November 20, 2017

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Tying Up Loose Ends | Adult Books 4 Teens

After a few months absence, the Adult Books 4 Teens column returns, with historical fiction from Cat Winters, science fiction/horror from Jay Kristoff, and an investigation of the case at the center of the podcast Serial.

YA Xpress Reviews | January 2017

Sara Wolf’s follow up to Love Me Never; the conclusion to Marie Lu’s “Young Elites” series; the latest “Team DEVIL” title.

This article was published in School Library Journal's January 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Categories Blur as Teen Lit Comes of Age

A look at the elastic borders of YA, New Adult, and adult publishing.

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

YA Xpress Reviews | December 2016

A handful of novels in a variety of genres and with an intriguing array of settings for voracious YA readers.

This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera | SLJ Review

SILVERA, Adam. History Is All You Left Me. 320p. ebook available. Soho Teen. Jan. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781616956929. POP

Gr 10 Up –No one understands what Griffin is going through after Theo, his ex and the love of his life, dies. No one, perhaps, except Theo’s new boyfriend, Jackson. In a narrative that alternates between past and present, Silvera offers a gem of a story about first love and great loss. Griffin’s voice is strong and affecting, and […]

Suspenseful Settings | SLJ Spotlight

Boarding schools have been the backdrop for some of the most popular recent youth titles. It’s no wonder that novelists find these ready-made worlds so appealing, with their contained settings, off-site parents, and rich traditions. These offerings make the most of evocative boarding school settings in stories woven with mystery and suspense.

The Pressure to be Perfect: Emily Franklin interviews H.A. Swain about her YA novel Gifted

EF: In Gifted, you write about a future in which genius can be purchased by wealthy parents for their children. What was the inspiration behind this?   HS: Two things happened simultaneously in my life to inspire this premise: 1) My daughter was applying to public middle schools in Brooklyn and 2) I was recovering […]

Robots, Early Learning on the Rise: What’s Trending in Kids’ Books

While ebooks have stalled, the outlook for the children’s book market looks good. That data and coming trends were unpacked at the Nielsen Children’s Book Summit.

Rani Patel in Full Effect by Sonia Patel | SLJ Review

PATEL, Sonia. Rani Patel in Full Effect. 313p. ebook available. further reading. glossary. Cinco Puntos. Oct. 2016. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781941026496; pap. $11.95. ISBN 9781941026502.

Gr 10 Up –On Molokai in the early 1990s, Rani Patel lives the life of the ultimate outsider. A quiet class council member of Indian descent whose relationship with her parents is deeply dysfunctional, she takes comfort only in hip-hop and rap. Her unrequited crushes on two local guys lead her into the underground […]

YA Xpress Reviews | October 2016

From Leigh Bardugo’s Crooked Kingdom to Gaby Triana’s latest, October’s online-only reviews include works for teens in a variety of genres—fantasy, realistic fiction, and more.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Heartless by Marissa Meyer | SLJ Review

MEYER, Marissa. Heartless. 464p. ebook available. Feiwel & Friends. Nov. 2016. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781250044655. POP

Gr 8 Up –The author’s best fantasy yet. In her inspired reimagining of Lewis Carroll’s inimitable adventures in Wonderland, Meyer has explored the world that existed before Alice fell down the rabbit hole. All Lady Catherine wants to do is open her own bakery with the help of her maid. She has no wish to wear beautiful dresses or go to balls, and […]

Still Life with Tornado by A.S. King | SLJ Review

KING, A.S. Still Life with Tornado. 304p. ebook available. Dutton. Oct. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781101994887.

Gr 9 Up –At 16, Sarah is facing what she calls an “existential crisis,” questioning whether her life has meaning or value, an event fueled by an unfair art show, a cruel teacher, a toxic and abusive family, a missing brother, and the loss of her ability to draw. Sarah wanders through the streets of Philadelphia and meets her future self at age […]

The Last True Love Story by Brendan Kiely | SLJ Review

KIELY, Brendan. The Last True Love Story. 288p. ebook available. S. & S./Margaret K. McElderry Bks. Sept. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481429887.

Gr 10 Up –Teddy Hendrix is a typical teenage boy dealing with hormones, girls who won’t give him the time of day, and family issues. His grandfather, Gpa, is in the throes of Alzheimer’s, and his memories are quickly fading away. After getting into a fight with a popular boy at his school, Hendrix joins up with […]

Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung | SLJ Review

PUNG, Alice. Lucy and Linh. 352p. ebook available. Knopf. Sept. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780399550485.

Gr 8 Up –Life is not easy for Lucy Lam. Her immigrant mother and father work seemingly never-ending hours to make life bearable for her and her young brother in suburban Stanley, Australia. Lucy can’t help but compare herself to her more outgoing friends, especially Linh, who always seems to come out on top with her easy retorts and spunky attitude. When she and […]

Librarian Creates #BlackLivesMatter Booklist for Teens

Chelsea Couillard-Smith, a librarian at Hennepin County (MN) Library, created a #blacklivesmatter booklist for teens.

YA Xpress Reviews | July 2016

This month’s YA Xpress Reviews take readers everywhere from Paris to Azad Kashmir.

This article was published in School Library Journal's July 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

RIP Lois Duncan

I was sorry to hear about Lois Duncan’s death yesterday. Lois had been writing for young people for a long time–her first novel, Debutante Hill, was published in 1958 (and republished in 2013 by Lizzie Skurnick Books). She is someone whose work I always point towards as a reminder that YA fiction did not begin […]

YA Xpress Reviews | June 2016

David Lubar delivers thought-provoking metafiction, Rick Yancey concludes “The Fifth Wave,” and Kristy Acevedo offers complex and profound science fiction.

This article was published in School Library Journal's June 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Andre Norton Award Nominees for Outstanding Speculative Fiction Announced

Nine YA and middle grade titles were nominated for the 2015 Andre Norton award for outstanding speculative fiction, including Francis Hardinge’sCuckoo Song and Laura Ruby’s Bone Gap.

Blast to the Recent Past | SLJ Spotlight

The following YA titles take place from the 1970s to the mid-aughts, each offering a glimpse of the recent past, and perhaps a little bit of hindsight.