2016 Hub Challenge Check-in #16

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!

the hub 2016 reading challenge


There’s a first time for everything, they say, and Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson has the honor of being the first non picture book that my daughter read first and then recommended to me.  She’s seven, so the recommendations usually flow the other direction, but if Roller Girl is the caliber of suggestion I have to look forward to I am in good hands for sure.  A 2016 Newbery Honor book, in addition to showing up on the 2016 Top Ten Great Graphic Novels & Top Ten Popular Paperbacks lists, Roller Girl tells the story of Astrid’s summer at roller derby camp, her struggles with friendships both old and new, and the looming specter of middle school.

It’s wonderful.  I loved Jamieson’s clever and creative style, full of visual clues and asides, and I especially loved her pitch-perfect and affectionate depiction of preteen angst.  That my daughter has taken up rollerskating (and me too, I guess) is testament to the vivid descriptions and joyful illustrations in Roller Girl, but the fact that she hounded me into reading the book immediately, wrote an unsolicited book review to share with her class, and has already given the book as a gift at multiple birthday parties tells me that this is a story that resonated with her, as it did with me, one I imagine I’ll be reading again.

What have you been reading for the Challenge lately? Have you shared any specific titles with friends or family, or have you read anything on the recommendation of others?  Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, and join the conversation on social media; look for the #hubchallenge on InstagramTwitter, and our Goodreads group.  And if you’ve finished the Challenge, a) bravo! and b) fill out this form.

–Julie, currently reading (at last!) Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven King



15 thoughts on “2016 Hub Challenge Check-in #16”

  1. I finished Sacred Heart (#26) and African American Women: National Museum of African American History and Culture (#27). Sacred Heart wasn’t really for me, so I’ll leave it at that! I was glad to finally get a copy of African American Women. There isn’t even 1 copy of it in my entire state, so I couldn’t ILL it. Luckily I got a copy while visiting DC. That met my goal of reading all of the Amelia Bloomer books: 4 for this challenge and 2 that I read previous to the challenge. Next up is All American Boys that I’ve ordered on ILL. I’m hoping it arrives soon!

  2. #92 Wonders of the Invisible World – 3 (audio version)
    #93 Silence of Six – 3
    #94 We Should All be Feminists – 2 – didn’t see the point. It was just a lecture she gave.

    The last 2 (Sacred Heart & African American Women) will have to be read at B & N. No library around here has them. Have also read 4 books off the list. Stick by Michael Harmon was very good as was When by Victoria Laurie. I am starting on the Teen Read Week books now.

  3. I finished Out of Darkness (#20) and Awkward (#21) this week. Out of Darkness was an amazing book that I would recommend to many of my teens! Awkward was a fun graphic novel that will come in handy for preteens as they experience bullying. I’m currently listening to Library of Souls and enjoying that!

  4. I finished Six of Crows and really liked it! Highly suggest it to patrons and co-workers. Saint Anything was a very interesting story – I wanted Sydney to have more gumption, more quickly, though.

  5. I’m at 22 total. The last few weeks have been graphic novel heavy, with Vol. 2 of Lumberjanes, Vol. 2 of Squirrel Girl, and SuperMutant Magic Academy.

    SuperMutant Magic Academy was one I started flipping through in Barnes and Noble because I hadn’t seen any of the illustrations, then sat down and before I knew it was 3/4 of the way through and said to myself, “I MUST BUY THIS.” I loved it so much.

    I’m halfway through Enchanted Air, and might see if I can get RBG back to finally finish.

  6. I finished the two volumes of Unbeatable Squirrel Girl after a short break to move homes. This is the perfect comic for animal lovers! That puts me at 21. I will really have to kick it up a notch to finish on time (would be my 5th year I think :-). I’m reading A Silent Voice and Bone Gap now. I may reread Awkward since it is a cute quick read… and my final novel(s) will be one of: Out of Darkness, Fans of the Impossible Life, and Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly. Happy reading everyone!

  7. Dumplin’, Nimona and The boy in the black suit brings me to 15. Don’t think I will achieve the 25 this year but have had some great (and some not so great) reads.

  8. Finished Roller Girl and really happy to recommend it to younger teens especially. Also Finished Unlikely Hero of Room 13B, Schneider Family Award. This is a great title to widen teens’ understanding of OCD in a believable situation. Finished Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Levithan.

    Now, reading X: A Novel and looking forward to many titles from other lists, including More Happy Than Not and Drowned City.

    Happy reading/listening this week!

  9. Wow. I just finished More Happy Than Not and Charm & Strange. Not two books to read in a row. They will mess with your head. As anyone else read these?

  10. Since my last check-in (which was #9… oops), I’ve read:

    * Half Wild by Sally Green (LOVED it)
    * Cut Both Ways by Carrie Mesrobian (loved it though the end disappointed me a bit)
    * First Flight Around the World: The Adventures of the American Fliers Who Won the Race by Tim Grove (great story, engaging)
    * Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman (important and lovely, but not quite to my taste)
    * This Strange Wilderness: The Life and Art of John James Audubon by Nancy Plain (well-done)
    * Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs (all right, not the biggest fan of this narrator)
    * Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League by Dan-el Padilla Peralta (good voice, important story)
    * Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez (important story, not fond of it though)
    * Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn (loved it the second time)
    * More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera (nice twist, I rather liked it though I can see why the end would be disappointing to some)
    * Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman (adored the audio, had to pick up the print)
    * Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson (great story, good drawings)
    * Humans of New York: Stories by Brandon Stanton (very touching, love the collection)
    * Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee (good worldbuilding, probably would have liked more if I cared at all about sports)
    * The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (absolutely adored it)
    * Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin (very very good history, important not to forget)
    * The Unraveling of Mercy Louis by Keija Parssinen (not my cup of tea, but well-written)
    * Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan [audio] (great narration, interesting to see the way the stories wove together)
    * Girl at War by Sara Nović (liked the concept, thought it could use more editing)

    I think I only have 30 or so more to go to finish the entire challenge!

  11. Okay, here’s my first check-in since I started at the beginning of May! I’ve finished 15 books so far:
    1. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn (Some touching moments, but didn’t particularly enjoy it as a whole)
    2. Cinder by Marissa Meyer (Super creative retelling with some rocky writing, but I was impressed with her creativity, and I loved the setting)
    3. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (Cute moments but really predictable)
    4. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby (WOW–superb writing, fantastic setting, and characters I cared about. And Magical Realism! One of the best reads so far)
    5. The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes (LOVED IT–thought -provoking and resonant)
    6. The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore (Had many elements that should add up to a book that I would love, but I never got fully engaged in the plot, and the ending felt forced. Enjoyed the magical realism and the writing)
    7. We Should All be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Would definitely recommend this as a quick, thought-provoking read)
    8. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (WOW WOW WOW that was a really entertaining and well-written read! I think I’ll reread it when the challenge is over. The characterization, pace, and plot were all excellently crafted)
    9. Humans of New York: Stories by Brandon Stanton (touching collection with perfectly chosen captions)
    10. Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries Who Shaped Our History and Our Future by Kate Schatz and Miriam Klein Stahl (Cool to read about women who don’t always make it into history books)
    11. Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas (Some memorable moments, but overall I was pretty bored)
    12. Wonders of the Invisible World by Christopher Barzak (I liked the family history, but I thought the relationship between the protag and his mom was not addressed nearly enough)
    13. Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero, audiobook narrated by Kyla Garcia (I was pretty disengaged until about halfway through, and then it ended up being pretty captivating. Loved Gabi’s spirit, and Kyla Garcia is a good voice for her)
    14. Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir by Margarita Engle (loved this beautiful memoir of verse)
    15. How They Met, and Other Stories by David Levithan (Interesting collection with some quotable moments)

    10 more to go! I’m currently listening to the Illuminae Files on audio, and I’m about to start The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Totem.

  12. I’ve done all I can. Summer is starting and another list came up I need to read. I read 30 books in all, so I’ll be able to finish the challenge. I just need to keep track of my list for the final check-in now!

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