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What are you reading over the Holidays?

Tis the season for reading! December is one of my favorite times of year. It gives us the crisp cold of winter (depending on where you live) and many holidays to celebrate. It’s a cheerful and festive month, even though it contains the shortest day/longest night of the year (happy belated winter’s solstice!). Maybe it’s all the twinkly lights that puts everyone in a good mood or the copious amount of sugar that seems to be everywhere this time of year, but there is always something special and fun about the month of December. It could also be that this is the time where many of us get a break from our normally hectic lives and take some time off to travel, visit with family and friends and of course read! In the spirit of the holiday season, we wanted to share with you what we were planning on reading during our winter breaks. Here are pictures of your Hub bloggers reading or the stacks of books that they are planning on tackling. May this put you in the reading spirit this holiday season or at the very least give you some new books to check out in the new year!

Geri Diori recently attended the ALAN Workshop (Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the National Council of Teachers of English) and got her hands on some books she’s looking forward to reading this holiday season

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2014 Best Books by the Numbers

Welcome to the end of 2014. Year-end best-of lists are all over the place, so it is time for us here at The Hub to take part in the quantifying madness! There were so many amazing YA books released this year, but for this post, we’ll be taking a look at the ones deemed “best” by Kirkus, School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and Horn Book. (Last year, we included the ‘Best YA for Adults’ list from Library Journal, but it appears they did not create such a list this year.) I am grateful that The Hub let me do this post again and while I am delighted to look at all the best-of lists and try to makes sense of them, I confess to being a bad statistician. I did not keep everything the same from last year to this one. Here’s what I changed, and why:

This year, in addition to including fiction marketed to people aged 12 and older, I added in nonfiction as well. My reasoning is that due to the Common Core standards, more and more nonfiction is being read in and out of schools. Also, we’re heading towards the fifth anniversary of YALSA’s Excellence in Nonfiction Awards (have you taken part in The Hub’s reading challenge yet?) so it seems like nonfiction is a viable genre to include here, with ten titles represented in the lists. Also, while there are seven genres considered this year, same number as last year, they are slightly different ones. This year, I added poetry and nonfiction and eliminated horror and historical fiction. This does not mean that there were no horrific, historical books in the lists, but ‘genre’ is such a troublesome category. I used Edelweiss, publisher’s websites, Amazon, and my own knowledge of the books in question to try and accurately label them, perhaps not always successfully. I’ll get into more specifics about ‘genre’ below. If you would like to see the spreadsheet I was working from, it is here.

There are 74 titles on the ‘best-of’ lists this year. This is up ten from last year (counting those ten nonfiction titles), but still down from the 89 fiction-only titles from 2012. Who is writing these terrific YA books? Still mostly ladies.

2014 Best of by gender

Male writers are gaining on females, last year only 27.7% of the authors on the lists were male and this year, 31.1% are. Will it ever reach a 50/50 balance? Continue reading 2014 Best Books by the Numbers

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The Hub Bloggers Give Thanks

ThankIt’s a Thanksgiving tradition! At this time each year, the bloggers here at The Hub pause to take stock of what we’re thankful for in the world of young adult literature this year.

  • Sharon Rawlins
    I’m thankful for the continuation of The Walking Dead TV series (it just keeps getting better & better) and it has inspired me to read the comics it’s based on; for the great books I’ve been listening to on my long commute to work (A. S. King’s Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future was my latest “listen/read” and it was great, as all her books are); my fellow bloggers who write such inventive and inspiring posts; and my YA colleagues and the teens I meet who get me when I gush over the latest YA book I’ve read & loved. And, lastly for John Green, because, well, he’s John Green!
  • Faythe Arredondo
    This year I am grateful for Isabel Quintero and her book Gabi, a Girl in Pieces. It was the first time I recognized people I currently know and grew up with and read about situations I have witnessed.  I am also thankful for Lauren Oliver’s Panic which has characters who are low-income and struggling to get by.  We don’t see enough of those characters!
  • Whitney Etchison
    I’m thankful that YA lit creates a love for reading in people young and old!
  • Geri Diorio
    I am thankful for the YA literature community. The authors who write amazing things and who open themselves up on social media so their readers can “meet” them. The librarians who share book recommendations and who do not judge what people choose to read. The teens who are such huge fans of YA lit, who run into the Teen Center at the Library, shouting about the book they just read – they are so ardent in their love for the written word! And the YA Lit bloggers who read and write and argue and share so much because they care so much.

Continue reading The Hub Bloggers Give Thanks

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