Hello everyone, how is your Hub Challenge going?
I am curious to hear how everyone approaches the Challenge. Personally, I start off with good intentions like say, reading through all of the Printz books I haven’t read yet but then get distracted by other books. Look! There’s that comic I’ve been meaning to read! Or, Ooh, I need a new audiobook for my drive home.
I’m easily distracted.
Even though I tend to jump around with my lists and books, I often find that I notice different aspects of the books and pair them together in my mind. In this year’s reading I started to notice a pattern: so many of the books that I really loved focused on female friendships. This is maybe not groundbreaking territory for YA books as friendship is so often a huge part of teens’ lives, but some of the ways in which friendship and the intense bonds between girls stood out to me.
Some of these friendships were of the awesome, ride-or-die, girl gang variety. I love a girl gang so the Paper Girls (Great Graphic Novels) and Giant Days (Great Graphic Novels)comics are great. Even if the titular Paper Girls aren’t the closets of friends, I love that they band together in the face of some seriously weird happenings in Cleveland. Cliff Chiang’s moody art doesn’t hurt either nor the “Stranger Things”-vibe. Side note: I loved “Stranger Things” but can we remake it starring the Paper Girls instead? Also, the hilarious ups and downs of the college lives of Esther, Daisy, and Susan remind me that no matter happens the most important thing is to have your friends by your side.
Other than delightful girl gang escapades, another theme I noticed in my reading was that of the unlikely friendship. Whether it’s between hard, vengeful Alex and social Peekay in The Female of the Species (Best Fiction); worldly Botille and pious Dolssa in The Passion of Dolssa (Printz, Best Fiction); or even shy Katie and her glamorous grandmother Mary in Unbecoming (Stonewall), I loved all these surprising pairs. In all these books one girl or the other sticks their neck for her friend, fighting for her safety. It’s a really nice reminder to all those who think that teen girl-dom is all about cattiness and Mean Girls-style sass that it’s also about being there for your friends.
I know that’s not all of the books in the Hub Challenge that may focus on female friendship but those are some of my favorites. Any suggestions for where I should go from here to find more great lady reads?
Let us know how you are doing with the Challenge and don’t forget about the sortable spreadsheet! Here are the guidelines in case you don’t remember:
- Format matters: a title that has been recognized for both the print version and the audiobook version can be both read and listened to and count as two books, but a book that has won multiple awards or appears on multiple lists in the same format only counts as one title.
- Books must be read/listened to (both begun and finished) since the award winners and selected lists have been released and 11:59pm EST on June 22. If you’ve already read/listened to a title, you must re-read/listen to it for it to count.
- Just about everyone who doesn’t work for ALA is eligible to participate. Non-ALA/YALSA members are eligible. Teens are eligible. Non-US residents/citizens are eligible. (More eligibility questions? Leave a comment or email us.)
- Once you finish the challenge, we’ll contact you with details about creating and publishing your response.
- If you have finished the challenge, let us know here! The grand prize winner will be selected by 11:59pm EST on June 23. The winner will be notified via email.
— Anna Tschetter, Hub Advisory Board