I’ve always liked books that were a little creepy, a bit scary. I used to check out any ghost stories I could get my hands on at the library. I gobbled up every book by Betty Ren Wright. The Dollhouse Murders–that was some scary stuff to my junior high self. I’ve missed those kinds of stories.
There aren’t a ton of creepy scary stories in young adult literature right now, but there are some. Here are two that I enjoyed:
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
This is a young adult novel about a young American girl who travels to England to finish her last year of high school while her parents are visiting professors at a university there. At her new boarding school in London she discovers that she has the ability to see ghosts and is therefore one of a few select people who can help the authorities solve the mystery of copycat Jack the Ripper murders.
The book is the beginning of a series with recurring characters, but the story is self-contained. As someone who has been getting a little overwhelmed lately with the proliferation of trilogies and series in YA literature, I appreciate a book where I don’t necessarily have to remember the details before I read the next one.
The Archived by Victoria Schwab
I loved this book. This is also the beginning of a series, with the second book to be released later this month. Mackenzie Bishop is a Keeper, which means that her job is to “keep” dead souls from escaping from the Archive. These souls are called “Histories,” and the Archive is a giant library where Histories are housed. When more Histories than normal begin to escape from the Archive in the giant old hotel her family has come to live in, Mackenzie is kept quite busy. She also has to figure out why someone appears to be releasing souls on purpose.
For my nonfiction read, I finished
Creative Confidence by Tom Kelley
I listened to most of this audiobook on my road trip to see my family for Christmas. Tom Kelley and his brother founded IDEO, an innovation and design school. In this book, Tom and David share principles for developing your own creativity and for harnessing creativity in an organization. There were so many inspiring ideas in this book that now I need to get a print copy and read it again.
Two ideas I especially liked were
1. Constraints encourage creativity. When faced with a constraint (for educators, perhaps lack of money or large class sizes), see it as an opportunity to be more creative than you perhaps would be if you had the more ideal situation.
2. To overcome procrastination, rename it “resistance.” Think of the type of person that you want to be and figure out why you are resisting becoming that person.
What are you reading this week?
(“It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It’s a great way to keep track of what you’re reading and see what others are reading each week.)