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The Monday Poll: Musical YA Lit

2015 May 18
by Allison Tran
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monday_pollGood morning, Hub readers!

Last week, we had a little technical glitch, so you had a whole extra week to think about the previous Monday poll’s topic. We asked you which YA book or series you’d recommend to Star Wars fans. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld was the top pick with 34% of the vote, followed by Legend by Marie Lu, with 24% and Across the Universe by Beth Revis with 18% of the vote. You can see detailed results for all of our previous polls in the Polls Archive. Thanks to all of you who voted and commented last week!

This week, with the recent release of Pitch Perfect 2, we want to know your favorite YA book featuring a singer or a band!  Choose from the options below, or suggest another in the comments.

What's your favorite teen read featuring a singer or band?

  • Fat Kid Rules the World by KL Going (26%, 12 Votes)
  • Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway (26%, 12 Votes)
  • Lemonade Mouth by Mark Peter Hughes (24%, 11 Votes)
  • Wildflower by Alecia Whitaker (13%, 6 Votes)
  • The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour (11%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 46

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2015 Hub Reading Challenge Check-In #14

2015 May 17
by Faythe Arredondo
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Not 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!

2015_reading_challenge_logo

It’s a good thing I am not participating in the challenge because I am having a hard time focusing, just like Geri and Julie.  It’s not the weather for me, as I live in California and it’s sunny almost all the time.  I think summer reading program planning, prepping for my first author visit, and writing letters of recommendation has worn me out.  I’m only interested in playing games on my iPad. I’m hoping my vacation next week will get me back in the reading groove.

How are you readers doing? Are you worn out like me? Killing it as usual? Taking a break to enjoy the weather? Running around with last minute summer reading prep?

Let us know where you’re at in the comments, and keep the conversation going on social media by using the hashtag#hubchallenge to post updates on Twitter or by joining the 2015 Goodreads Hub Reading Challenge group.  You have until 11:59 PM EST on June 21st to finish at least 25 books from the official list, and if you participated in the Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge this year, you can count the books that you read for that challenge for this challenge as well.  2015 reading challenge logo - participantAlso, 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 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.  read more…

Tweets of the Week – May 15th

2015 May 15
by Hannah Gómez
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Happy Friday! Here’s your chance to catch up on a week’s worth of social media. For me, the new hashtag I learned this week was #yafeministchat. Check it out!

tweets of the week | the hub

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What Would Jude Read?

2015 May 15
by Guest Blogger
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I was sold on the television show The Fosters from the moment I saw the previews. A lesbian couple who has also adopted kids and is also a foster family? And their last name is Foster? Shut up and take my money.

I can’t imagine what it would be like to raise five teenagers, especially since each character on this show comes with a truck-load of drama and issues and trauma to boot. One thing is certain: living with five teens would never, ever be boring.

All that being said, Jude is my favorite character.  He’s in junior high, which is the age group I spent six years teaching, and he’s the youngest. In fact, there are several episodes where he doesn’t appear at all, and I find myself looking at my wife and saying, “Did they forget about Jude? Like, did they leave him at home or not pick him up from school or something? Where is that kid?”

Jude has had a rough past, but he is adopted now and has a supportive family that loves him. He’s also slowly coming to the realization that he is gay. With two moms, one would think things would be easy for Jude.  His family is fine with his orientation, but the father of his potential boyfriend most definitely is not. Jude is also quite definitely the youngest child in the family and often seems frustrated when others treat him like a child when he, like his siblings, is already a teenager.

With that in mind, here are the books I would offer to Jude if he was looking for something new to read:

eye of mindsThe Eye of Minds by James Dashner (2014 Teens’ Top Ten winner)

Jude’s love of gaming has already been demonstrated on several episodes. He might not be as much of a gamer as the main characters in James Dashner’s The Eye of Minds , but I think he’d still enjoy escaping into their world for a while.

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg (2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults)

Bill Konigsberg’s Openly Straight is about a character who is out and has a supportive family, but chooses to closet himself when he goes to an all-boys boarding school.  He is trying to see what it would be like not to constantly wave a rainbow flag, but he is finding it more difficult than he imagined.  read more…

46th Annual Arbuthnot Honor Lecture: Brian Selznick Explores Queerness & The Family in Children’s Books

2015 May 13
by Kelly Dickinson
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IMG_2422On Friday evening Brian Selznick delivered the 46th Annual Arbuthnot Honor lecture at Martin Luther King Jr. Library in downtown Washington, D.C.  to a packed house of hundreds of librarians, educators, and youth literature aficionados.  This lecture series was established in 1969 to honor May Hill Arbuthnot, educator, children’s literature critic, professor, and author of both the famous Dick & Jane books and the seminal textbook, Children and Books.  In her introduction, Sue McCleaf Nespeca, chair of the 2015 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Committee, described their reasons for selecting Mr. Selznick as this year’s lecturer, citing both his groundbreaking The Invention of Hugo Cabret and his powerful speeches in the wake of that book’s awards.  His lecture, titled “Love Is A Dangerous Angel: Thoughts on Queerness and Family in Children’s Books,” promised to be a thrilling additional contribution to children’s literature–and indeed, it was.

Brian Selznick, dressed in a snappy navy blue paisley suit and black bowtie, stepped on stage and thanked his family (including his mother & husband, both in attendance), friends, co-workers, editors, and, finally, the ASL interpreters for the evening, to whom he spoke and signed his gratitude and advance apologies for speaking quickly.  His humor and personalized acknowledgements set the tone for the evening.

hugo_intro_cover2He opened his lecture with a quote from the late Maurice Sendak, who gave the Arbuthnot lecture in 2003.  Mr. Selznick noted that Sendak is his “great hero” and when Hugo was awarded the Caldecott Medal, he was especially thrilled that the award would forever link his name to Sendak’s–an honor that the Arbuthnot lecture enriches further.  To begin, he read out the six sections of the first chapter in May Hill Arbuthnot’s Children & Books.  He used these section titles to structure his lecture, artfully intertwining his evolving understanding of his own identity and his career with his thoughts on the shifting visions of queerness and families in children’s books. read more…

Study Break Books: Books for when you really don’t have time to be reading.

2015 May 12
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study_break_booksIt’s AP Exams season where I work, and finals time for many a college and high school. Which means legions of bleary-eyed students trying to summon up the discipline for a last surge of studying, even though they just want to be done. The sunshine is calling. I hear it too, and even though I’m well past the exam-taking phase of life, I’m still in crunch mode, trying to power through to many deadlines.

For the dedicated bookworms among us, studying for exams generally requires two sets of reading; the materials we’re actually supposed to be reviewing, and the reading we sneak for “study breaks.” This is a calculated strategy (no, really!) designed to achieve the perfect balance of discipline and release, allowing us to get all the necessary reviewing in while also getting enough of a break to feel revived and ready for…still more reviewing. Because the internet and everything that lives there can rapidly turn into a vast time-suck, all responsible students (and worker-bees) know: if you’re serious about getting something done, you have to stay (temporarily) signed out of all the stuff, especially this close to the finish line. And the pitfalls of streaming-binges are obvious, so the TV’s got to stay off too (as do the game consoles).

But a book…a book feels studious, even if what we’re reading isn’t likely to show up on any exams, or help cross anything off a task list.

So. What to read when you don’t really have time to be reading at all, but you absolutely must get a little escape in if you have any hope of staying motivated long enough to cover everything you’ve still got to do?

Unless you are a reader with very good self-discipline, novels are probably out. Novels are what we get to read when everything on the task list is actually done, when grades are in, school is out, and your to-do list is all inked-out lines.

Page count matters when you’re on a deadline. Short-ish graphic novels and short story collections are what we need when time is at a premium; pieces vivid enough to truly escape into, and short enough that we emerge from our work-respite refreshed and ready to dive back into the task at hand.

Here, then, are some suggestions for quick escapes, to tide you over until the freedom of summer is a reality, and not just a highly-anticipated future fantasy.

lips touchLips Touch, Three Times by Laini Taylor. Are you a fan of sweeping fantasy shot through with romance, like Taylor’s epic Daughter of Smoke and Bone series? Well, here are three short stories about three different girls who’ve never been kissed, told in Taylor’s distinct, dramatic style, with brief page counts (but high pulse rates). A 2010 Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults book.

Through the Woods by Emily CarrollThrough the Woods by Emily Carroll. This is an I’m-too-busy-to-read jackpot of a book; short chapters in graphic format, thematically connected to make one creepy wave of foreboding descend over the reader. Gorgeous colors, stick-with-you-after-dark frames, and spare, haunting prose combine to make this 2015 Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens pick a fast – but memorable – escape into the murky depths of the woods. read more…

2015 Hub Reading Challenge Check-In #13

2015 May 10
by Julie Bartel
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Not 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!

2015_reading_challenge_logoThere are six weeks left in the Hub Reading Challenge and I’m pretty close, but having a hard time concentrating and prioritizing.  I blame (at least in part) the season, a combination of spring fever and an abundance of television series finales and big movies which, like Geri, distract me to an embarrassing degree (though in my case it’s Agent’s of Shield–well, the whole MCU actually–Orphan Black, The Americans, Vikings, iZombie…) Plus, I have been doing oodles of reading for the One Thing Leads to Another interview series (such a hardship! Not.) and that has actually cut into my challenge reading to a significant degree.

Still, with six weeks and seven books left to meet the challenge it’s possible.  It could happen.

What about you?  Have you developed a laser-like focus? Are you overwhelmed by end-of-the-school-year or beginning-of-summer events? Are you close?  Have you given up on meeting the deadline but are dedicated to finishing anyway?  Have you finished?

Let us know where you’re at in the comments, and keep the conversation going on social media by using the hashtag#hubchallenge to post updates on Twitter or by joining the 2015 Goodreads Hub Reading Challenge group.  You have until 11:59 PM EST on June 21st to finish at least 25 books from the official list, and if you participated in the Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge this year, you can count the books that you read for that challenge for this challenge as well.  2015 reading challenge logo - participantAlso, 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 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.

Tweets of the Week: May 8th

2015 May 8
by Katie Shanahan Yu
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Here is a roundup of the tweets that you might’ve missed this week!

tweets of the week | the hub

Books

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Women in Comics: 2015 Eisner Award Nominations

2015 May 8
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eisnerawards_logo_13This month, I thought I would take a look at some of the great works by women that are nominated for this year’s Eisner Award. The Eisner Awards, or more correctly, the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, recognize the best achievements in American comics on an annual basis. The award nominations are typically announced in April with the awards being presented at San Diego Comic Con in July. This year, some wonderful works by women are nominated and it seems like a great time to consider both those that I have previously written about and some new gems. This post won’t look at the work of all of the Eisner nominated women, but will instead focus on those that will appeal to teens and fans of young adult literature.

Ms. MarvelMs. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona, Saga by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples, and Bandette by Paul Tobin & Colleen Coover are three of only four titles to have received three or more nominations which doesn’t surprise me at all. Ms. Marvel has been extremely popular for the way that it has reimagined the Ms. Marvel character as a teen Pakistani-American named Kamala Khan who is a huge fan of Carol Danver and ultimately ends up stepping into her shoes as Ms. Marvel. The series received a lot of publicity for the fact that Kamala Khan is the first Muslim character to headline a Marvel series and the story has helped to keep it popular. It earned not only Eisner nominations in the categories of Best New Series, Best Writer (for G. Willow Wilson), Best Penciller/Inker (for Adrian Alphona), Best Cover Artist (for Jamie McKelvie/Matthew Wilson), and Best Lettering (for Joe Caramagna), but also a Hugo nomination and a spot on YALSA’s 2015 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list. read more…

A Teen Perspective: School Reading vs. Recreational Reading

2015 May 7
by Teen Blogger
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photo by Flickr user pedrosimoes

photo by Flickr user pedrosimoes

If a teen is passionate about reading and actively reads books, shouldn’t he or she enjoy any book whether it be for school or recreation? What is the difference with reading for school and reading for “fun?” What makes a teen engage in reading books in the first place?

The aforementioned questions are some that I will attempt to investigate in my evaluation of school reading versus recreational reading. School reading consists of reading any book that is required by the school curriculum, typically for English class but sometimes for other subjects as well. Recreational reading is when teens choose to read books in their own free time, there is no requirement for this type of reading. Generally, I believe teens prefer recreational reading to school reading for two distinct purposes—freedom of choice and personal interest.

For the most part, teens enjoy having independence, and this desire for individuality also plays a role when it comes to choosing what book to read. I see reading as an opportunity to absorb more knowledge, learn about new perspectives, and engage in a creative realms. For recreational reading, teens have the freedom to choose which book they would like to delve deeper into. In this case, reading becomes more of an option and an opportunity to partake in intriguing new subjects. However, when it comes to school reading- the books are already selected. Thus, the students no longer have the freedom of choice when it comes to selecting which book to read. School reading is mandatory, whereas recreational reading is entirely discretionary.

Students tend to engage in reading books that they are most interested in. With a vast range of genres and literary styles, the reading possibilities for young adults are endless! The plethora of reading options makes recreational reading that much more exciting. Some students enjoy reading only action packed books, others enjoy romantic novels, while others like to read poetry. When it comes to recreational reading students can choose to read whatever interests them. read more…