In much of current YA literature readers will find the that the main character is well off, does not have to work, travels often, and has everything designer (car, clothes, electronics, etc.). This does not reflect the reality of most teenagers or new adults, today. While it can be nice to read about something that is different than one’s daily life, characters should also be relatable.
I work at a school library and I see kids every day that come in to finish their homework, sometimes forgoing their lunch, because they have to work directly after school and do not get home until 11 o’clock, or later. Then they wake up and do it all over again. They deserve a lot more credit than they appear to receive. The following list of books includes characters that work while going to school or managing another difficult aspect of life. They work to get what they want. These are often things that teens today have to do. Many come home from school, change and head to work, then finish their homework after getting home late at night. These real teens are strong, hard workers. It is important to show them that they are not the minority and that the idealized life is not necessarily one where someone has everything handed to them. Some of these situations may not be ones that your average teenager might find themselves in, but the work ethic is very relatable.
If you’ve never read a Sarah Dessen book before, it’s time to start. She’s a master of contemporary fiction with female leads. Her books have been nominated for the Teens’ Top Ten list several times. Check out this interview from 2012 when What Happened to Goodbye? landed in the top ten.
We’re coming up on national waiter/waitress day (May 21!), so I took the opportunity to create a list of books featuring teen waiters/waitress. Add in your favorites in the comments.
All the Rage by Courtney Summers Romy seeks refuge in the diner where she works after no one believes her account of a sexual assault. When her former friend goes missing, Romy must decide if it’s worth speaking up – again.
Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler Hudson threw away her dreams when her family fell apart. Now she hides in her mom’s diner baking cupcakes and thinking of the past. When her past comes back around to give her another chance – she isn’t sure which life she will choose.
It’s Flashback Friday and The Hub is taking you back to the 1990s! Last week, Jessica Lind discussed the ’90s nostalgia emerging in contemporary pop culture in her post titles The Hub Loves the ’90s. Now we’re going to be flashing back to what young adults were reading in the ’90s. The inspiration for this post was the television show Fresh off the Boat. The show based on Eddie Huang’s best-selling memoir, is about a Taiwanese-American family living in the suburbs of Orlando, FL during the ’90s. The show gave me a very funny librarian thought: what if the tweenage Eddie went to the library on Fresh off the Boat– what would the librarian recommend to him? This thought caused me to crack open the librarian vault and take a journey back to the decade that had us rolling with the homies….
So it’s time to break out your flannel, find those old shoe-lace hair clips, put on Wannabe by the Spice Girls and grab your favorite Pogs, because we’re going to the 90’s!
With all the ways to watch TV today including; on demand, DVR, and instant streaming it is possible to watch an entire series’ episodes back to back rather than in a serialized week to week format. This kind of watching has been dubbed “binge-watching.” Maybe when you hear this term, an image comes to mind of someone mindlessly watching hour after hour of TV whilst eating chips. As fun as that sounds, “binge-watching” can also mean focusing on just one show over the course of many days or weeks. As a reader the way I become immersed in the characters and world of a good book are a familiar, comforting feeling, and binge-watching a quality show can offer a similar (on-screen) experience. Here are some great YA read-alikes inspired by some of my binge-worthy favorites.
Orange is the New Black – One of Netflix’s original binge-worthy series. This is the story of a Piper, a privileged woman who has to serve prison time for a crime committed in her 20s.
* Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman. The book that inspired the show; Kerman tells the tale of how she spent a year in prison the humiliations she endured, and the relationships she forged.
Happy March, dear Hubbers! I’m trying to think of something fun and pithy to say about March, but, alas, I can think of nothing. So, let’s get to the main topic at hand – ALA Midwinter. Yes, I know Midwinter has been over for a month now, but I had put off so much work at my library preparing for Midwinter (shh – don’t tell my boss!) that when I came back, I was like, “uh, I have a ton of stuff to do.” Well, most of that “ton of stuff” is done, so I was finally able to dive in to a few of the ARCs that I brought home with me from Chicago.
As always, there are some great new and upcoming teen reads that I hope you will check out and recommend to teens! From a finale in a two-book series (a two-book series – I haven’t seen one of those in forever!) to ballerinas at each other’s throats to sisters and the complicated relationship they have, readers will have plenty to choose from in the upcoming months. One thing I will say that’s not related – I just finished Noggin by John Corey Whaley (I know, I know – I’m behind), and wow, did I love that book! I almost thought about sneaking it in this list, but I’m sure I would have been caught! Ha! Anyways…here we go…first up: something I know a lot about – sisters!
This year on the Hub we are celebrating the Twelve Days of YA with a series of posts loosely based on the traditional Twelve Days of Christmas gifts. We have converted each gift into a related theme common to YA and paired it with a list of relevant titles. You may use the Twelve Days of YA tag to read all of the posts in the series.
Special thanks goes to Carli Spina, Faythe Arredondo, Sharon Rawlins, Geri Diorio, Becky O’Neil, Carla Land, Katie Yu, Laura Perenic, Jennifer Rummel, Libby Gorman, Carly Pansulla, and Allison Tran for their help creating the booklists and organizing this series.
On the sixth day of YA, my true love gave to me six geese-a-laying.
For day six, geese-a-laying, our theme is teen pregnancy in YA books. Whether a main topic or a side-story involving a secondary character, we were able to come up with quite a few titles. We hope you enjoy the stories of teen pregnancy we picked and encourage you to share your favorites in the comments!
One of life’s major rites of passage for kids is learning to ride a bicycle. Remember learning to ride? Maybe not, but like the saying goes, once you learn how, you never forget. If you’re a teen who doesn’t yet have your driver’s license or who does but can’t afford a car, riding a bicycle may be the only way to get around. There’s nothing like grabbing your bike and cycling away when you want to get away from everyone and everything.
To acknowledge the many benefits of bicycling and to get more people to give it a try, in 1956, The League of American Bicyclists (founded as the League of American Wheelman in 1880) established May as National Bike Month. The third Friday of May is designated National Bike to Work Day and The National Center for Safe Routes to School hosts National Bike to School Day the second week of May.
So, help celebrate National Bike Month by jumping on your bicycle and getting outside for some exercise! Afterward, relax and check out these YA fiction and nonfiction â€œbooks with bikes.â€
Maybe you don’t know how to ride a bike? If so, you can relate to Sarah Dessen’s Along for the Ride (2009) where Auden, about to start college in the fall, decides to escape her control-freak professor mom to spend the summer with her novelist father, his new young wife, and their brand-new baby. Over the course of the summer, Auden tackles many new projects: learning to ride a bike, making real connections with peers, facing the emotional fallout of her parents’ divorce, distancing herself from her mother, and falling in love with Eli, a fellow insomniac bicyclist recovering from his own traumas. Along for the Ride is a 2010 Teens’ Top Ten winner. Continue reading YA Books With Bikes in Celebration of National Bike Month
If you are hanging around The Hub, chances are you’re a reader. And if you love to read, statistically speaking, you probably had a mom, or some other motherly figure, who read to you when you were small. (I know, I know, lots of you are screaming that it was your dad. This is Mother’s Day. Wait your turn.) So if you are still looking for a last-minute Mother’s Day gift, why not show your appreciation by introducing her to a YA mom as fabulous as she is? Just match Mom’s style to one of the titles below, each with one of the best mothers in YA and plenty of adult appeal. You may need to include a box of tissues!
For the Mess-with-My-Kid-and-I’ll-Take-You-Down momâ€”Divergent by Veronica Roth (2012 Teens’ Top Ten winner). It’s no secret that adults everywhere are devouring this series, especially since the movie came out, but fierce mothers will have a particular appreciation for Natalie Prior. Butâ€¦butâ€¦Tris’s mom is Abnegation, isn’t she? The picture of selflessness, she supports her children’s choices and wants what is best for them, even if it means watching them walk out of her life. But threaten one of her kids, andâ€¦let’s just say a whole other side of her comes out.
For several months now I have been creating recommendation lists for some notable characters for TV. I’ve been putting this one off, mainly because I am slightly intimidated to take on a Whedonverse show. So please forgive if I unsuccessfully tackle the pop culture phenomenon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BTVS). Who knows… maybe if I succeed with this one, I’ll try another Joss Whedon masterpiece, Firefly.
In a TV show that centers around so much reading and research mixed with punching and stabbing, creator Joss Whedon does manage to name-drop a few literary titles here and there. In the “Band Candy” episode, Buffy refers to Willy Loman from the play “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller. During season five, Buffy encounters the most popular vampire in all literature in the episode “Buffy vs. Dracula.” I don’t want to jump the gun, but did Buffy actually read Dracula by Bram Stoker? If not, then I definitely am tossing that title to her. Honestly, it’s more of a textbook for her than recreational reading, but so what? If these literary examples tell us anything, it’s that obviously Buffy and the Scooby Gang must love books! So, without further ado, here are some recommendations for our Sunnydale pals!
Buffy Summers – I just want to state for the record that I would never ever give Buffy Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. While the star-crossed lovers scenario might ring a bit true, I believe that Buffy would never be able to get through a book in which vampires don’t kill you, but rather play baseball and sparkle in the sun. There has been much speculation about what Buffy would do in Bella Swan’s world, i.e. whether or not she would slay Edward and his family. Also, as we have seen in several episodes of BTVS, vampires and werewolves aren’t enemies. Angel and Oz get along just fine, although that aren’t fighting over the same girl. That being said, I think we could come up with a more suitable reading choice for Buffy.
We have seen Buffy take on a variety of beasties and demons throughout her seven years, however there is one creature that never proved to be much of a threat: the unicorn. Right away, I would pull the “Killer Unicorns” series by Diana Peterfreund. This book series, starting with Rampant, is about an ancient order of female teenaged unicorn hunters who must join together to stop vicious unicorn attacks. Unlike the random selection of slayers in Buffy’s world, these hunters are descendants from unicorn hunters of the past. The book is full of training, unbelievable realizations, and forbidden love; all things that Buffy can understand in ways other readers cannot. Continue reading What Would They Read?: Buffy the Vampire Slayer