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”

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”