Another year, another semester! This Spring, I’m taking Introduction to Public Libraries and Young Adult Literature. I’m excited for both, but obviously I’m kind of REALLY excited about my YA Lit class! I’m posting the reading list here because I would LOVE opinions on which books are the best and which ones I need to steer clear of. Please, PLEASE give me your opinions because I’m so overwhelmed and some of these titles scare me! And holy MOLY, this is a lot of reading! I also have two textbooks in this class, plus the teacher assigns scholarly articles as well! I’m gonna be a busy girl!
Weeks 1 & 2: ALA Youth Media Awards
• Choose 2: The Carnival at Bray by Jessie Ann Foley, The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim by E.K. Johnston, Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero, The Scar Boys by Len Vlahos, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton.
Week 3: Series
• Required: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
• Choose 2: A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper, The Diviners by Libba Bray, The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente, Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride, Little Brother by Cory Doctorow, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, Wake (Wake Series, Book 1) by Lisa McMann.
Week 4: Living and Dying
• Required: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
• Choose 1: The Hate List by Jennifer Brown, It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini, Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.
Week 5: The Lives of Teens
• Choose 2: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson, The First Part Last by Angela Johnson, In Darkness by Nick Lake, Pinned by Sharon Flake, The Road to Paris by Nikki Grimes, Shine by Lauren Myracle, Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.
Week 6: The Past
• Choose 2: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers, How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff, Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai, Mare’s War by Tanita Davis, Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli, Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys, Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly, The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano by Sonia Manzano.
Week 7: Awards
• Required: Printz Award Winning book (announced Feb. 2)
• Choose 2: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer, Monster by Walter Dean Myers, Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool, A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park, Sold by Patricia McCormick, A Step from Heaven by An Na, When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley.
Week 8: Cross-Overs
• Choose 2: Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok, The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni, Juvenile in Justice by Richard Ross, The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neal Gaiman, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender, The Radleys: A Novel by Matt Haig, The Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell, Room by Emma Donoghue, Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt.
Week 9: Coming of Age and LGBTQ
• Required: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
• Choose 1: The Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork, Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt, The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd, Winger by Andrew Smith, Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina.
• Choose 1: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan, Fat Angie by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan, Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy by Bil Wright, Blankets by Craig Thompson.
Week 10: Graphically Speaking
• Required: The Arrival by Shaun Tan
• Choose 2: Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol, Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang (2 books count as 1), The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman (2 books count as 1), The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (2 books count as 1), Drama by Raina Telgmeier, The Sculptor by Scott McCloud, This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki
• Plus: Read a single YA manga title of your choice
Week 11: Real Lives
• Required: The Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin
• Choose 1: Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin, Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickels, America’s First Black Paratroopers by Tanya Lee Stone, Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White by Lila Quintero Weaver, Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans During World War II by Martin W. Sandler, We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March by Cynthia Y. Levinson, Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way) by Sue Macy.
Week 12: Steampunk
• Choose 1: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld and Keith Thompson, Steampunk!: An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant, The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross, Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices) by Cassandra Clare.
• Choose 1 Film: 9, City of Ember, Coraline, The Golden Compass, Howl’s Moving Castle, Stardust.
Week 13: Book Challenges and Pushing Boundaries
• Required: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell and Fat Kid Rules the World by K. L. Going.
• Choose 1: The Giver by Lois Lowry or Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Phew! I told you it was a lot of reading! So, help me out! In some situations I don’t have a choice, and in others I have a few things to choose between. Which books would you recommend I read? Which ones should I run away from? We all know I hate crying, but crying is inevitable with this list. So really, I’m looking for books that will not shred my soul.