Social Justice and Activism for Young Adults

From #MeToo to Black Lives Matter to March for Our Lives, the voices of activists are ringing loud and clear across this country right now.  Many of these voices are those of young people, and teens today are more empowered than ever before to create change and make their voices heard.  As a result, there has been a remarkable increase in books for, by, and about teens that explore the topics that so profoundly affect them and show how powerful their voices can be.  Here are just a few recent titles:

Glimmer of Hope: How Tragedy Sparked a Movement by the founders of March for Our Lives
It’s been less than a year since the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, but the students who survived the tragedy swiftly moved into action. Within weeks after the shooting, the survivors organized a student-led demonstration in Washington, DC to campaign for stricter gun control laws.  This collection of writings from those students shows how powerful youth voice can be. Continue reading “Social Justice and Activism for Young Adults”

Food Comics and Manga

I’ve been reading a lot of food-focused manga and comics recently. Maybe I’m just a hungry person? I do like food, but really, while these manga and comics share the culinary theme they span some wildly different story-telling territory; from D&D-esque dungeon crawlers, to queer slice-of-life stories, to cooking competitions. Some of these stories even include actual recipes (though a few use fictional ingredients).

Delicious in Dungeon by Ryoko Kui
Follow a band of adventurers as they attempt to rescue a party-member from the dungeon’s infamous red dragon, but not before killing and cooking up other monsters along the way. You can try to make these recipes at home, but you’ll have a difficult time finding all of the ingredients…

Get Jiro! by Anthony Bourdain Continue reading “Food Comics and Manga”

Seattle Rep’s IN THE HEIGHTS: Beyond the Theatre

Seattle Repertory Theatre presents IN THE HEIGHTS by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes from November 23 – December 30, 2018. Librarians at Seattle Public Library created this list of books, films, and music to enhance your experience of the show.

In the Heights blends hip-hop, jazz, pop, salsa, and merengue to tell a story set in the Latinx community of New York City’s Washington Heights neighborhood. For more stories of Latinx folks making their way in New York City check out Julia Alvarez’s classic novel How the García Girls Lost Their Accents or the 2018 National Book Award winning The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. Continue reading “Seattle Rep’s IN THE HEIGHTS: Beyond the Theatre”

10 Novels We Loved This Year

We love all of the end-of-year “top ten” book lists, but the ones we use to guide our own reading  (and gift giving) are always the ones prepared by librarians. These lists tend to have a wider range of titles, genres, and distinct voices. They’re not necessarily bestsellers (although six on this list were Peak Picks) and they’re not all award-winners (although they should be). What they are: Well written, excellent books that librarians loved — and love to share with readers.

We asked our adult services librarians to nominate/vote for their favorite novels to recommend (all published in 2018). Here are 10, starting with our top pick and then going in reverse alphabetical order,  because we liked the way the covers looked this way, which is so un-librariany …

Let’s start the list with the book that was mentioned and championed most by Seattle librarians. The intersecting stories in Tommy Orange’s There There, his character-driven debut novel, chronicle the lives of Native Americans living in Oakland, California. Seventy percent of Native people live in cities in the U.S., yet contemporary fiction rarely focuses on that experience. Novelist Colm Toibin reviewed it in the New York Times when it first came out, and the NYT headline said, rightly so, “Yes, Tommy Orange’s New Novel Really Is That Good.” It is. Continue reading “10 Novels We Loved This Year”

Twenty Children’s Books We Loved in 2018

What a wonderful year for children’s books this was!   Children’s Librarians from Seattle Public Library selected Ten Amazing Picture Books and Ten Wonderful Novels and Comics that were published in 2018.  Each list is rich with stories that reflect a range of different experiences and perspectives.  Here is just a sample of what you can find on the lists:

Drawn Together by Minh Lê and illustrated by Dan Santat tells a beautiful and heartwarming tale of the power of art.  Left for the day with his grandfather, who only speaks Thai, his young English-speaking grandson expects a boring and awkward afternoon but, as the two being Continue reading “Twenty Children’s Books We Loved in 2018”