This year for the first time, I will be a book giver for World Book Night, which is this evening! This worldwide effort celebrates reading and asks avid readers and book lovers to volunteer to hand out free books to people – the hope is that these book givers will hand the books to non-readers, people who do not have easy access to libraries, or people who may not be able to afford to buy books for themselves. The titles chosen range from middle grade to YA to adult titles; classics to contemporary works; poetry to nonfiction to fiction; English and Spanish; award winners to best-sellers. Book givers can choose which book they are passionate about and hand out 20 copies of them. The authors and publishers of these books have printed special paperback editions and are willing to go without royalties so that they can spread a love of reading and a communal passion for popular titles with everyone. The list is well developed, featuring a decent spread of genres, ethnic and racial diversity, and themes.
If this has you excited, be sure to bookmark the WBN website so you can sign up to be a giver next year. But in the meantime, you can join in the joy and passion by accompanying a friend who is giving out books or by reading one of the books on this year’s list. Here are some ways you can catch up on the YA titles that are on offer….
2014 YA Books for World Book Night:
- Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews (2013 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults)
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
- The Ranger’s Apprentice #1: The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan
- Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
- Same Difference by Derek Kirk Kim
- Enchanted by Alethea Kontis (2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults)
- Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (2012 Teens’ Top Ten)
- Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (2013 Printz Honor book)
Andrews’ and Wein’s books were part of last year’s Hub Reading Challenge. Check out a reader’s response to both books here. Or read the Hub’s interview with Wein. Chbosky’s book is often challenged; read an essay on why it’s worth reading here. Flanagan’s book is a good read for transitioning tween readers, as this Hub writer notes. If you’re a fan of Hiaasen, considered a master of humor for both adults and kids, read this genre guide to YA humor. Kim’s book might be considered New Adult more than YA – learn more about that proposed category here. Or if you’re in need of an introduction to graphic novels, try this list of books that will help you get your feet wet.
Kontis’ book is not a single fairy tale retelling. Learn about the fun of fairy tale mashups here. On the more serious side of things, Myers’ book is one of many trying to make conflict in the Middle East (and the U.S. involvement in it) accessible and understandable for teen writers. Learn about other contemporary stories of war in this post. Then you have Riggs, whose book integrates found photographs with prose inspired by it. Learn about other YA books that mix words and pictures outside of the comics format.
Are any of you handing out books tonight? Or have you done so in the past? What is your favorite thing about World Book Night?
–Hannah GÃ³mez, currently reading The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond by Brenda Woods