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Author: Jennifer Rummel

I'm a YA Librarian who love love loves books and reading. My favorite types of books include mysteries, romance, thrillers, and spy books. I adore crafty books, regency romances, and cozy mysteries. When I'm not reading or talking about books, I love baking, crafting, and watching the Celtics.

So you want to read a Sarah Dessen book?

If you’ve never read a Sarah Dessen book before, it’s time to start. She’s a master of contemporary fiction with female leads. Her books have been nominated for the Teens’ Top Ten list several times. Check out this interview from 2012 when What Happened to Goodbye? landed in the top ten.


You could of course read them in order of publication date. There is something to be said for reading them in order as some of the characters are referenced in later books.

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Month in Review: February 2016

I hope you had a great month and bonus extra day coming up! So, we’re changing things up at The Hub based on your feedback.  One of those changes is now a monthly review instead of one each week. I hope you like the new format. Add in any new items we missed in the comments!

month in review | yalsa's the hub

At The Hub:

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Week in Review: November 13th

Good Morning. This week on the HUB we’ve been talking about the YA Services Symposium. If you missed going (like I did), check out the hashtag   for more tweets. Also #NaNoWriMo15 is still going strong – if you have teen writers, check in with how they’re doing. All kinds of YA authors are sharing their writing tips from Stephanie Perkins to Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Otherwise, sit back and see what else happened this week on twitter.

Book News:
Continuing her good deeds and her involvement with Scholastic, Taylor Swift donates 25,000 Scholastic books to New York City schools.

For Potterheads, did you notice these while re-reading or reading for the first time?

New York City challenges students to read a book a day! Jon Scieszka teams up to help.

Children’s author Jean Fritz is turning 100! Help her celebrate her birthday.

School Library Journal has a poll open for the top Must Have YA Books.

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Cozy Up to a Good Mystery: Part 3

I enjoy cozy mysteries. The past two years I’ve created posts with some of my favorites—see the round up from 2013 and my list from 2014. Cozies are perfect for teens as most of the violence happens off page. Cozies center around relationships: friends, family, romantic interests, and of course suspects. Many take place in a small town or close-knit communities where everyone knows everyone and their business. Plus most cozies are part of series, so once a year you get to hang out with old friends.

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Books that make your mouth water: 
Final Sentence by Daryl Wood Gerber
Jenna Hart comes home to launch a new business with her aunt – a cookbook store and cafe. She asks her old roommate and celebrity chef to appear for the grand opening of the store. Unfortunately, her friend is murdered and Jenna is the prime suspect. In order to clear her name, Jenna starts digging around for the truth.

Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander
With her marriage on the rocks, Juliet Capshaw returns home to the family bakery, hoping the trip home will  help her answer questions in her personal life. When a community member is killed in the bakery, Juliet teams up with her old high school boyfriend to help catch a killer.

Criminal Confections by Colette London
Hayden Mundy Moore is a chocolate expert. Companies hire her to develop new products and create the best chocolates for their customers. While at a chocolate retreat, her friend ODs on a secret ingredient in a new chocolate line. Her death is ruled an accident, but Hayden isn’t convinced. She pokes around until she realizes that she may have been the target of the attack and not her friend. Hayden vows to uncover the truth as a last gift for her friend.

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Week in Review: October 16th

We made it through another week, happy Friday! Comic Con in New York was this week. Check out the hashtag #NYCC for more details of everything that went down. And if you missed it, here’s a quick roundup of news this week.

Books & Reading:
Censorship doesn’t just stop with Banned Books Week. John Green’s Looking for Alaska is yanked from school libraries in New Jersey (against the policy).
New YA books hitting the shelves this week.
Did you head the news that Shannon and Dean Hale are co-writing a Captain Marvel novel? With Black Widow: Forever Red and the TV show Supergirl could this be the start of female superheroes?
Epic Reads is revealing some pretty cool covers for next summer.
The finalists have been announced for the NBA for Young People’s Literature.
October is anti-bullying month. First Book has a list of books perfect for a display.
Baseball playoffs are upon us, check out an older post on baseball books.

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Genre Guide: Action Novels

Books with lots of action are often a home run with readers, especially those who like a plot-driven story. They can cross a wide-range of genres, from spy fiction to murder mysteries.

Action books are often very heavy on the plot with danger pulling the story forward, leaving readers on the edge of their seat desperate to know what happens next. Elements of risk and surprise are key factors in action stories. The events that trigger the action or danger are typically outside the protagonist’s day to day life. Often, at the end of the story, the hero or heroine is never the same.

* Fast-paced
* Conflict
* Danger
* Risk
* Double-crossings
* Betrayal
* Villains
* Violence
* Survival
* Plot twists
* Underdogs

With action novels, readers quickly turn the pages – often reading these novels in a single setting. In a series, there is often an overall arc that ties all the books together, even though the primary plot of the book is resolved.

Actions books are perfect escapism reads; this type of story rarely happens in real life.

Readers like rooting for the underdogs. Often times these teen characters go against supposedly smarter more savvy adults and yet, they are victorious in their quest. It’s hard not to root for the underdog.

YA Action Adventure

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Week in Review: September 11th

The Hub is transitioning to Week in Review instead of Tweets of the Week. Our goal is still to provide easy access to breaking news in the world of teens and libraries, just in a new format. We’ll have news on changes to The Hub next week, so stay tuned!

week in review

Books and Reading:

  • Check out the new YA books that hit shelves this week.
  • NYPL has a great blog post on the history of YA
  • Quartz has a fascinating look at the top book checked out a city libraries around the nation – spoiler alert – only 1 is YA.
  • Check out images from the newly illustrated Harry Potter books coming soon.
  • Using picture books with middle school and high school students
  • News station covers the book “Some Girls Are” by Courtney Summers yanked from school reading list, available at the library thanks to Kelly Jensen who spearheaded a donation campaign.
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Romance Awareness Month

The month of August is designated Romance Awareness Month, so it’s a great time to spotlight romance titles.


Not everyone knows what a romance novel really means – I talk to tons of people who aren’t sure.

There’s a fool proof definition: A romance ends with a happily ever after.

In adult romances, books end with the couples married or engaged or together for the rest of their lives. For teens, it’s more likely happily ever after for now. Most teen books don’t end with marriage or the acknowledgement that they found their soul mate (although a few do.). Even in teen romances, the couple falls in love and are together at the end of the book.

It doesn’t matter if you fall in love in the book if the book doesn’t end happily. Nicholas Sparks doesn’t usually write romance. The Fault in Our Stars isn’t a romance. Romeo and Juliet isn’t a romance. Sure those books have elements of romance in them, but they are not romance books; they’re missing that one key ingredient of happily ever after.

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Tweets of the Week: August 7th

Happy August (Can you believe it’s August already – where did the summer go?). Here are a few things you might have missed this week. And if you need a laugh, check out the tweets under .

Book News:

By the books, there’s a LOT of new releases this week! Which ones are you most looking forward to?
Cece Bell: how I made El Deafo – in pictures | Guardian
Here’s a list of concrete suggestions curated by ‘s Lin Oliver of ways we can support
Exclusive: signs a new YA trilogy deal:
15 New Series to Freshen Up Teen Collections
Six Eclectic Debut Novels from our Adult Books 4 Teens column
Teens and Reading: They’ll Do It and They’ll Like It. Here’s why:
:If you have read a fabulous debut YA author this year, consider nominating it for ‘s Morris Award.

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Spy Series for Mission Impossible Fans

With MI5: Rogue Nation opening this weekend, whether it’s books or movies, people are drawn to spy series. Here are a few contemporary series with tons of action that will entice fans of this movie – from some newer series to some old favorites in addition to Alex Rider and Gallagher Girls.

For Older Readers:
Devil’s Breath by David Gilman
After an assassin tries to kill him at his boarding school, Max realizes that his father is missing. When he receives a message from his father, he’s determined to locate him. He travels to Africa to uncover the truth.

I am the Weapon by Allen Zadoff (2014 Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers)
Boy Nobody blends perfectly into the background, making him perfect for a teen assassin. On his latest mission, he makes the cardinal mistake: don’t make friends. Now he has to decide between loyalty to the Program or loyalty to himself. He’s no longer sure of the Program’s mission and it could cost him his life. 

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