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 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”

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”

#BookBingoNW2017: Young adult

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Need a book for that Young Adult square but aren’t quite sure where to start? Young adult fiction has come a long way since Sweet Valley High, with captivating, well-written titles that cross and blend just about every genre out there.  There is, of course, an abundance of teen romance but there is also excellent historical fiction and realistic fiction that shows just what it means to be a teen in 2017.  With thousands of titles published for young adults each year it can be a challenge to find books that will resonate with adult readers.  Here are some of our favorites: Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2017: Young adult”