Wednesday, July 17, 2013

DC Declared Capitol: Books About DC

So, I don't have a good theme for today, but I had like 3 possibilities for yesterday, so, today we're marking the fact that yesterday, in 1790, Congress declared a swampy bit of land between the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers as the site for the capitol of the new nation. Here are some things you may not know about Washington, DC.

You know how you learn in school that DC was made of a little bit of Maryland and a little bit of Virginia? What they never tell you is that Virginia took its part back as part of a public works dispute in 1847.

Residents of DC got the right to vote for President of the US in 1963. They currently don't have a voting member in Congress, which is problematic in a broad sense, but also a very specific one, as so much of local DC government is controlled by Congress. There's been a lot of talk lately about how local elections matter, local officials matter. In DC, a lot of the local control is Congress-- people they didn't vote for, and a body where the 1 person they DID vote for can talk, but not vote. If the Federal Government shuts down, it's rough on DC, and not just because of it has so many temporarily unemployed federal workers. If the federal government shuts down, DC public libraries will close, part of the police force is closed (including complaints, and parking monitors-- so feel free to double park in front of a fire hydrant!), trash collection gets suspended, DMV and Taxicab commission close... Seriously, we try not to advocate for agendas (beyond READ MOAR BOOKS) here, but DC needs the vote.

ANYWAY. Here are some books that take place in DC.


District Comics: An Unconventional History of Washington, DC edited by Matt Dembicki. This comic collection tells stories of DC that aren't well known outside the District (of even inside it for some of them.) With a lot of big name artists and writers, this book covers everything from the British burning the White House to Bad Brains (a punk band) being blacklisted and essentially banned from playing in the district.

You Know Where to Find Me by Rachel Cohn. Laura was perfect and Miles has always felt like she was in her shadow. When Laura commits suicide, Miles's world falls apart and she can't handle it, until she starts to contemplate Laura's choices.

Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams. Sophie loves being in the kitchen at her family's DC restaurant. She's willing to leave it behind to be a contestant on a new teen cooking show, but soon finds herself in some serious competition and off-camera drama.


The Siren's Cry by Jennifer Anne Kolger. Fern is an Otherworldly with special abilities. When she's on a field trip to DC, she sees vision of another Otherworldly in deep trouble. Can she find and save him in time? The second of a series, start with The Otherworldlies.

Radiant Days by Elizabeth Hand. In 1978, Merle has left her Appalachia home to go to art school in DC but gets kicked out and lives on the streets. In 1870 the poet Rimbaud is on the streets of Paris, until he wakes up next to Merle. Their desire to create art transcends time and geography.

Ethan, Suspended by Pamela Ehrenberg. When Ethan is suspended from school, his mom sends him to live with his grandparents in DC. There, he's the only white kid at his new school, as his elderly and eccentic grandparents are one of the few who never left the neighborhood. Eventually, he learns to adjust to his new situation.


All-American Girl by Meg Cabot. Samantha Madison. Sam's just a goth girl in DC, who's in love with her older (uber-popular) sister's boyfriend. Things take a turn when she saves the President's life. Suddenly in the lime-light and the nation's Teen Ambassador, she's finding that the political advisors want her to speak up and use her voice--but only if she sticks to the talking points. Making matters more complicated is the president's son, who has a thing for Sam. Follow it with Ready or Not.

Capital Girls by Ella Monroe. The daughter of the chief-of-staff and the girlfriend of the president's son, Jackie is used to being in the press and maintaining her perfect image. She and her friends are the teen it girls of DC, but when the leader of the pack dies in a car crash (and Jackie's boyfriend was involved) all the scandal and drama rises to the surface. The first in a series, follow it with Secrets and Lies.

A Dance of Sisters by Tracey Porter. Delia's family is complicated. Her mother is dead, her father is distant, and her sister is rebelling and has started to get into witch-craft. The only place Delia is sure of herself is in ballet, but as puberty hits and her body changes, that sureness slips away, too. It's out-of-print, but worth tracking down.

What are your favorite books that take place in Washington, DC?

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