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Friday Finds: March 1, 2019

tltbutton3This Week at TLT

Writing with a Trigger Warning, a guest post by Victoria Lee

Cindy Crushes Programming: Riverdale Escape Room

Book Review: We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

A Secret Corner, a guest post by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Book Review: Girls on the Verge by Sharon Biggs Waller

Feminist AF: Feminist YA That Does Not Disappoint a guest post by Mary Ellis

Around the Web

She Spent 20 Years Teaching Teens About Sexual Assault. Now She’s Sharing Her Own Story

Angie Thomas on The Daily Show

20 Facts About Teenagers We Know For Sure

Why White School Districts Have So Much More Money


Feminist AF: Feminist YA That Does Not Disappoint a guest post by Mary Ellis

feministFeminist book lists frequently revolve entirely around the strongest, toughest, non-traditional young women that YA has to offer. This is not one of those lists. Feminism is the belief and unyielding pursuit of equality for all. For this reason, this is a Feminist YA book list that is more inclusive, has a broader reach, and does not disappoint.

This list will help enhance your perception of feminism and broaden your understanding of the human experience. The gender spectrum is wonderfully varied and diverse and the representation of own voices finally making its way onto YA bookshelves is promising, but we still need to do better. You can find strong female characters here, ones who eat the hearts of their enemies and love themselves more than any one else, but there is so much more feminist YA can offer you. Here you will find books that focus on race, social justice, immigration, disability, LGBTQ lives, mental health, abuse, and rape survivors as well. As in real life, many intersect and fall into several of these categories.

Books like A Wrinkle in Time and Speak are often heralded as feminist YA masterpieces that will maintain a place in our hearts and on our shelves for a long time to come. The books included here are meant to reach further than the most obvious feminist YA books. If you couldn’t relate to little Meg Murry, then maybe Sunny, Radu, or Gabi are the characters that will finally make you feel seen. These books can take you to places profoundly different and into situations you could scarcely fathom before. These are the books that deserve a hold at your library, a spot in your TBR pile, and to be recommended to your friends. If you have struggled to find your own experiences reflected in the books you’re reading, you are not alone. Hopefully this book list leaves you feeling understood and introduces you to diverse human experiences. Feminism is for everyone and so are these books.

And I Darken by Kiersten White (series) 

Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh (series)

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor (series) 

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao (series)

Asking For It by Louise O’Neill 

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

We Free Men by Terry Pratchett (series)

Once & Future by Rose Capetta, Cori McCarthy

Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh (series)

To Best the Boys by Mary Weber

Toil and Trouble: 15 Tales of Women and Witchcraft by Tess Sharpe

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth E. Wein (series)

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (series)

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages by Saundra Mitchell

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee (series)

Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna (series)

Let’s Talk About Love by Clarie Kann

The V-Word: True Stories about First-Time Sex by Amber J. Keyser

Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi

This Land is Our Land: A History of American Immigration by Linda Barrett Osborne

Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard

Tomboy by Liz Prince

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

What Girls are Made Of by Elana K. Arnold

You Don’t Know Me, but I Know You by Rebecca Barrow

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Dreadnought by April Daniels (series)

Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones

That Thing We Call A Heart by Sheba Karim

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Watch Us Rise by Renée Watson, Ellen Hagan

Done Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire (series)

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

This Impossible Light by Lily Myers

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins

Noteworthy by Riley Redgate

The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

Drag Teen by Jeffery Self

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold

The Forest Queen by Betsy Cornwell

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Swing by Kwame Alexander, Mary Rand Hess

Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All by Candace Fleming

A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena 

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

Someone I Used to Know by Patty Blount

A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti

American Panda by Gloria Chao

Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert

Ladycastle by Delilah S. Dawson

As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman

Mary’s Monster: Love, Madness, and How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein by Lita Judge

Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno

Learning to Breathe by Janice Lynn Mather

Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough

Sadie by Courtney Summers

A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

Audacity by Melanie Crowder

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier (series)

Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina

Chasing Shadows by Swati Avasthi

Crazy Horses Girlfriend by Erika T. Wurth

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy (series)

Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnson

Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX by Karen Blumenthal

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson

None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

Rani Patel in Full Effect by Sonia Patel

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz

Run by Kody Keplinger

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (series)

Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis

Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens by Marieke Nijkamp

Giant Days by John Allison (series)

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows (series)

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith

What’s A Girl Gotta Do? By Holly Bourne

American Girls by Alison Umminger

The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen

Does My Head Look Big in This? By Randa Abdel-Fattah

The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala



Mary Ellis is a Youth Specialist in Charlottesville, Virginia. She is a die-hard feminist and readers advisory is her jam. You can find her at @motherofreaders on Instagram.

Friday Finds: February 22, 2019

tltbutton3This Week at TLT

Written Across My Skin, a guest post by Lizzy Mason

Book Review: The Art of Losing by Lizzy Mason

A Tale of Three Printers, portable photo printers that is (Tech Review)

Post-it Note Reviews of YA Books: Undocumented teen voices, the supernatural, writing advice, a searing memoir, and Joan of Arc’s life told through poems

Book Review: The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried by Shaun David Hutchinson

Book Review: Quarantine, A Love Story by Katie Cicatelli-Kuc

Hip Hop is Happening in YA Lit, a guest post by Lisa Krok

Feminist AF: Girls Run the World, a guest post by Jennifer Rummel

Around the Web

“We’re All Unlikeable Heroines Now:” An Interview with Rachel Hawkins

Oakland, Los Angeles And More To Come: Why Teachers Keep Going On Strike

Y.A. Thrillers That Put Teenagers to the Test

Arkansas legislator proposes cutting lunch funding from schools that struggle to improve reading skills

‘Dope’ Director Rick Famuyiwa Tackling YA Fantasy ‘Children of Blood and Bone’

A History of the American Public Library

Feminist AF: Girls Run the World, a guest post by Jennifer Rummel

We know that Girls Run the World, but they also save the world too. I’m not talking about Hermione, although I love her and Harry Potter wouldn’t have been able to defeat Voldemort without her. I’m talking about the girls who literally saved the world. They might be a spy, or a princess, or a wielder of magic, or a really powerful girl, or a smart girl. She might be a combination of any or all of these. But in the end, she does save the world, to the surprise of no one.

Here are a few modern classics (10 years old and still circulating in libraries) where girls kick butt and take names.


91XbjL6o6CLSpy in the House by YS Lee

Mary Quinn is a thief; she was rescued from certain death by hanging and brought to a special school for girls. She worked hard to change her station in life. Upon graduating, she’s not sure where her life will lead. When her advisors share a secret about the school, everything changes.

They run a spy agency and with training, they believe she would be the perfect fit. In fact, they already have an assignment in mind for her. As a young woman in service, she’d be overlooked and of no consequence.

Mary Quinn becomes a paid ladies companion to Angelica Thorold. Mary’s responsible for gathering intelligence on Mr. Thorold in regard to his alleged smuggling operation. Mary struggles with both jobs. Unable to find any intelligence, she snoops at Mr. Thorold’s place of business where she’s caught by a man of similar concerns. Mary has no choice but to accept his partnership.  What they discover might shed some light on Mary’s buried past.

Read this one if you’re waiting for An Affair of Poisons by Addie Thorley



Alanna by Tamora Pierce

Alanna and her twin brother are sent away to school; Alanna’s supposed to be learning the art of magic. Instead she desperately wants to become a knight. So, she convinces her brother to change places with her. Thom travels to the convent, and Alanna takes his place.

Training to be a page is tougher than it looks, between the chores, the homework, and the bullies, Alanna’s not sure she can handle it. But her determination rises to the challenge. She works extra hard to prove herself.

Read this one while you’re waiting for We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal


indexEon by Alison Goodman

Eon’s been training with both magic and swords for years. He hopes that he will be chosen as one of the twelve Dragoneye apprentices. If he doesn’t, he and his master will be living on the streets.

Eon works hard, but people do not believe in him. They judge him based on his crippled leg. They would judge him worse if they knew his secret – instead of being a young boy, Eon is really Eona, a sixteen year old girl.

Girls aren’t allowed to use Dragon Magic. If the secret gets out, it could end her life.

When a lord greedy for power changes the ceremony, not even Eona’s raw power can combat the outcome. Her heart becomes heavy with failure when another apprentice is chosen. But all is not lost as an ancient dragon makes a return, choosing Eona.

This choice threatens her secret and gains her a powerful enemy.

Read this one if you like Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kaqawa


51hYpgX1yhL._AC_SY400_Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Ismae was born with a scar on her body and a father who couldn’t stand her. He attempts to marry her away to the highest bidder. Just when Ismae believes her life to be over, help comes creating a new path for her.

The God of Death claims her. She’s brought to a covenant where she learns that she’s an instrument of Death and will train her to become an assassin.

After years of training, she’s finally given her first assignment and then her second. The same man turns up during both assignments, giving the Reverend Mother cause for concern. When he reveals himself and asks for her help, Ismae travels with him to court to see if they can uncover the plot against the young ruler. It’s not long before she’s in the middle of double crossings, secrets, and traitors.

Read this one while you’re waiting for Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller



Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Katsa is graced with the ability to fight; she can kill a man with her bare hands. Her uncle, King Randa, forces her to use her skills to frighten people into obeying his command.

She secretly works against him whenever she can. When she rescues a king from the dungeons, she has no idea that her life will change forever.

A man arrives searching for the king she rescued. She’s intrigued by him, even more so when he makes her work to beat him in a fight. As their friendship grows, Katsa knows Po is leaving to search for answers. She can’t bear the thought him going without her, she accompanies him.

Their path is as dangerous as their enemies. They will need all her strength to survive once they uncover the truth that threatens the seven kingdoms.

Read this one if you like Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas



Hunger Games by Suanne Collins

In a world where revolution failed, the government hosts a yearly elaborate game to make sure an uprising doesn’t happen again. Two children from each district must travel to the Capital and fight for their survival while the whole worlds watches the Hunger Games. There is only one winner in these game, it’s either kill or be killed.

No one volunteers for the games, but when Katniss’s younger sister is chosen, she volunteers.  The other chosen tribute from district 12 is a boy Katniss owes a debt.

Katniss’s only skill comes from years of secretly hunting to feed her family. Peeta understands how to play the game, how to engage the audience. His lies help Katniss gain more favor, but to what end. Only one of them can walk away.

Read this one if you like Renegades by Marissa Meyer



Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

After two years on the run, Rose and Lissa are caught and taken back to St. Vladimir’s Academy. The academy isn’t your average boarding school, it’s a school where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-humans train to protect them. Rose, a Dhampir, is a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a vampire princess.

They’ve been on the run because Lissa’s in danger and the worst place for her to be right now is St. Vladimir’s. From the social scene to two forbidden romances, everything threatens to expose them. Rose must do everything in her power to keep Lissa safe.

Read this one while you’re waiting for Renée Ahdieh’s The Beautiful.


About Jennifer:

Jennifer’s been a Young Adult Librarian for 13 years. She loves reading and talking about books. Reader’s Advisory is one of her favorite parts of the job. She writes the blog YA Book Nerd. When she’s not reading or talking about books, she’s baking, crafting, watching the Celtics, or snuggling with her two dogs.


You can find her online at:

Blog: https://yabooknerd.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/yabooknerd

Friday Finds: February 15, 2019

tltbutton3This Week at TLT

New books alert: Writing advice, Latinx teens on a road trip, Muslims in love, and so much more

Fight the Power: Music as a Social Force, a guest post by Lisa Krok

Cindy Crushes Programming: Hosting a Fortnite Party, by Cindy Shutts

Feminist AF: The Amelia Bloomer Project, by Ally Watkins

Post-It Note Reviews: Books for younger readers featuring a biracial protagonist, homeless kids in India, babysitters, and more

Book Review: Watch Us Rise by Renée Watson and Ellen Hagan

My MARVELous Vocabulary: a guest post by author Jerry Craft

Sunday Reflections: Are Teens Reading Less?

Around the Web

Federal Watchdog Issues Scathing Report On Ed Department’s Handling Of Student Loans

‘We Live With It Every Day’: Parkland Community Marks One Year Since Massacre

J.J. Abrams & ‘The Other Two’s Chris Kelly Developing Half-Hour ‘They Both Die At The End’ At HBO

31 YA Books By Black Authors That You Can’t Miss This Year

My MARVELous Vocabulary: a guest post by author Jerry Craft

NewKid HC cAs far back as I can remember, I have always loved comic books. Way before I had ever heard the term “graphic novel,” or aspired to create one, I remember running to my local candy store almost every week to buy the latest issues. But even though I bought them, I didn’t always read them. I had never heard the term “reluctant reader,” back then, but that’s exactly what I was. Occasionally, I would read my comics cover to cover, but those were mainly the issues that had more action scenes and fewer pages with our heroes as their secret identities. Those pages I would quickly scan in order to get the gist.

In junior high school, comics were looked at as some type of contraband that teachers would confiscate “to keep them from rotting our brains.” In fact, by the time the school year came to an end, some of those teachers would have larger comic collections in their bottom desk drawer than most of us had at home. So that was what I expected. Until Mr. Krupka, the first teacher I ever had who not only liked comics, but he actually encouraged us to read them. We quickly realized that if Mr. Krupka took one of our comics, it was only because he wanted to read it first! And much to our surprise, he even returned them!

With the exception of Mr. K., few of my teachers ever saw how comics helped to build my vocabulary. Especially Marvel Comics, because I couldn’t even read the cover without having to go and consult my family’s 400-pound Miriam Webster Dictionary (a book that looked more like I would use it to recite some type of ancient incantation than look up a word). But I had to because every title I bought had some type of fancy adjective before the name of the hero.

The Uncanny X-Men, The Incredible Hulk, The Invincible Iron Man, Astonishing Tales, The Macabre Man-Thing, and of course, Spider-Man who was both “amazing” AND “spectacular!” And if that wasn’t enough, I also had to go back to the dictionary to see what my favorite hero was trying to prevent! An apocalypse? . . .  Total annihilation? . . .  I went back to that gigantic dictionary so many times that not only did I build my vocabulary, I also built up my arm strength! (Have I mentioned how heavy it was?) So the better my reading skills and vocabulary, the less intimidated I was about reading other types of books. Even though I STILL didn’t really enjoy reading. It was not as if I COULDN’T read other books—I just didn’t WANT to. There’s a huge difference between the two.

Reading comics also encouraged me to write and draw my own comic books, which I absolutely loved (and obviously still do.) By the time I got to high school (in Riverdale), I was confident enough in my skills that I tried to talk my earth science teacher into allowing me to make a comic book instead of writing a term paper. And she let me! My comic was all about the life of a plant and how winter came in the form of an onslaught of spaceships armed with freeze rays! I still remember how our heroes transported supplies by using the xylem and phloem systems! Let me type that again . . . because I used that in my comic, I STILL remember xylem and phloem! And that’s without having to look it up!

By the time I was a college student at the School of Visual Arts (SVA), my comics were even better. And I also began to realize that between comic books, which I still loved, and TV cartoons like Schoolhouse Rock, did not rot my brain at all. If anything, they nourished it. But it still amazed me how many teachers did not understand. (Luckily, many of the teachers at SVA were cartoonists, so of course, they got it.) 

When I got out of college, it was very hard for me NOT to use my platform to help teach. So I created a comic strip called Mama’s Boyz — the story of a mom raising her two teenage sons while also running the family bookstore. Needless to say, Mom spent a lot of time trying to get her sons to read. In addition to literacy, over the years, I also used my comic strip to teach my readers about healthy eating, diabetes, teenage pregnancy, and organ and tissue donation. And the NY Daily News even commissioned me to develop a series of comic strips for their AIDs supplement. Miraculously, I pulled it off.

Fast forward  twenty years, during which time I published about two dozen books on my own because I NEVER thought that mainstream publishing would be interested in the types of stories that I wanted to tell. Stories with African-American protagonists where, even if they dealt with serious issues, still have to convey a sense of hope. And because I love to make people laugh, I wanted to add humor. There are sooo many important books by African-American authors who cover a myriad of topics, from historical to contemporary fiction, and my goal is to add my stories to complement their narratives so that kids can get a wide range of African-American life.

And that brings us to New Kid, my middle-grade graphic novel that follows the life of Jordan Banks, a 12-year-old boy from the Washington Heights section of New York City. More than anything, he wants to go to art school. But much like my parents, Jordan’s mom and dad don’t think that being an artist is a real job, which means they think he’ll probably live the rest of his life in their basement. So they send him to a prestigious and predominately white private school in Riverdale, a very affluent community. (Just like my parents did to me.) Each day, Jordan leaves his African-American and Latinx neighbors and tries to fit into a community that he has only seen on TV. But because he is also small for his age, and light-skinned with straight hair, he doesn’t always feel a part of the kids from his neighborhood, either. So, in essence, it’s a classic fish-out-of-water story. 

The teaching aspect comes from examining many of the nuances of trying to fit into the setting of Riverdale Academy Day School. The microaggressions, the code-switching, the “being confused with other Black kids” . . . (And English teachers will like that I teach kids about metaphors!)  But Jordan’s not perfect either. My goal is definitely not to blame, it’s to open eyes while also opening mouths that will look forward to having healthy conversations. I’d love for New Kid to be a book that African-American kids proudly claim as their own, while other kids see it as a book that always embraces them without ever being condescending. And it’s very important for me to make them laugh.

So with your help, we can start healthy discussions, and if the book does well, then maybe, I can finally move out of my parents’ basement.

Thank you!

CraftJerry ap 1 Credit Hollis KingJerry Craft is an author and illustrator whose most recent book is New Kid (HarperCollins, February 5, 2019). Craft has worked on numerous picture books, graphic novels, and middle grade novels, including The Zero Degree Zombie Zone by Patrik Henry Bass. He is the creator of Mama’s Boyz, an award-winning syndicated comic strip. He has won five African American Literary Awards and is a cofounder of the Schomburg Center’s Annual Black Comic Book Festival. He received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts and now lives in Connecticut. Visit him online at www.jerrycraft.com.

Friday Finds: February 8, 2019

tltbutton3This Week at TLT

What’s new in LGBTQIA+ YA February 2019

DIY Neon Signs

How Fairytales Help Us Navigate the World, a guest post by author Maureen McQuerry

The Life Saving Slogan: You are Not Alone, a guest post by Shelley Sackier

Book Review: LGBTQ: The Survival Guide for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Teens by Kelly Huegel Madrone

More Than an Identity, by teen contributor Elliot

Sunday Reflections: Raising Daughters & the Fight for Full Bodily Autonomy

Around the Web

Ohio city to stop observing Columbus Day, make Election Day holiday instead

Anne Ursu returns to themes of fantasy and female empowerment in her new novel, The Lost Girl

First The Sun Is Also a Star Trailer

Denver Teacher Negotiations At An Impasse


How Fairytales Help Us Navigate the World, a guest post by author Maureen McQuerry

Between Before and After_Rd3When I was little, my mother read me fairytales. I remember Andrew Lang’s books, The Tall Book of Fairytales, and a peculiar story about a girl who jumped rope and could skip through a key hole and light as a feather on dandelion thistle. It took me years to track down Elsie Piddock Skips in Her Sleep, again. My father told a different kind of story. Especially when he was drinking. He told stories of surviving alone on the streets of Brooklyn as a ten year old flu orphan, about stealing food from Wallabout Market and hoping for the kindness of strangers. These were the stories that haunted his life.

It took me years to see the connection between the two types of stories I grew up with, and it was a fairytale, specifically Hansel and Gretel, that helped make that link. As I wrote my YA historical novel Between Before and After, I realized that the theme of survival and eventual redemption in my novel was intimately tied to Hansel and Gretel, and in a risky move, I wove a retelling of the fairytale between the chapters.

In Fairytales, the woods are dark and dangerous places where anything might happen. There are many tales of children lost, abandoned, or sent into the woods at the request of a parent or evil stepmother.  Author and fairytale expert Terri Windling put it this way in her blog post Into the Woods,10: Wild Children: “The heroism of such children lies … in the ability to survive and transform their fate — and to outwit those who would do them harm without losing their lives, their souls, or their humanity in the process.” No one leaves the mythic woods unchanged. This is a truth I wanted to capture in my own novel.

Between Before and After is a mother daughter dual narrative set in 1919 Brooklyn, New York and 1955 San Jose, California.  In researching my novel I discovered that in late 1800’s New York, up to 30,000 abandoned or orphaned children filled overflowing orphanages or lived on the streets. This vast number of orphans was due in part to the overwhelming number of destitute immigrants living in crowded tenements. By 1900 there were 16 million Irish immigrants alone. During these years, childbirth was still the number one cause of female mortality, leaving impoverished fathers with young children.

Then the Spanish flu arrived with its scythe and black cloak.

Many children became half-orphans, abandoned by one parent after the other died. For these children, the streets of our cities were the woods of the grimmest fairytales, dark, full of predators and danger.

Against all odds many of these immigrant children survived their sojourn through the woods without losing their humanity. Many, of course, did not. Surviving childhood is not always easy nor is it guaranteed. And that’s what the fairytales have warned us about all along.

This is my family’s story, but it’s the story of thousands of children who have had to follow breadcrumbs on perilous journeys to find their way home.

What is it about fairy tales that compels us, that resonates with the themes in our own lives?

JRR Tolkein in his magnificent essay “On Fairy Stories” talks of the eucastic turn or happy ending.  The fairy story “denies universal defeat…giving a fleeting glimpse of Joy. Joy beyond the walls of the world, poignant as grief.” While fairy tales acknowledge and warn us of the existence of evil, they never pretend that evil is good or that despair has the final word. Fairy tales persist because in their themes, they tell us truths about the world.

  • The world is not a safe place: Myth reminds us that world is not a predictable and safe place. Fairies leave changelings, labyrinths hide monsters, shapeshifters cast spells. The mythic world is never tame.
  • There is no easy way out of the maze: when Theseus finds his way to the heart of the maze, he still must battle the minotaur, birds eat breadcrumbs, dragons swoop in, and we must travel through the dangers.
  • We often fear the wrong things: We fear outside enemies, but it’s our own greed, jealousy and hubris that most often cause our downfall.
  • We are all more than meets the eye: The reluctant hero discovers strengths she never knew she possessed.
  • We can fight dragons and win: As G.K. Chesterton says, “Fairy stories are more than true, not because they tell us there are dragons, but because they tell us dragons can be defeated.”
  • All stories are about transformation: no one leaves the woods unchanged. Without change there is no story.

Children still struggle in the woods today. Some are still locked in the witch’s house by parents’ addictions, cruelty, or dire circumstances. There is still a need for tales of hope, stories that say circumstances no matter how dark need not define you.


4bf19d_1a05afe193ac49afb4bd9ae3537f1160~mv2Maureen McQuerry is an award winning poet, novelist and teacher. Her YA novel, The Peculiars (Abrams/Amulet) is an ALA Best Book for YA 2013, winner of the Westchester Award. Her MG fantasy duo Time Out of Time, includes Beyond the Door, a Booklist top Ten Fantasy/SciFi for Youth, and The Telling Stone, a finalist for the WA State Book awards. Between Before & After, a YA historical novel (HarperCollins/Blink) will be released in Feb 2019. She taught middle school through college for almost twenty years specializing in gifted education.  In 2000 she was awarded the McAuliffe Teaching Fellowship for WA State.

Find out more: www.maureenmcquerry.com



Friday Finds: February 1, 2019

tltbutton3This Week at TLT

Shout! Laurie Halse Anderson Continues to be the Voice We Need Shouting in the World About Sexual Violence in the Life of Teens

Cindy Crushes Programming: Harry Potter Inspired Dragon Eggs

New books alert: YA, middle grade, memoirs, and more!

Kicky’s Post It Note Reviews: Royals, Twisted Fairy Tales, a Rabbit, a Robot, and Pure Evil

Around the Web

Resolution on Monetary Library Fines as a Form of Social Inequity

BuzzFeed’s Unpaid 19-Year-Old Quiz Genius on Her Tricks, the Layoffs, and Jonah Peretti

ALAMW: What Happened, and What Should Happen Next

Homeland Security Created A Fake University In Michigan As Part Of Immigration Sting

Friday Finds: January 25, 2019

tltbutton3This Week at TLT

Penguin Random House 2019 Showcase: Books featuring coders, witches, royalty, refugees, and circus folk

Feminist AF Fashions and the YA Characters That Rock Them

Honoring the Heart of History, a guest post by author Roshani Chokshi

Do You Know: Reflection Press & Children’s Books as a Radical Act, a Diversity Audit Resource

Book Review: Our Year of Maybe by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Around the Web

Black Children Don’t Have Nick Sandmann’s Rights

Teachers Vote Yes On Deal To End Los Angeles Strike