The Sky Blues by Robbie Couch Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers Publication Date: April 6, 2021 ISBN: 978-1534477858
White teen Sky is one of the only openly gay people in his small town of Rock Ledge, MI, and he has a major crush on a fellow classmate named Ali, an Arab-American. Sky and his best friend Bree, also white, concoct a plan for Sky to enact a dramatic promposal that will get Ali to go to prom with him. Plans get derailed when photos involving Sky and Ali are sent out to the entire senior class through a hacked email newsletter, along with racist and homophobic comments. Sky is devastated, believing that his classmates will shun him. Much to his surprise, his classmates show support in growing numbers. Sky, Bree, Ali and their friends Marshall, a straight black teen, and Teddy, Marshall’s athletic white friend, join forces to suss out the bully responsible for the offensive email while publicly showing support for Sky and Ali with DIY t-shirts and clever hashtags.
This seems to be the summer of the documentary for me. I recently went to the movie theater to watch RBG, the biography of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and was pleasantly surprised to see a multi-generational audience sitting in cross-generational groups. There were at least two grandmother-granddaughter pairings. And that got me wondering, if Ruth Bader Ginsburg were a teen now, what would she read?
According to the documentary, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a serious young woman, not given to small talk. When she had something to say, however, she was thoughtful, articulate and powerful. She spent much of her career working for women’s rights, often coming back to the line in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution that promised everyone “the equal protection of the laws.”
Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham Little, Brown and Company Publication Date: February 21, 2017 ISBN: 9780316384933
“The dead have stories to tell. They just need the living to listen.”
Rowan Chase and William Tillman have stories to tell. Rowan lives in present day Oklahoma. William Tillman was a seventeen year old living in 1920s. Their stories intertwine when skeleton bones are discovered in Rowan’s backyard. Rowan, along with her best friend James, investigates. Together they solve a mystery, a murder and learn more about the Tulsa race riots of 1921.
While many people might wish to continue celebrating Valentine’s Day with romantic reads, there are plenty of readers who prefer their fiction fairly romance-free. If librarian listservs and Twitter conversations are anything to go by, “books with little to no romance” are a common but surprisingly challenging readers’ advisory request in libraries across the country and all year round. Again, the Hub bloggers are here to help!
This week we gathered together showcase some of our favorite young adult fiction where romance is either absent or plays a minor role in the story. Through the combined efforts of the Hub blogging team, we’ve collected a varied list of primarily recent titles that should provide books with appeal for a wide range of readers. Hopefully, you will spot something to please your readers on a quest for literature with a more platonic focus.
Owen is training to be a dragon slayer, a crucial job in a world where dragons bring death and destruction. With help from their friends and family, Owen and his female bard Siobhan seek the source of a growing dragon threat. Siobhan and Owen’s strong bond is based on their friendship and common goal, but there’s no romance involved. – Sharon R.
Kaz, a member of the Dregs gang, has scored a big heist but he needs help. He enlists five others to help him break into the unbreakable Ice Court to steal some precious cargo. – Dawn A.
Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge
Ever since she fell into a nearby pond, Triss has been horribly aware that something is wrong. She’s suddenly developed an insatiable appetite, her little sister seems afraid of her and inanimate objects like dolls not only speak–they scream. To discover what’s happened to her and her family, Triss must journey into strange and bizarre worlds within, beyond, and beneath her world. – Kelly D.
Gen is the best thief in the world and can do whatever he wants to do. At least that is what he claims before he is caught and imprisoned by the King of Sounis. The king’s main advisor soon hatches a plan to harness Gen’s skills in order to steal a holy relic and conquer Sounis’ enemies. An adventure full of unusual characters, storytelling, and mythology. – Miriam W.
Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
In a different world, the library of Alexandria survived. The library governs the people, selecting knowledge to filter to the people. Jess’s father works as a book smuggler. He decides that Jess’s value lies in his future – at the library as a spy. He forces Jess to take the entrance exam. Jess passes the exam and heads off for basic training. – Jennifer R.
Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac
Lozen grew up in a divided world—there were the Ones, whose genetic and technological augmentation set them apart, and the mere humans who served them. Then the Cloud came. Digital technology stopped working and much of the world is a wasteland, peppered with monsters—the Ones’ genetically engineered pets gone wild. Now, Lozen hunts down these creatures, serving the remaining Ones in exchange for her family’s safety. But Lozen is more than a monster exterminator—she’s destined to be a hero. – Kelly D. Continue reading Hub Bloggers Love: Young Adult Fiction Without Romance
With all the ways to watch TV today including; on demand, DVR, and instant streaming it is possible to watch an entire series’ episodes back to back rather than in a serialized week to week format. This kind of watching has been dubbed “binge-watching.” Maybe when you hear this term, an image comes to mind of someone mindlessly watching hour after hour of TV whilst eating chips. As fun as that sounds, “binge-watching” can also mean focusing on just one show over the course of many days or weeks. As a reader the way I become immersed in the characters and world of a good book are a familiar, comforting feeling, and binge-watching a quality show can offer a similar (on-screen) experience. Here are some great YA read-alikes inspired by some of my binge-worthy favorites.
Orange is the New Black – One of Netflix’s original binge-worthy series. This is the story of a Piper, a privileged woman who has to serve prison time for a crime committed in her 20s.
* Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman. The book that inspired the show; Kerman tells the tale of how she spent a year in prison the humiliations she endured, and the relationships she forged.