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.
We are one of the few surviving membership libraries in the nation. Student memberships are available - visit or call for more information.
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 the second paperback collection of the smart, hilarious, eye-catching Eisner Award winning superhero series by writer Matt Fraction and artist David Aja, Hawkeye. From Aja’s website:
The year’s most critically acclaimed comic! Ace archer Clint Barton battles Superstorm Sandy, digital doomsday, dog detectives, lady problems, murder for money and more as Matt Fraction and David Aja continue their exciting, adventurous reinvention of the arrowed Avenger! Plus: The tracksuits are back, and they’re aiming to kill!
Collecting HAWKEYE (2012) #6-11. By Matt Fraction and David aja, colored by Matt Hollingsworth, letters by Chris Eliopoulos and special art guests like Francesco Francavilla, Jesse Hamm, Steve Lieber and Annie Wu.
New to the Athenaeum’s YA corner is No Boyz Allowed by prolific teen author Ni-Ni Simone. From Early Nerd Special:
Gem has been on her own since she was a little girl. She and her little brother have been shuffled around the foster care system for as long as she can remember, and she’s tough as a result of it. When she and her brother Malik are put into a house with a family that seems to genuinely care, Gem rebels. Then she’s reunited with an old friend and starts up a relationship with a seriously cute guy, and things go from complicated to even worse. Can Gem stay true to herself, learn to trust other people, and balance her friendships with a relationship? Does she even want to?
There’s no denying that Ni-Ni Simone has tapped into a specific demand in the book market. Her books about teens living positive lives despite obstacles they face are popular, relevant, and fairly well done… Gem’s voice is particularly well developed. The novel is full of short chapters with lots of dialogue and snappy lines that will hook teens.
You can read an interview with Ni-Ni Simone at Pretty Me Perspectives.
New to the Athenaeum’s YA shelves is the final installment of Beth Revis’s Across the Universe trilogy, Shades of Earth. The summary below may contain spoilers for the first two books, so read at your own risk! From the author’s website:
Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed behind. They’re ready to start life afresh–to build a home–on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience. But this new Earth isn’t the paradise that Amy had been hoping for. Amy and Elder must race to uncover who–or what–else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together.
But as each new discovery brings more danger, Amy and Elder will have to look inward to the very fabric of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed–friends, family, life on Earth–will have been meaningless.
New to the Athenaeum’s YA corner is Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas, a graphic novel illustrated by Maris Wicks and written by Jim Ottaviani. Ottaviani has penned a number of acclaimed graphic novels featuring scientists, including Wire Mothers: Harry Harlow And The Science Of Love, T-Minus: The Race to the Moon, and Feynman. From School Library Journal:
What do Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey and Biruté Galdikas have in common? Aside, of course, from being three courageous scientists who revolutionized our understanding of our fellow primates. And aside from sharing a mentor of sorts in famed British naturalist Louis Leakey. Oh, and aside from each devoting their lives to the study of a particular species of great ape?
They’re also the subjects of Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas, writer Jim Ottaviani’s latest all-ages, non-fiction original graphic novel about some of the most influential scientists of the twentieth century. They join a small but growing fraternity of scientists… in a growing library of Ottaviani-penned comics that wring palpable drama from biography.
For Primates, Ottaviani teams with artist Maris Wicks, whose bright, clear, cartoony art gives the book an immediate, eye-catching, poppy, all-ages appeal. Together they’ve taken the few points of intersection their subjects have shared and built an entertaining introduction to the lives and work of three women who are as fascinating a group of characters as they are important scientists.
You can read an excerpt of Primates at BoingBoing. Can’t find your desired graphic novel at the Ath? Be sure to check our current escritoire display highlighting our comics collection.
New to the Athenaeum’s YA corner is Lovely, Dark and Deep, the debut young adult novel by Amy McNamara. From This Ain’t Living:
Amy McNamara’s Lovely, Dark and Deep is in serious contention for being the best book I’ve read this year. Yes, already. It’s amazing, and I would highly strongly seriously overwhelmingly recommend it to you if you haven’t read it, with one caveat: this is a seriously dark and intense book about grief, mental illness, and coping with loss. It was really hard for me to read, and for those who are feeling raw, it might be a good book to wait on. Yes, it is that intense. Seriously. Read with caution.
At 18, Wren is taking refuge with her father, putting off school, life, art, and everything else in her world while she tries to deal with the aftermath of a horrific car accident that killed her boyfriend while she was seated next to him. All she wants to do is sink into the depths of winter and carve out some space to be herself and figure out who she is going to be, but everyone around her seems to have different ideas, pushing her to get a job, start doing art again, make friends, get involved, see a psychiatrist, do something. Instead, she runs. And runs, and runs, and runs, pounding through the snow while she sorts out her thoughts…
Lovely, Dark and Deep takes you so deep into Wren’s mind that it’s an intensely gripping and immersive read… Ultimately, this book is about the power of interdependence in the face of loss, and it’s structured and crafted so beautifully that it becomes a luxuriant pleasure to read even as you’re also feeling your heart break.
New to the Athenaeum’s YA corner is Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon, the first volume of the Eisner Award nominated series written by Matt Fraction with art by David Aja and Javier Pulido. From the Washington Post:
You may have first encountered Hawkeye in last year’s “Avengers” movie, although the team’s dry-witted archer and sharpshooter has been a supporting character in various comic books for nearly 50 years. Recently, though, writer Matt Fraction and artist David Aja came up with a terrific hook for the Hawkeye series, whose early issues are collected here: It’s about what a superhero does in his spare time. Clint Barton describes himself as “an orphan raised by carnies fighting with a stick and a string from the Paleolithic era.” He’s a mentor to a younger Hawkeye named Kate Bishop; he looks out for his neighbors in Bedford-Stuyvesant; and he gets into a lot of trouble, often involving a bunch of Russian mafiosi in track suits who call everyone “bro.”
The opening line of nearly every episode is “Okay, this looks bad.” In fact, it looks amazing. Both Aja and Javier Pulido (who draws a two-chapter sequence here) have a remarkable design sense and can make five lines do the work of 60… Aja’s artwork filters the world through Hawkeye’s lightning-quick perceptions. (Aja often breaks pages down into a dozen or more panels, just to show the details of motion or subtleties of facial expression.) The section drawn by Pulido takes a different approach: It casts the two Hawkeyes in a classic James Bond-style setting and demonstrates how they interact with their surroundings. Neither Barton nor Bishop is anything like Bond, though, which is the point. They’re not killers or glory hounds or bon vivants; they’re just trying to fix the world, one trick arrow at a time.
New to the Athenaeum’s YA corner is a book that marks the first-ever young adult title for both the delightful McSweeney’s publishing house and celebrated author Michelle Tea: Mermaid in Chelsea Creek. From McSweeney’s:
Everyone in the broken-down town of Chelsea, Massachusetts, has a story too worn to repeat—from the girls who play the pass-out game just to feel like they’re somewhere else, to the packs of aimless teenage boys, to the old women from far away who left everything behind. But there’s one story they all still tell: the oldest and saddest but most hopeful story, the one about the girl who will be able to take their twisted world and straighten it out. The girl who will bring the magic.
Could Sophie Swankowski be that girl? With her tangled hair and grubby clothes, her weird habits and her visions of a filthy, swearing mermaid who comes to her when she’s unconscious, Sophie could be the one to uncover the power flowing beneath Chelsea’s potholed streets and sludge-filled rivers, and the one to fight the evil that flows there, too. Sophie might discover her destiny, and maybe even in time to save them all.
New to the Athenaeum’s YA corner is the first volume of comics written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, illustrated by Dexter Soy and Emma Rios and featuring Earth’s Mightiest Hero, Captain Marvel: In Pursuit of Flight. From Marvel:
Ace pilot. Legendary Avenger. One hundred percent pure bad-^&*.
Carol Danvers has a new name, a new mission — and all the power she needs to make her own life a living hell. As the new Captain Marvel, Carol is forging a new future for herself, but finds she can’t walk away from a challenge from her past! It’s a firefight in the sky as the Banshee Squadron debut — but who are the Prowlers, and where has Carol seen them before? And how does secret NASA training program Mercury 13 fit in? Witness Captain Marvel in blazing battlefield action that just may change the course of history! Avengers Time Travel Protocols: engage!
New to the Athenaeum’s YA corner is The Rithmatist, the first in a new fantasy series by Brandon Sanderson. From the author’s website:
More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Master in a mysterious inception ceremony, Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings—merciless creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.
As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students learn the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing—kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery, one that will change Rithmatics—and their world—forever.