Don’t Hate the Player by Alexis Nedd Bloomsbury YA Publication Date: June 15, 2021 ISBN: 978-1547605026
Sixteen-year-old Emilia Romero has a secret life. By day, she’s a high-achieving Latinx student who takes AP classes, leads the field hockey team, has a popular jock for a boyfriend, and will even be running for student council as vice president to her best friend Penny (who is Black). By night (and on weekends), she’s part of Team Fury, an e-sports team competing in the virtual reality game Guardians League Online, who has just been tapped to participate in a live tournament with a pot of two hundred thousand dollars. No one at school knows her secret, and she’d like to keep it that way. But when Jake Hooper, who is also playing in the tournament on another team, shows up as a new student, Emilia’s two worlds threaten to collide.
Renegade Rule by Ben Kahn, Rachel Silverstein, and Sam Beck Dark Horse Books Publication Date: June 2, 2021 ISBN: 9781506718019
Renegade Rule follows up-and-coming team The Manhattan Mist as they compete for a spot in the national Renegade Rule Tournament. Renegade Rule is a virtual reality video game similar to capture the flag where two teams play against each other, trying to eliminate players from the other team or find the prize objective on different maps. The Manhattan Mist team is composed of four friends who enjoy spending time with each other and playing the game, all while handling other complications such as family illness, impostor syndrome, and more.
Click here to see all of the current Amazing Audiobooks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.
The Talk: Conversations About Race, Love & Truth edited by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson; Narrated by Fajer Al-Kaisi, Feodor Chin, Gisela Chípe, Michael Crouch, Janina Edwards, James Fouhey, Renata Friedman, Catherine Ho, Nicole Lewis, Omar Leyva, Guy Lockard, Jesus E. Martinez, and Lisa Renee Pitts Listening Library Publication Date: August 11, 2020 ISBN: 978-0593121610
Through poetry, essays, lists, and letters, The Talk gives 17 different conversations that delve into race, racism, identity, and self-esteem. Coming from a variety of experiences, which are often intergenerational and intersectional, this is a conversation starter for dissecting structural racism, moves to be more antiracist, and ways to be more inclusive with a focus on being affirming to listeners.
Click here to see all of the current Great Graphic Novels nominees along with
more information about the list and past years’ selections.
Invisible Kingdom, vol. 1 by G. Willow Wilson and Christian Ward Berger Books / Dark Horse Comics Publication Date: November 5, 2019 ISBN: 9781506712277
In a far away galaxy, a freighter pilot and a
religious disciple find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy between the
largest religious group and largest employer in the universe. Vess is a new
“none” which is a disciple of the teaching of the “Renunciation.” Grix is an
experienced fighter pilot that has been working for the mega-corporation of
Lux. When Vess catches the eye of an elder and becomes the new scriptorium, she
realizes that large sums are deposited from Lux into the elder’s account each
month. Grix notices that the cargo she carries does not match the manifest and
begins to realize that something is going on at Lux. Both Vess and Grix know
they risk death if they are caught before they can receive assistance from the
Duni Government. Will they give in and hide or fight to make sure the
conspiracy is known?
Last month was Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!
As described by the Library of Congress, this month is a “celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States” (Asian Pacific American Heritage, n.d., para. 1). It is when we celebrate the achievements and contributions, as well as the culture, traditions, and roles Asians and Pacific Islanders have played in shaping our society.
To continue celebrating past the month of May in your libraries and with your patrons, here is a list of books written by Asians and Pacific Islanders, that will take your readers on emotional journeys, fantastical adventures, romantic and hilarious moments, and into edgy and daring worlds. But most of all it will introduce readers to new cultures and diverse characters whom they can relate to.
Warcross by Marie Lu G.P. Putnam’s Sons / Penguin Random House Publication Date: September 12, 2017 ISBN: 9780399547966
Bounty hunter by day and hacker by night, Emika Chen launches herself into accidental overnight viral fame by projecting herself into the Warcross Championship, a global virtual reality/video game sensation. Emika’s luck finally seems to be looking up when game creator Hideo Tanaka invites her to join the championship as a spy for him, but the answers she finds may cost her everything.
These graphic Quick Picks nominees are sure to draw in readers.
Rickety Stitch and the Gelatinous Goo: The Road to Epoli by James Parks
Illustrated by Ben Costa Knopf Books for Young Readers Publication Date: June 6, 2017 ISBN: 9780399556135
In this graphic novel readers join the overly chatty skeleton bard, Rickety Stitch, and his best friend, a gelatinous Goo (a la Dungeons and Dragons). Freshly fired from their jobs as low-level dungeon goons, the two friends end up making their way through a zany fantasy world. Continue reading #QP2018 Nominees Round Up: Graphic Novel Edition
If there has been one feature of every book that I have discussed in this series of posts, it is a focus on artwork. Even the one non-comic work included in these posts focused a significant amount of text on the artwork of Wonder Woman. But, this month, I am branching out from volumes focused on artwork to discuss an emerging trend – prose novels that are based on comic book characters.
While this concept is hardly a new one, recently DC and Marvel have greatly expanded their offerings in this regard to include new adult (albeit not promoted by that name) and young adult novels. These novels can serve the dual purpose of introducing comic book characters and storylines to readers who aren’t comfortable with comics and graphic novels and encouraging comics fans to read works by leading young adult authors. Even more importantly, these novels are just a lot of fun! Right now, there are only a limited number available, but many more are appearing on the publishing horizon. Continue reading Women in Comics: Young Adult & New Adult Novels
The Rose Society, the sequel to Marie Lu’s The Young Elites hit the shelves on October 13th and has spent four weeks on the New York Times Young Adult Bestseller List. In The Rose Society readers revisit Adelina Amouteru, one of the survivors of the blood plague that made her and many others into “young elites” gifted with strange powers. The book opens with Teren Santoro, lead inquisitor set on ridding the kingdom of Adelina’s kind. Fans of the courtly intrigue, fast paced plot, and atmospheric setting in the first book will not be disappointed by the second. If your library’s copy is checked out consider recommending some of these backlist titles to tide over your eager patrons while they wait.
If you are like me, you’ve been ready for Halloween since August 1st. Not everyone is so Halloween-happy. Maybe you haven’t bought out the grocery store’s stock of canned pumpkin or purchased a new shade of orange nail polish, but, like it or not, October is upon us, which means you may have teens swarming your stacks in search of something to creep them out and give them nightmares. In my experience I get more requests for “scary stories” than horror novels. With that in mind I’m going to highlight some collections of short stories sure to meet various spine-chilling needs as well as give some horror specific readers’ advisory tips.
“Scary” is subjective. Every reader is going to be comfortable with different levels of the supernatural, violence, gore, etc. A good way to assess what type of horror a reader wants is to ask them what their favorite scary book is. If they are not an avid reader you may need to ask about their favorite scary movie or scary television show. You are probably going to want to recommend a different book to a fan of The Sixth Sense than you would to a fan of Saw.
If you are not a horror reader yourself or get scared easily, it’s OK for you to tell teens this. Particularly with younger teens this may help them to be more open about how scary they want their stories to be. If you aren’t a horror reader, however, you will want to familiarize yourself with the popular horror titles in your collection. If you can pick the brain of a fellow staff member or teen volunteer who reads a lot of horror, this is a great start.