YA Author Panel: Changing Landscapes in YA Fiction

Posted on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 by Brandy

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 Tuesday, March 23 at 7 p.m., Unbound will host “Changing Landscapes in YA Fiction” with authors Anuradha Rajurkar, Brie Spangler and Louisa Onomé. Tune in on Facebook or YouTube as these acclaimed YA authors discuss challenges of writing for the next generation of readers.

Anuradha Rajurkar is the author of the newly released young adult novel, “American Betiya.’ In this book, a young artist grapples with first love, family boundaries and the complications of a cross-cultural relationship. Rajurkar is the national recipient of the SCBWI Emerging Voices Award for this debut work. Check out the excerpt! Continue reading “YA Author Panel: Changing Landscapes in YA Fiction”

The Selector’s Selections: March 2021

Posted on Thursday, March 11, 2021 by Brianna

It’s spring! Let’s welcome it in with some fantastic new books.

Lost in the Never Woods” by Aiden Thomas

If you loved the author’s “Cemetery Boys” from last year, get excited for their version of Peter Pan! Five years ago, Wendy Darling was found wandering in the woods, with no memory of the past six months, and no idea where her two younger brothers were. Wendy’s worked hard to deal with the trauma and grief of losing her brothers, and she’s ready to start nursing school and finally move on with her life. But then children start disappearing again, and a boy named Peter begs for her help. Wendy is drawn back into the half-remembered world of her childhood, and amid shadowy secrets, must face the truth about her past. Continue reading “The Selector’s Selections: March 2021”

2020-21 Dogwood Award Finalists

Posted on Thursday, March 4, 2021 by Brandy

The Dogwood Readers Award recognizes quality nonfiction books for school-age youth. Titles are broken down into four grade ranges: K-2; 3-5; 6-8; and 9-12. Below is a complete listing of award finalists for middle school and high school readers.

This award was founded just last year by the Missouri Association of School Librarians (MASL). The award selection committee is comprised of nine librarians who work in K-12 school districts throughout the state of Missouri. You can offer your suggestions for consideration at the Dogwood Readers Award website. Continue reading “2020-21 Dogwood Award Finalists”

The Selector’s Selections: February 2021

Posted on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 by Brianna

For the delightfully short month of February, I’ve got some romance and some thrillers. All of these books have a February release date, so if they’re not here physically yet, look for the eBook! I love not having to wait for shipping on digital items.

Yesterday Is History” by Kosoko Jackson

When Andre receives a liver transplant, it does more than save his life. Six months after the procedure, he wakes up outside his house in the year 1969. After meeting a confident and attractive boy who lives in Andre’s future house, Andre slips back into the present. His donor’s family contacts him and explains the genetic gift of time traveling that he’s inherited. They task their son Blake with teaching Andre how to time travel, and Andre must make sense of his attraction to the boy in the past and the one in his present. Refreshingly, the book also explores the differences between Andre’s experiences in the past as a young Black man, and the experience of Blake’s affluent white family. Continue reading “The Selector’s Selections: February 2021”

YA Author Panel: Mask Off/Mask On

Posted on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 by Brandy

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”

2021 Young Adult Award Winners

Posted on Tuesday, February 2, 2021 by Brandy

Early every year, the American Library Association (ALA) hosts its annual Youth Media Awards Press Conference. At this time, authors and illustrators of children’s and young adult literature are honored for the outstanding works they have published over the last year.

Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, ALA awards guide parents, educators, librarians and others in selecting the best materials for youth. Selected by judging committees of librarians and other literature and media experts, the awards encourage original and creative work. Below are those awards honoring distinguished books for young adult readers.

Alex Award Winners are the 10 best adult books that appeal to a teen audience.

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults:

Award Winner: “Everything Sad Is Untrue” by Daniel Nayeri
Honor Book: “Apple (Skin to the Core)” by Eric Gansworth
Honor Book: “Dragon Hoops” by Gene Luen Yang
Honor Book: “Every Body Looking” by Candice Iloh
Honor Book: “We Are Not Free” by Traci Chee

Continue reading “2021 Young Adult Award Winners”

The Selector’s Selections: January 2021

Posted on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 by Brianna

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”

The Selector’s Selections: December 2020

Posted on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 by Brianna

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”

The Selector’s Selections: November 2020

Posted on Thursday, November 12, 2020 by Brianna

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”

The Selector’s Selections: October 2020

Posted on Thursday, October 15, 2020 by Brianna

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”