Tue, May 21, 2013
Hey folks! I just heard about this incredibly cool thing that NPR is doing for teens. I know, I know...you are probably thinking "NPR? My parents listen to that station! *sigh* These teen librarians are so out of touch!". But wait! Hear me out. What on earth could NPR be doing that would appeal to teens? Giving away an opportunity to go on a date night with Harry from One Direction? Err--sorry, not happening. (You are now either terribly disappointed or incredibly relieved!) Either way, if you are a teen who likes to write and likes to share, what NPR is actually doing is quite cool.
So, here's the deal. NPR is on the hunt for teen diarists willing to share their personal stories for the show Radio Diaries. Two winners will be chosen to produce their stories for the show and others will be made available on NPR's website. You can write about anything you want - so long as it is true. Is your interest peaked? If so, check out this link to NPR's page where you can find out all the details and learn how to submit. The deadline for entries is May 31, 2013. Oh, and by the way, if you submit something, we would be happy to accept your submission for a grand prize entry in our Teen Summer Library Program. What have you got to lose?
Monday, May 6, 2013
In Carlos Ruiz Zafon's The Shadow of the Wind, a book seller takes his son Daniel to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, where he finds among its labyrinthine stacks a book by Julian Carax called The Shadow of the Wind. It's the best book he's ever read and he wants to learn more about the author and read more of his books, but he discovers that not much is known about the author and that copies of his books are notoriously difficult to find. Daniel isn't satisfied with this and endeavors to learn more.
And from here the story plunges into depths I cannot hope to adequately describe with any conciseness, nor would I want to deprive you of discoveries you would make diving in yourself. Zafon's set his story in a post-civil war Barcelona that's so real--not that it's endlessly described, but that all of his characters have been influenced by it. The characters and setting are so expertly entwined together.
Speaking of the characters, they form this amazing web of connections and parallels. The cast is enormous (at least to my reading habits) and I would occasionally forget who someone was, but my confusion wouldn't last long--the relationship of a forgotten character to another easily placed him/her in context. I'm very impressed at the distinctiveness of all of these characters, and the clever parallel relationships Zafon created between them.
I've heard that this is a book for book lovers, and I would second that. I've heard that this book has a little bit of everything--mystery, horror, adventure, fantasy--and while I may agree with that, I would not use it as a selling point for this book. I wouldn't want to send anyone into this story looking for elements of those genres. I would want to send them in knowing that they will be engrossed by a fascinating plot, engaged by human characters, and thrilled to see the treasure at the bottom of the deep, dark story.
This book was recommended to me by a teen, but isn't a young adult novel. I'd recommend it to any reader who likes finding treasure in this reading hobby.
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