Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Unbound Book Festival is entirely online. Unbound is hosting a variety of weekly author panels, poetry readings and writing workshops through April. Review their full schedule for more details.
Next Thursday, February 18 at 7 p.m., Unbound will host “Mask Off/Mask On” with authors Dean Atta and Elizabeth Lim. Tune in on Facebook or YouTube as these acclaimed YA authors discuss their characters’ fight to defy gender and societal expectations.
Dean Atta is the author of “The Black Flamingo.” This book is a coming-of-age story about a young man who is coming to terms with his identity as a mixed-race gay teen, then, at university, he finds his wings as a drag artist, The Black Flamingo. This novel in verse was awarded the Stonewall Book Award for exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience. It was also among School Library Journal’s Best Books of 2020. Continue reading “YA Author Panel: Mask Off/Mask On”
For my first post of the year, I’ve got a nice mix of genres! We’ve got thrillers, we’ve got sci-fi, we’ve got love stories and we’ve got fantasy—not to mention some great diverse representation. I’d say 2021 is off to a pretty good start.
“The Girls I’ve Been” by Tess Sharpe
Let’s start with a queer thriller. Nora lives with her older sister and is attempting to have a normal life. Though after years of assisting her con artist mother by assuming various identities, it can be hard to figure out what normal looks like. Things seem to be going alright, other than the inevitable awkwardness when her ex-boyfriend walks in on her kissing her new girlfriend. But when the three of them become hostages in a bank robbery, Nora can feel her past and present colliding. Continue reading “The Selector’s Selections: January 2021”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Unbound Book Festival will be entirely online. Unbound will be hosting a variety of weekly author panels, poetry readings and writing workshops through April. Review their full schedule for more details.
This Thursday, January 21 at 7 p.m., Unbound will host “Queer Narratives in YA Fiction,” a Q&A session with authors Michael Barakiva and Lindsay Sproul. Watch live on Facebook or YouTube.
In the meantime, be sure to check our list of recommended LGBTQIA+ titles for teens!
Happy end of 2020 everyone! For my final post of the year, I thought I’d go back and look at some of the books I didn’t have a chance to write about earlier. Not everything about 2020 was terrible, and these books can prove it!
“The State of Us” by Shaun David Hutchinson
Perhaps it feels too soon for a presidential campaign book, but I assure you this charming LGBTQ+ love story is much more enjoyable than the real election was. Dre and Dean each have a parent running for president, Dre’s dad for the Democratic party, and Dean’s mom for the GOP. As the two boys keep running into each other on the campaign trail, they become closer and closer. While the star-crossed lovers trope is hardly new, this book refreshingly focuses on how to love someone even if you don’t share all their beliefs—whether that’s your partner or your parent. Continue reading “The Selector’s Selections: December 2020”
You know how I sometimes end up with themes for these? Well, this time I’m evenly split between supernatural and dark, and romantic comedies. Enjoy!
“Vampires Never Get Old: Tales With Fresh Bite” edited by Zoraida Córdova and Natalie C. Parker
I know it’s not October anymore, but we can still enjoy a good vampire story—and this compilation gives us eleven! This vampire anthology highlights diversity among the undead. No male, white, cisgender, straight and able-bodied vampires here! Instead these #ownvoices authors explore all kinds of vampires while playing with and upending common vampire tropes. The editors follow each story with a brief discussion of vampire lore and thought-provoking questions. Continue reading “The Selector’s Selections: November 2020”
During National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November, writers of all skill levels are challenged to craft a novel in 30 days. Beginning Monday, November 2, stop by any of our four library branches to pick up a free NaNoWriMo kit which includes a journal to jot down your ideas and writing prompts to help inspire your creativity.
Kits are available while supplies last. If you are using curbside pickup, call and ask staff for a kit when you arrive. For ages 12-18.
Be sure to check out the weekly CoMo NaNoWriMo Write-ins. These virtual meet-ups provide great opportunities for teens to connect with other local authors and hone their craft. The library also has a wealth of resources to help as you embark on this exciting challenge: Continue reading “NaNoWriMo Writing Kits Available November 2”
Is your inner ethereal garden witch itching to grow something green and spoopy this fall? Have no fear, for spooky terrariums are here! Today I’m going to walk you through building your own terrarium to bring the green inside (since everything outside is going to ground for the season). The first thing you are going to need is an interesting container for your terrarium. Many craft stores will have fish bowls or glass jars that will work well, but I highly recommend checking out garage sales for unique old glass pieces for super cheap prices. Continue reading “DIY Haunted Terrarium”
As I write this, I’m sipping a chai latte and savoring the sunshine and cool weather. When I go home, I will absolutely be curling up under a blanket with my book and my dog. If you need a good book to snuggle up with this fall, look no further!
“Daughters of Jubilation” by Kara Lee Corthron
Evvie is a black teenager growing up in the Jim Crow South, which would be difficult enough without having to learn to control her magic. All the women in her family, since before slavery, have magical powers they call the Jubilation. The magic is for protection, and in a world governed by racism and white supremacy, she needs its help just as much as her ancestors did. A coming-of-age historical fantasy, this timely book is a perfect example of literal Black Girl Magic. Continue reading “The Selector’s Selections: October 2020”
Every five years, the Young Adult Library Services Association publishes its lists of “Outstanding Books for the College Bound.” These lists includes titles that span across five major subject areas: Arts and Humanities; History and Cultures; Literature and Languages; Science and Technology; and, Social Sciences. It is a combination of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and graphic novels. Titles were selected based on criteria including readability; racial and cultural diversity; and, balance of viewpoints.
These recommended books are primarily for high school students looking to strengthen their knowledge in preparation for college; however, they are also appropriate for any lifelong learner wishing to gain a deeper understanding of both classic and contemporary literature. Continue reading “Books for the College Bound”
It’s officially fall! It’s not really at all that relevant to the books I’m going to tell you about, I just had to share my excitement. You know what else makes me happy? Five of the six books in this blog post are about people of color. What makes me really happy is that I didn’t even try to do that—it’s just representative of what’s being published right now!
“Each of Us a Desert” by Mark Oshiro
I have loved this author ever since they started reading my favorite books and blogging about it; their reactions and insights are delightful. This is Mark’s second novel, a post-apocalyptic Latinx fantasy. Xochitl is a cuentista, a storyteller, tasked with collecting all the stories her people tell her. Taking in their stories, she then magically releases them into the desert to satisfy the god Solís. Yet this is a lonely life, and Xochitl longs for more. As she journeys into the desert in an attempt to escape her role as cuentista, she encounters horrific nightmares made real and a chance at love. Reminiscent of Lowry’s “The Giver,” but with a queer romance and immersive desert setting, this promises to be a fascinating read. Continue reading “The Selector’s Selections: September 2020”