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.
Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger, illustrated by Rovina Cai Levine Querido Publication Date: August 25, 2020 ISBN: 978-1646140053
Lipan Apache teenager Elatsoe “Ellie” Bride lives in an alternate modern world populated by ghosts and vampires and fairy rings. Ellie has inherited the power to call on animal spirits, and she is content to explore her abilities slowly and quietly. But then her cousin Trevor dies in a violent car accident, and his ghost appears in a dream to warn Ellie that he’s been murdered, begging her to protect his family. Now Ellie must tread carefully to track a killer in a seemingly perfect small town, helped by her overly-enthusiastic best friend, her ghost dog Kirby, and the stories she’s learned about the abuses suffered and powers wielded by her powerful sixth-great-grandmother.
Click here to see all of the current Quick Picks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.
Find Layla by Meg Elison Skyscape Publication Date: September 1, 2020 ISBN: 978-1542019804
Layla is a 14-year-old aspiring scientist observing a world that doesn’t make sense. She knows that other people don’t live the way she does—in a dangerously run-down apartment filled with toxic mold, mushrooms, and maggots, and without electricity or a working door. Her unstable mother comes and goes as she pleases, leaving Layla to care for her younger brother with few resources. At school, Layla’s unkempt appearance makes her the target of relentless bullying. When a biome project is assigned in science class, Layla films her home and the organisms living in it—and when the video goes viral, her brother is picked up by Child Protective Services. Desperate for them to be reunited, Layla goes into hiding while seeking ways to tell her story on her own terms.
Click here to see all of the current Amazing Audiobooks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.
Where We Go From Here by Lucas Rocha; narrated by Christian Barillas, Anthony Lee Medina and Luis Selgas Scholastic Audio Publication date: June 2, 2020 ISBN: 9781338637601
Victor and Ian met in a clinic, both waiting for HIV test results. Victor is getting tested after having sex with t his boyfriend Henrique, to then find out is HIV+. Victor tests negative. On the other hand, Ian tests positive. Victor, while currently upset with what he considers his boyfriend’s dishonesty, offers to connect Ian with Henrique so he can help him learn how to live with HIV. Their three lives then intertwine with their different circumstances.
Poetry has been figuring in a lot of teen literature lately. Have you noticed? I don’t mean novels in verse, quality as some recent titles have been. Nor do I mean poetry collections for teens (a la Poisoned Apples or Paint Me Like I Am). The Guardian noticed this poetry trend, too, pointing out a few examples in a recent article, and asked its readers for more.
I liked how the article noted authors’ uses of poetry, such as Meg Cabot beginning the chapters of Avalon High with stanzas from The Lady of Shalott. These stanzas just happen to give a clue about the characters’ identities. The article also mentioned a similar use of poetry in Clockwork Angel, by Cassandra Clare: the lines that open the chapters are all from poets who lived in the time of the novel’s setting, late-19th century London.Continue reading Line by Line: Poetry in Teen Fiction
October is an exciting month for any YA lit fan, because it includes Teen Read Week! In honor of this annual celebration of young adult literature, YALSA invited book-loving teens all over the world to apply to share their enthusiasm for reading in a guest post for The Hub. Thirty-one talented young writers were chosen, and we’ll be featuring posts from these unique voices all month long. Here’s Summer Khaleq from California.
Most of us can attest to the fact that the ever-growing Young Adult genre is one of the most boundless and honest genres in modern-day literature. In terms of innovation, YA wins the gold.
Yet despite the ever-expanding horizons of YA, diversity in general seems to be a taboo topic. There aren’t nearly as many books featuring POC, LGBTQ, and/or disabled characters as there should be, with authors taking the safe route and opting for white heterosexual leads.
I’m certainly not the first to notice this, though. Campaigns supporting and advocating for diversity have been popping up all over the internet (such as the popular #WeNeedDiverseBooks Campaign), and if you aren’t familiar with any then you’ve either been a) living under a rock or b) hiding under a rock while reading a book. (Really, isn’t it sad the amount of campaigning that must be done in order to implement something that should be expected in this day in age?)
For those who are new to the movement, I’ve created a nifty little flowchart, since it can be cumbersome to look for potential diverse reads (insert expression of disappointment and irritation here). Even for those who have been following the campaigns for years, there are quite a few lesser-known books here that you should definitely give a try. Continue reading Diversify Your YA Contemporary Reads: A Flowchart