In the interests of laziness, yet again I’m basing a post topic on my children’s viewing choices.
The very first Setting Type feature used the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for inspiration. With an upcoming family outing to Teen Titans Go! to the Movies, I’m going to recommend historical reading picks for the five title heroes.
If you’re not into superhero movies because they’re too serious, brooding and overblown with action set pieces, then you should definitely check it the Teen Titans, because they are none of those things.
If you don’t know Teen Titans Go! it’s a Cartoon Network show about five teenaged sort-of-heroes living in the shadow of superheroes like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. It’s deliberately absurd and outlandish and has enraged humourless comic geeks everywhere. What’s the show like? Well, for example, one episode involves Robin’s inter-dimensional quest to hunt down the thief that stole his sandwich from the communal fridge:
Robin is the nominal leader of the group, because none of the others likes making decisions. He eternally has a chip on his shoulder, because everyone views him as a sidekick and no one respects him. In fact, this is the starting point for the whole movie. So how better to buck up his spirits than following the example of Alexander Hamilton? Hamilton was once viewed as a sidekick among America’s Founding Fathers, and now he’s the celebrated star of a megahit musical!
Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow, is the biography that inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda’s work. Robin might find inspiration in this too, but he’d best skip the part where Hamilton comes off second best in a duel with the morally questionable villain.
The team’s resident alien has a well known affinity for pretty kitties. She also struggles with the English language, so her book selection should be short.
Let’s keep with the musical theme and pick Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot is perfect. This collection of poems inspired Cats, which I guarantee you is Starfire’s favourite.
Half-man, half-machine, Cyborg is most notable for needing just the barest excuse for a party.
I’m going go to my TBR for this pick by having him read The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. It’s the story of a young 18th century noble, Monty, embarking on a Grand Tour of Europe to get out his hedonistic ways out of his system. Yeah, that’ll work. It promises to be a wild ride, considering Monty’s travelling companion is his best friend and secret crush. Cyborg will learn a bit of history and he might see his “bromance” with Beast Boy in a new light after reading this.
Just one question. Did they have meatball parties in the 18th century?
Thanks to my kid repeatedly saying “I’m a vegetarian, yo!” this is now what I associate most with Beast Boy. Perhaps The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair might help him evangelize to the rest of the team. This landmark work of investigative journalism into the meat-packing industry was written as a novel and published in 1906. Although the novel was meant to expose exploitative working conditions, most readers focused on descriptions of unsanitary food processing. Its now frequently cited as a book that might make you a vegetarian.
Here love for ponies of the winged variety aside, the team’s half-demon sorceress enjoys going dark. She would almost certainly hit it off with the original goth, Mary Shelley. But Raven also goes against the flow, so I’ll avoid the obvious choice and pick Matilda.
*** SPOILER ALERT*** (seriously, though, you’ve had 200 years to read this)
Not to be mistaken for the delightful Roald Dahl children’s book, this story takes the form of a deathbed confession. The title character relates how her father’s incestuous lust for her drove them all to ruin. Raven, who has her own issues with her demon father, would find this so dark and so perfect!