Posts Tagged ‘YA’


The Giver by Lois Lowry is the one book on elementary/high school reading lists that Canadians our age remember fondly. Why is this, and why is the cover so darn memorable?

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Episode 26: Get Urras back to Anarres (Discussion of The Dispossessed)

Source of our theme song

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Let’s review a vampire novel! Albeit a slightly unusual one.

From my Cold, Undead Hand (or, Chevonne Kusnetsov vs. the Sharp Teeth Krew) has vampires prowling near-future New York, infiltrating all levels of society in a well-worn vampire conspiracy. Chevonne Kusnetsov and a cell of clandestine resistance fighters are out to stop them by any means. (more…)

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Alternative Title: The Episode with Dragons in It.

Marie and I survey classic (and not-so-classic) Middle Grade and YA literature that include dragons. Special mention goes to Patricia C. Wrede’s Dealing with Dragons, and we also brainstorm the next YA dragon epic that is sure to be a mega-bestseller.

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Source of our theme song

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Our discussion of the Pit Dragon Chronicles

Our discussion of Tooth and Claw 

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“The Worst Prom Ever”

The CBC radio show Q ran an interview a while back with a woman who claimed that we stay stuck in the same roles that we had in high school. Adolescence was liquid cement, and by the time you leave it, you’re firmly shaped and set by those experiences and can’t escape them. Who we were in high school is who we are forever. You can’t get over high school, because high school is you.

It’s true that the teenage years have a looming cultural presence in North America in television and film. Our culture celebrates youth. We’ve even dedicated a whole section of the bookstore to novels aimed at teenagers–something that didn’t exist when I was that age.

Still, the thought of this absolutely terrifies me. One, because my high school experience was mostly unpleasant and mostly forgotten. Two, because when I think back, I’m not very proud of the person I was.


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Celebrity YA

What scares me most about Tyra Banks’s Modelland (2011) is that I think she actually wrote it. Usually, when a celebrity decides to become a novelist, they collaborate with a known author or else a ghostwriter does the job for them. There’s a rash of YA books coming out now from television and movie personalities that take the latter option, leading to mediocre but at least technically competent novels selling based on the star’s name alone that mercifully disappear a few months later.


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In his house in R’lyeh, Great Cthulhu lies dreaming…of her.

So it’s happened. A few days ago, Serra Elinsen released Awoken upon the world, a paranormal romance wherein the love interest is none other than Great Cthulhu itself. It seems Cthulhu, in response to a prophecy that a teenage girl will prevent the coming of Azathoth, materializes in a high school as the mysterious and handsome Riley Bay, and captures the heart of our heroine, Andromeda Slate.



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