A View From the Library-By John R. Clark

Last month I noted how many juvenile and Ya books have a magic or supernatural slant and further observed that mystery writers might give consideration to expanding their genre a bit or moving into the juv/teen market. My resident paranoia rose up over the next couple days as there were no comments. Imagine my relief when a day later the Edgar nominees were announced. Out of the ten up for consideration among juvenile and YA mysteries, six of the ten have some magical or supernatural element. Big sigh of relief. http://theedgars.com/nominees.html

After looking at the Edgar awards and realizing we’re on the cusp of Cabin Fever here in the dankness of central Maine (no jobs, no prospect of jobs, the looming certainty of town meetings and frost heaves), I decided to have a contest. I ordered all of the Juv and Teen nominees we didn’t have and then added the five best novels, best paperback originals and five first novel nominees. I love running contests in whatever library I’m managing. When it was the Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library, we had a monthly Funky T-shirt contest and I gave away one of the many t-shirts I won in my sweeping persona. This year, I’m going to encourage Hartland Library Patrons to read as many of the nominees as they can before the winners are announced. Even if a patron doesn’t read any, they will still be able to enter. Anyone getting all five of the represented titles correct will go into a drawing for something suitably literary and mysterious. If nothing else, it will make a lot more readers aware of the Edgars and who knows, they may well find a new author to follow.

I was extremely pleased to see Harlan Coben’s Shelter nominated. If you read this blog regularly, you know how much I like it. I have three other nominees sitting at my feet as I write this. I’m going to read them and give a brief review next month. They are: The Silence of Murder by Dandi Daley Mackall, Kill You Last by Todd Strasser, and The Girl is Murder by Kathryn Miller Haines.

For those of you who might be interested in what libraries in Maine have which titles, MaineCat is a useful place to start. While it does not include all Maine libraries, (no resource does that at the moment) it will show you the holdings of some 55 libraries in Minerva, another 15 or so in SOLAR, all the academic libraries, Maine Maritime Academy, Maine College of Art, Maine State Library, Bangor Public Library and Portland Public Library. The url is

Along the same line, if you as an author want to contact a specific Maine library, Ellen Wood, webmaster at the Maine State Library has put together a series of library directories by type at http://www.maine.gov/msl/libs/directories/index.shtml They are searchable or can be downloaded in .pdf format. They might be handy if you’re interested in promotion, etc. Little known fact about the public library directory: Ellen and her husband went out and took photos of all the libraries listed that had not submitted photos when asked.

Finally, the following YA book is NOT a mystery, but deserves all the promotion it can get. I was floored when the first two patrons who checked it out said almost the exact same thing when they returned it; “I stayed up far too late to finish it and I cried most of the way through the book.” John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars is described as follows in the jacket blurb: “Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.”
That’s it for this month, watch out for killer frost heaves.

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4 Responses to A View From the Library-By John R. Clark

  1. MCWriTers says:

    Off to my library today to get on the list for John Green’s book. The list is huge, though, so obviously, this book is taking off.

    Also want to read Harlen’s book.

  2. Joyce Lovelace says:

    We were pleased to find that Kathy Reichs does YA books. My daughter reads her books and we have all enjoyed the BONES tv show. My granddaughter is not at that reading level yet, but we will be keeping these books in mind.
    My grandson has been enjoying the Percy Jackson, Harry Potter etc books, and is now looking toward 39 Clues.

  3. Thanks for the recommendation; I’ve been eyeing “The Fault in Our Stars” in the window of my local indie bookshop, and you’ve piqued my interest.

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