Category Archives: Romance

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

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Seraphina

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman ISBN: 9780375866562

Plot Summary: When Prince Rufus is murdered, all signs point to dragons. This strains tensions between the dragons living in the city and the humans, who are already suspicious of the peace treaty. Seraphina has been instructed by her father to not draw attention to herself so as not to expose the fact that her mother was a dragon. But she is compelled to help the investigation, along with Prince Lucian, who is smart and shrewd enough to discover her secret.

Critical Evaluation: The setting of this book was well realized. This is set in a fictional town, where dragons and humans live side by side. Details about the way this world works, rules, and culture are given through the experiences of Seraphina. She talks about how her dragon mentor does not have to wear the bells customarily worn by dragons because he is a scholar. In her travels she goes through many different areas of the city, from the nice, human area she and her father live in, to the ghetto-like neighborhoods where more lowly creatures live. As musical assistant to the court composer, Seraphina is privy to a lot of conversations and different levels of the society. So she knows how dragon brains work differently than humans, which was fun for me to notice in her own actions. She also hears and sees how people treat dragons. All of this combines to create a world that is vivid and believable.

There is a sequel in the works, and some important details are left up in the air at the end of this book. The particular mystery at the focus of this story is resolved, but I was frustrated not to have a better resolution for other subplots. I think that is just the burden I must carry for having read an engaging and interesting story.

Reader’s Annotation: Dragons and humans have been living together somewhat peacefully, but the death of Prince Rufus and the signs that a dragon did it throw everything in the balance. Can Seraphina help Prince Lucian discover who’s behind it, without revealing her own dangerous secret?

Information about the author: Rachel Hartman was born in Lexington, Kentucky. She has a bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature. Instead of getting a graduate degree, Rachel spent her time drawing comic books.

She has lived in a variety of places, like Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Louis, England, and Japan. She currently lives in Vancouver, British Colombia with her family. “Seraphina” is her first novel.

Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Romance

Curriculum ties, if any: It could be used to discuss acceptance of people different from yourself.

Booktalking Ideas: This will appeal most to readers of fantasy and those who like dragon stories. It is frequently compared to “Eragon” so I might mention that. I would also emphasize that this is a mystery and has intrigue and action.

Reading Level/Interest Age:  Seraphina is sixteen in this story. She holds a full time job, which I think older teens will identify with more. Publisher’s Weekly recommends it for ages 12 and up, and School Library Journal for grades 7 and up.

Challenge Issues:

  • Minor language
  • Minor violence
  • Drinking

Defense Strategy:

  1. First, I would want to be familiar with book. As I’ve read this book, I’d be aware of potential issues that could be challenged. In the case of a book I had not read, I would want to have access to reviews.
  2. Then I would put together a rationale for why this book is included in the collection. This rationale would include:
    • Bibliographic Citation of the book.
    • A description of who the book is best suited for.
    • A summary of the book and applicable other information, such as biographical information about the author.
    • My justification for including the book. This would include how it fits in with the selection policy and library mission statement, and include its educational significance if applicable or the impact it could have on readers.
    • Copy of selection policy and library mission statement at my library.
    • ALA Library Bill of Rights
    • Good and bad reviews of the book
    • Alternative works a student could read
    • Reconsideration form if patron is not satisfied with rationale
  3. When talking to patron, I would listen to their concerns without getting on the defensive and attempt to sympathize with their concerns. In some cases, all an upset patron needs is to be able to vent and know that someone is listening to them.
  4. If needed, I would send the challenge up the chain of command.

None of the potential issues with this book come up very often. I would be surprised if this book was challenged, but that being said, it has positive messages for women, as well as on being honest and doing what is right. It also meets the recreational needs of teens.

Why did you include this book? : I had heard good things about the book and wanted another type of fantasy to highlight.

Reference Page:

Hartman, R. (2013). Bio. Retrieved from http://rachelhartmanbooks.com/about/

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The Fault in our Stars by John Green

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The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in our Stars by John Green ISBN: 9780525478812

Plot Summary: Hazel has terminal cancer of the lungs. She knows that her time is limited. But then she meets Gus, who is in remission, at the support group her parents make her go to. Gus is handsome and funny and, for some reason, thinks Hazel is really cute even though she has chipmunk cheeks. Hazel tries to resist liking Gus, but she can’t help it, and the two fall headfirst into a deep relationship. Gus even uses his “Genie Wish” to take Hazel to Amsterdam so she can meet the author of her favorite book and find out what happens at the end of his cancer book. This might sound like your standard cancer book, but it has wit and snark and an undeniable smartness.

Critical Evaluation: This is a hard book for me to evaluate, because I like it so much that I can be blinded to its faults. I will do my best to examine it more closely and not gush too much. I’d like to compare it to the movie Juno, which is also very witty, but almost to a fault. I found myself asking, both during reading “The Fault in Our Stars” and while watching Juno, are there really people who talk like this? (And how come I’m not one of them?) As characters, Gus and Hazel are very witty, funny, elegant, and unlike most teenagers I’ve met. But they are not totally improbable. I have known at least a couple people like that in high school, so I know it is possible, and I just need an author to prove to me that this person is possible in this exact manifestation. With John Green, I buy it. When Hazel first meets Gus, he makes several comments playing off his soon to be blind friend. And Hazel can recite “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” It still felt plausible to me. Both still show that they are teens, with instances of both whining at and fighting with their parents, just like any other teen.

This book is not one I would call fast paced, but nor does it move slowly. We are given the details we need to establish Hazel’s background and world before Gus, and then the two can sort of leisurely begin to pursue one another. The trip to Amsterdam feels like a whirlwind, much like any vacation does. Gus’ relapse comes on far too quickly and drags just the right amount. In life these things drag, but, at least for me, it never felt indulgent.

Reader’s Annotation: Hazel has cancer and falls in love with Gus, not knowing how much time they have left together. But this is not your average cancer book, because as Hazel says, those books suck.

Information about the author: John Green was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on August 24, 1977. He attended Kenyon College and majored in English and Religious Studies. He has been a publishing assistant and production editor for Booklist as well.

Many of his books have been well received and honored over the years. “Looking for Alaska” won the Michael L. Printz Award. “An Abundance of Katherines” was also nominated for the same award. “Paper Towns” was awarded both the Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Novel and the Corine Literature Prize. He is also well known for being one of the Vlog Brothers, whose video blog has quite a following.

Genre: Realistic Fiction, Romance

Curriculum ties, if any: None in particular.

Booktalking Ideas: My classmates had fantastic booktalks for this during the presentation, but as far as my own booktalk, I would highlight how funny this book is. I would have to mention that it is a cancer book, but that it doesn’t act like other cancer books. Some will have heard of John Green and/or the Vlog Brothers, so I think this would also be good to highlight.

Reading Level/Interest Age:  The main character is 16. I would also say that the language and sexual scene make this slightly more appropriate for a high school reader. School Library Journal recommends this book for grades 9 and up.

Challenge Issues:

  • Language
  • Sexual situation

Defense Strategy:

  1. First, I would want to be familiar with book. As I’ve read this book, I’d be aware of potential issues that could be challenged. In the case of a book I had not read, I would want to have access to reviews.
  2. Then I would put together a rationale for why this book is included in the collection. This rationale would include:
    • Bibliographic Citation of the book.
    • A description of who the book is best suited for.
    • A summary of the book and applicable other information, such as biographical information about the author.
    • My justification for including the book. This would include how it fits in with the selection policy and library mission statement, and include its educational significance if applicable or the impact it could have on readers.
    • Copy of selection policy and library mission statement at my library.
    • ALA Library Bill of Rights
    • Good and bad reviews of the book
    • Alternative works a student could read
    • Reconsideration form if patron is not satisfied with rationale
  3. When talking to patron, I would listen to their concerns without getting on the defensive and attempt to sympathize with their concerns. In some cases, all an upset patron needs is to be able to vent and know that someone is listening to them.
  4. If needed, I would send the challenge up the chain of command.

There is a fair amount of coarse language in this book. However, that just makes it a more authentic read for a teenager. (My sister was called the truck driver on her high school soccer team, and it wasn’t because of her driving skills.) Though these teens have sex in the book, it is very subtly described, so there are no scenes that could be considered graphic. As I’ve said before, this book represents aspects of people’s lives that are not so pleasant or sanitized, but should still be available for the solace they can provide for anyone affected by cancer, or diversion for any other reader.

Why did you include this book? : This was a required title for class, but it is also a well written and unique story that is quite popular.

Reference Page:

Green, J. (2013). Bio page. John Green website. Retrieved from http://johngreenbooks.com/bio-c

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. danforth

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The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. dansforth ISBN: 9780062020567

Plot Summary: On the same day that Cameron kisses her best friend, Irene, Cameron’s parents die in a car crash. She isn’t sure if it’s her fault, but she realizes that at least now, they’ll never find out what she did. Cameron’s evangelical aunt moves in with her and her grandmother and all happily coexist for several years while Cameron explores her sexuality quietly. She is discovered after getting involved with her friend Coley, and her aunt sends her to a conversion therapy school, designed to turn her straight. The book takes place in rural Montana in the 1990s, and follows Cameron as she explores who she is, and where she is going.

Critical Evaluation: This book is somewhat slow moving. Even the cover gives some indication of that. It is not exciting, or fast paced, though there are some emotionally charged moments, like how she feels after the death of her parents. Instead, it takes its time over 470 pages and several years to build to Cameron’s turning point. Along the way are several important moments that bring her closer to her turning point. I suppose you could call this the narrative structure of the story. I felt like there was a lot of setup that led to the conflict for me; that being when she is sent to the conversion camp. Even so, I really enjoyed the build up to that place, because it explains how she got there and really gives us a very clear picture of who she is. The resolution is not so much of a resolution in my eyes, but it does mirror life in that way. We are left with Cameron’s decision, which is perhaps the most important piece to get out of the book.

After thinking about that, I can’t help but bring up the characters of the book. This is my old standby, but it turns out to be rather applicable most times. What the 470 pages really do is bring us closer to understanding Cameron and her world. Reading about how her grief over her parents’ death led to an obsession with decorating an old dollhouse was fascinating. Or what she and her friends did for fun on the weekends in the middle of the country. Cameron is given plenty of time to reflect, but her unexplained actions can tell us just as much about her and what she is feeling as when she comes out and says it.

Reader’s Annotation: When do we become the person we will be for the rest of our lives? Cameron has been pretty certain that she is a lesbian since she was 12, but her aunt and the conversion camp she’s been sent to would like her to think different.

Information about the author: This was e.m. danforth’s first novel. The book was very well received, as have been her short stories and nonfiction. She was born in Miles City, Montana, which she says in her biography, is “a town best known for its Bucking Horse Sale-which was once listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for hosting the most intoxicated people, per capita, of any US event.”

She received a MFA in Fiction from the University of Montana and a Ph.D. in English and Creative Writing from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. She now teaches English and Creative Writing classes at Rhode Island College. She is also on the publishing and editing staff of “The Cupboard,” a quarterly prose chapbook.

Genre: Realistic Fiction, LGBTQ

Curriculum ties, if any: I’m at a bit of a loss for how to relate this to a classroom. It is very well written, and would certainly invite an interesting discussion, so maybe that’s enough.

Booktalking Ideas: It might be interesting to talk about all the things that adults tell Cameron in this book. The “lessons” that she learns from her parents, from her aunt, from the pastor, from the new adults she encounters and teachers, in contrast with those she learns from her peers. I imagine a lot of teens could also identify with Cameron’s boredom and weird obsessions in this book, and that these would be a good way to introduce the book.

Reading Level/Interest Age: The book starts when Cameron is only 12, but she ages quickly to be an older high school student that engages in sexual activities and occasional drug use. As such, I think it would work better for older teens. Publishers Weekly recommends this book for ages 14 and up; School Library Journal for grades 10-12.

Challenge Issues:

  • homosexuality
  • sexual situations
  • language
  • drug use

Defense Strategy:

  1. First, I would want to be familiar with book. As I’ve read this book, I’d be aware of potential issues that could be challenged. In the case of a book I had not read, I would want to have access to reviews.
  2. Then I would put together a rationale for why this book is included in the collection. This rationale would include:
    • Bibliographic Citation of the book.
    • A description of who the book is best suited for.
    • A summary of the book and applicable other information, such as biographical information about the author.
    • My justification for including the book. This would include how it fits in with the selection policy and library mission statement, and include its educational significance if applicable or the impact it could have on readers.
    • Copy of selection policy and library mission statement at my library.
    • ALA Library Bill of Rights
    • Good and bad reviews of the book
    • Alternative works a student could read
    • Reconsideration form if patron is not satisfied with rationale
  3. When talking to patron, I would listen to their concerns without getting on the defensive and attempt to sympathize with their concerns. In some cases, all an upset patron needs is to be able to vent and know that someone is listening to them.
  4. If needed, I would send the challenge up the chain of command.

This novel represents some people’s very real experiences, and is important to represent, while also making it available to those who have not experienced this, but could benefit from being exposed to the idea. I could see the topic of conversion camps and schools as being a rather contentious one, with some people potentially getting offended by the implications of this book. But again, this is one perspective on that experience and people have a right to access it.

Why did you include this book? : It was recommended to me, and it also helps to provide another perspective to the LGBTQ books on my blog.

Reference Page:

Dansforth, e.m. (2013). Bio. Emily m. danforth website. Retrieved from http://www.emdanforth.com/sbio.php

Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl

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Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl ISBN: 9780670014385

Plot Summary: Althea lives in a crumbling castle on a cliff—her great grandfather’s idea of an ideal home. But Althea’s family has fallen on hard times, and struggle to keep up with needed repairs, much less with how to eat. Althea’s stepsisters have a large inheritance, but hate to part with any of it. So it is up to Althea to marry a rich gentleman who can provide for her, her mother, and young brother. If only her quick tongue wasn’t always getting in the way! The arrival of handsome Lord Boring seems promising, though he does bring his rude and messy cousin along…What is a beautiful, intelligent girl to do?

Critical Evaluation: This was a very enjoyable book to read. The most fully realized character is Althea, though her friends are also developed a little more. To me, the other characters, like her mother and stepsisters, are kind of one dimensional. Her mother is very sweet but rather helpless it seems. The stepsisters are not very attractive and not very pleasant to be around, reminding me of the ugly stepsisters in Cinderella.

I must also draw a comparison between this and Pride and Prejudice. To be fair, I have not read Pride and Prejudice, but what I know about it is very similar to this story.  The protagonist is beautiful but opinionated, and can’t help but speak her mind. She meets a handsome man and is instantly attracted to him, while she is repulsed by another. Yet, by the end, we find that in fact she’s in love with the man she thought repulsed her and him with her. Even though this is not an original plot, as I’ve said before, it was quite fun to read. Althea is funny, and she does find herself in interesting, humiliating, and amusing situations.

The language was, to my eyes, fairly authentic to the time period. The time period is never explicitly stated, but the language is one of the key ways that I recognized that this was in the past (besides of course the buggies and no electricity). I can’t really speak to women’s rights in the 1800s, but I suspect that some of the thoughts that Althea has are rare for women of her time. I do find them mostly believable given her character, but these lines did stand out to me when I was reading.

Reader’s Annotation: Althea must save her family and her castle. If she can only keep her big mouth closed long enough!

Information about the author:  Patrice Kindl has written several award winning YA books. She was born in in Alplaus, New York in 1951. She attended Webster College in St. Louis, as well as a theater school in New York City. She didn’t start writing until she was in her thirties, and didn’t get published until she was in her forties.

She now lives in upstate New York with her husband and a rotating cast of animals. They have trained monkeys for quadriplegics, and kept hawks, dogs, cats, birds, several kinds of rodents, and once a corn snake. She also has a grown son who now works at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Genre: Historical Fiction, Humor

Curriculum ties, if any: If any classes are reading Pride and Prejudice, it would be interesting to juxtapose it with this book.

Booktalking Ideas: I would emphasize the humor in this story. Althea frequently does and says funny things in this story, and her sisters are rather exasperating, which I think many teens could relate to. And depending on the audience, some might appreciate the connections to Jane Austen.

Reading Level/Interest Age: The main character is 17. However, besides her age, and the fact that she is looking to get married, there is nothing that would make this book controversial for younger readers. That said, I think it is a more sophisticated read, appealing to a teen that maybe has already read period fiction from the 1800s, and thus would be better for an older teen.  School Library Journal approves this book for grades 7 and up, and Publishers Weekly for ages 12 and up.

Challenge Issues:  None that I can think of.

Why did you include this book? : It is historical fiction, and was said to be an enjoyable read. It has also been compared to “I capture the castle,” which is one of my favorite books.

Reference Page:

Kindl, Patrice (2013). About me. Retrieved from http://www.patricekindl.com/aboutme.html

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn

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Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn ISBN: 9780375835339

Plot Summary: How much can change in 24 hours? When Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes, he has no idea that he will end up spending the rest of the night with her, from underground concert to smorgasbord at a Russian restaurant, from hiding in an ice room of a hotel, to getting over hang ups about past relationships.  This is a fun, fast paced story that will have you laughing at Nick and Norah’s banter, looking up all the music they talk about and shaking your head at the crazy things they do.

Critical Evaluation:  This was an enjoyable and well written read, but there isn’t much to the story beyond that. I should clarify that I don’t think is necessarily a bad thing. It doesn’t necessarily try to end with a lesson for the reader, beyond maybe taking a chance. I think the literary elements most focused on were character development and setting. Chapters flip back and forth from Nick and Norah’s perspective, which allows us to see into their thought process and get a good idea of how each is feeling throughout the night. The supporting characters are not focused on, but all seem to have several sides or layers to their personality. In the movie, Nick’s ex-girlfriend is much more conniving, almost villainous, but in the book, though she has broken Nick’s heart, she isn’t out to keep toying with him. In fact, she helps his relationship with Norah.

The setting is New York and this plays a very important role in the story. I get a very clear picture of the different areas of New York that Nick and Norah visit, from the sort of dingy Russian restaurant, to the quiet and sanitized (at least at night) business area. I can relate to the teen experience of traveling around a city at night, and from the little I know about New York and New Jersey, liked details about making sure you have enough money to pay the tolls to get across the bridge.

Reader’s Annotation:  What can you do in New York City in 24 hours? For Nick and Norah, the better question is: what can’t you do?

Information about the authors: Both David Levithan and Rachel Cohn have published many YA novels, and this is not their only collaboration. David Levithan was born in 1972, and graduated from Brown University in 1994. His first book was published in 2003. He is also an editor, and has won awards for several of his books.

Rachel Cohn was born in Silver Spring, Maryland in 1968. She grew up in the Washington D.C. area, and graduated from Barnard with a degree in political science. She now lives in New York City. She credits her decision to write on her favorite childhood authors, Judy Blume, E.L. Konisburg, and Ellen Conford.

Genre: Realistic Fiction, Romance

Curriculum ties, if any: None.

Booktalking Ideas: This is another title that would lend itself to talking about music, and potentially incorporating particular songs mentioned into the booktalk.  I would definitely mention the movie that was made of it, though the book and movie are slightly different. And this is one that switches narrative between Nick and Norah, so it’s one that, like Eleanor and Park, has humor and appeal for both genders.

Reading Level/Interest Age:  Nick and Norah are both high school seniors. There is some strong language and quite a few sexual situations, so this book will be best for older teens. Publisher’s Weekly recommends it for ages 14 and up, Booklist for grades 10-12, and School Library Journal for grades 9 and up.

Challenge Issues:

  • language
  • several sexual scenes
  • blunt discussions of sex and homosexuality

Defense Strategy:

  1. First, I would want to be familiar with book. As I’ve read this book, I’d be aware of potential issues that could be challenged. In the case of a book I had not read, I would want to have access to reviews.
  2. Then I would put together a rationale for why this book is included in the collection. This rationale would include:
    • Bibliographic Citation of the book.
    • A description of who the book is best suited for.
    • A summary of the book and applicable other information, such as biographical information about the author.
    • My justification for including the book. This would include how it fits in with the selection policy and library mission statement, and include its educational significance if applicable or the impact it could have on readers.
    • Copy of selection policy and library mission statement at my library.
    • ALA Library Bill of Rights
    • Good and bad reviews of the book
    • Alternative works a student could read
    • Reconsideration form if patron is not satisfied with rationale
  3. When talking to patron, I would listen to their concerns without getting on the defensive and attempt to sympathize with their concerns. In some cases, all an upset patron needs is to be able to vent and know that someone is listening to them.
  4. If needed, I would send the challenge up the chain of command.

As noted in Dr. Brodart’s “Radical Reads 2,” Nick and Norah almost have sex, but decide to take things slower, validating the idea that it isn’t a good idea to rush into something serious too quickly. I would also argue that this book meets the recreational needs of patrons, and represents different lifestyles that teens should be aware of.

Why did you include this book?: I saw the movie and thought this would be a fun, short read that might have broad appeal, especially for a book that deals so heavily with relationships.

Reference Page:

Brodart, J.R. (2010). Radical reads 2: Working with the newest edgy titles for teens. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.

Levithan, D. (2013). About Me. Retrieved from http://www.davidlevithan.com/about/

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

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Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, 2013, ISBN: 9781250012579

Plot Summary: Eleanor has fiery red hair, weird clothes, and is a little on the chubby side. She’s new in town and immediately attracts the bullies’ attention, with pranks happening in the locker room and nasty notes being written on her notebook. Park wants nothing to do with her; she’ll only bring more attention to him. Yet he finds himself drawn to her. It starts with sharing comic books, and then music, and progresses to be something much deeper. Eleanor has a step dad she hates and no privacy at home. Park struggles with standing out as Korean, and pleasing his strict Army dad. From the beginning, neither of them thinks a relationship will work, but they have to at least try. And the bullying is getting worse. What she thought was standard hazing could be much more serious.

Critical Evaluation: I enjoyed reading this book quite a bit. I think characters are the dominant focus of this story. Both Eleanor and Park are realistic and well thought out. Each explore gender roles through this story; Eleanor, by defending herself and in her manner of dress and Park with his experimentation with makeup. The story is told in first person, but narrative switches back and forth from Eleanor to Park so that we see how each interprets their interactions and the story that unfolds. Even supporting characters are given multidimensionality; in particular, Eleanor’s bullies at school are given a chance to explain themselves and end up helping Eleanor in the end.

I also think the place that the story takes place is well developed. Both walk around the streets of the town and reference everything’s relative place in the town, like where Eleanor and Park’s houses are in relation to each other. I imagined a run of the mill, all American suburb that verged on stereotypical occasionally with the cliques, obsession with sports and desire of most to fit in. It ends in a more realistic way than most; there is no Romeo and Juliet ending, but nor are the protagonists walking off into the sunset together. However, the ending felt a little abrupt to me. I was hoping for more closure, especially since there appears to be no follow up. However, perhaps that is also a more realistic ending that represents the way relationships develop and do sometimes end.

Reader’s Annotation: Eleanor and Park are different, but deep down, they both know what it’s like to not belong. Will that be enough to keep them together?

Information about the author: Rainbow Rowell is from Omaha, Nebraska. She is 40 years old and lives with her husband and two sons. Her name doesn’t have any special meaning, according to Rowell, her mother “was a hippie. My siblings are Forest, Jade, and Haven.”

This is her second book, her first being Attachments which was an adult novel. She is writes the pop-culture and lifestyles column for the Omaha World-Herald.  According to BookBrowse.com, “Rainbow earned a journalism degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1995 and at, 24, became the youngest-ever – and first female – columnist at the Omaha World-Herald.”

Genre: Realistic Fiction, Romance

Curriculum ties, if any: None.

Booktalking Ideas: I might like to incorporate some of the music or comics that are discussed. I think this book would lend itself pretty well to a book trailer. I would also want to highlight reasons that boys and girls will like this book, for the quirky humor, and difficult situations that both can relate to.

Reading Level/Interest Age:  The main characters are sixteen. Because of the language and sexual content, I think this will appeal more to teens in the 15-17 age range. School Library Journal suggests this book for grades 9 and up, while Publishers Weekly suggests it for ages 13 and up.

Challenge Issues:

  • Language
  •  Subtly described sex scene
  • Abusive stepfather and his incestuous tendencies

Defensive strategies:

  1. First, I would want to be familiar with book. As I’ve read this book, I’d be aware of potential issues that could be challenged. In the case of a book I had not read, I would want to have access to reviews.
  2. Then I would put together a rationale for why this book is included in the collection. This rationale would include:
    • Bibliographic Citation of the book.
    • A description of who the book is best suited for.
    • A summary of the book and applicable other information, such as biographical information about the author.
    • My justification for including the book. This would include how it fits in with the selection policy and library mission statement, and include its educational significance if applicable or the impact it could have on readers.
    • Copy of selection policy and library mission statement at my library.
    • ALA Library Bill of Rights
    • Good and bad reviews of the book
    • Alternative works a student could read
    • Reconsideration form if patron is not satisfied with rationale
  3. When talking to patron, I would listen to their concerns without getting on the defensive and attempt to sympathize with their concerns. In some cases, all an upset patron needs is to be able to vent and know that someone is listening to them.
  4. If needed, I would send the challenge up the chain of command.

Specifically for this book, I would say that Eleanor’s situation is one that should be discussed, because this is something that other teens have experienced.

Why did you include this book?: I don’t read many romantic books, so this was an easier way to test out that genre. This book blurs some lines with sexuality in showing Eleanor as the more dominant and Park experimenting with eyeliner and his appearance. I think this book could be read by boys or girls, and presents an interesting portrait of familial problems that teens can relate to.

Reference Page:

Book Browse (2013, February 26). Rainbow Rowell biography. Retrieved from http://www.bookbrowse.com/biographies/index.cfm/author_number/2273/rainbow-rowell

Wilson, Craig (2011, April 20). Rainbow Rowell loves local color. USA Today. Retrieved from http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/life/book/news/2011-04-21-   buzzplus21_ST_N.htm