To go along with my previous post about book budgets, I decided to count up all the books I considered buying for the YA collection this year. I usually read the following book review magazines for YA reviews: School Library Journal, VOYA, Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, and New York Times Book Review. But I also depend on the reviews that appear on my book vendor’s website which includes Kirkus Reviews (I use Ingram’s iPage). I find myself usually siding with what Kirkus and VOYA have to say.
This list gives you an idea of how many books I’ve considered this year for YA. And most of these books have multiple reviews that I have to read and evaluate, including lots of books that have both rave reviews and horrible reviews.
Total YA books considered in 2013: 1018
Total YA books ordered: 336 or 33% of the books considered
Number of YA books still on my A-list that I haven’t ordered: 271 or 26% of books considered (a small percentage of these books have a 2014 release date)
Number of books on my B-list (mixed reviews): 259 or 25% of book considered
Number of books on my C-list (bad reviews): 93 or 9% of books considered
Number of Manga still on my A-list that I haven’t ordered: 45
Number of book on my MUST-ORDER list: 14 (these are still to-be-published but they are on my radar)
Wow, this puts into perspective how much work I did this year for collection development in YA. I read reviews for over 1,000 books, and with each books getting 2 or more reviews, that’s over 2,000 reviews that I’ve read this year. I’m exhausted looking at this number. It would be interesting to do this again for 2014 and compare.
For those of you wondering how I get my numbers: for every book I consider, I add it to some kind of list, either MUST ORDER, A, B, or C-list. This helps me keep track of what I’ve already looked at so I’m not duplicating my work and looking at books several times. If I see it’s already on a list, I move on to the next book review.
“What should I read next?”
It’s one of the hardest questions I get as a librarian. I can only seem to think of the latest books that everyone wants – and of course those books have waiting lists. I often want to point them to a genre booklist or tell them about GoodReads. But sometimes I just want a list of books that are sleeper hits, just waiting for more people to love them. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes was one of those books (well maybe not — it did get reviewed in the New York Times.)
Here are some websites I found that can help us find our new favorite books:
Every month LibraryReads publishes a top ten list of books that librarians love. This list has some books that are under the radar.
Taken from recommendations by independent booksellers around the country. Compiled by the American Booksellers Association.
If a podcast is more your speed, check out this website by two enthusiasts who work in publishing.
You gotta love the name of this site! Features quirky and fascinating lists such as “10 books that’ll make you wish your flight would never end” and “My favorite locked door mysteries.”
Specifically for book clubs, this site shows what book clubs around the country have been reading and discussing. Includes book guides.
I know it’s a little late in the year to be posting about last year’s books but I’m gonna do it anyway!
I read several books on YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults list for 2012. Here are the ones I absolutely loved:
- The Diviners by Libba Bray
- Every Day by David Levithan
- Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick
These books I also liked but didn’t quite blow me away like the first 3 did:
- Croak by Gina Damico (recommended to me by a teen)
- The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison
- The Fault in our Stars by John Green
- Chomp by Carl Hiaasen (listened to the audio read by James van der Beek)
- Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
I started these books but never finished (usually because some other book was screaming “Read me NOW!):
- The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
- The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour (would like to try again with this one!)
- Boy21 by Matthew Quick
- The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman (currently reading)
Books on my MUST READ list:
- Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
- The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
- The Brides of Rollock Island by Margo Lanagan
- I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
- Cinder by Marissa Meyer
- Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Wish me luck in getting around to the rest of these books!
Click on the pic above to see the word cloud I created showing the most read Young Adult authors in my library in 2012. The bigger the name, the more popular the author. I pulled this information from the top 50 circulating YA titles last year. I’d like to print this out and put it up somewhere in the YA area to promote the collection and also let teens see what authors are hot right now.
Top 10 YA Titles of 2012 at Abington Free Library
- Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins
- Son of Neptune – Rick Riordan
- Divergent – Veronica Roth
- Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero – Rick Riordan
- What Happened to Goodbye – Sarah Dessen
- The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
- Clockwork Prince – Cassandra Clare
- Legend – Marie Lu (and my personal favorite!)
- Scorch Trials – James Dashner
- Matched – Ally Condie
The newest issue of VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates, Vol. 35, Iss. 3, Aug 2012) has a great article about the status of humor in YA fiction (“A Funny Thing Happened,” p. 16-18). Why doesn’t humor get more respect in the YA literary world? After all, a lot of teens might want to read something that will make them laugh rather than sob hysterically. And yet, if your main character doesn’t have cancer, or isn’t trying to survive a deadly reality competition, or doesn’t have a life-threatening addiction, then the book doesn’t get as much press or clout. Don’t get me wrong, I love these deep, intense books. But I also like when an author perfectly mixes humor with real-life problems. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie does this spectacularly.
I’ve noticed teens in my library who want to read something entertaining that will make them giggle, laugh, or ROFL. So I decided it would be a great time for a YA book display on the theme of humor. Here’s some of the books in our collection that I recommend to any teen that needs to laugh it up:
- The Hunger Pains by Stefan Petrucha
- I Love You, Beth Cooper by Larry Doyle
- Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
- The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks
- Flush by Carl Hiaasen
- Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar
- Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan
- There is no Dog by Meg Rosoff
- Attack of the Theater People by Marc Acito
Share your favorite funny YA books with me!