Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Asteroids and Meteors!

First there was the giant asteroid headed toward earth.  OK, so it was a few thousand miles out, but still.... And then a fiery meteor unexpectedly tore through the Russian sky and injured hundreds of people and caused a great deal of damage. But reading about these celestial happenings is a much safer (and less scary) way to go, so here are a few titles about threats from outer space that haven't really happened ---yet.

Falling Stars by Michael Flynn
With several large space rocks slated to hit Earth in the near future, ships are sent to the asteroid belt to prevent disaster, while a world financial crash and political turmoil threaten the rescue mission.

Impact by Douglas Preston
When a brilliant meteor lights up the Maine coast, and NASA images reveal an unnatural feature hidden in the depths of a crater on Mars, it's just the start of the adventure for a former CIA operative, technicians, and many others.

The Blessing Stone by Barbara Wood
Follows the story of a blue crystal that fell to the Earth and journeyed throughout human history in the hands of several owners, from a young girl who first discovers it on the African plain, to its bearers in nineteenth-century America.

The Precipice by Ben Bova
With Earth on the verge of total environmental disaster, Dan Randolph and two female astronauts embark on a mission to the asteroid belt in a last ditch quest to salvage the future of all life on the planet.

Terraforming Earth by Jack Williamson
Clones of survivors of a catastrophic asteroid collision that had decimated Earth and made it uninhabitable for humans join forces with alien travelers to rebuild the planet's ecosphere so that humans and aliens alike can build new lives on Earth.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Not Just for Young Adults Anymore

Young adults are so cool.  Mark Zuckerberg and his young adult (YA) friends created and suddenly millions of “kids” were connected socially through the website.   Not to be outdone, soon parents and adults were creating FB pages of their own. But it’s not just YA social media that adults are draw to; adults are reading books that are popular with teens and tweens – the YA books.  Books such as The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Divergent by Veronica Roth, have catapulted into the adult reading arena (pun intended, if you read The Hunger Games).  Why are adults gobbling up YA books?  They’ve discovered a well-kept secret – many YA books are fast-paced, well-written, have exciting characters, and intriguing plots.  If you found yourself devouring The Hunger Games (pun intended, again), and working your way through the other two books in the series, take your lead from our well-read young adults and consider reading what they are reading.  Here are a few suggestions:
Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah. When you’re a teen in an exclusive prep school in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, it’s easy to complicate your life further when you decide to show your Muslim faith by wearing a hijab.  Can Amal do this without losing her identity or sense of style? 

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie.  A wannabe cartoonist named Junior leaves his school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Native American is the school mascot.

Feed by M.T. Anderson.  Set in the future, when most people have computer implants in their heads to control their environment through a live feed, a boy meets an unusual girl who is in serious trouble.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. After his grandfather’s death, sixteen-year-old Jacob tries to discover more about his mysterious family.  Traveling to a remote island where is grandfather grew up in an orphanage, he soon learns the children who lived there may have been dangerous and quarantined and they may still be alive.

Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher.  Sarah Byrnes and Eric have been friends for years because he was overweight and she terrible scars, making them both outcasts. In high school, Eric joins the swim team, and slims down, but she remains his closest friend.  Despite their friendship, sits silent in a hospital, and Eric must discover the terrible secret she's hiding to keep them both safe.

-by, KF