What's Up in YA

Jason Reynolds on Late Night TV, Most-Anticipated Spring Reads, and More YA News This Week

Hey YA Readers!

Let’s start a new week in a new month with a round-up of YA news…and a couple of book recommendations.

“What’s Up in YA?” is sponsored by Down and Across by Arvin Ahmadi from Penguin Teen.

Scott Ferdowsi has a track record of quitting. His best friends know exactly what they want to do with the rest of their lives, but Scott can hardly commit to a breakfast cereal, let alone a passion.

He never expects an adventure to unfold. But that’s what Scott gets when he meets Fiora Buchanan, a ballsy college student whose life ambition is to write crossword puzzles. When the bicycle she lends him gets Scott into a high-speed chase, he knows he’s in for the ride of his life.

As has been the trend recently, there’s a lot of adaptation news, a late-night interview with a beloved YA author, and more.

Quick Picks…

Two YA nonfiction reads worth picking up that I plowed through recently:

#NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale

This book being one of the shortlisted titles for this year’s Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults, it’s likely already on many radars. But here’s why you should pick it up to read ASAP: this gorgeous collection, rendered like a scrapbook, offers a multitude of Native women’s voices throughout the USA and Canada. There’s spectacular art and photography, poetry, interviews, and more, all of which center around the variety of stories, experiences, and perspectives Native women have. It’s a short book and — perhaps the downside — looks a little bit more like a picture book than a YA read. Upside? Full color art really stands out.

Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card by Sara Saedi (out tomorrow, February 6)

Saedi’s hilarious memoir is reminiscent of reading Funny in Farsi and Mindy Kaling in terms of voice and perspective. The book focuses on Saedi’s experience as an illegal immigrant, how her family came to the US from Iran and lived without documentation, and the sort of hoops they needed to jump through to become citizens. In a world where immigration continues to be a topic of discourse — and more, an experience so many young people are living — Saedi’s book is a necessary read. Bonus points to this one for sharing great family stories, providing insight into Iranian traditions, and for a really appealing format.


Read ’em Cheap…

There are so many great YA deals this month. I’m going to have to be careful not to drop too many at once.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, the classic YA read about sexual assault, is $3.

The queer romance which had a ton of really positive buzz, Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown is $2.

Adventure air-ship fantasy Airborn by Kenneth Oppel is $2.



Thanks for hanging out this week, and we’ll see you again next Monday.

–Kelly Jensen, @veronikellymars