Books Worth Brawling For: 7 YA Favorites from Cindy and Lynn

BookendsLynn and Cindy: Between the two of us, we have two after-school book clubs. One is for students in grades 6-12 that we started fourteen years ago when Cindy first went on the Best Books for Young Adults committee, and another is for fifth graders, which Lynn leads with one of our elementary librarians. All the kids read books they have chosen from the special collection we create from the hundreds of books sent to us by extremely generous publishers. We meet every two weeks and the kids report on the books they have read. It is a great way for us to gauge student interest and response to the books, while teaching them the basics of literary criticism at the same time. Additionally, seeing kids so eager to read is balm to our librarian souls. We wish the people who proclaim the death of reading could watch when we have to step in to mediate before disputes get nasty!

Jinx FireHere is a list of what is currently causing us to hold Rock, Paper, Scissors contests to determine who gets the books first:

Jinx’s Fire, by Sage Blackwood (the whole Jinx series is a club favorite!)

Mechanica, by Betsy Cornwell (our teens love The Lunar Chronicles series and this is a natural read-alike for them)

Shadow Scale, by Rachel Hartman (the most awaited sequel in our teen club)

fairestFatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary, by Gail Jarrow (yes, our teens read nonfiction too and loved Red Madness last year)

Listen, Slowly, by Thanhha Lai (Inside Out & Back Again has a following with our fifth graders and middle schoolers so this sequel is a natural fit.)

Fairest, by Melissa Meyer (see note above for Mechanica)

All the Answers, by Kate Messner (the premise of a pencil that knows the answers to factual questions is a great hook!)

Tell us what is hot with your young readers! We have an audience ready for more.




About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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