13 May, 2016

Updates and Current things on the Radar

It's been a while since I made a post, five months in fact. Not exactly my game plan but life rarely goes the way we think it should. The past few months have been busy between planning for Summer Reading, multiple activities within the library and outside of it, and just generally trying to get by. In the past few months I've caught the release of a few new books that hopefully I'll get through soon so their reviews will be in the pipeline soon. Since my last posting however, we've gotten closer to a couple of new things that I'm super hyped about and can't wait to see them come out.

First, the next Pokémon main series entries Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon were announced in February during the Nintendo Direct celebrating 20 years of the series.

Fans have been speculating for months, and I've spent a fair amount of time on YouTube avoiding as many spoilers as I could. It's hard sometimes because you can watch one theory video and then all of your recommendations are filled up with other theory videos it thinks you'd enjoy watching. This week, on May 10th, 2016, we finally got a bit more information about the upcoming titles including the starter Pokémon, the legendaries, box art, and the release date! 

In the U.S. and Japan the title will be dropping on November 18, 2016, however Europe fans will have to wait until November 23rd to pick up their copy. 

But Kathryn, you say, these are video games not books. What do they have to do with libraries and reading? Well friends, Pokémon have proven to be one of the biggest franchise in the world and they do have a manga. This generation will also mark the first time that Chinese has been present as a language to be selected to play the game in with not one but two different versions. 

Video games are also a good jumping off point to bring in kids to reading. I know it sounds a bit counter-productive but hear me out. How many of us learned to read off things like Reader Rabbit and Hooked-on-Phonics? Video games offer a different type of reading where you're not reading long paragraphs but generally shorter bursts of dialogue. Many games today however, unlike Reader Rabbit and other Learning Company games, have book tie-ins. There are series for Halo, Call of Duty, and even - you guessed it - Pokémon (English titles). While there's never a guarantee that you'll be able to interest anyone in reading, having titles of a game or television show they like can be an immense stepping off point. My collection development has slowed due to some internal changes (renovations!) at my library system, but hopefully soon I can start putting in requests for more titles like these. 

Also exciting is the new movie set in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The movie, titled Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them marks J.K. Rowling's first attempt at screenplay writing as well as the return to the insanely popular Harry Potter universe since the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in 2007 and the revamp of the Pottermore site. FBAWTFT (wow that's such a long acronym) is the story of Newt Scamander, the author of the textbook by the same name as the movie (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) that was first introduced in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Philosopher's Stone in Europe). The book has been a standard for the Hogwarts Care of Magical Creature's class since it was first published in 1927 (in the Universe of Harry Potter). 

The movie is set in 1920s America, and has been heralded with a number of new entries into the series's universe including a set of 4 entries on Pottermore entitled the History of Magic in North America. This small series, meant to highlight and educate people on the North American wizardry society has truly left many (including myself) rather baffled and more than a little upset at the blatant disregard for American History and the very extreme stereotypes being played up within the writing. 

I'm a great lover of Ms. Rowling's work, I took my first steps into the world on my 11th birthday due to a beloved relative presenting me with the first book and proceeded to become very drawn into the world of Harry Potter. I spent years waiting for book five to arrive, went to all of the midnight premiers for books four through seven, and I've seen the movies more times than I can count. Still, I was left with a very sour taste reading through the different glimpses in American Wizarding History. (Also, no-maj is seriously a rather horrible term, please just no.) We're given stereotypical Native American magic, a magical congress that is supposedly big enough to govern the entire U.S. wizarding population which is far more segregated than Europe, and just a number of things that don't add up (no helping with American events that they really wouldn't have been able to ignore such as the Civil War). 

I could write an entire blog post on my issues with this new wizarding information we've received so I'll move on for now. I'm definitely looking forward to the movies (Wizards in 1920s is always exciting) and plan on hosting a series of movie nights leading up to it starting in September. 

Also premiering this summer is the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child two part play in London. Unfortunately, most of us won't be able to see it given it's location and the fact that all the tickets for every show was sold out sometime last year. Don't worry though, if you've missed out on the play, you can purchase the script starting on July 31, 2016 (the day after the play opens and Harry Potter's birthday) according to the Barnes & Nobles website. 

Other things that have popped up on my radar but have less information on them so far are the movies Warcraft, Suicide Squad, Alice through the Looking Glass, X-Men: Apocalypse, and Finding Dory. I'll probably see most of these movies, and I'll bring back some reviews of them. I've recently seen Captain America: Civil War Part 1 and The Jungle Book, so hopefully I can get some reviews soon for both of these movies. 

I'll also be making a blog post around my Summer Reading ideas for both children and teens, and hopefully getting around to some book reviews soon. See ya soon!

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