#YearofYA | End of the Year 2018!

#YearofYA _ End of the Year Celebration!


Ever feel like there just isn’t enough time to get to all the books you hoped to in one year?!

Push through this year’s finish line by carving out time for your TOP TBR’s of 2018!

Or maybe you DID read all you hoped… but have time for a few more! Check out these “best of” lists for ideas to round out an amazing year of reading!

Join us to chat at 8pm EST/5pm PST on Thursday December 27th!



Horror Reads Oct. 2018 #YearofYA

Our retired-reader-extraordinaire, BJ shares her favorite Horror YA and it’s a list worth posting here!

BJ Horror

What are some of YOUR favorites?! Comment on here or tweet us using #YearofYA – be sure to tag @bjneary too!

Throwback Frights – October 2018 #YearofYA

We can’t let an October go by without taking up an opportunity to enjoy some creepy reads.

Throwback Frights! - October 2018.jpg

Ok. “Enjoy” might not be the right word for some of us. Definitely not Mollee’s favorite genre.

But we have fun plans in store for you this October!


Oh yes, we mean R. L. Stine. Lois Duncan.Mary Downing Hahn. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Bunnicula.

Want to throw it back even further? Grab a classic haunt like Frankenstein. Dracula. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. You know how we operate – #YearofYA throws out the monthly theme, and YOU pick the books.

Read up, witches!


There aren’t too many lists that fit this month’s theme, so instead we present our favorite throwback frights:

R. L. Stine’s Fear Street (and Goosebumps!)

Lois Duncan’s I Know What You Did Last Summer among other creepy reads

Christopher Pike

VC Andrews

And of course…

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Middle Grade Mayhem #YearofYA Sept 2018

Middle Grades Reads - September 2018 (1)


It wasn’t that long ago that “children’s” books were pretty much designated into 2 categories: young readers (grade 5 and below) and teens. That left a huge gap of kids in between… too old for Ramona Quimby and too young for Sarah Dessen and Walter Dean Myers. Fortunately, the publishing industry woke up after the Harry Potter phenomenon and realized the need for interesting, relevant, and appropriate books for readers between 4th-9th grades.


Middle grade books know how to push the envelope… while keeping their audience in mind. Sure, Katniss was forced to undergo some violent situations while leading the resistance. And we’ve heard the complaints about George and Dunkin providing insights on the (*gasp*) life of transgender youth. And to think, kids like Mahmoud might give today’s kids the “wrong idea” about Syrian refugees… what might draw no-longer-kids-not-quite-teens to these topics?


As quoted in the NYT, the explosively popular author of Refugee, Alan Gratz, notes, “though some people believe that these are tough subjects for young readers, more and more middle grade readers and choosing to read books that tackle social issues because the social issues have come to them. They’ve been going through active shooter drills. They have refugees and immigrants as classmates. They hear racist and intolerant rhetoric from political leaders on television and on the internet. Middle grade readers are shaping their views of the world right now because the world is forcing them to.”


This month, we urge you to dive into the mayhem that is Middle Grade. Be prepared for drama, social justice, bullying, and besties, and maybe even a first kiss. As usual with #YearofYA, you aren’t confined to a specific book, series or author! Find a book that fits the “Middle Grade” description (a click above juvenile chapters… a click below mature YA) and read away!


A heads up too: The Global Read Aloud kicks off the first week of October. If you’ve not heard of it before, we invite you to explore this amazing program created and hosted by Pernille Ripp. 2 of the titles featured would make fantastic reads for our #YearofYA theme, but also as read alouds for middle grade readers in your life: Amal Unbound and Refugee.


A really great resource for Middle Grade is “From the Mixed Up Files”


Navigating Middle Grade Books – Publishers Weekly

Best Middle Grade of 2018 – Brightly

20 Middle Grade Books You’ll Want to Add to your Classroom – WeAreTeachers

10 Female-Led Novels that Tween Boys (and girls!) Love – Brightly

20 Must-Read Middle Grade Books Fall 2018 – Brightly

Empowering Females #YearofYA August 2018

In all my travel plans, I (Mollee) somehow missed the Spice Girls Bus Tour of London! 2.5 hours of sightseeing while listening to Spice Girls jams?! Surely you can imagine how disappointed I am… despite how you feel about those crazy Brits, they definitely brought “Girl Power!” to the everyday vocabulary of girls of the 90’s.


While we cannot give them all the credit, I do look back and remember my tween-self wondering about gender inequality – I didn’t see it as some big deal. Title IX had been in place for all my school years, so when I wanted to play Little League (not softball!) or ice hockey, no one told me I couldn’t! Characters like Hermione didn’t empower me while I read, but rather, gave me someone to whom I could identify.


Looking back, I realize now how factors in my life influenced my experience as a growing girl: I had two older sisters as role models, my mom was a bad-ass power banker who took on management positions & occasionally headed an all-male staff (oh, and she was a golf course president! How many other females get that gig, do you think?), and my dad knew how to help build the foundation under the females in his world!


I get that’s not the case for many women, women my age, and girls growing in today’s society.


And still…


Perhaps the best line from The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is, “FEMALES ARE STRONG AS HELL!”


Let’s celebrate that by reading YA books this month that feature females in the lead, girls supporting each other (instead of tearing one another down), or overcoming the many challenges young women face!

August 2018 Empowering Females

Below are some suggestions to get you started, but as always with #YearofYA, we pick a theme and YOU pick the books! We can’t wait to chat with you about this important theme, and find more books to put in our female AND MALE readers’ hands.


A Mighty Girl – the best place to find books for ALL ages

15 Empowering YA Novels to Read on International Women’s Day

Physics, Fears, & Female Empowerment | Adult Books 4 Teens

34 YA Books Every Feminist Will Love

11 Good Feminist Books for Young Adults – {I’m definitely reading Mindy McGinnis this month…}

50 Crucial YA Feminists Novels

Empowering Female Characters from YA – can I get an AMEN for GINNY WEASLEY!


#YearofYA Nerding Out July 2018

July 2018 - Nerding Out

Tavia’s List of Nerdy Things:

  • Nerdette Podcast – Inspiration for this month’s theme
    • Nerdette is a safe space for nerding out about all the things you’re watching, reading, listening to and encountering IRL.
    • Power Up is a Nerdette project where fascinating people explain how they set themselves up for success in an exhausting world. Because life can be hectic — even for scientists, poets, astronauts and adventurers.
    • Find Nerdette via RSS | Apple Podcasts | Facebook | Twitter. Sign up for our weekly email newsletter.
  • The Office | Friday Night Lights | 30 Rock | Food & Cooking Shows
  • 80’s Musics & Movies
  • Star Wars (and currently taking a stab at Star Trek [original & New Generation]
  • Dad Jokes and “Punny” Humor


Mollee’s List of Nerdy Things

  • Harry Potter! If you know me, you know this.
  • Jess from New Girl and all her awkward glory is my Spirit Animal
  • Nerdy characters in books like Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell make my YA heart happy
  • Big Bang Theory (I’m a total Leonard. My husband is a Penny).
  • Singing along to Disney songs (specifically from the 90’s) and catching every Pixar release
    • Basically any musical I can sing along to… Greatest Showman, Mama Mia, Rent.

So what do YOU nerd out about? Find a book that aligns with your nerdy loves and read away!

If you absolutely need a list… B&N 7 Geeky Love Stories

Adult Crossovers #YearofYA June 2018

Welcome back!

#YearofYA originally started out as #SummerofYA, 3 years ago this month! I told Tavia how I missed being in a book club, especially to talk about books I love to read (young adult). As a librarian, I read widely – many books that will appeal to my elementary readers, middle grade titles so I can steer my growing readers when they leave our school, and even a handful of adult books sprinkled in, for myself (!) & to be able to chat about them with the teachers in my building, my family of readers, and to remind myself that YA is still my favorite!! Tavia and I have never lived close enough that we could have our own book club, so we turned to other ideas… Could it be virtual? Google Hangouts? Vlogs? A blog with a chat… Then she helped me work out how it could be done as a Twitter chat! The very first Twitter chat I participated in was when we launched #SummerofYA! Unbeknownst to us, 2 other friends & YA lovers were launching their own YA Twitter book club the same summer & it’s been so fun and a learning experience to grow #YearofYA alongside #2jennsbookclub!

In these last 3 years, I’ve loved so much about this book club! It’s kept Tavia and I reading what we love, but also pushing us to try new genres, formats, and authors we wouldn’t have, due to the variety of themes we come up with each month. I love coming up with those themes via texts and voxs and tweets with her… Sometimes we feel dry of ideas, other times it’s a gold mine and we need to keep them all in a shared doc! I love our process of Tavia’s creative contribution to developing the slides, my curation of content for the blog post, and coming together to write questions each month. Despite busy schedules, changing jobs, moves & a million other responsibilities, this book club keeps us anchored each month.

More than anything, I love the people we’ve connected with. When I talk about Twitter, I talk about y’all. The friends I’ve made through #YearofYA are doing amazing things for readers across the country, but I’m lucky to chat with you and connect about books and life each month. It’s amazing how relationships grow on Twitter, and I’ve been fortunate to meet several of you in person! Thank you for bringing your thoughts, enthusiasm, and wonderful selves to our book club chat… And becoming great friends to us!

It’s so hard to believe everything that’s come from a crazy idea I sent over Voxer, and how that friend and I could turn it into all this …

Crossovers - June 2018

OK! This month’s theme is one of our favorites from the past: adult crossovers! What books are out there written for adults, that teens can also enjoy & learn from? If you really want to challenge yourself this month, find an author who writes for teens and adults, and read one of each! (Meg Cabot & Neil Gaiman come to mind…) Remember, #YearofYA gives you a theme, you pick the books!


We can’t wait to chat with you on June 28th at 8pm! If you are new to our chat, come prepared to share what you read, grow your TBR list, and answer some questions that will connect what you read with the rest of the group’s reads!

A few lists to get you started: