers would be interested in watching this movie, since it is a comedy and is set mostly in a high school setting. Zac Efron is a big name actor and is recognized by many teenagers, so he is a draw for them. The movie is very well done – the acting, especially Zac Efron and Leslie Mann’s acting, is believable, and the actor who plays Ned is an excellent comedic actor. The plot moves quickly and the dialogue is funny, while elements of the story seem to be well paced. Settings are regular neighborhoods, businesses, and schools in Los Angeles, and the production value is good for the kind of comedy movie the film is. The soundtrack, while not entirely memorable, is a good backdrop for the film, and the inclusion of some 80s songs ties it in to the nostalgia of Mike’s character’s age group. Teenagers can appreciate the throwback nature of some of the 80s references and be entertained by parents trying to act like teenagers. Overall, it’s a good representation of the teenage experience and covers several issues that teenagers deal with (bullying, sexuality, future plans). The film comes in DVD, BluRay, or digital format. Any version would work, though DVDs would probably be best for checking out, unless the library has a subscription program for streaming movies.

 

Author Bio/Information:

From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burr_Steers

“Burr Gore Steers (born October 8, 1965) is an American actor, screenwriter, and director; notable films include Igby Goes Down (2002) and 17 Again (2009). He is also the nephew of writer Gore Vidal.

Steers grew up living in Bethesda, Maryland and Georgetown, Washington, D.C., where he attended St. Albans School. Steers was expelled from both the Hotchkiss School and Culver Military Academy. He eventually earned his GED and attended New York University.

He wrote and directed Igby Goes Down in 2002, an acidic, urban, coming-of-age film that starred Kieran Culkin and Susan Sarandon. Steers also was the screenwriter of the film How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, which starred Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey. He has directed episodes of the television series Weeds, The L Word, Big Love, and The New Normal. Steers also directed the 2009 teen comedy film, 17 Again starring Zac Efron.”

Ties to Curriculum Units: N/A

Booktalking Ideas: Discuss what you would do if you could do a part of your life over, career goals, advice to give your younger self

 

Challenge Issues: For the age group, I don’t think many parents would challenge the film, though I suppose some might be uncomfortable with Zac Efron being romantic with Leslie Mann in the film because of the age difference. I would prepare by researching the film, and presenting parents with respected movie reviews such as this one: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/17-again-2009

I would also inform parents that it won several teen choice awards and a movie award as well as nominations for various other awards: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0974661/awards

 

Alternative Press – magazine

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Bibliographic Information:

Title: Alternative Press Magazine
Author: Various
Creator: Mike Shea
Publisher: Alternative Press Magazine, Inc.
Copyright date: 2016 (current issue)
ASIN: B00026E9XG

Genre(s): Music

Reading Level/Interest Age: Teens (The app for digital issues says 17+)

Readers Annotation: For teens interested in the alternative music scene, Alternative Press brings the noise with album news, interviews, reviews, artist styles, and new music recommendations.

Summary: According to www.altpress.com , the magazine focuses on the alternative music scene featuring “alternative, indie, ska, electronic, dub, industrial, punk, techno, underground, rock, ambient, and experimental” music. Their publication is geared towards young people in high school who are interested in those kinds of music, some big name and smaller bands, and that music culture. Unlike other teen magazines, Alternative Press’s ads are mostly advertising upcoming music albums from different bands, announced tours, band merchandise, and musical instruments and related equipment. The magazine seems to be about one third ad space, which is normal for a magazine. Each issue (published monthly) features a cover artist that receives a spotlight article with an interview and a look behind the scenes of their work (For November it was Jeffree Star). There are also featured interviews with bands (November was Microwave, Sum 41, and Set it Off), and a special feature article (November was Touring and what bands would bring on tour). Other regular sections of the magazine are AP Poll (polling the readers about different topics and the musicians respond), The Pit (November was interviewing bands about how they celebrate Halloween), AP: DIY (advice from different bands for “do it yourself” music projects), AP Recommends (introducing 12 lesser known bands to the readers), Lifestyle (November had Jeffree Star makeup and fashion essentials along with band gear and merchandise), Reviews (reviews of new albums), and 10 Essential (a playlist of 10 songs, November was 10 essential “club bangers”).

Critical Evaluation: This magazine has lots of visual appeal – bright colors, photos on every page, and a design aesthetic that draws the eyes to every part of the page. I can see many teens interested in music (especially more underground and lesser known music) wanting to check out this magazine from a young adult collection. There is so much to look at that sometimes it seems like too much information, but it makes for an interesting read and a way to catch up on the news from favorite alternative bands or pick up a new musical favorite. The interviews and features are interesting and well written, and the reviews give good snapshots of what to expect from upcoming or newly released albums. I didn’t like that it took eleven pages to get to the Table of Contents, or all the album ad pages, but it would be the same as looking at regular magazine advertisements. This magazine comes in print form and digital form, and I can’t pick one over the other because they both have advantages and disadvantages. The physical copy is nice to be able to flip through while sitting in the library, though some teens might also want to be able to browse the pages while on their phones, tablets, or computers from the library’s e-resource app.

Author Bio/Information:

From the Alternative Press website: http://www.altpress.com/contributors/profile/mike_shea

“Mike Shea started Alternative Press out of his bedroom when he was 19 years old living at his mom’s house in Aurora, Ohio. The first issue of AP, a offset-printed, four-page combination of a punk fanzine designed like a high school newspaper, was handed out the night of June 6, 1985 at the Cleveland Underground punk bar that was located in the Flats in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. More than 25 years later, AP is now one of the largest and most influential media companies in the United States for the discovery of new music, producing not only the flagship magazine, but concert program guides (Lollapalooza, Ozzfest, Take Action and the Vans Warped Tour), special events through its PunxDirtySecret division, the annual SXSW Emo’s Saturday afternoon showcase, and THE AP TOUR- the incredibly successful concert tour that has played to sold-out clubs in over 35 cities in the US and Canada. Additionally, Summer 2010 saw the proud (three year in the making) launch of the official AP/Advent Clothing Stage on the 2010 Vans Warped Tour.

Mike produces and hosts THE AP PODCAST, available here and on iTunes. The exclusive, behind-the-scenes music interview show, averages over 50,000 downloads a show and is consistently one of the top rated music podcasts on iTunes. He’s branched out to produce THE AP SESSIONS, a documentary-style music video series exclusively shown on altpress.com.”

Ties to Curriculum Units: Pop Culture, Music Appreciation

Booktalking Ideas: Play music from bands in magazine, discuss favorite music genres, alternative bands

Challenge Issues: Since the magazine features more alternative bands, some parents may have an issue with the content of the music referenced rather than the actual magazine itself. I would inform the parents that the magazine is simply a music news resource, and tell them that the magazine is a respected music source for teens. I would share an article on the magazine’s founder as he reflects on music and starting the magazine (http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20150722/BLOGS03/150729934/alternative-press-founder-mike-shea-reflects-on-30-years-of ) as well as the fact that the magazine started its own awards event, the APMAs (http://www.altpress.com/apmas/ ).

The Book Thief – book

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Bibliographic Information:

Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Publisher: Knopf
Copyright date: 2005
ISBN: 978-0375842207
Pages: 544

Genre(s): Historical fiction

Reading Level/Interest Age: 5th grade / Upper grades (9-12)

Readers Annotation: Death tells the story of the book thief Liesel, whose family hides a Jewish man from the Nazis, and reveals the true power of words.

Author Bio/Information:

From Chicago Public Library: http://www.chipublib.org/markus-zusak-biography/

“Markus Zusak was born in 1975 in Sydney, Australia, the youngest of four children of immigrant German and Austrian parents. Neither parent could read or write English when they first arrived in Australia, but they wanted their children to master the language and strongly encouraged them to read and communicate in English from an early age. Zusak began writing fiction at age 16 and pursued a degree in teaching at the University of Sydney. Before becoming a professional author, Zusak worked briefly as a house painter, a janitor and a high school English teacher.

In 1999, Zusak’s first novel, The Underdog, was published after many initial rejections. It is the first book in a trilogy narrated by Cameron, the youngest child in the working-class Wolfe family. Cameron is the underdog of the title, and the narrative follows his struggle to define himself within his family and society. Cameron and his brother and best friend Ruben were loosely based on Zusak and his own brother. The sequel, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, tells of the brothers’ participation in an illegal boxing ring as a means of supporting their family. The final book in the trilogy, When Dogs Cry (published as Getting the Girl in the United States) examines the complications of loss, death and falling in love.”

 

Ties to Curriculum Units: World War II, Holocaust, Book Censorship

 

Booktalking Ideas: Dress as Death (narrator), discuss Holocaust, banning books

The Chocolate War – book

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Bibliographic Information:

Title: The Chocolate War
Author: Robert Cormier
Publisher: Random House
Copyright date: 1974
ISBN: 978-0-375-82987-1
Pages: 253

Genre(s): Young Adult, Realism, Psychological Thriller (to a degree)

Reading Level/Interest Age: 5th grade / Upper grades (9-12)

Readers Annotation: In a school run on fear, can Jerry Renault risk the dire consequences of defying The Vigil and rise up as the hero of Chocolate War?

Plot Summary: Jerry Renault, a student at the all boys Trinity school, is a freshman just trying to fit in, doing his work and playing football on the school team. He makes friends with a boy nicknamed “The Goober,” and is handpicked by the school society dubbed ‘The Vigil’ to complete a mission for them. The assistant headmaster, Brother Leon, has begun a school-wide fundraiser selling chocolate bars in order to get the school out of debt, and enlists Archie, the head of The Vigil, in making sure that the fundraiser succeeds. To protest the fundraiser, The Vigil assigns Jerry to refuse to sell any chocolates for ten days, and then accept on the eleventh day. Jerry fulfills his mission, but on the eleventh day, he still refuses to sell any boxes of chocolate, feeling that it is his moral duty to resist the option if he doesn’t feel like selling them. Outraged by the act of rebellion, Brother Leon instructs Archie to solve the problem, which Archie is happy to do since Jerry is now going against The Vigil’s wishes as well, and he is beginning to inspire the other boys to fight back. Archie directs his boys to make Jerry’s life miserable, making sure he is bullied at school and even harassed at home by constant eerie phone calls. When Jerry refuses to break, Archie sends the bully Janza to try to solve the problem with violence, leaving Jerry battered after multiple students attack him. Even this doesn’t deter Jerry, although The Vigil does their best to make the fundraiser succeed and sells all but Jerry’s fifty boxes of chocolate. Archie then arranges a fight between Jerry and Janza at the school, raffling off tickets to make up for the loss in sales. The book ends with neither boy really “winning” the fight, both ending up very injured, and the fight is plunged into darkness and chaos when the power goes out. Brother Leon watches from afar, having apparently been the puppet master behind the boys’ actions, and it seems that the school will return to how it was before, run by The Vigil but controlled by Brother Leon.

 

Author Bio/Information: From http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/contributor/robert-cormier

“The beloved author of such quintessential young adult novels as The Chocolate War and I Am the Cheesebegan writing at age 12 and never looked back. His first published work was a short story he wrote in college, which was submitted to a magazine by his teacher without his knowledge. Cormier then went on to work as a newspaper reporter and columnist for 30 years. He has won many prizes, both for his journalistic work and for his young adult novels. Perhaps the award that makes him most proud is the prestigious Margaret A. Edwards Award, presented by the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association in recognition of authors who provide young adults with a window through which they can view the world, and which help them to grow and understand themselves and their role in society.

Cormier was born and raised in Leominster, Massachusetts, where he still lives. He and his wife, Connie, have four grown children. An avid traveler, Cormier has visited nearly every state in the U.S. In his spare time, he reads, something he recommends all aspiring writers should spend considerable time doing. Among the authors he considers inspirational are Graham Greene, J.D. Salinger, Thomas Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway, William Saroyan, Brian Moore, and John O’Hara. Cormier also enjoys watching movies on his VCR, listening to music everything from Dixieland jazz to ABBA to the Rolling Stones to Bing Crosby and walking for exercise.”

 

Ties to Curriculum Units: Peer Pressure, Bullying, Coming of Age novels, Banned Books

 

Booktalking Ideas: Discuss “daring to disturb the universe,” pass out chocolate bars, discuss school fundraisers and opting out

 

Encyclopaedia Britannica – database

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Bibliographic Information:

Title: Encyclopædia Britannica School
Author: Various
Publisher: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
Website: https://britannicalearn.com

Genre(s): Encyclopedia, Databases

Reading Level/Interest Age: High school students

Readers Annotation: The Britannica database contains reliable information on a huge range of subjects to help you with homework, research projects, or anything you personally want to learn about.

Summary: This database is the online version of the encyclopedia, and tailored to fit the needs of high school students.

Author Bio/Information:

From the Britannica corporate website:

“The Encyclopædia Britannica name has been synonymous with reliable and trustworthy information for generations. Founded in 1768, in Edinburgh, Scotland, it began with the encyclopedia of that name, created by two entrepreneurs and an editor. Over the years its reputation grew as the greatest minds of each generation contributed work to subsequent editions. The size of the Britannica grew as well, from the 3-volume 1st edition to the 32-volume 15th. In the 20th century the company expanded into new areas and new products, such as language instruction, educational media, the classics, and reference works in a host of different languages.

In 1981 Britannica published its first digital encyclopedia—probably the first digital encyclopedia—and thus began a journey toward becoming an almost totally digital company. Today the Britannica.com Web site and many others published by EB and its divisions serve tens of millions of people around the world. They are updated daily.”

 

Ties to Curriculum Units: Information in the database can be tied to many curriculum units.

 

Booktalking Ideas: Discuss digital resources, show old encyclopedias and explain how they’ve changed

 

Challenge Issues: Since it is an encyclopedia, I don’t think many people will want to challenge it as a subscription database for a teen library, though in case some parents call it into question, I would inform them of Britannica being a well-respected source (as discussed in The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/from-the-archive-blog/2012/mar/16/encyclopedia-britannica-worth-treasuring ) and show them the awards it has won: https://britannicalearn.com/product/britannica-school-4/

 

Ender’s Game – book

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Bibliographic Information:

Title: Ender’s Game
Author: Orson Scott Card
Publisher: Tor Science Fiction
Copyright date: 1985
ISBN: 978-0812550702
Pages: 352

Genre(s): Science Fiction, Military science fiction

Reading Level/Interest Age: 5th grade / Upper grades (9-12)

Author Bio/Information:

From Orson Scott Card’s website: http://www.hatrack.com/osc/about.shtml

“rson Scott Card is the author of the novels Ender’s GameEnder’s Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead, which are widely read by adults and younger readers, and are increasingly used in schools. His most recent series, the young adult Pathfinder series (Pathfinder, Ruins, Visitors) and the fantasy Mithermages series (Lost Gate, Gate Thief, Gatefather) are taking readers in new directions.

Besides these and other science fiction novels, Card writes contemporary fantasy (Magic Street, Enchantment, Lost Boys), biblical novels (Stone Tables, Rachel and Leah), the American frontier fantasy series The Tales of Alvin Maker (beginning with Seventh Son), poetry (An Open Book), and many plays and scripts, including his “freshened” Shakespeare scripts for Romeo & JulietThe Taming of the Shrew, and The Merchant of Venice.

Card was born in Washington and grew up in California, Arizona, and Utah. He served a mission for the LDS Church in Brazil in the early 1970s. Besides his writing, he teaches occasional classes and workshops and directs plays. He frequently teaches writing and literature courses at Southern Virginia University.

Card currently lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Kristine Allen Card, where his primary activities are writing a review column for the local Rhinoceros Times and feeding birds, squirrels, chipmunks, possums, and raccoons on the patio.”

Fahrenheit 451 – graphic novel

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Bibliographic Information:

Title: Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Adaptation
Author: Tim Hamilton (adapted from Ray Bradbury)
Publisher: Hill and Wang
Copyright date: 2009
ISBN: 978-0809051014
Pages: 160

Genre(s): Science Fiction, Utopian and dystopian fiction

Reading Level/Interest Age: 3rd grade / Upper grades (9-12)

 

Author Bio/Information:

From Tim Hamilton’s website: http://hamilton-tim.pair.com/CUTBLEED/about/

“Tim Hamilton lives  in Brooklyn, NY.

His clients include: The New Yorker, The New York Times, Cicada Magazine, Dark Horse, Marvel, DC Comics, Mad Magazine, Nickelodeon Magazine, Dow Jones, Lifetime, ABC Television, Holiday House, Fast Company Magazine and PublicAffairs.

He adapted “Treasure Island” into a graphic novel for Puffin Graphics. In 2010 
he adapted Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451″ into a graphic novel for Hill & Wang with Mr. Bradbury’s blessing. The resulting book was nominated for an Eisner award in the “Best Adaptation of Another Work” category. Tim was once a clue on the quiz show Jeopardy.”

 

Ties to Curriculum Units: Book censorship, Classic Literature, Dystopian fiction

 

Booktalking Ideas: Compare graphic novel to novel briefly, discuss graphic novelization of classics (have other examples), discuss book censorship

 

The Fellowship of the Ring: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – CD

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Bibliographic Information:

Title: The Fellowship of the Ring: Motion Picture Soundtrack
Composer: Howard Shore
Label: Reprise
Copyright date: 2001
ASIN: B00005QZWI
Total album time (minutes): 178 minutes

Genre(s): Soundtrack, World music, Fantasy

Reading Level/Interest Age: All ages, though the film is PG-13 and the music may sound scary at times.

 

Author Bio/Information:

From Howard Shore’s website: http://www.howardshore.com/biography/

“Howard Shore is one of today’s premier composers whose music is performed in concert halls around the world by the most prestigious orchestras and is heard in cinemas across the globe.

Shore’s musical interpretation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s imaginative world of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, as portrayed in the films directed by Peter Jackson, have enthralled people of all generations for years. This work stands as his most acclaimed composition to date awarding him with three Academy Awards, four Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes as well as numerous critic’s and festival awards.

He is an Officier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres de la Franceand has also been recognized by Canada with the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award. The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures honored Howard Shore with an award for Career Achievement for Music Composition and the City of Vienna bestowed him with the Max Steiner Award. Shore has received numerous other awards for his career achievements.

Perhaps most notable from his early career, Shore was one of the creators of Saturday Night Live and served as musical director from 1975 – 1980. At the same time he began collaborating with David Cronenberg and has since scored 15 of the director’s films, including The FlyCrash, and Naked Lunch. He was awarded Canadian Screen Awards for Maps to the Starsfor score and Cosmopolis for both score and song. His original scores to A Dangerous MethodEastern Promises and Dead Ringers were each honoured with a Genie Award. Shore continues to distinguish himself with a wide range of projects, from Martin Scorsese’s HugoThe DepartedThe Aviator (for which he won his third Golden Globe Award) and Gangs of New Yorkto Ed WoodSe7enThe Silence of the LambsPhiladelphia, and Mrs. Doubtfire and his most recent score for Tom McCarthy’s Academy Award-winning Film Spotlight.”

 

Ties to Curriculum Units: Lord of the Rings (if assigned), Pop Culture, World Music

 

Booktalking Ideas: Play soundtrack music samples, use Lord of the Rings movie decorations, play a few scenes from the movie to note score tracks

 

Forever – book

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Bibliographic Information:

Title: Forever
Author: Judy Blume
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Copyright date: 1975
ISBN: 978-1481414432
Pages: 209

Genre(s): Young adult, Romance, Coming of Age

Reading Level/Interest Age: 4th grade / Upper grades (9-12)

Readers Annotation: When Katherine meets Michael, he introduces her to a new world of love and intimacy. But as they leave high school, is their love truly forever?

 

Author Bio/Information:

From Judy’s website: http://www.judyblume.com/about.php

“Judy Blume spent her childhood in Elizabeth, New Jersey, making up stories inside her head. She has spent her adult years in many places doing the same thing, only now she writes her stories down on paper. Adults as well as children will recognize such Blume titles as: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret; Blubber; Just as Long as We’re Together; and the five book series about the irrepressible Fudge. She has also written four novels for adults, Summer Sisters; Smart Women; Wifey and In the Unlikely Event, all of them New York Times bestsellers. More than 85 million copies of her books have been sold, and her work has been translated into thirty-two languages. She receives thousands of letters a year from readers of all ages who share their feelings and concerns with her.

Judy received a B.S. in education from New York University in 1961, which named her a Distinguished Alumna in 1996, the same year the American Library Association honored her with the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement. Other recognitions include the Library of Congress Living Legends Award and the 2004 National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

 

Ties to Curriculum Units: Sex Education, Banned Books

 

Booktalking Ideas: Talk about relationships, banned books, importance of sex education

Ghosts – graphic novel

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Bibliographic Information:

Title: Ghosts
Author: Raina Telgemeier
Publisher: Graphix
Copyright date: 2016
ISBN: 978-0545540629
Pages: 256

Genre(s): Magical Realism, Mystery

Reading Level/Interest Age: 3rd grade / Middle grades (though still of interest to older teens)

Readers Annotation: Faced with a new town full of surprising ghostly neighbors and her sister’s own mortality, Cat must begin a frightening new stage of her life.

Author Bio/Information:

From http://www.scholastic.com/raina/

“Raina Telgemeier grew up in San Francisco and moved to New York City, where she earned an illustration degree at the School of Visual Arts. She is the creator of Smile, a #1 New York Times bestselling graphic memoir based on her childhood. It won a Will Eisner Award for Best Publication for Teens, received a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, and has appeared on many state reading lists.

She is also the creator of Drama, a #1 New York Times bestseller and the recipient of a Stonewall Book Award Honor. Raina also adapted and illustrated The Baby-sitters Club graphic novels. Raina lives in Astoria, New York, with her husband and fellow cartoonist, Dave Roman.”

 

Ties to Curriculum Units: Cultural Diversity (Day of the Dead)

 

Booktalking Ideas: Day of the Dead décor, discussing past family members and first impressions, moving to a new town