Monday, January 25, 2010

Recent Reading

When You Reach Me, Rebecca Stead
Obviously you already know that this won the Newbery Medal this week, and obviously you know it's terrific.  A million people have written a million things about it, so I'll just say that I was very, very pleased to see how much space was spent discussing $20,000 Pyramid.  That's a topic that just doesn't come up nearly enough, esp in books for young people.

Dread Locks, Neal Shusterman
Apparently Shusterman has written several books in a little series called "Dark Fusion" where he takes two different myths or fairy tales and re-works them into ultra-rad modern teen lit masterpieces.  Here we've got a Medusa / Goldilocks and the Three Bears mashup.  So... the new girl in town who has really curly hair and always wears dark glasses introduces herself to the neighbors, the Baers (get it??), by sneaking into their house and eating their cereal before falling asleep in their bed.  And then kids at school mysteriously start turning gray and sluggish; they eat dirt and eventually turn completely to stone.  "Don't expect subtlety or character development," says Booklist.

Sunrise Over Fallujah, Walter Dean Myers
A young soldier from Harlem and his unit go into Iraq in 2003, in the shock and awe days when everyone was expecting to be home soon.  And of course it doesn't work out that way.  It's messy and directionless, and it made me cry.

This week: 3
YTD: 8

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Leviathan won the Aurealis Award!

Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan just won the Aurealis Award for Australian Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror writing! 

The finalists are here (they're not on the website anymore unless you download a PDF)

Amelia Bloomer 2010 List!

The Amelia Bloomer Project released it's 2010 list of feminist books recommended for young people.  It's a long list of everything from picture books to adult books, and it's pretty heavy on non-fiction and biography.  But since you all know that the only thing in the world I care about is young adult novels, here are some of the ones that were included:

Wintergirls, Laurie Halse Anderson
Rapunzel's Revenge, Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
Because I am Furniture, Thalia Chaltas
This Full House, Virginia Euwer Wolff
The Orange Houses, Paul Griffin
Flygirl, Sherri L. Smith
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, Jacqueline Kelly
Bloodhound, Tamora Pierce

Award-winning Authors in the News

Maureen Johnson, author both of YA books and a series of hilarious blog entries where she reads Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol so we don't have to, is featured in the New York Times!  She'd been giving away free Kindle editions of her book Suite Scarlett (I helped myself to the iphone version in December) and I guess it went well.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

ALA winners on The Today Show

Rebecca Stead and Jerry Pinckney, winners of the Newbery and Caldecott medals respectively, were on The Today Show today for the world's briefest and least substantial interview. (It's taking a real effort, but I'm not even going to complain about the fact that Libba Bray wasn't there too. grrrr):

and p.s.: The article in the New York Times was written by someone who seems unfamiliar with the awards, and didn't mention Libba Bray either.

2009 Aurealis Finalists

Here are the finalists for the 2009 Aurealis Award (for best Australian sci-fi, fantasy and horror) in the YA novel category:

The Puzzle Ring, Kate Forsyth
The Museum of Mary Child
Cassandra Golds
A Small Free Kiss in the Dark, Glenda Millard
Leviathan, Scott Westerfeld
Scarecrow, Sean Williams

There's a YA short story category too, plus loads of non-YA listed on the website.
Winners will be announced Jan. 23rd...

Monday, January 18, 2010

ALA Awards! (The Printz goes to Going Bovine!)

I'm lying in bed with my laptop watching the announcements live! 

Going Bovine, Libba Bray (!!!)

Honor Books: 
Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith, Deborah Heligman 
The Monstrumologist, Rick Yancey 
Punkzilla, Adam Rapp 
Tales of the Madman Underground, John Barnes

Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith, Deborah Heligman

Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream, Tanya Lee Stone 
Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice, Philip Hoose
The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P. T. Barnum, Candace Fleming and Ray Fenwick
Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland, Sally M. Walker

WILLIAM C. MORRIS AWARD (for a previously unpublished author):
Flash Burnout, L.K. Madigan

And the finalists, announced in December:
Ash, Malinda Lo
Beautiful Creatures, Kami Garcia
The Everafter, Amy Huntley
Hold Still, Nina LaCour

MARGARET A. EDWARDS AWARD (for lifetime achievement):
Jim Murphy!
Author Award:
Bad News for Outlaws, Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

Author Honor Book:
Mare's War, Tanita S. Davis

Illustrator Award:
My People, Charles R. Smith Jr.

Illustrator Honor Book:
The Negro Speaks of Rivers, E.B. Lewis

JOHN STEPTOE AWARD (for new talent):
The Rock and the River, Kekla Magoon

There's a new one this year, the CORETTA SCOTT KING-VIRGINIA HAMILTON AWARD for Lifetime Achievement.  It went to Walter Dean Myers!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Taking a break from my string of dull posts about what I've read, it's time to get back to YA awards!

Tomorrow morning, at 7:45 am EST the ALA youth media awards will be announced live!  And you can watch on the internet!  Tune in here tomorrow morning:

I'm excited about this!  And the best part is I have the day off work so I won't have to call in sick to watch.

Recent Reading

The Killer's Cousin, Nancy Werlin
Maybe I read them in the wrong order, but the Elf, from Locked Inside is in this book too! Except in his real-life persona, where he's the loner skinhead-looking kid who befriends the new guy in school who moved in with relatives after being acquitted of killing his girlfriend.  But something's up with the killer's young cousin Lily. 

And then, continuing my recent Neal Shusterman kick, two more by him:

Full Tilt, which reminded me of Going Bovine in some ways. It's another book-length, brain induced fantasy-adventure-that's-maybe-really-happening wherein the only survivor of a childhood school bus crash finally comes to terms with it at a sinister amusement park.

The Schwa was Here,  a sweet sort of book about a kid from Brooklyn and his "functionally invisible" friend the Schaw whom most people don't notice most of the time.  It's of that sub-genre where an eccentric adult—in this case the mean, wheelchair-bound neighbor Mr. Crawley—unexpectedly changes their lives. 

This week: 3
YTD: 5

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Costa Award winners

The Costa Book Award winners were announced on January 5th.  In the Young Adult category it went to The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness!

I've not posted in so long that I didn't even post the finalists: 
Solace of the Road
, Siobhan Dowd
, Mary Hoffman
The Ask and the Answer
, Patrick Ness
Guantanamo Boy
, Anna Perera

Recent Reading

And here's what I read the first week of 2010.  Blah!

The Brothers Torres, Coert Voorhees
I avoided this for a long time because the description I had read made it sound like some anti-gang cautionary tale.  Not even close.  It's really a sweet and nuanced coming-of-age story that feels really true.  And there's enough violence and sexual awkwardness to keep it interesting.  I want a stuffed sopaipilla so badly right now, just thinking about it.

Locked Inside, Nancy Werlin
This was a nominee for an Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery back in 2000.  It was also a one-bath read (though I was pretty pruney by the time it was over) because I couldn't put it down.  The daughter of a dead celebrity is flunking out of her fancy boarding school because she spends all her time playing computer games and alienating her classmates.  Then she gets kidnapped by a woman who claims to be her sister and the rightful heir to half her mother's fortune.  Good thing all that gaming taught her some survival skills...  It's a page-turner.

YTD: 2

2009 Reading Summary

My most boring post yet?  It's ok—this one's just for me.  For reference.  It's a list of the YA books I read in 2009, listed alphabetically by author.  It's just that sometimes I forget, and my periodic summaries of what I read aren't so easy to navigate.  I think there's 95 if I counted right. [updated a couple of times cause I remembered a few that I hadn't blogged about.]

Also: Dying to know which are my 2009 favorites from this list (listed in alphabetical order by author, not by how much I loved them)
Going Bovine, Sacred Scars, Andromeda Klein, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Marcelo in the Real World, and Leviathan!

And my favorite non-2009 book?  Knights of the Hill Country!

Here's the whole list:
, Laurie Halse Anderson
The Waters & The Wild, Francesca Lia Block
Forever, Judy Blume
Kendra, Coe Booth
Going Bovine, Libba Bray
Black Rabbit Summer, Kevin Brooks
Two Moons in August, Martha Brooks
The Cry of the Wolf, Melvin Burgess
The Ghost Behind the Wall, Melvin Burgess
Nicholas Dane, Melvin Burgess
Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
Ender in Exile, Orson Scott Card
Janes in Love, Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg
The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg.
Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
Discovering Pig Magic, Julie Crabtree
Skin Deep, E. M. Crane
Little Brother, Cory Doctorow
Bog Child, Shioban Dowd
Solace of the Road, Siobhan Dowd
Sacred Scars, Kathleen Duey
Seek, Paul Fleischman
Friction, E. R. Frank
Jerk, California, Jonathan Friesen
The Anansi Boys, Neil Gaiman
Coraline, Neil Gaiman
The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman
The Sandman, vol. 1, Neil Gaiman
Paper Towns, John Green
Dark Dude, Oscar Hijuelos
The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton
Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, Phillip Hoose
Beating Heart, A.M. Jenkins
Suite Scarlett
, Maureen Johnson
Tender Morsels, Margo Lanagan
Liar, Justine Larbalestier
The Carbon Diaries, 2015, Saci Lloyd
The Boyfriend List, E. Lockhart
The Treasure Map of Boys, E. Lockhart
Gathering Blue, Lois Lowry
Slot Machine, Chris Lynch
Jellicoe Road, Melina Marchetta
Dough Boy, Peter Marino
Madapple, Christina Meldrum
TTYL, Lauren Myracle
The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness
Freaky Green Eyes, Joyce Carol Oates
Huge, Sasha Paley
The Adoration of Jenna Fox, Mary Pearson
The Dead and the Gone, Susan Beth Pfeffer
Streams of Babel, Carol Plum-Ucci
Andromeda Klein, Frank Portman
Nation, Terry Pratchett
After, Francine Prose
Punkzilla, Adam Rapp
The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Carrie Ryan
Flygirl, Sherri L. Smith
Downsiders, Neal Shusterman
Everlost, Neal Shusterman
Everwild, Neal Shusterman
Unwind, Neal Shusterman
Finding Lubchenko, Michael Simmons
Stitches, David Small
Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie, Jodan Sonnenblick
Marcelo in the Real World, Francisco X. Stork
Skim by Mariko Tamaki
Lips Touch: Three Times, Laini Taylor
Knights of the Hill Country, Tim Tharp
The Spectacular Now, Tim Tharp
Blankets, Craig Thompson
Shortcomings, Adrian Tomine
Summer Blonde, Adrian Tomine
Adrian Mole: The Lost Years, Sue Townsend
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Age 13 3/4, Sue Townsend
Zoe's Tale, John Scalzi
Living Dead Girl, Elizabeth Scott
Runaways, Vol. 1, Brian Vaughan
Like A Thorn, Clara Vidal
Be More Chill, Ned Vizzini
Impossible, Nancy Werlin
Leviathan, Scott Westerfeld
Midnighters III, Scott Westerfeld
When Kambia Elaine Flew in from Neptune, Lori Aurelia Williams
Blue Tights, Rita Williams-Garcia
Every Time a Rainbow Dies, Rita Williams-Garcia
Jumped, Rita Williams-Garcia
Love and Lies, Ellen Wittlinger
This Full House, Virginia Euwer Wolff
After Tupac and D Foster, Jacqueline Woodson
Hush, Jacqueline Woodson
If You Come Softly, Jacqueline Woodson
Lena, Jacqueline Woodson
Eternal Smile, Gene Luen Yang
Rubber Houses, Ellen Yeomans