This week’s newsletter is sponsored by Rook.
History has a way of repeating itself. In the Sunken City that was once Paris, all who oppose the new revolution are being put to the blade. Except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place. The mysterious Red Rook a savior of the innocent, and a criminal in the eyes of the government.
Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy’s arranged marriage to the wealthy René Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiancé is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she.
As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow ever higher, Sophia and René find themselves locked in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse.
Daring intrigue, delicious romance, and spine-tingling suspense fill the pages of this extraordinary tale from award-winning author Sharon Cameron.
As I’m sure you’re aware, we’re now 6 months deep into 2016. It’s not quite the halfway point yet, but it’s close enough that I feel comfortable pulling together a month-by-month of the biggest news in the YA world so far this year — as well as some of the things you may have missed that are worth a read. This won’t be comprehensive, of course, but it’s a means of catching up with some of the news you may want to remember, may want to forget, or may have missed the first time around.
At the end of each month, enjoy a special YA link to book lists or other great YAish stuff you should know about.
- 11-year-old Marley Dias talked about how she was unable to find black girls like her in the books she was reading, so she began the #1000BlackGirlBook campaign and it was a rousing success.
- Need a feminist pick-me-up? YA author Courtney Summers launched #ToTheGirls2016 in late January and it’s everything you’d want in a female-empowering hashtag.
- “I definitely would have appreciated more stories about enthusiastic and consensual sexuality—especially female-driven sexuality—when I was a teenager. In my later teen years, I was able to fill that need through online fanfic communities. (I read countless Pride and Prejudice fanfic stories where the characters had all the sex that Austen left off the page.) Now, you can browse the Amazon Recommendations list or the Barnes & Noble YA section and find sex and sexuality addressed honestly and compassionately from a multiplicity of viewpoints.” — a really great read on sex and contemporary YA novels.
- Obviously, I’m still thinking about YA big-screen adaptations and this piece about their evolution. The Fifth Wave hit theaters in January to very little fanfare.
- A round-up of the 2015 youth books and media which earned some shiny stickers from youth librarians.
Do you know about Rich in Color? This Tumblr collects and shares weekly lists of diverse YA reads hitting shelves. It’s a tremendous resource.
- Fans of Marissa Meyer’s series “The Lunar Chronicles” are in for a treat, as she’s writing graphic novels for the series.
- Then there was that time fantasy author Sherrilyn Kenyon sued Cassandra Clare. No word quite yet on what’s going on with this lawsuit.
- Black female writers on the books and writers that inspired them. So much good stuff here.
- Angela Thomas, a debut author, sold her book based on the #BlackLivesMatter movement and it’s going to be big.
- The CCBC stats for diversity in children’s lit were released and . . . not enough has changed, to put it lightly.
- Book Riot’s own Jeff O’Neal wrote a fantastic piece about how we can stop worrying about the false claim that teenagers aren’t reading.
Writer Nita Tyndall has a fantastic resource of LGBTQIA books in YA that aren’t about coming out. This is such a great list.
- Simon & Schuster announced they’re starting a children’s imprint dedicated to Muslim stories.
- Nicole Brinkley, now a Book Riot contributor, wrote a lengthy, in-depth piece about sexism in YA with tons of additional resources included in it. Worthwhile reading.
- YA funny writer Louise Rennison died. I’m still sad about this — I remember spending a week after finishing a semester of graduate school lying on my futon and reading the Georgia Nicholson books, laughing myself silly.
- Remember when we were getting a Nancy Drew television show with a woman of color as the lead? And then a couple months later, turns out, that Nancy Drew was “too female” to happen.
- Publishers Weekly broke down the children’s books that sold the most in 2015.
- “And that’s what’s so cool about Rey, Katniss, and Supergirl: It’s impossible to ignore them. They are female protagonists in properties that boys are encouraged—expected, even—to watch. For the first time young boys are being asked to empathize with female leads the way girls have long been expected to empathize with male ones. After all, I may have loved Hermione, but I spent 3,000 plus pages inside Harry’s head.” An interesting piece about why boys need to see female heroines as much (or more than? I disagree with that statement) as girls do.
One thing I get asked all the time is how I keep track of new books. Obviously, I put together huge round-ups three months in advance, but that doesn’t mean I always remember what’s out or what’s coming soon. My secret is YA Lit. Click here. Marvel at their calendars. This is a killer resource.
- We’re getting superhero YA novels from a group of super-popular YA authors.
- Sex and YA fiction is a topic of never-ending interest to me, and this piece at Bitch Magazine with Sarah McCarry — one of our Book Riot contributors and author in her own right — talks about why sex in YA is important.
- Also, there’s this NPR piece about the value YA lit has in helping teach teenagers about consent.
- This moving piece about coming out as a gay children’s author by C Alexander London, writer of the YA titles Proxy and Guardian made a lot of waves and for good reason.
- Angel Cruz asks “Where are all of the Asian kids in contemporary YA romance?”
Get familiar with the We’re The People resource for this year. It’s a list of recommended reads for youth — including YA titles and adult cross-over titles — that are written by and/or feature people of color and/or Native Americans.
- If you’re ready for a good laugh, YA author Nova Ren Suma began the infamous #BeetGate on Twitter.
- YA author and Book Riot contributor Justina Ireland began #YAWithSoul as a way to add blackness into white YA titles. It’s amusing and also a great critique of the landscape of books.
- We’re getting a YA edition of Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code which . . . teens who want to read that book would pick up the actual version rather than the one that’s being dumbed down for them. So that’s interesting.
- This is a little Insider Baseball but for those who are curious about what’s going on with small publisher Month9Books — and they’ve put out a few YA titles, including Cindy Pon’s Serpentine — this piece at YA Interrobang lays it all out really well.
- Strange diseases and more trends in recent and upcoming YA fiction, as discussed at Book Expo America.
I believe I’ve plugged the Sync Audiobook program in more than one newsletter but it is worth another shout out: legitimate free audiobooks all summer long, including popular YA books. You download and keep them. Forever. Really.
Roll up your sleeves and enjoy your well-stocked collection of link reading. We’ll be back in two weeks with a look at June news, as well as a discussion of (hopefully!) the breakdown of YA and diversity so far in 2016. Because, friends, it’s time to talk.