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ALA Annual 2015: Day One Highlights

2015 June 27
tags:
by Allison Tran
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Hello from beautiful San Francisco! Several thousand librarians are descending upon the city this weekend for the ALA Annual Conference, to talk about our profession, share ideas, and gain new knowledge of trends relevant to our work– including the realmoof YA literature! YALSA has a lot going on at this conference, and we here at The Hub will be doing our best to bring it all to you.

image First up: actually getting to the conference. Never overlook a plane ride for its potential as a reader’s advisory occasion! My seatmate on the plane was reading Paper Towns by JohnGreen, and you know a librarian never passes up the chance to make book recommendations. Since she was enjoying John Green, I suggested she might try Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.

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The entrance to the exhibits hall decked out with an eye-catching Golden Gate Bridge replica- very festive!

And here’s the same spot about ten minutes before the exhibits grand opening… librarian mob! image

The exhibits hall on Friday evening was quite a rush… books everywhere! Librarians everywhere!

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And then, the icing on top of an already fantastic evening– the Printz reception. Being in a room filled with fellow YA lit lovers celebrating some of the best YA books of the past year… it’s a kind of exhilaration that never gets old.

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Stay tuned for more conference coverage coming up tomorrow!

-Allison Tran, currently reading Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby

Here’s Your Fandom Fix

2015 June 26
by Guest Blogger
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Game of Thrones just aired its season finale, Doctor Who doesn’t come on until September, and you’ve waited over a year for Sherlock; how are you supposed to cope?

Readalikes are your answer. Novels comparable to popular TV shows have found their way in YA fiction so now you can get for fandom fix during the hiatus of your favorite series.

Game of Thrones Readalikes:

  • false prince jennifer a nielsen coverThe False Prince (The Ascendence Trilogy) by Jennifer Neilsen-  The royal family has been murdered and in order to keep the throne out of the wrong hands, Conner, a nobleman of the court sets off to find the long lost prince who disappeared several years prior. Connor’s plan to is find, train, and groom orphans who resemble the long lost prince to keep the throne in safe hands. Sage is one of those orphans and he must fight three others to win.
  • Falling Kingdoms Series by Morgan Rhodes-The three kingdoms of Mytica fight for power and four teens from different nations are caught in the middle. Magnus, the son of the Blood King, must gain his father’s acceptance while quelling his feeling for his sister Lucia. Lucia discovers she can wield magic but is the daughter of the Blood King who condemns all magic. Cleo is a beautiful and beloved princess and has suffered a terrible tragedy and must find a way back to her rightful throne. Jonas, a rebel, vows to avenge the wrongful death of his brother. They all seek the throne and through this six book series, readers follow their favorite character on their journey to claim Mytica.

read more…

One Thing Leads to Another: An Interview with Susan Juby

2015 June 25
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Check out previous interviews in the One Thing Leads to Another series here.

I’m pretty sure I originally picked up Alice, I Think because of the homeschooling angle.  There weren’t (aren’t?) many books about homeschooling back in 2000 and I was definitely interested, partly because the topic was rare, and partly because, while I had spent my requisite 12 years in the public school system, my seven siblings had been homeschooled.  (You can make of that fact what you will.  You’re probably right.)

I loved the book, of course, and Susan Juby became one of those authors I followed, anxious to see what was coming next.  Unsurprisingly, this turned out to be…more books that I loved.  Another Kind of Cowboy? Bright’s Light? The rest of the Alice MacLeod series?  Such great books.  If you haven’t already, you need to read The Truth Commission immediately.  Really.

Somewhere along the way I came across the essay she references below, “Directed Studies”, which tells a specific and highly personal story with which I totally connected, despite the difference in the details.  Like her books, the Susan Juby in that essay comes across as honest and funny, clear-eyed but optimistic, able to articulate and share painful, embarrassing truths in a single bound.  This is no small feat.  

Thank you, Susan, for talking truth, bad 80s hair, identity, and the danger of peach wine coolers with me.  If you wrote a “hauntingly elegiac volume that is mostly description of landscape” I would read it.

 

Always Something There to Remind Me

SJuby-7436-EditPlease describe your teenage self.

I find this hard and sort of painful because my teen years were, well, hard and painful. I think by the time I hit fifteen or so, I looked okay on the outside, at least by the low standards of the 1980s. But inside I was a churning mess of anxiety and insecurity. This situation was exacerbated by the fact I had developed a serious drinking problem by the time I was thirteen.

I was one of those people who never ever went in public without makeup and hair done, clothes carefully chosen. It was all a camouflage for what I saw as a deeply flawed self. I was convinced that if anyone saw the unadorned me, they would run away in horror.

On a lighter note, I was a serious fashion experimenter in a time and town where that was unexpected and not terribly welcome. Not one 1980s trend passed me by! I wore: Madonna-esque bloomers and puffy blouses, satin blazers that hung to my knees, perms, faux punk looks, heavy metal looks, prep looks. Fashion filled in all the blank spaces for me. In spite of how messed up I was then, my adult self looks back and applauds my teen self for having the guts to experiment in the face of quite a bit of despair.

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

When I was very young, I thought I could be anything. As I grew, that confidence was pounded out of me by my peers, my schools and my own bad choices. Those bad choices were legion―making them was basically my superpower. But here are some of the things I dreamed of being before I stopped dreaming: writer, lawyer, zoologist, professional dressage rider, fashion designer.  read more…

8 Books from YouTube Stars

2015 June 24
by Molly Wetta
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Just this week, I’ve had a co-worker tell me about his 4-year-old son’s fascination with “unboxing” videos on YouTube featuring new toys, had a parent ask for help finding books for her twelve-year-old daughter who is “obsessed with YouTube” and received two purchase requests for books by YouTube stars months ahead of their release (a rare occurrence).

YouTube has long been popular with teens, and vloggers have amassed millions of followers. Especially in the last year, the publishing world has taken notice. These are eight 2015 releases of memoirs and essays from YouTube stars that might be of interest to teen patrons.

8 books from YouTube stars YALSA The Hub

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Genre Blend: Historical Fiction and Mysteries

2015 June 23
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"Postcards and magnifying glass" by Anna - Flickr: records. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Postcards_and_magnifying_glass.jpg#/media/File:Postcards_and_magnifying_glass.jpg

“Postcards and magnifying glass” by Anna – Flickr: records. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

I am a huge fan of mysteries, especially during the summer! I love a good page-turner that keeps me guessing until the very last page. A great thing about mysteries are that they also work well when they are blended with other genres.  One of my newest favorite genre blends are historical fiction and mysteries! If you are also a fan, or have yet to explore this genre blend, check out some of the titles below to get you started!

 

 

 

Death CloudDeath Cloud by Andrew Lane (2015 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults)

Set in the summer of 1868, fourteen-year-old Sherlock Holmes is sent to live with his aunt and uncle where he uncovers two mysterious deaths that appear to be plague victims. However, Sherlock suspects that these deaths are not what they seem so he sets out to investigate and uncover the truth.

 

 

 

 

 

northern light donnelly printzA  Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly (2004 Printz Honor Book, 2011 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, 2004 Selected Audiobooks for Young Adults, 2004 Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults)

Based on the true story of the 1906 Gilette murder case, Maggie is working the summer at a nearby inn, when one of the guests drowns.  Mysterious circumstances surround the death, including Maggie’s own involvement and interactions with the victim.

 

 

 

 

A Spy in the House by Y.S. LeeA Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee (2015 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults)

In Victorian London, Mary is saved from the gallows at the last minute and sent to a school where she is secretly trained to be a spy.  She is eventually selected to work a case where she is undercover as a lady’s companion to investigate a wealthy merchant’s shady business dealings.

 

 

 

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San Francisco, Here I Come!

2015 June 22
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Are you heading to ALA annual this year? Are you staying home, but wishing you could join the festivities in San Francisco? Here are some young adult books set in San Francisco to help you feel like you are there already:

fire horse girl The Fire Horse Girl by Kay Honeyman

Jade Moon is offered the opportunity to join her father in immigrating to the United States. Soon, however, she finds herself trapped on Angel Island with no promise of ever seeing her new country. The only way she can get off the island is to disguise herself as a boy. Can this fire horse girl survive the streets of 1920s San Francisco?

Bitter Melon by Cara Chow

Frances’s mother dreams of the day that Frances graduates from high school and begins to pursue a career as a doctor.  She encourages Frances to work very hard in school and has forbidden any extra-curricular activities.  A computer glitch lands Frances in a speech class, though, and there she begins to find her true calling.

Miss Fortune Cookie by Lauren Bjorkman

Erin is the brains behind the popular advice blog Miss Fortune Cookie. When one of her friends writes in for advice, however, Erin must face the real-world consequences of her blog’s advice.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (2013 Alex Award)

Clay was just looking for any job that paid when he walked into Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore, but he soon finds himself wrapped up in mysteries and puzzles and enigmas.  read more…

The Monday Poll: YA Lit Theme Park

2015 June 22
by Allison Tran
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monday_pollGood morning, Hub readers!

Last week, we asked you which YA book you’d want to read from another character’s point of view. The results were pretty evenly divided! 27% of you would like to revisit The Fault in Our Stars from Gus’ perspective, 21% of you would like to know what Yaqui was thinking in Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, and 14% of you voted to read Grasshopper Jungle from Shann’s point of view. You can see detailed results for all of our previous polls in the Polls Archive. Thanks to all of you who voted last week!

This week, we want to know which YA book you think would make the best basis for a theme park, a la Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Which fictional world would you want to be a tourist in? Choose from the list below, or suggest another approach in the comments.

Which YA book would make the best basis for a theme park?

  • Divergent by Veronica Roth (35%, 34 Votes)
  • Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunters series (23%, 22 Votes)
  • The Diviners by Libba Bray (21%, 20 Votes)
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (11%, 11 Votes)
  • Across the Universe by Beth Revis (9%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 96

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2015 Hub Reading Challenge Check-In #19

2015 June 21
by Geri Diorio
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2015_reading_challenge_logo “And now, the end is near, and so I face, the final curtain…”

OK, that’s hokey, but apt! The end is very near indeed! Tonight at 11:59 PM EDT the 2015 Hub Reading Challenge wraps up. If you took part and completed it, be sure to fill out the form below before 11:59 PM tonight so you will get credit AND be eligible to win our random drawing for a YALSA tote bag full of 2014 and 2015 YA literature. If the winner is a teacher or librarian or something similar, we will also toss in a few professional development titles!

Everyone who completes the Challenge will receive an elite digital badge to show off online. And if you completed it – well done!! That is a lot of reading and listening. I hope you enjoyed yourself and that you broadened your reading horizons; perhaps explored some genres you don’t normally venture into.  I didn’t actually hit 25 books myself, but just by taking part, I read some titles that I would otherwise never have even looked at!

We are still working on contacting all finishers, so don’t worry if you haven’t gotten your badge yet. Please feel free to use the comments here to tell the Hub what you enjoyed most about this year’s challenge, as well as what didn’t really work for you. Please share what books you loved and what books you didn’t love. If you’d rather email us that information, that works too. Don’t forget you can still peruse the #hubchallenge hashtag on social media to see what other folks have been doing, challenge-wise.

Thank you so very much for taking part in the 2015 Hub Reading Challenge! We hope you enjoyed yourself and that you’ve found some new authors and genres to dive into for the rest of the year.  read more…

Tweets of the Week – June 19th

2015 June 19
by Hannah Gómez
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It’s Friday! If you weren’t on Twitter this week, here’s what you missed in the world of libraries and literature. Sadly, it was also quite a week for race-related and conflict-oriented news, so I added a current events section as well.

tweets of the week | the hub

Books/Reading/Authors

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Let’s Hear it For the Dads in YA Books

2015 June 19
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I know it’s very common for parents, especially fathers, to be absent or portrayed negatively in YA books. Not every father is Atticus Finch, but there are more dads in teen books that are loving and supportive than you might think. Since Sunday is Father’s Day, I wanted to celebrate some admirable dads found in YA books.

All I can think is that I want her more than anything. I want her more than I’ve ever wanted anything ever.” (Bobby, 16, The First Part Last by Angela Johnson, winner of the 2004 Michael Printz Award and 2004 Coretta Scott King Award)

Photo Jun 17, 8 03 36 PMThis is the book I immediately think of when I think of fathers in YA books. It might have been published in 2003 but it’s still fresh in my mind, even after all the years since I first read it. It’s not just that it’s about a teen father, but it’s also because it’s written from the father’s point of view instead of the mother’s. In this companion book to Heaven, Bobby is an African American teenager struggling to raise his adored baby daughter Feather by himself after the baby’s mother tragically dies.

 

“I am a father.” “I am Jupiter’s father.” “I will always be Jupiter’s father.” (Joseph, 14, Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt, coming out November 3, 2015)

Photo Jun 17, 9 25 51 PMJoseph may be practically a child himself, but by aged thirteen he had been incarcerated for allegedly trying to kill a teacher, and is the father of a three-month-old daughter named Jupiter that he’s never seen. He will do anything he can to find her. This is a beautifully written story that will make you cry but also uplift you.

 

 

“I’m glad to hear you think you ought to feel guilty.” “I was beginning to wonder whether we’d brought you up properly.” (Derk, The Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones)

Photo Jun 17, 7 17 37 PMAfter they are unwillingly chosen as tour leaders, unconventional wizard Derk and his magical family try to stop the devastating tours of their world arranged by the tyrannical Mr. Chesney. Derk specializes in genetics, specifically in creating new animals & the family consists of both humans and animals (that talk). Teenaged son Blake has a fifteen-year-old brother, Kit, a griffin. Kit’s murderously angry with Mr. Chesney for his disrespectful treatment of Derk and the family and the quote above is what Derk says in response to Kit’s confession that he wanted to kill Mr. Chesney but felt guilty about it. Blake wants to attend Wizard’s University but his father Derk is dead set against it. Mara, Blake’s mom says, “…Your father thinks, rightly or wrongly, that you’ll end up as miserable as he was, or you’ll find yourself doing nothing but look after the tours like the rest of them. And that would break his heart, Blake.”

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