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Author: Gretchen Kolderup

Librarians Love: Coming of Age Stories for Male Readers

YALSA-bk is a listserv with lively discussions among librarians, educators, and beyond about all things YA lit. Sometimes one listserv member will ask for help finding books around a certain theme or readalikes for a particular title. This post is a compilation of responses for one such request.

The original request
I have a (male) teacher working with a group of Grade 7 and 8 (male students) who for various reasons need reading support but don’t read far below level. In their regular English curriculum they have been doing a lot of dystopian themed works — 1984, Animal Farm etc. — and he was seeking something that is more about overcoming the odds, coming of age, becoming a man, growing into yourself (for want of better words). It can be a short story (he was thinking Hemingway but I’m reluctant to hold him up as the sole emblem of masculine writers), short-ish novels, graphic novels…

Suggested titles

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Librarians Love: Books by Non-US Authors

by Flickr user Kenneth Lu
by Flickr user Kenneth Lu
YALSA-bk is a listserv with lively discussions among librarians, educators, and beyond about all things YA lit. Sometimes one listserv member will ask for help finding books around a certain theme or readalikes for a particular title. This post is a compilation of responses for one such request.

The original request
Does anyone have some suggestions of teen lit by foreign authors? I’m looking for modern authors, with less emphasis on European countries (although, I would still like to hear your European suggestions if you really like the book). Trying to build some diversity here!

Suggested titles

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Librarians Love: Contemporary Romance Beyond Best Sellers

by Flickr user Leland Francisco
by Flickr user Leland Francisco

YALSA-bk is a listserv with lively discussions among librarians, educators, and beyond about all things YA lit. Sometimes one listserv member will ask for help finding books around a certain theme or readalikes for a particular title. This post is a compilation of responses for one such request.

The original request
One of my book clubs is looking for a good romance to read but I can’t give them “the usual suspects” (aka John Green, Huntley Fitzpatrick, Rainbow Rowell) because they’ve read all of those highly publicized ones. I’m looking for one that is off the radar, preferably paperback, that will sweep them off their feet and isn’t too brazenly in-your-face with the language and physical stuff (aka Jamie McGuire, Simone Elkeles, Katie McGarry.)

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Librarians Love: Non-Dystopian Sci-Fi

by Flickr user Scott Cresswell
by Flickr user Scott Cresswell

YALSA-bk is a listserv with lively discussions among librarians, educators, and beyond about all things YA lit. Sometimes one listserv member will ask for help finding books around a certain theme or readalikes for a particular title. This post is a compilation of responses for one such request.

The original request
I have a patron here looking for some good teen science fiction that is NOT set on a future dystopian Earth. She wants space travel and adventure, exploring new planets, aliens, etc. I’ve pulled a few but my current science fiction list seems to be pretty heavily slanted towards the dystopian stuff that came out after [The] Hunger Games. Does anyone have any good suggestions for her?

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Librarians Love: Books for Young Black Male Readers

by the Allen County (IN) Public Library
by the Allen County (IN) Public Library
YALSA-bk is a listserv with lively discussions among librarians, educators, and beyond about all things YA lit. Sometimes one listserv member will ask for help finding books around a certain theme or readalikes for a particular title. This post is a compilation of responses for one such request.

The original request
A year ago I asked the group a question about books for black MG and YA boys, especially those who were reluctant readers. The response was Bluford High and Walter Dean Myers, and not much else. In the light of the recent loss of Myers, I wanted to pose the question again. Who do you guys see as the next go to author for books to suck in black male readers? Do you know of any such books you would recommend. I was at a session a few years ago where Matt de la Pena spoke and said a young hispanic male had told him “that’s my life in your book.” Who do you see as the authors who could wring a response like that from today’s (and future) black teens?

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Librarians Love: Fantasy & Sci-Fi Without Romance

by Stephen Poff
by Stephen Poff

YALSA-bk is a listserv with lively discussions among librarians, educators, and beyond about all things YA lit. Sometimes one listserv member will ask for help finding books around a certain theme or readalikes for a particular title. This post is a compilation of responses for one such request.

The original request
I’m looking for fantasy and science fiction books that have little to no romance. I know this was discussed recently, but I’m having trouble searching the archive.

Suggested titles

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Librarians Love: Biographies for Teens

YALSA-bk is a listserv with lively discussions among librarians, educators, and beyond about all things YA lit. Sometimes one listserv member will ask for help finding books around a certain theme or readalikes for a particular title. This post is a compilation of responses for one such request.

by flickr user urbanworkbench
by flickr user urbanworkbench

The original request
Does anyone have a list of recent biographies that might be of interest to teens? My YA Biography section could use some new blood but it’s not a genre I read in overly much.

Suggested titles

  • A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown
  • Driven by Donald Driver
  • This Star Won’t Go Out by Esther Grace Earl
  • The Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel
  • The Way I Am by Eminem
  • Girlbomb by Janice Erlbaum
  • Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus “Notch” Persson and the Game That Changed Everything by Daniel Goldberg and Linus Larsson, translated by Jennifer Hawkins
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Librarians Love: Non-Graphic Novel Readalikes for Manga/Anime

YALSA-bk is a listserv with lively discussions among librarians, educators, and beyond about all things YA lit. Sometimes one listserv member will ask for help finding books around a certain theme or readalikes for a particular title. This post is a compilation of responses for one such request.

by flickr user camknows
by flickr user camknows

The original request
This one has me at a loss — we have a teenage boy who loves manga and anime, but isn’t allowed to read graphic novels (don’t even get me started.) I’m looking for regular book readalikes that might appeal to him. Help?!

When someone else asked what kinds of anime and manga the patron liked, the original poster responded:

I got the information second-hand, so I’m not sure — he wanted to check out our D.Gray-man, Fullmetal Alchemist, etc. but wasn’t allowed.

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Librarians Love: 80s-Inspired Books

YALSA-bk is a listserv with lively discussions among librarians, educators, and beyond about all things YA lit. Sometimes one listserv member will ask for help finding books around a certain theme or readalikes for a particular title. This post is a compilation of responses for one such request.

my little 80s pony by merwing

The original request
I am putting together a 1980s party for winter break and I want to have a book list or display to go along with it. Can you help me think of any books that really have to do with the 1980s? So far I have Eleanor and Park and Ready Player One. Thanks everyone!

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Librarians Love: “Clean” Reads for High Schoolers

YALSA-bk is a listserv with lively discussions among librarians, educators, and beyond about all things YA lit. Sometimes one listserv member will ask for help finding books around a certain theme or readalikes for a particular title. This post is a compilation of responses for one such request.

reading ajax for dummies by daveyninThe original request
My local high school is attempting to do a “One Book One Read” for their required summer reading, where every student — grades 9-12 — will read the same book. Last year they chose I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak and received a lot of parent complaints about the content (primarily concerning sex and violence).

They would like to try again this year and have asked for my help in finding The Holy Grail of Books. They’re looking for a book that:

  • Is appropriate for all grades (again, 9-12)
  • Students haven’t already read [for class]
  • Does not contain strong language, violence, sex, allusions to drugs or alcohol
  • “Has a good (but NOT religious) message”

These students are annually assigned to read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and Hiroshima by John Hersey and the teens absolutely LOVE THEM — to point where many of them read the books before they have been assigned, because they’ve heard they’re so good. Steampunk and dystopian series also circulate very well at my branch.

I’m going through the server archives to see what has already been suggested, but I’ve noticed most of the “clean reads” list are gender-specific and geared more toward middle schoolers.

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