2016 Hub Challenge Check-In #8

Not signed up yet 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, and the challenge runs until 11:59pm EST on June 23, so sign up now!

I can’t believe how this winter flew by! Today is officially the first day of spring and, at least here, it has been feeling more like spring every day. If winter has had you feeling cooped up and not in the mood to read, now is the perfect time to grab one of the Challenge books and take it outside to read in the fresh spring air!

the hub 2016 reading challenge

Recently, I’ve been rereading another favorite from last year that made more than one of the lists, Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson. This graphic novel not only made the 2016 Great Graphic Novels for Teens Top Ten but also found its way onto the 2016 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults Top Ten. And, to top it off, it was also a Newbery Honor Award winner. The story follows 12-year old Astrid as she signs up for a roller derby summer camp and comes to terms with changes in her friendship with her closest friend as their interests and passions start to diverge. This book has the potential to appeal to a wide range of age groups and reading styles. Best of all, it has great tie-in potential with the fitness/sports theme that many summer reading programs are adopting this year. I highly recommend reading this book; not only am I sure that you will enjoy it, but I am guessing that you will end up recommending it to friends and patrons alike.

In addition to Roller Girl, I’ve also read The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks by Sam Maggs, which is on the 2016 Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. This book might seem quite a bit different than Roller Girl, but what they both share is a focus on encouraging girls to find and follow their passions. In the case of The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy, this means making a dive into fandoms and their related social spaces more approachable for female fans of all ages. This book has lots of fun tips as well as input from a wide range of female fans who can help readers to feel like they are part of a community as they venture into their chosen fandom. It is a great reader for those who are new to fandom but will also be enjoyable for those who have been participants for years.

Even if you haven’t started the Challenge yet, you still have three months to finish all the books, so there is plenty of time to jump in now! Be sure to sign up in the original post if you haven’t already. On the other hand, if you’ve already completed the challenge, don’t forget to fill out this form!

– Carli Spina, currently reading Lucky Penny by Ananth Hirsh and Yuko Ota

19 thoughts on “2016 Hub Challenge Check-In #8”

  1. This week I was on a roll and finished 3!
    Out of Darkness (#17), A Silent Voice #1 (#18) and The Boy in the Black Suit (#19).
    All were excellent books.
    I’d recommend Out of Darkness for the older teens since it contains mature material and disturbing scenes. This book revolves around the 1937 New London School explosion in Texas and explores themes such as racism, poverty, abuse and violence.
    A Silent Voice is a good MS and HS book dealing with bullying and disabilities. This manga selection is a quick read and those who enjoy it will definitely ask for #2 since it ends on a “cliffhanger”.
    The Boy in the Black Suit is suitable for all ages and is about a grieving boy who is struggling after the death of his mother and trying to deal with his alcoholic father. He finds solace by helping at the services of a funeral home. Even though this book deals with death and loss, it is ultimately about hope, love and friendship.

  2. I am listening to Boston Girl by Anita Diamant and I absolutely love Linda Lavin’s narration of Addie Baum as a senior citizen looking back on her life. I finished listening to and loved Challenger Deep (I had read the book as soon as it came out)- riveting way to write about schizophrenia. I began reading Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez—so so sad. This will be my 22nd book.

  3. This week’s readings:
    — Breakthrough. Rated it 3/5 as although I appreciate what the young man has done for science, the book didn’t interest me. It needed a big hook at the beginning to draw me in but never found it.
    — Reread Wintergirls. As powerful now as the first time reading it.
    — First Flight Around the World. How could I have grown up in the Seattle area and not heard about this flight. Teen readers will enjoy rather story, as did I.
    — Library of Souls. Listened to audio version; a separate picture file was included but I could not open it. Enjoyed the story.

  4. I’ve been working on the earlier books in series selected for the Amazing Audiobooks list, so I haven’t progressed too much in challenge reading, but I’m now listening to Waistcoats & Weaponry, which is just so fun for all of the driving I do! I’m currently reading Half Bad, so I can get to the Half Wild audiobook soon. I also finished listening to Hollow City, so Library of Souls is up on deck! That all puts me at 10 challenge books/audiobooks finished, but more are soon to come.

  5. Finally finished Lair of Dreams which I liked very much but still think it was too long. Lots of wonderful titles ahead on my pile including Sally Ride and The Boy in the Black Suit.

    Happy reading/listening this week!

  6. I finished the audiobook for What If? by Randall Munroe. It was excellent! I loved Wil Wheaton’s narration and I’m going to be recommending it to my science teachers for sure!

  7. Last week was my spring break, so I got lots of reading done! I finished Everything, Everything, All American Boys, and Challenger Deep and really enjoyed all three. In fact, I don’t think I can choose a favorite from them; they were each fairly different and really good. I liked All American Boys for surprising me and for pushing a conversation forward that is so important. I thought Everything, Everything was a quick read and had enough romance to entice my readers who are obsessed with that. (I did see the ending coming with this one though.) I found Challenger Deep fascinating but, befitting the title, challenging. The shifting narrative may be hard for some readers to follow, but having known students who suffered from schizophrenia, I found it fascinating. I think if I share it with my large number of students who have read and loved Terry Trueman’s Inside Out, it can easily find an audience at my library.

  8. Two more this week, Challenger Deep and Between the World and Me. I read Challenger Deep for a book club and I was glad I had that added motivation to finish. Following the different realities was difficult, but the story was definitely worth it. Between the World and Me was also a challenging read in a different way, confronting humongous issue in a way that was at once deeply personal and universally relevant.

    My total is 17 which is more than my total from the whole challenge last year! I think I’m taking this week off to catch up on some middle grade for work and finish a (gasp) adult book I’ve been reading.

  9. Wide Awake by David Levithan takes place in the US in the near future when a gay, Jewish president is elected as the president of the USA. It revolves around Duncan and his boyfriend as they stand up for what is right and for what they believe in.

    How we met and other stories by David Levithan. An anthology of stories that deal with how people have met. It looks at stories of gay and straight couples that fall in and out of love and for some couples that have relationships based on lust. My favorite story was the “Alumni Interview,” where a boy stands up for his boyfriend against his unyielding father. Not a fan of romance stories but I did enjoy the end where the author shares how his grandparents have met.

    On board next the “Bunker Diaries.”

  10. This week I finished two books:
    – Girl at War (I reread this one but it was still good.)
    – Book of a Thousand Days (Interesting retelling of the Maid Maleen fairy tale)

  11. #72 Forgive Me If I’ve…Before – 3
    #73 When Everything…Movies – 2 – too crude for me
    #74 Breakthrough – 4 – Science was not my forte, but obviously is Jack’s
    #75 Notorious RBG – 2 – Sort of boring; Photos were interesting, tho
    #76 Undocumented – 2 1/2 – Again, I will say, there are legal US citizens who could benefit from an Ivy League education being given to them
    #77 Challenger Deep – 2 – a reread, but still didn’t care for it
    #78 Dead House – 4 – Interesting way of writing a book – audio was good
    #79 Bones & All – 4 – Sort of disgusting, but I liked it –

    Just a couple of discs of Trollhunters left – liking it less & less.
    Vacation next week & 5 ready at library. Read 2 off list this week also (Need by Charbonneau & Lies About the Truth by Stevens) both very good.


    1. I just finished Bones & All the other day. I agree, it was a bit grotesque, but never gratuitously so. I’m not generally one for horror or gross, but I enjoyed this book.

  12. Been too busy to check in for a while but now getting back on track
    Lair of Dreams I found a little disappointing. I found it a little hard to follow in parts, maybe overly long.
    Have taken Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda and because You’ll Never Meet me home to read over the long Easter Weekend (we get 5 days as we include our province’s Anniversary Day).
    When completed this will get me up to 8.

  13. Haven’t read any from the challenge this week! Ack! Well, I’ve started Denton Little’s Deathdate and that is an interesting story!

    I had to listen to Ernest Cline’s new book Armada — because he is coming to Denver next month! Back to the challenge!!

  14. Slowing down because I have a pile of new books to read for my April book talks at the local middle school. I also haven’t posted to my blog in ages but I’ve been pretty faithful recording my reading on Goodreads. https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/52229430?page=1
    This week I finally finished the audio of Lair of Dreams and the first volume of A Silent Voice . January LaVoy did an amazing job reading Lair of Dreams . I liked but didn’t love A Silent Voice but I think that’s because I have trouble with reading the panels in manga so I was never deeply pulled into the story. I’ve read 21 of the challenge books so far. I have a couple of long plane rides ahead of me soon so I’m loading up the ereader.

  15. Over the past two weeks, I read 3 books:

    *Bone Gap – It was not what I was expecting based upon the description, but I liked it. I liked the magical realism and the incorporation of the Persephone myth. I’m sure that with additional readings, more symbolism and mythical parallels would be found.

    *SuperMutant Magic Academy – I was a bit unsure about this one based upon others’ reactions to it. When I realized that it was not a narrative, but instead essentially a comics collection, it made it more enjoyable to read. It had its funny moments, and I can see high schoolers relating to various characters.

    *Six of Crows – It was alright. Neither story nor characters really grabbed me.

    February Hub reads: http://wp.me/p4sXNw-Ap

  16. I actually finished “Rad American Women from A to Z” a couple of weeks ago, and this week, I’m going to finish “A Silent Voice” Volume 1. After that, I’m planning to read the Audubon book, plus the next two volumes of “A Silent Voice” (I really love it so far!), so I should have 10 titles read by the end of March.

  17. I just finished The Dead House and I can’t believe more people aren’t talking about this book! I loved the psychological case study feel to it. I just started Audacity and I’m flying through it. It is a beautiful read and very powerful.

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