YA is awesome and great reads for all ages (well, maybe not for those 10 and under....)
What YA book has been monumental for you?
MONSTROUS BEAUTY by Elizabeth Fama
Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences. Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra's help, Hester investigates her family's strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.
THE LOST WORLD by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The creator of Sherlock Holmes delivers a classic adventure fantasy in this tale of a trip by journalists, scientists, and adventurers to investigate rumors of dinosaurs on a mysterious plateau deep in a mythical South American jungle. Much fun and over-the-top adventure ensue. The author is ably supported by Glen McCready, who delivers a reading very much in the nineteenth-century style. He plays up the characters’ big personalities and celebrates the rather orotund style of the writing, which isn’t as tight as in the Holmes books.
Three or four weeks ago, one of the many libraryland blogs I subscribe to had an article about one YA author's quest to read one book a month throughout 2018 that focuses on an aspect of justice and/or change. The challenge grew out of the conversations Marie Maquardt has had with teens who say they "want books that give us all the feels and open our eyes, hearts, and minds to important social issues."
Maquardt observed that "so many young readers seeks novels that offer new ways of looking at the world, challenge them to ask tough questions, and motivate them to take action."
So far, she's read books about confronting racial injustice, girls fighting back, the American Dream and immigration, climate change, gentrification, and the refugee crisis. I've added additional titles that fall within those categories so that you, too, can #readforchange.
Maquardt's articles are really insightful, so I encourage you to look through those, too, especially if you are interested in more resources on the topics.
What other topic(s) do you think Maquardt should cover later this year?
Y'all, Amandla Stenberg has ANOTHER movie coming out that is sure to be awesome! It's called The Darkest Minds and is based on the book by Alexandra Bracken.
Read the book before you see the movie, which is out in August! We have it in the Teen Room: YA F Bra and as an ebook from the Libby app!
Little Rue is all grown up and is taking lessons from big "sister" Katniss in this one!
HOW TO HANG A WITCH by Adriana Mather
Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those trials—and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves the Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were? If dealing with that weren’t enough, Sam also comes face to face with a real, live (well, technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff. But soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries-old curse affecting anyone with ties to the trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and find a way to work with the Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first accused witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it’s Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself.
THE SCARLET LETTER by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s exploration of the dichotomy between the public and private self, internal passion and external convention, gives us the unforgettable Hester Prynne, who discovers strength in the face of ostracism and emerges as a heroine ahead of her time. As Kathryn Harrison points out in her Introduction, Hester is “the herald of the modern heroine."
If you have summer reading assignments to do for school, your book might be on this list! Many English teachers want us to read the classics, also known as "canon literature". (No, not like cannons that were medieval weapons.) These are books that have stood the test of time and are considered Important. Oftentimes, they share an important message or have themes that are still applicable today.
THE INVISIBLE GIRLS by Sarah Thebarge
A girl scarred by her past. A refugee mother uncertain of her future. Five little girls who brought them together. After nearly dying of breast cancer in her twenties, Sarah Thebarge fled her successful career, her Ivy League education, and a failed relationship on the East Coast and started over in Portland, Oregon. She was hoping to quietly pick up the pieces of her broken life, but instead she met Hadhi and her daughters, and set out on an adventure she’d never anticipated. Hadhi was fighting battles of her own. A Somali refugee abandoned by her husband, she was struggling to raise five young daughters in a culture she didn’t understand. When their worlds collided, Hadhi and the girls were on the brink of starvation in their own home, “invisible” in a neighborhood of strangers. As Sarah helped Hadhi and the girls navigate American life, her outreach to the family became a source of courage and a lifeline for herself. Poignant, and at times shattering, Sarah Thebarge’s riveting memoir invites listeners into her story, finding connection, love, and redemption in the most unexpected places.
GIRLS LIKE US by Gail Giles
A 2015 Schneider Family Book Award Winner! With gentle humor and unflinching realism, Gail Giles tells the gritty, ultimately hopeful story of two special ed teenagers entering the adult world: "We understand stuff. We just learn it slow. And most of what we understand is that people what ain’t Speddies think we too stupid to get out our own way. And that makes me mad." Quincy and Biddy are both graduates of their high school’s special ed program, but they couldn’t be more different: suspicious Quincy faces the world with her fists up, while gentle Biddy is frightened to step outside her front door. When they’re thrown together as roommates in their first “real world” apartment, it initially seems to be an uneasy fit. But as Biddy’s past resurfaces and Quincy faces a harrowing experience that no one should have to go through alone, the two of them realize that they might have more in common than they thought—and more importantly, that they might be able to help each other move forward.
Jenny Han's To All the Boys I've Loved Before is getting its own book-to-screen adaptation!
Netflix has adapted this YA romance into a Netflix Original movie! Read the whole series before you watch it on August 17th!
1. To All the Boys I've Loved Before
2. P.S. I Still Love You
3. Always and Forever, Lara Jean
You can find them all in the Teen Room at YA F Han and To All the Boys I've Loved Before as an ebook on the Libby app.