Back in the day before I earned my MLIS and before I even had a library career I had a LTA class on Readers’ Advisory. The first day of class the instructor informed us that “when doing Readers Advisory you are not so much advising the reader as you are pimping the books”. She went on to refer to her job as a “Book Pimp” (let the hilarious mental images ensue). Now, many years later, using her terminology I give you: “Books to Pimp for Teen Tech Week”. Going with their theme of “Mix & Mash” this post represents both fiction and non-fiction books that involve teens and technology. Enjoy!
Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card
Everyone should know this book, but fortunately for us new patrons are being born everyday and they have no idea about this magnificent, thought-provoking series.
Ender Wiggin is a third born child. This is not unusual now but in the future when population is tightly controlled Ender is special. Also, Ender at the age of 6 is still being monitored by the government. Then comes the day that Ender’s parent fear most. He has been chosen for Battle School (to his older brother’s horror), he is to become a solider and protect the world from the “bugs”. Seventy years ago the bugs attacked the humans killing us without mercy, until a battle in which the bugs retreated and were never heard from again.
Ender is the youngest and smallest at battle school but it quickly becomes apparent that he is one of the best the school has ever seen. There is talk by those in power that Ender may be the one to save us from the bugs again, except this time we are bringing the fight to them.
This book has attained classic status in the science fiction and young adult realms due to it’s engaging story and believable characters. Orson Scott Card has created a world around Ender’s life and the series continues with Ender’s Shadow. Listening to the audio-book has it’s perks also (Harlan Ellison makes a guest appearance).
O’Reilly’s Brain-Friendly Guides
Greatest. Guides. EVER! These books are excellent beginner guides to web design, HTML, App Design, Algebra, Physics, and so on. They are written in an easily digested format and interject humor where ever possible. They are illustrated and show easy step-by-step instructions. A very approachable text for teens with a high interest in technology and it’s applications.
Uglies – Scott Westerfeld
Tally Youngblood is going to turn sixteen and all her ugly little problems will go away. Her ugly face, gone. Her ugly body, gone. Her ugly mind, gone especially. When Tally turns sixteen she will be able to get the operation to correct every physical flaw she has. When her best friend turns sixteen and moves to New Pretty Town she figures her life is over until she becomes pretty. That is when she meets Shay who is drastically different than anyone Tally ever met. For starters she doesn’t want to become pretty which the girls will soon find out isn’t really a choice. Follow Tally on this amazing roller coaster of a novel, great for anyone in middle school and up.
The Accidental Billionaires – Ben Mezrich
This book is not a particularly hard sell. As the inspiration for the movie The Social Network this is the story of Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg. A billionaire before the age of 25 a concept that will not be lost on teens, “A million dollars isn’t cool, you know what’s cool? A billion dollars”. This book is not without controversy though, slammed critically for the authors inability to get an interview with Zuckerberg, his liberal tweaking of the dialogue, and using Zuckerberg’s enemies for his primary source material. All that aside the book is entertaining, fast-paced, and will be gobbled up high school teens.
Spacer and Rat – Margaret Bechard
Jack (Spacer) is a teen that has spent his entire life in space. He and the rest of the residents of the Freedom Station refer to the earth dwellers as “rats” due to their destruction of their planet. Then Kit (Rat) is abandoned by her father on the Freedom Station with her sentient robot, Waldo. The robot is illegal technology that leads Jack and Kit into more trouble than they bargained for. By the end Jack and Kit come to an understanding and both have challenged their previously held beliefs.