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YA A to Z: H is for Historical Fiction, a guest post by librarian Amanda Perez

Today in our YA A to Z series, new librarian Amanda Perez joins us to talk about Historical Fiction in YA Lit.

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Historical Fiction authors go through a great deal of research in order to present their readers with an accurate window into history.  The final product presented to teen readers is often a masterful look into that particular moment in time, which encourages the development of empathy and new perspectives.  The benefits of reading Historical Fiction are well documented and as such are often the focus of book reports.

It is important to note that Historical Fiction can also be fun and not just a homework assignment.  The genre is unique in that it enlightens as well as entertains. The current trend of genre-bending include the latest works of historical fiction, and they may well be thrillers, humorous tales, or tinged with fantasy. Below is a list of recently released Historical Fiction teen novels, with great reviews.

(All Book Summary’s taken from Amazon.com)

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What the Night Sings by Vesper Stamper (2018)

After losing her family and everything she knew in the Nazi concentration camps, Gerta is finally liberated, only to find herself completely alone. Without her Papa, her music, or even her true identity, she must move past the task of surviving and onto living her life. In the displaced persons camp where she is staying, Gerta meets Lev, a fellow teen survivor who she just might be falling for, despite her feelings for someone else. With a newfound Jewish identity she never knew she had, and a return to the life of music she thought she lost forever, Gerta must choose how to build a new future.

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Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon (2018)

Olivia Twist is an innovative reimagining of Charles Dickens’ classic tale Oliver Twist, in which Olivia was forced to live as a boy for her own safety until she was rescued from the streets. Now eighteen, Olivia finds herself at a crossroads: revealed secrets threaten to destroy the “proper” life she has built for herself, while newfound feelings for an arrogant young man she shouldn’t like could derail her carefully laid plans for the future.

Olivia Brownlow is no damsel in distress. Born in a workhouse and raised as a boy among thieving London street gangs, she is as tough and cunning as they come. When she is taken in by her uncle after a caper gone wrong, her life goes from fighting and stealing on the streets to lavish dinners and soirees as a debutante in high society. But she can’t seem to escape her past … or forget the teeming slums where children just like her still scrabble to survive.

Jack MacCarron rose from his place in London’s East End to become the adopted “nephew” of a society matron. Little does society know that MacCarron is a false name for a boy once known among London gangs as the Artful Dodger, and that he and his “aunt” are robbing them blind every chance they get. When Jack encounters Olivia Brownlow in places he least expects, his curiosity is piqued. Why is a society girl helping a bunch of homeless orphan thieves? Even more intriguing, why does she remind him so much of someone he once knew? Jack finds himself wondering if going legit and risking it all might be worth it for love.

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The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe and Lilit Thwaites (2017)

Based on the experience of real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus, this is the incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust.

Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious volumes the prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the librarian of Auschwitz.

Out of one of the darkest chapters of human history comes this extraordinary story of courage and hope.

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Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough (2018)

Her mother died when she was twelve, and suddenly Artemisia Gentileschi had a stark choice: a life as a nun in a convent or a life grinding pigment for her father’s paint.

She chose paint.
By the time she was seventeen, Artemisia did more than grind pigment. She was one of Rome’s most talented painters, even if no one knew her name. But Rome in 1610 was a city where men took what they wanted from women, and in the aftermath of rape Artemisia faced another terrible choice: a life of silence or a life of truth, no matter the cost.

He will not consume
my every thought.
I am a painter.
I will paint.

Joy McCullough’s bold novel in verse is a portrait of an artist as a young woman, filled with the soaring highs of creative inspiration and the devastating setbacks of a system built to break her. McCullough weaves Artemisia’s heartbreaking story with the stories of the ancient heroines, Susanna and Judith, who become not only the subjects of two of Artemisia’s most famous paintings but sources of strength as she battles to paint a woman’s timeless truth in the face of unspeakable and all-too-familiar violence.

I will show you
what a woman can do.

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Hell and High Water by Tanya Landman (2017)

Caleb has spent his life roaming southern England with his Pa, little to their names but his father’s signet ring and a puppet theater for popular, raunchy Punch and Judy shows — until the day Pa is convicted of a theft he didn’t commit and sentenced to transportation to the colonies in America. From prison, Caleb’s father sends him to the coast to find an aunt Caleb never knew he had. His aunt welcomes him into her home, but her neighbors see only Caleb’s dark skin. Still, Caleb slowly falls into a strange rhythm in his new life . . . until one morning he finds a body washed up on the shore. The face is unrecognizable after its time at sea, but the signet ring is unmistakable: it can only be Caleb’s father. Mystery piles on mystery as both church and state deny what Caleb knows. From award-winning British author Tanya Landman comes a heart-stopping story of race, class, family, and corruption so deep it can kill.

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Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (2018) – Historical Fiction/Alternate History/Horror

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania—derailing the War Between the States and changing the nation forever.

In this new America, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Education Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead.

But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose.

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Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham (2017) – Historical Fiction/ Multiple Timelines

Some bodies won’t stay buried.
Some stories need to be told. 

When seventeen-year-old Rowan Chase finds a skeleton on her family’s property, she has no idea that investigating the brutal century-old murder will lead to a summer of painful discoveries about the present and the past.

Nearly one hundred years earlier, a misguided violent encounter propels seventeen-year-old Will Tillman into a racial firestorm. In a country rife with violence against blacks and a hometown segregated by Jim Crow, Will must make hard choices on a painful journey towards self-discovery and face his inner demons in order to do what’s right the night Tulsa burns.

Through intricately interwoven alternating perspectives, Jennifer Latham’s lightning-paced page-turner brings the Tulsa race riot of 1921 to blazing life and raises important questions about the complex state of US race relations–both yesterday and today.

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Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson (2017) – Historical Fiction/SciFi/ Multiple Timelines

2065: Adri has been handpicked to live on Mars. But weeks before launch, she discovers the journal of a girl who lived in her house more than a hundred years ago and is immediately drawn into the mystery surrounding her fate.

1934: Amid the fear and uncertainty of the Dust Bowl, Catherine’s family’s situation is growing dire. She must find the courage to sacrifice everything she loves in order to save the one person she loves most.

1919: In the recovery following World War I, Lenore tries to come to terms with her grief for her brother, a fallen British soldier, and plans to sail from England to America. But can she make it that far?

While their stories span thousands of miles and multiple generations, Lenore, Catherine, and Adri’s fates are entwined in ways both heartbreaking and hopeful. In Jodi Lynn Anderson’s signature haunting, lyrical prose, human connections spark spellbindingly to life, and a bright light shines on the small but crucial moments that determine one’s fate.

But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies.

And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

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Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen (2018) – Historical Fiction/Thriller

After her mother is shot at a checkpoint, fifteen-year-old Sarah meets a mysterious man with an ambiguous accent, a suspiciously bare apartment, and a lockbox full of weapons. He’s part of the secret resistance against the Third Reich, and he needs Sarah to hide in plain sight at a school for the daughters of top Nazi brass, posing as one of them. If she can befriend the daughter of a key scientist and get invited to her house, she might be able to steal the blueprints to a bomb that could destroy the cities of Western Europe. Nothing could prepare Sarah for her cutthroat schoolmates, and soon she finds herself in a battle for survival unlike any she’d ever imagined. But anyone who underestimates this innocent-seeming girl does so at their peril. She may look sweet, but she’s the Nazis’ worst nightmare.

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The Radical Element: 12 Stories of Daredevils, Debutantes & Other Dauntless Girls, edited by Jessica Spotswood (2018)

To respect yourself, to love yourself, should not have to be a radical decision. And yet it remains as challenging for an American girl to make today as it was in 1927 on the steps of the Supreme Court. It’s a decision that must be faced when you’re balancing on the tightrope of neurodivergence, finding your way as a second-generation immigrant, or facing down American racism even while loving America. And it’s the only decision when you’ve weighed society’s expectations and found them wanting. In The Radical Element, twelve of the most talented writers working in young adult literature today tell the stories of girls of all colors and creeds standing up for themselves and their beliefs — whether that means secretly learning Hebrew in early Savannah, using the family magic to pass as white in 1920s Hollywood, or singing in a feminist punk band in 1980s Boston. And they’re asking you to join them.

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The Book of Pearl by Timothee de Fombelle (2018) – Historical Fiction/Fantasy

Joshua Pearl comes from a world that we no longer believe in — a world of fairy tale. He knows that his great love waits for him there, but he is stuck in an unfamiliar time and place — an old-world marshmallow shop in Paris on the eve of World War II. As his memories begin to fade, Joshua seeks out strange objects: tiny fragments of tales that have already been told, trinkets that might possibly help him prove his own story before his love is lost forever. Sarah Ardizzone and Sam Gordon translate the original French into a work both luminous and layered, enabling Timothée de Fombelle’s modern fairy tale to thrum with magic. Brimming with romance and history, mystery and adventure, this ode to the power of memory, storytelling, and love will ensnare any reader’s imagination and every reader’s heart.

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Murder, Magic and What We Wore by Kelly Jones (2017) – Historical Fiction/Thriller/Comedy

The year is 1818, the city is London, and 16-year-old Annis Whitworth has just learned that her father is dead and all his money is missing. And so, of course, she decides to become a spy.

Annis always suspected that her father was himself a spy, and following in his footsteps to unmask his killer makes perfect sense. Alas, it does not make sense to England’s current spymasters—not even when Annis reveals that she has the rare magical ability to sew glamours: garments that can disguise the wearer completely.

Well, if the spies are too pigheaded to take on a young woman of quality, then Annis will take them on. And so she crafts a new double life for herself. Miss Annis Whitworth will appear to live a quiet life in a country cottage with her aunt, and Annis-in-disguise as Madame Martine, glamour artist, will open a magical dressmaking shop. That way she can earn a living, maintain her social standing, and, in her spare time, follow the coded clues her father left behind and unmask his killer.

It can’t be any harder than navigating the London social season, can it?historical13

 

Odd & True by Cat Winters (2017) – Historical Fiction/Horror

Trudchen grew up hearing Odette’s stories of their monster-slaying mother and a magician’s curse. But now that Tru’s older, she’s starting to wonder if her older sister’s tales were just comforting lies, especially because there’s nothing fantastic about her own life—permanently disabled and in constant pain from childhood polio.

In 1909, after a two-year absence, Od reappears with a suitcase supposedly full of weapons and a promise to rescue Tru from the monsters on their way to attack her. But it’s Od who seems haunted by something. And when the sisters’ search for their mother leads them to a face-off with the Leeds Devil, a nightmarish beast that’s wreaking havoc in the Mid-Atlantic states, Tru discovers the peculiar possibility that she and her sister—despite their dark pasts and ordinary appearances—might, indeed, have magic after all.

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The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein (2017) – Historical Fiction/Mystery
When fifteen-year-old Julia Beaufort-Stuart wakes up in the hospital, she knows the lazy summer break she’d imagined won’t be exactly what she anticipated. And once she returns to her grandfather’s estate, a bit banged up but alive, she begins to realize that her injury might not have been an accident. One of her family’s employees is missing, and he disappeared on the very same day she landed in the hospital.

Desperate to figure out what happened, she befriends Euan McEwen, the Scottish Traveller boy who found her when she was injured, and his standoffish sister, Ellen. As Julie grows closer to this family, she witnesses firsthand some of the prejudices they’ve grown used to-a stark contrast to her own upbringing-and finds herself exploring thrilling new experiences that have nothing to do with a missing-person investigation.

Her memory of that day returns to her in pieces, and when a body is discovered, her new friends are caught in the crosshairs of long-held biases about Travellers. Julie must get to the bottom of the mystery in order to keep them from being framed for the crime.

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Guide Series by Mackenzi Lee (2017-2018) –Historical Fiction/Comedy

Summary for The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee (Book 1):

A young bisexual British lord embarks on an unforgettable Grand Tour of Europe with his best friend/secret crush. An 18th-century romantic adventure for the modern age written by This Monstrous Thing author Mackenzi LeeSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets the 1700s.

Henry “Monty” Montague doesn’t care that his roguish passions are far from suitable for the gentleman he was born to be. But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quests for pleasure and vice are in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

So Monty vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Witty, dazzling, and intriguing at every turn, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is an irresistible romp that explores the undeniably fine lines between friendship and love.

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Conqueror’s Trilogy by Kiersten White (2016-2018) – Historical Fiction/Alternate History

Summary for And I Darken (Book 1):

NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

More Historical Fiction Series:

Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri Maniscalco

Charlotte Holmes Series by Brittany Cavallaro

Valiant Series by Lesley Livingston

Soldier Girl Series by Michael Grant

The Diviners Series by Libba Bray

Gold Seer Trilogy by Rae Carson

Jackaby Series by William Ritter

Meet Guest Blogger Amanda Perez:

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Amanda is in her first year as a Youth Librarian, currently at the Folsom Public Library, and has recently graduated with her MLIS from San Jose State University.  The fact that her nose was always stuck in a book should have been an early indicator of her eventual profession; however her undergrad degree is actually in Economics. When she’s not reading Amanda can be found attempting to keep up with her husband and two kids at their busy home.

YA A to Z: All You Need are Dragons, a guest post by Cindy Shutts

Today for YA A to Z, guest poster Cindy Shutts is talking dragons!

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Dragons are beasts that have lived in the imagination of people all over the world and bring an element of mythology and world building to the canon of Young Adult Fiction.

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Patricia Wrede changed the role of dragons in Young Adult Fiction with her Enchanted Forest Chronicles starting with Dealing with Dragons. She wrote about Princess Cimorene who became friends with Kazul, a dragon whom she ran away with and was employed by. Wrede was tired of traditional princess roles and wanted adventure for her characters. The Princess became the hero of the series and was able to fight back. This series is great for both Young Adult and Middle Grade readers. Cimorene and Kazul turned the princess-dragon dynamic around; their friendship was wonderful to read about because it broke away from the classic fantasy tropes. The dragon is not the villain and the princess is not helpless. This was one of the first books marketed as Teen Read. By today’s publishing standards, it would be labeled as Middle Grade.

If you loved The Enchanted Dragon Chronicle, definitely check out the Dragon Slipper series by Jessica Day George. Creel’s aunt wants to sacrifice her to a local group of dragons in the hope that a knight will come to rescue Creel and marry her; so that her aunt will no longer have to support her. When she meets the Dragons, she develops a warm and rich friendship with many of them.  It explains the political structure of the dragons.  The dragons have their own complex rules of government and who are in charge.

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For an awesome Science Fiction dragon story, check out Scorched by Mari Mancusi. Trinity is forced into a world of Dragon’s, when her grandfather purchases the last dragon egg. She meets two twins from the future who are on different sides of the dragon war. One saying the egg must be destroyed and one saying it must be protected at all costs.

Goodreads List of YA Dragon Books

17 YA Books With Dragons – Epic Reads

The Best Dragon Books for Teens – The YA Shelf

Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina won the Morris award in 2013. This is one of the most beautifully written dragon books for teens. Seraphina has joined the court as a musician, but she is hiding a secret that could cost her life. Dragons and Human hate each in Seraphina’s world.  This book brings a love of music to the world of dragons and explores the dark secrets of dragons. Hartman has a new book coming out this month, Tess of the Road, another dragon fantasy that is surely to be as captivating as Seraphina.

Other great dragon Young Adult titles include: The Prophecy Series by Ellen Oh, Dragon’s Keep by Janet Lee Carey, and Firelight by Sophie Jordan. Also if you like Dragon-like creatures check out Serpentine by Cindy Pon, who is amazing!

cindydragonCindy Shutts is the Teen Services Librarian at the White Oak Library District in IL. You can follow her on Twitter at .

B is for Brothers *and* Sisters; a Take 5 List

Today is the last day of January, so it’s our last day with the Letter B (though we will still post something if we get it because we like this discussion). Today TLTer Heather Booth is discussing brothers (and sisters).

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two boys and a girl sit on stairs with a golden retreiver

The rest of the dog is there; I promise.

If you are in a mixed gender sibling group, you might have noticed the relative lack of books featuring relationships between brothers and sisters as compared with books about sisterhood or the bond between brothers. I get it. As the parent of sisters, I see how their relationship is something set apart from what my brothers and I had. But whenever I read a book about brothers and sisters in relation to one another, I’ve got to say it tugs on my heartstrings.

We didn’t have many hobbies in common. We didn’t share clothes. We didn’t weren’t generally friends with each others’ friends but one of us did date someone’s best friend.  The typical bonding that you see in books about sisters or books about brothers doesn’t tend to happen quite the same way, but it does happen.

With shoutouts to my not-so-little brothers, here are my top five books with brother/sister relationships:

 

Book cover: an illustration of a light blue sedan is viewed from overhead, headlights on, with a double yellow lane divider to its left

Good and Gone by Megan Frazer Blakemore

Good And Gone by Megan Frazer Blakemore

When Lexi Green’s older brother, Charlie, starts plotting a road trip to find Adrian Wildes, a famous musician who’s been reported missing, she’s beyond confused. Her brother hasn’t said a nice word to her or left the couch since his girlfriend dumped him months ago—but he’ll hop in a car to find some hipster? Concerned at how quickly he seems to be rebounding, Lexi decides to go along for the ride.

Besides, Lexi could use the distraction. The anger and bewilderment coursing through her after getting dumped by her pretentious boyfriend, Seth, has left her on edge. As Lexi, Charlie, and their neighbor Zack hit the road, Lexi recalls bits and pieces of her short-lived romance and sees, for the first time, what it truly was: a one-sided, coldhearted manipulation game. Not only did Seth completely isolate her, but he took something from her that she didn’t give him permission to.

The farther from home they get, the three uncover much more than empty clues about a reclusive rocker’s whereabouts. Instead, what starts off as a car ride turns into an exploration of self as each of them faces questions they have been avoiding for too long. Like the real reason Charlie has been so withdrawn lately. What Seth stole from Lexi in the pool house. And if shattered girls can ever put themselves back together. (Publisher description)

Book cover; Printz and Stonewall awards featured. The title is surrounded by a multicolored starburst pattern of lines

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

At first, Jude and her twin brother Noah, are inseparable. Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude wears red-red lipstick, cliff-dives, and does all the talking for both of them.

Years later, they are barely speaking. Something has happened to change the twins in different yet equally devastating ways . . . but then Jude meets an intriguing, irresistible boy and a mysterious new mentor.

The early years are Noah’s to tell; the later years are Jude’s. But they each have only half the story, and if they can only find their way back to one another, they’ll have a chance to remake their world.

This radiant, award-winning novel from the acclaimed author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once. (Publisher description)

 

 

Book cover: the title looks like the leafless branches of trees; a girl's face is seen with blue lips and eyes closed

Lindsey Lost by Suzanne Marie Phillips

Lindsey Lost by Suzanne Marie Phillips

Even though Micah’s a star pitcher, his older sister Lindsey is the real deal—a runner so good, she has a shot at the Olympics. The two of them urge each other on, and are each other’s best support. Then the unthinkable happens: Lindsey is murdered, and Micah may have been the last person to see her. But he can’t remember what happened, no matter what their parents tell him, no matter what the police say. Did he witness his sister’s murder—or commit it? Can he recall the truth before his life is sentenced to end, too? (Publisher’s description)

More than anything, I appreciated the mourning that Micah does for his sister. Their love for one another is evident in a way that is uncommon in sibling relationship books. -hb

 

 

 

 

 

Book cover: the title is scrawled in black;

Ink and Ashes by Valynne E. Maetani

Ink & Ashes by Valynne E. Maetani

Claire Takata has never known much about her father, who passed away when she was a little girl. But on the anniversary of his death, not long before her seventeenth birthday, she finds a mysterious letter from her deceased father, addressed to her stepfather. Claire never even knew that they had met.

Claire knows she should let it go, but she can’t shake the feeling that something’s been kept from her. In search of answers, Claire combs through anything that will give her information about her father . . . until she discovers he was a member of the yakuza, the Japanese mafia. The discovery opens a door that should have been left closed.

So begins the race to outrun his legacy as the secrets of her father’s past threaten Claire’s friends and family, newfound love, and ultimately her life. Ink and Ashes, winner of Tu Books’ New Visions Award, is a heart-stopping debut mystery that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page. (Publisher description)

 

 

Book cover: A white background highlights the figure of a black girl with natural hair and jean shorts; her torso and the bottom of her face obscured by a protest style sign bearing the book title

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life. (Publisher description)

Among the many things I loved about this book is the way Starr and Seven have a complex relationship as similar-aged, opposite gender, half-siblings. What is never in doubt or ambiguous though is that their bond is strong and permanent. (hb)

 

Two men and a woman stand arm in arm

me & my big little brothers

#ARCParty: A Look at Some January 2018 #YALit Titles

#ARCParty: A Look at Some January 2018 #YALit Titles// tltbutton7 The Teen, The Bestie and I met recently to take a look at some upcoming YA Lit releases. This time we looked specifically at January 2018 releases (yes, it's time to look at 2018 titles already, I know! Where did the year go.) For new readers, here's how this works: The teens take turn reading the cover copy out loud and then they decide which ones they are going to read and review and which ones they pass on. They were both particularly interested in As You Wish, The Hazel Wood and Truly Devious this round.

 

#ARCParty: A Look at Some January 2018 #YALit Titles



  1. Now talking (and tweeting) January 2018 new #YALit releases with The Teen and The Bestie #ARCParty

    Now talking (and tweeting) January 2018 new #YALit releases with The Teen and The Bestie #ARCParty


  2. New paranormal from Holly Black. Featuring the fae and civil war and, well, cruel princes #YALit #ARCParty

    New paranormal from Holly Black. Featuring the fae and civil war and, well, cruel princes #YALit #ARCParty


  3. Spencer and Hope have SOMeTHING at first sight. Tourette's Syndrome. Science. Spencer tries to map their relationship using science. Told in various forms, including texts and chat. #ARCParty

    Spencer and Hope have SOMeTHING at first sight. Tourette’s Syndrome. Science. Spencer tries to map their relationship using science. Told in various forms, including texts and chat. #ARCParty


  4. FTR: they love this cover Fairy tales come to life. Stay away from The Hazel Wood! Alice must venture into the Hazel Wood and the world of fandom to find her mother. #ARCParty

    FTR: they love this cover

    Fairy tales come to life. Stay away from The Hazel Wood! Alice must venture into the Hazel Wood and the world of fandom to find her mother. #ARCParty



  5. Shalia is a daughter of the desert, desperate for the end of violence. In a land where magic is outlawed, Shalia learns that she is a Elemente. Save your family, save the Elemente or save yourself? #ARCParty

    Shalia is a daughter of the desert, desperate for the end of violence. In a land where magic is outlawed, Shalia learns that she is a Elemente. Save your family, save the Elemente or save yourself? #ARCParty


  6. Everyone gets one wish on their 18th birthday and it always comes true. What is happiness? Eldon has 25 days to figure it out, and the rest of his life to live with the consequences. #ARCParty

    Everyone gets one wish on their 18th birthday and it always comes true. What is happiness? Eldon has 25 days to figure it out, and the rest of his life to live with the consequences. #ARCParty


  7. Just in time for the movie! The Black Panther is sent to school in America. Takes place in Middle School. A fellow classmate is rumored to be involved in dark magic and T'Challa must stop an ancient evil. #ARCParty

    Just in time for the movie! The Black Panther is sent to school in America. Takes place in Middle School. A fellow classmate is rumored to be involved in dark magic and T’Challa must stop an ancient evil. #ARCParty


  8. "When Earth intercepts an alien message" The Teen: I can tell I want to read this from the first sentence. Rival scavenger gangs trying to decode ancient messages among dying temples. #ARCParty

    “When Earth intercepts an alien message”
    The Teen: I can tell I want to read this from the first sentence.
    Rival scavenger gangs trying to decode ancient messages among dying temples. #ARCParty


  9. Love this cover! Two teens take a one week break and Chris vanishes. The police thinks he has run away, but Jessie doesn't believe it. Chris is a black kid who has been harassed and bullied, and Jessie starts to tell his story. This is a story about racism in an industrial small town. Sounds heartbreaking. #ARCParty

    Love this cover!
    Two teens take a one week break and Chris vanishes. The police thinks he has run away, but Jessie doesn’t believe it. Chris is a black kid who has been harassed and bullied, and Jessie starts to tell his story. This is a story about racism in an industrial small town. Sounds heartbreaking. #ARCParty


  10. New Maureen Johnson! Set in a private academy for gifted students. Stevie begins her first year at the academy and wants to solve the 81 year old mystery that has haunted the academy. But a new murder occurs and Truly Devious is rumored to return! #ARCParty

    New Maureen Johnson!
    Set in a private academy for gifted students. Stevie begins her first year at the academy and wants to solve the 81 year old mystery that has haunted the academy. But a new murder occurs and Truly Devious is rumored to return! #ARCParty


  11. Brooke is going to spend more time with her stepsister, who has Asperger's. This sibling story is set in the theater world over the course of a summer. #ARCParty

    Brooke is going to spend more time with her stepsister, who has Asperger’s. This sibling story is set in the theater world over the course of a summer. #ARCParty

 

Resources: #SVYALit and #MHYALit – Teens and Suicide, Teens and Sexual Violence Brochures

Due in part to the discussions I have been having surrounding the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why, I made an informational brochure on the topics of suicide and sexual violence for the teens at my library. I am posting them here for you and you can use them if you would like. A few notes though.

One, these contain titles that I currently have in my library on the subjects. I have been working on my next book order and I am working to make sure to include highly recommended titles and titles that feature diverse MC or are Own Voices on these subjects in my next book order.

Two, I think you can easily make corrections or additions by downloading book covers you have in your collection and overlaying them in a graphics program if you wish.

Three, we checked multiple times because I’m me for typos, so I hope there aren’t any.

I am also working on one to address the current drug/opioid crisis that we are witnessing nationwide and in the county that I serve, but that one is taking a little more time. I could quickly pull information off of TLT to make these two given some of our past projects, but I am just mow starting to really dive into the facts and figures of the opioid crisis.

svyalitbrochurepage1

real talk sexual violence brochure page 2

real talk sucide brochure page 1

real talk suicide brochure page 2

 

#MHYALit: A Letter to My Teen Self, by author Sara Wolf

MHYALitlogoofficfial

As part of our ongoing discussion of teens and mental health, we are honored to host author Sara Wolf, who has written a beautiful letter to her teen self. You can find all the #MHYALit posts here.

author photo sara wolf

Dear Teen Me,

In the grand scheme of things, you’re a bit of a shit, aren’t you? You refuse to like anything everybody else does (the Beatles are intolerable), you ripped the boy who tried to kiss you for the first time a new butthole, and worst of all, you wear your hair down all the time like a hippie Rapunzel. Newsflash: living in Hawaii isn’t exactly conducive to not-ponytails. Stop asking why your neck is sweaty all the time.

Stop asking why the boys aren’t good enough for you. Stop mooning over the Senior who left last year. You weren’t in love with him, you just wanted to jump his bones. You don’t know what that means yet, but you will, someday; nothing is wrong with you. You’re not slow, or weird. Contrary to what society tells you, it’s okay not to want a wiener in your face all the time. Your friends aren’t more mature or experienced than you – they’re different. And that’s fine. The boy who tried to kiss you is different, too. Don’t be too hard on him. You’re far more than he can handle – he is only human. You’re an inferno and he only knows how to hold an ember.

You are afraid of sex, and growing up, and it’s alright. Here’s the thing: it’s okay to be afraid. It’s okay to be weak, and I know you hate hearing that, but I’m here to make you hate me. You already hate me, old and comfortable and soft. But I’m smiling at you all the same. It’s okay to be afraid, to shake at the idea of someone touching you. You can barely touch yourself without shaking.

It’s okay.

Take your time.

The burning in your heart is the urge to die. You’re bored and tired and you want to try dying just to feel something, anything. Dying is a challenge and you haven’t had one in so long, not since that Senior went away but he never really talked to you, did he? He touched your hand once and that was enough for you to write a psalm about him. You wanted a challenge from him, but he never followed through. You want a challenge from someone, anyone. Whose brain can match yours? Who is witty and perilously sharp and striding the same knife-edge you are at all times? Whose brain and soul are on fire the same way yours is? Who would even have the courage to set themselves on fire like you? No one. You are special.

I won’t say you aren’t, because I’d be lying. You are the most special thing in the world, to me. I love you. But you’re a little shit and you know it. You wear it proudly, because being a little shit is better than being like everyone else – complacent and quiet and non-confrontational. You are a sword among daggers, a horse among sheep. You fit in, but you don’t belong. Not yet. There are no challenges, no open fields to run in or heads to chop off. Where are your magic powers? You want to be a witch, a magician, you want to be dead. Anything, something other than normal.

So you write.

lovemenever

And you write, because at sixteen you figured out magic wasn’t real but it needed to be, you had to make it real or you’d lose your mind, your reason for living. This world can be so much more, and you know it. You know it as you sit through those yawn-inducing pep rallies and chemistry classes. You can make the world better, if they’d only give you the chance.

I’ll give you a hint, padawan; no one will give you the chance. You have to make it for yourself, take it, grasp it like Icarus gunning for the sun. You are the end and the beginning, the only existence we’ll have in this world. So keep writing. Keep doing fanfic. Keep crying at night to songs you don’t understand yet. Keep telling yourself there’s a challenge waiting for you out there, because there is. He has a name and a face and he’ll light you up from the inside out. Keep living; because as long as you’re alive, you can make magic.

Keep burning.  

Keep making magic.

Meet Author Sara Wolf

Sara Wolf is a twenty-something author who adores baking, screaming at her cats, and screaming at herself while she types hilarious things. When she was a kid, she was too busy eating dirt to write her first terrible book. Twenty years later, she picked up a keyboard and started mashing her fists on it and created the monster known as the Lovely Vicious series. She lives in San Diego with two cats, a crippling-yet-refreshing sense of self-doubt, and not enough fruit tarts ever.

About Love Me Never (Lovely Vicious #1)

Don’t love your enemy. Declare war on him.

Seventeen-year-old Isis Blake hasn’t fallen in love in three years, nine weeks, and five days, and after what happened last time, she intends to keep it that way. Since then she’s lost eighty-five pounds, gotten four streaks of purple in her hair, and moved to Buttcrack-of-Nowhere, Ohio, to help her mom escape a bad relationship.

All the girls in her new school want one thing—Jack Hunter, the Ice Prince of East Summit High. Hot as an Armani ad, smart enough to get into Yale, and colder than the Arctic, Jack Hunter’s never gone out with anyone. Sure, people have seen him downtown with beautiful women, but he’s never given high school girls the time of day. Until Isis punches him in the face.

Jack’s met his match. Suddenly everything is a game.

The goal: Make the other beg for mercy.
The game board: East Summit High.
The reward: Something neither of them expected. (Entangled Teen, 2015)

#MHYALit: My Definition of Crazy, a guest post by author Lois Metzger

Today as part of the #MHYALit Discussion we are honored to host author Lois Metzger. Her newest book, Change Places with Me, will be released tomorrow. You can read all the #MHYALit posts here.

MHYALitlogoofficfial

I’m at my bedroom window, looking out at the building across the way.  Unbelievably, it’s on fire.  I can see a girl facing me.  Doesn’t she know she’s in a burning building and there are flames at her back?  But she’s just standing there, staring at me.  I start waving my arms at her—get out!  She waves her arms too.  Then I realize—I’m looking at a reflection.  I’m the one in the burning building and the flames are behind me, coming closer.

I wake up, heart thudding, barely able to breathe, my nightgown clammy, as if I’d stood too close to actual flames.

As a kid growing up in Queens, in New York City, I had nightmares like this several times a week.  In college I majored in psychology and read about “night terrors,” as they’re called, dreams so scary and troubling they wake you up.  The textbook said that people got night terrors two or three times a year.  I thought that must be a misprint.  They meant a week.  But then the book went on to say that people who had them more often might have mental-health problems.

Still, that didn’t mean I was crazy.  I had a clear definition of crazy in my head.  My grandfather.

####

My grandfather had lived his whole life in Vienna. When Hitler came to power in Germany, my grandfather didn’t see a threat because he’d fought in World War I on the side of the Germans.  But after Hitler marched into Austria in 1938, my grandfather was persecuted because he was Jewish.  At one point he was imprisoned, and beaten so badly that old surgery scars opened up again.  For years he was on the run.  In Yugoslavia, he was put in a number of small concentration camps.

After the war he came to America.  He lived in Manhattan and loved that he could walk everywhere, as he had in Vienna.  He came to our house a couple times a month and cooked egg noodles.  I remember him as tall, kind of stooped over, and soft-spoken (after saying “hello” in English, he kept up a steady stream of conversation to himself entirely in German).  He wasn’t all “there,” it was explained to my brother and me.  He thought that his wife (my grandmother) was in touch with Hitler and that Hitler was coming to New York to find him. My grandmother had had to leave him; she found her own apartment not too far from us.  We weren’t allowed to talk about my grandmother in my grandfather’s presence.  We had to pretend she was dead or in Chicago.  I don’t think it mattered that she could be dead one month and in Chicago the next.

Then, one day, he tried to kill a window washer by pulling his ladder away, because he thought the man was spying on him.  My grandfather spent the rest of his life in a psychiatric hospital, though in his last years he had freedom to leave and go for walks.

Growing up, that was how I saw mental illness, as something distant and triggered by world events.  (Or the occasional sighting on the street of someone who was no-doubt-about-it insane.)  There was some talk that my grandfather may have had issues even before the war, but his war experiences pushed him far over the edge.  As for my grandmother, who’d been on the run with him—she came through the war much stronger.

My grandmother was the one who noticed things in me.  She said, “You feel too much.”  As a kid, I was drawn to books about narrators who were also plagued by intense feelings—sadness, grief, anxiety, depression, guilt:  Holden Caulfield in J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye,” and Frankie in Carson McCullers’s “The Member of the Wedding,” Gene in “A Separate Peace” by John Knowles, and Ralph in William Goldman’s “Lord of the Flies.”  I didn’t know this was a kind of self-help, but it most definitely was.  In middle-class Queens I couldn’t relate to Holden Caulfield’s life of privilege—I didn’t even know what a prep school was—but I was right there with him in every other way, though I never took it seriously when he insisted, “I’m crazy.  I swear to God I am.”

It was only years later I realized the world of mental illness was a lot more inclusive and widespread than my narrow childhood definition.  The novels I write tend to be about young people who don’t even know they’re part of this world, let alone realize there’s a world of help out there.

Meet Author Lois Metzger

Lois Metzger’s latest book, “Change Places with Me” (HarperCollins 2016), is about a girl desperate to avoid intense feelings and who has a dream about a burning building.  She is the author of three other novels, including “A Trick of the Light,” about a boy with an eating disorder, and she has written two nonfiction books about the Holocaust.  She lives in New York City with her husband and son.  Please visit her at loismetzger.com and on Facebook and Twitter https://twitter.com/metzgerlois.

changeplaceswithmePublisher’s Book Description: CHANGE PLACES WITH ME by Lois Metzger

Rose has changed. She still lives in the same neighborhood with her stepmother and goes to the same high school with the same group of kids, but when she woke up today, something was just a little different than it was before. The dogs who live upstairs are no longer a terror. Her hair and her clothes all feel brand-new. She wants to throw a party—this from a girl who hardly ever spoke to her classmates before. There is no more sadness in her life; she is bursting with happiness.

But something still feels wrong to Rose. Because, until very recently, Rose was an entirely different person—a person who is still there inside her, just beneath the thinnest layer of skin. (June 14, 2016 from Balzer and Bray)

January #ARCParty – A Look at January, February and March 2016 YA Lit Releases

January #ARCParty

Here’s The Teen, The Bestie, and new TAB member Cat taking a look at some of the most recent ARCs that we have received here at TLT Headquarters (aka, Casa Jensen). In case you are new to TLT, here’s what we do: The teens go through each book and look at the cover and read the description to let me know what they think and if they would be interested in reading the title or not based on that little bit of info. I always find it interesting to see what they think plus it helps me know what titles they might be interested in reading and reviewing.//

January #ARCParty

A look at #yalit coming out January through March 2016

  1. Gonna have an #ARCParty. We'll be looking mostly at Feb & March 2016 #yalit release https://t.co/meRdfqq5gP

    Gonna have an #ARCParty. We’ll be looking mostly at Feb & March 2016 #yalit release pic.twitter.com/meRdfqq5gP
  2. The Bestie has already read this one and says "one of the best books ever". Substance abuse, cousins https://t.co/1ecPeEeEkc

    The Bestie has already read this one and says “one of the best books ever”. Substance abuse, cousins pic.twitter.com/1ecPeEeEkc
  3. An over achieving perfectionist tries to live life more fully https://t.co/VqC2AjMRLP

    An over achieving perfectionist tries to live life more fully pic.twitter.com/VqC2AjMRLP
  4. Karen actually read this & it was good. WWII. Greatest maritime disaster. They say it sounds good. #ARCParty https://t.co/SOAO6h94Dt

    Karen actually read this & it was good. WWII. Greatest maritime disaster. They say it sounds good. #ARCParty pic.twitter.com/SOAO6h94Dt
  5. Teen w/strange new power; 4 horsemen of the apocalypse. Sounds interesting! #ARCParty https://t.co/QMmowNJ5wD

    Teen w/strange new power; 4 horsemen of the apocalypse. Sounds interesting! #ARCParty pic.twitter.com/QMmowNJ5wD
  6. Much giggling about title. Transfer student. He really is a pterodactyl apparently! They are intrigued. #ARCParty https://t.co/RowzMD07h4

    Much giggling about title. Transfer student. He really is a pterodactyl apparently! They are intrigued. #ARCParty pic.twitter.com/RowzMD07h4
  7. They like the cover. They say yes!  (This is a sequel) #ARCParty @lexusgailey will be reviewing. https://t.co/M0OcvENkwJ

    They like the cover. They say yes! (This is a sequel) #ARCParty @lexusgailey will be reviewing. pic.twitter.com/M0OcvENkwJ
  8. Arts academy; is our MC responsible for a string of deaths? fantasy. So intriguing. #ARCParty https://t.co/ScoS790u5G

    Arts academy; is our MC responsible for a string of deaths? fantasy. So intriguing. #ARCParty pic.twitter.com/ScoS790u5G
  9. Suicide attempt, friendship & family; self discovery, middle school. They say it sounds good. #ARCParty https://t.co/eoM2ln7Nri

    Suicide attempt, friendship & family; self discovery, middle school. They say it sounds good. #ARCParty pic.twitter.com/eoM2ln7Nri
  10. Cliff falls for girl, has to figure out life, about to graduate. They said it sounds good & intense #ARCParty https://t.co/e8OMjCkjql

    Cliff falls for girl, has to figure out life, about to graduate. They said it sounds good & intense #ARCParty pic.twitter.com/e8OMjCkjql
  11. LOL - they're all, no don't touch it! Don't get anything on it! #Arcparty https://t.co/bFteHdkM0k

    LOL – they’re all, no don’t touch it! Don’t get anything on it! #Arcparty pic.twitter.com/bFteHdkM0k
  12. Drug abuse/addiction; domestic violence; homelessness; trying to end cycle #ARCParty https://t.co/GbMtTHQrID

    Drug abuse/addiction; domestic violence; homelessness; trying to end cycle #ARCParty pic.twitter.com/GbMtTHQrID