April 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

More from the Class of 2014 YA Debut Novelists | JLG’s Booktalks to Go Teen

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The Class of 2014 YA debut novelists continues to launch into literary fame. From action-packed adventures to heartfelt moments, the titles by these new writers are filled with new worlds, controversial subjects, and awareness of our impact on the world. Already gathering nine starred reviews, the following books selected by the editors at Junior Library Guild are sure to leave their mark on readers and YA literature.

SalvageDUNCAN, Alexandra. Salvage. HarperCollins/Greenwillow. 2014. ISBN 9780062220141. JLG Level: CTH : Current Trends High (Grades 9 & Up).

Sometimes one decision brings unspeakable consequences. Ava lives in a dystopian world where women are secondary to men. If they are nursing babies, what need do they have of education? At age 16, she makes a mistake that cannot be forgiven of the daughter of the airship’s captain. Sentenced to death, Ava must use her ancestor’s earthly instincts for survival.

Check out Duncan’s website for biographical information and her blog. What secret talent does she have? Read an interview on ThePageTurn and find out. Follow her on Twitter.

OtherboundDUYVIS, Corinne. Otherbound. Amulet. 2014. ISBN 9781419709289. JLG Level: FH : Fantasy/Science Fiction High (Grades 9–12).

Amara may be able to heal herself after Jorn tortures her for learning to read or not protecting the princess from harm, but not soon enough to prevent his taking her tongue. In a different world, Nolan not only sees Amara’s pain but feels it too. Why is he connected to her life? Sometimes he wishes she would just die, so he can be free. But what if her death takes him too? If only she would run when he told her to run, he thinks. And then one day, she does.

On her website, the author writes about her educational struggles caused by her disabilities. As a result, she is very involved with forums presenting literature that features disabled characters, writing on blogs such as, QueryTracker and Geek Club Books. She cofounded the site, Disability in Kidlit, which reviews and discusses the portrayal of disabilities in middle grade (MG) and YA fiction. Visit OneFour Kidlit where you’ll also see a large representation of other debut authors for MG/YA. Follow her on Twitter, Tumblr, and Goodreads.

GREEN, Sally. Half Bad. Viking. 2014. ISBN 9780670016785. JLG Level: CTH : Current Trends High (Grades 9 & Up).

Half BadA White Witch is good. A Black Witch is bad. Nathan, who is a half black witch, knows he will never be accepted. Black overrides the white. He may be 11, but he knows he will not receive his three gifts and become a true witch at age 18. When he is 18 he will die. If only he could find his father Marcus the great Black Witch. His father would let him drink his blood. But it’s too dangerous for Marcus to come for him, so Nathan must find him.

Book one of a trilogy finds Nathan in his cage, plotting his escape. Readers can visit Green’s website for a look at the maps and history behind Nathan’s tale. Follow her on Twitter. If you show the book trailer to your patrons, be sure to have copies available. They are sure to get hooked. Read an interview and get a peek at the sequel at iO9.com.

JOHNSTON, E. K. The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim. Lerner/Carolrhoda. 2014. ISBN 9781467710664. JLG Level: FH : Fantasy/Science Fiction High (Grades 9–12).

Story of OwenIn the face of an inbound dragon, math was the least of Owen’s worries. One of the benefits of being a dragonslayer could also get you excused from a test. Siobhan meets Owen on his first day of school and never seemed to shake him. It still doesn’t prepare her for the proposal his family makes: tutor the newest dragonslayer in math and be his bard. After all, what’s a hero without someone to sing his praises?

Read the author’s blog, “more words than are strictly reasonable” and follow her on Twitter. On her publisher’s website you’ll find a biography and links to downloads, such as a discussion guide.

POWELL, William Campbell. Expiration Day. Tor Teen/Macmillan. 2014. ISBN 9780765338280. JLG Level: CTH : Current Trends High (Grades 9 & Up).

Expiration DayIt’s the year 2049. Tania Deeley is 11 years old. The world is different now. Parents rarely have their own children. They buy a robot instead. It gets revisions so that it appears to be growing up, but everyone wonders. Who are the children? Who are the robots? Who will live beyond 18 and who will be returned to the Oxted Corporation? What happens when you return? Tania has never thought much about her future. After all, she’s human. Isn’t she?

Read an excerpt on the publisher’s website and watch a video of the author and Cory Doctorow discuss writing for young adults. Follow the author on Twitter. Also included in the JLG BTG LiveBinder are the budding writer resources the author mentions in his acknowledgements, such as YouWriteOn and SFF Online Writing Workshop.

Additional Resources

Check out our award-winning LiveBinder which organizes all of the above resources. All websites are posted within the LiveBinder, along with the accompanying booktalk. As I write more columns, more books and their resources are added. Simply go to JLG Booktalks to Go where you will see the LiveBinder main tabs. Each tab is a book title. Under each color-coded tab are gray subtabs with links to media, websites, and other related documents. Everything you need to teach or share brand new, hot-off-the-press books is now all in one place. Booktalks and resources are also included on JLG’s BTG Pinterest board.

For library resources, tips, and ideas, please visit JLG’s Shelf Life Blog.

Junior Library Guild (JLG) is a collection development service that helps school and public libraries acquire the best new children’s and young adult books. Season after season, year after year, Junior Library Guild book selections go on to win awards, collect starred or favorable reviews, and earn industry honors. Visit us at www.JuniorLibraryGuild.com. (NOTE: JLG is owned by Media Source, Inc., SLJ’s parent company.)

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Deborah B. Ford About Deborah B. Ford

Deborah is the Director of Library Outreach for Junior Library Guild. She is an award-winning teacher librarian with almost 30 years of experience as a classroom teacher and librarian in K–12 schools.

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