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Tag: julie kagawa

#BFYA2019 Nominees Round Up, November 30 Edition

Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa
Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
ISBN: 978-1335145161 

Yumeko has spent her whole life in the Silent Winds temple, isolated from the rest of the world and using her Kitsune (half-human, half-fox) nature to cause mischief. All that time she was unaware of the treasure protected by the monks in the temple. Not gold or riches, but one piece of a scroll that can summon the great Kami Dragon. When the temple is attacked, Yumeko must flee with the scroll in order to keep it safe.

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Genre Guide: Paranormal Romances for Teens



Paranormal Romance is a sub-genre of Romance. For a novel to be a Paranormal Romance, a simple thing must occur: love must begin between a human and a supernatural being (whether wholly supernatural or partially, just as long as there are supernatural elements present). However, this can be a broad interpretation. Usually, the protagonist (often the human) in these novels is put in some kind of danger, where they come to realize they can overcome this danger either on their own or with the help of the supernatural love interest.

Authors to Know

Main characters include both humans and supernatural beings. The supernatural being can be wholly supernatural or partly, and include but are not limited by the following “types”: vampire, werewolf, fairy, magician, mermaid, zombie, psychic, ghost, demon hunter, demon, angel, shapeshifter, dragon, and gods or goddesses.  Additionally, the human in Paranormal Romances can have a touch of the paranormal as well.  An example is the teen psychic that can see the ghost. Quite often, when it comes to paranormal romances written for teens, a love triangle is involved.  There could be more than one human, or more than one supernatural being in the triangle.

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Diversity YA Life: Diverse Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror

shadowshaperMuch of diverse young adult literature is contemporary, realistic fiction, or historical fiction about the struggle of being a person of color.  As a teen library worker, I get to know the personal lives of teens and some of their stories are heartbreaking.  From poverty to bullying, I recognize that the struggle is real and I am happy to be a non-judgemental adult soundboard.  I am also grateful for the plethora of young adult fiction available so that I can hand a book to a teen I feel will provide some insight and comfort.

But when life is tough, many teens also like to escape into fantasy and science fiction. Readers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror also like to see themselves in these books.  If people of color can survive slavery and oppression and poverty, they can also survive zombies and maniacal kings and naiyadragons. So, where are the black Hermiones?

I am a teen services specialist and a major part of my job is to connect teens with books.  I have an avid reader, who is Middle Eastern, who asks me to recommend fantasy books about once a month.  A year ago when the We Need Diverse Books movement started, I asked her to do a cue card about why we need diverse books and she stated that she would like to see more Middle Eastern characters in fantasy.   A little over a year later, I gave her The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh and she came back and absolutely raved about the book.  She said that she particularly loved the inside cover because there was a girl who looked and dressed like her.  This is one reason why we need diverse books.

If you are a library worker looking to enhance your diverse young adult repertoire or a teen reader looking for yourself in a magical world or a speculative fiction reader seeking something new, here’s a list of speculative young adult fantasy/science fiction titles for you to try.  Please note that some titles feature characters of color in a supporting role—but that’s okay because Hermione was a supporting character, too.


It Matters If You’re Black or White: The Racism of YA Book Covers

Whitewashing in YAMost of the time, I love young adult literature and am proud to be a YA librarian. But there’s usually a moment once a month when I feel sick, tired, and embarrassed to be working with YA books for a living — and that’s when I flip through my stack of review journals and see a menagerie of gorgeous white girls staring back at me from the covers of upcoming releases.

If a YA book features a white, female protagonist (and this accounts for a not insignificant portion of YA released each year), it seems inevitable that the book cover will display an idealized and airbrushed masterpiece of her on the cover. And when a YA book actually does have a protagonist of color, too often one of three things seems to happen:

  1. The cover is “whitewashed” and shows a Caucasian model instead of a person of color;
  2. The cover depicts someone whose race seems purposefully ambiguous or difficult to discern; or
  3. The character is shown in silhouette

These forms of racism on the part of publishers are unacceptable. And the fact that it is so rampant within the young adult publishing industry seems particularly despicable. The first step toward change is awareness, and so below I’ve tried to pull together a collection of examples of these forms of subtle and not-so-subtle racism. If you have other examples, please share them in the comments.


The Next Big Thing: Adults Reading Teen Literature

YALSA’s upcoming YA Literature Symposium will explore the future of young adult literature. The symposium begins on November 2nd, but we wanted to get a head start here at The Hub, so we’re devoting October to 31 Days of the Next Big Thing. Each day of the month, we’ll bring you forecasts about where YA literature is headed and thoughts on how you can spot trends and predict the future yourself.

Adults reading teen literature isn’t confined to bookstores — it’s also happening in the library, based on my personal experience in the 8 years I’ve been a Teen Librarian. I’ve had hundreds of conversations with adults about teen books. Sometimes it’s parents asking about books for their teen. Sometimes it’s parents wanting to read the same book as their teen. Many times, it’s an adult interested in reading teen books.

I often talk about teen books with my coworkers, especially the women in the processing department. Often they place holds on teen books. Right now, one is reading Throne of Glass and one is reading Keeper of the Lost Cities. I persuade my husband to read teen fantasy and teen science fiction books. I pass along books to my sister and my mother. I talk about teen books with adults all the time and urge them to pick up these fabulous reads. So frankly, I’m not surprised at all by the news that adults are reading teen books; it just makes sense.


Popular writers debut new series this fall

YA fiction is so series-saturated that I need a scorecard to keep up with what’s coming and going! With that in mind, here’s a heads-up on new series by established authors that will begin this fall. Fans of supernatural and paranormal fiction especially will want to mark their calendars.

Carnival of Souls by Melissa MarrCarnival of Souls by Melissa Marr
The author of the Wicked Lovely series offers this tale of daimons battling to the death for a chance to join a ruling elite, a young witch living in exile in the human world, and their inevitable confrontation. (September 4)


The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth GeorgeThe Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George
The author of the Inspector Lynley crime novels takes a stab at YA fiction with the Saratoga Woods paranormal series: a young woman on the run from her criminal stepfather hides out on an island off the coast of Washington State and discovers her physic powers. (September 4)


The Raven Boys by Maggie StiefvaterThe Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater infuses the “normal” world with magic in book one of The Raven Cycle. Blue Sargent, the daughter of the town psychic in Henrietta, Virginia, has been told for as long as she can remember that if she ever kisses her true love, he will die. Ergo, she stays away from the rich boys at the prestigious Aglionby Academy. The boys there — known as Raven Boys — can only mean trouble. (September 18)


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Highlights from the BEA Exhibit Floor

Book Expo America is an exciting and exhausting experience. It’s an event where professional development and fandom intersect.  You get a chance to learn about upcoming titles for your collection, hear creators talk about their craft, network with other professionals, and tell your favorite authors how much you love their books.

I began my whirlwind Wednesday at BEA at the Children’s Book and Author Breakfast, where authors Walter Dean Myers, Chris Colfer, John Green, Lois Lowry, and Kadir Nelson gave insight into the process of authorship and spoke about why books and reading are so important to the human experience. It was a big room with a full audience, and I think every one of us felt like the authors were speaking to us each personally. I won’t dwell too much on the breakfast as its funny and moving details were already covered by Jessica Miller in her earlier post, but it kicked off the day with a sense of community. The people who attend BEA are book people, a familiar and welcoming tribe.

Afterwards I went to wait in line for John Green, who was signing copies of The Fault in Our Stars in the autographing area. I am intimidated by my admiration for John Green–I have possibly read Paper Towns upwards of five times–but even when you’re in the grips of fandom, authors are kind. I got to thank him for the work that he does, and, seeing that I was a librarian, he thanked me for the work that I do.

The next author I sought out was Jonathan Maberry, whose series about zombie apocalypse survivor Benny Imura is a favorite among my library’s teens.

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Staking the Vampire

Smile! Your days are numbered!

It’s the beginning of the end, folks–for the Twilight series that is. As any Twi-fan knows, Breaking Dawn, Part 1 premiered last weekend, and it’s only a matter of time until “Part 2” wraps up the series in a happy little bow. Whether they like the Twilight saga or not, astute commentators must agree that those books changed the shape of teen literature, propelling paranormal romance, and vampires, to the top of the charts.

But have the blood-drinking sophisticates started to overstay their welcome? November 14th’s Hub poll determined that of all the trends in teen literature, “Vampires” was the one most Hub readers wanted to see go. So The Hub is here to ask the question “What next?” Towards which creature should we direct our adulation–or mockery? Who will put the stake in the vampire trend? Let’s examine the options.


31 Days of Authors: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (a 2011 Teens’ Top Ten winner)

Teen Read Week was October 16th through the 22nd, but here at The Hub, we’re celebrating all month long with 31 Days of Authors. On each day in October, we’ll bring you exclusive author interviews and profiles plus reflections on what YALSA-recognized books have meant to us. Today we feature Julie Kagawa, whose book The Iron King is #5 on this year’s Teens’ Top Ten list.

Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series has already received numerous accolades, and it’s no wonder that the first book in the series, The Iron King, made it into the Top 5 of this year’s Teens’ Top Ten! We bring to you an exclusive interview with Julie on the honor of this award, her love of gaming, Hollywood, and more.

CM: Congratulations on The Iron King making it on YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten for 2011! What does placing in the Top 5 mean to you?

JK: For me, it’s awesome because this is an award that the teens themselves voted for. Not a panel of experts or book critics, but the audience I wanted to write for all along. To have them vote The Iron King into the Top 5 is an honor I can’t begin to express. Thank you!

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