Browsing Category : books

Book Recommendations cover

Making Successful Book Recommendations


The #1 Thing Students Need to Know When You Recommend a Book   Reggie sits at his desk during SSR, drumming his fingers on the table. He reads for five minutes, but then takes his book back to your classroom library and wants to exchange it for another. It seems like Reggie never gets more than a quarter of the…

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Mirage by Somaiya Daud review

Mirage by Somaiya Daud


Eighteen-year-old Amani has grown up on a poor moon under the rule of an oppressive empire. She dreams of a life where she and her family can safely farm and barter for what they need to survive, and maybe even have a little leisure time left to read her precious poetry. But when Amani is kidnapped and taken to the…

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Toil & Trouble feat. Melissa from @thereaderandthechef


  Join us as we chat with bookstagrammer Melissa Robles about Toil & Trouble, a new YA anthology of stories about witchy women, written by 15 diverse authors.     In today’s episode… Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft  is an anthology of short stories featuring witchy girls. Like Spotswood’s other anthologies, the fifteen tales span the…

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Seafire feat. Emily Skrutskie


Today we chat about Seafire by Natalie C. Parker, with YA author Emily Skrutskie. Seafire has kick-ass lady pirates, and tons of action. What’s not to love? (Transcript)   In today’s episode…   In Natalie C. Parker’s new book, Seafire, we are brought into a world where the seas and colonies are under the control of a brutal warlord. The protagonist…

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Fresh Ink feat. Lamar Giles


This week we feature the Fresh Ink anthology, a collection of diverse short stories for a YA audience. Joining us is editor and YA author Lamar Giles. (transcript) In today’s episode…   Fresh Ink: An Anthology is a collection of short stories, a graphic novella, and a never before published play by the legendary Walter Dean Meyers. Thirteen voices, some brand…

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The Forest Queen


  The Forest Queen by Betsy Cornwell isn’t ‘just’ a Robin Hood retelling, it also serves up strong lady friendships, and a sharp look at power and privilege. (Transcript)     In today’s episode… In The Forest Queen, sixteen year old Silvie has been born into a life of nobility and privilege. She has spent her entire life hating and…

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Lovely, Dark, and Deep


Lovely, Dark, and Deep by Justina Chen is about one girl’s struggle to find the light, even as her whole world has been plunged into darkness. (Transcript)   In today’s episode…   In Justina Chen’s newest novel, Lovely, Dark, and Deep, Viola Li has her life plan figured out—she wants to become a journalist in the most dangerous parts of…

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15 Diverse YA Thrillers blog post cover

15 YA Thrillers for the Classroom Library


Teens love thrillers, and I’m constantly getting asked for recommendations of good young adult books with suspense, mystery, and light horror.   Here are some diverse YA thrillers that you might consider adding to your high school classroom library. As always, please preview these titles for yourself because what flies in my school may not fly in yours. I’ve made…

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When Life Gives You Demons feat. Erin Callahan


Reading, writing, and … exorcisms? That’s all before lunch. YA novelist Erin Callahan is here to chat on When Life Gives You Demons by Jennifer Honeybourn. (transcript) In today’s episode… When Life Gives You Demons by Jennifer Honeybourn is a new spin on the teenage monster hunter trope. This time, Shelby has been training to be an exorcist, a secret…

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Hullmetal Girls


Emily Skrutskie’s new sci-fi novel Hullmetal Girls is a world of economic inequality, a militarized police force, and humanity’s last breath. (transcript)   In today’s episode…   In Emily Skrutskie’s new sci-fi novel Hullmetal Girls, humanity has spent centuries in a fleet of starships searching for a new planet. We follow two protagonists, one from a background of poverty, the…

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I’m Not Missing


Carrie Fountain’s new book I’m Not Missing is an exploration of friendship, loss, and not repeating the mistakes of the past. (transcript)   In today’s episode…   In Carrie Fountain’s I’m Not Missing, Miranda and Syd are best friends, brought even closer together by their shared trauma of being abandoned by their mothers. When Syd disappears and all Miranda finds…

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Zen and Gone


Zen and Gone by Emily France is a story of sisterhood, self-care, and self discovery (with a side of romance), all set in the beautiful Colorado mountains. Our guest today is writer and blogger Samantha Leidig. (transcript)   In today’s episode… In Zen and Gone by Emily France, we meet sisters Essa and Puck who live in Boulder, Colorado. Essa’s taking the…

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Trail of Lightning


In Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse, Maggie the Monster Slayer fights for her life. Are the gods on her side? Sometimes. But her shotgun always is. (transcript)     In today’s episode…   Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse begins the saga of The Sixth World. In this post-apocalyptic landscape, the Dinétah have survived the rising waters of climate change…

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The Art of Escaping


Erin Callahan’s debut novel The Art of Escaping is a fun and fresh read about escapology, testing your limits, and finding  your passion. (transcript)   In today’s episode… The Art of Escaping by Erin Callahan is about 17-year-old Mattie, who flies under the radar despite her parents’ push to be more exceptional and well-rounded. The thing is, she’s only ever…

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Mariam Sharma Hits the Road Sheba Karim cover

Mariam Sharma Hits the Road


Mariam Sharma Hits the Road by Sheba Karim is a road trip romp about the 3 F’s; friends, family, and fried food. Join us as we chat about this Pakistani-American spin on coming-of-age. (transcript)   In today’s episode…   Mariam Sharma Hits the Road by Sheba Karim follows a trio of friends on a summer road trip. Mariam, Ghaz, and…

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15 Mondays Not Coming Tiffany D Jackson cover

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson


  Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson is a heartbreaking snapshot of children who fall through the cracks. Our Bookstagrammer friends Anna & Courtney return to the show to talk about friendship, family, and gentrification. (Transcript)   In today’s episode…   In Tiffany D Jackson’s newest novel, Monday’s Not Coming, Claudia is the only one who seems to care…

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Jek/Hyde by Amy Ross


In Jek/Hyde by Amy Ross, a gothic classic finds a new home in a shiny research town. Join us as we talk about loyalty, the #metoo movement, and the darkness inside. (transcript)     In today’s episode…   Amy Ross’s novel Jek/Hyde offers a new vision of the gothic novella, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by…

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13 All of This is True Lygia Day Penaflor cover

All of This is True by Lygia Day Penaflor


All of This is True by Lygia Day Penaflor gives us a vision of obsession, betrayal, and the blurred line between fiction and reality. Join us as we chat about this new YA thriller with author Amanda K. Morgan. (transcript)     In today’s episode…   In the new novel, All of This Is True, we unravel the story of…

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12 Stay Sweet Siobhan Vivian cover

Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian


  Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian is a ice cream romp with themes of friendship, feminism, and building a legacy. Join us as we chat about this fun summer book with our friend, Claire Nauman. (transcript)     In today’s episode…   In Siobhan Vivian’s newest novel, Stay Sweet, Amelia is looking forward to her last year at the Meade…

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11 If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say Leila Sales cover

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say


  We take a look at online shaming and Leila Sales’ new novel, If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say. Join us this week on the YA Cafe. (transcript)   In today’s episode…   In Leila Sales’ newest novel, If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say: A Novel, Winter Halperin gets caught up in a storm of online…

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The Unrecommendable Book cover

Subversive Literature: The Unrecommendable Book


So, like you, I spend a lot of time thinking about how to get my teenage students to love reading and writing. I spend a lot of time recommending books to teachers to help get their teenage students to love reading. I even started a podcast to help teachers, librarians, and students find new YA titles they’ll love. In short,…

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Someday Somewhere Lindsay Champion review cover

Someday, Somewhere by Lindsay Champion (and other creative books)


In Someday, Somewhere by Lindsay Champion, Ben and Dominique are drawn together after a movie-magic chance encounter. Join us as we chat music and romance with our special guest, violinist and music teacher Leila Hobbs. (transcript)     In today’s episode…   In Lindsay Champion’s debut novel Someday, Somewhere we get a split perspective of a serendipitous meeting, and a…

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Children of Blood and Bone


  We’ll be talking about Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi with two ladies from the Bookstagram community, Courtney and Anna. Join us as we talk characterization, context, and why it matters. (transcript)     In today’s episode…   In Tomi Adeyemi’s debut novel, Children of Blood and Bone, we meet Zélie, who was only five years old…

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Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert


  Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert is a dive inside the mind of a young artist, Danny Cheng. Join us today as we talk about secrets, tragedies, and struggles with mental health. (Listen to the podcast or find a transcription here.)   In today’s episode…   At the beginning of Picture Us In The Light, seventeen-year-old Danny…

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The Summer of Jordi Perez by Amy Spalding


We’re chatting with Anne Marie Wells, a fellow reader and foodie friend, about The Summer of Jordi Perez by Amy Spalding. Check out more on this week’s episode of the YA Cafe.   In today’s episode…   In The Summer of Jordi Perez, Abby scores the internship of her dreams: working at a vintage clothing shop in LA. She hopes…

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Picture Us in the Light review cover

Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert


Picture Us in the Light – Kelly Loy Gilbert   Danny Cheng has always known his parents have secrets. But when he discovers a taped-up box in his father’s closet filled with old letters and a file on a powerful Silicon Valley family, he realizes there’s much more to his family’s past than he ever imagined.   Danny has been…

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The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert podcast cover

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert


  Welcome to the YA Cafe, where you’ll find conversations and reviews about Young Adult books for teachers, readers, and caffeine addicts everywhere. On today’s episode, we’ll be talking about The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert with our guest, Brynn Allison, The Literary Maven. Grab a mug of your favorite beverage, friends, and let’s talk books.     In today’s episode… The…

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A Possibility of Whales by Karen Rivers review cover

A Possibility of Whales by Karen Rivers


A Possibility of Whales by Karen Rivers Summary   Twelve-year-old Natalia Rose Baleine Gallagher loves possibilities: the possibility that she’ll see whales on the beach near her new home, the possibility that the trans­gender boy she just met will become her new best friend, the possibility that the paparazzi hounding her celebrity father won’t force them to move again. Most…

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Americanized by Sara Saedi


Books to Read, Love, and Share: Americanized by Sara Saedi Description from Goodreads:   At thirteen, bright-eyed, straight-A student Sara Saedi uncovered a terrible family secret: she was breaking the law simply by living in the United States. Only two years old when her parents fled Iran, she didn’t learn of her undocumented status until her older sister wanted to…

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Love Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed Review Cover

Love, Hate, and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed


Books to Read, Love, and Share: Love, Hate, and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed In Love, Hate and Other Filters, American-born Maya Aziz has the same concerns as any 17-year-old: school, boys, and going to the college of her dreams (NYU) to pursue her goal of becoming a filmmaker. Her Indian parents would prefer their daughter go to college closer…

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