The 2021 Hub Challenge Has Arrived!

Here it is: The Hub Reading Challenge for 2021!

This year, we encourage readers to get involved at whatever level they prefer. You can aim for traditional BINGO with five in a row, or you can take on one of the bigger goals! From reading with a tissue box to laughing out loud, this year’s challenge covers a lot of ground, and it gives you the chance to read along with our Selected Lists team members. As you read new YA this year, we hope you are discovering titles that would make a great fit on the Amazing Audiobooks, Best Fiction for Young Adults, Great Graphic Novels, or Quick Picks nomination lists. When you do, we want to hear about it, so grab the field nomination form (available at the bottom of each week’s posts) and make a suggestion! When you do, you’ll be sharing the love AND earning a spot on this year’s BINGO board!

Most of the spots are self-explanatory, but we’ll make sure to highlight a few each time we check in, and if you have questions, there’s a spot for those in the sign-up form.

Click the download button below to get a PDF of the bingo board. Our first check-in will be next month, so get started!

Introducing Your 2022 Great Graphic Novels for Teens Team

Hello! I’m Crystal Chen, and I’m serving my second year as the Coordinator for the 2022 Great Graphic Novels for Teens Blogging Team. In my daily life, I work as a Young Adult Librarian out of a Bronx branch of The New York Public Library. I live in Brooklyn with one cat and lots of cacti.

The 2022 Great Graphic Novels team is gearing up to create another outstanding list of comics for teen readers ages 12 to 18 (check out our 2021 list!). We want our list to reflect the rich diversity of the teen experience and engage readers from all backgrounds, and we’re looking for books with strong writing and seamlessly integrated artwork that conveys clear visual flow and meaning. For Great Graphic Novels, we consider teen titles (and adult titles with strong teen appeal) that are published between September 1, 2020, through December 31, 2021. If you wish to recommend a comic for committee consideration, please fill out this field nomination form (note that neither publishers nor authors may nominate their own titles).

Great Graphic Novels team members work together to discover, nominate, and second books; review field nominations; write blog posts and annotations; log internal ratings and reviews; and attend monthly to biweekly virtual discussion meetings. Consistent participation is encouraged and members are required to read nominated titles before casting a vote. Final decisions are made in December, including naming a top ten list. Great Graphic Novels generally reviews 100-200 titles per year and considers books in a series as well as standalone titles.


The #GGNT2022 team is made up of 14 YALSA members from different types of library settings and backgrounds all over the country. They are:

  • Becky Proie, PA
  • Cyndi Hamann, IL
  • Dakota Hall, IN
  • Denise Farley, GA
  • Kacy Helwick, LA
  • Kathleen Barker, MI
  • Kelley Blue, ME
  • Kiera Vargas, KY
  • Mitzi Mack, FL
  • Rachel Johannigmeier, MO
  • Shaira Rock, IL
  • Traci Glass, NE
  • Dana Hutchins, Admin Assistant, TX

We look forward to getting started this year and reading some new and fantastic comics. If you have any questions, please feel free to email crystalchen@nypl.org

—Crystal Chen (she/her)

2022 Great Graphic Novels for Teens Coordinator

Introducing Your 2022 Amazing Audiobooks Team

Hi! I’m Cathy Outten, and I’m the coordinator of the 2022 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults blogging team.  I’ve served on several YALSA committees in the past. I’m the Children’s and Young Adult Literature librarian at California State University, Long Beach where I reside over our Children’s Collection.  I live in sunny Southern California with my husband, three teenagers, a dog, and two cats.

The 2022 Amazing Audiobooks blogging team is working towards creating a list of excellent audiobooks that appeal to teens and reflect the diversity of teen readers.  We are listening to fiction, nonfiction, single narrator, and cast recordings in search of books that meet our criteria of effective narration where the audio recording elevates a great story or nonfiction text. 

Eligible titles for this year’s list must have US publication dates between September 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021. You can suggest titles for the committee to review by filling out this form. (Please note: publishers and authors cannot suggest their own books, although they are free to submit titles to the committee for evaluation by emailing cathy.outten@csulb.edu) You can see all the past Amazing Audiobook lists and nominations on The Hub.  

Amazing Audiobooks on the 2021 list

The Amazing Audiobooks team works together via online discussions and meetings to review 100-200 audiobooks per year.  Once two team members agree, an audiobook becomes an official nomination and will be announced on The Hub. Team members write blog posts and annotations, and attend virtual meetings, but mostly there is lots of listening! The whole team listens to our nominations and votes for final inclusion on the full list and for the top ten at the end of the year.

The #AA2022 team is made up of YALSA member volunteers from different places and different types of libraries.  This year’s team includes myself and:

  • Rachel Adams – Seattle, WA
  • Candace Fox – Parma, OH
  • Annie Jansen – Philadelphia, PA
  • Jodeana Kruse – Ridgefield, WA
  • Abigail Lance – Salem, MA
  • Christine Pyles – Euclid, OH
  • Lorrie Roussin – San Antonio, TX
  • Caitlyn Seale – Mississauga, ON
  • Josie Snow – Pagosa Springs, CO

Our committee is already listening hard and ready to start building a fantastic list of titles for the next Amazing Audiobooks list.

-Cathy Outten (she/her)
2022 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults Coordinator

Introducing Your 2022 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Team

Hello! My name is Molly Dettmann, and I am currently serving as the Coordinator for the 2022 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Blogging Team. I’ve served on several YALSA committees in the past. During the day, I work as a high school librarian at Norman North High School in Norman, OK (Follow us on IG and FB @normannorthlibrary). I live in Norman with my husband, who teaches at the rival high school in town, and our dog Coco.

The 2022 Quick Picks team has a goal to curate a worthy list of titles that will reignite reluctant readers, young adults (ages 12-18) that, for whatever reasons, do not like to read. We read young adult fiction, nonfiction, and graphic novels, looking for works that meet criteria such as having a high interest hook, catchy titles and covers, clear writing, and sufficient plot to sustain interest.

Anyone can nominate titles for committee review by filling out this form. To be eligible, titles must be published from September 1, 2020 through December 31, 2021.(Please note: publishers and authors cannot nominate their own books, although they are free to submit titles to the committee for evaluation).

To become an officially nominated Quick Pick title, two QP blogging team members have to read and vote yes for its inclusion. In our work to produce the final list, team members read and nominate titles, read field nominations, create blog posts, and attend monthly virtual meetings to discuss titles. In December, the team will meet to vote on the final list. To make the list, a title must be read and approved by a majority of team members. We also compile a top ten list. Quick Picks typically considers upwards of 100-150 titles a year with about 50-75% making the final list.

Book talking a 2021 QP Top Ten

The #QP2022 team  is made up of 12 YALSA members from different types of library settings and backgrounds all over the country. They are:

  • Megan Baird, AZ
  • Diana Ford, MD
  • Laura Indick, NY
  • Jayna Ramsey, CO
  • Ness Shortley, NC
  • Sarah Sullivan, NH
  • Jennifer Sutton, IL
  • Carolyn Vidmar, MD
  • Emily Williams, OK
  • Molly Moore, Admin Assistant, GA

We are excited to get started in our work and again, we welcome field nominations from all! If you have a title you think would make a great fit for this list, please fill out this form.

-Molly Dettmann (she/her)

2022 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Blogging Team

Introducing Your 2022 Best Fiction for Young Adults Team

Hello, YALSA members and Hub readers! I am Allie Stevens, and this is my second year to serve as coordinator for the YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults blogging team. I have been on selected list blogging teams for several years, including as coordinator of the 2019 Quick Picks team. I work as the Director of the tiny Calhoun County Library in Hampton, AR and live on an 80-acre farm with my partner, our two kids, two dogs (Nala is pictured below), and three cats. 

The Best Fiction for Young Adults team selects titles based on literary merit and appeal to young adult readers (ages 12-18), taking into account factors such as relevant themes for teens, realistic language, a well-designed and smoothly paced plot, and deep characterization. We consider only prose or verse fiction titles – no nonfiction or graphic novels. Team members discover and read books all year and suggest them to the rest of the team; each book is read and voted on by a minimum of 3 committee members before it becomes an official BFYA nomination. The blogging process will look a little different this year, with one featured review per week rather than a long-form blog post for every nominated title. After a title becomes an official nomination, every member of the team reads it and it is discussed. After the nominations window closes in early November, the team begins to vote on the titles that will appear on the final Best Fiction for Young Adults list. 

Eligible titles for this year’s list will have US publication dates between September 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021, and anyone can nominate titles for committee review by filling out this form. (Please note: publishers and authors cannot nominate their own books, although they are free to submit titles to the committee for evaluation. Email alliestevens020@gmail.com for a list of mailing addresses.)


The rest of the #BFYA2022 team is made up of librarians from all over the country. They are: 

  • Lindsay Bailey – Belfast, ME
  • Heather Christensen – Portales, NM
  • Matt Clark – Toronto, ON
  • Megan Jackson – Philadelphia, PA
  • Stephanie Johnson – Monroe, NC
  • Amanda Kordeliski – Norman, OK
  • Shelbie Marks – Oklahoma City, OK
  • Kali Olson – Minneapolis, MN
  • Beth Slade – Hudson, OH
  • Andrea Vernola – Kalamazoo, MI
  • Courtney Waters – Jefferson City, MO

We are ready to hit the ground running after ALA Midwinter Conference, and are so excited to share our nominations for the #BFYA2022 selected list with you all this year! Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions and share any suggested titles through our field nomination form

Happy reading! 

— Allie Stevens (she/her)

2022 Best Fiction for Young Adults Coordinator

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2021) Nominees Round Up, December 30 Edition

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

cover art

Raybearer by  Jordan Ifueko; Narrated by  Joniece Abbott-Pratt
Blackstone Publishing
Publication Date: August 18, 2020
ISBN: 978-1094149189

Tarisai has grown up living a privileged life surrounded by tutors, luxury, and protection in her realm, but she has never received love and closeness from anyone around her. She especially longs for attention from her mother, called The Lady. At 11 years old, Tarisai is sent to Oluwan City to compete for inclusion on Crown Prince Ekundayo’s governing Council of Eleven. If chosen, she will bond eternally with Prince Dayo and her Council siblings via a mystical Ray, and gain the human closeness she so craves. But Tarisai learns that before she was born, The Lady commanded a djinn to impregnate her with a child who must someday grant her third wish. Tarisai is that child. And The Lady’s third wish is to kill the prince Tarisai is now sworn to protect. 

Continue reading Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2021) Nominees Round Up, December 30 Edition

Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2021) Nominees Round Up, December 29 Edition

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

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes Book Cover
The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Hachette / Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: September 1, 2020
ISBN: 978-1368052405

Shocked and confused, Avery Kylie Grambs is pulled from class and whisked away to the reading of billionaire Tobias Hawthorne’s will-a man whom she’s never met-and inherits his fortune. Abruptly moving into his mansion filled with secret passageways and disinherited family members, Avery tries to solve the puzzle of why she is Tobias’ heir rather than his four brilliant, handsome teen grandsons and their families. 

The Inheritance Games is built on short, dialogue-driven chapters and the promise of puzzles, passageways, and mysteries to uncover in every page turn. Avery is clever, likeable, and well-developed as she navigates the treacherous waters of her newfound fame and fortune after a lifetime of financial struggle. Equally likeable (albeit each in their own ways) are the competitive Hawthorne grandsons, who set aside their discontent at disinheritance to work with (and sometimes against) Avery to try and solve the riddle of her inheritance. While there are many characters to follow throughout, each is distinct and developed enough that they are not difficult to track. In true Barnes fashion, clues are interwoven throughout the story and, if the reader is clever enough, they might be able to take a guess at the final big reveal, which both solves the question of Avery’s inheritance and sets up neatly for an upcoming sequel reluctant readers can look forward to devouring.

Continue reading Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2021) Nominees Round Up, December 29 Edition

Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2021) Nominees Round Up, December 18 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.

Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron Book Cover
Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron

Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron
HarperVoyager / HarperCollins
Publication Date: September 3, 2019
ISBN: 978-1616208967 

The first volume in a West African-inspired fantasy trilogy, Kingdom of Souls introduces Arrah – the first person in her family to not possess magic, much to her mother’s disappointment. In her desperation to have powers of her own, she strikes a bargain with the Demon King, a decision which ties her fate to his and may cost her everyone she loves and everything she knows. 

An extremely dark and at times disturbing story, Kingdom of Souls begins with incredible world-building and richly complex and sympathetic, though often flawed, characters. Common fantasy tropes are used and twisted around into a fresh, energetic storyline that is full of exciting twists and rapidly-paced action. 

Continue reading Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2021) Nominees Round Up, December 18 Edition

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2021) Nominees Round Up, December 17 Edition

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

Drifting Dragons Vol. 1 by Taku Kuwabara Book Cover
Drifting Dragons, Vol. 1 by Taku Kuwabara

Drifting Dragons, vol. 1–5 by Taku Kuwabara
Kodansha Comics
Publication Date: December 17, 2019; December 17, 2019; February 18, 2020; April 3, 2020; August 25, 2020
ISBN: 9781632368904, 9781632369444, 9781632369451, 9781632369512, 9781632369529

Drifting Dragons is a historical fantasy and cooking manga that chronicles the daily life and adventures of the crew of a draking (dragon-hunting) airship. The Quin Zaza is introduced as one of the few draking ships still in operation in this world, and the crew has no port to call home. They follow the dragons and sell the meat, oil, and other byproducts to the locals wherever they are after a successful hunt. The series features a large ensemble cast, but the main characters are Takita, a young woman who is new to the ship and the draking world, and Mika, a brazen man whose driving motivation is how much he enjoys eating dragons. Mika’s appetite leads to many scenes of food preparation and chapters often end with a recipe.

Continue reading Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2021) Nominees Round Up, December 17 Edition

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2021) Nominees Round Up, December 16 Edition

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

cover art

We Are Not Free by Traci Chee; narrated by: Scott Keiji Takeda, Dan Woren, Ryan Potter, Ali Fumiko, Sophie Oda, Andrew Kishino, Christopher Naoki Lee, Grace Rolek, Erika Aishii, Brittany Ishibashi, Kurt Sanchez Kanazawa, and Terry Kitagawa
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release date: September 1, 2020
ISBN: 9780358343561

Fourteen Japanese American teens are cruelly taken from their San Francisco homes to  internment camps purportedly to protect the U.S. west coast from Japanese espionage or sabotage during World War II.  The Nissei’s stories start the same, but have many different outcomes as they make their choices and too many choices are made for them.

Continue reading Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2021) Nominees Round Up, December 16 Edition