How You Can Make Change Good: Digging Through the Book Box


October is an exciting month for any YA lit fan, because it includes Teen Read Week! In honor of this annual celebration of young adult literature, YALSA invited book-loving teens all over the world to apply to share their enthusiasm for reading in a guest post for The Hub. Thirty-one talented young writers were chosen, and we’ll be featuring posts from these unique voices all month long. Here’s Sharlena Luyen, age 17.


Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

A book about love: how cliche. Pre-teen Sharlena didn’t think so. Love was a wonder full of lust, magic, and mystery. Hot, steamy scenes of two people caring for one another: such an overly fantasized situation for the world. At age 12, I was stuck on how Becca Fitzpatrick played me for a fool, for she had me believing that the badass, feisty Patch was out to save Nora Grey’s life, for he was falling in love, “inevitably.” Drawn in closer as the pattern of Patch neglecting Nora was becoming increasingly more common in Hush, Hush, I wanted someone to care for me like they did for each other—no matter what happened, he would always hover over her, ever-so-slightly, to make sure nothing bad would happen to her. In fact, it happened so often that she eventually depended on him to save her life. How great would that be? I’m sure all of our parents could go to bed safe and sound at night, knowing that we would always be alright in the morning. With protection 100% of the time, I think I would live my life a little more on the edge…which is exactly what Nora did.

Not only did she start becoming more dangerous, but she found a new disregard for rules. Perfectly fit, eh? He protects her, she cares about life less. She’s the ying to his yang. And then you guess it, she’s kidnapped. (In a dark shed in the middle of the night at a broken-down amusement park, I might add.) Continue reading How You Can Make Change Good: Digging Through the Book Box

Required Reading: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

required_readingA few weeks ago, The Hub posted a poll asking for your favorite assigned summer reading in high school. With 49% of the 134 votes, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird was the top selection. This got me thinking about how required reading has impacted us as YA readers.

It’s a safe assumption that we’re all readers over here on The Hub. The results of the poll show that there were some fantastic experiences, but does it mean that all of our past reading experiences were great? I turned to some of our bloggers to get the scoop on required reading: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Read on to hear how assigned readings have made our bloggers stronger feminists, wish fatal illnesses on heroines, and really, really love bacon.

The Good

Jessica Lind: “When I was in 7th and 8th grade, I had an English teacher who really challenged us with reading. During her class, I fell in love with Lord of the Flies, Animal Farm, and 1984. I was transitioning out of the books of my childhood and these classics helped to keep me reading.”

The JungleGretchen Kolderup: “My 10th grade US History class was combined into a two-period class with our English class. We learned history and we learned English, but it was all through the lens of social movements in America. The books that we were assigned were really thoughtful choices that illuminated social issues and that weren’t what you’d typically have as required reading — Power by Linda Hogan, All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren, The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, and Catch-22 by Joseph Heller are the ones I remember. I loved that what we were reading was actually put into context so I could understand it — I would have missed so much of the meaning in the books if I hadn’t known what was happening in the world at the time they were published.”

Carla Land: “When I was in tenth grade I was in an honor’s English class and one of our required readings was The Great Gatsby. I absolutely hated it! My teacher was obsessed with the “eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleberg” and spent weeks talking about how important they were. I swore off of F. Scott Fitzgerald forever after that class. Fast forward to my sophomore year of college when I took a Modern Literature course- taught by a professor who was a Hemingway and Fitzgerald scholar. He’d spent his whole career studying them and their words. When we got to The Great Gatsby I held my breath and waited for the inevitable week long lesson on T.J. Eckleberg and his eyes. My professor commented on them once and they weren’t even on the test. After listening to him talk about the book and the author I had to take his Hemmingway and Fitzgerald course the next semester. It’s now one of my favorite books!” Continue reading Required Reading: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly