Mock Printz booktalk: We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

What follows is a booktalk for a title on our Mock Printz shortlist. We hope you’ll be able to join us at the event where our winner will be chosen! This booktalk was written by Natasha Forrester of Multnomah County Library.

The cover of the book We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson“If you knew the world was going to end, but you had the power to stop it, would you?” That’s a pretty powerful question. But the answer isn’t obvious to Henry. His dad abandoned the family, and his mom is trying to hold it together. His grandma lives with them, but she’s got dementia and is slowly losing her memories. His brother is a lazy jerk with no real goals. His boyfriend committed suicide last year, and Henry really doesn’t understand why. He’s being bullied by some of the popular guys, who call him “Space Boy” because he gets abducted by aliens occasionally, the same aliens who told Henry the world is ending in 144 days unless he pushes a button to prevent it. Did I forget to mention that part? But this isn’t an aliens book, or a scifi book, and we never meet E.T. If I had to give a quick summary of the basic message of this book, it would be this: Everyone is screwed up in some way. The best you can do is try to deal with it and let other people help.

I would recommend this to someone who is looking for caustic humor or for an occasionally heart-rending protagonist, particularly a reader who really wants to get into the narrator’s POV. And it’s especially recommended to anyone looking for LGTBQIA characters who aren’t closeted or ashamed of their sexuality, but struggle with how others deal with coming out. Give it to fans of A.S. King, Andrew Smith, E. Lockhart, or David Levithan, and they’ll come back looking for more.

Book Rave voting now open!

Voting is now open for the 2017 Book Rave titles! Details from Ian Duncanson:

Please take a few moments to vote on our Book Rave titles. A “no” vote denotes that you read and hated the book! A “Didn’t Read It” option has been added this year to reduce confusion. There are seven “genre” sections; I realize that some books may belong in more than one section. I tried to do my best to separate them and make it more manageable as we’re assembling the final list.

Please let me know if you have any questions or notice anything weird about the Google form. And as Buddy Holly said, “Rave on, it’s a crazy feeling!”

Mock Printz booktalk: Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina

What follows is a booktalk for a title on our Mock Printz shortlist. We hope you’ll be able to join us at the event where our winner will be chosen! This booktalk was written by Tasha Forester Campbell, Cathy Camper, and Susan Smallsreed of Multnomah County Library.

The cover of Meg Medina's Burn Baby BurnIt’s 1977, and summer in the city means heat. Everyone’s on edge, not just because of the heat, but because no ones knows when the serial killer “Son of Sam” will strike again. He’s been targeting couples out on dates, shooting them and then sending taunting notes to the police. But Nora’s got other things to worry about. She’s about to graduate and there are decisions to be made. Her teachers are pushing her to go to college, but she just wants to get away from her violent younger brother. And get away from the mother who doesn’t try to stop him, even though mom wears the bruises he inflicts. One thing she does want to deal with is Pablo, the new guy at work. But with a serial killer on the loose, is it safe to date? This summer Nora has to grow up fast. Will she decide that growing up means you suffer in silence or that you can choose your own future?

Find OYAN at our new Facebook group!

facebook-logoOYAN has long had a Facebook page, but based on conversation at the last membership meeting (which we’ll recap on the blog soon!), we’ve decided to transition to a Facebook group instead. Groups are at their best when lots of people contribute, so if you have a great program to share, a book to recommend, a project you want to collaborate on, or a question to ask, this is the place to do it!