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Tweets of the Week: April 10th

2015 April 10
by Hannah Gómez
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Happy Friday! Some things that happened this week: VIDA, an organization dedicated to supporting women in literature, published their count for 2014 – a great look at gender disparity in publishing. They focus on books for adults, but lately they have expanded to counting women in color and children’s literature, so take a look. We Need Diverse Books announced non-profit status; research was published about immigrant groups in the United States that will give you insight into the populations you might serve; and pre-conference buzz got going for BEA, YALLWEST, and Outlawed, so look for talk from conference attendees on publishing news, YA trends, and censorship this weekend.

tweets of the week | the hub

Books/Reading/Authors

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Spock’s Legacy: Teens, YA, and (not) Belonging

2015 April 9
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Image courtesy of Sonny Abesamis

Image courtesy of Sonny Abesamis

I’ve never been much of a fangirl. Or a teenybopper. Or shipped my name with a fictional character. My celebrity crushes have been few and far between and fleeting at best. But there is one notable exception, my lifelong (well, since I was ten) adoration of Spock and the man that brought him to life, Leonard Nimoy. Clearly I am not alone in this, as evidenced by the recent outpouring of love and acclaim in response to Nimoy’s death earlier this year.

For some, it’s Spock’s cool composure and his unerring devotion to logic that’s so compelling. For others, his unspoken depths coupled with his pointy ears that inspire. For myself, though, it is his inherent contradictions, his very Otherness that caused my ten-year-old soul to soar with recognition and my heart to flutter with tweenly adulation. Spock was the first character I’d encountered who, like myself, was mixed race. He embodied similar struggles and desires and his Otherness, like mine, was physically visible in the world–a constant source of commentary, curiosity, and derision. And though Nimoy himself was not mixed race, he clearly understood the tensions of that identity as he so movingly illustrates in his 1968 letter to a biracial teen fan.

Arguably, Spock’s half Vulcan/half human heritage is what makes his character so enduring and endearing to millions of fans. In this regard, Spock can be seen as the predecessor and inspiration for a number of contemporary YA sci-fi/fantasy characters whose otherness is based in their mixed race (or mixed species as the case may be) identity. From the Half-blood Prince to Percy Jackson to Seraphina, YA abounds with sensitive souls alternately emboldened and embittered by their uncommon parentage. Considering the popularity of these books, the appeal of these characters extends far beyond the mixed race readers who can relate to them. So, what is so universally appealing about these “hybrid” characters? read more…

2015 Michael L. Printz Program: Questions Needed!

2015 April 9
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On the evening of Friday, June 26, YALSA will host one of its biggest author programs of the year: The 2015 Michael L. Printz Program and Reception. This is an exciting YA opener for the American Library Association’s Annual Conference, held this year in San Francisco. Award winner Jandy Nelson will be speaking about her book, I’ll Give You the Sun, a poignant story told by twins, Jude and Noah, who take turns narrating across a three year gap. In addition, Printz Honor Award winners will be featured: Jenny Hubbard (And We Stay); Jessie Ann Foley (The Carnival at Bray); Andrew Smith (Grasshopper Jungle), and Mariko and Jillian Tamaki (This One Summer.) 

The popular question and answer format will make up the bulk of the program. This is where you come in! Whether or not you will be able to attend the program in San Francisco, you can still submit a question by filling out this form.

Interested in joining us for the Printz Program and Reception? Purchase a ticket here.

-Diane Colson, 2015 Printz Committee Chair, currently reading Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Jukebooks: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

2015 April 8
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all the bright placesSometimes Finch just blanks out. He cannot remember the preceding hours, days…or sometimes months. After this last blank-out, he “wakes” to find himself standing on the outer ledge of his school’s bell tower. Had he intended to jump? It’s a very rude awakening. Until something bright and miraculous happens.

Finch is not alone. There is a girl on the other side of the bell tower. Seeing her, Finch lapses into stand-up comic mode to distract the girl as he edges near her. The girl – Violet – is terrified. Finch convinces her to climb back to safety and pretend to then save Finch. After all, Finch is a weirdo, a screw-up, the sort of guy who would hurl himself from the bell tower.

OneRepublic is a successful pop-rock group that has produced three well-received studio albums and played with numerous top level performers. The title of their second studio album was appropriately named Waking Up; the first single, “All the Right Moves,” was released in 2009. In addition to the haunting echo of the title, All the Bright Places, the lyrics to this song could be part of a Finch monologue:

Do you think I’m special, do you think I’m nice
Am I bright enough to shine in your spaces
Between the noise you hear and the sound you like
Are we just sinking in the ocean of faces

The music video does not quite reflect the poignancy of these lyrics, but the dancing is quite lovely.

Diane Colson, currently reading an advance readers copy of The Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman.

#YAPeeps, a Sweet Twitter Trend

2015 April 7
by Emily Childress-Campbell
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peepsThis past weekend you may have been celebrating Easter, Passover, or just time off school or work. Maybe you hid eggs, or found them, or ate way too much candy. But, regardless of religious affiliation or work schedule, I hope you made time to consume those glorious neon glowing sugar coated marshmallow confectionery known as Peeps. Those adorable chicks are a staple of spring time snacking. Maybe you enjoyed a few peeps while relaxing with a good book. If you were paying attention in the YA Lit Twitter Sphere you may have noticed the hashtag #YAPeeps that was trending on April 3rd, but, in case you missed it, I’ve gathered some of my favorite #YAPeeps for you to enjoy.

The earliest tweet came from Epic Reads.  It continued to be one of the most referenced books.

Another oft tweeted title was:

As was:

Some new books were mentioned:

Some old ones too:

Some cheating occurred.

Whole series were rechristened.

Several Hub Challenge titles appeared.

Some tweets even had pictures.

And a sweet time was had by all. Add your favorites in the comments! Happy spring!

-Emily Childress-Campbell, currently listening to Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

The Monday Poll: Baseball in YA Lit

2015 April 6
by Allison Tran
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monday_pollGood morning, Hub readers!

Last week, we closed out Women’s History Month by asking about your favorite real female figure from history depicted in YA lit. Your top pick was Anastasia Romanov as depicted in Anastasia’s Secret by Susanne Dunlap, with 26% of the vote, followed by Cleopatra Selene in Cleopatra’s Moon by Vicky Alvear Schecter, with 21%. You can see detailed results for all of our previous polls in the Polls Archive. Thanks to all of you who voted!

Now for this week’s poll– a few weeks ago, I revealed my lack of sports knowledge to you but plunged ahead with a basketball-themed poll anyway– well, I understand that today is the first day of major league baseball season, so I’m at it again! A sports poll! Baseball fans out there, please tell us your favorite YA baseball book… I could use recommendations! Choose from the options below, or suggest another book in the comments.

Your favorite baseball book in YA lit?

  • Heat by Mike Lupica (30%, 13 Votes)
  • My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger (23%, 10 Votes)
  • Mexican WhiteBoy by Matt de la Pena (21%, 9 Votes)
  • Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally (12%, 5 Votes)
  • Samurai Shortstop by Alan Gratz (9%, 4 Votes)
  • Summerland by Michael Chabon (5%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 43

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2015 Hub Reading Challenge Check-In #8

2015 April 5
by Carli Spina
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2015_reading_challenge_logoNot signed up for YALSA’s 2015 Hub Reading Challenge? Read the official rules and sign up on the original post. Anything you’ve read since February 9 counts, so sign up now!

Spring has finally sprung where I am and it hasn’t snowed for a whole week! It might not be quite warm enough to start reading outside in the sun here, but hopefully for at least some of you, that weather has already arrived. Either way, spring is a great time to read great books and I am sure everyone who is participating in the 2014 Hub Reading Challenge has already found a few new classics to reread and recommend to friends! Which ones have been your favorites so far? Have you recommended them to friends who loved them just as much? Were there any that weren’t your speed, but were perfect for someone you know?

If you haven’t found any new favorites yet, which ones are you looking forward to the most? I can’t wait to read My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf and Trillium by Jeff Lemire. Where have you been looking for recommendations? Have you gotten any good tips from other Hub Challenge participants on Twitter using the #hubchallenge hashtag or have you joined the 2015 Goodreads Hub Reading Challenge group? Have you been hearing about any of the books from your friends? I keep hearing great things about The Martian by Andy Weir from everyone, so I’ll definitely be checking that one out before the Challenge ends. I’m glad I have until June 21st to catch up with all of my reading! I hope all of you are enjoying the Challenge and using it as an opportunity to find some great new books both for yourself and to share with the other booklovers in your life!

Don’t forget any books you read for the Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge count for this challenge as well, but if you’ve read any of the other books prior to February 9, you’ll have to re-read them if you want to count them towards your total.

2015 reading challenge logo - participantYou have until 11:59 PM EST on June 21st to finish at least 25 books. Please don’t forget to read the comments to our weekly check-in posts and keep track of your progress by commenting on them yourself! If you review books online, please include links to your reviews. Also, don’t forget to post the Participant’s Badge on your blog, website, or email signature, and, as always, if you have any questions or problems, let us know in the comments or via email.

If you are a particularly fast reader and have already completed the challenge by reading or listening to 25 titles from the list of eligible books, be sure to fill out the form below so we can send you your Challenge Finisher badge, get in touch to coordinate your reader’s response and, perhaps best of all, to notify you if you win our exciting grand prize drawing! Be sure to use an email you check frequently and do not fill out this form until you have completed the challenge by reading 25 titles.

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Tweets of the Week: April 3rd

2015 April 3
by Katie Shanahan Yu
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Here is your roundup of the tweets of the week! Blowing up the Twitter scene this week was #VeryRealisticYA, a hashtag dedicated to what YA novels would like if they were real life. Here’s what people were tweeting about, when they weren’t giggling over the hilariously awkward #VeryRealisticYA:

tweets of the week | the hub

Books

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Women in Comics: Memoirs

2015 April 3
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I always love reading memoirs. They are such a great way to experience new perspectives on the world and to learn about an author in an intensely personal way. But as much as I enjoy text-only memoirs, I love graphic novel memoirs even more because the artwork brings a whole new dimension to the work. With these books, all of which are written and illustrated by the same individual, readers are brought into the author’s life in a way that text alone cannot achieve. Whether you already have a love for memoirs or not, these books are sure to keep you engaged and make you think about the world a bit differently.

Relish by Lucy KnisleyRelish: My Life In The Kitchen by Lucy Knisley (2014 Alex Award winner, Great Graphic Novels 2014) – I’ve mentioned Lucy Knisley’s works before in this series of posts, but Relish is such a great example of a graphic novel memoir, that I couldn’t resist including it here. In this memoir, Knisley focuses on her love of food, integrating illustrated recipes with stories of growing up with a mom who is a chef and a dad who is a foodie into a unique coming-of-age story. This was the first book I ever read by Knisley and I think it is a great entry point for her works, particularly if you love good food. read more…

One Thing Leads to Another: An Interview with Laura Ruby

2015 April 2
by Julie Bartel
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Check out previous interviews in the One Thing Leads to Another series here.

I’d been a fan of Laura Ruby for quite some time, having read, I think, all of her books–both YA and middle grade–as they were released.  I also followed her online and quickly realized I wasn’t just a fan of Laura Ruby’s work, but of Laura Ruby herself because she’s smart and passionate and funny and angry, often all at the same time.  She’s also thoughtful and honest and energizing, whether she’s talking about sexism or YA publishing or what it means to be an adult, whether she’s writing a novel, a blog post, or 140 characters.  If you’re not well acquainted, this would be an excellent time to fix that, especially because…

…then came Bone Gap, which literally couldn’t be a more perfect book for me if it had come gift wrapped on a silver platter.  I’ve written about my love of mythic fiction and magic realism (especially North American magic realism) elsewhere, and Bone Gap is sort of both of those, but also more, with Roza and Finn and “beauty” and gaps and Petey and hope…with love and landscape and the true magic of dancing honeybees…   I can’t tell you how much I love this book, but it’s a lot. So much.  So much love.
 
Thank you so much, Laura, for taking the time to talk with me, and for your honesty and generosity.  Thank you for telling the truth. 

Always Something There to Remind Me

laura1-pressPlease describe your teenage self.

I was alternately furious and sad, opinionated and confused, arrogant and awkward, articulate and incomprehensible, focused and aimless, ferocious and nearly witless with terror. I was desperate for attention and at the same time I didn’t want anyone to look at me, ever, for fear I might explode with anxiety.  I loved my friends with an intensity that was almost painful, and yet I was basically a self-absorbed jerkface. I tried on personalities like outfits. Really awful, 80s-era outfits, the images of which I wish I could scrub from my brain.

As a younger teenager, one of my favorite books was Edith Konecky’s Allegra Maud Goldman.  In it, Konecky writes, “I have a terrible memory. I never forget a thing.”

Yeah.  It’s like that.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

I’d been writing fiction and poetry all my life, but I didn’t know that a regular person could become a writer.  Writers were near-magical creatures that lived in cabins on snow-capped mountaintops or maybe in chic garrets in Paris.  Writers didn’t worry about things like mortgages and health insurance and toilet paper.  My parents worried about things like mortgages and health insurance and toilet paper; they would have laughed me out of the house if I’d told them I wanted to become a novelist.  (Now that I’m thinking about it, they did chuckle a bit when I first told them I was writing a novel.  Writing a novel!  What are you, French or something?)

Since becoming a writer wasn’t an option, I thought I would study psychology and perhaps become a therapist.  Because the world needs more insanely awkward therapists.

But really, I just wanted to be an adult because I thought that once you turned eighteen other people finally stopped telling you what to do. read more…