Welcome to In My Mailbox, a weekly feature hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren to highlight the books purchased, received for review, or picked up at the library in the last week.
It’s been a rough week – extremely busy with little pay off. Fortunately, there were some good books picked up during the week and a spot of awesome news that came through Friday night. I’ll share that at the end.
Jenna and Jonah’s Fauxmance by Emily Franklin and Brenden Halpin: This one looks like a lighthearted comedy. I read the pair’s Notes from the Blender and loved it, so I’m excited for this one.
These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf: I got my first ever pitch via Twitter for this one, and it is completely up my alley. Secrets, sisters, and an Iowa setting.
Wither by Lauren DeStefano: This one came in a cool black box. It was packed in pink confetti and came with a small tube of pink candy. Since it’s my third copy of this dystopian, I guess that means I really should bump it up my to-read list since it’s one that’ll be getting a lot of buzz when it drops in March. The other copies I plan on passing off to my teens at work after their first book club meeting (more on that in a second!).
From the library:
Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A. S. King: I’ve been wanting to read this one for a while, and now that it got a Printz honor, I am trying to bump it up my list.
XVI by Julia Karr: This debut title is a dystopian got high praises from some folks I know and trust, and it also happens to be the book my teen book club chose as their first title. Looks like excellent discussion material. And since I’ve been asked kindly by more than one person, I will share how the discussion goes when we finish — we’re lucky enough to also get a chance to chat with the author during our book club meeting. I’m all about the interaction and cannot wait to see the looks on my teens’ faces.
I had a program to go to on Friday as a kickoff to planning Summer Reading at the library, and on the way, one of my colleagues had two graphic novels to pass to someone more interested. I was glad to take those off her hands. Then, I was also a door prize winner at the event, which meant I got to pick up another prize book from a small pile.
Level Up by Gene Luen Yang: Family, video games, and a bit of magical realism in this graphic novel.
Empire State: A Love Story (Or Not) by Jason Shiga: Shiga wrote Meanwhile which got a lot of praise recently. This one looks really, really up my alley after my Julia Wertz binge, even though the stories are quite different. This one’s about romance and New York City and the illustrations looks excellent.
How Lamar’s Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy by Crystal Allen: This tween/early teen novel is about a guy who likes to bowl. Supposed to be quite funny and has a little romance in it.
So on to the good news from this week:
This week, I finally heard word that a proposal Sarah and I put together for this summer’s American Library Association annual conference was accepted! We’ll be running a table talk all about (drum roll!) contemporary young adult literature and why it’s such an important collection area, despite being overlooked again and again on so many “best of” lists. We’re focusing on a number of different topics, including the ways today’s debut and new authors match up with standard authors, crucial themes emerging in the literature, names you need to know, websites to keep track of, and more. To say we’re thrilled would be an understatement. There is nothing more exciting than sharing something I’m passionate about and firing other people up about them, too. So if you’ll be in New Orleans this summer for the conference, stop by our session! Even if you can’t make it there, we’re hoping we can post something on our blogs to share ideas with all our readers.
Kelly Jensen is a former librarian turned editor for Book Riot. She's the author of IT HAPPENS: A Guide to Contemporary Realistic Fiction for the YA Reader and the forthcoming Feminism For The Real World (Algonquin Young Readers, Spring 2017).