Amp Them Up: Biographies #YearofYA

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In my school (Mollee’s), February seems to be a month heavy in biographies. It’s inspiring to read about other people, the odds they’ve overcome and how they’ve put their “dent in the universe” – as Tavia says! Taking that further, let’s read bios, autobiographies & memoirs this month that capture the power of storytelling & self-reflection. Then, in our chat, we will focus on how we can empower students and amplify their own voice.


Too often we say we’ll help them “find” their voice, but that diminished the experiences they’ve had so far in life. Instead, let’s validate our teens and AMP them up!


“It happened to me” – Comprehensive list from Sno-Isle Libraries

Contemporary biographies, autobiographies & memoirs for teens – from Thought Co.

12 Memoirs Every Girl Needs To Read Before She Turns 18” – list with mostly adult memoir/biography that appeals to a YA crowd

Graphic Memoirs from Foreign Places – if you’re looking for unique, you’ll find it here.


Female Fantasy Phenoms – #YearofYA January ’18

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(isn’t this infographic put together by Tavia BAD-ASS?!)

Let’s kick off 2018 with some imagination, firsts and females! The YA fantasy game has grown tremendously over the last decade, with more female writers and heroines coming on the market… it’s almost hard to keep up with the impressive variety that’s out there.

Some of you (BJ) may have some experience beyond the bestsellers, but we hope you’ll use January 2018 to try out the first in a Fantasy series that features a female phemon!

There are widely-read series you don’t want to miss like The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, Legend by Marie Lu, The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas, and… can I keep going? But maybe you’ll find something on the brink of breaking out, or finally carve time to read what you’ve missed.

As always with #YearofYA, we pick a theme and you pick your reads! We’ll chat January 30 at 8pm EST. 

If you need help finding your books, check out these lists:

Great YA Fantasy Good Reads List – you’ll have to dig for the female authors but comprehensive list

27 Female Authors of Sci Fi/ Fantasy

Fantasy Female Authors Electrifying the Genre by BookTrib

100 Must Read Fantasy/Sci Fi by Female Authors – like the goodreads list, its comprehensive for you’ll have to seek YA/series

#YearofYA 12/17 – Reading in ’17 ‘Sleighed’


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Yaaaaaaas, it sure did! To celebrate during this hectic month, #YearofYA is putting on a slow chat w/ Qs that fit our normal game: a thematic question that will have you thinking back on memorable books from the past year. On each date listed, we will post the question and you can answer with any books you read in 2017 (not just those published in the last year) at a time that works for you! Be sure to check #YearofYA intermittently to connect with other YA readers since Q&As will appear throughout the month.

If you post a year-in-review anywhere – a blog, vlog, goodreads list, etc – please share with us and we will share it out to other #YearofYA readers!

By the end of December, we’ll roll out the theme to kick of 2018!

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 :