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.
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!