YA Clicks June 2014
Connecting with Books and Authors
Rebecca Purdy and the Web Surfers from the Central Rappahannock Regional Library
Social media sites are increasingly becoming resources for discovering great books. Authors are getting into the act too, no longer just blogging but taking to social media, and actually interacting with fans. The Web Surfers and I have read the tweets and watched the videos to recommend who to follow and who to “like.”
5I 5R 5U
I first discovered Cass through her “How to Obsess: Doctor Who” video and was thrilled to discover that she is also an avid reader and reviewer of teen literature. Funny and quirky, her reviews of Rick Riordan’s books, “City of Bones” and others are worth watching. Speaking as someone who can’t even get through the movie trailer, watching her sob while trying to review The Fault in Our Stars doesn’t feel voyeuristic, but instead authentic. “How to Read a Book” is completely relatable and laugh out loud funny to any avid reader who can’t quite get comfortable. In the video, viewers watch Cass progress through various positions, including “Phase 1: Sitting is Simple” and “Phase 4: Why Am I on the Floor?” She also offers insightful reviews of book-to-movie adaptations.
4I 5R 5U
Fans of Rainbow Rowell can actually “talk” to the author. On her Tumblr page she invites them to use the “Ask” box to submit questions and answers them! Her Twitter feed is ripe with retweets and responses to her fans that are posted several times each day. She also has a Facebook page where she announces upcoming events and recently posted a photo of her “plane reading,” a couple of which have now made it onto my reading list. Her website also warrants mention. The design of “Rainbow ‘A Writer’” features whimsical knickknacks with a retro feel. There’s a blue squirrel pencil holder next to a book on a stand entitled “About” with a photo of the author. Contact is hyperlinked to a bright, red rotary phone and even the social media links are unique as each letter symbol is posted on an animal shaped figurine.
Through YA Eyes
5I 5R 5U
M J S
John Green is a New York Times bestselling author, and a fantastic one, in my opinion. He is very active with social media and keeps fans updated on his books and events. He and his brother co-own multiple Youtube channels, including Crash Course, but their main one is Vlogbrothers. That channel has 5,605 videos with fifty dedicated specifically to his books. His main website contains information on him as an author, his books, a list of FAQs and dedicated sections for fans to discuss his novels. He keeps actively involved with his fans on Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook making his social media all the more thrilling and keeps myself and teens of all ages entertained for days. His sites are very neat and professional, providing for easy use. All teens could find something to enjoy on his social media (or in his books!). If you haven’t read The Fault in Our Stars, Looking For Alaska, Paper Towns, or one of the other fabulous John Green books, then check out his social media for info!–Nalani Story
4I 3R 4U
Disease and dystopia – what better way to occupy your virtual excursions? Lauren Oliver’s Tumblr offers summaries, reviews, and release dates for all of the author’s past and upcoming works, as well as a compilation of Oliver’s various social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Goodreads. Aesthetically, the site offers an easily navigable structure that lends itself well to curious readers, as well as fans interested in author-related events. Similarly, author videos enhance the overall quality of the site and furnish the forum with a personal touch. However, the site may be faulted for its failure to effectively advertise and follow up on tour dates and events. Although the dates are easily readable and accessible, many are outdated by months, and some followers may have preferred to see links to articles and/or videos written or filmed about the events.–Sherry Ann Morgenstern
4I 5R 5U
I’ve been a fan of Maggie Stiefvater long before I found her website. Stiefvater is an author of many popular young-adult books, including Shiver and the 2012 Printz Award honoree The Scorpio Races. What makes Stiefvater’s prose so compelling is its union of the ethereal and the earthly—combining the beauty of high art with the details of everyday life. Similarly, Stiefvater’s social media reflects this same sentiment. Stiefvater’s blog is simultaneously a poignant stream of consciousness and a collection of cute cat images. Punctuated amidst the cats and the inner monologues are posts which announce Stiefvater’s latest novels. Combining her illustration skills, musical talent, and wit, Stiefvater creates video trailers for all her books. She also has giveaways where she sends personalized book jackets and book plates to her blog followers. On her Instagram, Stiefvater snaps charming pictures which reveal her daily life as a writer. Some of her Instagram posts recreate key scenes from her novels. Most enchanting about Stiefvater’s social media is its ability to submerge the very technical, information-saturated, online world in a sheen of art and literature. Stiefvater uses social media to reveal the artistry in everyday life—the lyricism which lives in the real world. For anyone new to Stiefvater, I would highly recommend checking out her blog post which analyzes the metaphors found in Katy Perry’s hit song “Dark Horse.” It’s the perfect example of how Stiefvater can reveal the extraordinary within the ordinary.–Jacob Hopkins
3I 4R 5U
M J S
This website offers a multitude of options for anyone looking for a good time or information on authors and books. TeenReads has awesome graphics that really make the page pop, and lots of little articles to read. The site is very user friendly and easily accessible, your eyes won’t ever get tired of looking at the very well designed layout. The website has cool polls and contests always going on; you can also check out their newsletter or blog. They have lots of great book reviews with summaries and links to the author beneath. On their home page, they have links to their Facebook and Twitter, as well as Amazon.com, so if you find a book you love, you can buy it. Not only is this site great for finding fresh new books to read, it is also great entertainment for a lazy Saturday or an evening at home. Besides their many articles on books, they also have lots for teens on interesting news and things happening in the world around them. You don’t have to be a big reader to love TeenReads.–Danielle Cornwell
This is Teen
4I 4R 5U
M J S
This website is great for all book lovers and they’re active on social media, too! On their YouTube channel, you can watch book trailers, movie trailers, author interviews, and other popular uploads. Book Finder is a great tool to search for a particular book you might enjoy by choosing different categories such as books that make you laugh, new releases, science-fiction, or historical, and many more categories. This amazing tool can be found on their Facebook page. Visit their Facebook and Twitter to exchange ideas with authors and friends, get the latest on book releases and exclusive content, and win great prizes! You could also sign up for their newsletter to receive the latest information on contests, new book releases, and more. This website is amazing for staying involved in the reading community.–Aribah Hussain
4I 3R 4U
The YA Fiction Freaks do a nice job on their book reviews. They are very persuasive and do not give away the book, but they tell you enough for you to be excited. They have reviewed a lot of popular books such as: Twilight, Game of Thrones, The Hobbit, etc. They also talk about movies based on books, book hauls, and reviews on technology for reading books, such as a Kindle or a Nook. I highly recommend this YouTube channel when you need a book to read. – Hafsah Hussain
Kudos for Library Teen Sites
Arlington Heights (IL) Memorial Library
The website title refers to the amazing teen space for making, collaborating, and reading that Arlington Heights provides. The site itself is equally impressive with a clean, uncluttered design. “The Hub” is written in a bubble at the top left with tendrils reaching out as if they were synapses filled with new ideas. Content is in a clearly defined box with a white background, preventing the site’s ever changing art from being busy and distracting. One of the slides features “If You Like” sans titles outside what you find on the book cover. This subtle adjustment to the standard of restating the title is effective. Some programs, such as the 8th Annual Teen Film Fest and the Teen Book Club, merit extra promotion in the form of small billboards on the site. The DIY and maker program offerings and recaps are in-depth without being too wordy and frequently allow for independent follow-up, even if the original fun was missed. For example, even if you missed the sonic screwdriver program in honor of WHOvember, the steps are provided so you can still make your own! The requisite “Study” for homework help and “Recommended” for online readers’ advisory are also well done.
Rebecca Purdy is the youth services coordinator for the Central Rappahannock Regional Library system in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The Web Surfers are a collection of teens willing to volunteer some of their time to see their names in print and help young adult librarians find good sites for their library blogs and Web pages.