Sometimes we read in a bubble. Often it’s that comforting shell that forms around you when you’re fully immersed in a good book. Other times it’s the bubble of reading something amazing, then reading another book by the same author, then other authors in the same genre and on. Which is great, but as a YA librarian its important to read outside the bubble of personal preference. Teens we serve are a diverse population and reading widely is part of advocating their voice. With my trusty RSS Reader, here are a few review blogs that push me to burst my bubble.
Color Online is an online community that features female authors of color with interviews, book reviews and book discussions. Although not strictly focused on YA, the authors and books featured are pulled from across ages and genres. The weekly New Crayons feature new releases and readers are often treated to contests and giveaways.
A new add to my required blog reading is Diversity in YA started by Cindy Pon and Malinda Lo (2010 William C. Morris Award finalist for Ash). Besides the usual roundup of new books, reviews, and guest posts on topics such as tokenism and transgender experience, the authors are going on tour to spread the word about DIYA. The line-up is amazing and still forming.
Lee Wind is a writer, speaker and fantastic blogger behind I’m Here. I’m Queer. What the Hell Do I Read? He reviews any and all books he comes across that feature QLBTQ teens, their parents or friends. He is also an advocate for QLBTQ rights and uses his blog to share resources for making safe spaces for everyone.
Full disclosure, I’m a woman. So while my reading leans toward books with strong female characters and slight to strong romance, Guys Lit Wire is great for showing the other half. The reviews are more robust than other blogs I read, but the contributor team take their mission of finding books that appeal to teen male readers seriously. They also teamed up with Readergirlz and YALSA for Operation Teen Book Drop which put donations from authors and publishers into teens’ hands.
Another great addition to any RSS Reader is The Hub. With many different voices posting reviews, booklists and current YA literature news, it is a great resource for finding more books outside your bubble. You can also connect to The Hub and YALSA through Twitter (@yalsa).
This is just a small list of my favorite review websites and I am always looking for more. Any great ones that get you out of your reading bubble?
– Amanda Margis, currently reading Abandon by Meg Cabot and listening to An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear.