2016 Hub Challenge Check-in #2

Not signed up for YALSA’s 2016 Hub Reading Challenge? Read the official rules and sign up on the original post. Anything you’ve read since the awards were announced counts, so sign up now!

Welcome to the second check-in for the 2016 Hub Reading Challenge! As always, there are some great books eligible for the Challenge this year, which makes it easy to get excited about participating!

the hub 2016 reading challenge

There are a lot of books on the list that have me excited, but regular Hub readers probably won’t be surprised to learn that I am most excited for the eligible graphic novels, given that I write about comics a lot here. This year there are graphic novels on several of the awards and selected lists including the Alex Award, Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers, Popular Paperbacks, and, of course, the Great Graphic Novels list.

Given all these great options, I can’t wait to dive in and read all of them. But, first up for me is rereading Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. Stevenson is well-known for both Nimona and her work on the Lumberjanes series (which is also on the Great Graphic Novels list!), and while they are quite different from one another, they are both enormously fun. Nimona combines silly humor with a story that has compelling characters and great relationships between these characters. It is a great option for anyone who enjoys fantasy and humor, even if those readers who don’t typically gravitate towards graphic novels. Over the course of the Challenge, I am sure I will branch out to other books that I haven’t read yet, such as Henni by Miss Lasko-Gross and Sacred Heart by Liz Suburbia, but for now I am looking forward to delving back into the world of Nimona and I hope that those of you who have already read it will share your thoughts in the comments below! And, even if you haven’t read Nimona, let me know what you are most excited about reading for the Challenge!

With more participants joining all the time, this is shaping up to be a great Hub Reading Challenge! Join the conversation on Instagram, Twitter, or at the 2016 Hub Challenge Goodreads group and when you’ve completed the Challenge, be sure to complete this form.

What have you been reading for the challenge? What are you most excited to get to? Share in the comments!

– Carli Spina, currently reading Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

33 thoughts on “2016 Hub Challenge Check-in #2”

  1. I read one book this week – Dumplin’. I can see why it was a reluctant readers pick as it was a fairly quick read both in writing style and story movement. I liked Will’s mix of self-confidence and self-consciousness.

    I attempted to read Squirrel Girl, but I couldn’t force myself past the first 20 pages. I did not like it at all. I didn’t like how she was drawn or how she behaved. The whole thing just rubbed me the wrong way. I could see what the humor was trying to do, but it wasn’t funny. This is the first time in a long time that I’ve had such a strong negative reaction to book.

  2. Finished The War That Saved My Life. Excellent read.

    Read Ta-Nahisi Coates’ Between The World And Me. The author is extremely prolific in writing, almost poetic. Sometimes hard to get into his spirit. BUT I think it was eye opening and I would recommend it to any older teen and adult.

    Currently finishing This Strange Wilderness by Nancy Plain.

  3. This Week, I read the 2 graphic novels, Lumberjanes, almost finished listening to Girl at War and started reading on my kindle Six of Crows. My reviews are on Goodreads, 2016 Hub Challenge.

  4. I am also really excited about all of the GNs on the multiple lists! I seem to have twice as many book clubs (and a selection committee starting any time now) so GNs will help me succeed in the challenge! With that said, I read the Lumberjanes volumes (quirky, cute adventures), Trashed (very impressed by the facts of trash!), and Humans of New York (how touching! made me cry several times!) this week. This puts me at 9 and I can’t wait to read so many more on the lists!

  5. I read “Most Dangerous – Daniel Ellsberg and the secret history of the Vietnam War,” by Steve Sheinkin, It relates the story of Daniel Ellsberg and how he exposed the truth about the Vietnam War by leaking the Pentagon Papers. Interesting read. Would be great for a discussion regarding the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The Epilogue is titled History Repeats itself and talks about Edward Snowden.

    I began reading “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.”

  6. I forgot to check in last week but so far I’ve read Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon, All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brandon Kiely, and The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes.

    The first, while I enjoyed it, it also just wasn’t quite for me–but I know tons of teens who will love it. Loved both of the other two!


  7. I was somehow able to fit in 4 books this week. ^_^
    The boy in the black suit
    Simon vs. the homosapien agenda (loved!!!)
    Boy. Meets Boy (so sweet!)
    Bone gap

    7 books down but I think next week I’ll be taking more of a break to get ahead in school :/ hopefully I can still fit a few books in!!

  8. I finished listening to book #3: Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan. I think this is an excellent “listen” for upper elementary through middle school. The audio included the music that is a major focus of the story. Also the readers did a very nice job.

    I’m about 1/2 way through Most Dangerous by Steve Sheinkin.

  9. Started on the GNs this week. Actually found one I sort of liked.
    #24 Drowned City 4 Short, sweet and to the point. 4 even tho it is a GN
    #25 Trashed 2.5 I don’t care about statistics. However, soooo much of the gross stuff is true. My son is a garbage collector and has told me many of these tales over the years.
    #26 Dumplin 3.5; cute, but a bit far fetched.
    #27 Lumberjanes #1
    #27 Lumberjanes #2 – 1 for each. Haven’t read a review on these yet that has my take on the series. I felt it was a cheap shot making fun of the Girl Scouts.

    Reading Nimona & X

    1. That’s funny that you say that about Lumberjanes, because I definitely read it more as a loving parody of Girl Scouts, and I just freaking love all the girl power stuff in it.

    2. What made you feel like LJ was a cheap shot at GS? Part of why I liked LJ was because it felt like it cheekily riffed on GS. The badges were great! I am a leader for 2 GS troops, and have girls in both who would LOVE to earn some of the LJ badges. Pungeon Master was my favorite. :)

      LJ girls is in support GS’s “building girls of confidence, courage, and character”. Everything they did to solve the mystery and wrangle velociraptors is in-line with this. STEM, geekery, and knowledge save the day.

      1. Emma – As I said in my Goodreads profile, a lot of my negative/low reviews/ratings will be generational (I am a senior citizen). I was a GS leader/cookie mom/cookie depot for over 20 years. I just felt the gung ho, girl power stuff was making fun of GS. Maybe if the book had been written like a “real book” it would have appealed to me more. I only read the GNs because of the Challenge. I did like Drowned City tho – the first GN I gave more than a 2.

    3. No worries! :) GS is a lot different now than it was when my mother was a GS, and even from when I was a GS. When I became a leader, I had a hard time reconciling the differences. If looking at LJ from how GS used to be, then I can see how it would feel insulting towards GS. Recent years have seen GS changing their focus more towards girl power and less towards what would be considered traditional scouting.

  10. Carli, I also need to reread Ninoma for the challenge. I loved it the first time and even thought about booktalking at the local middle schools. I personally wished this GN was around when I was that age. Back then most of the female superheroes (or in this case supervillians) were portrayed as physically perfect something I couldn’t relate to or hope to attain. Nimona has chunky thighs and it’s not an issue and she’s a character my preteen self could have related to.

    This week I finished All American Boys and Red Queen. Loved AAB and thought RQ was only okay. Still listening to Lair of Dreams during my exercise walks. I think I’ll tackle one of the nonfiction selections next.

    1. I couldn’t finish Red Queen. I thought it was fine, but it very much felt like every other YA dystopia I’ve ever read.

  11. I am almost finished listening to Bone Gap. I can see why it won the Printz. It’s very strange, but I am enjoying it. It’s a nice change of pace to read something so unpredictable.

    I started reading Six of Crows. It hasn’t really sucked me in yet, but I’m only a few chapters in.

  12. Here we go again, already behind! Still working my way through Shadowshaper, and I am starting the first Lumberjanes at lunch today.

  13. “Calvin” is the first book down (amazing). I’m in the middle of the audio version of “Echo” and loving it so far!

  14. I am listening to Lair of Dreams, which is really, really long but very well done. I also read A Fan Girl’s Guide to the Galaxy, which I thought would be much better than it was. I read two volumes of A Silent Voice, and I liked that one more than most manga, although it still wasn’t my favorite.

  15. This week I reread March: Book One by John Lewis (still awesome!) and listened to What If? by Randall Munroe and read by Wil Wheaton, which was great, both the narration and the book itself. I also read Half a King by Joe Abercromie, which isn’t teeeechnically on the list, but the second in the series is (Half the World) and I wanted to read the first one before I tackled it. :) So, eight books officially so far! I’m about half done listening to Gabi: A Girl in Pieces, and started Audacity. Going well so far!

  16. Holiday weekend so was looking forward to getting some more books read. However since it is summer here the vegetable garden intervened (harvested more tomatoes and fruit).
    Only 2 books this week…
    Ms Marvel – good quick read , complexities of dealing with the consequences of what she wished for makes for a good plot.
    The red queen – definitely one I would recommend to my readers. haves/have nots, plot twists, deceptions, gifts, treachery. Really terrific read – I couldn’t put it down, had to devour it in one sitting!

  17. I finished Rad American Women A-Z. I learn about so many inspiring women and decided I’m going to have to buy a copy for my daughter! I’m still listening to What If? and I just started Half the World.

  18. I’m almost done with Challenger Deep and a re-read of Super Mutant Magic Academy and I am loving both of them. Challenger Deep definitely lives up to the hype and Jillian Tamaki’s newest books is just as good the second time around (so good in fact I bought my own copy).

  19. I’m looking forward to rereading several graphic novels on the list (Squirrel Girl, Lumberjanes, and Nimona), but this weekend I finished Drowned City, which was a great book. Tonight I’m going to finish What If? (I’d already read it, but listening to it read by Wil Wheaton has been a lot of fun.)

  20. I’ve just finished Ms. Marvel Vol. 2 and loved it! I’m a bit behind on starting the challenge as I tried to get some sequels of favorite books read before fully jumping in, but I read 4 during the Morris Challenge, so that gave me a little breathing room. I’m looking forward to Dumplin’ and Cinder (I’m slow on the uptake for that one =P).

  21. Finished X (https://bookcurious.wordpress.com/2016/02/09/x/) and Drowned City (https://bookcurious.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/drowned-city/) this week. Between these books, Beyonce’s music video and Super Bowl performance, and it being Black History Month, I’ve had civil rights and Black Lives Matter on my mind a lot. The timing was totally unintentional (I’m just readings things as they come in to the library). It was a great reminder of both the serendipity and the added heft of what we read and when we read it.

    And now for something completely different…I just started the Weight of Feathers.

    1. I read Drowned City today, and loved it. Brown’s illustrations mesh beautifully with the starkness of Katrina. It was very powerful.

  22. Finished listening to Trollhunters. It started strong, but I thought the pacing was really weird. Also finished Awkward and Lumberjanes Vol. 1, both of which I thought were DELIGHTFUL. I also read Cinder, which is not generally my thing, but I found myself quickly wrapped up in the story.

    On the docket for this week is The War that Saved My Life audio, Lumberjanes Vol. 2, and Notorious RBG. I’m tracking my reading on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/25732021?shelf=hub-challenge-2016

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