The Hub Reading Challenge – How to Get Started

There are several ways to approach the 2021 Reading Challenge here at The Hub, though there’s no easy way to five in a row! One way to get started is to look at the 2021 ALA YMA winners and honorees, many of which can fill more than one spot on the Bingo board.

2021 Hub Reading Challenge Bingo

Let’s begin with those top corners. The Odyssey Award is given each year to excellent audiobooks produced for children or young adults. The 2021 winner was Kent State by Deborah Wiles, which is also a full-cast audiobook, so it would work for either corner. Another award-winning title with a full cast audiobook is Traci Chee’s We Are Not Free, a 2021 Printz honor book.

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Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2021) Nominees Round Up, November 27 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.

King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender Book Cover
King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender

King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender
Scholastic Press
Publication Date: February 4, 2020
ISBN: 978-1338129335

When Kingston James saw a dragonfly land on his brother’s casket, he knew his brother was showing him he wasn’t truly gone. King constantly searches for his brother’s dragonfly to talk to; seeing the dragonflies always helps. Before his death, Khalid overheard King’s best friend Sandy confide a secret and pushed King to end the friendship over it. Now Khalid is gone, Sandy is missing, and King is alone and realizing he has the same secret.

Continue reading Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2021) Nominees Round Up, November 27 Edition

Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2021) Nominees Round Up, November 13 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.

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender Book Cover
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins
Publication Date:  May 5, 2020 
ISBN:  978-0062820259 

Felix worries that he’s one marginalized identity too many–Black, queer, and transgender. Still, Felix has his ride-or-die BFF Ezra at his side and a spot at a prestigious summer arts program that will help him get into the college of his dreams. But when an anonymous bully publicly displays images of Felix pre-transition along with his deadname, all his fears and doubts come flooding back. Now Felix must redefine his relationships with family, friends, enemies–and himself.

Felix and his friends are truly authentic teenagers: cocky, pretentious masters of the universe one minute; scared, confused, angry kids the next (and often both at the same time).  Felix’s defense mechanism of rejecting people before they can validate his self-doubt will be very familiar to many teen readers, who will also recognize the breakdown of social cliques and the willingness to open up to peers outside of their established friend groups that comes at the end of high school as students look toward “the real world” of college and beyond.  Throw in a diverse cast that talks about issues affecting queer communities and a heartfelt queer romance that’s begging to be adapted into a Netflix rom-com, and Felix Ever After (and its gorgeous cover art) is a crowd-pleasing addition to YA lit’s growing collection of #ownvoices trans stories. 

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2021) Nominees Round Up, August 4 Edition

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

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
HarperCollins / Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: May 5, 2020
ISBN: 978-0062820273

Felix, a high school senior who is trans, is enrolled in an elite summer art program in New York City. When an unknown classmate hangs pictures of Felix in their school’s lobby–personal, pre-transition photos, captioned with his deadname–Felix is devastated. Reeling with anger, he sets up a catfishing scheme to get back at the person who he thinks is responsible. In the process of uncovering the truth, Felix is pulled into a love triangle and grapples with feelings of being unworthy of love.

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