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GEPL Teens: What I Just Read – Ask the Passengers

Teens Blog BannerBlog Entry 60 - ImageSometimes you hear about an author over and over again and for some reason are never inspired to pick up their books until much later.  I find that usually when I do this, I regret how long it took me to read an author and am so glad I finally did get started.  So it is with today’s “What I Just Read”!

What I’m Reading Now: Ask the Passengers by A.S. King

What’s It About (Jacket Description): Astrid Jones desperately wants to confide in someone, but her mother’s pushiness and her father’s lack of interest tell her they’re the last people she can trust. Instead, Astrid spends hours lying on the backyard picnic table watching airplanes fly overhead. She doesn’t know the passengers inside, but they’re the only people who won’t judge her when she asks them her most personal questions–like what it means that she’s falling in love with a girl.

As her secret relationship becomes more intense and her friends demand answers, Astrid has nowhere left to turn. She can’t share the truth with anyone except the people at thirty thousand feet, and they don’t even know she’s there. But little does Astrid know just how much even the tiniest connection will affect these strangers’ lives–and her own–for the better.

In this truly original portrayal of a girl struggling to break free of society’s definitions, Printz Honor author A.S. King asks readers to question everything–and offers hope to those who will never stop seeking real love.

Do I Like It: LOVED IT

Thoughts: I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Ask the Passengers when I checked out the audiobook, but this definitely wasn’t quite what I expected.  For starters, I was expecting a lot more of Astrid having conversations with the passengers/herself.  Really though, what Astrid does at the beginning of the book is just send her love to the passengers on the planes flying overhead.  Which admittedly sounds weird, but is also kind of beautiful – she wants to give her love unconditionally to people who don’t expect anything of her, who don’t love her conditionally.

But make no mistake, for all the beauty of sending her love to plane passengers, Astrid is also unapologetically weird and pretty nerdy.  She gets a little obsessive about her philosophy class, and plans on becoming an editor someday.  In fact, at one point, she corrects the grammar on an extremely mean-spirited sign in school.  I kind of love Astrid’s brand of philosophical nerd, the kind that leads her to reject the labels people place on her and question approximately everything anyone tells her.

There’s a lot I could say about this book, but really, it all comes down to Astrid.  This book is about how she learns to navigate the world around her, and navigate herself.  How she learns to balance the demands placed on her by everyone in her life, including her best friend and her maybe girlfriend.  How she figures out who she is, and how she chooses to convey that to the people around her.  Her relationships are a hugely important part of that, but just as important is what goes on in Astrid’s head.  Now, since this includes conversations with airplane passengers thousands of feet in the air and a personal relationship with Socrates (nicknamed “Frank” to make him more modern), Astrid’s head is a pretty interesting place to be.

This book has family, friendship, romance, school politics, and a thread of magical realism, so there’s a lot there.  But ultimately, if you like reading about Astrid, you’ll love this book.  And I think Astrid is a fascinating, likeable, relatable character, and I highly recommend you give her – and Ask the Passengers – a chance.  As for me, I won’t be waiting long to pick up another book by A.S. King.

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Teens: When Things End Badly

Teens Blog BannerWhen a great book – or especially a great series – ends, it is always difficult in a way.  Even when we go back and re-read or re-watch a favorite, it will never be the same as reading or viewing something for the first time, desperate to find out what happens next, breathless to know where our beloved characters and storylines will end up.  It’s intoxicating and wonderful.  And it also makes it really hard to deal with it when we reach the end, and instead of being satisfied, end up feeling betrayed and abandoned by authors or show-runners or movie makers.

Blog Entry 59 - Image 6I’ve experienced this twice recently, with varying levels of emotional involvement.  The first time was when I read Allegiant.  I read it over the course of one day, on a long flight, so I was completely immersed.  Despite some things I noticed in retrospect that made me love the book a little less than I might have otherwise, I was totally swept up in the experience.  And then I reached the end – or at least, that thing that happens near the end that defines the ending of the story – and it was like I was stopped mid-stream.  It was jolting and jarring, it was not what I expected, and it didn’t seem right to me.  It took away the end result that I had been counting on, the thing that had made everything that happens in the book and everything the characters went through worth it.  It took me a while to decide how I actually felt.  In the end, I’ve come around to believing that Veronica Roth planned this event from the start of the series, and to understanding why she made that choice.  But at the same time, what happened, and especially how it happened, still upset me.  I felt almost like I had wasted my time on the whole series.  If I couldn’t at least have that ending I was counting on, what was the point?

I had a similar experience this spring with the Blog Entry 59 - Image 5series finale of How I Met Your Mother (henceforth referred to as HIMYM because I am lazy).  I’ve been a huge fan of the show for years.  I saved up episodes on my DVR, and binge-watched almost the whole second half of the final season.  When I arrived at the penultimate episode, I was happy.  I had been warned that I would be disappointed in the finale, but I told myself “as long as this and this and this” – three things that added up to my personal worst-case scenario – “don’t all happen, I can live with some disappointment.”  And then I watched the finale.  And this and this and this all happened.  I couldn’t even believe it, at first, as the episode unfolded.  I watched seasons worth of character development and plot movement disintegrate before my eyes, leading to an ending that just didn’t make sense to me, based on everything I knew about these characters that I had spent years with.  I was beyond upset.  I will neither confirm nor deny the rumor that there was couch-punching involved, but I took it hard.  I felt like all the change and development that had happened in the show had been wasted.  I felt completely betrayed.

Blog Entry 59 - Image 3Obviously, not everyone feels the same way about how these two series ended.  Heck, I’m in the minority when it comes to another controversial ending to a beloved series – I felt that Mockingjay was exactly the ending The Hunger Games needed.  Make no mistake, there were tears (and, I’m only a little ashamed to admit, a call to my mom to sob about it a little).  But overall, it seemed like an earned and appropriate ending.  But I suspect many people – even some people reading this – experienced the same sense of betrayal over that ending as I did over the endings to Allegiant and HIMYM.  So did those creators really betray their audiences?  Or is the betrayal only in the eye of the beholder?  I can make some solid scholarly type arguments about why, especially in the case of HIMYM, these endings simply weren’t good storytelling.  But really, that doesn’t justify the sense of personal betrayal I felt at these conclusions.  That, I’m afraid, is a personal problem.

That of course leads to the question, “what should I doBlog Entry 59 - Image 1 about this?”  Unfortunately, I have no answer.  In these two cases, I will likely never read Allegiant or watch the HIMYM finale again.  I’ve even mentally removed the last episode of HIMYM from my “head canon” and mostly pretend it doesn’t exist.  But that doesn’t make me any happier, really, with how these things ended.  It doesn’t make me feel less betrayed.

There is one thing that does help a little though.  And that is thinking about how invested I was and am in these books and shows, how invested I have to be, to feel that strongly about an ending.  I know plenty of people who would laugh at me if I told them about this, and make fun of me for being so invested in things that are “just fiction” or “just made up.”  But to me, it says something wonderful about the power of stories that I can be that invested.  I’ve talked about it before, and I’ll probably always keep coming back to it – there is something really magical about stories, whatever format they are told in, and the way they can transport us and envelop us and come to seem so real.  And I think that’s a wonderful thing.  So I can comfort myself just a bit about how upsetting I found these endings by thinking of how that emotional response is really a kind of magic.  And I love having magic in my life, no matter how it gets there.

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Teens: Fictional BFFs Round Two

Teens Blog BannerOnce again, I’ve been losing myself in books, and fantasizing about days spent in the company of my fictional BFFs.  Now, my fictional best friends are much more numerous than my real life best friends.  Mostly because ultimately, these friendships are much less time consuming and require much less reciprocity than real life friendships.  Plus, I read a lot more books than I meet real people, so I get many more chances to meet these fictional friends.  Today I thought I’d share a few more of my fictional BFFs – please chime in at the end and let me know which fictional characters YOU would love to hang out with all day and have adventures with!

Blog Entry 58 - Image 1Mel from Team Human by Sarah Rees Brennan and Justine Larbalestier – Mel is an incredible best friend.  Let’s just get that out of the way right now.  For all her many flaws, she is genuinely devoted to her friends.  Even when this is what causes her to screw up or even hurt them, it’s so much more forgivable than it might be otherwise because she really does mean to do the best she can by the people she cares about.  So right there, Mel is clearly someone anyone should want as a friend.  Not everyone has that kind of devotion.  On top of that she’s fun, funny, athletic, and smart, which would make her just straight-up enjoyable to be around, plus we would have shared interests and things to talk about.  As far as I’m concerned, Mel and I are basically BFFs already.

Blog Entry 58 - Image 2Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – I admit, I don’t talk about the Harry Potter books too much on this blog.  Mostly because I assume you’ve all read all of them already.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t think about them extensively, even excessively.  And the thing I think about most is how awesome Hermione Granger is.  I can’t decide if I’d rather be her BFF or just BE her, but either one would be amazing.  Hermione is everything a nerdy bookworm like me can admire and want to be friends with.  She’s awkward at first, but does learn how to loosen up.  She loves books, so we would have lots to talk about.  She’s extremely kind and compassionate.  She’s a great friend, sometimes despite herself.  She’s loyal and trustworthy.  She’s smart enough to get me out of any jam.  I could go on and on, but I’ll end with this: Hermione Granger has already been a great friend to me just by existing in books.  How much better of a friend would she be if she were my awesome real life best friend?

Blog Entry 58 - Image 3Bertie Wooster from the Jeeves & Wooster books by P.G. Wodehouse – Bertie might be a little lesser known than Hermione Granger these days, and he is certainly of lesser intelligence, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be a blast to have as a friend.  Bertie is cheerful, fun-loving, generous, and willing to do almost anything – no matter how much he might hate it, no matter how much he might screw it up – for his friends.  We could go to the club together, throw dinner rolls and prank our other friends, play some sweet piano duets (with Bertie singing – my voice isn’t that good,) stroll around a country estate, and bond over just how much we love great food and a good night’s sleep in a comfortable bed.  Plus, Bertie comes with bonus Jeeves.  Not only would he be a fun BFF, but his valet is there waiting to solve any scrape you get yourself into with poise, elegance, and dry humor.  They are the perfect duo, and I would certainly love to have BOTH of them in my life.

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Teens: That One Night

Teens Blog BannerAs the weather has been reminding us lately, sometimes things can change really fast.  One day it can be eighty degrees and sunny, the next it can be 40 degrees and rainy.  And the same sudden changes can happen in our lives.  For better or for worse, sometimes just one night can change everything.  Sometimes it’s scary or overwhelming to think of this happening to us, but I’ve found it’s almost always exciting to read about.  So below are four books that feature one important night that changes everything for the main characters.

Blog Entry 57 - Image 1Charm & Strange, by Stephanie Kuehn – “A lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy must either surrender his sanity to the wild wolves inside his mind or learn that surviving means more than not dying.” (Description from the GEPL.org catalog)

Stephanie Kuehn won the Morris Award for best debut author for a reason.  Charm & Strange is exciting and suspenseful, and the main character is an extremely interesting – if extremely flawed – person with a fascinating point of view.

Blog Entry 57 - Image 2Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan – “High school student Nick O’Leary, member of a rock band, meets college-bound Norah Silverberg and asks her to be his girlfriend for five minutes in order to avoid his ex-sweetheart.” (Description from the GEPL.org catalog)

Whether or not you’re a big music person, whether or not you’ve seen the movie, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playslist has a lot to recommend it.  The title characters are endearing, and watching them get to know each other is a delight.  It’s no surprise that this book still keeps getting checked out, eight years after it was first published.

Blog Entry 57 - Image 3Bright Before Sunrise, by Tiffany Schmidt – “Jonah and Brighton are about to have the most awkwardly awful night of their lives. For Jonah, every aspect of his new life reminds him of what he has had to give up. All he wants is to be left alone. Brighton is popular, pretty, and always there to help anyone, but has no idea of what she wants for herself.”  (Description from the GEPL.org catalog)

I haven’t had a chance to read this brand new book, but it was well-reviewed, and the description sounds enticing.  I’m a sucker for watching two flawed characters help each other learn and grow, and by all accounts, that’s exactly what I can expect when I get a chance to read Bright Before Sunrise!

Blog Entry 57 - Image 4Rose Sees Red, by Cecil Castellucci – “In the 1980s, two teenaged ballet dancers–one American, one Russian–spend an unforgettable night in New York City, forming a lasting friendship despite their cultural and political differences.”  (Description from the GEPL.org catalog)

Rose Sees Red takes the drama of the Cold War down to the level of two individuals.  This is always an interesting way to immerse oneself into a time and place, and this book is a fantastic lens for viewing what the Cold War meant for those just trying to pursue their art despite everything around them.

Posted in GEPL Teens

Tweens: Summer Reading, Gifs and Canapalooza!

tween-blog-bannerSummer Reading registration is in full swing here at the Glen Ellyn Public Library. As of 5/20, 62 middle schoolers have signed up to help Willowbrook Wildlife Center and recieved their registration prize. If you haven’t signed up yet, there’s still plenty of time. The sooner you register, the sooner you can log those reading hours. Remember: any book, ebook, audiobook, and magazine counts!

Have you ever wondered how to make gifs? Gifs are those short looping videos that automatically play in internet browsers. This Thursday, May 22, tweens can learn how to make gifs and vines online. Share them online and impress your friends! There are still spots available. You can sign up here.
Inquiries are being accepted for GEPL’s Canapalooza can-structing team! Canned food donations are being collected, and we will build our structure May 31st. After the contest, all canned food will be donated to the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry. Middle school students can sign up by sending an email to ckeasler@gepl.org.
Posted in GEPL Tweens

GEPL Teens: What I’m Reading Now – When I Was the Greatest

Teens Blog BannerBlog Entry 56 - ImageEarlier this year, I went to a library conference where I was lucky enough to meet a lot of wonderful young adult authors.  One of the brand new authors I had a chance to meet was Jason Reynolds, whose first book was just published in January.  I finally got around to breaking out my (signed!) copy of his book, which brings me to…

What I’m Reading Now: When I Was the Greatest, by Jason Reynolds

What’s It About (Jacket Description): In Bed Stuy, New York, a small misunderstanding can escalate into having a price on your head—even if you’re totally clean. This gritty, triumphant debut captures the heart and the hardship of life for an urban teen.

“A lot of the stuff that gives my neighborhood a bad name, I don’t really mess with. The guns and drugs and all that, not really my thing.”

Nah, not his thing. Ali’s got enough going on, between school and boxing and helping out at home. His best friend Noodles, though. Now there’s a dude looking for trouble—and, somehow, it’s always Ali around to pick up the pieces. But, hey, a guy’s gotta look out for his boys, right? Besides, it’s all small potatoes; it’s not like anyone’s getting hurt.

And then there’s Needles. Needles is Noodles’s brother. He’s got a syndrome, and gets these ticks and blurts out the wildest, craziest things. It’s cool, though: everyone on their street knows he doesn’t mean anything by it.

Yeah, it’s cool…until Ali and Noodles and Needles find themselves somewhere they never expected to be…somewhere they never should’ve been—where the people aren’t so friendly, and even less forgiving.

Do I Like It: YES YES YES

Thoughts: I grew up in the middle of nowhere in Northern Illinois.  I hated sports as a teenager, and my best (and geographically closest) friend was a ten minute drive away.  So believe me when I say that reading about Ali growing up in the middle of Brooklyn, boxing, and with his best friend living next door is something that is utterly and completely outside my experience.  But I am so glad I’m reading it, because this book is great.

It’s a short book, so I’m over halfway through it already, and I’ve realized that it’s definitely going to be a book that doesn’t have a ton of action or fast-paced plot.  It’s not a quest or an adventure or even a traditional coming of age story.  It’s more a slice of life, with just a little excitement to keep the tension up.  Not a lot has happened so far except getting to know the characters, and the boys preparing to go to a big party.  But it’s a slice of life of a really endearing character, surrounded by a fully realized and engaging neighborhood of realistic characters.

The narrator Ali is such a likeable guy.  He loves his family, is fiercely protective of his little sister, is devoted to his best friend Noodles, and almost equally devoted to Noodles’ brother Needles.  Reading about the three of them – Ali, Noodles, and Needles – is completely immersive and engaging, even when not that much is going on.  They are all so much more complicated than “the boxer,” “the comic geek,” and “the knitter with a syndrome” (yes, Needles knits,) but each of these descriptors really does tell you a lot about each character.  I feel like they are all real people, like I’m actually reading about real events in a memoir or something.  And Ali’s voice is so good – he’s smart, but he’s also a part of his neighborhood and the world he grew up in.  He seamlessly integrates slang and the mind of a teenage boy focused on girls and partying with a the thoughts of a kid working hard to be the best he can be, take care of his family, and be engaged with the world around him.  He feels even more real than every other character, which is saying something.

I think my favorite part of this book so far though has been reading about Ali and his sister, Jazz.  Mostly because Jazz is so great.  I kind of want to read a book from her point of view.  She’s younger than Ali, 10 or 11, and simultaneously mature beyond her years and still a lovable little kid.  She loves to cook and braids Ali’s hair and has the same caretaking instincts he does.  But she also loves to watch trashy, Jerry Springer-esque TV shows and talk on the phone every night to her friends.  And she and Ali are clearly super devoted to each other, even when they get on each other’s nerves like siblings do.  It’s a joy to read about.

So I highly recommend When I Was the Greatest, even if it doesn’t seem like the kind of book you would normally relate to or pick up.  It’s the greatest – really!

Posted in GEPL Teens

Tweens: Earn Fabulous Prizes & Help the Willowbrook Wildlife Center Through Summer Reading

tween-blog-bannerBrace Yourself

Brace yourself. Summer is coming and with summer comes the Glen Ellyn Public Library’s Summer Reading Program: Read to Rescue. This year, the library is helping the Willowbrook Wildlife Center. The more you read, the more you help us reach our goal to help the center care for wildlife native to the area. Middle schoolers will receive a collapsible frisbee just for signing up. Readers can reach up to 6 prize tiers, all the way up to 100 hours! Some of the tween prizes include: Meatheads sandwiches, frozen yogurt, Italian ice, Flour Barrel cookies and of course, BOOKS! Every time you log hours at the youth department desk, you also get a drawing slip for your chance to win movie tickets from Studio Movie Grill or one of a variety of STEAM activities.

Additionally, the tween portion of the GEPL has been updated and includes an online scavenger hunt just for middle schoolers! Owliver, our Summer Reading Owl, will be hiding throughout the tween website. Every week that you report his location to a staff member at the youth department desk, you will receive a delicious prize. If you track his location for 2 weeks, you will earn another drawing slip.

Middle schoolers are going to have a blast with all the activities available at the library this summer! It doesn’t matter what you’re in the mood for, we’ve got you covered. Tweens can participate in our movie & book discussion group, learn about science in our “Solid of Liquid” program, and don’t forget to join us after hours for our part of the National Teen Lock-In – complete with a glow-in-the-dark party!

There are a lot of fun opportunities available for middle schoolers at the Glen Ellyn Public Library. Stop by and see for yourself!

Posted in GEPL News, GEPL Tweens

GEPL Teens: Summer Reading Starts Today!

Teens Blog BannerBlog Entry 55 - Image Header

I’ve been talking about it for weeks, but today it’s finally upon us – summer reading is starting at GEPL!  I know you’re still worried about finals and graduation, but summer reading is going to be awesome, and you may as well get started on it early.  Here’s a rundown of what you need to know:

Blog Entry 55 - Image 2

Your school books count! Any book you read for school, including whatever is on your summer reading list, counts for GEPL summer reading too.  And this is a really good thing, because…

Blog Entry 55 - Image 4

We have an awesome grand prize! Two winners will get one of the grand prizes, two $200 gift certificates to Ticketmaster.  You can use those bad boys for concerts, Broadway shows, Blackhawks game (my personal favorite,) or anything else that requires a ticket.  And let me tell you, $200 can buy tickets to some pretty awesome events.  Or it can buy you a lot of tickets to some awesome, if less famous and expensive, events.   Every five books you read gets you an entry into our drawing, so the more you read, the more chances you have to win one of these.

Blog Entry 55 - Image 1

You get prizes just for signing up & reading one book! We are giving away t-shirts to every teen who signs up (they have an adorable owl on them.)  When you finish your first book, we’ll give you a $5 gift certificate to Starbucks or Amazon.  And c’mon…you have to read at least one book for school this summer, and since that totally counts (see above) it’s like we’re giving you things just for doing your homework.  Which, let’s be honest, makes homework better.  And if it’s not for homework?  Well then we’re giving you stuff for reading great books that you want to read anyways, and that’s even better!

Blog Entry 55 - Image 3

You’ll be helping animals when you read! Just like the ones plastered all over this page, because we all know how we feel about animals on this blog.  But really, you will be helping – every book you read will get us closer to our goal of 6,000 books read by adults in our library.  And if we meet that goal?  The Friends of the Glen Ellyn Public Library will donate enough to the Willowbrook Wildlife Center to provide 60 weeks of care to a rescued animal.  So not only are we giving you stuff for doing homework and read great books, you’ll be doing good for an orphaned or injured animal (or many!) while you do that homework and read that great book.

Blog Entry 55 - Image 5

You get points for using Twitter & talking about books! You know that feeling when you finish a book, and you either hated it so much you want to complain, or loved it so much you want to tell the world?  Well we want to hear it!  So much so that we’re willing to bribe you to talk about books.  So if you follow us (@GEPLTeenScene) on Twitter and tweet at us about what you’re reading, we’ll count every five tweets as a book read – which gets you that much closer to another chance at those Ticketmaster gift cards!  And if you write a book review (at least 250 words please!) that we can post to this blog and e-mail it to me at hrapp@gepl.org, that counts as another book read.  So if you read a book, Tweet about it while you’re reading, and write a book review, you’re over halfway to an entry in the drawing for the Ticketmaster gift cards!

So that’s what you need to know about GEPL summer reading.  You can sign up starting today by coming in to the library, calling 630-790-6630, or going to www.gepl.org/summer.  If you register this week, you’ll be entered into a drawing for one of three pre-publication book copies (and for fans of The Testing series, Graduation Day is one of them!)

Once you sign up, come in to the library to grab your free t-shirt, and start reading, tweeting, and enjoying some great reads!

Posted in GEPL Teens

Sign Up for GEPL’s Read to Rescue Summer Reading Program

news-blog-bannerReadtoRescueHoriz-2-1Starting Monday, May 12 you can help the Glen Ellyn Public Library provide 60 weeks of care to an injured or orphaned animal at the Willowbrook Wildlife Center by signing up for our Read to Rescue Summer Reading Program!

 

The Glen Ellyn Public Library has set two reading challenges for the summer of 2014:

Children: Read 70,000 hours
Adults: Read 6,000 books

 

In response to the Glen Ellyn community’s commitment to reach such lofty goals, The Friends of the Glen Ellyn Public Library will donate enough funding to the Willowbrook Wildlife Center to provide 60 weeks of care to an injured or orphaned animal.

 

In addition to working toward a great cause, the library is offering great prizes for sign up and participation:

 

For Kids (Birth through grade 8)
Receive animal crackers upon sign up. Additional prizes include books, patches, bookmarks and more. Tweens will receive a Read to Rescue frisbee upon sign up.

For Teens (High School)
Teens will receive a free t-shirt upon sign up. Then they can select from a variety of gift cards, including Amazon and Starbucks, after logging their first book (at gepl.org/summer). Teens will receive a book credit for every book read and for every book review (at least 250 words) emailed to our Teen Librarian Hannah Rapp at hrapp@gepl.org.

Teen Twitter users can also receive a book credit for every five tweets they send about what they are reading to @GEPLTEENSCENE (Teens must be following @GEPLTEENSCENE to receive book credits).

For every five book credits a teen earns, he will receive an entry to win one of two $200 Ticketmaster gift cards!

For Adults (18+)
Adults will receive a milk chocolate goose upon sign up. Adults will also be entered to win a one-year family membership to Shedd Aquarium, Brookfield Zoo or Cosley Zoo.

 

Starting May 12, register at GEPL.ORG/SUMMER 
 
 
Posted in GEPL Kids, GEPL News, GEPL Teens, GEPL Tweens

GEPL Teens: Animals Beastly & Beloved

Teens Blog BannerBlog Entry 54 - ImageAs you know (because I won’t stop talking about it) GEPL’s summer reading program is about to start.  This year, our theme is Read to Rescue.  Thanks to a pledge from the Friends of the Library, you can help us reach our goal of providing 60 weeks of care to injured wildlife at the Willowbrook Wildlife Foundation just by reading.  I for one am really excited, and this has plenty to do with the fact that I love animals.

This love extends to my reading.  I’ve always been a sucker for books featuring animals of any kind – real, mystical, talking, barking, sweet, dangerous, adorable, ugly.  You name it, I love it in book form (and in many of those cases, actual form as well).  And I think I’m not the only one drawn to some or all depictions of animals in the books I read.  After all, they can add so much to a book.

They can provide comic (or adorable) relief, like Slipstream in Across a Star-Swept Sea or Smut in Dairy Queen.  They can be dangerous as enemies or allies like the unicorns in Rampant and the Capaill Uisce in The Scorpio Races.  They can be a way for a person to find an escape or a direction, like Darius’ falcon in Darius & Twig or the farm animals in Over You.   And of course, animals can give us love, friendship, and companionship, like Pounce in Terrier, Bendomolena in Audrey, Wait!, or  Otto in Endangered.

So this month, we’re celebrating all the wonder that is animals – real or fictional, beastly or beloved.  Pick up a book and enjoy the diversity of creatures they contain while helping animals in the real world through our summer reading program!

Posted in GEPL Teens