Month: January 2014

2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults

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 Better Nate Than Ever Eleanor & Park

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 Freakboy Golden Boy

Far Far Away by Tom McNeal

Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark

Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan

Midwinterblood Rose Under Fire

Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick

Rose under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

Out of the Easy Winger

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Winger by Andrew Smith

This Week’s Tweets, Pins and Tumbls

Here are the links I shared on my Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr accounts this week that I hope you find interesting:

Read these 15 books for Chinese New Year or anytime to share a different culture with your kids.

CHILDREN’S LIT

‘The Giver’: First Look at Jeff Bridges and Brenton Thwaites in Lois Lowry’s classic | Inside Movies http://buff.ly/1g6cFfM #kidlit

If All Adults Reread ‘The Berenstain Bears,’ The World Would Be A Much Better Place http://buff.ly/1fjVMdK #kidlit

Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Titles worth checking out http://buff.ly/1gr8QSo #kidlit

The Netflix of kids’ books? Epic launches on iPad for $9.99/month — Tech News and Analysis http://buff.ly/1dLdRgO #kidlit #ebooks

Rare Book Tramp Digital Art  - Rare Book Tramp Fine Art Print

LIBRARIES

ALA Council approves new Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity – http://buff.ly/1bagc8o #libraries

Libraries as America’s Techno-Glue? http://buff.ly/1aOVvP1 #libraries

Librarypedia: The Future of Libraries and Wikipedia – The Digital Shift http://buff.ly/1dObXMg #libraries

READING

Report: 250 million school age kids can’t read – Appeal-Democrat: Us http://buff.ly/1baeCTT #reading

hermione would know

TEEN READS

Rainbow Rowell signs two-book deal with First Second | Shelf Life http://buff.ly/1ba4k6k #yalit

Stories of the Impossible – An interview with Patrick Ness | BOOK RIOT http://buff.ly/1ffLz24 #yalit

Two Studios to Partner on an Adaptation of ‘Between Shades of Gray’ – GalleyCat http://buff.ly/1dLQ1BA #yalit

What graphic novel should be required reading in high schools? http://buff.ly/MrU1C1 #yalit

What makes an adult book right for teens? http://buff.ly/1gqMjFk #yalit

2014 Rainbow List

The Rainbow List represents the best GLBTQ books for children and teens from the American Library Association’s GLBT and SRRT roundtables.

Archenemy (Counterattack) 17671930 Better Nate Than Ever

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 Branded by the Pink Triangle Calling Dr. Laura: A Graphic Memoir

Blue Is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh

Branded by the Pink Triangle by Ken Setterington

Calling Dr. Laura by Nicole Georges

The Culling (The Torch Keeper, #1) Fat Angie Freakboy

The Culling by Steven Dos Santos

Fat Angie by E. E. Charlton-Trujillo

Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark

Giraffe People Homo If I Lie

Giraffe People by Jill Malone

Homo by Michael Harris

If I Lie by Corrine Jackson

If You Could Be Mine Kevin Keller: Drive Me Crazy Leap

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 (Love in the Time of Global Warming, #1) More Than This My New Gender Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving World Peace Through Gender Anarchy and Sex Positivity

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 Pantomime (Pantomime, #1) Proxy (Proxy, #1)

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg

Pantomime by Laura Lam

Proxy by Alex London

Rapture Practice The Summer Prince Tag Along

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 Tyler Buckspan The Waiting Tree

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Tyler Buckspan by Jere M. Fishback

The Waiting Tree by Lindsay Moynihan

Wandering Son: Volume Four When We Were Good Winger

Wandering Son v. 4 by Shimura Takako

When We Were Good by Suzanne Sutherland

Winger by Andrew Smith

Review: And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard

and we stay

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.

Early Reading Proficiency Report

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.