Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Take 5: Scorchers, aka It’s #DragonDay (list by Cuyler)

What’s scarier than vampires, zombies, and werewolves combined? Dragons, baby. These fiery serpents have seared their way into fiction for years and they’re here to stay. Everyone needs a little fire-breathing, knight-eating goodness in their reading piles this Fall, so why not take a gander at these scorching tales: 

1) Seraphina by Rachel Hartman- Seraphina is Rachel Hartman’s deubt novel about the animosity between dragons and humans. Not only can Hartman’s dragons breathe fire, but they also change shape, changing into humans to serve as ambassadors and lend their mathematical abilities to mankind. Seraphina also has a unusual gift. As a remarkable musician, she attends court with the others. Only this time someone in the royal family is murdered, and despite the four years of peace between the species, the murder’s trail looks a lot like a dragon’s. In mystery surrounded in fantasy, Seraphina is enticed by the investigation along with the help of Lucian Kiggs, prince and captain of the Queen’s Guard. The peace between dragons and humans is being sabotaged, and as she uncovers plots to do so, Seraphina struggles to keep her gift a secret. Because if the truth gets out, it may cost Seraphina her life. This novel has been awarded Winner of the 2013 YAlSA Morris Award for Best YA Debut Novel, and is entirely worth your time to delve into this mysterious and mystical world fashioned brilliantly by Rachel Hartman. 

2) Eon and Eona by Alison Goodman-
Studying the arts of sword-work and dragon magic, sixteen-year old Eon has been focusing all his hard work for one purpose: being chosen as the Dragoneye, an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune. There’s only one problem. Eon is actually a girl, which is deadly, because if anyone discovers that a female is using Dragon Magic, death will find her quickly. Trying to keep her identity a secret is not as easy as it seems, and it will take all Eon’s power to keep those from taking her magic and her life. Eon continues on with its companion Eona, which offers its own scorching tension and twists. This New York Times bestseller is one thrilling duology that sizzles right down to the end.
3) The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini-
The famous Inheritance Cycle is full of unforgettable storytelling that has touched readers’ hearts worldwide. Eragon, as simple farm boy, finds a blue stone in the forest. Except it’s not a stone at all. It’s a dragon egg. When the dragon hatches, Eragon realizes that a legacy nearly long forgotten resurfaces the minute the hatchling bursts through its shell: The legendary Dragon Riders. In a thrilling four book series, Christopher Paolini crafts a beautiful and dangerous world of destiny, magic, and terrifying power that’s kept its readers glued to the pages from the first book to the last. A must have set in your fiery reads!  

4) Scorched by Mari Mancusi- Scorched takes the sci-fi approach to dragons, which is totally awesome. Trinity Foxx becomes attached to the last dragon egg on Earth when her grandfather brings it in to be the next big piece in his museum. She bonds with it, realizing she is the Fire Kissed, someone who’s destiny is intertwined with that of a dragon. She also, just so happens, to be the cause of the future dragon apocalypse. Which is why twins Connor and Caleb come back from the future to keep the earth from being engulfed in flames. Except they’re on different sides. One wants to save the dragons, and the other wants to destroy them. Trinity has to make the right choice or the world as they know it will go up in flames. This is a great, brand new read by Texas author Mari Mancusi, and hit’s the shelves hotter than a dragon’s flame this October. Get it. Read it. Love it.
5) The Last Dragon Chronicles by Chris d’Lacey-
Chris d’Lacey creates an action-packed six-book series that tells the story of David Rain and his discovery of a collection of clay dragons who come to life and harbor extraordinary powers, even receiving his own dragon, Gadzooks, who can see into the future. The dragon world is mystical and astounding, and David is drawn down a path that may not offer a return. The later books skip ahead a few years and tells the adventures of his daughter, Alexa. A great, funny, and exhilarating fantasy saga for all ages! 

Your TBR pile looks a little bland. Why don’t you pick up these fantastic reads and “heat” things up? The dragons have made themselves known, and they’re not going anywhere. Take a ride on the back of one of these fiery beasts, and see what adventures it takes you on!  Also, remember to tell us your faves in the comments or Tweet them to us with the hashtag #DragonDay.  I’ll try and compile everyone’s tweet for a recap tomorrow. Here’s a list of more titles for you from Goodreads.

My Emotional Soundtrack: Things I Can’t Go Back To by Christie G

As librarians and teen advocates, we are always talking (one way or another) about bibliotherapy- giving books to a patron as a type of therapy, a way to work out their problems and issues when they may not want or cannot talk to someone about it- whether it’s drugs, death, abuse, or just questioning the world around them.  Media, whether it’s books or movies or songs, can have such a lasting impression on a person that sometimes it’s forever linked with a particular incident or a moment in time, and we encourage that in our culture.  We have “our song” for when we have special relationships, and we have “our favorite” movie, which we all know changes depending on the year.

: the use of selected reading materials as therapeutic adjuvants in medicine and in psychiatry; also : guidance in the solution of personal problems through directed reading

But what about the media that are tied to not-so-pleasant episodes in our personal soundtrack?  What books/movies/songs are tied to those icky bits that you can’t bear to go back to?  I’ll share with you mine, you share yours in the comments below…

Eragon by Christopher Paolini.  I know, bad teen librarian person, not reading one of THE books that was written by a teen that made it into the bestseller list.  I was starting to read it when my father had heart surgery in 2004, and he died and was brought back on the operating table.  We had eight additional years with him, but I’ve yet to be able to see this book without thinking of that episode.

Disney’s Aladdin.  Saw it in the theaters with my then-boyfriend, and ADORED it.  Two years later, he then broke up with me before our high school graduation our senior year, right after our prom, yet we had to go on a trip to Mexico with others from the high school together.  Painful much?  So why would Aladdin bring back the painful memories? He gave me a musical Aladdin watch for my birthday, right after he broke up with me, and I had to write a thank you note.  I still have the watch somewhere, but crack up when That Guy starts singing the Weird Al version of certain Aladdin themes.

The Hobbit.  For a self declared fantasy freak, I should completely be IN LOVE with this book.  I could NEVER get through the damn thing.  I got lost on the dwarves names, I don’t think I ever met Golum, and I never did find the stupid dragon That Guy swore was in there.  And because I had to read THE FIRST of the books, I never got to the rest of the Lord of the Rings.  That Guy and I had one of our first fights in our relationship about this book; I remember, even if he doesn’t.  Does this mean I won’t go see the movie?  HELL NO, because I want to see Magneto and Queen Elizabeth I make googly eyes at each other, and I loved Aidan Turner (who plays Kili) in BBC’s Being Human.

As I Lay Dying.  I know we are supposed to love the classics, and As I Lay Dying is considered one of the best novels of 20th century literature.  I can’t stand it.  Had to read it in high school, hated it then.  Had to re-read it in college, hated in then.  Never will I read it unless I’m forced to, and even then it’ll be up for debate.

A Clockwork Orange.  I read this for a class in college, and I had nightmares for weeks after.  It was a dystopian literature class, and this book was a required reading assignment.  I was fine with the book- disturbed, probably, but didn’t have any problem.  This issue was that we then watched Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation, and I am an extremely visual person.  I couldn’t get the images of needles and eyeballs out of my head for months.  Needless to say, I have never gone back to this book, although I’ve gone back repeatedly to others that were in the class.