This list encompasses only the first 6 months of 2016. There are going to be some super great YA novels this year, let me tell you. I already have 6 of them either in my possession or on my holds list. Check out all 30 from the list at the beginning of this post or take a look at the ones below that I’m especially excited about.
Books Checked Out
This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp (Jan 5)
Books on My Tablet
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken, series book 1. This book has been on the NYT Best Sellers list the past 3 weeks (Jan 5)
The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig, series book 1 (Feb 16)
The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie Sue Hitchcock (Feb 23)
Books on Hold
Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard, series book 2 – read my review for the first book, The Red Queen (Feb 9)
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo (May 3)
Remember when I posted about the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter campaign like TWO YEARS AGO? Good glory where has the time gone. Someone is finally asking what happened with that. Check out the whole conversation here.
Long story short, the first big project to come out of the campaign is Skybrary, an all new, interactive, digital library! We downloaded this on our library iPads but quickly deleted them because they wanted an account to be set up. This makes sense on a personal device because the app wants to tailor to the age of the child and their “likes” but it doesn’t work in a library setting when more than once child is using the iPads (aren’t all the same age, don’t like the same books, etc).
A Birthday Cake for George Washington has made quite a splash these past few weeks, and not in a good way. The book has been pulled and is no longer being printed by Scholastic after outrage that it diminished the idea of slavery.
The publisher (Scholastic) said this, “While we have great respect for the integrity and scholarship of the author, illustrator and editor, we believe that, without more historical background on the evils of slavery than this book for younger children can provide, the book may give a false impression of the reality of the lives of slaves and therefore should be withdrawn.”
This is what gets me. Andrea Davis Pinkney, VP and exec editor at Scholastic, wrote a passionate post defending the book calling it “a proud slice of history.” She said many things but this is the thing that I felt compelled to put here.
“A Birthday Cake for George Washington does not take slavery’s horror for granted. On several occasions, the book comments on slavery, acknowledges it, and offers children and adults who will be sharing the book “a way in” as they speak to these issues. Of equal importance are the book’s images, which show Hercules and other indentured servants smiling. The book includes an illustrator’s note by Vanessa Newton, which speaks to the vital importance of properly depicting enslaved African Americans.
Vanessa also took great care in her research, which revealed that Hercules and the other servants in George Washington’s kitchen took great pride in their ability to cook for a man of such stature. This why Vanessa chose to portray them as happy people. They were not happy about being enslaved, but there was joy in what they created through their intelligence and culinary talent.”