15 September 2010

BBAW Unexpected Treasure: Y to the A

For a year or so, I've been reading a few Newbery-winning books (here and there) for my Newbery Project.  I don't ordinarily read children's books since I don't have kids and I've got more books in the "to read"/"READ THIS NOW" pile than I can deal with some days.  This extends to teen and YA books - no time unless it's for a specific reason (like when my little bookclub read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson).  I read Twilight and it's spawn because of my friend Jackie (who loves them) and to actually be able to legitimately state my opinion on whether or not the series is "good".  I don't really "browse" the teen section at the store in the same way I "browse" regular fiction - I browse fiction to find things to read, I browse Teen so I can find the books later when needed. 

However, there are a number of really intriguing books for teens/young adults on the market or in the works.  The Hunger Games series, Dormia, the Uglies series, Wintergirls, The Maze Runner, ttyl/ttfn/l8r,g8r, Stargirl, Sold, etc.  They all look to have good stories and I like good stories (and sometimes I need a break from my Victorians/Edwardians).  I get some information on YA books peripherally through being a bookseller but there are a couple of bloggers who really have a focus on YA and give credible reviews.

Kristi at The Story Siren:  Kristi reviews YA books of nearly every stripe and color.  She is always fair in her reviews so I know that I'm getting a good opinion when I read a post on her blog.  She's also very up-front about blogging issues/questions and happy to help out a newbie.

Pam at Bookalicio.us:  Pam is a passionate reviewer of books.  She has such a unique voice (and is wickedly funny - have you seen her "HP got hosed at the MTV Movie Awards" video?)  Pam also recently hosted a series of guest posts speaking out against censorship.  I always look forward to seeing Pam's posts pop-up in my Google Reader.

Pam and Kristi (and many more bloggers) have inspired me to read more YA.  This is a new thing (starting with Lauren Myracle's Internet Girls series, read for my store bookclub reading topic "language" this month) and I'll be building my reading list as I go.  I also find reading more YA important as September moves toward Banned Books Week (starting September 25).  Children's and teen/YA books are very often the target for censorship because of subject matter but the reality is that reality is worse than fiction in 99.99% of instances.


  1. You will not be surprised to find that I am very pleased to see that so many of the YA books you have enjoyed are dystopian in nature.

    The best kidlit is more than just being for kids but it transcends. The best books are the ones that kids and adults can read together and discuss.

    Harry Potter really brought the world of sharing books between kids and adult to the forefront. I am always encouraging parents to read with their children. It is a great way to open discussions.

    Of course young adult literature is often ripe for discussion in any context between any people!

  2. I wouldn't have read YA if it wasn't for book bloggers. Now they are a regular guest in my book pile.

  3. I guess the YA genre is still one I'm reluctant to explore. It seems that many bloggers are featuring these books, and typically, I shy away from what everyone is doing. But I must admit that the enthusiasm is somewhat contagious, and before the year is out, I may have to dive in! lol

    Here's my post today:


  4. Anonymous9:46 AM

    YA is one of those genres that I have only started reading since blogging. It is hard not to get sucked in!

  5. You know, I run a YA book blog called YA Book Shelf, but I really did just start reading these books regularly this year as well. Not because of book bloggers since I wasn't part of the community, but I'm so glad that I did.

    I love the Victorians and some contemporary literary fiction as well, but I think that some of the Dystopian and issue novels are well-worth reading. Along the way, I've found that I love more books than I ever imagined, even ones that I needed to confess I wasn't sure about, like Natalie Standiford's Confessions Of The Sullian Sisters

  6. @Melissa (another Melissa, yay!): I started reading your YA blog recently and I agree there're some very intriguing novels that are very much worth reading by everyone.

  7. @Melisa (the more Melissas, the merrier): Yes, I think adults can get a lot out of these books, but also if someone has teens themselves, I think it would be great to read them along with them because I think teens would benefit from having an adult they trust to talk about some of the emotional aspects of certain novels while reading them.

  8. @YABkshelf Melissa: Oh yes, adults need to read the YAs their kids do (actually, there would be more understanding if adults actually paid attention to what kids are reading instead of making assumptions)