Looking for new book recommendations? Or a welcoming, yet socially-distanced, place to chat books? A number of online book clubs have popped up in recent years. Some of them are from favorite YA authors (John Green’s subscription-based Life’s Library Book Club featuring YA and Adult books) or favorite athletes (Andrew Luck’s Book Club). Some of the clubs have come and gone quickly, as celebrities face the challenges of moderating (R.I.P. Emma Watson’s feminist book club Our Shared Shelf).
Actress Reese Witherspoon is the most recent celebrity to dive into the game, launching the YA arm of her monthly Reese’s Book Club in August. Her picks all center on female protagonists, and the books have gained a lot of critical and reader attention so far. Check out her picks from the past four months below.
Reese’s YA Book Club:
Fable by Adrienne Young (print)
A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey (print)
This month the comic and graphic novel industry announced the winners of its annual Harvey Awards, honoring achievement in multiple graphic categories. Gene Luen Yang was arguably the grand winner of the evening, taking home the “Book of the Year” award and the “Best Children or Young Adult Book” award, for the two different YA graphic novels that he published this year. Listed below you’ll find highlights of some of the winners, as well as the full roster of nominees in the “Best Children or Young Adult Book” category. Click on a title to find a copy in Minerva.
Book of the Year:
Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang
Digital Book of the Year:
The Nib edited by Matt Bors (political satire and nonfiction in comic form)
Witch Hat Atelier by Kamome Shiraham
Best Children or Young Adult Book:
Superman Smashes the Klan by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru
The votes for the 2020 Teens’ Top Ten award have been counted! Because the votes for this readers’ choice award (sponsored annually by the Young Adult Library Services Association) are gathered from teen readers around the nation, the winners are always an interesting mix of genres, formats, and series vs. stand-alone titles. Other than the fact that author Rainbow Rowell captured the first two spots on the list (!), this year is a fine example of that mix. Looking for mystery, fantasy, sci-fi, realistic fic, historical fic, suspense, or graphic novel recommendations from readers like yourself? Then, check out copies of this year’s winners via the Minerva catalog and the Cloud Library links below.
2020 Teens’ Top Ten Winners:
6. #MurderFunding (#2 in #MurderTrending series) by Gretchen McNeil (print)
10. The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy (print)
With school out and many of the usual summer entertainment options unavailable due to COVID-19, we know that many of you are revisiting or catching up on binge-worthy TV, and Seasons 1-3 of the cult hit Stranger Things may win top prize in that category. Although Season 4 was originally anticipated for this summer, its release has been significantly delayed due to the pandemic, and probably won’t be released by Netflix until 2021.
Until then, we thought that you might want to use this time to get up to speed on the many 1980s movie references and “Easter eggs” embedded in the show. Its creators, Ross and Matt Duffer, have publicly acknowledged some of their influences, in particular the early novels of Stephen King and the early films of Steven Spielberg. They even named a list of works that influenced Season 3, and they have intentionally cast actors from influential 1980s films, like Sean Astin and Paul Reiser. They have also acknowledged that some of the influences may be “more subconscious than specific,” but that hasn’t stopped their fans from creating countless web lists of possible influences and cultural references from the era.
Start your own research below with our list of movies (by no means comprehensive!) held at Patten or requestable from the greater Minerva lending system. Beware, some of these films fall squarely into the horror genre and are not for the faint of heart, and some are definitely “of their time” and may not always jive with today’s mores. Happy digging and happy viewing.
“Stranger Things” Movie References and Influences:
Alien and Aliens (1979 & 1986)
All the Right Moves (1983)
Back to the Future (1985)
The Breakfast Club (1985)
The Exorcist (1973)
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
The Fly (1986)
Freaks and Geeks (1999)
The Goonies (1985)
Jurassic Park (1993)
The Karate Kid (1984)
Mr. Mom (1983)
National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)
The Neverending Story (1984)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Of Unknown Origin (1983)
Pretty in Pink (1986)
Red Dawn (1984)
Risky Business (1983)
Romancing the Stone (1984)
Stand by Me (1986)
Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)
The Terminator (1984)
The Thing (1982)
The X-Files (1993-2002)
Looking for a good summer read? Here are some of this year’s most popular and critically acclaimed YA books and sequels, which are sure to be spotted in readers’ hands on porch decks and hammocks nationwide. If you’re looking for a copy, most of these books are already available in print through curbside pickup at Patten, and many of them are also accessible in digital form through our Cloud Library.
Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed (print, ebook, e-audio)
Realistic Fiction. Jamie Goldberg, who chokes when speaking to strangers, and Maya Rehrman, who is having the worst Ramadan ever, are paired to knock on doors and ask for votes for the local state senate candidate.
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender (print–coming to PFL soon, ebook)
Realistic Fiction. Felix Love, a transgender seventeen-year-old, attempts to get revenge by catfishing his anonymous bully, but lands in a quasi-love triangle with his former enemy and his best friend.
Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare (print, ebook, e-audio)
Historical Fantasy. Cordelia Carstairs, a Shadowhunter trained to battle demons, travels with her brother to London where they reconnect with childhood friends but soon must face devastating demon attacks in the quarantined city.
The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert (out July 7th)
Romance. The first year they are eligible to vote, Marva and Duke meet at their polling place and, over the course of one crazy day, fall in love.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins (print, ebook, e-audio)
Dystopian Fiction. In a prequel to “The Hunger Games,” eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow prepares to mentor the female tribute from District 12 in the tenth Hunger Games, with the fate of his family hanging on the slim chance that he can help her win the Games.
They Went Left by Monica Hesse (print, e-audio)
Historical Fiction. Zofia, a teenage Holocaust survivor, travels across post-war Europe as she searches for her younger brother and seeks to rebuild her shattered life.
This Is My America by Kim Johnson (out July 28th)
Mystery/Realistic Fiction. Sending weekly letters to an organization she hopes will save her innocent father from death row, 17-year-old Tracy uncovers racist community secrets when her track star brother is wrongly accused of murder.
Tweet Cute by Emma Lord (print, ebook, e-audio)
Romance. A reimagining of You’ve Got Mail follows the unlikely romance between an overachiever from a successful family and the class clown, who exchange snarky tweets that escalate into a viral Twitter war.
The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu (print, ebook, e-audio)
Historical Fantasy. Desperate to be forever remembered for her music, Nannerl Mozart makes a dangerous pact with a mysterious stranger from a magical land, which may cost her everything
One of Us is Next by Karen M. McManus (print, ebook, e-audio)
Mystery. In this sequel to One of Us Is Lying, the Bayview friends are targeted by an anonymous adversary who uses an increasingly dangerous truth-or-dare app to keep the late Simon’s gossip legacy alive.
Burn by Patrick Ness (print–coming soon to PFL)
Fantasy/Suspense. Sarah Dewhurst and her father, outcasts in their little town of Frome, Washington, are forced to hire a dragon to work their farm, something only the poorest of the poor ever have to resort to.
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds, adapted from the work of Ibram X. Kendi (print, e-audio)
Nonfiction. A history of racist and antiracist ideas in America, from their roots in Europe until today, adapted from the National Book Award winner Stamped from the Beginning.
The Conference of the Birds by Ransom Riggs (print, ebook, e-audio)
Fantasy. The latest entry in the best-selling series continues the story of Jacob Portman, who takes a brave leap into The Conference of the Birds while pursued by dangerous enemies.
We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez (print)
Magical Realism. A poignant novel of desperation, escape, and survival across the U.S.-Mexico border, inspired by current events.
Parachutes by Kelly Yang (print, ebook, e-audio)
Realistic Fiction. Claire is a rich 11th grader in Shanghai; Dani is a scholarship student at a private school in Southern California who helps her mother clean houses. When Claire is parachuted into America to finish high school and Dani’s mother needs the income from a boarder, they become unlikely housemates.
To celebrate Pride Month this June, meet some of the LGBTQ+ characters who have been central in YA fiction, nonfiction, and graphic novels of the past year. These titles represent just a fraction of the many LGBTQ+ characters who graced the pages of YA books since last June. For even more ideas, we recommend BookRiot’s lists of “Most Anticipated LGBTQ releases” for 2019 and 2020, as well as their even more extensive preview of YA books starring queer girls in 2020.
Loki: Where Mischief Lies by Mackenzi Lee (print)
Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian (ebook, e-audio)
Birthday by Meredith Russo (ebook, e-audio)
The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper (ebook, e-audio)
Music from Another World by Robin Talley (ebook, e-audio)
Queer: The Ultimate LGBTQ Guide for Teens, 2nd edition by Kathy Belge and Marke Bieschke (print)
The Book of Pride: LGBTQ Heroes Who Changed the World by Mason Funk (print)
Fence #1-3 by C.S. Pascat (print)
Cosmoknights by Hannah Templer (print)
Check Please #1-2 by Ngozi Ukazu (print–#2 coming soon)
Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker (print)
Many of Hollywood’s highly anticipated spring and summer films have had their release dates moved or delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are still some big titles making their debut this summer. Below we have rounded up several of the summer’s notable YA book adaptations coming to the small screen. Some of these releases were originally produced for streaming, some of them have shifted from theater to streaming, but either way, look for them on your home screen soon!
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Streaming on Disney+ (instead of a theatrical release) beginning on 6/12/20
The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin (popularized again recently as a graphic novel series by Raina Telgemeier)
Streaming on Netflix as a 10-episode series beginning on 7/3/20
The Half of It (based on the classic play Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand)
Streaming on Netflix beginning on 5/1/20
Love, Victor (set in the same world of Creekwood High School as Becky Albertalli’s beloved Simonverse novels)
Streaming on Hulu as a 10-episode series beginning on 6/17/20 (recently revised from its original 6/19/20 release date)
We know that many of you feel confused and outraged in the wake of George Floyd’s death. As our country reels, the insidious and long-standing history of individual, institutional, and structural racism here may feel challenging to comprehend.
As we all struggle to better understand the roots and realities of this racism, we humbly offer you these YA resources from Patten’s shelves and from our Cloud Library. (Please note that while racism is, unfortunately, routinely experienced by many diverse groups in our country, this list of resources is purposefully focused on the experiences of Black citizens in America.)
These books won’t guide us out of this mess, but maybe they will shed some light on how we got into it.
Accused!: The Trials of the Scottsboro Boys: Lies, Prejudice, and the Fourteenth Amendment by Larry Dane Brimner (print)
In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives by Kenneth C. Davis (print)
This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work by Tiffany Jewell (print)
Give Us the Vote!: Over 200 Years of Fighting for the Ballot by Susan Goldman Rubin (print)
Because fiction remains such a powerful way of gaining understanding and empathy, we highly recommend these realistic fiction, historical fiction, and classic novels whose characters wrestle with questions of racism, activism, and justice, past and present. All but one of these titles were penned by #OwnVoices authors (that is, Black authors depicting Black lives).
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (print)
Allegedly by Tiffany Jackson (print)
Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham (White writer retraces the Tulsa Race Riots from multiple racial perspectives) (print)
The March Trilogy by John Lewis (graphic novel) (print)
I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina (graphic novel) (print)
Fire from the Rock by Sharon M. Mills (print)
X by Ilyasah Shabazz (print)
In the discombobulation of the past few months, we missed a number of annual book award announcements. To catch us all up, we’ve rounded up the YA category winners who have been recognized since March in the list below. There are familiar faces here, with some authors, like Elizabeth Acevedo and Julie Berry, receiving yet more well-deserved accolades, as well as some new voices receiving attention. Click on their titles to find access to downloadable audio and ebook versions in our Cloud Library.
Audie Awards—Awarded by the Audio Publishers Association to the best audio and spoken word productions of the year
Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian, narrated by Lauren Ambrose, Vikas Adam, and Michael Crouch
Lovely War by Julie Berry, narrated by Jayne Entwistle, et al
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas, narrated by Bahni Turpin
With the Fire on High, written and narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo
Bram Stoker Awards—Awarded by the Horror Writer’s Association
Oware Mosaic by Nzondi
Edgar Awards—Awarded by the Mystery Writers of America
Catfishing on CatNet by Naomi Kritzer
Los Angeles Times Book Prizes—Recognizing outstanding literary work
When the Ground Is Hard by Malla Nunn (ebook)
Translated YA Book Prizes—Awarded by the Global Literature in Libraries Initiative
The Beast Player by Nahoko Uehashi, translated from the Japanese by Cathy Hirano (audio and ebook)
Maresi Red Mantle by Maria Turtschaninoff, translated from the Swedish by A. A. Prime
Walden Awards—Awarded by ALAN and NCTE to a novel demonstrating a positive approach to life, widespread teen appeal, and literary merit
Lovely War by Julie Berry (audio and ebook)
With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo (audio and ebook)
Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian (audio and ebook)
Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay (audio and ebook)
White Rose by Kip Wilson (ebook)
The time is feeling ripe for a good laugh. With repetitive days and a cloud of uncertainty lingering overhead, I’m guessing that some of you might appreciate a story of wit and humor. If you are in these ranks, then read on, my friend. You’ll find a great selection of fun and funny stories available in audio and ebook through our Cloud Library.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (audio and ebook)
The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M. T. Anderson (audio)
The Haters by Jesse Andrews (ebook)
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray (audio and ebook)
XL by Scott Brown (ebook)
American Panda by Gloria Chao (ebook)
Artemis Fowl (#1 in series) by Chris Colfer (audio and ebook)
Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan (audio and ebook)
A Castle in the Clouds by Kerstin Geir (audio and ebook)
Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo (ebook)
My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (ebook)
The Boomerang Effect by Gordon Jack (ebook)
What I Like about You by Marisa Kanter (audio and ebook)
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (audio and ebook)
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness (audio and ebook)
The Teacher’s Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts by Richard Peck (audio)
The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe (audio and ebook)
The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents (#1 in Discworld series) by Terry Pratchett (audio and ebook)
Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds (audio and ebook)
The Looney Experiment by Luke Reynolds (ebook)