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Take 5: Rainbow Project Nominee Sequels

 
The 2014 Rainbow List Nominees were announced the other day, and it looks wonderful. I cannot wait to see the final list when it is finished at ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia in January!
 
HOWEVER, did you know that there are SEQUELS coming out to these awesome books, some as early as JANUARY?!?!?!?!?! 
 
Well, what are you waiting for?

5, 6, 7, Nate follows Better Nate than Never in the adventures of Nate following his Broadway dreams. He auditions for a role in E.T.: The Musical, but will Broadway live up to his expectations?
(January 2014, ISBN: 9781442446939)
At the end of Pantomime, Micah has ditched the circus and is on the run with Drystan, but when they find a fallen magician willing to teach them the trade, Micah learns that magic is more than card tricks and illusion.
(January 2014, ISBN: 9781908844408)


Eight years after her first and only exposure to the addictive tracks, Alpha is still haunted by the music, and when her older brother Anthem calls for help, she is dragged back in to discover that the Corp has reappeared, this time more insidious than ever.
(May 2014, ISBN: 9780762449507)

Syd is the figurehead of the revolution, yet people are falling ill all over- with the former Guardians hit first, and the government does nothing to help. With the government indifferent to the sickness, Syd takes it upon himself to find a way to stop it- only to to be shocked by what he finds.
(May 2014, ISBN: 9780399165764)
An ongoing series just waiting for the English translations, Wandering Son tells the stories of Nitori-kun and Takatsuki-san, two transgendered kids who only want to be their true selves- which  is increasing difficult as they age, especially in Japanese society. Volume 5 was released in November 2013 (9781606996478) and volume 6 is scheduled to be released in January 2014 (ISBN: 9781606997079).

Book Review: Coda by Emma Trevayne

I step back from the mike. “Pixel,” I say, shaking my head when he glances at me. I stare the guy down. “Yeah, you don’t feel it. That’s because this is real music, and you’ve got to want it. You’ve got to let it get inside your head. Do that, and the high is better than some processed drug. This is what the Corp keeps from you so that they can make us listen to the stuff that’ll kill us. So they can keep us under control, use our bodies for energy, take our credits, and run our lives. If that high is worth it to you, go back to your console.”

He doesn’t say anything. I’ve started it, now. It’s too late to turn back, but I guess it’s been too late since that day Johnny first showed me the basement. Everything was always leading here.

“There used to be five of us,” I continue, gesturing to the band before I face the audience again. Rapt expressions nearly make me shut up. I’m not the person for this. “Our friend put on a track one day and dropped dead. They killed him, and he’s not the only one. It could happen to any of us, any time we put on a track. Have you ever pissed off the Corp? You might not know even if you have. Maybe our friend was lucky. Maybe it’s a good thing that he won’t go through what happens when the music’s finally eaten through enough of his brain. But do the Corp care? No, it just makes room for the next person to come along: someone else for their guards to threaten, someone else to give up their life for the Corp’s glory.”

Murmurs ripple. “And you’re gonna change all that?” asks the guy, raising his voice to be heard. Yeah, I don’t really believe it either.

“I’m saying that this is what they take from us.” I slap the body of my guitar. “The right to express ourselves. They take it and use it to kill us, instead. I’m saying we take it back, but we need your help. We need people.”

“For what?”

I can’t see where the question comes from, but it’s one I’ve asked myself a thousand times. “Change,” I say. “To show President Z, the Board, and everyone else involved with encoding the music and keeping real stuff from us that we don’t want this anymore. That they have to give music back to us and know they can never get away with doing this again. To replace them, if that’s what it takes.”


Welcome to the future, where the United States of America is no more, and everything is run by The Corp. Humans are born with numbers, energy is one of the most precious commodities and generated from people and their emotions, and music is how you get medicine- and mandatory highs- and is controlled (like everything else) by the Corp. Eighteen year old Anthem tries to lose himself and his troubles in the clubs, but nothing seems to beat the highs he gets from playing music himself, which is illegal and extremely dangerous. When his friend and mentor Johnny is killed by a track, Anthem, his girlfriend Haven, his ex Scope, and the rest of the band decide to take on the Corp by fighting the only way they know how:  by growing resistance through underground concerts. Yet when The Corp decides that they are too big of a threat to ignore, and a traitor destroys everything, Anthem has to chose between resistance and what he feels is right, and the safety of his family. 

Coda is extremely gripping and a wonderful (and disturbing) dystopia built upon a media that almost everyone is familiar with. The dialogue is exquisite, and the characters are colorful, flawed, and extremely well-described. Readers fall into Anthem’s world almost immediately, and are carried along for the ride. The twists and turns within the story carry throughout the book, and keep readers on edge and wanting more. It definitely fits within the cyberpunk genre (confused? think about the movie Tron: Legacy for inspiration) and throughout does not lose its core or optimism. 5 out of 5 stars. As of July 21, 2013, Goodreads rates Coda 4.05 out of 5 stars (what is WRONG with them?!??!). 


I love the fact that music is used as the control over the human population, especially when you consider how much we listen to music. Anthem is such a complicated character, and his decisions are not easy ones. As a reader I felt each decision with him, and when the twists hit, I agonized with him through his choices. I also loved the fluidity within love that Anthem feels- like some of my teens he loves who he loves, no matter what body they happen to be in. Haven (his current love) is female, yet Scope (his former love) is male, and no one bats an eye over this. 

Another thing that really struck me with this book is how dedicated Anthem is to his family. His mother dies early in his life, and his father is dying, so it’s up to Anthem to take care of his younger siblings (twins, who have called themselves Alpha and Omega). He’s constantly worrying about them, about how fast they’re growing up, about them getting addicted to the music like he is and going through the cravings, and about how they’re destined to grow up like he is, to become little more than a living battery for the upper elite. Anyone with siblings has been in that situation before- worrying about their situation- and Emma writes it so believably that it strikes chords within your soul. It’s a beautiful book, and I’m excited that there is more to come from her including Chorus…. 

Coda is nominated for the 2014 Rainbow Project List, and is a 2014 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adult nominee.


I got my galley of Coda after totally fangirling on Emma at ALA Midwinter 2013 in Seattle.
It’s signed, and to me, and I’m keeping it. I did try to find her at ALA Annual in Chicago
(she had all purple hair then) but just missed her signing, so alas, no giveaway for this one.

Sweet Home Chicago: Christie G’s Highlights for Annual 2013

Can I say that I am SO excited for Annual? Chicago is a fun city to visit, but doubly so for me because I have family close by, and some are going to be able to make the drive and see me while I’m there! BONUS! But there are so many fun things to do (aside from meeting authors and meeting up with my conference family)- I’m always double booked on the things I have on my schedule. Here are my MUST DOS for this conference:

FRIDAY (flying in from Texas)

Bleak New World: YA Authors Decode Distopia– Friday, June 28, 8-10 p.m., Sheraton Ballroom 5.  Join Booklist Publications for this year’s Books for Youth forum, featuring a stellar lineup of YA authors, who will discuss the wildly popular genre of dystopian literature for teens. Speakers will include: Lois Lowry, Cory Doctorow, Veronica Roth, and Patrick Ness.

SRRT All Task Force Committee– Friday, June 28, 7:30 – 9p.m., Hilton- Buckingham Room. I’m going for a bit to this, representing the Rainbow Project as I’m serving as the Chair this year. Interested in learning more about the Rainbow Project or other committees within the Social Responsibilities Round Table? This is the place to start.

SATURDAY

Multicultural Programming for Tweens and Families– Saturday, June 29, 8:30 – 10 a.m., McCormick Place Convention Center, S404d.  In the spirit of El día de los niños/ El día de los libros, celebrate many children, many cultures, and many books throughout the year. Hear from a panel of librarians and community partners who will share successful programs such as a Día Family Book Club, a weekend full of multicultural events, and a culture-focused, one book-one city initiative. Stay for an I-DÍA Showcase featuring hands-on program activities, and receive how-to handouts from libraries across the country.
SUNDAY (also Family Visit Day- YEA!)

Cory Doctorow: More Than a Book-Lined Internet Cafe- Sunday, June 30, 3-4 p.m. McCormick Place Convention Center, S105a-c.  LITA President Zoe Stewart-Marshall welcomes digital rights activist, science fiction writer and Boing Boing co-editor, Cory Doctorow. This lively, thought-provoking talk will look at how libraries can and do stand on the front lines of the debate over the role of free information, and free information technology in ensuring the healthy maintenance of a free society. And yes, he will talk about DRM.

MONDAY
Graphic Novel Stage: Free Comic Book Day at the Library– Monday, July 1, 12 noon – 1 p.m.,  McCormick Place Convention Center, Exhibits Floor, Graphic Novel Stage.  Held the first Saturday in May, Free Comic Book Day has become a highly-anticipated annual tradition for comic book and graphic novel shops and fans. Libraries can also tap into this excitement by hosting their own Free Comic Book Day events. This panel will show librarians how to put their own FCBD together, including tips on partnering with local comic shops, utilizing their graphic novel collections, acquiring comics to give away, and more. Oh, and Karen and I are part of the panel.

TUESDAY (flying back from Texas)
Closing Session: Octavia Spenser– Tuesday, July 2, 9:30 – 11 a.m., McCormick Place Convention Center, S100a. Find out what Octavia Spencer has recently been busy with—including appearing on 30 Rock and writing her first novel. Spencer is keynote speaker at the Closing General Session. She’ll be talking (among other things) about her upcoming first novel, Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective: The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit (October 2013, Simon & Schuster).
Are you going to be at ALA Annual?  What are you planning to hit?