Season 3, Episode 12
If We Were in a Book, We'd Be These People
December 2, 2021
Charity and Breea wrap up this season discussing some of their favorite characters from middle grade and teen books. Book recommendations for Middle Grade and YA readers.
Titles Mentioned in This Episode
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Charity 0:01 Welcome to the Planet Book podcast. I'm your host Charity.
Breea 0:05 And I'm your host Breea.
Charity 0:07 And we're with the Springfield-Greene County Library District. On each episode, you'll hear us talking about our favorite tween and teen books. Thanks for joining us today.
Charity 0:16 On this episode, we are going to be talking about our favorite book characters.
Breea 0:22 Yay.
Charity 0:23 I'm so excited. I feel like this is a great episode to end this season.
Breea 0:27 Oh, yeah.
Charity 0:29 And I've got a few of my favorites and I can't wait to hear about yours, Breea.
Breea 0:33 Oh yeah, I've got them all listed here in my handy, dandy notebook. I'm ready.
Charity 0:37 All right, why don't you start us off?
Breea 0:39 Okay, so the first one I'm going to--I actually have the book with me right now just as reference, because it is actually a children's nonfiction picture book, and it's called Girl On a Motorcycle. I don't know if you've seen that one.
Charity 0:55 I don't think I have.
Breea 0:57 It's a beautiful cover by the way, pinks and oranges and reds. It's my new favorite book. I think it came out back in like maybe February or January of this year. But it is about, and I'm sorry if I botch this name, but it's inspired by a real life girl named Anne France Dautheville. And she left Paris at the age of 28, and she decided that she was just going to take a motorcycle and she's going to travel the world. And so that's what she did. And this book is just a beautiful representation of all her travels. How she would travel through Canada, Alaska, Japan, India, Pakistan. I just--I remember reading this book and having chills the entire time. Because I picked it up when I saw it come into our library because it was beautiful. It's a beautiful cover. But I remember just being immersed in it because I was like, oh, this isn't just talking to children. This is talking to me. Like it's such beautiful language and just has this wanderlust attitude to it. That makes me want to go see things and do things and go places. And it's just like, wow, she experienced so much on these journeys, and I want to be her. She's so cool.
Charity 2:11 Wow, that sounds amazing. I hadn't seen that one yet.
Breea 2:15 You need to pick it up. It's awesome.
Charity 2:17 I am gonna put it on hold. Listeners, you get out there and put it on hold. But wait for me to put mine on hold because I want to read it first.
Breea 2:23 Well, it's over in my library so I can send it your way.
Charity 2:26 Well, one of my favorite book characters that I just think is just so cool, and I love that they've made--turned these books into a series is Enola Holmes. Have you read those books?
Breea 2:39 Oh, yeah.
Charity 2:40 So they're like historical fiction mysteries. But I just loved the whole premise of those books. And she is just so clever in that she has to disguise herself so that she can get away with, like, investigating things. And she's so smart and clever and always figures things out. I just really like--if I were going to be a book character I could be Enola Holmes.
Breea 3:03 Especially since you don't necessarily want to be Sherlock. Like he's--
Charity 3:07 Like, I don't want to be Sherlock.
Breea 3:08 But there's, you know, he's pretty much--you don't want to make everyone around you miserable with how intelligent you are. Charity 3:14 Yes, yes, she's a great character. I haven't watched the show. But if the show is as good as the books, like it's got to be pretty good. So--
Breea 3:23 I've been meaning to watch it. My family all tells me to. They're like you would love that. Okay, so another favorite character of mine. And I've talked about this in earlier seasons, actually, when I came on as a guest. And maybe it talked about it this season. I don't remember; it's been a minute, but it's Amy from Space Boy. And so Amy is--she comes from a mining colony in deep space. And she is sent to Earth with her family when her dad gets relocated. And so she has this really interesting journey where she's frozen for the next 30 years. And when she's basically unthawed and she hits, you know, comes to Earth, she's the same age that she was. But it's a really interesting concept because everybody that she knew, grew up with, loved back in deep space has aged by 30 years. And so she doesn't really know how to contact them or communicate with them via the technology that they have. Because she doesn't know what to say to them. There's a 30 year age difference now. That's not why I want to be Amy like I could go without that. I just wanted to give you the premise. Amy is so sweet. She is so lovable. She, even in this like futuristic setting where, you know, sometimes technology is seen to be like the root of all evil, it's like she kind of works alongside technology, like understands the implication of it being there being too much at a certain point, but also understanding how helpful and what a tool it can be like, you know, to help her adjust to earth living. And she's just, she's so sweet. And she can tell people's like attitude and identities by their flavor. She calls them quote unquote flavors. Like she can go up to somebody and she can be like, oh, you're lemon, you're someone that's sour, you're somewhat like--she naturally gets that vibe from people. And I feel like that's going to come into play more so as this series progresses. Because I'm like, she talks about people's flavors a whole lot, this is actually some sort of superpower she has. But she's so cute, and quirky. And I love her. And she's just--she can befriend anybody in a heartbeat. Like she made friends on earth so quickly.
Charity 5:35 Well, I'm gonna have to put that one on hold. Because, I mean, the setting of that story sounds really interesting. But also that character sounds great.
Breea 5:44 I just recommended it to one of my co-workers and she's already caught up with me in the last few days, and she's like, oh, my gosh, it's so good. Very quick to read through.
Charity 5:55 Okay, that segues perfectly into my next favorite character, who sounds like, you know, personality wise is similar to the character you just talked about. And this character comes from Kate Dicamillo's Raymie Nightingale, and it's Louisiana Elefante. And she's got her own book, kind of a sequel to Raymie Nightingale, Louisiana's Way Home. And she's also another just sweet character who kind of sees the good in people and makes friends with people, and is funny. And just has a really fresh and interesting and almost sort of naive way of looking at the world, which kind of gets her into some interesting situations. But she's just such a sweet, friendly character. And, I did the audiobook on both of those. And I think partly I like her character, because I love that name, Louisiana Elefante. And, like, if I were a kid, I would want to be friends with Louisiana Elefante.
Breea 6:56 Oh, that's awesome.
Charity 6:58 She's so sweet.
Breea 6:59 I feel like because we're talking about favorite characters, you know, that I need to throw in one that we've talked about really nice, like, pleasant characters. But I gotta throw in one that I would not want to be, which is I've mentioned him before, but Ronan from the Raven Boys series. He's one of my morally gray characters that I love dearly. That I've just got to shout out because it's like that perfect combination of you know this character is deeply flawed, but you also know that they come from a really interesting, warped background too. And you think that they're a good person, but you know that they're also going to make kind of iffy choices, depending on the day, depending on their mood. And you just have to, like internally cringe for them when they do that. Because you're like, no, you're better than that. But maybe you're not. And Ronan's so quirky, and he's funny, very dry humor kind of funny. You just learn so much about him. But he's just so fun to follow through the Raven Boy series. He was always my favorite, I always wanted to jump on over to Ronan and figure out what he was doing in a certain scene. And now that he has his own series going on, I am all here for it. And at first, because I'm always worried about spinoff series with my favorite characters, because sometimes it kind of deflates those characters. Because I find a lot of times, like, your favorite side characters can do what they can because they don't have to be grounded. They don't have to be like the main character where there's a certain amount of I have to be the stable character, and not necessarily stable, but you know what I mean? But when you pull them up to the spotlight, and they have to be the protagonist, it's like sometimes you get into their head a little bit more. And they, you know, aren't nearly as wacky and weird and mysterious as they used to be. So, but in this case, it still works. It still works great.
Charity 8:51 We both like our complicated characters.
Breea 8:55 Oh, yeah.
Charity 8:56 I mean, that's where the drama is so often in a story. It's those people that you're just not really sure, like, yeah, like you said, sometimes they make good choices, and sometimes they don't, and you're like, why are you doing that?
Breea 9:07 I mean, plot can only get you so far, but a character can really screw everything up if you let them.
Charity 9:13 Well, my final favorite character, maybe is the opposite of that character. And that is--so one of my favorite children's series of all time is the Series of Unfortunate Events.
Breea 9:24 Oh yeah.
Charity 9:25 Love them so much, and I love Violet Baudelaire.
Breea 9:29 Yes.
Charity 9:30 Because there is not a situation that she cannot get them out of. I mean, they will take their turns, you know, using their talents and skills to get out of situations. But she is just like the master of so many different things. And I wish I had all of the knowledge and skills that Violet Baudelaire does.
Breea 9:48 All she has to do is tie up her hair in that ribbon--
Charity 9:50 Tie up her hair in that ribbon--
Breea 9:52 And she's got it. She's like step back.
Charity 9:54 I need a ribbon. Will ribbons have the same effect on me?
Breea 9:59 Oh, I love it.
Charity 10:00 Well, do you have any other characters you want to share before we go?
Breea 10:03 Oh, goodness, I have so many characters.
Charity 10:05 How about one more?
Breea 10:06 I think I'll give a quick shout out to--have you ever read Strange the Dreamer?
Charity 10:10 I have not.
Breea 10:11 I think, is it Laini, Laini Taylor? I think is who it is. Lazlo Strange is one of my favorites. I love him. It kind of goes in the same vein as--I feel like a lot of my books that I talked about today are about people that go on these big adventures. Like they start off in a small secluded area, and they're like, and we're off. We're gonna journey. And that's kind of how Lazlo is. He grows up in this library. He spends all his time reading and studying about these far off places. And he's kind of like a nobody in this world that he's growing up in. And then all of a sudden, he's given this opportunity to travel because he's so well read that they need a scholar like him to join them on their journey. I'm like, yes, that is my goal is I'm gonna read all the books. I'm gonna be so super smart that somebody is gonna be like you, you know everything. Come join us across the world, or somewhere far away that's very fun and fantastical and everything you ever dreamed of. He's just a really fun, unique character to follow, and you're always rooting for him.
Charity 11:16 Well, I'm noticing a theme there. Lots of adventure. Those are always great stories. I enjoyed--and you've given me some good recommendations. I enjoyed hearing about all those characters and the books they're from. So I've got more to add to my to-read list.
Breea 11:29 Always. That's always ever growing is the TBR list.
Charity 11:33 Well, this was the best season yet I think so far. So--
Breea 11:38 So fun.
Charity 11:39 Thank you so much for joining me on season three, Breea.
Breea 11:42 Absolutely. Thank you.
Charity 11:43 Thanks for joining us for another episode of the Planet Book podcast. Check out the library's website at the library.org for these and other great book recommendations. And follow us on Facebook for the latest news and events. This has been a production of the Springfield-Greene County Library District. Thanks for listening.
Breea 11:59 Thank you.