Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Wow! I didn't realize my last posting was so long ago - October 11th. This month has flown by with NCLA and AASL back to back. October is gone. Not surprising as I can barely see any white space on my October calendar.

NCLA was wonderful. Our department had a booth in the exhibits area and we had lots of prior, current, and future students stopping by to talk and hang out. The preconference I presented went well. I normally speak to a mix of youth librarians from public and schools, or just schools, but this was all YA youth services librarians in public libraries. The discussion we had about adding urban literature to the YA collection was the most lively. I booktalked a whole bunch of new YA novels, mostly in the urban lit, urban fantasy, graphic novel, and chick lit genres. As always Meyer's Twilight series came up as extremely popular. I have the third one, Eclipse, next to the bed but need to finish a review book before I can dive into it. We were talking, at the AASL preconference I did the week after NCLA, about what fun it would be to develop playlists of songs the characters in the books would have on their Ipods. One of the participants said Meyer was one step ahead of us - there is a list of songs or what she calls a "soundtrack" for Twilight, are on her web site: http://www.stepheniemeyer.com/twilight_playlist.html
How cool is that? I love the idea of teens creating playlists for characters in the books they read as they really need to have "bonded" with the character to do this well. Use the technology and music they love to draw them further into the book. Share the playlists on the library web site.

One of the graphic novels I highlighted in my sessions is Train + Train. Original story by Hideyuki Kurata and art by Tomomasa Takuma. This is a go!comic title and you can check out the other cool titles they have at www.gocomi.com. This manga title reads from back to front, right to left so I had a couple of stop/starts as I was reading. I am still not quite comfortable with this format - after all, I am old!! But, the story held me as I really wanted, and still want, to know what occurs on the Special Train, "an advanced education system". Set on another planet, rebellious Arena is set on getting onto the Special Train and shy Reiichi just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time - near her! They are hand cuffed together and end up on the Special Train. Can't wait for the next volume! I also really like the section at the beginning of the book that explains what honorifics, such as chan, san, onii, etc. mean. For this novice manga reader, having this information really helped.

That's it for today - a gorgeous, though chilly, autumn day in Kentucky.