Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2022) Featured Review of The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag

The Girl from the Sea Cover Art

The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag
Graphix/Scholastic 
Publication Date: June 1, 2021
ISBN: 978-1338540581 

Fifteen year-old Morgan is looking forward to finishing high school and leaving the small Canadian island where she lives. Her friends seem to not understand her, and she struggles relating to her angry little brother and divorced mom. When a mysterious girl named Keltie saves Morgan from drowning, they become friends– and eventually more– even though they both have secrets that threaten everything.

This graphic novel has colorful artwork with clean lines. Emotion is conveyed well through intimate character moments and expertly drawn facial expressions. Sparse text propels the reader through the story.

Continue reading Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2022) Featured Review of The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag

Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2022) Featured Review of Prom House by Chelsea Mueller

Prom House Cover Art

Prom House by Chelsea Mueller
Underlined/Random House/Penguin Random House, LLC
Publication Date: May 4, 2021
ISBN: 978-0-593-18005-1

To celebrate prom weekend, Kylie and her friends rent an incredible beach house on the Jersey Shore where they plan the most epic post-prom pool party on record. It’s roomy, well-appointed, and remote. But, perhaps too remote. Because when Kylie and her friends lose their cell signal to the incoming hurricane, are surrounded by an electrified moat of storm water, and are being picked off one by one by a vicious killer they realize the only ones who can keep them alive are themselves…but what if one of them is the murderer? How will they survive what was meant to be the perfect party weekend?

Continue reading Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2022) Featured Review of Prom House by Chelsea Mueller

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of Let’s Talk About It: The Teen’s Guide to Sex, Relationships, and Being a Human by Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan

Let's Talk About It Cover Art

Let’s Talk About It: The Teen’s Guide to Sex, Relationships, and Being a Human by Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan
Random House Graphic / Penguin Random House
Publication Date: March 9, 2021
ISBN: 9781984893147

Written by a married team of professional cartoonists who focus on sex education, Let’s Talk About It is an open and honest graphic novel guide to sex, consent, relationships, and everything in between and provides teens—or anyone who hasn’t had the chance to examine themselves or their relationships with others fully—an intelligent and easy-to-understand jumping off point to explore. The bright and colorful illustrations show a diverse group of characters representing various body types, genders, and abilities, covering topics which include not just consent, sex, and gender, but also consideration, boundaries, communication, and friendship-things that are needed in order to build positive and lasting relationships, romantic or otherwise.  

Continue reading Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of Let’s Talk About It: The Teen’s Guide to Sex, Relationships, and Being a Human by Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan

Spotlight on Pride!

Though COVID cases are declining in most of the country, many communities have again chosen to forego in-person Pride events this year. But even if can’t wave a flag and take to the streets, you can still celebrate all the LGBTQ+ representation in new and forthcoming YA titles. Here’s a veritable parade of books to ensure your collection gives voice to love in all its forms!

No Way, They Were Gay? Cover Art

No Way, They Were Gay? by Lee Wind
This collection combines primary sources and historical analysis to provide an in-depth look at prominent figures and their identities. Part of Queer History Project, No Way, They Were Gay? is out now from Zest Books, an imprint of Lerner.

Out! Cover Art

Out! How to Be Your Authentic Self by Miles McKenna
An Amazing Audiobooks nominee, this memoir / survival guide from YouTuber Miles McKenna is a generous and open-hearted handbook for kids everywhere. Full of resources and support, this book (out now from Amulet, an imprint of Abrams) is a must-have for LGBTQ+ teens and their allies.

Loveless Cover Art

Loveless by Alice Oseman
From the creator of the beloved graphic novel series Heartstopper comes this novel about Georgia who starts to understand herself as asexual/aromantic once she gets to college. An excellent reminder of one of the least understood aspects of the LGBTQ+ community, Alice Oseman’s latest will be an important addition to your collection for older teens. It will publish in November from Scholastic.

Things We Couldn't Say Cover Art

Things We Couldn’t Say by Jay Coles
This sophomore offering from rising star Jay Coles is also coming this fall from Scholastic. It introduces Gio, a queer Black kid navigating the complications of the sudden return of his birth mom after 8 years of absence as well as the ordinary but never easy reality of figuring out who you are and how you love.

Hani and Ishu's Guide to Fake Dating Cover Art

Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar
In this novel, Bangladeshi and Irish writer Jaigirdar introduces Hani who tries to come out to her friends as bisexual . . . but they doubt her because she’s only dated boys before. Under pressure to prove it, she lies and says she’s dating Ishu, the only other Bengali kid in their year. Released in May from Page Street, Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating tackles toxic friendships, racism, and relationships.

The Girl from the Sea Cover Art

The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag
For fans of the graphic novel, Molly Knox Ostertag’s latest was released at the beginning of the month and is already being lauded as a beautiful and emotional story. After being saved from drowning by Keltie, Morgan faces her unexpected and growing feelings for the girl from the sea. She and Keltie begin a summer romance, but Morgan feels she must keep it a secret. Teens will identify with Morgan’s uncertainty in this lovely coming of age story.

The Darkness Outside Us Cover Art

The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer
Fans of science fiction will rejoice at Eliot Schrefer’s latest (released June 1 from Katherine Tegan Books) featuring two boys who find themselves alone, together on a space ship. Sworn enemies, they realize they must work together to survive and accomplish their mission. Their trust quickly turns to something more as this mystery plus love story unfolds.

Pumpkin Cover Art

Pumpkin by Julie Murphy
Julie Murphy’s back, this time bringing us Waylon Russell Brewer who can’t wait to escape his small town in West Texas. Waylon is white and fat and openly gay, and after his audition tape for a TV drag show gets circulated at school, he ends up running for prom queen. If you loved Murphy’s Dumplin’, you’ll find the same humor and charm here along with another healthy does of disruption to stereotypical beauty standards. Available now from Balzer + Bray.

Love & Other Natural Disasters Cover Art

Love & Other Natural Disasters by Misa Sugiura
Is this a new trope: Fake lovers to real ones? Sugiura has brought us a fun summer romance that starts as a plan to invoke jealousy. Nozomi thinks Willow is perfect, even though she knows Willow’s not over her ex. Seizing the opportunity to be close to her, Nozomi agrees to pose as Willow’s new girlfriend and hopes to see fake love turn into true love. Released in early June, this one is sure to be a delightful summer read.

All Kinds of Other Cover Art

All Kinds of Other by James Sie
Jules and Jack are both new sophomores in their Los Angeles high school. Both have come from painful freshman years at their old schools, and both are looking to make a new start. When they meet, their commonalities turn to sparks, and they have to face hard decisions about who they want to be and who they want to be with.