This past year marked the inauguration of the In the Margins Book Award and Selection Committee (ITM), which aims to find the best books for teens living in poverty, on the streets, in custody—or a cycle of all three. We wanted to bring books by, for, and about people living in the margins to the forefront so we would have more books for our reluctant yet also voraciously readers.
YALSA-Lockdown listserv founder Amy Cheney highlights self-published and mainstream book and movie titles. Many of her finds resonate with her incarcerated kids; sometimes it takes a little digging below the surface to uncover these.
Chronicle Children’s Books recently welcomed librarians and booksellers to its spring preview in San Francisco, where it celebrated its 25th anniversary and the roaring success—star reviews or bestseller status—of many of its 2013 titles. But the focus remained on spring 2014, and the exciting slate of new titles that the publisher has in store. Here are some of the highlights.
Amy Cheney is constantly on the look-out for books that will engage her incarcerated teens, but estimates that only about one in five that she encounters will pass muster. That’s why she is so excited about a new self-published title, From Crack to College & Vice Versa.
How much do our expectations influence our reading? Sometimes it’s the cover that throws you off, or maybe the author’s back story. And then again, what we think is great may not ring the bell for the teens we serve. Amy Cheney presents several titles that have met her teen readers’ expectations, including classics, self-help narratives, and YA novels for reluctant and urban readers.
Amy Cheney rounds up her “underground” picks, perfect for reluctant readers and teens looking for something a little different. From the latest in the Bluford series to a nonfiction title dealing with addiction, this compilation explores a few of the edgier titles being published this season.
Although I didn’t come up with this column’s name—YA Underground—I’m appreciating it more and more. The kids I serve are living underground both metaphorically and literally. My library is in a 350-bed lockdown facility Amy Cheney juvenile cellthat serves adolescents ages 11 to 19, and it’s in one of three rooms with windows. I have the only room with windows that are at eye level. The sunlight streams in and looking out, you can see trees, grass, clouds, sky, and sunsets beyond the barbwire. When Jonas (not his real name), an avid manga fan, was in the library on his every-other-week visit, I heard him describe the library as “a lonely bright spot.” He was talking about books—but aren’t books windows?