YALSA’s list of the Best Fiction for Young Adults has been announced. There are 98 titles on the list from 175 nominated. The books are appropriate for ages 12-18 and have that winning mix of great writing and teen appeal.
From the 98 titles, there is also a Top Ten List:
All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry
Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Far Far Away by Tom McNeal
Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark
Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan
Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick
Rose under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
Winger by Andrew Smith
Here are the links I shared on my Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr accounts this week that I hope you find interesting:
‘The Giver’: First Look at Jeff Bridges and Brenton Thwaites in Lois Lowry’s classic | Inside Movies http://buff.ly/1g6cFfM
If All Adults Reread ‘The Berenstain Bears,’ The World Would Be A Much Better Place http://buff.ly/1fjVMdK
Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Titles worth checking out http://buff.ly/1gr8QSo
The Netflix of kids’ books? Epic launches on iPad for $9.99/month — Tech News and Analysis http://buff.ly/1dLdRgO
ALA Council approves new Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity – http://buff.ly/1bagc8o
Libraries as America’s Techno-Glue? http://buff.ly/1aOVvP1
Librarypedia: The Future of Libraries and Wikipedia – The Digital Shift http://buff.ly/1dObXMg
Report: 250 million school age kids can’t read – Appeal-Democrat: Us http://buff.ly/1baeCTT
Rainbow Rowell signs two-book deal with First Second | Shelf Life http://buff.ly/1ba4k6k
Stories of the Impossible – An interview with Patrick Ness | BOOK RIOT http://buff.ly/1ffLz24
Two Studios to Partner on an Adaptation of ‘Between Shades of Gray’ – GalleyCat http://buff.ly/1dLQ1BA
What graphic novel should be required reading in high schools? http://buff.ly/MrU1C1
What makes an adult book right for teens? http://buff.ly/1gqMjFk
The Rainbow List represents the best GLBTQ books for children and teens from the American Library Association’s GLBT and SRRT roundtables.
Archenemy by Paul Hoblin
Batwoman Volume 3: World’s Finest by J. H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman
Better Nate than Ever by Tim Federle
Blue Is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh
Branded by the Pink Triangle by Ken Setterington
Calling Dr. Laura by Nicole Georges
The Culling by Steven Dos Santos
Fat Angie by E. E. Charlton-Trujillo
Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark
Giraffe People by Jill Malone
Homo by Michael Harris
If I Lie by Corrine Jackson
If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan
Kevin Keller 2: Drive Me Crazy by Dan Parent
Leap by Z. Egloff
Love in the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block
More Than This by Patrick Ness
My New Gender Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving World Peace Through Gender Anarchy and Sex Positivity by Kate Bornstein
Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg
Pantomime by Laura Lam
Proxy by Alex London
Rapture Practice: My One-Way Ticket to Salvation: A True Story by Aaron Hartzler
The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Tag Along by Tom Ryan
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
Tyler Buckspan by Jere M. Fishback
The Waiting Tree by Lindsay Moynihan
Wandering Son v. 4 by Shimura Takako
When We Were Good by Suzanne Sutherland
Winger by Andrew Smith
And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard
Emily has been sent to a private board school in Amherst so that she doesn’t have to face all of the questions at her public high school. Her boyfriend, Paul, brought a gun to school. Emily is sure that Paul never meant to hurt her, though he did threaten her with the gun. She is also sure that he never planned to kill himself with it, though that is what he did. At her private school, she doesn’t quite fit in. She doesn’t wear the right shoes and her reluctance to talk about what happened and why she is there mid-term doesn’t lead others to get closer to her. Emily finds herself more and more interested in Emily Dickinson whose home is in Amherst. She starts writing poems herself, putting her grief and confusion on the page in poems that she plans to never share with anyone. But as the days go by, she becomes closer with her room mate and other girls on campus, including one of the teachers. It is now up to Emily to figure out how much she is willing to share of her own role in Paul’s death.
Hubbard’s writing is crystalline and brilliant. She captures the stunned nature of sudden loss with clarity and understanding. Emily could easily have become and inaccessible character to readers as well since she is prickly and shut down. Instead though, Hubbard creates a space around Emily for readers to understand her and feel her pain.
A large part of this is through her poems which honor Dickinson, follow her structure and voice closely at times, and other times reveal Emily’s soul in brief lines that shine. These poems serve as islands in a sea of pain and grief. They are concrete and dazzlingly good. They are bright with hope as one can see in each one Emily moving forward toward the future after putting her pain on the page.
Beautiful writing, a strong heroine, and plenty of poetry make this a very unique and exceptional book about loss and suicide. Appropriate for ages 14-16.
Reviewed from digital galley received from Edelweiss and NetGalley.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation has just released the results of their update to their study of third grade reading scores. The new data shows that 80% of low-income fourth graders are not proficient in reading as compared to 49% in higher income students. Due to this, there is an expected shortfall in the United States by 2020 of 1.5 million workers with college degrees with a surplus of 6 million people without a high school diploma who will be unemployed.
These disparities in income are also echoed in racial groups. Black students are at 83% below proficient reading levels. Hispanic students are at 81%. That is compared to 55% for white students and 49% for Asian.
The study goes on to show state by state what the percentage point different is in reading proficiency rate.
The good news is that reading proficiency is improving the US. The bad news is that the large gaps remain in specific demographics. The report ends by urging a focus on making sure that children are healthy and ready to learn, exposed to as much language as possible in their early years, and encouraging parents and school to work together to make sure their children are learning.
The Scott O’Dell Award is given annually to the author of a distinguished work of historical fiction for young people.
The winner of the 2014 Award is Kirkpatrick Hill for Bo at Ballard Creek, illustrated by LeUyen Pham. You can read more details about the award and the winner at The Horn Book.
Doll Bones by Holly Black (Hurrah!!!!!)
The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes (Yes!)
One Came Home by Amy Timberlake (Wonderful surprise!!)
Paperboy by Vince Vawter
Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo (Wonderful!)
Journey by Aaron Becker (Great!)
Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle (Wonderful!)
Mr. Wuffles by David Wiesner (Hurrah!)
Locomotive by Brian Floca (Perfection!)