#QP2018 Nominees Round Up

Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios
Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
ISBN: 9781627797726

Grace’s life is already pretty difficult, honestly. Between her extremely controlling stepfather, her cleanliness-obsessed mother, caring for her young brother, school, work, and theater she barely has time to breathe. Grace has had a crush on a senior from her drama club named Gavin for a while, and when brooding, tortured Gavin seems interested in her, at first she thinks it may be a turning point. Finally – she’ll have someone other than her two best friends who support and encourages her, and she’ll be the girlfriend of THE Gavin Davis. From the very beginning, though, Grace lets the reader know that this fairy tale love does not have a happily-ever-after ending. Continue reading #QP2018 Nominees Round Up

Celebrate Victoria Day with YA Lit!

Image by Alexander Bassano, via Wikimedia Commons

Today marks Victoria Day (Fête de la Reine), a Canadian national holiday to honor Queen Victoria’s birthday. It’s celebrated on the last Monday before May 25. Much like Memorial Day weekend in the U.S., this long weekend is viewed by many as the official kickoff to summer.

Victoria hasn’t gone unnoticed by today’s authors, either. Here at the Hub, take a moment of this holiday to peruse a few of the titles about this fascinating monarch and her times!

victoria rebelsVictoria Rebels, by Carolyn Meyer – In this intriguing installment of the Young Royals series, Meyer’s always well-researched fiction draws directly from Victoria’s journals to reveal her thoughts and dreams from as young as age eight.

The Agency series, by Y.S. Lee – There are plenty of the agency teen books set in the Victorian era, such as this series about a girls’ academy that is actually a cover for an all-female detective agency. In book 3, however, Queen Victoria herself plays a part, when she hires protagonist Mary Quinn to investigate recent thefts at Buckingham Palace. Continue reading Celebrate Victoria Day with YA Lit!

Genre Guide: Steampunk for Teens

By Catherinette Rings Steampunk (Daniel Proulx) (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Catherinette Rings Steampunk (Daniel Proulx) (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Steampunk, believe it or not, is a term that has been round since the late 1980s. It is usually defined as a sub-genre of science fiction and features a late 19th century or early 20th century setting, but with steam-powered and clockwork inventions and machines.  Steampunk can also be identified as a sub-genre of speculative fiction and is often described as alternate history.  Most steampunk novels are set in Victorian England or America, but are also known to be set in the Wild West of America.

Authors to Know


Steampunk is often characterized by the setting of the story and inventions that are fantastical and magical. Steampunk uses a lot of visual descriptions, especially when it comes to the machinery and fashion. Oftentimes, a lot of description will go into how a machine works.  Supernatural elements are typically included in a steampunk story. Steampunk plots are adventure-driven stories, where machines play the part of moving the adventure along.  Since there is so much action packed into most steampunk novels, the pacing is usually fast.

The characters of steampunk novels are quirky and include inventors, mad scientists, or the like. Characters in steampunk novels also take on the punk mentality.  Usually the main character or characters is individualistic often goes against the mainstream, and he or she may be fighting for a cause or movement.   Many times the plot of a steampunk novel involves good vs. evil, where the good guys and bad guys are clearly defined. Continue reading Genre Guide: Steampunk for Teens

Showing Our True Colors: YA Covers That Got it Right in 2012

Publishing companies aren’t putting out enough YA titles that feature protagonists of color. And when they do, some book covers try to hide or obscure the characters’ race by showing them in silhouette or in shadow, or at times whitewashing them completely. Even the most diverse library collections sometimes look homogenous when you just see the covers. Don’t believe me? Check out my post from last week: “It Matters If You’re Black or White: The Racism of YA Book Covers.”

The problem is insidious, but it’s not completely pervasive, as many of you pointed out in the post comments last week. There are a lot of publishers, authors, and books that have no problem putting people of color on the covers of their books. So I just wanted to take a moment to recognize and celebrate those folks who understand how important it is for everyone to be able to see their own identity validated on the cover of a book. Here are some books covers that got race right in 2012.

Ichiro by Ryan InzanaA.D.D.: Adolescent Demo Division by Douglas RushoffNever Fall Down by Patricia McCormickBoy21 by Matthew Quick

Continue reading Showing Our True Colors: YA Covers That Got it Right in 2012

The Next Big Thing in Romance

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.

I love teen romance novels. They’re so emotional with their first love, their first kiss, their first time, and their first heartbreak. I’ve been hoping that there will be a surge in the contemporary romance book. I have teen girls asking all the time for books similar to Sarah Dessen’s. I pass along several of my favorite authors including Meg Cabot, Jennifer Echols, Jen Calonita, Abby McDonald, Rachel Hawthorne, Catherine Clark, Susane Colasanti, and Stephanie Perkins. Often, they come back looking for more.

Here are a few upcoming contemporaries that I can’t wait to read.

Continue reading The Next Big Thing in Romance

The Next Big Thing: Steampunk

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.

by flickr user Tryndakai

There are still many people who aren’t familiar with the term steampunk, but when you describe a book with steampunk elements in it they understand. It’s a sub-genre of science fiction and fantasy and usually contains elements of alternate history, the paranormal, and romance. The covers or illustrations often depict clockwork gears, goggles, steam engines representing the Victorian era, and dirigibles or other flying machines. Traditionally, steampunk novels are set mainly during the Victorian and Edwardian eras in London, or in the American Wild West, but there are many exceptions such as Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan series, which is set in an alternate World War I in Europe.

Coincidentally, as I’m writing this, I’m watching Steamboy, the animated Japanese 2004 steampunk film that incorporates all the elements found in the best steampunk fiction. I just missed posting this last week during book publisher  Tor’s 4th annual Steampunk Week. Tor had lots of great posts, articles, short stories, and sweepstake offers on its website.

Steampunk isn’t new, but there’s been a big increase in steampunk books written for teens in the past several years and more written by women. Continue reading The Next Big Thing: Steampunk

Identifying a Potential Steampunk Reader

Steampunk in one of today’s growing trends in YA literature (read Maria Kramer’s award-winning previous post about it!), but many people still have no idea what steampunk means, let alone if they’ll like reading it. The clearest and most concise definition I could find online says steampunk is “genre fiction typically set in Britain in the 1900’s when steam power was prevalent and prior to the broad use of electricity. The location can be anywhere, however, including North America. Steampunk usually encompasses alternate history elements and fantastical inventions. They are often heavily geared toward science fiction and fantasy. Steampunk comprises romances and non-romances.” Even that definition can lead to some head scratching, though. What does it really mean?

Steampunk is alternate history. Steampunk is awesome gadgetry. Steampunk is corsets, cravats, top hats, goggles, and parasols. Steampunk is a variety of little elements that add up to a very unique reading experience. So, how to identify a potential steampunk reader? Here are some questions you could ask to find out:

  • Are you a fan of historical settings?
  • Do you love when characters use cool gadgets?
  • Are you fascinated by clothing from different eras?
  • Do you find yourself dropping slang you’ve read into regular conversations?

Continue reading Identifying a Potential Steampunk Reader