Ten Young Adult Books We Loved 2018

There are so many truly outstanding books for young people published these days that it gets more and more difficult to chose our favorites at the end of the year.   These ten, selected by the Teen Services Librarians at Seattle Public Library, stood out for their strength of writing, quality of characters, and stories that made us question the world around us.

It was an exceptionally good year for realistic fiction, especially stories that explore issues highly relevant to today’s youth. A young Latinx woman searches for an outlet for her poetry while dealing with unwanted male attention in The Poet X, the 2018 National Book Award winner for Young People’s Literature.  Adib Khorram’s debut novel, Darius the Great is Not Okay, takes an unflinching look at clinical depression as Darius spends a summer in Iran with relatives and is transformed through a new friendship with a neighbor. In A Very Large Expanse of the Sea, Tahereh Mafi’s latest novel, Islamophobia runs rampant in the years following 9/11, but might love conquer all in a suburban American high school? Continue reading “Ten Young Adult Books We Loved 2018”

Celebrating Transgender Awareness Month

Back by popular demand! The University Branch will be hosting the third annual Trans Shorts and Speed Friending event on November 12th from 6 – 7:30 p.m. to coincide with Transgender Awareness Month and Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20th. We’re partnering with Three Dollar Bill Cinema and TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival to make this event possible, and along with Three Dollar Bill, we’ll also have Seattle Nonbinary Collective, Lavender Rights Project, and Camp Ten Trees on hand to share information about their organizations during the event.

Trans Shorts & Speed Friending will be a fun evening consisting of film shorts made by transgender filmmakers followed by Speed Friending.  If you’re looking for a low-stress and fun way to meet other queer/trans folks in a friendly environment then this is the event for you. This is a welcoming environment with refreshments and entertaining discussion prompts that will be sure to help facilitate connections and promote lively conversation.   Folks with accessibility needs can be buzzed into the building on the north side of the library and there are several single occupancy restrooms in the building. Continue reading “Celebrating Transgender Awareness Month”

New Voices in Teen Fiction

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 recent debut novels you should know about:

Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles

Twins Tyler and Marvin have always been close, but lately Tyler has been increasingly secretive and running with a new crowd.  When a party is broken up first by gunshots and then the police Marvin figures Tyler will make his own way home, but as the next day comes and goes and Tyler is still missing Marvin begins to fear the worst.  Searching the neighborhood only raises more questions, and Marvin starts to wonder how much he really knew his brother.  With sympathetic characters and an all-too-familiar premise, this speaks to the urgency of the Black Lives Matter movement.  A great read-alike for fans of The Hate U Give. Continue reading “New Voices in Teen Fiction”

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with Books for Children and Teens by Latinx Authors

Hispanic Heritage month, running from September 15 to October 15, is an annual celebration of the rich cultures and traditions of people living in the United States who trace their ancestry to Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and South America.  There has been a very welcome increase in books written by and for the Latinx community in the past several years, which is helping to fill a long-standing publishing gap.  Here are a few of our recent favorites:

In Dreamers author Yuyi Morales recounts her experience moving from Mexico to the United States with her young son.  It was on one hand a typical journey as they navigate a new city and learn English, but unusual in that Morales gives equal attention to how being bilingual also shaped and enhanced their creative journey.  Mexican motifs and Spanish words are integrated into the inviting pages of this inspirational story.  For ages 4-8. Continue reading “Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with Books for Children and Teens by Latinx Authors”

October Literary Holidays

 October is known for its spooky holiday themes, but the literary holidays are less spooky and a whole lot of fun.

If you are familiar with the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland, then this day might be for you. On October 6th, it is Mad Hatter day due to the number he wears in his hat. It’s a perfect time to explore the world of Wonderland again or check out some books on tea. The Mad Hatter is the host of probably one of the most famous tea parties in the literary world.


Mad Hatters and March Hares 
All new stories from the world
of Alice in Wonderland.

A Literary Tea Party
Tea and books… the perfect pairing.

Continue reading “October Literary Holidays”