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History Comes Alive in Graphic Novels!

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 07:00

I am loving all the graphic novels that are being published that focus on moments in history.  They are not just doing a textbook coverage of historical events, but they are personalizing the events and making them more real to readers.  Maybe that is the benefit of reading a graphic novel?  Things seem more real when they are represented both by text and by art.  Check out some of the graphic novels below that will take you on a trip, back in time!

Ancient History/Pre-Industrial Revolution (up to 1800s)

Evolution: the Story of Life on Earth by Jay Hosler, Kevin Cannon, and others (2012 Great Graphic Novels for Teens)

Industrial Revolution (1800-1900)

Around the World by Matt Phelan (2012 Great Graphic Novels for Teens)

The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam by Ann Marie Fleming (2008 Great Graphic Novels for Teens)

American History (1700-1900)

Lewis & Clark by Nick Bertozzi

One Dead Spy: the Life, Times, and Last Words of Nathan Hale, America’s Most Famous Spy by Nathan Hale (2013 Great Graphic Novels for Teens)

The United States Constitution: a Graphic Adaptation by Jonathan Hennessey, Aaron McConnell (2009 Great Graphic Novels for Teens)

Gettysburg: the Graphic Novel by C.M. Butzer (2010 Great Graphic Novels for Teens)

Grant vs. Lee: the Graphic History of the Civil War’s Greatest Rivals During the Last Year of the War by Wayne Vansant

Best Shot in the West: the Adventures of Nat Love by Patricia C. McKissack, Fredrick L. McKissack Jr., Randy DuBurke

Donner Dinner Party by Nathan Hale (2014 Great Graphic Novels for Teens)

Houdini: the Handcuff King by Jason Lutes, Nick Bertozzi (2008 Great Graphic Novels for Teens

World War I (1914-1918) through the 1920s

Above the Dreamless Dead: World War I in Poetry and Comics edited by Chris Duffy (2015 Great Graphic Novels for Teens)

World War One: 1914-1918: the War to End All Wars written by Alan Cowsill, Lalit Kumar Sharma

The Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks, Caanan White

Big Jim: Jim Larkin and the 1913 Lockout by Rory McConville, Paddy Lynch

Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey by Nick Bertozzi (2015 Great Graphic Novels for Teens)

The Great Depression (1930s)

The Great American Dust Bowl by Don Brown (2015 Great Graphic Novels for Teens)

World War II (1939-1945)

The Boxer: The True Story of Holocaust Survivor Harry Haft by Reinhard Kleist (2015 Great Graphic Novels for Teens)

Bombing Nazi Germany: the Graphic History of the Allied Air Campaign that Defeated Hitler in World War II by Wayne Vansant

Trinity: a Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm (2013 Great Graphic Novels for Teens)

Showa: a History of Japan, 1926-1939Showa: a History of Japan, 1939-1944; and Showa: a History of Japan, 1944-1953 by Shigeru Mizuki

Post-Modern Era (1950-2000)

The Silence of Our Friends by Mark Long, Jim Demonakos, Nate Powell

March: Book 1 and Book 2 by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell (2014 Great Graphic Novels for Teens)

Malcolm X: a Graphic Biography by Andrew Helfer, Randy DuBurke (2008 Great Graphic Novels for Teens)

The Warren Commission Report by Dan Mishkin, Ernie Colón, Jerzy Drozd

21: the Story of Roberto Clemente by Wilfred Santiago (2012 Great Graphic Novels for Teens)

T-Minus: The Race to the Moon by Jim Ottaviani, Zander Cannon, Kevin Cannon

The Photographer by Emmanuel Guibert (2010 Great Graphic Novels for Teens)

Hip Hop Family Tree, Vol. 1: 1970s-1981 and Vol. 2: 1981-1983 by Ed Piskor

The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sis (2008 Great Graphic Novels for Teens)

21st Century (2000-present)

Pyongyang: a Journey in North Korea by Guy Delisle (2007 Great Graphic Novels for Teens)

A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge by Josh Neufeld (2010 Great Graphic Novels for Teens)

The 9/11 Report by Sid Jacobson, Ernie Colon (2007 Great Graphic Novels for Teens)

–Colleen Seisser, currently reading The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

Jukebooks: We Can Work It Out by Elizabeth Eulberg

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 07:00

Now that the Lonely Hearts Club has expanded to almost thirty girls, Penny Lane finds her enthusiasm for the club waning. Sure, it would never had happened if Penny had not started the club herself, building on the successful theme of girl empowerment. Who needs a guy to make them happy? Then Penny meets Ryan. Things get awkward. No longer lonely, Penny’s clout with her girls diminishes.

As a follow-up to Eulberg’s The Lonely Hearts Club, this novel is also brimming with references to Beatles songs. Sections are introduced with a Beatles lyric, such as, “If I love you, please don’t hurt my pride,” from “If I Fell,” a beautiful example of Fab Four harmony. But the Beatles went in so many interesting directions with their music that I was reluctant to highlight one more pretty song. So instead, we’ll go with a song from Abbey Road, “Carry That Weight.”

The song is part of a long medley that constitutes the flip side of Abbey Road. The songs, bits and pieces that have little relation to each other, are melded together wonderfully by the Beatles’ long time producer, George Martin. “Carry That Weight” was recorded along with the song that precedes it on the album, “Golden Slumbers.”

Below is a recording of “Golden Slumbers,” “Carry That Weight,” and the final song on that side of Abbey Road, “The End,” set to a photographic montage of the Beatles.

Diane Colson, currently reading an advance readers copy of Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge.

YA Lit with an Irish Connection

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 07:00


Slemish Mountain, the legendary home of St. Patrick. Photo by Flickr user Identity Chris Is

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! It is the feast day of the patron saint of Ireland. Patrick was not born in Ireland, but was taken captive by Irish pirates and made a slave. Although he eventually made his way home to Britain, he return to Ireland as a Christian missionary and is thought to have converted thousands of people. Using a shamrock as an illustration of the Christian Holy Trinity, “banishing” all snakes from the island, having his walking stick turned into a tree; the folklore and tales surrounding him forever tie Saint Patrick to Ireland. So on this, his celebratory day, how about considering some excellent Irish YA fiction? These books are set on The Emerald Isle and most are by Irish authors; try one or two to get a taste of great Irish literature.

Long Story Short by Siobhan Parkinson
Jono and Julie’s alcoholic mother is mostly useless when it comes to actually parenting, but Jono feels he and Julie are not doing too badly all in all. But when their mother hits Julie one day, Jono knows he must get the two of them out of there, away from the abuse and neglect, and far from child services who will separate them. Parkinson was Ireland’s first laureate for children’s literature. Her writing is exquisite and her storytelling masterful. Jono is not the most reliable of narrators; as he spins his tale, readers will be kept on their toes, and not just with worry for these two vulnerable kids.

The New Policeman by Kate Thompson (Best Books for Young Adults 2008)
There never seems to be enough time to do all the things you want to do. This seems especially true in Kinvara, Ireland where JJ lives with his family. After his mother wishes for more time, JJ learns about a portal to Tír na n’Óg, the Land of Youth, where time stands still. Could this be where all the lost time goes? JJ wants to make the journey there, but he learns that venturing into the faerie realms can be fantastic, but also dangerous. This novel is drenched in Irish culture and folklore. Pro tip: listen to the audio book if you can. The chapters are interspersed with bits of music from Irish folk songs!

The Carnival at Bray by Jessie Ann Foley (2015 Printz Honor Book)
When her mother marries her boyfriend, Maggie is uprooted from her Chicago home and transplanted to Bray -a small seaside town in Ireland. She is far from everything she knows and loves, waiting for care packages of Americana from her uncle back in the states. Maggie struggles with her feelings of loss, with first love, with how much and how far to rebel. When her favorite band, Nirvana, comes to Europe, Maggie runs away to see them; away from family, and from Bray, and she runs away at the exact wrong time.

A Swift Pure Cry by Siobhan Dowd (Best Books for Young Adults 2008)
A beautifully written, heartrending book. After Shell’s mother dies, her father turns more and more to alcohol than to his family. Left to care for her younger siblings, Shell seeks consolation with both the new young priest in town and with a childhood friend, Declan. When Declan leaves for America, Shell discovers she is pregnant and as her fellow townsfolk are more want to gossip than help, she has no one to turn to. Readers may think they know where the story is heading, but Dowd is a talented, clever writer and she will surprise you.

Into the Grey by Celine Kiernan
A ghost story, a thriller, a very spooky horror novel, set in the 1970s Ireland. When their home and all they own burn in a fire set by their Nan, twins Patrick and Dom move to their family’s small, seaside vacation cottage with their parents and young sister. Everything is topsy turvy to begin with, but then the twins are haunted and Dom becomes possessed by a ghost. Patrick soon realizes this is not just trauma affecting his family’s emotions, this is a life or death situation that he and Dom must survive on their own.

~ Geri Diorio, currently reading Night Watch by Terry Pratchett

Is This Just Fantasy?: Celebrating The Hub’s Favorite Women In Fantasy Fiction

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 07:00

March is Women’s History Month. Woohoo! In that spirit, I wanted to dedicate this edition of Is This Just Fantasy? to the fabulous women of fantasy fiction and I asked my fellow Hub bloggers to join in the fun.  Here are some of The Hub’s favorite female characters in young adult fantasy fiction.

Alanna of Trebond from Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce (2013 Margaret A. Edwards Award)

“The heroine who comes immediately to my mind (and no doubt others as well!) is Alanna.  So strong, brave, courageous and while in the first novel she must hide her sex and pretend to be a boy, I really loved how ultimately she embraced being a woman as the series evolved.” – Sarah Debraski

Princess Cimorene from Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede

“After first encountering Cimorene in Dealing with Dragons, I was hooked. She is a princess who is bored with everything that goes with being a princess. She wants nothing to do with the not-very-bright princes she encounters and is so eager for more excitement in her life that she leaves her home to find a dragon to ‘capture’ her – the only acceptable alternative for a princess. Once she finds her dragon, she becomes the dragon’s chef and librarian (a fact I had forgotten until I recently reread this book). With Cimorene, Wrede turns princess stereotypes on their head and creates a funny, compelling, and exciting protagonist.” – Carli Spina 

Sabriel from Sabriel by Garth Nix

“My vote is for Sabriel! I am re-reading (listening to Tim Curry’s great narration in audiobook!) Sabriel by Garth Nix right now and I am remembering how great of a character she is. She’s smart but willing to learn; capable with a compassionate personality; and emotional in the best possible way. She – and Lirael in the next two books – are favorite female characters who are strong and well-drawn without being the one-note ‘strong female characters.’ ” – Anna Tschetter

Janet from Tam Lin by Pamela Dean

“Janet is smart, curious, confident. She’s unapologetically intellectual, as well as snarky, judgemental, and impatient, but she’s also very aware of her own shortcomings, and she’s honest, kind, and supportive. Janet forms believable and complicated friendships (especially with her roommates); navigates the complexities of boyfriends, libido, and 1970s birth control; keeps her grades up; and triumphs in a life-or-death struggle with the Queen of Elfland.” – Julie Bartel

Elisa from The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (2013 YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults)

“The other fantasy heroine who I admire and find so amazing is Elisa from Rae Carson’s The Girl of Fire and Thorns. Having always been coddled and sheltered she really is thrown into adventure and danger unprepared and has to work to find her inner strength. I loved watching her become a fierce courageous leader (and loving woman as well) in this trilogy.”   – Sarah Debraski

Val from Valiant by Holly Black (2006 YALSA Best Books for Young Adults)

“Val is a runaway who gets mixed up in the faerie world and I really like her development from a confused runaway to a strong fighter in Black’s novel.  This character has resonated with me, even though I read the novel years ago.  There is something awesome about Val and her willingness to leave a bad situation and try to survive on the streets, and then, when she learns about the faerie world, her fight to survive and fight to protect her new family!  Just writing this makes me want to go back and read Val’s story again!” – Colleen Seisser

Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (2008 YALSA Teens’ Top Ten)

Rose is just kick ass and I love it! She has the fighting skills (some from her Dhampir training and some just instinct), strength of character, and sharp tongue that every female warrior should have.  Her development through the course of Mead’s Vampire Academy series is a fantastic one and makes her such an interesting character to read and relate to.” -Colleen Seisser

Katsa from Graceling by Kristin Cashore (2009 YALSA Teens’ Top Ten, 2009 Morris Award Finalist, 2009 YALSA Best Books for Young Adults)

“I’m sure I won’t be the only one to say this, but I LOVE Katsa from Graceling. Kristin Cashore created a character that lives in a fantasy world, but faces personal decisions that mirror real world situations. She is a strong, smart female who finds a way to balance her independence with her desire for friendships, family, and romance.”    – Jessica Lind

“I’m probably not alone in that I really liked Katsa in Graceling. I liked how the book had adventure, romance, special powers, a journey, survival — a bit of everything! I really felt Katsa’s internal dilemmas regarding her Grace and what is expected of women.” – Becky O’Neil

Bitterblue from Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore (2013 YALSA Best Books for Young Adults)

“Not as flashy as Katsa (whom I loved too), Bitterblue has a lot of responsibility for someone so young.  She has no parents and a pretty traumatic past.  Yet she is brave and moral and never gives up.” – Tara Kehoe

Blue Sargent from The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater  (2013 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2014 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults)

“I have been in awe of Blue and her fascinating matriarchal family since the first sentence of The Raven Boys. Blue is integral to the plot of the entire series; she is no mere tagalong. Blue’s ability to influence other powers still leaves her powerless at times. For her strengths  and her weaknesses, Blue is a heroine I’d proudly idealize. I also love her snarky dialogue as she verbally spars with other characters rather than passively float along in someone else’s story.” – Laura Perenic

Isaboe from Finnikin of The Rock by Melina Marchetta (2011 YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults)

“Isaboe is clearly the hero of Melina Marchetta’s Finnikin of The Rock.  While Finnikin tells the story and is important too, it’s Isaboe who saves Lumatere.  She is strong, smart, and has a sense of humor.   Isaboe isn’t afraid to be ugly (as she makes herself in the beginning of the book to hide her true identity), or to fall in love, or to talk about her period.” – Tara Kehoe

Princess Tilda from Handbook for Dragon Slayers by Merrie Haskell (2014 Schneider Family Book Award Winner)

“Princess Tilda is a fairly unusual type of princess, at least in modern popular fiction: she has a disability that has not only a physical impact on her life due to the pain she encounters on a regular basis, but also because of the way that it makes the people of her kingdom view her with distrust and suspicion. At the start of the book, Tilda wants nothing more than to be left alone to become a scribe copying books, but over the course of the story she gets swept up into a mission to hunt dragons and along the way comes to a new understanding of herself and her responsibilities.”    – Carli Spina

Who are some of your favorite women in fantasy fiction?

-Kelly Dickinson, currently reading Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

The Monday Poll: Alarming First Lines in YA Lit

Sun, 03/15/2015 - 23:40

Good morning, Hub readers!

In celebration of Teen Tech Week, last week’s poll asked you to choose your favorite YA lit title featuring current technology. 45% of you voted for TTYL by Lauren Myracle, and 19% of you voted for The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler. You can see detailed results for all of our previous polls in the Polls Archive. Thanks to all of you who voted!

This week, we want you to tell us which first line from YA lit has you on edge– which one grabs you and makes you feel absolutely compelled to read on? Choose from the options below, or suggest another title in the comments!

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

2015 Hub Reading Challenge Check-In #5

Sun, 03/15/2015 - 07:00

Not signed up for YALSA’s 2015 Hub Reading Challenge? Read the official rules and sign up on the original post. Anything you’ve read since February 9 counts, so sign up now!

I was searching for something in WordPress, clicked on the wrong tag, and found myself reading a 2014 Hub Reading Challenge check-in post I wrote from just about this time last year.  In it I mostly talked about how much I’d loved the Marcus Sedgwick book I’d just finished, which is funny because I was totally going to use this post to explain how reading Sedgwick’s Ghosts of Heaven had pulled me away from challenge titles completely this week, in between gushing about how brilliant I think it is.  I’m not even sorry I picked it up, though it’s not on the list, of course.  Maybe next year?

In any case, the check marks on my list have not multiplied by much since my last check-in, but I’m up to 9 so I’m not too worried.  I did re-read Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki’s This One Summer so that I could argue about it on the Internet with the details fresh in my mind, and I liked it even more this time around.  I’m not the only one who does that, right?

Speaking of social media, don’t forget to use the hashtag #hubchallenge, and please join us over at the 2015 Goodreads Hub Reading Challenge group if you’d like to talk (or argue, or whatever!) about what you’re reading.

Remember, you have until 11:59 PM EST on June 21st to finish at least 25 challenge books.  These weekly check-in posts are a great place to track your progress, see how your fellow participants are faring, and get feedback on various titles, so don’t forget to read the comments and chime in!  If you haven’t already, don’t forget to post the Participant’s Badge on your blog, website, or email signature, and, as always, if you have any questions or problems, let us know in the comments or via email.

If you are a particularly fast reader and have already completed the challenge by reading or listening to 25 titles from the list of eligible books, be sure to fill out the form below so we can send you your Challenge Finisher badge, get in touch to coordinate your reader’s response and, perhaps best of all, to notify you if you win our exciting grand prize drawing! Be sure to use an email you check frequently and do not fill out this form until you have completed the challenge by reading 25 titles. 

Ultimate Pi Day Eve

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 07:00

Image via flickr user koka_sexton

Happy day-before-Pi-Day! You may be familiar with Pi Day (March 14 or 3.14) from the internet or from Carli Spina’s 2013 post. But did you know that tomorrow is an extra-special version? Math fans, it is our once-in-a-lifetime chance to revel in Ultimate Pi Day — that is, the day, the year, and even the second can align to the first few numbers of our favorite constant. Be alert at 9:26 a.m. and 53 seconds for the collective squee.

Book lovers can celebrate Pi Day in a couple of different ways. The most obvious, of course, is via math-related books. I’ve written a couple posts on some favorite titles, and the good news is, there are even more to check out! The latest ones I’ve found have an interesting theme: the math prodigy.

  • In Nearly Gone, by Elle Cosimano, it’s Nearly Boswell trying to stay one step ahead of a serial killer by solving cryptic math- and science-themed clues.
  • In On A Clear Day, by Walter Dean Myers, it’s Dahlia Grillo joining a group to resist multinational corporations in the year 2035.
  • In In Real Life, by Lawrence Tabak, it’s Seth Gordon, who is so good at videogaming that he’s invited to play professionally — which means a move to Korea for training.
  • In Running Scared, by Beverley Terrell-Deutsch, it’s Gregory using numbers and equations to avoid thinking about the car accident that killed his father.
  • In The Cipher, by John C. Ford, it’s Ben as the geeky best friend of the charismatic protagonist, Smiles — but Ben has the genius code-cracking ability that sets the plot in motion.

The other way to celebrate Pi Day? Pie, of course! My search for teen books about pie came up with precious few, other than the peach pies in Chasing Jupiter and the “dangerous pie” in Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie (although I’ll leave it up to the jury if we really want to count a pie made from a “zesty blend of coffee grounds, raw eggs and their smashed shells, Coke, uncooked bacon, and three Matchbox racing cars”). Previous Hub posts have covered the plethora of baking fiction in terms of sweet treats and delicious desserts, and no one can argue with the trending cupcake.

Since baking really is a form of math, and math-related books seem to be on the upswing, perhaps more teen fiction about pies is a trend that’s just around the corner. Happy Ultimate Pi(e) Day to one and all!

–Becky O’Neil, currently reading Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel

Tweets of the Week: March 13th

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 07:00

Happy Friday the 13th, Hub Readers! While you are trying to stay one step ahead of those pesky people in hockey masks, be sure to check out these tweets of the week with news about the upcoming movie sequel to the Maze Runner, Ellen Hopkins & Night Vale!  In case you missed it…I’m here to compile it all for you!

Books & Reading





— Traci Glass, currently reading The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming

Cinderella Retellings

Thu, 03/12/2015 - 07:00

With a new movie of Cinderella coming out, it’s a great time to round up some book adaptations.


Ash by Malinda Lo (2010 Morris finalist and 2014 Popular Paperbacks for YA Top Ten)
Ash lost both her mother and her father. Now she’s stuck in a world with an evil step mother and two wicked step-sisters. She finds solace in the fairy world and with her new friendship with the King’s Huntress. Can she find happiness on her own terms?

Before Midnight by Cameron Dokey
Cendrillon’s mother dies in childbirth. The death of her mother forces her father to abandon her, leaving her to the care of the housekeeper. Her father remarries and sends his wife and two daughters back to the cottage, without telling her about his daughter. Everything changes once the truth comes out.

Bewitching by Alex Flinn
Kendra can’t help coming to someone’s rescue, even though she shouldn’t, but Emma really needs her help. Emma’s stepsister isn’t the sweet girl she portrays. Instead Lisette steals everything Emma holds dear. Can Kendra help Emma?  

Bound by Donna Jo Napoli
Xing Xing’s father dies leaving her alone with her stepmother who only cares for securing an advantageous marraige for her own daughter. Xing Xing finds her mother’s green silk gown and gold slippers. She sneaks out and wears them to a festival where she meets a handsome but unconventional prince.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer (2012 Teens’ Top Ten and 2013 Best Fiction for YA and 2013 Reader’s Choice Book List)
The first in the Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder’s part human and part robot. Cinder doesn’t remember what happened to her before the age of 11. A stranger wanders into her station at the marketplace looking for a mechanic. To her surprise, it’s the Prince in disguise. As a plague sweeps through, Cinder might hold the answers to the future and her past.

Cinderella Ninja Warrior by Maureen McGowan
Cinderella’s held captive by her step-mother.  She can take care of herself, perfecting her skills in secret, waiting for the day until she can escape.  A ball will be held with two contests: one beauty and one magical.  Cinderella doesn’t care about the beauty contest or meeting the prince, she simply wants to win the magical competition for the wizard training opportunity. She’s determined to win her freedom.

Cindy Ella by Robin Palmer
Cindy isn’t popular, but her social life goes from nonexistent to outcast after she writes an anti-prom letter to the school newspaper. She wishes the newspaper would focus on more important issues.  With three people in her corner, Cindy isn’t about to back down. Can she still find her happily ever after without attending prom?

Dream Factory by Brad Barkley and Heather Helper
When the actors in Disney World go on strike, Ella’s hired to become the next Cinderella.  Ella marries the prince every afternoon at 3 pm. But it isn’t the prince she wants to date, it’s Luke.

Just Ella by Margaret Petterson Haddix (2005 Popular Paperbacks for YA)
Ella went to the ball and married her prince – but life afterwards isn’t happily ever after. The royals try to mold her into a perfect princess with endless rules on etiquette and protocol.  How can she escape this life and find happiness on her own terms.

Add in your favorite Cinderella tales in the comments!

~ Jennifer Rummel currently reading The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer

Narrators You Love to Hate in YA Lit

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 07:00

Unreliable, whiney, un-likable, liars—we’ve all read characters like this!  I love to read a good book with a “bad” (and/or unreliable) narrator. This kind of flawed storyteller reaches to the reader and asks us to question, look deeper, and ponder truth and lies. It is a sign of an excellent author who can manipulate you to love the book and hate the character. Skilled writers make the reader believe the lies and then accept the truth.

Here are some favorite examples of protagonists I love to hate.

  • In this year’s Printz Award recipient I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson twins Noah and Jude lie to each other, lie to their parents, and lie to themselves (and by extension to us: the reader). With all the lies it’s no wonder there was so much to reveal in this tale. The sneakiness and bad treatment of each other made me distinctly dislike them. But Nelson also juxtaposed the twins’ nastiness with descriptions of how deeply they love each other.
  • Cadence from We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (2015 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults). Here is what I consider to be a likeable character and one whom I really felt for. But what if I knew the truth of what really happened that summer at the beginning of this book? Would I still have felt so sympathetic towards Cady?
  • Froi and Quintana from Melina Marchetta’s Lumatere Chronicles. Only Melina Marchetta (Printz Award winner) could take a predatory lowlife like Froi was when we first met him in Finnikin of the Rock (2011 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults) and turn him around so distinctly then lead him to star in his own story. Froi is redeemed in Finnikin of the Rock; grows in Froi of the Exiles, and become a hero in Quintana of Charyn. In the second installment of the Lumatere Chronicles Marchetta also introduces Quintana: one of the grossest characters I have ever imagined in a book and quickly made me love her. Quintana is prickly, deranged, damaged, paranoid, abused, and abusive. But she becomes a hero too—fiercely protective and thoroughly decent.

  • This One Summer (2015 Printz honor) by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki. Main character Rose is judgmental, sullen and frankly—a lot less fun than her younger buddy Windy. Rose is distinctly cruel to her mother in this tale (a woman who cannot really be that old but is even drawn in a cruelly- ageing sketch). Rose is quick to side with the townie lowlife guy (the “dud”) who works at the local store because she has a crush on him. She attempts to further sully the reputation of the local girl impregnated and ignored by the loser. I would certainly not want Rose as a friend — but Takami and Tamaki have created such a realistic portrayal of a pre-teen girl.


  • Monster by Walter Dean Myers (1994 Margaret A. Edwards Award winner). This 2000 Printz Award Winner is an oldie but goodie! Steve Harmon is in a juvenile detention center awaiting trial and tells his story in the form of a movie script. He was “involved” in a crime, but what really happened? How does the format in which Steve tells his side of things affect what we learn later?

  • 2015 Printz Honor Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith.  Austin Szerba is a polarizing character who dredges up strong reactions from readers all across the board. Some love Austin; dubbing him a punk and touting his “typical teenage boy” characteristics.   Some hate Austin; his self-centered arrogance, concern with only his own (male) family history, as well as his dismissive treatment of female characters.. Yet readers cannot argue that this unique book has merit.
  • Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2011 Teens’ Top Ten) Samantha Kingston is that girl from high school: the pretty, popular, and mean one whom everyone hated but also wanted to befriend. Samantha is one of the most realistically portrayed characters I have ever read. And I hated her. Sam is shallow in such a real way. Yet I cheered for her to grow into a better person by living her last day over and over; to learn to see the good in people, and become better.

Some other examples of unlikeable characters and/or unreliable narrators:

What narrators do you love to hate? Any disagree with my selections?

– Tara Kehoe, currently reading All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven




Reading List for International Women’s Day

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 07:00

The UN’s theme for International Women’s Day this year is Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture it!

Yesterday, March 8, was International Women’s Day, a holiday born out of women protesting their work in garment factories, trying to get the right to vote, and later just celebrating and trying to better the roles of women in the world. In fact in the United States, the U.K. and Australia, the entire month of March is identified as a celebration of Women’s History.

For many people, celebrating women’s history and women in general goes hand in hand with being a feminist. In 2014, feminist – being a person who believes in gender equality – became a cultural concept very much in the spotlight. Reporters and bloggers asked celebrities if they identified as feminists; Beyonce performed at the MTV music awards in front of a giant “FEMINIST” sign; and Time magazine controversially added the word to a poll of words to be banned. Other serious issues such as campus rape and Gamergate harassment made the lives of women and their treatment take center stage.

I didn’t self-identify as a feminist until middle or high school because I didn’t know that there was a word for what I had felt my whole life: that women and girls were unquestioningly the equal to men and boys and that we had the right to exciting, meaningful, and amazing books. I feel so happy and privileged to go up in a house where my 8 year old intention to be a brain surgeon during the day and a concert pianist at night was met with a supportive, “Ok.” I didn’t quite reach those heights but my family never made me feel like I couldn’t do that because I was a girl. Sadly, this is not the norm throughout the whole world, and not even in the United States.

Tangibly, materially, and in terms of rights and freedoms, there is a lot to be done for women and girls throughout the world and our country. But one of the things libraries and bookstores and readers can do is to read about lives of women and girls. By reading and sharing stories of women and girls we can show others the amazing things women can do. We can also share the struggles of women and girls and help inspire change.

Here are just a handful of books I’ve read recently that have a strong, pro-women message. They present women and girls who are strong without being caricatures; emotional without being a harmful stereotype; and most of all, full realized characters with hopes, dreams, and struggles.

Gabi, a Girl in Pieces
by Isabel Quintero (2015 Morris winner and Amelia Bloomer Project list): Gabi is a girl that I simultaneously wish I knew in high school or had been in high school. She doesn’t have all the answers but is still so confident in herself even when dealing with sexuality, her weight, family tragedies, her friends’ pregnancy and coming out, and more. She has a wonderful message of power and sense of self that speaks well to girls both struggling and not. This is also one of the few YA books I’ve read with abortion as a plot point.

Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman (2013 Alex Award): Rory Dawn has a hard life growing up in her Nevada trailer park and desperately wants to be a Girl Scout. This is a great meditation on the expectations of girlhood and poverty. 

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart (2009 Printz honor): Frankie infiltrates the boys club at her boarding school and many hijinks ensue! This book shows

I am Malala: The First Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb: The story of the young Nobel Peace Prize winner’s attack and why she believes in the importance of education.

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley (Amelia Bloomer Project list): Talley weaves a believable romance between two girls all while dealing with school integration in the 1950s South. It will definitely make you cry.

Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark: Centering on three characters, one a transwoman and another a questioning boy wondering about gender fluidity, this novel in verse breaks stereotypes all over the place. It’s a good reminder to many of us that remembrances such as International Women’s Day and Women’s HIstory Month need to include transgender women as well as cisgender women.

Ms. Marvel Vol 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona (Amelia Bloomer Project list): Kamala Khan is a Muslim teen growing up in Jersey City, idolizing Captain Marvel Carol Danvers and the Avengers. Getting superpowers like Captain Marvel does not diminish her fandom but makes her have to grapple with her newfound duty to help and to her family and culture. This has been the unofficial breakout hit of Marvel’s slate of comics and it deserves all the attention.

Lumberjanes Vol. 1 by Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis (to be published April 2015): Diverse campers at a Girl Scout-esque summer camp who whose exclamations – Sweet Bessie Coleman! – reflect feminism and girl power? If you haven’t been reading this in issues, check out the trade paperback. It’s fun, powerful, and all about friendship.

A Little F’d Up: Why Feminism is Not a Dirty Word by Julie Zeilinger: This is a great primer geared towards teens and young women on the history of feminism in the United States. I breaks down the “waves” of feminism and many current and former feminist issues especially like the need for the current feminism movement to include women of color and LGBTQ women.

Lastly, if you are looking for more amazing books to celebrate women, members of Feminist Task Force of the ALA work to compile the Amelia Bloomer Project book list. Every year they highlight feminist books for readers aged 0 – 18. 2015’s list - as with all of the years – has some really great titles. Another list that is great but hasn’t been updated since 2013 is Bitch Magazine’s 100 Young Adult Books for the Feminist Reader. These have more great books celebrating women for you to explore!

-Anna Tschetter, currently reading Black Widow Vol. 1, The Finely Woven Thread by Nathan Edmondson

The Monday Poll: Teen Tech Week

Sun, 03/08/2015 - 23:33

Good morning, Hub readers!

Last week, we asked you to choose the YA book that would make a hit on Broadway. Topping the votes with 43% was Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. (It’s all about Tiny Cooper, isn’t it?) Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell followed with 25% of the vote. You can see detailed results for all of our previous polls in the Polls Archive. Thanks to all of you who voted!

This week, YALSA is celebrating Teen Tech Week – when libraries showcase all the great digital resources and services that are available to help teens succeed in school and prepare for college and 21st century careers. So we want to know about your favorite YA book featuring current tech. Choose from the options below, or suggest another title in the comments!

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

2015 Hub Reading Challenge Check-In #4

Sun, 03/08/2015 - 07:00

Not signed up for YALSA’s 2015 Hub Reading Challenge? Read the official rules and sign up on the original post. Anything you’ve read since February 9 counts, so sign up now!

Now that we are a few weeks into the 2015 Hub Reading Challenge but still have more than three months before the deadline, I thought it would be interesting to discuss strategies for completing the Challenge. Personally, I’ve had a busy winter, so I haven’t been able to get started yet and I am already thinking about how I am going to catch up. So, I want to hear from all of you. What approach do you take to the Challenge? Have you already finished all 25 books? Are you just reading down the list or are you organizing your reading list by genre or favorite authors? Do you try to move outside your comfort zone when you are picking books from the list? Or do you stick to familiar territory? Do you have a goal for each week or month? Do you review the comments from other Hub Challenge participants on Twitter using the #hubchallenge hashtag or have you joined the 2015 Goodreads Hub Reading Challenge group to find out what to move up on your to-be-read pile? Are you at the mercy of your library’s hold list? No matter what system you are using, I would love to hear more about it and the books you’ve read so far. And, even if you haven’t gotten started yet like me, let me know in the comments if you have a plan for how you are going to finish in time for the June 21st deadline.

Don’t forget that books you read for the Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge count for this challenge as well, but if you’ve read any of the other books prior to February 9, you’ll have to re-read them if you want to count them towards your total.

You have until 11:59 PM EST on June 21st to finish at least 25 books. When you read the weekly check-in posts, again, please don’t forget to read the comments and keep track of your progress by commenting yourself! If you review books online, please include links to your reviews. Also, don’t forget to post the Participant’s Badge on your blog, website, or email signature, and, as always, if you have any questions or problems, let us know in the comments or via email.

If you are a particularly fast reader and have already completed the challenge by reading or listening to 25 titles from the list of eligible books, be sure to fill out the form below so we can send you your Challenge Finisher badge, get in touch to coordinate your reader’s response and, perhaps best of all, to notify you if you win our exciting grand prize drawing! Be sure to use an email you check frequently and do not fill out this form until you have completed the challenge by reading 25 titles. 



Women in Comics: Manga

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 07:00

For March, rather than focusing on a specific genre, I thought I would take a look at a wide range of manga created by women. Though I think many readers assume that most of the top manga creators are men, in fact there are a number of famous and important works created by women. Here are just a few examples.

Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa – Featuring two main characters, one with a prosthetic arm and leg and the other a disembodied soul in a metal body, Fullmetal Alchemist is a fun series set in a world where alchemy offers practitioners the ability to transform the world around them, but not without a price. The story offers a perfect combination of a steampunk setting, compelling characters, humor, and adventure. Told over the course of 10 volumes, the story is one that has gone on to spawn two anime series, video games, and a series of Japanese novels. This is a great manga for serious manga fans and new readers alike.

Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori – This classic manga series is difficult to sum up. It follows a young girl who is swept up into her new school’s host club after she breaks an expensive vase and is mistaken for a boy. The finer points of the complex plot are less important than the fact that this series is designed as a send up of many of the tropes and cliches of the shojo manga. It contains many romantic subplots, humor that occasionally breaks the fourth wall, and a focus on issues of class and gender. It spawned a successful anime series and remains a well-known and popular series.

Strobe Edge by Io Sakisaka (2014 Top Ten Graphic Novels for Teens) – This manga follows 15-year old Ninako Kinoshita as she meets and falls in love with a quiet, but extremely popular boy from her school. Their relationship is complicated by the fact that the boy already has a girlfriend and Ninako has never been in a relationship. Over the course of the series, they must each confront their feelings and decide whether they want to proceed with a relationship. In addition to the manga, a movie adaptation is due to be released in Japan later this month.

Wandering Son by Shimura Takako (2012 Top Ten Graphic Novels for Teens) – In Wandering Son, Takako introduces readers to two fifth graders: Shuichi Nitori, a boy who wants to be a girl, and Yoshino Takatsuki, a girl who wants to be a boy. Full of relatable characters and humor, this book will simultaneously remind readers of their own middle school years and immerse them in the characters’ lives. Once you start reading the series, you won’t be able to put it down.

A Bride’s Story by Kaoru Mori (2012 Top Ten Graphic Novels for Teens) – This series by the woman who also created the award-winning manga series Emma (2008 Top Ten Graphic Novels for Teens), which is being reprinted later this spring, takes place in Central Asia during the 19th century. It centers around a woman who travels a great distance to marry a man who is younger than her and lives in a town that is in contrast to her own nomadic background. The series is an interesting introduction to a lifestyle and time with which many readers will be unfamiliar and has beautiful artwork that will keep you captivated throughout.

After School Nightmare by Setona Mizushiro (2008 Top Ten Graphic Novels for Teens) – Mashiro Ichijo seems to have it all. He’s popular, attractive, a student at an elite school, but he also has a secret. When he is forced into a class that requires him to find a mysterious key in a dream world to graduate, he must also confront this secret, which is the fact that he is intersex. Along the way, Ichijo attracts the romantic attention of two classmates, one of whom is a beautiful girl and the other of whom is a slacker boy. Ichijo must decide on a true identity to succeed at the quest and graduate.

xxxHolic by CLAMP – Kimihiro Watanuki has a problem – he can see spirits all around him. When he stumbles upon a mysterious store, the woman named Yuko who owns it offers him the chance to wish his problem away. But, no wish comes without a price and Kimihiro ends up bound to work for Yuko to pay off his debt. Along the way, he encounters people with a range of supernatural and natural problems and watches Yuko “help” people, albeit in her trickster manner. This series is a popular offering from CLAMP, a group of female manga artists who have been working together for many years, and has been a bestseller in both Japan and the U.S.

Hopefully this list will help you to add some new manga to your reading list, but these are just a few of the great women who are creating manga. Let me know in the comments if there are others that you would add to the list!

– Carli Spina, currently reading SuperMutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki

Tweets of the Week: March 6th

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 07:00

Happy First Friday in March, Hub Readers! Just remember…Spring will be here soon (I hope!)! Lots of great tweets around Teen Tech Week – be sure to check it out by searching for #ttw15. For now, look at these tweets of the week with news about the new book by Lauren Oliver, Avengers! Trailer! & the bad boys of YA fiction.  In case you missed it…I’m here to compile it all for you!

Books & Reading





— Traci Glass, currently reading Noggin by John Corey Whaley

Notes from a Teens’ Top Ten Book Group Participant: Fangirl Fantasy Casting

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 04:00

Teens across the nation voted for the 2014 Teens’ Top Ten list, and the winners have been announced- but did you know how the books are nominated for this list in the first place?

Books are nominated by members of Teens’ Top Ten book groupsin school and public libraries around the country. To give you a glimpse of some of the teens behind this process, we’re featuring posts from Teens’ Top Ten book groups here on The Hub. Today we have a video creation from Marissa Muller of Mount Carmel Academy in New Orleans. 

I love reading books about adventure, romance, and fantasy. I especially enjoy reading books with a strong and relatable female main character. I read because I find it relaxing and it helps get my mind off the problems I’m facing in my world. Reading transports me to the deepest parts of my imagination and lets me live out a thousand different dreams. What I like about being a Teens’ Top Ten / YA Galley Project club is that we are not only reading the books but we as readers feel connected to those books because we are giving feedback to the author and publishers.

I was inspired to make my fantasy casting of Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl because one, it helps people better visualize and immerse themselves in a book, and two, I would love to see this book one day become a movie.


Jukebooks: Everybody Knows Your Name by Andrea Seigel & Brent Bradshaw

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 07:00

It’s a really big deal to be selected as a contestant on Spotlight. Teens from all over the country audition for a place on the reality show/singing competition. Some, like Ford, hailing from very small town Arkansas, see this as the chance to escape a bleak future. Others, such as Magnolia, are not even certain why they are there. All come to be molded into sell-able images and, incidentally, sing. But sometimes something genuine happens, even in the world of fake reality.

So here is a book that is chock-full of songs. It was hard to pick one, so I’ve included a playlist that includes songs picked by Magnolia and Ford while they travel cross-country. See if you can guess who picked each song!


1. Alicia Keys – “Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart”

2. Bob Dylan – Blood on the Tracks (This is the title of an album, so I’ve chosen just one track, “Shelter from the Storm”)

3. Britney Spears - “Til the World Ends”

4. Spoon - “The Underdog”

5. Fleetwood Mac - “Gypsy”

6. Led Zeppelin - “When the Levee Breaks”

7. Haim - “The Wire”

8. Iggy Pop - “The Passenger”

9. Prince - “I Would Die 4 U”

10. The Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street (Another album! I picked “Tumbling Dice off this one.)

Double Cover Trouble

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 07:00

We all have our share of complaints about book covers – especially YA book covers. Dead-looking girls on covers, pretty dresses, white people, and almost-kisses abound. Lately, it looks like cover design has gotten better. It’s more focused on cool fonts, graphic design, symbolic representation. Slowly but surely, we’re seeing more people of color, and they’re less obscured by shadows, objects, or silhouettes. Happy as this makes me, I am a little worried about these upcoming titles and their ability to stand out in a crowd. A cover, whether we like it or not, directs a lot of a book’s interest and determines its circulation, and these are perhaps a bit too similar to other titles coming up. Make sure you study up now; you’re bound to have to clear up confusion for your patrons or yourselves when these almost-twins are released.

Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer and Forever for a Year by B.T. Gottfried
In addition to similar-sounding titles, these covers feature similar fonts and shared curves, one with a film strip and one with cherries. Hillyer’s book, due out June 2, is about summer camp and second chances. One-time friends accidentally reunite and have the chance to recreate and perfect a summer – and figure out why their friendship ended. Gottfred’s book (July 7) is a romance, but it also deals with how forevers can be broken and it can be hard to pick up the pieces. Still, the plots should be different enough that you can figure out which one a patron is asking for – so long as you keep the titles straight.

Kissing in America by Margo Rabb and I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
On May 26, Rabb’s novel about heartbreak and road trips drops. The cover seems to indicate that there will be many stops at motels on the road while protagonist Eva journeys to find her lost love, Will. Demetrios’ book, which came out on February 3, has a bit of a head start. Its characters are staying put – but they work at a roadside motel. Rabb’s cover is a bit busier, but if Demetrios’ book is still hot when Rabb’s comes out, expect a bit of confusion. Both really call attention to themselves.

None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio and Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby
Starkly different content in these books, which look related thanks to their title-centric line-by-line covers, sans-serif fonts, and handwritten details. Each looks like a nice, simple cover that an actual reader took and marked up. Gregorio’s will be here April 7, and Kirby’s follows two weeks later on April 21. The former is like Middlesex for teens with a more contemporary feel, dealing with coming to terms with being intersex. Things We Know By Heart also deals with the world of interesting medical conundrums. It’s about a girl who tracks down the recipient of her late boyfriend’s donor heart. Still, you should be able to keep these ones straight.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven and The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre
Niven’s novel, an Eleanor and Park readalike released last month, is sure to remain popular for awhile thanks to movie buzz and aggressive marketing from the publisher. Teens are sure to go for this romance between two people who need each other to bring out their true selves…. and that’s why I worry about Aguirre’s book, due out on April 7, which deals with similar themes, has a shared word in the title, and also has post-its on the cover. One tip: Niven’s book is about a boy obsessed with death, and Aguirre’s male lead loves guitar.

The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Gray and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
You might think that because Hawkins’ book is published for adults and is already published that you’ll have no trouble keeping these titles straight. But between the jewel-toned covers and similar titles and the fact that your library likely has a 100+ hold list on The Girl on the Train, I’m willing to bet that when you put Gray’s title on your New Books display on April 28, people will flock to it and think it’s the other. Just remember that Gray’s YA book is a fantasy for fans of Holly Black or Sarah Rees Brennan, and Hawkins’ adult novel is a contemporary thriller in the vein of Gone Girl.

All Fall Down by Ally Carter and After the Red Rain by Barry Lyga, Peter Facinelli and Robert DeFranco
If you don’t remember the one on the left, that’s probably because it was released recently, instantly checked out, and now it’s permanently on hold for everyone. Popular author Carter started a new series with more international intrigue and adventure, about a girl who wants to avenge her mother’s death. This novel came out recently, so it will have a head start over this three-creator title on the right, which doesn’t arrive until August 4 and takes a post-apocalyptic approach. However, given that Carter’s book will likely still be in heavy circulation through the summer, you may do well to familiarize yourself with the two, since the only thing that visually sets them apart is the size of the girl on the cover and what she’s standing on. Then again, they both say “action” so strongly that readers may want both.

I thought I had finished this one, but then I logged into NetGalley and saw Charlie, Presumed Dead on offer, and I thought to myself, “I know I’ve seen that before!” Turns out I kind of have. May 19, Schmidt’s new series opener (Once Upon a Crime Family) drops, so you’ll see a dark and contemporary retelling of The Princess and the Pea in this story about a girl who suffers from a rare autoimmune disorder that makes her bruise easily. Heltzel’s book comes out soon after, on June 2, and also deals with a crime – possible homicide – but its focus is mystery and adventure. While they’re sure to confuse people, I do think that the sans serif font and dark presentation of things we consider light and beautiful make for a compelling cover look.

Have you noticed any other near-twins out there?

–Hannah Gómez, currently reading Gulp by Mary Roach and listening to Where We Belong by Emily Giffin

The Monday Poll: YA Lit Destined for Broadway

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 00:03

Good morning, Hub readers!

Last week, we wanted you to choose your favorite teen superhero in comics. Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel took the top spot with 45% of the vote, followed by Barbara Gordon as Batgirl, with 32%. Nice choices, Hub readers! You can see detailed results for all of our previous polls in the Polls Archive. Thanks to all of you who voted!

This week, we want you to tell us which YA book would make a hit Broadway musical– and be sure to leave fantasy casting notes in the comments! I feel like I could see the talented Anna Kendrick as Hazel Grace in a musical adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars, personally. Choose from the options below, or we’d love to hear your own suggestion!

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

2015 Hub Reading Challenge Check-In #3

Sun, 03/01/2015 - 07:00

Not signed up for YALSA’s 2014 Hub Reading Challenge? Read the official rules and sign up on the original post. Anything you’ve read since February 9 counts, so sign up now!

Are you familiar with the modern aphorism “don’t read the comments?” In general, online, it is wise advice, but it does not apply to The Hub and it especially does not apply to the annual Reading Challenge! There are so many books to choose from. Look at this list! If you feel overwhelmed, I encourage you to find all the posts tagged “2015 Hub Reading Challenge” and then read their comments, reply to people, maybe start a dialog. Hub readers are encouraging, cheerful, and smart. They offer good, well articulated insights into what they like and dislike about books. You will get a solid feeling about books you may be waffling on. And you can get so much support from your fellow readers as you all work towards completing the challenge.

As you work on the challenge, why not share your progress on social media? On Twitter please use the hashtag #hubchallenge.  If you are a Goodreads person, you can join the 2015 Goodreads Hub Reading Challenge group.

Don’t forget that the titles you read during the Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge count for this challenge but if you’ve read any of the other books before February 9, you’ll have to read them again to make them count.

You have until 11:59 PM EST on June 21st to finish at least 25 books.  When you read the weekly check-in posts, again, please don’t forget to read the comments and keep track of your progress by commenting yourself! If you review books online, please include links to your reviews. Also, don’t forget to post the Participant’s Badge on your blog, website, or email signature, and, as always, if you have any questions or problems, let us know in the comments or via email.

If you are a particularly fast reader and have already completed the challenge by reading or listening to 25 titles from the list of eligible books, be sure to fill out the form below so we can send you your Challenge Finisher badge, get in touch to coordinate your reader’s response and, perhaps best of all, to notify you if you win our exciting grand prize drawing! Be sure to use an email you check frequently and do not fill out this form until you have completed the challenge by reading 25 titles.