February 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

YMA 2018: Liveblog!

Well, we’re here! After all is said and done (and at this point, we’ve done a LOT of saying), we’ve arrived at the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Lots of books, lots of words, lots of passionate debate later, it all comes down to that conference room in Denver. Are you ready?? We’ll have […]

Pyrite Slate, 2018

It’s official! We have done it! We named our winner last week, and now we’ve got our honor books. Votes came in, spreadsheets were made, and many other things happened — and it was all done in the passive voice, I guess. But who can think about grammar, really, when we have a completely fictional […]

Morris + Printz?

In our frantic dash to the finish line, we’re taking today to look at the Morris finalists. A Morris nod has nothing really to do with the Printz slate, though there’s been overlap in years past. And a lack of a Morris nod doesn’t rule any author out for the Printz, either. They’re not correlative. […]

Pyrite 2018: Honor Vote

We’ve done some of the hard work, in voting for and naming our winner. And what a winner — can you imagine getting to call Angie Thomas and say, “we loved your book and are giving you an award”?! I mean, we are not actually giving an award, let’s be clear. We are a mock […]

Pyrite 2018: It’s Official!

Last week, we opened the polls for one of our favorite things to do around here: vote for the Pyrite Winner! (Get it? Pyrite? Like not-quite-gold? Because while we read, discuss, and overall mimic RealCommittee’s work, we aren’t RealCommittee? So our medal is sort of an imitation gold sticker? That is in no way a […]

Another Nonfiction Roundup

Monday, we got a graphic novel round up. And earlier this year, we had a nonfiction roundup. Now that we’ve reached the end of the year — and seen the Excellence for NF shortlist, and taken a look at all the year-end lists — we’ve got a second round up, taking a look at all the […]

Another Nonfiction Roundup

Monday, we got a graphic novel round up. And earlier this year, we had a nonfiction roundup. Now that we’ve reached the end of the year — and seen the Excellence for NF shortlist, and taken a look at all the year-end lists — we’ve got a second round up, taking a look at all the […]

Daughters

Sisters. Parents. Family. Children of immigrants. Starred reviews. National Book Award recognition. These books have quite a bit in common, not least in terms of love and buzz and people talk-talk-talking. Both novels examine generational expectations, both examine daughters who long to be artists, and both novels illustrate how daughters and their parents move around each other […]

When I am Through with You

When I am Through With You, Stephanie Kuehn Dutton, August 2017 Reviewed from a final copy Today I get to talk about one of my favorite authors, Stephanie Kuehn. She has a new title out this year, When I am Through With You, and it got some comment-love earlier in the season as one to […]

It’s Not Like It’s a Secret

It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura HarperTeen, May 2017 Reviewed from a final copy So today we have a realistic coming of age/first love story, and it’s sweet and especially earnest. With one star review, this isn’t a book that’s making major waves; but it’s important to remember that starred reviews aren’t really […]

Realistic Roundup

Here on this holiday weekend (for some, but not for others, I know!), I thought we could have a brief whirlwind of a realistic roundup. We’ve already featured a grouping of funny girls, today we have a slightly smaller set of lady-centric fiction. They’re not all funny, but they are all realistic, they are all […]

Gay Pride

Today we have a two-fer! Are you in the mood for a quick nonfiction read? Or perhaps a fictional take on the Grand Tour? Maybe some history with a side of sass? Perhaps a rogue taking a hedonistic last hurrah before shouldering familial responsibilities? OK, I’m going to stop asking questions and just get on […]

Saints and Misfits

We are pretty random when we divide up our reading each year — sometimes there are books that we latch on to because “that seems like a Sarah/Karyn/Joy type book,” but that’s fairly rare. More often, it’s just an up-in-the-air kind of thing…and it generally works out. For whatever reason, I am pretty sure I am […]

Gem & Dixie

I had originally paired this read with another book (one that is now to be reviewed later) which happened to include sisters, but it was too fanciful and too light of a connection. I had even mentally titled that post “Hello, seestra,”  which delighted me, but as this week’s schedule fell apart, that title just […]

Haunted Places

We are working on getting through books in the maximally efficient way, which sometimes means more fanciful pairings, and other times means groups that play with each other in interesting ways as we discuss them. Today we have the second option, a trio of books that mingle together in engaging ways as we consider the […]

Double Lives of Artists

I’ve been calling this post “double life/art ladies,” which doesn’t quite flow off the tongue as a post title, but does hint at what these two have in common — two intense teenage girls who prefer a hidden or secret life so that they can make their art. And both of these titles have a […]

Intertwined Stories

Here’s a day of intertwined stories — stories told through multiple points of view, offering many perspectives on a single converging plot. Yay! I do love novels with multiple POVs; it can give the read a rhythmic, regular pace through to the end. Here we have straight up realistic, historical fiction and we have a mostly realistic but […]

Haunted by the past

We’ve got two solid contenders up next, both realistic fiction, both with characters haunted by the past. It’s not entirely fair to pair titles up like this, and it’s not really how RC talks about books at the table — they are trying to consider the strengths and weaknesses of each title individually, after all. […]

Retold Epics, Part One

Today is part one of retold epics. We will hear more, soon, from Karyn, and it absolutely will be epic. Today is my day to talk about lovely knights and raging ladies, about feats of strength, about reclaiming honor.  Yvain: The Knight of the Lion by M.T. Anderson and Andrea Offerman Candlewick, March 2017 Reviewed […]

Unexpected Mysteries

We’ve been calling this post “unexpected mysteries” which is an intriguing title that I quite enjoy. I wonder if it’s more accurately, “slow, detail-laden, explorative mysteries,” though. Mysteries aren’t always the big movers and shakers in YA fiction, although there are quite a few to be found in the middle grade realm. While one of […]