Love Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell? We’ve got your next favorite book. Whether you liked the retro setting, the opposites attract romance, or comics & mix tapes, there’s something here for you. If you’re a librarian or library worker looking for suggestions to offer readers, this list includes both older and new titles.
Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
Readers won’t be able to help but cheer for Willowdean, an overweight teen who loves Dolly Parton and enters a local beauty pageant to prove a point to her mom, her town, and herself. Funny and moving, this is just a delight to read. The small town Texas town comes alive, the complicated friendship dynamics are nuanced, and the complications of feeling of first love ring true. This is a fun, feel good novel that’s the perfect antidote to Eleanor & Park’s heart-wrenching story.
Love is Mixtape by Rob Sheffield
While this is a memoir written for adults rather than a YA novel, fans of Eleanor and Park may enjoy Rolling Stone editor and rock critic Sheffield’s story of life, love, and mix tapes.
Oh my goodness – Summer Reading and Learning is almost over, and I am so thrilled. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Summer Learning, but it’s tiring, yes?
Well, guess what I found out recently turned 20 years old? Me? Unfortunately, no, but something better – the movie of my generation (well, 1 of them, at least) – Clueless.
You know the story; a retelling of Emma, Clueless is led by Cher as she tries to find love and cultivate friendships as well as her wish to be a good person: a person who helps other people. It’s that shining gem starring Alicia Silverstone which also gave viewers our first glance at the never aging Paul Rudd. Seriously – have you seen him in the new Wet Hot American Summer prequel on Netflix? Dude doesn’t age.
Anyways…I decided to watch the movie to relive that summer of my 17th year where I had nothing more to ponder than where I thought Cher had bought that yellow plaid jacket/skirt combo. The movie was just as good as I remembered, and I realized that I’d love to delve more into Cher as a character. What was she like? And, most importantly, what would she read?
So, here it is, Hubbers, my attempt to guess as to what our dear Cher would most enjoy reading if she would happen to come in to the library and ask for some recommendations. And, one tiny nonessential secret before we move on to my top book picks for Cher. I actually hadn’t thought of the movie for a while, but as I was watching Bachelor in Paradise a few weeks ago (no judgement), Ashley I. was lamenting her status as a virgin, and boom! This quote popped in my head: “You’re a virgin who can’t drive.” I figured any random quote that would stick in my head for 20 years must be indicative of a fantastic movie. And, I was right. Anyways, here we go…
We’re coming up on national waiter/waitress day (May 21!), so I took the opportunity to create a list of books featuring teen waiters/waitress. Add in your favorites in the comments.
All the Rage by Courtney Summers Romy seeks refuge in the diner where she works after no one believes her account of a sexual assault. When her former friend goes missing, Romy must decide if it’s worth speaking up – again.
Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler Hudson threw away her dreams when her family fell apart. Now she hides in her mom’s diner baking cupcakes and thinking of the past. When her past comes back around to give her another chance – she isn’t sure which life she will choose.
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 Summer Khaleq from California.
Most of us can attest to the fact that the ever-growing Young Adult genre is one of the most boundless and honest genres in modern-day literature. In terms of innovation, YA wins the gold.
Yet despite the ever-expanding horizons of YA, diversity in general seems to be a taboo topic. There aren’t nearly as many books featuring POC, LGBTQ, and/or disabled characters as there should be, with authors taking the safe route and opting for white heterosexual leads.
I’m certainly not the first to notice this, though. Campaigns supporting and advocating for diversity have been popping up all over the internet (such as the popular #WeNeedDiverseBooks Campaign), and if you aren’t familiar with any then you’ve either been a) living under a rock or b) hiding under a rock while reading a book. (Really, isn’t it sad the amount of campaigning that must be done in order to implement something that should be expected in this day in age?)
For those who are new to the movement, I’ve created a nifty little flowchart, since it can be cumbersome to look for potential diverse reads (insert expression of disappointment and irritation here). Even for those who have been following the campaigns for years, there are quite a few lesser-known books here that you should definitely give a try. Continue reading Diversify Your YA Contemporary Reads: A Flowchart
Teens today are coming of age in an environment saturated with social media, so it’s no surprise it’s featured prominently in the plots of many young adult novels. When I started noticing a trend of books that explore the impact that social media has on the lives of teens, I decided it would be interesting to compile a list showcasing the various ways that teens’ use of Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and other social media are depicted in young adult literature.
Lauren Myracle’s Internet Girls series is inventive in structure and form, but the story of girls chatting online and communicating in a virtual space is also groundbreaking in the way it examines the social lives of teens. TTYL was a 2005 Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, and the fourth installment in the series, YOLO, is due out this year. Two other recent publications also explore internet culture. Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff explores the social aspects of online role-playing games, and the main character in Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, is more at home in the online world of the fandom of her favorite book than in the real world where she’s freshman in college. These novels explore teen identity through the juxtaposition of online identity and “real life” personas. Continue reading Coming of Age Online: Social Media in YA Literature
While scanning through a list of new YA releases recently, I couldn’t help noticing that many of the titles seemed awfully familiar: quite a few of them share (or are very similar to) titles of songs. They may not be similar topically as the pairings in Diane’s posts, but there is no denying that some of these will have you humming the second you see the covers:
Since You’ve Been Gone
When you hear the title of this contemporary story of best friends, summer vacation, and list completion from author Morgan Matson, you may immediately think of Kelly Clarkson’s 2004 chart-topper, “Since U Been Gone.”
(Don’t You) Forget About Me
This new release from Kate Karyus Quinn is a near-match for the Simple Minds classic “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” but that is where the similarities end between this suspense-filled mystery and The Breakfast Club’s theme. Additionally, Quinn’s debut Another Little Piece immediately resulted in Janis Joplin singing “Piece of My Heart” in my head.
The figure skating competition for the 2014 Winter Olympics is just a few days away. It’s always been my favorite part of the Winter Olympics. Gracie Gold, 18, seems to be able to capture hearts with her smile and her sheer talent. Polina Edwards at 15 seems so excited and shows so much love for the sport. Her enthusiasm is contagious. Ashley Wagner at 22 seems determined to make this her year. Her strength dominates the ice when she’s out there.
With these three amazing athletes, is it any wonder I find myself wishing to be able to skate? In their honor, we’re gearing up with a fun book list and some entertaining movies.
Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill
When Sloane Emily Jacobs, a socialite who fell from grace at the junior nationals, bumps into Sloane Devon Jacobs, a hockey player with a little too much aggression, both girls see this meeting for the opportunity it is. They decide to switch places for the summer in hopes of relieving the stress and pressure from their respective sports. Do they have what it takes to skate a mile in the other’s skates?
Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
Hudson intentionally threw her last figure skating competition after learning a secret about her father. She hasn’t skated since that secret tore her life apart. Three years later, she’s earned the nickname the Cupcake Queen helping her mother and brother at their family diner. Hudson hasn’t given up on her dream though and she might have a new way to achieve it.