Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2020) Nominees Round Up, November 26 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

cover artChangeling (Sorcery and Society #1) and Fledgeling (Sorcery and Society #2) by Molly Harper
Nancy Yost Literary Agency, Inc
Published August 22nd, 2018 and July 18th, 2019
ISBN: 9781641970457 and ISBN: 9781076160881

14 year-old Sarah Smith has grown up as a “snipe,” a non-magical member of the servant class.  One day, while in a panic, she shows a remarkable feat of magic in front of her employer. A snipe displaying magical powers could shake the foundations of society, so her employer takes her in as a “distant cousin” and introduces her to elite society as such.  Suddenly thrust into the upper class and enrolled at a magic school under a new name, Sarah must protect her secret from mean girls and teachers alike.

In Fledgling, further adventures of Sarah Smith ensue. She is finding her place at school with her friends. However, she feels a strong pull to find the other children like her, those with magic but not born into the elite magical class. Intrigue, romance and exciting action bring this chapter of the series to a satisfying close.

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2020) Nominees Round Up, June 4 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America Edited by Ibi Zoboi, with stories by Jason Reynolds, Nic Stone, Liara Tamani, Renée Watson, Rita Williams-Garcia and more.
Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: January 8th 2019
ISBN: 9780062698728

Black Enough is a collection of 17 short stories written by some of the biggest name Black authors of YA.  The young Black people in these stories confront all the typical teenage life experiences as well as some atypical ones.  Some have tragedy and some romance, and all of the stories are shaped with rich plots and emotions.

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#BFYA2019 Nominees Round Up, December 3 Edition

After the Fire by Will Hill
Sourcebooks Fire/Sourcebooks
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
ISBN: 9781492669791

Moonbeam’s entire life has been confined to the Lord’s Legion compound in the Texas desert. Citing dangerous outsiders, Father John, the self proclaimed voice of God and despotic church leader, has forbidden members to leave the compound. After federal agents storm the church and it is destroyed in a fire, Moonbeam finds herself in recovery at a hospital where she must confront the reality behind Father John’s lies and come to terms with her own actions.

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#QP2019 Nominees Round Up, November 27 Edition

The Red Ribbon by Lucy Adlington
Candlewick Press
Publication Date: September 11, 2018
ISBN-13: 9781536201048 

Ella is running for her life . . . toward a job as a seamstress in a remarkable sewing workshop at the notorious concentration camp of Auschwitz. As she works past her denial and naiveté and struggles to survive, she makes important relationships and life-changing choices.

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#ALAAC18 Recap: Printz Award Reception

On Friday, June 22, the Printz and Printz honor winners, announced in February at Midwinter, formally accepted their prizes.

As a fan of YA literature, one of the most exciting things about the Printz reception is how many authors (not just the year’s honorees!) are in attendance. Sitting in the audience and recognizing folks from their book jacket photos like Rebecca Stead, Tahereh Mafi, and Ransom Riggs truly made me feel like I was at the book world’s [much cozier] version of the Emmys and transformed a regular hotel conference room into something much greater.

After opening remarks from YALSA president Sandra Hughes-Hassell and 2018 Printz Committee Chair Angela Carstensen, each honoree spoke about their work and writing careers. Below is a brief recap of each speech from this special night. For more information about the Printz award and past winners, see the YALSA website and the Teen Book Finder App.

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#AA2019 Nominees Round Up, May 23 Edition

For Every One by Jason Reynolds, narrated by Jason Reynolds
Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
ISBN: 9781508246114

“For Every One” is a “poem in form only, a letter written in parts” that Reynolds wrote over several years concerning his journey of achieving his dreams. This book is for everyone who has ever hungrily pursued their dream; for everyone who has ever had setbacks and failure while on the path to that dream, and for everyone who may be too scared to dream again.

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#AA2019 Nominees Round Up, May 16 Edition

Sunny by Jason Reynolds, narrated by Guy Lockard
Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication Date: March 10, 2018
ISBN: 9781508263470

Sunny, the third title in Jason Reynolds’ Track series follows almost-13 year old Sunny, a reluctant track star, wannabe dancer, and self-described “weird” kid with too many things going “boing boing” in his brain. On the day Sunny was born, his mom died from an amniotic embolism. Neither Sunny or his dad (who Sunny refers to as Darryl) has every really recovered. Sunny still feels tremendous guilt, so although he finds track boring, he runs because it pleases his father, and because his mother, a former runner, cannot. Sunny’s real passion is dancing, and with the help of his teacher Aurelia, his coach, and his teammates, Sunny discovers a way to show off his best dance moves on the track. When Sunny finally discovers a way to express himself to the world with his body, his words, previously only shared in his diary, follow suit, offering hope that he and Darryl may finally begin to heal.

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#QP2019 Nominees Round Up, April 10 Edition

Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers / Hachette
Publication Date: March 20, 2018
ISBN:  978-0316440776 

Marvin’s twin brother, Tyler, goes missing after a party and is later found shot and killed. A video surfaces that shows Tyler being shot three times as a victim of police brutality…prompting Marvin to find ways to speak up and resist.

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2018 Best Fiction for Young Adults List

Have you heard? The Best Fiction for Young Adults list has been released! Check out the top ten below!

  • Arnold, Elana. What Girls Are Made Of. Lerner/Carolrhoda Lab. 2017. Sixteen-year-old Nina experiences sex, betrayal, loss, and a dysfunctional home life, all while trying to understand what it means to be female in the world and whether love can ever be truly unconditional.
  • Bardugo, Leigh. The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic. Illus. by Sara Kipin. Macmillan/Imprint. 2017. Traditional fairy tales are refreshingly twisted, re-created, and wrapped in gorgeous illustrations in this stand-alone collection of six short stories. The world-building will be familiar to Bardugo’s fans, and readers new to her Grishaverse have the pleasure of knowing they can take further excursions into this world.
  • Lee, Mackenzi. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen. 2017. Montague, the son of a British nobleman, embarks on a European tour with his best friend (and secret crush) Percy and his sister Felicity. Along the way, they encounter adventure and conflict that leads them to a very different destiny than the one awaiting their return to England.
  • Moon, Sarah. Sparrow. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine. 2017. Sparrow has a secret: her closest friends are birds. When she feels anxious, she goes to the roof and flies. One day, this practice lands her in the hospital, facing questions from the adults in her life. Slowly, she recovers, finds her voice, and makes new friends along the way.
  • Reynolds, Jason. Long Way Down. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum. 2017. Will’s brother has been shot. In this free-verse novel, Will steps into an elevator ready to head downstairs and to follow the rules he’s been taught and avenge his brother’s death, when he encounters the ghosts of victims of a chain reaction caused by a shooting.

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Booklist: Surviving Middle School

Middle school is the time of greatest change for teens. It is when you go from from 11 to 12-years-old to becoming an actual teenager. It is a time changing friendships and changing bodies, becoming more aware of yourself and of others. It is a time when identity is being explored, but also a time of growing empathy and sense of social justice. Books about the middle school experience are tricky to categorize, some speak to the younger side and some to the older, and choosing books for middle schoolers can be difficult because they are reading everything.

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