Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hooray for YA!

Since my school library license is for K-12, I took Adolescent Literature in grad school.  It was one of my favorite classes and even though I work in an elementary school library, I still enjoy reading YA books.  I do have three daughters, one of which will be a teen in less than two years, so I find these books to be relevant.  Even if they were not relevant, they are still enjoyable to read.  I became a teen in 1991.  I cannot remember reading anything YA except for Sweet Valley High.  To say that books for this audience have come a long way in the past twenty years is an understatement.  I am going to review* two recent YA reads. 

Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgewick – winner of the 2014 Printz Award

A collection of seven stories, this book follows two people, Eric and Merle, through several lives.  It starts about 60 years in the future and works its way back to ancient times.  The setting is on an island called Blessed that grows magical flowers.  I enjoyed that this book read like a collection of short stories, but enjoyed the overall connections.  The tragedy aspect of each story is reminiscent of Greek myths.

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina – winner of the 2014 Pura Belpre Author Award

The title is a bit deceiving, as this book takes a serious look at bullying.  Piddy lives in a single parent household.  She has recently moved, and finds herself to be a target of Yaqui Delgado, a girl she has never even met.  She also has to deal with the fact that her best friend moved and a new relationship with her former neighbor.  As a mother of a 5th grader, we are looking ahead to middle school.  Reading this book reminded me that I never experienced bullying within the context of social media.  The Internet takes bullying to a whole new level, and I think it is important for parents to keep that in mind.

*I use the term review loosely.  While writing reviews is something addressed in my literature courses in grad school, I am not attempting to write professional reviews.  I want to share my thoughts.  For more inclusive summaries, I suggest GoodReads.

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