A blog for young readers (and YA lovers) from the Providence Athenaeum.
The Providence Athenaeum is a unique library and cultural center in the heart of Providence, Rhode Island. Growing out of the Providence Library Company (fourth library in the United States), the Athenaeum as we know it was formed in 1836. Our handsome building on the corner of Benefit and College was completed in 1838.
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This blog is updated by one of our circulation assistants (and YA enthusiast), Amy. Follow us to find out what's new in our Young Adult corner, or just for a daily dose of literary shenanigans.
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New to the Athenaeum’s YA corner is Prodigy, the sequel to Marie Lu’s action-packed dystopian debut, Legend. From the author’s website:
June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—-June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.
It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.
But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengence, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?
Currently on the new YA bookshelf is the second book in the Lunar Chronicles seriesby Marissa Meyer, Scarlet. While the first, Cinder, brought the tale of Cinderella into a dystopian future with a cyborg heroine, Scarlet draws on the story of Little Red Riding Hood. From the author’s website:
Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.
As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.
New to the Athenaeum’s YA corner is the bestselling Matched trilogy by Ally Condie. From the author’s website:
In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.
Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one… until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow — between perfection and passion.
New to the Athenaeum’s YA corner is Diverse Energies, an anthology of diverse dystopian YA stories edited by Tobias Buckell and Joe Monti. Via goodreads:
In a world gone wrong, heroes and villains are not always easy to distinguish and every individual has the ability to contribute something powerful.
In this stunning collection of original and rediscovered stories of tragedy and hope, the stars are a diverse group of students, street kids, good girls, kidnappers, and child laborers pitted against their environments, their governments, differing cultures, and sometimes one another as they seek answers in their dystopian worlds. Take a journey through time from a nuclear nightmare of the past to society’s far future beyond Earth with these eleven stories by masters of speculative fiction.
This anthology features work from Paolo Bacigalupi (Ship Breaker), Ursula K. Le Guin (The Left Hand of Darkness), Malinda Lo (Ash), Cindy Pon (Silver Phoenix) and more!
New to Athenaeum’s YA corner are Ashfall and its sequel Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin. From the author’s website:
Many visitors to Yellowstone National Park don’t realize that the boiling hot springs and spraying geysers are caused by an underlying supervolcano. It has erupted three times in the last 2.1 million years, and it will erupt again, changing the earth forever.
Fifteen-year-old Alex is home alone when Yellowstone erupts. His town collapses into a nightmare of darkness, ash, and violence, forcing him to flee. He begins a harrowing trek in search of his parents and sister, who were visiting relatives 140 miles away.
Along the way, Alex struggles through a landscape transformed by more than a foot of ash. The disaster brings out the best and worst in people desperate for food, clean water, and shelter. When an escaped convict injures Alex, he searches for a sheltered place where he can wait—to heal or to die. Instead, he finds Darla. Together, they fight to achieve a nearly impossible goal: surviving the supervolcano.
Currently on the New YA Bookshelf is the body-swapping scifi debut from Lissa Price, Starters. From the LA Times:
In this clever and creepy tale with faint echoes of “The Stepford Wives” and “The Hunger Games,” 16-year-old Callie Woodland is desperate. She and her 7-year-old brother, Tyler, along with quasi-love interest Michael, have been squatting in a vacant apartment building, having lost their parents a year earlier to the Spore Wars. The genocide spores killed everyone between ages 20 and 60, leaving only the very young and very old to coexist. Callie’s brother is ill, but she doesn’t have the funds to take care of him, so she does what many teens with strong family values would do. She investigates ways to provide.
Unfortunately, there aren’t that many options in a dystopian society with such lopsided wealth. Teens have been forbidden from work and are so poor they’re forced to steal, whereas the so-called Enders, most of whom are more than 100, have guaranteed employment, live in mansions and indulge in plastic surgery. For Callie, the best option to help her family is Prime Destinations in Beverly Hills — a body bank that pairs moneyed Enders with good-looking teens who are willing to rent their bodies by the day, week or month. Callie could earn enough money to buy a house and feed her family for a year simply by renting her body three times…
The rentals have no idea what’s happening to their bodies, which are being controlled via neurochip by the Enders, whose bodies are on life support at Prime Destinations and whose brains control the action. Callie’s chip, however, is defective. Callie is supposed to wake up at Prime Destinations only at the end of a monthlong rental. Instead, she wakes up in a nightclub where she can hear the voice of her renter, and the two wrestle for control of Callie’s mind and body… The only thing better than a terrific concept is one that is as well executed as “Starters.”
New to the Athenaeum’s YA Corner are the first two books in Veronica Roth’s hugely popular dystopian series, Divergent and Insurgent. From the author’s website:
In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her.
The 23-year-old Roth is in the running for a Teen Choice Award, nominated alongside such names as Stephanie Meyer, Nicholas Sparks, Lois Lowry and Suzanne Collins. Go Veronica!
New to the Athenaeum YA collection is Paolo Bacigalupi’s fast-paced post-apocalyptic Ship Breaker, winner of the 2011 Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature. From boingboing:
Ship Breaker is set in a degraded, post-peak-oil world where the drowned coastlines are littered with the smashed wrecks of old sea-freighters, all acrawl with desperately poor “ship breakers” — scavengers who get paid a starvation wage to extract the steel, copper, and oil reserves from the hulks of the old world. Nailer is a young boy, 14 or 15, on a “light duty” crew, and he’s skinny enough to eel his way into the ducts of the ships and tear loose the copper wire; if he gets enough out to make quota, his crew eats. If not, they risk being fired, and turned loose to sell their bodies (or parts of them — kidneys and eggs and eyes), beg, or steal.
Even for a light duty scavenger, Nailer has it hard; his drunken, amphetamine addled father has grown more and more vicious since the day his mother died… But still, Nailer rescues him when a “city killer” storm sweeps the Gulf Coast… because despite it all, Nailer is fundamentally good.
And that’s why Nailer rescues the young aristocratic girl he finds in the wreckage of a high-tech schooner that is wrecked in the storm, and how he finds himself embroiled in a quest to rescue her and take her away from the coast, up to Orleans, to help change the destiny of one of the great corporate empires that live on the blood and rust of Nailer and his people.
New to the Athenaeum YA section is the dystopian debut of Marie Lu, Legend. From the official site:
The flooded coast of former Los Angeles. Two warring nations of North America — the Republic and the Colonies.
Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy. Obedient, passionate, and committed to her country, she is being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles.
Born into the slums of the Republic’s Lake Sector, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
From different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother is murdered. And Day becomes the prime suspect. Now, caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival while June tries desperately to avenge her brother’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together and the sinister lengths their country will go to in order to keep its secrets.
Look for Legend in the YA-themed Crossing Over staff picks, on the main floor of the Athenaeum.