Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2022) Featured Review of American Betiya by Anuradha D. Rajurkar

American Betiya Cover Art

American Betiya by Anuradha D. Rajurkar
Random House / Alfred A. Knopf
Publication Date: March 9, 2021
ISBN: 978-1984897152

When Rani meets Oliver, sparks fly. Unfortunately, he is her Indian parents’ worst nightmare. As their relationship deepens, Rani finds herself breaking all the rules to be with Oliver, rejecting her parents’ ideas of propriety in the name of love. Sure, Oliver tends to romanticize her culture as “exotic” and he has expectations she doesn’t always feel comfortable with, but all relationships require compromise and sacrifice, right? When an unexpected family emergency takes Rani away to her family’s home in Pune, India for the summer, she must decide how much she is really willing to give up to be what Oliver needs. 

Continue reading Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2022) Featured Review of American Betiya by Anuradha D. Rajurkar

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2021) Nominees Round Up, July 2 Edition

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

Teen Titans: Beast Boy by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo
DC Comics
Publication Date: September 1, 2020
ISBN: 9781401287191

Garfield Logan just wants to be bigger, muscled, and noticeable, but no matter how much he eats or exercises, he just can’t seem to get any bigger or even gain weight. But, after Gar realizes the “supplements” his parents are giving him are impeding his growth, he throws them away, and that’s when everyone starts noticing him—including his crush. One unexpected result that Gar wasn’t prepared for is, now that he’s off his meds, he can morph into animal form. He’s also noticed a shadowy figure stalking him—a figure who promises to answer all of his questions.

Continue reading Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2021) Nominees Round Up, July 2 Edition

Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2020) Nominees Round Up, November 5 Edition

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

Teen Titans Raven Book CoverTeen Titans: Raven (Teen Titans #1) by Kami Garcia, illustrated by Gabriel Picolo
DC Ink
Publication Date: July 2, 2019
ISBN: 978-1401286231

An origin story of DC’s Raven, this graphic novel opens on a scene between Raven and her adoptive mother discussing what appears to be a recent shocking revelation when their car is hit.  Her mother dies and Raven is left with amnesia. Raven is taken in by her mother’s estranged sister and cousin. Raven has to re-learn who she is while navigating high school while being pursued by a demon.

Teen Titans: Raven stars a well-known character.  The excellent artwork, and intriguing characters make this a quick read.

Those who like YA DC graphic novels such as Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale by Lauren Myracle will like this.  Also a great entry book for those wanting to check out YA graphic novels starring women. Continue reading Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2020) Nominees Round Up, November 5 Edition

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2020) Nominees Round Up, June 27 Edition

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

Quincredible, Vol. 1: Quest to Be the Best! by Rodney Barnes and Selina Espiritu
Roar / Lion Forge
Publication Date: June 4, 2019
ISBN: 9781549302824

Quinton West is a seemingly normal high school kid, trying to fit in while dealing with crushes, parental pressure, and neighborhood bullies. But normalcy is not an option because Quin is Enhanced, invulnerable to physical harm. After witnessing a riot, Quin decides to take action to help his community. However, his career as a crime-stopping superhero is quickly derailed as his identity becomes known and his parents are taken hostage. With the help of other Enhanced heroes, Quin must work quickly to save his parents and their community.

Continue reading Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2020) Nominees Round Up, June 27 Edition

#QP2019 Nominees Round Up, July 10 Edition

Sharks: Nature’s Perfect Hunter by Joe Flood
Roaring Brook Press / First Second
Publication Date: April 17, 2018
ISBN: 9781626727885 

The popularity of the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week is testament to the fascination we hold for this remarkable predator.  That curiosity is further fostered by this graphic novel that beautifully blends art and science.

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#BFYA2019 Nominees Round Up, June 2 Edition

All Out: the No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Thoughout the Ages edited by Saundra Mitchell
Harlequin Teen
Publication date: February 27, 2018
ISBN: 978-1335470454

Seventeen short stories illustrate the experiences of queer teens in a variety of historical settings. From a new take on the well-known tale of Robin Hood, to a new-found love arising from a Nirvana lyric, teen experiences that rarely make their way into historical fiction are revealed with a sense of wonder, awkwardness, and bravado.

Continue reading #BFYA2019 Nominees Round Up, June 2 Edition

The Truth is Out There in 2018


One of the most exciting reveals from NYCC was the official trailer for season 11 of The-X Files. This winter Mulder and Scully will be back on the case, searching for the truth that still lies within the X-Files. If you are like me, you are jumping up and down with delight at the thought of seeing your favorite duo on screen again. What on earth will we do until 2018 – throw pencils at the ceiling? Sorry Mulder, but no! Grab a pack of sunflower seeds and settle in with these great reads. Mystery, conspiracy, magic, and mayhem abound in these 10 titles that will surely prepare you to trust no one. Continue reading The Truth is Out There in 2018

What Would They Read?: Supernatural

There are certain fandoms I’ve been apprehensive to take on due to their immense fanbases.  I definitely breathed a sigh of relief when I coSupernatural_-_Season_9mpleted the blog posts for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly and realized that they turned out to be successful.  I’m still debating when I’m going to dive in and take on Doctor Who.  It’s probably my most frightening concept to date, but I promise it will happen.  I just need a little more psyching up and then I will do it.  Today, however, I will attempt to impart my recommendations for one of my favorite shows of all time: Supernatural.

The basic plot of Supernatural is a something that has been recently retold in a variety of YA books.  It’s a basic story about two guys (in this case, brothers Dean and Sam Winchester) who travel around and take on a plethora of supernatural and paranormal creatures while dealing with their own personal demons which range from recovering from a trip to purgatory to actually being the human embodiment of Lucifer.

anna dressed in blood There are three books in particular that resonate as perfect readalikes for the series.  First, Sarah Rees Brennan has a series that begins with The Demon’s Lexicon(Best Fiction for Young Adults Top Ten, 2010).  In this book, two brothers, Alan and Nick, hunt demons avenging their dead father and taking care of their crazy mother.  There are definitely similarities between Alan and Nick and Dean and Sam are very evident.  Perhaps the Winchesters can take a break and read a bit about another duo who fight the evils lurking in the dark.

A second selection to seek out is Anna Dressed in Blood and its companion, Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake.  The main character is a  boy named Cas, who coincidentally shares his name with the Winchester’s angelic friend.  Cas travels around with his witch mother and a cat that can sense ghosts.  Dean and Sam will find comradery with Cas as he sets off to avenge his father’s death while wielding an athame with the the power to destroy ghosts.  Like Sam Dean, Cas is challenged to overlook his predispositions to kill ghosts and determine whether or not this particular case involving the spirit called Anna Dressed in Blood is not quite like the others.

Finally, I would definitely hand over Kami Garcia’s new series called “The Legion.”  Garcia’s series begins with Unbreakable.  The story begins with a female protagonist named Kennedy who finds her mother murdered by something supernatural.  She only survives due to twin brothers named Lukas and Jared who whisk her away from danger only to inform her that there will definitely be more danger down the road.  In turns out that Kennedy, the twins, and two others are the descendants of members of a group called The Legion that fight against ancient evil spirits.  Secret societies full of knowledge regarding the killing of all things evil?  Sounds a bit like the Winchester’s new discovery, the Men of Letters, only with a lot less resources.  Now that I covered a few titles that Sam and Dean can share and read together, here are a few titles specifically chosen for each of their personal tastes. Continue reading What Would They Read?: Supernatural

“Grown-Up” Books (For the Kid in You)


When did you start to love reading? Can you remember the first book that did it for you?

Why, yes I do remember–so glad you asked! I was in third grade at my local public library with my friend Margaret (a bookworm and savvy reader a few years older than me). She thrust Lois Lowry’s Anastasia, Again at me so I shrugged and checked it out. I spent the rest of that afternoon on my front porch for hours happily lost in the book. I was a reader. And I haven’t looked back since.

Over the years, I have found that the phase of life in which you read a book affects your outlook on it. Have you ever re-read a beloved book only to find you now despise it? Have you discovered that you still love that same book but notice a lot of different stuff now? If you’ve grown up reading chances are you have many fond memories of the greats you read as a kid. In this line of thinking my colleague Meaghan Darling and I put together some recommendations of titles to try now based on what you liked when you were younger.


* The Witches by Roald Dahl –Beautiful Creatures (2010 Morris Finalist) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Some witches are good, some are bad—but all are powerful!

Continue reading “Grown-Up” Books (For the Kid in You)

Where Are They Now? Morris Award Finalists & Winners

yalsa morris winnerHave you ever wondered what YALSA’s Morris Award winning authors have been up to today since they were recognized for their first novels? Well then, this post is the one for you.

For a little background, YALSA has been giving out the Morris award since 2009, which honors debut young adult authors with impressive new voices. This post is not intended to be a comprehensive list of  what all of the finalists and winners have been up to, but it’ll give you an idea of what some of our Morris winners and finalists have been writing since winning their awards. (Be sure to take a look at the full list of Morris winners and finalists.)

Then: 2009 Awards 

  • 2009 Winner – A Curse Dark As Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce
  • 2009 Finalist  – Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Continue reading Where Are They Now? Morris Award Finalists & Winners