John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars is one of those rare books that can make you laugh while it’s breaking your heart into teeny, tiny pieces. If you’re a fan of realistic fiction featuring loveable characters trying to live a normal lives in the face of abuse, disability, and death, then you need to check out these books.
Before I Die by Jenny Downham (2007)
Tessa has just months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, and drugs with excruciating side effects, Tessa compiles a list. It’s her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is Sex. Released from the constraints
of “normal” life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up.
Tessa’s feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, and her new boyfriend, are all painfully crystallized in the precious weeks before Tessa’s time finally runs out. (Source: Chapters.ca)
Deadline by Chris Crutcher (2007)
How can a pint-sized eighteen-year-old make his mark on the world from Nowheresville, Idaho-especially when he only has one year left to do it? When Ben Wolf learns his senior year of high school will be his last year, period, he is determined to go out in a blaze of glory.
That means not letting anyone know about his diagnosis. It means trying out for the football team. It means giving his close-minded civics teacher a daily migraine. It means going for the amazingly perfect, fascinating Dallas Suzuki.
But living with a secret isn’t easy . . . What will Ben do when he realizes he isn’t the only person who’s keeping one? (Source: Chapters.ca)
If I Stay by Gayle Forman (2009)
In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. (Source: Chapters.ca)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (1999)
This is the story of what it’s like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie’s letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. (Source: Chapters.ca)
Wonder by R. J. Palacio (2012)
August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid-but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. (Source: Chapters.ca)
Adapting novels to the silver screen is nothing new, but the huge success of movies based on teen books (Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and Twilight) is a fairly recent development. Movie producers and studios are now quick to buy the rights to adapt new, exciting young adult books, but this doesn’t always guarantee a movie will actually be made. Of this year’s nominated books, the rights to more than half have been sold to a studio. The Top 10 books you might see on the big screen someday are:
Blood Red Road – According to an interview Moira Young did with Page to Premiere Network a few weeks ago, Blood Red Road was optioned by Ridley Scott (director of Bladerunner and Alien) a year before the book was even published. The first draft of the script is complete and actors are currently reading for the parts. It’s not a guaranteed movie, but it looks promising!
Divergent – This is the movie adaptation furthest along in development – according to IMDB it is currently filming and set to be released in 2014. Shailene Woodley (from The Secret Life of the American Teenager) has been cast as Tris. Check out the IMDB page for move information on the cast, and keep up-to-date with Divergent movie news on Veronica Roth’s blog.
The Fault in Our Stars – John Green’s hit novel was published just over a year ago (it’s the most recent Top 10 book) and casting has already begun for the movie adaptation. Shailene Woodley is going to be busy; in addition to Tris, she’ll be playing Hazel Grace Lancaster. No other characters have been cast, but there is a screenplay and a director attached to the project so I think it’s likely to hit the big screen in the next few years.
The Future of Us – This adaptation is still in the early stages of development. According to Jay Asher’s blog, the film rights were sold to Warner Bros. and a producer and two screenwriters are attached to the project. No word yet on a director or potential cast members. I wouldn’t expect to see this movie for awhile.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – In a blog post dated February of last year, Ransom Riggs shared the news that the legendary Tim Burton was attached to direct and screenwriter Jane Goldman (X-Men: First Class, The Woman in Black ) was adapting the screenplay. There has been no other word on its development. The crew can always change at this stage, so fingers crossed that Tim Burton directs!
The Scorpio Races – The rights to this movie were purchased by Warner Bros. in October, 2011, but there has been no development to speak of since that time. In the FAQ section of her website, Maggie Stiefvater explains that she has had some promising conversations with producers and reminds us that adapting a novel to the big screen takes years (if it happens at all). We’ll have to be patient and see what happens.
This Dark Endeavour – According to a Toronto Star article, the film rights were purchased by the people who created the Twilight movies. There is a screenwriter and a director attached to the project, but as Kenneth Oppel points out in his interview, there’s no guarantee that the movie will be made. He is cautiously optimistic about a film adaptation as he has had books (like Airborn) optioned in the past, but the movies were never made.
Aside from Divergent, and probably The Fault in Our Stars, which Top 10 book do you hope makes it past the development stage and onto the big screen??
In the 30-second trailer for The Fault in Our Stars Hazel and Augustus are hanging out on the swings, looking happy and in love, while quotes from the from the book appear onscreen. The only hint that Hazel has cancer is the use of the heart monitor line throughout the trailer. Do you think this is a good representation of the book? If you haven’t read it, does it make you want to?
The second CCRSB Teen Reader’s Choice Award kicks off this week! If you are a CCRSB student in grades 7-12, you are invited to read from this year’s list of 10 amazing nominated books and vote for your favourite to be the winner of the CCRSB Teen Reader’s Choice Award. Last year, The Hunger Games won with almost 600 votes.
The 2013 Top 10 books have been carefully selected by CCRSB Library Services staff. They represent a wide range of genres and include some of the best fiction published between January, 2011 and January, 2012. They are (in alphabetical order):
- Across the Universe by Beth Revis
- Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol
- Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
- Blood Red Road by Moira Young
- Divergent by Veronica Roth
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
- The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
- The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
- This Dark Endeavour by Kenneth Oppel
Participating is easy! Just follow these three steps:
1) Read at least one of the Top 10 titles between February 4 and May 3. All 10 nominees are available from your school library. If you’ve already read one of the nominated titles, read another! You never know – you may find your new favourite book.
2) During the reading period, discuss the books with other CCRSB students on the pages linked at the top of this website. Please remember these rules when submitting comments:
- Don’t include any identifying information (last name, school, location, etc.).
- Be respectful of other students’ comments.
- Use school appropriate language.
3) Vote for your favourite book online or in your school library between April 22 and May 3. The book with the most votes will be announced as the winner on Tuesday, May 14.
Head to your school library, grab a Top 10 book, and let’s start reading!