Teens @ UAPL

Howl's Moving Castle and Other Great Fantasy Novels and Anime

Jennifer's picture

Cover for Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynn JonesI am an avid reader of fantasy, but until recently I had never read the Howl's Moving Castle series by Diana Wynn Jones. It is a classic, and had long been on my list, but I just seemed to always find something else – until recently, that is. And when I finally read it, I was not disappointed! Why did I wait so long?! This is fabulous series with hidden gems and little surprises awaiting you in every book. I was both delighted and impressed with Jones’s ability to surprise me and give me little unexpected treats in every story. Wonderful! These are technically companion books, meaning they have connections to each other but could be read on their own, however, I think they are much richer and deeper when read together and in order. There are three books in the series: Howl's Moving Castle, The Castle in the Air, and The House of Many Ways (which is my favorite!) For a great description of all the varied, complicated, and wondrous adventures in Howl’s Moving Castle check out the fan video below (the first video). For a live action trailer, also put together by a fan and using various movie clips, check out the second video below. It is fantastic and I would love (wish) to see this book turned into a live action movie, using this cast!

 

 

For more great fantasy novels check out some these books:

Howl’s Moving Castle by Jones was also turned into an anime movie. Although different than the book in many ways, it is still an enchanting and fantastical story. Howl’s Moving Castle (the anime movie) is written by Hayao Miyazaki and is similar to some of his other anime such as Spirited Away, Kiki’s Delivery Service, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.

Also, if you like fantasy and anime or are interested in learning more about anime, graphic novels, and manga don’t miss our Teen Graphic Novel, Manga, and Anime Club coming this fall. Each one will meet one Thursday a month at 4:00pm. Here are the upcoming dates and themes, but for more information and registration check out our Program Calendar.

  • September 10th: Hayao Miyazaki Movie Trailers and Anime Discussion
  • October 8th: Graphic Novels to Tell Your Story – featuring realistic graphic novels
  • November 12th: Manga, Anime, and Japanese Culture

Happy Reading!

Super Power Saturdays: Draw Me! Write Me! Creating Your Own Stories and Characters

Jennifer's picture

Welcome back everyone! This is the last post in the Super Power Saturdays blog series. We have covered a lot of different books this summer – super powers in fiction and graphic novels, unique teen powers in fiction, heroes in the real world in nonfiction, and more. If you missed any of these posts, or just want to re-read them, links to them are at the end of this blog post. Now, after reading all these great books, it’s time to take that super powered inspiration and channel it into creating our own stories. So, to wrap things up we will look at books that can help you create your own stories, characters, graphic novels, and even find out how to break into the writing and graphic art business! A few great ones to start with are:

Image for Bitstrips App WebsiteFor some online fun here are some apps and websites to help you start your own comics. Bitstrips is a free App that can turn you and your friends into comic characters. BUBBLR is an interactive site that lets you create comic strips using photos from flickr. Make Beliefs Comix, also an interactive site, has different online features and options, as well as printable downloads and writing prompts, to help you to create your own comics.  

For links to these and other great books about creating your own stories, characters, and graphic novels check out the Draw Me! Write Me! book list in our catalog. 

Blogs in this Super Power Saturdays blog series:

Booklists from this blog series:

Happy “Super Powered” Reading!

Teen Fiction for when you need to cope with life

Stephanie's picture

Every so often I serendipiously read fiction that has similar themes.  Recently I have been reading some great fiction from 2015 that talk about mental issues.  It could be OCD, anxiety, depression, and dealing with family drug abuse, and or suicide.  Every year seems to bring newer stresses to our lives. Sometimes it is hard to deal with yourself in the world.  Whether you are experiencing some of these issues, or trying to be supportive of friends and family in these situations, try these stories for some bibliotherapy.

every last word tamara stone

Every Last Word by Tamara Stone  Samantha is part of the popular crowd in her school, but she has a secret she keeps from them.  She has purely-obsessional OCD.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven  Told in alternating voices, when Theodore Finch and Violet Markey meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school–both teetering on the edge–it's the beginning of an unlikely relationship, a journey to discover the “natural wonders” of the state of Indiana, and two teens' desperate desire to heal and save one another.

Mosquitoland by David Arnold  After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim is dragged from her home in Ohio to the “wastelands” of Mississippi.  When she learns that her mother is sick in Ohio, Mim confronts her demons on a thousand-mile odyssey from “mosquitoland” to her Ohio mother that redefines her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.

 

 

For more bibliotherapy:

  • It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini = A humorous account of time spent in a psychiatric hospital.
  • OCD Love Story by Cory Ann Haydu = Almost normal relationship between 2 people with OCD
  • Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King  = Learning to cope with bullying and family drama
  • Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff = Lots of anger management and dealing with things out of your control
  • The Carnival at Bray by Jessie Ann Foley= Dealing with suicide and poor family decision making
  • Crazy by Amy Reed = An honest portrayal of bipolar disorder

Super Power Saturdays - Teen NonFiction Flies!

Jennifer's picture

We are in our last month of Super Power Saturdays, everyone. So far we have explored all kinds of super powers in teen fiction and teen graphic novels. We have looked at super powers in fiction in Teen Super Powers, other types of powers including magic and even time travel in Teen Powers Abound: All Kinds of Powers, and super powers in graphic novels in Teen Graphic Novels: We Started It All!. Now it is time to turn our super charged eyes to nonfiction because superheroes, everyday heroes, powers of all kinds, and even comics and graphic novels permeate nonfiction lifting it up and giving it super strength! Adventure definitely awaits in nonfiction. So, for a masked adventure check these out:

For a sneak peek at Breakthrough: How One Teen Innovator is Changing the World by Jack Andraka check out the video below. Breakthrough is a memoir written by a teen who is not only an innovator in science, having created an early detection system for several types of cancers (WOW!), but a hero in his own right, standing up for himself, overcoming challenges and obstacles, and helping to pave the way for other teens to reach for their dreams and be who they are to the fullest. For more about Jack, his book, and his work check out his website Jack Andraka: “Make Something Cool…And Change the World”

For a list of these and other nonfiction reads see our Teen NonFiciton Flies! book list in our catalog.

And don’t miss our last blog post in the Super Power Saturdays series coming July 25th. We will look at how to create your own stories and characters in Draw Me! Write Me!

Happy “Super Powered” Reading!