First and foremost, this post is meant as a celebration in honor of Teen Read Week.
The YALSA Teens Top Ten is out. These books were voted on by teens at libraries nationwide. That’s an exciting thing.
The fact that teens still go to libraries for books and not merely to access the internet is a good thing.
Many of the authors on the list are folks we at The Brown Bookshelf know, personally. Authors who stand with us, in the trenches, to spread the word on good books. So a hearty congratulations to them! Making the list means teens are reading their books.
1. Paper Towns by John Green (Penguin/Dutton)
2. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
4. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry)
5. Identical by Ellen Hopkins (Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry)
6. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins)
7. Wake by Lisa McMann (Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse)
8. Untamed by P.C. and Kristin Cast (St. Martin’s Griffin)
9. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart (Disney-Hyperion)
10. Graceling by Kristin Cashore (Harcourt/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
But (hah, you sort of figured there was a but, didn’t ya’?) I think the list, while a peek into the minds of what readers loved this year, also showcases how important it is that books featuring and/or by people of color are booktalked.
Their absence, to me, simply means they aren’t talked about enough for teens to consider them on a significant level.
Varian and I attended the Kidlit Con this weekend in DC. It was great meeting bloggers who, until Saturday, I only knew through their posts. But I made sure to remind them that part of the solution is ensuring they are reviewing books by/about poc.
So, spread the word about the ’09 Teens Top Ten. Actual readers chose these books which makes this honor that much more special. But do, keep name dropping POC books so that readers know they’re out there.