Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2021) Nominees Round Up, December 11 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Best Fiction for Young Adults nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly Book Cover
Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly

Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly
Scholastic Press 
Publication Date: October 20, 2020
ISBN: 978-1338268492

Her whole life, Sophia was told by everyone that her soft heart made her weak. After losing her heart to the queen’s huntsman (who also narrates the story), she gets a clockwork replacement from the seven men of the woods, and begins a journey of self-discovery. Along the way, she gains some unlikely alliances, who all help her see that kindness and empathy have a power of their own.

In this feminist retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, characters are often not what they first appear: a frighteningly large spider proves to be a gentle chef, a charming prince may be a heartless opportunist, and a wicked queen is a female ruler trying to hold her own in a world dominated by powerful men. Sophia grows from a browbeaten princess in need of rescuing to one who recognizes her own worth and figures out how to save not only herself but her entire kingdom.

Continue reading Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2021) Nominees Round Up, December 11 Edition

Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2020) Nominees Round Up, October 1 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.

Since We Last Spoke by Brenda Rufener
Harper Collins / Harper Teen
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
ISBN: 978-0062571083

Aggi and Max have grown up together and finally fallen in love. Just as their romance is going strong, a tragic car accident involving their older siblings occurs. Aggi’s sister was driving and Max’s brother is killed. Shortly afterward, Aggi’s sister commits suicide. Their fathers declare war on each other and the families are allowed no contact with each other. The teens yearn for each other but since a restraining order forbids contact between the two, they each believe the other has moved on. The painful heartache that both Aggi and Max feel is tragic and the reader will wonder if there is any way that they can overcome the situation in which they find themselves. Continue reading Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2020) Nominees Round Up, October 1 Edition

Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2020) Nominees Round Up, August 30 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Best Fiction for Young Adults nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly
Scholastic Press / Scholastic
Publication Date: May 14, 2019
ISBN: 978-1338268461

In a race between the Fates and Chance, Isabelle must forge her own destiny with the help of a Fairy Queens gifts to survive. In this dark fractured fairytale, Isabelle, one Cinderella’s stepsisters, must find the lost pieces of her heart to not only survive but to save her family. She must face her past, and what others think of her, to find who she truly is and what really matters.

Continue reading Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2020) Nominees Round Up, August 30 Edition

Putting Women Back in the Narrative: Historical Fiction That Remembers The Ladies

It was pretty much inevitable that I would become a Hamilton addict.  As both an American history nerd and a musical theatre geek, I found Lin-Manuel Miranda’s brilliant musical exploring the story of Alexander Hamilton and the founding of the United States irresistible from the moment I first listened to the opening number. However, my love of Hamilton comes not only from Miranda’s incredibly well-crafted soundtrack and book but also from his clear interest in highlighting perspectives often left out of the historical record, including the voices and experiences of women.
Obviously, I am not the first to notice this; articles like Michael Schulman’s “The Women of Hamilton and Constance Gibbs’ “How the Hero of Hamilton the Musical is a Woman”  explore the powerful ways that Miranda’s writing and the performances of Phillipa Soo, Renee Elise Goldsberry, and Jasmine Cephas Jones illuminate the often unacknowledged perspectives, experiences, and contributions of women in our history.  Singing along to songs like “The Schuyler Sisters,” “Satisfied,” and “Burn,” I can’t help but feel the urge to read some great historical fiction that places women and their stories in the spotlight.

Continue reading Putting Women Back in the Narrative: Historical Fiction That Remembers The Ladies

Celebrate Bastille Day with French Authors and Themed Novels!

Tomorrow is Bastille Day! To commemorate this day check out some French authors who have had their titles for teen readers published in the US and teen novels that center on French culture and history. Joyeux Quatorze Juillet!

French Authors

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No and Me by Delphine de Vigan (2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults)

Life as It Comes by Anne-Laure Bondoux

Vango by Timothée de Fombelle (2015 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults)

When I was a Soldier by Valérie Zenatti (2006 Best Books for Young Adults)

Winter’s End by Jean-Claude Morlevat

I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister by Amélie Sarn

Last Man, Vol. 1: The Stranger by Balak, Sanlaville, Vivés

 

Set in Paris

AnnaFrenchKissCoverdieformeBeautifulAmericansMarie Antoinette Serial KillerStarryNightsGadgetGirlJustoneDayCoverBandette

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (2012 Readers’ Choice, 2012 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults)

Die for Me by Amy Plum

Beautiful Americans by Lucy Silag

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender (2015 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers)

Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney

Gadget Girl: the art of being invisible by Suzanne Kamata

Just One Day by Gayle Forman (2014 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults, 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults)

Bandette in Presto! by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover (2014 Great Graphic Novels)

 

Historical Fiction Set in France

The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page MorganDarknessStrangeLovelyRevolutionCoverBelleEpoqueCoverPaleAssassinthe rednecklacecoverUnderWarnTornSkySovayGraveMercyBlueFlameRevolutionofSabine

The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan

A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly (2011 Odyssey Honor Audiobook, 2013 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, 2011 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults)

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross (2014 Morris Award Finalist)

The Pale Assassin by Patricia Elliott

The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner (2009 Best Books for Young Adults)

Under a War Torn Sky by L.M. Elliott

Sovay by Celia Rees

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers (2013 Teen Top Ten Nominee, 2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults)

Blue Flame by K.M. Grant

The Revolution of Sabine by Beth Levine Ain

 

–Colleen Seisser, currently reading Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

Genre Blend: Historical Fiction and Mysteries

"Postcards and magnifying glass" by Anna - Flickr: records. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Postcards_and_magnifying_glass.jpg#/media/File:Postcards_and_magnifying_glass.jpg
“Postcards and magnifying glass” by Anna – Flickr: records. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

I am a huge fan of mysteries, especially during the summer! I love a good page-turner that keeps me guessing until the very last page. A great thing about mysteries are that they also work well when they are blended with other genres.  One of my newest favorite genre blends are historical fiction and mysteries! If you are also a fan, or have yet to explore this genre blend, check out some of the titles below to get you started!

 

 

 

Death CloudDeath Cloud by Andrew Lane (2015 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults)

Set in the summer of 1868, fourteen-year-old Sherlock Holmes is sent to live with his aunt and uncle where he uncovers two mysterious deaths that appear to be plague victims. However, Sherlock suspects that these deaths are not what they seem so he sets out to investigate and uncover the truth.

 

 

 

 

 

northern light donnelly printzA  Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly (2004 Printz Honor Book, 2011 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, 2004 Selected Audiobooks for Young Adults, 2004 Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults)

Based on the true story of the 1906 Gilette murder case, Maggie is working the summer at a nearby inn, when one of the guests drowns.  Mysterious circumstances surround the death, including Maggie’s own involvement and interactions with the victim.

 

 

 

 

A Spy in the House by Y.S. LeeA Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee (2015 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults)

In Victorian London, Mary is saved from the gallows at the last minute and sent to a school where she is secretly trained to be a spy.  She is eventually selected to work a case where she is undercover as a lady’s companion to investigate a wealthy merchant’s shady business dealings.

 

 

 

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The Third Day of YA

The Twelve Days of YAThis year on the Hub we are celebrating the Twelve Days of YA with a series of posts loosely based on the traditional Twelve Days of Christmas gifts. We have converted each gift into a related theme common to YA and paired it with a list of relevant titles. You may use the Twelve Days of YA tag to read all of the posts in the series.

Special thanks goes to Carli Spina, Faythe Arredondo, Sharon Rawlins, Geri Diorio, Becky O’Neil, Carla Land, Katie Yu, Laura Perenic, Jennifer Rummel, Libby Gorman, Carly Pansulla, and Allison Tran for their help creating the booklists and organizing this series.

On the third day of YA, my true love gave to me three French hens.

There is something so romantic and exciting about stories set in foreign countries. France is certainly no exception. Rather than three French hens, today we are giving you eight French stories. The following books all take place, at least in part, in France. Ooh-la-la! We hope you enjoy the titles we picked and encourage you to share your favorite French stories in the comments!

AnnaFrenchKissCover   Isla and the Happily Ever After      BelleEpoqueCover

   JustoneDayCover  White_Bicycle  Marie Antoinette Serial Killer

– Jessica Lind, currently reading My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins

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

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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

Great Historical YA for Book Clubs

Great Historical YA for Book ClubsWhether your book club is full of fans of historical fiction who love getting lost in different time periods or the members groaned all through high school history classes, there is a historical YA novel that will generate great discussion for your group. Historical fiction can be as immersive as fantasy or science fiction by transporting the reader to a completely different place and time, but it can also provide context and prompt discussion of issues that are still relevant today. Since historical fiction can focus on a specific historical event, such as a war, or speak to larger cultural trends, such as the the rise of the mix tape, there is enough variety within historical fiction that any group should be able to select a historical title.

The Good Braider by Terry Farish“Historical” doesn’t have to signify the distant past; novels inspired by recent historical events can be a great introduction to the genre. The Good Braider by Terry Farish is a story told in verse of a family fleeing the Second Sudanese Civil War and emigrating to America during the early years of the 21st century. Its startling and gripping depiction of the horrifying conflict that killed and displaced millions of civilians and the struggles of new immigrants to adjust to a new culture will captivate readers. The events are only a little over a decade in the past, but they are centered around a specific moment in time. Of course, for teen readers that’s a lifetime ago, but for adult fans of YA, it can read more like contemporary or realistic fiction.

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How your iPod can be used as a Book Sorting Hat

headphones by kashirin nickolaiHave you ever just felt in the mood for certain types of books? Like after reading something dark and mysterious, you suddenly have this strong desire to read something light and funny? This happens to me all of the time. There have definitely been certain books that I have ended up greatly disliking mostly because I read them at the wrong time. And I’m not talking about the text being too difficult or the themes too mature, but more along the lines of my psyche just not being completely there. Jane Eyre was one of those books for me. I haven’t met too many people, let alone other book lovers like myself, who disliked that book as much as me. I read it in college while studying abroad in London, so really who would’ve thought that would be bad timing given it’s an English classic?! Well it was, and I suppose we’ll leave it at that. Perhaps if I had read Jane Eyre at another time, I would actually see why my most of my friends on Goodreads gave it four or five stars.

Since my Jane Eyre conundrum, I’ve become more mindful of my finicky psyche when choosing books. At times, just the act of deciding which book would be next up to bat was a cumbersome process. Then one day while I was listening to my iPod and reading, I had an epiphany about how best to select my next book based on my mood: music! If you think about it, your musical playlist is a great mood ring and can help narrow down what genre should be up next in your reading queue. With this in mind, I’ve compiled a list of songs and the books that best remind me of those songs. So if you catch yourself playing one of these tunes on repeat over the next few weeks, I suggest you pick up its book read-alike.

Continue reading How your iPod can be used as a Book Sorting Hat