New Voices in Young Adult Literature

It’s always exciting to discover new books and authors and, as usual, some of the freshest voices can be found in young adult publishing.   Here are three debut titles that have quickly become librarian favorites around here.

Melissa Albert writes with an authority that belies her status as a first-time author in the deliciously creepy The Hazel Wood.  Bad luck has followed Alice every one of her 17 years and no matter how many times she and her mother, Ella, move to a new town, disaster always catches up.  When Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of the cult fairy-tale classic Tales of the Hinterland, dies it seems their luck has finally turned.  But bad things continue to lurk around the edges of their lives and it isn’t long before Ella goes missing.  All signs of the abduction point to the The Hazel Wood, her grandmother’s rundown impenetrable estate.  Dark, eerie, and deeply atmospheric, author Melissa Albert mines the darker side of fairy tales in this unsettling Continue reading “New Voices in Young Adult Literature”

Bus Reads for July

Commuting to Seattle by bus five days a week gives me a lot of reading time. Here’s what I read on the bus in July:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: One of the main themes I loved about this book was the character’s experience of being two different people in two different worlds and having to fight against the stereotypes of where you come from. This book is a must read. I’m so thankful it’s a YA novel; seriously, make this a part of every school curriculum! If you still find yourself struggling to understand and can’t see your privilege in the world we live in then read this. The hate you give is still out there and there is still so much work to do. So much to fight for! The movie will be released in October! Continue reading “Bus Reads for July”

Bus Reads for June

Commuting to Seattle by bus 5 days a week gives me a lot of reading time. Here’s what I read on the bus this past June:

How To Be Safe by Tom McAllister

This book takes place in the aftermath of a school shooting and hits so close to home. Tom has his fingers on the vein of society, maybe even deeper than that. All I know is as a woman in this culture of ours he nailed my fears, my insecurities, and some of the most terrifying interactions I have experienced in regards to harassment. On top of that our devotion to guns; how we interpret violence. So much of what I read has actually happened. This book may bring controversy, but its a needed one that lays all our sins to bare. Continue reading “Bus Reads for June”

March Literary Holidays

Aside from calendar noted holidays in March like Purim and Saint Patrick’s day, there are a few literary days of note that might peak your interest.  

On March 2nd there is Read Across America day, which also happens to be Dr. Seuss’ birthday. It was created by the National Education Association as a day to devote to getting children excited about reading. Dr. Seuss’ birthday was selected as the day to encourage reading on. So enjoy Oh, The Places You’ll Go! or Green Eggs and Ham both by Dr. Seuss. Or branch out from Dr. Seuss and try one of the books listed here Our Favorite Children’s Picture Books of 2017 or Race and Social Justice Books for Children K-5.

Continue reading “March Literary Holidays”

January Literary Celebrations

January comes with a break from the holidays, but if you enjoy celebrating and love books, here are some ideas for literary celebrations for January.

We’ll start off with Tolkien day on January 3. It’s his birthday and a day celebrated by the Tolkien Society. They recommend a very simple celebration: find somewhere to have a drink, and at 9 PM make a toast with friends simply saying, “The Professor!” Let me suggest a couple books about Tolkien if you’d like to enrich your knowledge of him. A great book to share with children or just read to yourself is John Ronald’s Dragons: The Story of J.R.R. Tolkien by Caroline McAlister. With gorgeous illustrations it tells a little about his life. Another option is Mythmaker by Anne E. Neimark, a thoroughly researched biography exploring Tolkien’s extensive interests that influenced his writing. Continue reading “January Literary Celebrations”