Welcome to Mid-July, YA Fans!
This week’s edition of “What’s Up in YA?” is sponsored by Generation One by Pittacus Lore from Epic Reads.
The first book in a new I Am Number Four spin-off series! It’s been over a year since the invasion of Earth was thwarted. But now human teenagers have developed incredible powers of their own, known as Legacies. To help these incredible and potentially dangerous individuals, the Garde created an academy to train humans to control their powers and help mankind. But not everyone thinks that’s the best use of their talents. And the teens may need to use their Legacies sooner than they thought. The war may be over—but for the next generation, the battle has just begun!
I don’t know about you all, but as much as I love summer, this is about the time things feel like they’re dragging a bit. One of the ways I seem to perk back up, though, is reading a lot of older YA titles. There’s something about picking up a great backlist title or two or three to really help those long, lazy days.
A goal of mine over the second half of this year is to do a little more talk of backlist YA in this space. As much as it’s exciting to highlight and feature new books, there’s power in also picking up an older book and discovering something great. For those who are newer to YA books, too, it’s a nice reminder that this category of books is at least 50 years old and has been full and vibrant through many periods of time, not just the present or due to a few Mega Blockbuster series or authors.
Which is to say, I’d love to hear what you as readers might find worthwhile. Do you want more booklists popping up here? More backlist bumps to new titles as they come up — in my mind, this might be noting that if you love Blair Thornburgh’s recently-released Who’s That Girl you’ll definitely want to pick up Robin Benway’s Audrey, Wait!
Worth simply spotlighting recommended backlist reads from authors, writers, and other YA fans? If you have ideas or things you’d like to see as they relate to backlist YA — and I’m talking books more than a year old here, even beyond that since I see backlist as being more than a few years of a book being available — hit reply. I’ll keep a list and pull from it to put something special and engaging together as we journey through the world or YA. I want to keep this newsletter as useful to you, the readers, as possible, so your input and suggestions are part of how I do that.
And, of course, those backlist features, whatever they look like, will have a hearty dose of inclusive titles. I’ve also encouraged the cadre of Book Rioters who love YA to poke around a bit more and build some resources for talking about older, but still excellent, books.
That’s my sweet lead-in for this week’s newsletter, which is a round-up of what we’ve been writing on site and what you may have missed.
- Sun-themed YA titles for your solstice fun reading. Obviously, the solstice is past, but this one will do well again when the total solar eclipse happens next month.
- The longest YA books that you can read. In the event you need a huge book to read right now or in the future.
- We’ve got your teen photographers right here.
- And we’ve got some queer YA superheroes right here.
- YA books about aliens. Y’all, the microtrend of alien contact in YA this fall is real. Aliens have always been around, but it has usually been pretty patchy. This fall, though. Alien fun! All over!
- Did you read and love When Dimple Met Rishi? You’ll want to dig into these Bollywood films (I know what I’m putting on my rainy day/can’t read anymore to beat the summer blahs list!).
- 170 YA books hitting shelves over the next three months. Surely, there’s something of interest here.
- These 10 YA books will destroy you and you’ll love every. second. of. the. pain.
- Let’s talk about what YA books featuring reality TV are worth the cash, the stop to the library, or skipping.
- If you love Wonder Woman, here are 8 YA heroines you’ll also love.
- I always love reading these sorts of pieces because they give such insight into what teens are reading. The most frequently stolen books from my classroom.
- And let’s round this out with some YA memoirs that are totally worth your time. Nonfiction for YA readers keeps on getting better and better.
Thanks for hanging out again and we’ll see you next week.
— Kelly Jensen, @veronikellymars