Daylight Savings Lit – Nov. ’17 #YearofYA

*Reading. It’s supposed to say READING! (this is what happens when you put Mollee in charge of the jokes…)

We really are gaining an extra hour this month as we end Daylight Savings Time so let’s celebrate by falling a few years back… in YA time, at least. New authors, titles, and series flood the market each year and the 2010’s have been amazing for YA. But the mid-2000’s marked a huge turning point for publishing for teens (thanks Harry Potter!). Maybe you missed a title that is still relevant now. Or early work by one of today’s favorites. Check out some of the YALSA best books or the Printz winner/honors from those years. Go back a handful of years… or to whatever period you feel you missed a great YA read & indulge yourself!

Come chat with us on 11/28 at 8PM EST

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Need some ideas?

Best Books of 2007 Goodreads List

YALSA Best Books of ‘07

Best Books of 2006 Goodreads List

YALSA Best Books of ‘06

Best Books of 2005 Goodreads List

YALSA Best Books of ‘05

Best Books of 2004 Goodreads List

YALSA Best Books of ‘04

Best Books of 2003 Goodreads List

YALSA Best Books of ‘03

Best Books of 2002 Goodreads List

YALSA Best Books of ‘02

Printz Winners 2017 – 2000


Pumpkin Spice LIT – October ’17 PSL & #YearofYA

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We’re redefining the PSL. And no, you don’t need to hit up your local coffee shop for this tasty treat! #YearofYA is all about some Pumpkin Spice LIT in October. You might be asking… “What’s that?” Well, get on fleek and go beyond so basic.

(Speaking of which… Mila is my new favorite thing about the internet. Enjoy: Mila’s over Fantasy Football)

Cozy up with a pumpkin-y treat, a beverage, and feel free to ignore Fantasy Football (or whatever those Felicia’s are watching these days). It’s time to get PUMPKIN SPICE LIT!

So how do you get a handle on trendy YA? Thankfully Tavia has found us loads of resources:

18 YA Novels Coming in September 2017 To Add some Magic to Your Fall Reading

10 MInd-Blowing YA Books You Need to Read This Fall

Defying Definitions: Top Graphic Novels for Fall

21 Big Books of Fall

September 2017 Debut YA Novels

*Podcasts for Lovers of YA Lit – this is a wild card for fun, maybe

New Releases this week…

40 YA Paperback Books for Fall 2017


#YearofYA Banned Books Month – September 2017

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I recently read a line (from one of these resources listed below) that the best way to guarantee kids will read a book, is to make it forbidden to them! Isn’t that the truth? Often, we can recall the book we hid from our parents, the ones we knew they’d question… but those are the ones that made us readers!

September is Banned Books Month, with the last week being dedicated specifically to celebrating the right to read. There are countless ways to bring attention to readers of all ages during the month, but we hope you’ll find a title or 2 (perhaps even more!) that have been banned from young readers. Read it, evaluate it, challenge your mind… but please don’t ban it from other readers.

We’ll bring the tough Q’s to our chat on September 26th at 8pm EST. Tweet out any resources you have to share with other educators using #YearofYA anytime during the month!

What Banned Books Say about Our Society’s Fears (Time)

#YearofYA Throwback Reads: August 2017

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Michael Jackson. Jem and the Holograms. Jams.


Michael Jordan. Spice Girls. Lisa Frank.



Two decades. Two different stories.

These were the years that shaped Tavia & Mollee.

Flashback to the years when “Young Adult’ meant teens reading books that are totally not for “young” adults (as ScaryMommy shares…). Eventually authors fought their way onto the market and changed the game for young readers. In the 1980’s, Ann. M. Martin, Walter Dean Myers, Francesca Lia Block & the Sweet Valley High series changed the literature landscape. By writing books that were relevant and interesting to a younger audience, they paved the way for more authors to emerge in the 1990’s. R.L. Stine, Lois Lowry, Sarah Dessen, Laurie Halse Anderson and of course, J.K. Rowling, changed the game. Because of them, we have hundreds of thousands of books to appeal to teens decades later. (And look at how Sarah & Laurie still put out timely, well-loved stories 20 years later!) 

Pull out your favorite neon and/or grunge gear, turn up Blondie, Madonna, Bowie, Prince… and N*SYNC (hah!), catch a few episodes of Saved By the Bell and Growing Pains, or rewatch John Hughes classics… then dive into some YA lit from the 80’s & 90’s! You can travel back in time via a DeLorean … or just choose a book published IN the 80’s / 90’s  or a book SET in those years.

Below are some lists to get your ideas rolling like Coolio & his homies :




July 2017 #YearofYA : Unique Formats

We cannot deny how much our readers — from elementary through high school — are drawn to graphic novels. Rep John Lewis’s memoir, March, won ALL the awards this year. Raina is recognized on a first name basis (like Madonna. Or Oprah.) And while parents might grumble over how fast their kids read through them, the power of this unique format cannot be denied.

But it’s not just graphic novels that hook readers. All kinds of unique formats are out there baiting young readers to explore. Kwame’s poetry. Greg’s (OK, Jeff Kinney) Diary. Ransom’s creepy photographs. Gene Luen Yang’s graphics. Push your fictional boundaries in July & find some books that have unique formats… #YearofYA is about CHOICE so “unique format” can be defined how it works for you! Below are some books lists that include graphic novels, novels in verse, epistolary and more.
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Book Riot: YA Books in Verse

B&N 6 YA books w/ Unique Formats

Bustle 11 experimental YA books

Teen Librarian Toolbox: Lists, Letters & More

Epic Reads: 12 Must Read YA Graphic Novels

Bustle Epistolary Novels

Boomerang Books: YA Books told through letters, notes & emails


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June 2017: Narratives & Knowledge #YearofYA


Nonfiction can have a reputation with young readers: it might be all they read, or it could be what they actively avoid! This month we’re putting  a spotlight on the INFORMATIONAL side of reading – so pick up a how-to for a hobby your students might enjoy, or a narrative nonfiction that will have you reading late into the night… or the emerging niche of YouTube stars memoirs. Below are some award winners, book lists, and articles to get you started but remember — this is YOUR choice! When it comes time to chat, #YearofYA is focused on idea-sharing and growing our perspective, not on reading the same book so read what interests you 🙂

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YASLA Nonfiction Award Winners:


YA Nonfiction released in 2017 by

Recent Nonfiction releases for Young Readers:

Books by YouTube Stars by Teen.Com

Nonfiction Page Turners for Teens:

Nonfiction for Tween/Teen Girls:

May 2017 #YearofYA – American Melting Pot Pairings


Ever been to one of those fancy dinners where each course comes with a specially paired glass of wine? Or maybe a funky beer-and-chocolate deal (I know Tavia was supposed to go to one of these… I crashed those plans!)? Well, this month’s #YearofYA plan is something special – take our theme of “American Melting Pot,” find a YA book about immigration or culturally mixed families/neighborhoods or refugees, and PAIR it with a juvenile book companion! For example, Nicola Yoon’s The Sun is Also a Star is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. It’s about a girl (soon to be deported to Jamaica) and a boy (from a Korean-centric family) and how 1 day together can change the course of their lives. **Course… get it?!** While I loved this book, it’s definitely not appropriate for my elementary students, or my middle grade readers, or teachers who want a good picture book about families lives disrupted by deportation. Instead, I would recommend Gaby Lost and Found or Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote.  See! Melting Pot + YA + Juvenile.


Be flexible! Be creative! We all have different tastes *pun* so make your pairing according to what would interest you and/or readers you personally know! #YearofYA doesn’t really like working according to a strict recipe (HAH!) — invite others to partake in the feast if you know anyone who might be interested!  


Also, realized belatedly how apropo “Melting Pot” is for this theme. Cue the rim shot.


Alright, here’s some of our suggestions, but we encourage you to find and make your own pairings too!


Easy way out:

Read American Street For #2jennsbookclub (meeting:  5/11) and find a juvenile title to go with it.



28 Books About Growing Up in America’s Cultural Melting Pot

11 YA Novels About the Immigrant Experience

10 YA Books That Reflect the US Immigration Experience

Finding Home: Immigrants and Refugees in Middle Grade Novels


Some more of our favorite YA/MG/Elementary “Melting Pot” titles to mix and match:

  • Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate (MG)
  • Emma’s Poem (EM)
  • Inside Out and Back Again (EM)
  • American Born Chinese (YA)
  • Dream Things True (YA)
  • Shooting Kabul (MG)
  • The Namesake (Adult)
  • Esperanza Rising (EM)
  • Brooklyn (Adult)