During the Teen Feedback Session at ALA Midwinter, teens from Seattle and Oregon shared their opinions about the books on the Best Fiction for Young Adults 2019 list. With their input, the BFYA 2019 Blogging team determined the BFYA 2019 Top Ten:
Three years ago, I sat in a locked room and deliberated with my Morris Award Committee colleagues. We laughed and argued over the merits of each of our five finalists before reaching a decision. I was teary-eyed as our winner was announced and the audience cheered. I celebrated at the Morris/Nonfiction Award Ceremony and flew home that night, exhausted.
There is something special about the Morris Award because it is given to a debut novel. I feel a special connection to the five debut authors whose work I spent a lot of time with. Sort of the way I feel about my nieces and nephews — proud, but not because I had any real part in their creation. Like a good Auntie following my siblings’ children, I have followed the career paths of the five 2016 Morris finalists. Here’s what they have been up to since 2016.
The House of One Thousand Eyes by Michelle Barker Annick Press Publication Date: September 11, 2018 ISBN: 978-1773210711
When Lena’s subversive uncle disappears without a trace in Communist East Berlin, she risks everything to find out what happened to him.
Following her confinement in a mental institution due to her breakdown over the tragic death of her parents in a factory accident, Lena is released to live with her stern auntie in East Berlin. Because everyone thinks Lena is simple, she is allowed to work night shifts as a cleaning girl at the State Security Service’s headquarters; she lives a regimented, routine life and looks forward to Sunday afternoons spent with her beloved uncle Erich, a writer with subversive ideas and a loose regard for authority. One night following one of their Sunday outings, Erich disappears. Lena mounts a frantic search for him, one which leads her to dead ends everywhere she looks: his books vanished from the shelves of libraries and bookstores and all records of him purged from official files; it is as if he never existed. Desperate to discover what happened to him, Lena begins a quiet but dangerous investigation, snooping around Stasi offices in the dead of night, despite the watchful eyes of her coworker Jutta, her strict aunt at home, and who knows whom else. What she uncovers shakes up everything she thought she knew, casting new light on her parents’ deaths and making her question everything she had been told about the “Better Germany.”
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland Balzer & Bray/HarperTeen Publication Date: April 3, 2018 ISBN: 9780062570604
Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to rise at Gettysburg and ended the war- not due to one side’s victory, but instead due to both sides’ fear. The compromise that ended the Civil War abolished slavery in the South, but introduced the Negro and Native Reeducation Act, which allows former slaves, and their children, two options- either fight shamblers on the frontier, or attend special combat schools, in training to protect the lives of right white Southerners. Even though she’s the daughter of a white plantation owner and former slave, Jane can’t escape the future that has been preordained for her—she has spent her entire life learning the arts of combat and Southern society in order to take up the mantle as an Attendant. As Jane’s education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore nears its end, and her future looms closer, a close friend asks Jane to search for his lost sister as entire families also begin to go missing. Jane, along with another Attendant who also straddles both worlds, ends up in the West, where they must battle both the undead—and the living—for their very existence.
Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli HarperCollins / Balzer + Bray Publication Date: April 24, 2018 ISBN: 978-0062643800
It’s three months before prom and Leah’s squad is in shambles.
Leah has the greatest friends in the universe…so why hasn’t she come out as bi to anyone yet? Especially Simon, her BFF, came out to her to her last year before anyone else in the squad. Maybe it’s because she is starting get to feelings, REAL feelings, for someone in her group circle and that someone is dating her friend. Throw in the spring musical, college acceptances (and rejections), and senior prom, and Leah may just completely lose it.
Beck Albertalli’s debut novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda took the book world by storm when it was published in 2015 earning Albertalli a National Book Award nomination. and winning the William C. Morris YA Debut Award in 2016. The movie adaptation (retitled “Love, Simon”) will hit theaters in March 2018 and Albertalli’s companion novel Leah on the Offbeat will release in April. Any fan of this book knows you can’t have too much Simon, but in the meantime these books can fill that Simon shaped hole in your heart until 2018 rolls around.
While librarians will be arriving in droves in Orlando for the 2016 American Library Association Annual Conference in the next few days, across the continent in Anaheim, another theme-parked arena, flocks of digital content fans and creators will be swarming for the 7th annual Vidcon, June 23-25, and many of these attendees will be teens. Studies are showing that a majority of teens are big consumers of online video. Short Vines are grabbing interest, but Youtube is still where a lot of time is being spent watching favorite Youtubers, and for some of the Youtube stars, the fandoms run deep.
In honor of Vidcon, here are a handful of Youtubers with huge fan bases that have recently published books, and some YA book suggestion crossovers that might have some of the same appeals and feels.
Oakley began making videos in 2007, and is a leading youth voice for LGBTQ+ rights and teen suicide prevention. Binge can be laugh out loud funny and turn around and be deeply heartfelt and inspiring. Aside from his Youtube channel, he also has a podcast: Psychobabble Tyler Oakley.
Character-driven, heartfelt, and authentic, this will appeal to Oakley fans with both its humor and feels. Not-so-openly-gay Simon Spier is falling in love with an online friend whose identity he is uncertain of, but is pretty sure that he goes to his school. When a classmate uncovers his secret relationship, he blackmails Simon into helping him try to win over one of Simon’s best friends. Simon fears of being outed are less about being ostracized, and more about what will change once everyone knows. Though on one side this is a light-hearted and romantic novel it also deals with the difficulty of change, complexity of identity, and the importance of growth
Hold Me Closer: the Tiny Cooper Story by David Levithan
Written in play format, the larger-than-life Tiny Cooper is telling his life story as a musical. A hopeless romantic with a witty take on life, Tiny hits the issues head-on. Both Tiny and Oakley serve as positive role models and cheerleaders, each with a charming sense of humor. Tiny also has real depth in his autobiographical play that Oakley fans will resonate with as he looks at the sober side of the nature of love.
This book parallels Binges as a book of self discovery, and of finding and managing the Diva within. Equally filled with hysterical hijinks, Better Nate is the story of a small town 8th-grade boy running away to New York City to follow his dreams of being on Broadway in a musical production of E.T. As Nate gradually falls in love with the city, issues bubble up around sexuality, family, and of who you are, and can be, in the world. Continue reading Vidcon Special: Youtuber and YA Book Crossovers
Last month, we asked which series finale or next installment you’re most looking forward to this spring, and Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven King was the favorite by a landslide (48% of the vote!). Tied for second were The Crown, Kiera Cass’ final book in the Selection series, and The Last Star, the final book of Rick Yancey’s 5th Wave trilogy, with 16% percent each. A Court of Mist and Fury was a close third, with 14%, and The Rose and the Dagger had 8% of the vote.
Today we’re going to revisit a poll theme from several years ago: your favorite YA siblings, updated with some more recently-published characters. Did we leave out your favorite siblings? Tell us in the comments! Continue reading It’s Your (Monthly) Monday Poll: May
Not signed up yet for YALSA’s 2016 Hub Reading Challenge? Read the official rules and sign up on the original post. Anything you’ve read since the awards were announced counts, and the challenge runs until 11:59pm EST on June 23, so sign up now!
I’m feeling a little shocked that it’s May already (I work in a school; crunch-time is descending!), but there are still over seven weeks of reading time left in this year’s Hub Reading Challenge, and I’ve got lots of titles I’m hoping to fit in before June 23rd.
Lately, I’ve read the latest Ms. Marvel installments (Vol. 3: Crushed, from the 2016 Great Graphic Novels for Teens Top Ten list, and Vol. 4: Last Days as well, which is not for the Hub 2016 Reading Challenge, but I really really love Ms. Marvel, so I’m planning to keep reading the series as long as G. Willow Wilson is writing them). I also finally got my hands on Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (this year’s Morris Award Winner), and am half-way through The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds, a 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book.
Valentine’s Day might be over but that doesn’t mean some readers aren’t still in the mood to fall in love with a good love story! If you’re looking for some recent titles to spice up a suddenly sparse book display or you’re in need of some new recommendations for your eager romantic readers, the Hub bloggers are here for you!
This week we’ve gathered together to showcase just a few of our recent favorite young adult romances. Some of our picks are well-known titles while others might have slipped under the radar. Either way, we hope you’ll find something new and exciting to read or share. Want even more romantic reading inspiration? Check out Dawn Abron’s latest Diversify YA Life post highlighting interracial couples in young adult fiction or search our tags for past romance book lists.
After several months anonymously corresponding with a classmate he knows only as Blue, Simon Spier is sure of several facts: he is definitely gay, he is falling in love with Blue, and he does not want to share either of these realities with anyone else–at least, not yet. But then Simon’s emails fall into the wrong hands and suddenly, his–and Blue’s–secrets are in serious danger of being revealed. Can Simon find a way to come out on his own terms, without causing even more drama amidst his increasingly complicated group of friends, becoming the center of unwanted attention at school, or–worst of all–losing his chances with Blue, the perfect boy he’s never met? -Kelly D.
What We Left Behind by Robin Talley
In high school, Gretchen and Toni were that couple. They prided themselves on the fact that they never fought and their friends all joked that they were already practically married. Gretchen and Toni had the kind of love everyone else envied. Then Gretchen decides that she’s not coming to Boston with Toni in the fall–she’s going to try out NYU for at least a semester instead, abandoning the plan the two have carefully constructed. Toni is angry and Gretchen is guilty but still they’re convinced that they’re going to make it. But while Toni, who’s quietly identified as genderqueer for about a year, finds a new sense of belonging with a group of older transgender students, Gretchen struggles to redefine herself as someone other than Toni’s girlfriend. Is love enough or is the distance between more than mere geography? – Kelly D.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Sandwiched between the dependable Margot and mischievous Kitty, Lara Jean feels secure as the shy and quirky middle Song sister. She’s content being the one who stays home to scrapbook or bake on Friday night and she finds expression for her unrequited crushes in writing letters that she hides in a hatbox under her bed. But then Margot is heading off to Scotland for college and within weeks, disaster strikes when Lara Jean’s secret letters are mistakenly mailed out. Now all her past crushes are coming back to haunt her as her first kiss, her camp crush, and the boy next door ( also Margot’s ex-boyfriend) each confront her about the letters. And suddenly Lara Jean’s dependable and tidy life is spinning out of control. -Kelly D.Continue reading Hub Bloggers Love: Recent Young Adult Romances