Teens “are hungry for good literature and it hurts me because we’re not offering them enough of what they need,” said Sharon Draper, author of award-winning books like “November Blues” and “Copper Sun.”

In 2014, the movement to publish more authors of color and write multicultural main characters remains slow and incremental.

This is not a new discussion: There has long been criticism about the lack of diversity in young adult literature, books written for readers ages 12 to 18. Experts and authors like Walter Dean Myers point back as early as 1965, when educator Nancy Larrick stirred the conversation with an article entitled “The All-White World of Children’s Books.”

— “ Where’s the African-American Harry Potter or the Mexican Katniss?" by Ashley Strickland at cnn.com. (via diversityinya)

(via malindalo)

yainterrobang:

Here is a selection of excerpts from new and upcoming young adult novels that have recently hit the web.

For more articles and information on all things YA lit, visit our website, follow us here and on Twitter, and subscribe to our weekly newsletter!

Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend (Broken Hearts and Revenge #1) by Katie Finn
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release date: May 13 2014
Devastated by being dumped, Gemma ends up in the Hamptons for the summer - but that adds new complications, especially the risk of her bumping into her ex-best friend, Hallie. Things take a twist when a case of mistaken identity causes Hallie, as well as her dreamy brother Josh, to think that Gemma is someone else. But how long will Gemma keep from being discovered?
To read an excerpt, click here.

Hungry by H.A. Swain
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release date: June 3 2014
In the future, food is no longer necessary. People take medications to stave off the hunger. According to Thalia’s parents, this is enough - but when Thalia starts to feel hunger, and meets a boy who is part of the underground movement to bring food back, she knows that not everyone is fortunate as she is, and the only way to really keep away hunger is to find real, nourishing food.
To read an excerpt, click here.

Learning Not to Drown by Anna Shinoda
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Release date: April 1 2014
Clare knows her family is on the brink of disaster: from her, the overprotected baby, to Luke, a drug-addicted felon who is constantly being bailed out by their parents. Though Clare loves her eldest brother, life as his sister has never been easy - and when he is arrested again, new truths are uncovered that shake her knowledge of her family to her core. And then, her mother makes an unthinkable decision in order to protect him. Clare has to decide between cutting ties with her family for her own sake, or drowning along with them.
To read an excerpt, click here.

Pointe by Brandy Colbert
Publisher: Penguin
Release date: April 10 2014
Theo has finally started to get her life back together. However, things are shattered when her old friend Donovan reappears, after four years of being kidnapped. Theo starts reliving memories of his abduction - and abductor - and though Donovan himself isn’t talking, and Theo knows she didn’t do anything wrong, telling the truth about what happened might ruin everything she’s been working for. But keeping quiet could be worse.
To read an excerpt, click here.

Raging Star by Moira Young
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release date: May 13 2014
Saba is ready to seize her destiny and defeat DeMalo and the Tonton. But when she finally meets him, he confounds her with his visions of a healed earth, a New Eden - for the few that can pay their way in. To Jack, the decision is clear: DeMalo needs to be taken down. Still uncertain, and keeping her connection of DeMalo a secret, Saba still determines to join the fight, leading an inexperienced guerrilla band against DeMalo and his trained militia.
To read an excerpt, click here.

The Taken (The Taken #1) by Kimberly Derting
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: April 29 2014
When sixteen-year-old Kara Agnew wakes up behind a dumpster at the Gas n’ Sip, she has no idea how she ended up there. When she wanders home, though, she finds out the truth - she’s been missing for five years, but she hasn’t aged a day. Meanwhile, life has moved on without her: her boyfriend and best friend are living the life she thought she’d have, her parents have divorced and her loss turned her father into a conspiracy theory freak. Confused and lost, Kyra knows she has to learn the truth in order to move on.
To read an excerpt, click here.

catagator:

Fan of young adult novels in verse? Here’s a guide to the books out or coming out in 2014 that are in verse, and I’ve included links to additional resources and book lists featuring YA verse novels. Enjoy! 

(via yaflash)

More Book Recommendations: THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN and CRESS

theartofnotwriting:

I’m on vacation, and I’ve gotten into this really great rhythm of reading all the time and eating and then sometimes reading whileeating, which is trickier but still enjoyable.

These two books are good, good in that way where you feel like you have to tell someone about them or else your brain will actually explode.

So.

image

This book is for people who like vampire books. This book is also for people who got burned out on vampire books a few years ago and have sworn them off forever. This book is also for people who never liked vampire books all that much in the first place. Basically, if you are a person who likes to read good books, this book is for you, no matter how you feel about vampires or have ever felt about vampires in the past.

Personally, if I had a “ship” for this book, it was Tana and Humanity (you know, as opposed to Vampirism). Yes, I had my heart set on Tanamanity in a pretty intense way, because in a world where so many people are voluntarily trading in life for their idealized notions of eternal death, all Tana, who has a more realistic understanding of that “eternal death”, wants is to stay human…BUT not at the expense of the people she cares about, which is why that fight keeps getting harder and harder for her. And Tana is a great character, imperfect and interesting and someone I passionately rooted for all the way through. This book doesn’t romanticize vampirism or have you rooting for it for Tana OR even villainize all those who choose it for themselves (because: nuance!). It’s also written beautifully, with a really rich setting and complex characters, and basically, I can’t do it justice, so you just have to read it, okay? Great.

Here, a quote:

“‘Haven’t you ever thought about it—being a vampire?’

It would be good-bye, Pearl; good-bye, Pauline; good-bye, dream of Los Angeles and palm trees and bright blue ocean. Good-bye, lying on a towel in the backyard under the summer sun, ants crawling across her foot, slippery cocoa butter gleaming on her skin. Good-bye, beating heart and burgers and having blue-gray eyes.

Kill Aidan or die herself. Die and rise.”

(155 in the e-book)

image

If you haven’t started this series, I recommend it, and basically all you need to know is: fairytale retellings…in the future! With cyborgs, and spaceships, and aliens! And substantially fewer “damsels in distress” than you might be anticipating when I say the word “fairytale.” In fact, generally the damsels are rescuing other people, or themselves.

I don’t want to say much, because this is the third book in what should be a four-parter, but each subsequent book in the series incorporates the characters that came before and new ones, and their stories continue to grow and intertwine in very interesting ways. Can’t wait for the next one (which is called Winter, out in 2015).

And now, to read more things!

epicreads:

The Summer 2014 Dark Days and Story Crush Tours!

yareviewnetwork:

kingsbridgelibraryteens:

In a romantic mood?  Check out our list of Teen Romances For Readers Who Hate Romance Novels! 

This is a great list! A few of my favorite books that fit this criteria are YA novels I have mentioned here before because I only read the same books constantly:
How to Say Goodbye in Robot
Hard Love
The Freak Observer
Stoner and Spaz
Heart’s Delight
Swollen
This Song Will Save Your Life
~ Lourdes 

yareviewnetwork:

kingsbridgelibraryteens:

In a romantic mood?  Check out our list of Teen Romances For Readers Who Hate Romance Novels!

This is a great list! A few of my favorite books that fit this criteria are YA novels I have mentioned here before because I only read the same books constantly:

How to Say Goodbye in Robot

Hard Love

The Freak Observer

Stoner and Spaz

Heart’s Delight

Swollen

This Song Will Save Your Life

Lourdes 

asker

lauriehalseanderson asked: I just linked to one of your posts about the John Greenification of the Times bestseller list as part of my response to a question on the topic in my Reddit IAMA (tumblr won't let me post a link in this Ask box - sorry!) If you search the Reddit for the newest post, it should pop right up. Would love your thoughts on this!

summerscourtney:

catagator:

I’m answering this publicly because I love this really thoughtful response about the “John Greenification” of YA which came up as part of Laurie Halse Anderson’s excellent AMA over at Reddit

My thoughts on this mirror Laurie’s: I think that John Green is being called out not because he’s John Green (as I noted in the response she linked, I have no disrespect for Green nor his work in the least and I do think he’s a feminist and that he is trying to be the best member of the YA community that he can be). He’s being called out because he’s what privilege looks like in our society — it’s white, heterosexual, and male. Those are not the whole of him, but they are the parts that give him a tremendous advantage in the world. I do not for one second believe he takes advantage of them. I do, however, believe he has significant advantages because of them. 

This, as Laurie points out, becomes evident when you look at how he’s portrayed in the media. He’s “saving” YA. He’s leading a “revolution” in realistic fiction and in realistic fiction being put onto the big screen. He’s held on this pedestal of what YA should strive to be. This isn’t just the mainstream media though. He is being used as a marketing tool in a ton of recently released or forthcoming YA titles, even when it makes no sense why there’s a comparison. Instead of being a useful thing — “readers who like John Green might like x-book, too” — it’s become a means of reducing YA fiction to one thing. It’s reduced YA fiction into “good” and “bad,” rather than a spectrum where books can fall anywhere along the line. Or where a book’s merit and value are with the reader his or her self. 

John Green writes good books. He has a loyal fan base. This is GREAT stuff. 

But it’s not the only stuff out there. 

What Laurie proposes is exactly what I hope comes of this on-going conversation. We need to keep talking about other books. We need to keep speaking up on behalf of long-time authors who deserve the recognition they don’t see as much as they should. We need to keep talking about the books written by new authors. 

We especially need to keep talking up books written by people of color, people who aren’t straight, people who don’t identify with those things which are so readily seen and promoted. It’s our job to do that. 

And while I think John Green tries — he has done videos highlighting tons of under appreciated titles — the thing about being in a place of privilege is that you can’t always step back far enough to see where and how your voice is being used. I think this is especially true for someone like Green who is likable, good hearted, and DOESN’T intend to do any harm or cause any problems. A lot of what he sees as success he earned by hard work. 

The problem is that so many other people have worked as hard — if not harder — and their work never gets that same attention or praise. 

Laurie’s Speak was the 75th highest selling children’s backlist title last year, according to Publishers Weekly. Sarah Dessen’s The Moon and More sold over 100,000 copies as a front list hardcover book. If you look at those numbers and the numbers of other titles that appeared on the NYT YA list, there are discrepancies I can’t figure out because the NYT’s system is a broken one. But it’s one I refer to again and again because it’s the quickest indicator of quality to the general reading public (and even the general non-reading public). And I think it’s such a great thing to look at because it shows you precisely what the problem with such a system is — it’s a reflection of our own social systems. It’s primarily white men who dominate in the arena of “main stream” fiction. It’s primarily white men who are seen as “the best” and who continue to make sales and be recognized quickly and easily. It’s primarily white men who, because of this system, continue to benefit from more money, more marketing, and more opportunities that simply are not afforded to others. 

It’s not their fault; it’s our fault.

We can help change these things though. And we do that by pointing these things out, by not finding it necessarily to apologize for pointing these things out, and by using our voices to keep talking about the things we love that deserve more attention. We keep conversations going and flowing. We don’t — and we can’t — shut them down. 

(Laurie’s answer on Reddit, if you find the image hard to read.)