"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Thursday, September 17, 2015

National Book Award YA Longlist Announced

OK, the National Book Award YA Longlist has been announced and here they are:

(Check out the National Book Award Webpage for more details.)

I've read several of them and am delighted to see them on the list. Here are my thoughts of them and I have hyperlinked the titles if you want to read my original reviews:

  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. This is the only book in my library that currently has a waiting list. It is generating quite a following among teens who are anxious to read stories they can relate to. My rating 4 of 5 stars.
  • Bone Gap by Laura Ruby. Both of my daughters read this book this summer along with me. All of us enjoyed it a lot, especially after examining it through the lens of Greek Mythology. My eldest wondered if teens would like it  because the plot is pretty odd. Rating 5 of 5 stars.
  • X: a novel by Ilyasah Shabazz. This piece of historical fiction is written by Malcolm X's daughter. It chronicles his early years before he became X. I listened to the audiobook and thought the book dragged a bit here and there, though I did learn a lot about the famous American. My rating is 4 of 5 stars.
  • Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman. I have no idea how students will respond to this book but I was profoundly touched by this tale about a young boy's descent into mental illness and his climb out. It is loosely built around the experiences of Shusterman's own son. My rating 5 of 5 stars and my favorite YA novel of all my summer reads.
  • Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. This is a graphic novel about an anti-hero and his side-kick, Nimona, a shape-shifting gal who is more than we originally think. Both humorous and complex this is sure to draw my students attention and has already circulated several times and we've only been back to school for a week. My rating 4.5 stars.

Of the other five which I haven't read I had to do a little research myself. (None of them are published quite yet. No wonder I haven't read them, huh?)

  • Symphony for the City of Dead by M.T. Anderson. It is about Dmitri Shostakovitch and the Siege on Leningrad. MT Anderson is a multiple award-winning author. I just placed this but, which won't be released until September 22nd, on my next book order.
  • The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin. This book is also set for release on September 22nd. It's target audience is age 10 and up. I'd consider this book, based on that, to be a middle grade book and won't likely buy it for my library. 
  • This Side of Wild by Gary Paulsen. A favorite author whose book Hatchet is read by all students in our district. Release date is September 29th, for students grade 3-7.
  • Most Dangerous Man by Steve Sheinkin. About the secret history of the Vietnam War and Daniel Ellsberg. The writing is aimed at middle grade students but I find Shinekin's book just fine for high school researchers. Release date, September 22nd.
  • Walk On Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson. "Simply terrific." Book one in a new series. Also due for a September 22nd publishing date.

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