My Printz committee experience gave me the opportunity to read FABULOUS YA books over the past year!! Here are nine of my favorites:
Invictus by Ryan Gaudin Adventuresome, sci-fi story taking place in a world where traveling through time is the government’s job to make sure no one can change history. A boy named Far is born outside of time and this causes certain events to unravel. Far and his friends must race to find out what is hunting them and unraveling historic events from Ancient Rome to the Titanic.
A story of a Dystopian world where Native Americans/Canadians in futuristic setting are running from the government who is stealing their bone marrow. In the other world only Native people can hold their dreams, in their their marrow, and the government is killing natives in Upper Canada. Frenchie and his friends are looking for survivors, and they form their own group. Frenchie the main narrator finds his father, falls in love with a girl on the run, and becomes fully in touch with his heritage/embracing his past. There’s rescues/chases and fast action, thought provoking story within story teaching the next Metis generations.
This phenomenal book portrays the reality of a teenager with anxiety and what she struggles with on a daily basis. John Green relates her mental illness struggles with passion and empathy.I believe this is an essential book for high school collections.
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor A fabulous fantasy adventure describing the life of a young 18 y.o. Strange who believes in a lost city. One day people from the lost city arrive in Strange’s town and recruit him to join their forces to rebuild. However, the half-god/half-human children who have survived the previous war are hidden in the gigantic floating city that hangs over the skies of the lost city. I adore this book and the lush magical romance!!! (Printz Honor Book)
Eloquent story of a young African American high school student who wants to attend college and find her voice in Portland, Oregon. (CSK winner)
Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson One of my favorite books of all time!! Imagine a world where hope for the planet Earth lies in a colony on Mars, and the past is left behind in storage and Adri is searching for where she belongs. Her long lost relative reveals a glimpse into the past through Catherine’s notebooks from 1934 and the Dust bowl in Kansas that is threatening Catherine’s family. Catherine in turn finds letters from her mother’s friend, Lenore, in England in 1919, who has lost her brother in WWI and wants to move to America and to escape her grief. These stories are linked by the hope of the characters from Midnight at the Electric delves into the relationships that make people into a family and the love, loss and hope that they strive for in the face of adversity. With poignant writing, Jodi Lynn Anderson has created a meditation on family, belonging and love.
The 57 Bus is an important examination of race, gender, prejudice and crime. The gripping true story of two teenagers and the crime in 2013 that changed both their lives forever. Sasha, a white teen, was sleeping on bus 57 in Oakland, CA when they awoke to flames burning their body. Richard, a black teen, captured on video committing the crime, was targeted by the prosecutor to be charged as an adult for two hate crimes, thus facing life imprisonment. In eloquent writing, both stories are presented to engage the
reader and discuss the flaws in the justice system and the prejudice both experienced. This is one of the most important books published in 2017.
Grendel’s Guide to Love and Warby AE Kaplan the retelling of Beowulf, a portrayal of grief in a funny love story about a teen who’s looking for memories of his mother, falling in love with the girl next door and a hilarious story of figuring out what relationships really count.
#NotYourIndianPrincess — Is a powerful collection of non-fiction writers aboutthe sentiments of feminine power/Native women feeling abused and losing their voices. I love the Two Winonas story/comic. Using photos, drawings and testimonials this collection shows the hidden voices that Native women have experienced being taken advantage of in both body and voice.The poetry and testimony of abuse is powerful. Some photos are artistic and some are more about imitating famous actresses showing the beauty of women in Native nations. (excerpt below)