2019 Lambda Literary Awards: LGBTQ Titles for Children and Young Adults

The 2019 Lammy Award finalists were announced earlier this month, and there are eight contenders in the LGBTQ Children’s/Young Adult category.  Among them are some of our favorite recent titles, including last year’s National Book Award Winner The Poet X and both(!) of Kheryn Callender’s novels.  We were especially pleased at the diversity of both authors and character voices in this year’s finalists!

Here are the titles being considered for the 31st Annual Lambda Literary Awards for children and teens:

The Poet X by Elizabeth AcevedoThe Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Navigating the world has become exponentially more difficult now that Xiomara has a woman’s body, but while her physical self has gained attention the rest of her goes unnoticed.  Xiomara has plenty to say, though, and an invite to the school’s poetry slam allows her to kick open a door she never knew existed.  Told in verse, this is a raw and intimate portrait of a young woman finding the courage to use her voice and make herself heard. Continue reading “2019 Lambda Literary Awards: LGBTQ Titles for Children and Young Adults”

Social Justice and Activism for Young Adults

From #MeToo to Black Lives Matter to March for Our Lives, the voices of activists are ringing loud and clear across this country right now.  Many of these voices are those of young people, and teens today are more empowered than ever before to create change and make their voices heard.  As a result, there has been a remarkable increase in books for, by, and about teens that explore the topics that so profoundly affect them and show how powerful their voices can be.  Here are just a few recent titles:

Glimmer of Hope: How Tragedy Sparked a Movement by the founders of March for Our Lives
It’s been less than a year since the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, but the students who survived the tragedy swiftly moved into action. Within weeks after the shooting, the survivors organized a student-led demonstration in Washington, DC to campaign for stricter gun control laws.  This collection of writings from those students shows how powerful youth voice can be. Continue reading “Social Justice and Activism for Young Adults”

Twenty Children’s Books We Loved in 2018

What a wonderful year for children’s books this was!   Children’s Librarians from Seattle Public Library selected Ten Amazing Picture Books and Ten Wonderful Novels and Comics that were published in 2018.  Each list is rich with stories that reflect a range of different experiences and perspectives.  Here is just a sample of what you can find on the lists:

Drawn Together by Minh Lê and illustrated by Dan Santat tells a beautiful and heartwarming tale of the power of art.  Left for the day with his grandfather, who only speaks Thai, his young English-speaking grandson expects a boring and awkward afternoon but, as the two being Continue reading “Twenty Children’s Books We Loved in 2018”

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”

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”