Skip to content

Tag: Beth Kephart

What’s Trending in YA?

I’ve had the opportunity to attend a few publisher previews recently and have noticed a few recent trends in YA publishing. Since I haven’t been able to attend all the previews it’s not a completely comprehensive list so I welcome any suggestions for those I’ve missed.

Road Trips:

  • Kissing in America by Margo Rabb (5/2015). Teenaged girl still grieving over her father’s death a drive me crazy mcvoyporcpine of truth konigsburgRabb - Kissing Americafew years before contrives with her best friend to enter and win a teen game show to win a trip to CA to follow her crush.
  • The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konigsberg (5/2015). Two teens embark on a road trip to uncover the root cause of three generations of family estrangement and solve their difficult family issues.
  • Drive Me Crazy by Terra Elan McVoy (4/2015). Two girls who don’t really like each other, now related due to their grandparents’ wedding, try to get along as they accompany their grandparents on their California road trip honeymoon.

Mental Illness:

  • Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman (4/2015). Caden, 14, is gradually descending into made you up zappiaone stolen thing kephartchallenger deepschizophrenia and lives in two worlds – the real one and the one in his delusions.
  •  One Thing Stolen by Beth Kephart (4/2015). Girl who steals things then weaves them into elaborate nests is also losing the ability to speak due to a mental disorder.
  • Made You Up by Francesca Zappia (5/2015). Girl with paranoid schizophrenia

Death/Dying:

  • The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell (5/2015). Seventeen-year-old Japanese boy dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease) wants to die on his own terms.
  •  Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider (5/2015). Two teens with terminal TB

Kidnapping:

  • Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway (6/2015). Teenaged Emmy’s friend and neighbor Oliver Our Endless Numbered Daysshackled leveenemmy & oliver benway disappeared when they were in 3rd grade and she’s been overprotected by her parents ever since. Oliver returns years later after he finds out he was kidnapped by his father and must try to adjust to life with Emmy and his community again.
  •  Shackled by Tom Leveen (8/2015). Teenager suffering from severe panic attacks ever since her best friend disappeared six-years ago determines to find her after thinks she sees her again.
  • Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller (3/2015). Seventeen-year-old Peggy recounts how when she was 8, her mentally ill survivalist father kidnapped her from London and took her to an isolated forest where they survived off the grid after he told her the world had been destroyed.
2 Comments

YA Reads For Perfecting Your Triple Toe Loop

photo by flickr user Richard Bowen
photo by flickr user Richard Bowen

The figure skating competition for the 2014 Winter Olympics is just a few days away. It’s always been my favorite part of the Winter Olympics. Gracie Gold, 18, seems to be able to capture hearts with her smile and her sheer talent.  Polina Edwards at 15 seems so excited and shows so much love for the sport. Her enthusiasm is contagious. Ashley Wagner at 22 seems determined to make this her year. Her strength dominates the ice when she’s out there.

With these three amazing athletes, is it any wonder I find myself wishing to be able to skate? In their honor, we’re gearing up with a fun book list and some entertaining movies.

Untitled-1Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill
When Sloane Emily Jacobs, a socialite who fell from grace at the junior nationals, bumps into Sloane Devon Jacobs, a hockey player with a little too much aggression, both girls see this meeting for the opportunity it is. They decide to switch places for the summer in hopes of relieving the stress and pressure from their respective sports. Do they have what it takes to skate a mile in the other’s skates?

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
Hudson intentionally threw her last figure skating competition after learning a secret about her father. She hasn’t skated since that secret tore her life apart. Three years later, she’s earned the nickname the Cupcake Queen helping her mother and brother at their family diner.  Hudson hasn’t given up on her dream though and she might have a new way to achieve it.

3 Comments

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: A Day On, Not A Day Off

Most of us spend our days off by sleeping in and lounging around the house in our PJs. But on this day, Monday, January 21st, it is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. In his honor, this holiday is a day of service. There are lots of ways to volunteer your time for MLK Day. Many volunteer opportunities can grow into a year-round commitment with broad sweeping influence. “In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort.” Dr. King believed that service strengthened our relationship with neighbors and broke down prejudices, all of which got us closer to his ideal “Beloved Community.”

 

Comments closed

Teens write their OWN poetry

April is coming to an end and that means the end of National Poetry Month. Instead of focusing on books on writing poetry for teens, here are a few books about teens who write their own poetry.  This includes books where teens write song lyrics because there are so many similarities between song lyrics and prose poetry.  Good poetry contains effective imagery, compelling themes, originality and emotional evocativeness – also found in good song lyrics.

Adios, Nirvana (2011) by Conrad Wesselhoeft, selected as one of the winners of YALSA’s 2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults, is a new book that does that so well.  Jonathan, 17, is a former star student; talented poet and musician who is just careening through life, fueled by Red Bull and No-Doze, still reeling from his twin brother’s death. He’s also facing the possibility of repeating his junior year.  The only things standing between him and failure are his devoted best friends or “Thicks,” an understanding principal and his English teacher.  What will ensure that he makes it to senior year? He must attend class every day, help an 88-year-old WWII veteran write his memoir, and perform his principal’s  favorite song, “Crossing the River Styx,” at graduation on a legendary guitar donated to the school by rocker hero Eddie Vedder in honor of his talented musician brother.  Jonathan’s poetry is scattered throughout the novel “Chaos XIII – O sleeping bum of a building, you cradle the litter of our streets under your fake Doric columns…”   and shows his talent as a poet and prose writer.

Open-mic poetry nights are used to highlight a number of poetry-writing teens in a lot of older teen books:   

Comments closed