2016 Hub Challenge Check-In #4

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!

Hey Hub Challengers, we’re at week four, how are you doing? I’ve gotten a slow start to my reading but I feel it picking up now.

the hub 2016 reading challenge


This week I finished The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten. I had a bit of trouble getting into it at first but I’m glad that I stuck it out. It’s the story of Adam, a teen with OCD who has been in treatment and going to group therapy for a little bit when Robyn shows up. He is instantly smitten with her and decides that he must “get better” for her. Apart from his OCD, Adam has a lot more going on in his life: family stress between his mom and stepmom, the threatening letters that his mom is receiving but can’t seem to talk about, plus school and friends. I appreciated learning more about OCD and seeing Adam and his friends getting help when they needed it. Not to be too spoiler-y, but I’m glad that Adam and Robyn’s relationship developed to where it did by the end, and I thought they both acted really maturely.

I also read The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant. This book had been on my to-read list for a while so I was so happy to see it on the Amelia Bloomer list. I unabashedly love the Amelia Bloomer list and am excited about feminist books in general, so I pounced on the opportunity to read this. The book reads as a slice of life narrative of Addie Baum, the daughter of Jewish immigrants in Boston at the beginning of the 20th century. Addie narrates the earlier years of her life to her granddaughter telling her story and dispensing advice along the way. It’s a sweet story and as a Massachusetts resident, it was fun to recognize places around Boston and Cape Ann!

In the next week, I’ve got three books lined up and waiting for me: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Sacred Heart by Liz Suburbia, and Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee. They are all really different titles, but a great thing about the Hub Challenge is that it can push you to read books you might not usually pick up.

What are you reading? Add your thoughts in the comment below and join in the conversation on social media, too! We’re chatting on Instagram, Twitter, and the 2016 Hub Challenge Goodreads group. When you’re done, be sure to fill out this form.

-Anna Tschetter, currently reading Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

22 thoughts on “2016 Hub Challenge Check-In #4”

  1. I finished 2 this week. The first one was The Notorious RBG, which I found interesting, but now I want a little more and might seek out a more robust biography because RBG might be my new heroine. I also finished The Boston Girl, which I really enjoyed. It was just the right kind of reading for the week I had. I started Six of Crows lsat night. I’m not sure I’ll have the time this week to finish it. I haven’t read any of Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha series, so tho might be a gateway book. You can read my blog post about last week’s books at https://booksandbassets.wordpress.com/2016/02/21/2016-hub-challenge-check-in-4/

  2. I enjoyed three titles this week. What If (audio) was probably something I would never have picked up without the challenge. Since I am not a science fanatic, I’d say it was confusing at times, boring at times, and mind blowing at times. I breezed through Audacity, a story in verse about women and sweatshops. Great story! Nimona: I’ve heard so many great reviews of this story and I was afraid that I wasn’t going to like it. I was wrong! I LOVED it and can’t wait to re-read it in the future. There was something about it I can’t place my finger on but the story flowed nicely, the characters were charming, and original (the font was a bit small for me). This puts my total at 14.

    What’s next? I only have a few graphic novels to get read and then I will have to tackle all of the novels I’ve been dying to read for the challenge (in between book clubs and committees). So it will probably be slower moving for me now.

  3. This week I read Ms. Marvel: Generation Why (#7), Awkward (#8) and Wide Awake (#9). I enjoyed Ms. Marvel, a great character and good message. Awkward is a really cute MS comic. Wide Awake was a timely read about a presidential election, though I found several of the characters a bit too cliche and random. It takes place “in the near future” but since 10 years have passed since the book was published, the “near future” doesn’t quite ring true. My next book will be The Born Frees.

  4. Spent most of this week reading Half the World. I am not big on this genre. It would have been better without the teenage angst. Not interested enough in reading the series.

    I cried at a few of the stories in Humans of New York. Really makes you look at people differently. Excellent piece!

    Finishing up Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens agenda. This book is excellent.

  5. SuperMutant Magic Academy – I mentioned this title in my post from last week. I still do not “get” the book. Again, it seems more of a compilation of comic strips and not a cohesive story. Am I missing something?

    Challenger Deep – takes you on a journey through Caden’s mental illness. The book begins as Caden’s mental illness is taking hold of him and continues as he gets treatment. It is a harrowing journey that is not over when the book ends. Based on Neal Shusterman’s son.

    Audacity – written in poetry. Based on the story of Clara Lemich and her quest for worker and women’s rights in the early 1900’s. Her family came to American to escape the Russian pograms. Not only stood up to big business but she stood up to her family to fight for what is right. She is responsible for the 1908 Shirtwast strike in NYC.

    Lumberjanes volumes 1 & 2 – Welcome to Lumberjane summer camp. Join 5 best friends as they battle magical creatures and meet Greek Gods. The girls are spunky and will stop at nothing for a new adventure. Cannot wait to recommend this to students in our library. Fun read!

  6. I’ve read X: a Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon – engaging and well developed fictionalized biography with a fascinating subject. I also read Nimona by Noelle Stevenson – kind of crazy, funny, scary and sweet!

  7. Just finished Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, now on to Book 4 Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits. Slowly, but surely I will get to 25.

  8. I’m 10 titles in, completing Lumberjanes 1 & 2, Ms. Marvel 3, Roller Girl, and the What If? audiobook this week. I’m currently reading Half Bad, so I can get to the Half Wild audiobook soon!

  9. First up this week: Waistcoats & Weaponry. Listened to it a year ago and enjoyed it just as much this week. Go, Sophronia, go! Next was When Everything Feels Like the Movies. Not a book I enjoyed but I believe it will be read and reread by some teens. Can’t imagine this book in a middle school library. Finished up the week with March 1 (reread) and Roller Girl. Currently halfway through listening to Everything, Everything and already don’t want to story to end. Definitely my favorite book so far.

  10. I’ve read 14 in total. This week I read Awkward (can’t wait to recommend it and Roller Girl to some of my younger teen patrons) and Out of Darkness. I would have read a couple more but I didn’t want to rush through Out of Darkness. What a powerful and moving book. I’m still nursing my book hangover.

  11. This week I managed both volumes of Ms. Marvel, Echo, and Trollhunter.

    Ms. Marvel vol 2 & 3 – I enjoyed these more than I thought I would. I’d read vol 1 when it came out, and while I appreciated what the comic was doing, wasn’t terribly interested in it. I never would have picked up any further volumes without this challenge. Kamala’s fangirling on Wolverine had me snorting. That’s the scene that sticks out most in my memory.

    Echo – was absolutely beautiful. Definitely a book that is enhanced in audio format. I loved how the pieces of music were incorporated into the story. Without this challenge, I would have never read/listened it, so thank you, The Hub! I’ve recommended it to my mother, step-mother, and sister. My 9-yr old daughter is currently listening to it – she’s blown through most of the discs this weekend.

    Trollhunters – another book I was somewhat ambivalent about reading. I enjoyed it overall and can see myself recommending it to some of the teen readers in my library.

  12. I read 9 books this week and am still listening to Library of Souls,
    #41 All Involved – 2 – too much violence, crude
    #42 Human of New York – 2 – Don’t want to go to NY if this is what I will see. Advertised as pics w/ stories. Very few stories
    #43 Unraveling of Mercy Louis – 4 – Maw Maw was not a good person
    #44 Shadowshaper – 3 – Haitian folklore
    #45 X: a novel – 3 – He certainly wasn’t a nice/likable young man
    #46 Awkward – 4 – sci club vs art club; tween awkwardness
    #47 March 1 – 2 – reread – eh
    #48 Everything, Everything – 4.5 – Mom was manipulative and deceiving
    #49 Briar Rose – 2.5 – okay


  13. I finished my fifth book – Notorious RBG. I am soooo happy that the Amelia Bloomer list has been added to the challenge. So many great books there. RBG is definitely my new hero! Go girl power!

    I started listening to Waistcoats and Weaponry and remembering how fun and delightful this series is. I have a book club book to read this week, so we’ll see how much I can get to. Slow but steady!

  14. I read the first volume of the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and loved it! It made me want to read more Marvel comics. I am currently reading the second volume.

  15. Just three more this week – The Weight of Feathers (hard to get into, but enjoyed by the end), African American Women (great collection of photos and historical placement) and Nimona (reread, still a lot of fun). I’m almost finished listening to Waistcoats and Weaponry as well!

  16. I’m getting a slow start and was pretty overwhelmed by the whole list in the beginning but now that I’m reading the reviews from everybody else I think I’ll start being able to focus a bit more.

    I finished Roller Girl this week and enjoyed it a whole lot more than I thought I would. For some reason I thought the whole roller derby concept seemed too specific but I ended up absolutely loving it. Since I’m enjoying all the graphic novels so much I plan on continuing by reading Awkward this week.

  17. Not too many this week: We Should All Be Feminists, The Boston Girl, The Born Frees – none of which impressed me. I also listened to The Trollhunters, which was painfully narrated. I appreciated Lair of Dreams and Illuminae much more in their narrative style. With Trollhunters, I was just waiting for it to be done and over.

    74 done, 21 to go. A bunch of these are on hold for me, so it’s just a matter of waiting my turn at the library. :)

  18. I read 2 graphic novels from the Ms Marvel series and loved them! Began reading Enchanted Air by Margarita Engel – I have now read 10 books toward the challenge.

  19. Forgot to check in yesterday, so here I am Monday night. It was a slow week for me last week, but I did finish Odyssey Honor book, Echo. What a lovely story. The music and singing were true enhancements to the audiobook, and the harmonica was an important character.

    Still listening to Lair of Dreams and trying to make headway on Conviction. I’m looking forward to some of the graphic novels next.

    Happy reading/listening this week!

  20. I’m in a mood the last two weeks where I keep starting books even though I’m already in the middle of a bunch, so my number hasn’t gone up but I’ve done a lot of reading. In the middle of Notorious RBG, Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Unlikely Hero of 13B. I’m also on the last disc of The War that Saved My Life. If I ever managed to finish anything I’ll be in good shape!

  21. In February, I finished 5 books:
    -What I?f: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions
    -Enchanted Air
    -We Should All Be Feminists
    -Humans of New York: Stories
    -Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans
    My goal is to read at least 5 titles every month, so I’m on track so far! :)

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