#BFYA 2019 Nominees Round Up, June 15 Edition

Last to Let Go by Amber Smith
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
ISBN: 978-1481480734

Brooke Winters is looking forward to starting a new school with better AP options for her junior year. On the last day before summer break, Brooke comes home to find her mother, who has been a victim of domestic abuse, arrested for allegedly killing her father. Her younger sister, Callie, is in shock after witnessing the killing and will barely speak to anyone. Her older brother, Aaron, becomes his siblings’ legal guardian while their mother is in jail. Brooke struggles to find a way to keep her family together. In addition to issues at home, Brooke is learning how to handle her feelings for her new friend, Dani.

Continue reading #BFYA 2019 Nominees Round Up, June 15 Edition

#QP2019 Nominees Round Up, June 12 Edition

Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter
Scholastic Press
Publication Date: March 27, 2018
ISBN: 9781338134148  

Maddie and her friend Logan, who just happens to be the President’s son, were inseparable until Maddie’s father, a former Secret Service agent, whisks her away to the remote Alaskan wilderness after an attempted abduction of the First Lady. Six years later Logan joins her in Alaska at the insistence of his parents in an attempt to get him to “shape up.” Soon the two teenagers are left on their own, technology and adult free, when a mysterious Russian assailant attacks, forcing them to flee into the unforgiving wilderness. Though Maddie is furious with Logan for his six years of silence, she will have to rescue him, and fast, from the ruthless hitman hot on their trail.

Continue reading #QP2019 Nominees Round Up, June 12 Edition

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.

Definition:
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.

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

Appeal:
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

Continue reading Genre Guide: Action Novels

YA Books to Make You Laugh Out Loud

CC photo by Flickr User Joao Paulo de Vasconcelos
CC photo by Flickr User Joao Paulo de Vasconcelos

One of the most frequent readers’ advisory questions I get is  also one of the most complicated. Often, a reader asks for a “funny” book. But what does that mean?

Humor is subjective. Some readers might be looking for a book with slapstick-y humor, others might appreciate darker humor, like satire. Some readers don’t mind a book with bits of humor but more dramatic themes overall, others just want an easy, breezy comedy.

Bottom line: matching books with readers looking for a funny book can be tricky.

Since April is National Humor Month, it seemed like a good time to break down the subcategories of humor and offer suggestions for readers looking for funny books.

Satire

Satire is the use of humorous exaggeration to expose and criticize, particularly in the context of politics or culture.

beauty queensBeauty Queens by Libba Bray (2012 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2012 Amelia Bloomer List, 2012 Rainbow List, 2014 Popular Paperbacks) is about a group of beauty pageant contestants who crash land on an island: hilarity ensues. But while a less adept writer might have just mocked the beauty-obsessed girls, but instead, she creates complicated characters who for various reasons—money, love, approval—have all bought into the rigid standards beauty pageant contestants are expected to embody, and in the process, critiques consumerism , reality TV, and of course, pageants.

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde (2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults) is the story of Jennifer Strange, a wizard for hire who becomes the last dragonslayer. Like Bray, Fforde critiques the corporate world and consumer culture in this fantasy series sure to put a smirk on reader’s faces.

Teen readers who love satire should also check out the classics from authors like George Orwell and Kurt Vonnegut.  Continue reading YA Books to Make You Laugh Out Loud

Oscars Best Picture Nominees: Readalikes

Credit Flickr user Rachel Jackson
Credit Flickr user Rachel Jackson

We are in the midst of Hollywood’s award show season with what seems to be an endless variety of shows every weekend. Each show bringing new red carpet styles, Youtube-able acceptance speeches and a new list of what films to watch. In the spirit of this flurry of film festivities and movie lists, we thought a readalikes post would be the best way for us at the Hub to partake in all of this fun. So in preparation for the quintessential award show, the Oscars, we’ve come up with a list of a YA readalikes for some of this year’s most talked about films – The Academy Awards Best Picture Nominees.

Special thanks goes to Hannah Gomez, Jennifer Rummel, Erin Daly, Tara Kehoe, Sharon Rawlins, Jessica Lind and Wendy Daughdrill for helping to create these booklists.  

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Jukebooks: My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

My True Love

Some of your favorite authors in the young adult literature world have put their own spin on the holiday season in a brand-new collection of holiday-themed short stories. For this incredible collection, we have a full playlist.

To get the connections, you’ll have to read the stories!

 

 

1. “Midnights” by Rainbow Rowell
A Thousand Years by Kristina Perry

 

2. “The Lady and the Fox” by Kelly Link
Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me by The Smiths

 

3. “Angels in the Snow” by Matt de la Pena
Yo Amo La Navidad by Tercer Cielo

 

4. “Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me” by Jenny Han
Last Christmas by Wham

 

5. “It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown” by Stephanie Perkins
O, Christmas Tree by Winter Solstice

 

6. “Your Temporary Santa” by David Levithan
Don’t Stop Believin’ by Glee Cast

 

7. “Krampuslauf” by Holly Black
Auld Lang Syne  by Rod Stewart

 

8. “What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth?” by Gayle Foreman
You Can’t Always Get What You Want by the Rolling Stones

 

9. “Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus” by Myra McEntire
Away in a Manger by Brad Paisley

 

10. “Welcome to Christmas, CA” by Kiersten White
Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney

 

11. “Star of Bethlehem” by Ally Carter
O Holy Night by Jackie Evancho

 

12. “The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer” by Laini Taylor
Beautiful Dreamer by Roy Orbison

 

Genre Guide: Spy Fiction

By Employee(s) of Universal Studios (Photograph in possession of SchroCat) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Employee(s) of Universal Studios (Photograph in possession of SchroCat) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Definition
Spy fiction is a sub-genre of mysteries and thrillers. For a novel to be considered spy fiction, some form of espionage must be present in the plot. This can include one person as a spy, or a whole agency of spies.  Spy fiction can be set in the present day, past, and future. When spy fictions are written for teens, the protagonist or protagonists are often inexperienced and considered amateur sleuths.

Authors to Know

Characteristics
Spy fiction must have action and adventure. Though some have it outright, others may have more of a cerebral approach.  The main character or characters have a mission that is given to them at the start of the story.  This can be a mission that they adopt themselves or one that is handed to them by a higher-up.  Oftentimes, spy fiction involves some kind of political entity, either employing the spy or working against them. In spy fiction, good and bad parties are clearly defined.  Most often, we are receiving the story from the good guy’s point of view, and that good guy is the spy.   However, readers must always beware of the double agent!  Unless part of a series, most spy fiction novels end with justice.  However, before justice is carried out the reader is usually led on a series of twists and turns and kept guessing as to if the main character will be victorious in the end.  Spy fictions are usually set in the past, alternate past, or present, and rarely are they set in the future. Continue reading Genre Guide: Spy Fiction

“Grown-Up” Books (For the Kid in You)

Girl_Reading

When did you start to love reading? Can you remember the first book that did it for you?

Why, yes I do remember–so glad you asked! I was in third grade at my local public library with my friend Margaret (a bookworm and savvy reader a few years older than me). She thrust Lois Lowry’s Anastasia, Again at me so I shrugged and checked it out. I spent the rest of that afternoon on my front porch for hours happily lost in the book. I was a reader. And I haven’t looked back since.

Over the years, I have found that the phase of life in which you read a book affects your outlook on it. Have you ever re-read a beloved book only to find you now despise it? Have you discovered that you still love that same book but notice a lot of different stuff now? If you’ve grown up reading chances are you have many fond memories of the greats you read as a kid. In this line of thinking my colleague Meaghan Darling and I put together some recommendations of titles to try now based on what you liked when you were younger.

Witches_HUB

* The Witches by Roald Dahl –Beautiful Creatures (2010 Morris Finalist) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Some witches are good, some are bad—but all are powerful!

Continue reading “Grown-Up” Books (For the Kid in You)

Want to Read S’more? Have Some Ooey Gooey Delicious Books in Threes

IMG_20140807_125805331

Summer is the perfect time for reading for fun and making s’mores. In fact, yesterday was National S’mores Day.

So I decided to combine these two concepts and give you three books on the same topic – think of them as the graham cracker, the marshmallow, and the chocolate of a s’more- all deliciously good.

Fantasy:

Hub 1

Thrillers:hub 2

Continue reading Want to Read S’more? Have Some Ooey Gooey Delicious Books in Threes

Genre Guide: Mysteries for Teens

Definition

Image by Wikimedia Commons user Alterego
Image by Wikimedia Commons user Alterego

The definition for teen mysteries seems to be slightly less strictly defined as in comparison to their adult counterparts.  First, there is usually “something” to solve.  Generally, it is a crime, but in some cases it can be a secret that is not necessarily illegal or punishable by law.  For example, why someone killed themselves or discovering that someone is cheating in a contest or academic endeavor.  Also, while adult mystery novels usually have detectives at work at solving mysteries, in teen novels it is often an average teen with an inquisitive nature–someone who is a true amateur.

Teen mysteries are similar to their adult counterparts, however, when it comes to the plot unfolding.  The clues are presented to the main character(s) and to the reader, and steps are taken as to get more information to discover the how, what, why, who, and sometimes even the where and when.  Ultimately, we are given the final reveal at the end of the novel.

Authors to Know