Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

The Sexual Violence in YA Literature Project: Help us shape upcoming posts on LGBTQIA+ books

Today’s post is a call for information and input. In late summer of 2015, the Sexual Violence in Young Adult Literature project will be expanding to look at sexual violence, issues of consent, and depictions of positive sexual experiences in LGBTQIA+ young adult books. I will be heading up this part of the SVYALit project, along with Vee Signorelli from GayYA and Nita Tyndall, a contributor to GayYA. We’re excited to take on these important topics.


What will our series of posts look like? Well, right now we’re discussing having a Google Hangout/virtual discussion group, inviting writers to contribute guest posts, and looking in-depth at many titles in multiple categories that we are still creating. We’d like to include statistics and other factual information, like where to find other resources for information and help, in some posts, as well a post contextualizing LGBTQIA+ young adult literature’s history as well.


What do we need from you? We’d love input on titles we should consider and subtopics you’d like to see addressed. Right now,  our categories are about sexual violence in LGBTQIA+ books, depictions of consent, and portrayals of positive sexual experiences (including on-the-page sex scenes). Know of YA books that would address any of these topics? Have thoughts on what you’d love to see us write about? Know of other resources or any other places where these topics have been covered? Writers we should approach about guest posts? Share with us! You can leave comments here or tweet us.

Teen Librarian Toolbox @TLT16

Amanda MacGregor @CiteSomething

Vee Signorelli @rausicabklvr 

Nita Tyndall @NitaTyndall


The tumblr for all of the SYVALit posts created so far can be found here and the project index is here.


Please share this post—the more eyes we can get on this, the more useful input we will (hopefully) receive! Interested in guest posting about a specific title or topic? We’d love to have you!


Take 5: Titles to Look for in 2015 from Macmillan

The Macmillan Children’s Winter catalog for 2015 is now up on Edelweiss. I spent some time last night going through it to get a look at what is coming out and what I think my teens will be dying to read. Plus, I found several that I myself am dying to read. 
Printz winner Marcus Sedgwick has a new titles called The Ghosts of Heaven coming with four linked stories that it says travels back to the cave painting of old, the witch hunts, and ends up in futuristic space. It’s an interesting concept that I am definitely going to check out, though these types of books have always been harder sells I have found.

The sequel to Sekret by Lindsay Smith is coming in April 2015. It’s title is Skandal and I am looking forward to reading it.

The third book in the Unremembered saga by Jessica Brody will hit the shelves in February with the title Unchanged.

Coming in March is Marie Rutkoski’s sequel to The Winner’s Curse, The Winner’s Crime.

And here are five more titles that made it onto my TBR list. All descriptions provided are the publisher’s description and none of the covers are final.

This Side of Home by Renee Watson

“Identical twins Nikki and Maya have been on the same page for everything—friends, school, boys and starting off their adult lives at a historically African-American college. But as their neighborhood goes from rough-and-tumble to up-and-coming, suddenly filled with pretty coffee shops and boutiques, Nikki is thrilled while Maya feels like their home is slipping away. Suddenly, the sisters who had always shared everything must confront their dissenting feelings on the importance of their ethnic and cultural identities and, in the process, learn to separate themselves from the long shadow of their identity as twins.

In her inspired YA debut, Renée Watson explores the experience of young African-American women navigating the traditions and expectations of their culture.”

Karen’s Thoughts: It seems like the rally cry for more diverse books is being heard. I’m really looking forward to reading this title for several reasons, including the look at the transition from high school to college, which I think a lot of high school readers have a lot of curiosity about, and the look at identity both in terms of a person’s childhood neighborhood changing and the look at twins trying to navigate growing into more distinct individuals. The Mr. is a twin, fraternal not identical, so I always find twin stories interesting to read.

Coming in February 2015 from Bloomsbury

Soulprint by Megan Miranda

“Alina Chase has been contained on an island for the last 17 years—whether that’s for the crimes of her past life, or for her own protection, well, that depends on whom you ask. With soul-fingerprinting a reality, science can now screen for the soul, and everyone knows that Alina’s soul had once belonged to notorious criminal, June Calahan, though that information is supposed to be private. June had accomplished the impossible: hacking into the soul-database, ruining countless lives in the process.

Now, there are whispers that June has left something behind for her next life—something that would allow Alina to access the information in the soul-database again. A way to finish the crimes she started.

Aided by three people with their own secret motivations, Alina escapes, only to discover that she may have just traded one prison for another. And there are clues. Clues only Alina can see and decipher, clues that make it apparent that June is leading her to something. While everyone believes Alina is trying to continue in June’s footsteps, Alina believes June is trying to show her something more. Something bigger. Something that gets at the heart of who they all are—about the past and the present. Something about the nature of their souls.

Alina doesn’t know who to trust, or what June intends for her to know, and the closer she gets to the answers, the more she wonders who June was, who she is, whether she’s destined to repeat the past, whether there are truths best kept hidden—and what one life is really worth.”

Karen’s Thoughts: This is right up my alley! Also, Fracture by Megan Miranda was really good so I am excited to read more from her. This sounds like it would be a great addition to any Teen Tech Week lists and a good companion read with Sophie Jordan’s Uninvited, which also looks at the ethics of being able to predict what people might do in the future and whether or not we can – or should – protect ourselves from that.

Coming in February from Bloomsbury

When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez

“13 Reasons Why meets the poetry of Emily Dickinson in this gripping debut novel perfect for fans of Sara Zarr or Jennifer Brown.

A Goth girl with an attitude problem, Elizabeth Davis must learn to control her anger before it destroys her. Emily Delgado appears to be a smart, sweet girl, with a normal life, but as depression clutches at her, she struggles to feel normal. Both girls are in Ms. Diaz’s English class, where they connect to the words of Emily Dickinson. Both are hovering on the edge of an emotional precipice. One of them will attempt suicide. And with Dickinson’s poetry as their guide, both girls must conquer their personal demons to ever be happy.

In an emotionally taut novel with a richly diverse cast of characters, readers will relish in the poetry of Emily Dickinson and be completely swept up in the turmoil of two girls grappling with demons beyond their control.”

Karen’s Thoughts: I have always been a fan of Emily Dickinson and novels that explore the inner lives of their protagonists. This has the potential to be a very powerful read. Also, it sound like a good companion read to Death, Dickinson and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia by Jenny Torres Sanchez.

Coming in February 2015 from Bloomsbury

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

“It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for a year, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.” 

Karen’s Thoughts:  I know it’s shallow, but this is a beautiful cover and I hope it is the actual cover. Starting over after loss can be a difficult thing and this has the potential to be a moving, powerful story.

Coming in March 2015 from Bloomsbury

Cut Me Free by J. R. Johansson

“Seventeen-year-old Charlotte barely escaped from her abusive parents. Her little brother, Sam, wasn’t as lucky. Now she’s trying to begin the new life she always dreamed of for them, but never thought she’d have to experience alone. She’s hired a techie-genius with a knack for forgery to remove the last ties to her old life. But while she can erase her former identity, she can’t rid herself of the memories. And her troubled history won’t let her ignore the little girl she sees one day in the park. The girl with the bruises and burn marks.

That’s when Charlotte begins to receive the messages. Threatening notes left in her apartment–without a trace of entry. And they’re addressed to Piper, her old name. As the messages grow in frequency, she doesn’t just need to uncover who is leaving them; she needs to stop whoever it is before anyone else she loves ends up dead.

Karen’s Thoughts: Sometimes you just need a good thriller. Hopefully this title will deliver because the description sounds really good.

Coming in January 2015 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux