The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the field nomination form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.
Each week, the teams will feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation will be listed as well. At year’s end, the team will use that list of nominated titles to select a final list and Top Ten. The previous years’ lists are also made available on The Hub.
Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado
Publication Date: February 2, 2021
Meet Charlie Vega, half Puerto Rican in a white Connecticut town, proudly body-positive (or trying to be) despite her mother’s fat-shaming, and never been kissed. Charlie is best known as the best friend of Amelia, who is intelligent, beautiful, and all-around amazing in every way. When a cute coworker takes an interest in her, Charlie might finally be seen for herself instead of the fat girl standing in Amelia’s perfect shadow. But Charlie has been comparing herself to her BFF for years, and old habits die hard. Can Charlie throw off mistrust and self-doubt and learn to love herself first?
Continue reading Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2022) Featured Review of Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado
Click here to see all of the current Amazing Audiobooks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.
Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko; Narrated by Joniece Abbott-Pratt
Publication Date: August 18, 2020
Tarisai has grown up living a privileged life surrounded by tutors, luxury, and protection in her realm, but she has never received love and closeness from anyone around her. She especially longs for attention from her mother, called The Lady. At 11 years old, Tarisai is sent to Oluwan City to compete for inclusion on Crown Prince Ekundayo’s governing Council of Eleven. If chosen, she will bond eternally with Prince Dayo and her Council siblings via a mystical Ray, and gain the human closeness she so craves. But Tarisai learns that before she was born, The Lady commanded a djinn to impregnate her with a child who must someday grant her third wish. Tarisai is that child. And The Lady’s third wish is to kill the prince Tarisai is now sworn to protect.
Continue reading Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2021) Nominees Round Up, December 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.
Dear Sweet Pea by Julie Murphy
Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins
Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Sweet Pea DiMarco’s been through a lot of change recently: Her bestie dumped her, her dad came out, and her parents got divorced. In a misguided effort to keep her life stable, Sweet Pea’s dad moves into a nearly identical home two doors down. The choices she makes when she takes over her elderly neighbor’s advice column will shake everything up. But will things change for the better, or for worse?
Continue reading Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2020) Nominees Round Up, November 29 Edition
Are you ready to go big or go home with self-proclaimed fat girl, reluctant beauty queen, and all-around icon Willowdean Dixon of Dumplin’ fame?
Have you read Julie Murphy’s delightful novel about Willowdean and its companion Puddin’ already? Have you been watching the trailer for Netflix’s movie adaptation starring Danielle Macdonald and Jennifer Aniston?
If the answer to any of those questions is “Yes!” then look no further for some read-a-likes to keep you busy while you wait for the movie to drop.
Continue reading Booklist: Read-a-Likes for Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
Love Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell? We’ve got your next favorite book. Whether you liked the retro setting, the opposites attract romance, or comics & mix tapes, there’s something here for you. If you’re a librarian or library worker looking for suggestions to offer readers, this list includes both older and new titles.
Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
Readers won’t be able to help but cheer for Willowdean, an overweight teen who loves Dolly Parton and enters a local beauty pageant to prove a point to her mom, her town, and herself. Funny and moving, this is just a delight to read. The small town Texas town comes alive, the complicated friendship dynamics are nuanced, and the complications of feeling of first love ring true. This is a fun, feel good novel that’s the perfect antidote to Eleanor & Park’s heart-wrenching story.
Love is Mixtape by Rob Sheffield
While this is a memoir written for adults rather than a YA novel, fans of Eleanor and Park may enjoy Rolling Stone editor and rock critic Sheffield’s story of life, love, and mix tapes.
Tape by Steve Camden
Amelia finds a tape in her mother’s belongings, which turns out to be a recorded diary of Ryan, who lived 20 years ago. This well-structured and emotional novel weaves both stories together with plenty of twists and turns. Continue reading Booklist: If You Like Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
One of this year’s hot debuts is Dietland by Sarai Walker. Written for adults, the novel is related by the immensely likable Plum Kettle, an intelligent young woman who responds to “Dear Kitty” emails from adolescent girls in need of guidance. Beyond that, Plum hides. Weighing in at over 300 pounds, Plum attracts all the wrong kinds of attention, and it’s just unbearable. Her plan is gastric bypass surgery, after which she can reclaim her given name, Alicia, and wear all the cute clothes she’s been storing in her closet.
But Plum’s life goes completely off course when she meets a group of woman who battle society’s preoccupation with physical beauty. Plum alternately loves them and hates them, reactions, no doubt, shared by many readers. What seems to be a straightforward story about one overweight woman explodes into a high stakes action adventure featuring a terrorist group known as “Jennifer.” This book packs a lot, but perhaps most poignant are the “Dear Kitty” emails. Teen readers will come to love Plum through her thoughtful and funny responses. Continue reading Crossovers: Weighty Issues
I had the pleasure of attending the Breaking the YA Mold Tour which included Julie Murphy at the Arlington Heights Public Library in Arlington Heights, Illinois. The evening began with some Dolly Parton music and button making.
Julie Murphy’s second book, Dumplin’, is about an overweight girl who finds love and confidence. During the visit, an audience member claimed that her thin teenage daughter loved Dumplin’ and she wanted to know how Murphy was able to make a book about a fat girl relatable to all girls. Murphy answered by saying that readers can replace the word fat with whatever makes them feel left out. Murphy also said that many of us present an air of confidence, but when someone wants to touch our body, we get insecure. She believes we have to stop thinking that when someone loves us and our bodies we will begin to love ourselves, because that is a shortcut. We have to love ourselves first. Willowdean, the heroine of Dumplin’, prides herself on her confidence, but when a boy wants to touch her, she gets insecure. Dumplin’ enters a beauty contest and ultimately discovers that it is up to her to find her confidence. Continue reading The Traveling Librarian: Breaking the YA Mold with Meet Julie Murphy
Welcome back! It’s another hump day and we are exploring some more of our favorite literary tropes in YA fiction. “Trope” is defined as an overused theme, and we embrace and enjoy them again and again. Last week we investigated old clunkers: cars with “character” driven by some of our favorite characters. This week let us delve into the “I already know you introduction.” Typically, it goes something like this:
“Hi, I’m so-and-so.”
“I know who you are, we’ve been going to the same school since [fill in the blank] grade.”
And a friendship is sealed.
Continue reading YA Literary Tropes: The “I Already Know You” Introduction
Next week, the highly anticipated movie based on John Green’s 2012 Teens’ Top Ten winning title The Fault In Our Stars will be released. The first post I ever wrote for The Hub offered a list of books that fans of The Fault in Our Stars would enjoy and with the movie coming out so soon, now seems like a good time to add to this list.
Since my last post, I have discovered even more books that will appeal to fans of TFiOS, so whether you are looking for a book to occupy you until you see the movie or a list of books to fill your summer, hopefully you will find what you are looking for here.
Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy: Alternating between points of view and points in time, this story slowly reveals glimpses of Alice’s battle against cancer, but at its heart it is really the story of the relationship between Alice and her best friend Harvey, who she enlists to help her complete her bucket list. This is a book about what happens when you don’t die, and how difficult it can be to decide to grow as a person.
The F-It List by Julie Halpern: Another book about a bucket list, in this case, Alex is left to complete her best friend Becca’s bucket list when Becca is too sick to do most of the activities herself. After months of not talking due to Becca’s inexcusable actions on the day of Alex’s father’s funeral, the list helps to bring the two back together and allows Alex to work through her grief after her father’s death. Halpern creates characters who are real in both their strength and their flaws. Continue reading For Fans of The Fault In Our Stars: What to Read Next