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Hey YA Readers!
The last week has sure been a mixed bag. For those of us who were young in the early 00s have seen some of the most shamed young women get freedom and find love (see: the end of conservatorship for Britney Spears, a marriage for Paris Hilton, and Jessica Simpson getting ownership of her name and brand again–it’s impossible, of course, not to see that the positive stories are cis, presumed-heterosexual white women.). But now, we’re seeing a war on young people, as right-wing groups attack their rights to access queer, Black, and Brown literature, as well as push back against mental health discussions and help in schools. It’s unbearably frustrating to see change happen at a glacial pace — change that will hopefully help the most vulnerable among us find their own autonomy — while seeing more and more efforts to stifle the rights of young people TO that autonomy.
I know I’ve shared this before and will continue to share, but there are things you can do to help support intellectual freedom and the rights of young people. This toolkit gives you action items, whether you have time and energy to invest or you are passionate, but have limited resources to utilize.
I’ll link to last week’s censorship news below, but I urge anyone who can to speak up and take action. You’re here because you love young adult literature, and as such, you’re a believer in the rights of teenagers. It’s impossible to divorce the two.
That all in mind and charge offered, let’s dig into this week’s YA book news and new books.
YA Book News
- George M. Johnson addresses the challenges to their book All Boys Aren’t Blue in Florida.
- This was a really interesting look at how Chloe Gong found success on TikTok with her book These Violent Delights.
- I do like the ways we’ve shifted from trilogies being the gold standard for book series in YA and moved toward more duologies.
- A prequel to We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is coming next spring.
- Some casting news for the adaptation of Loveboat, Taipei.
- A nice piece about YA author Ayana Gray (Beasts of Prey) from her local Little Rock news station.
- Uglies will hit screens next year.
Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!
YA Books Out This Week
Please note that with supply chain issues, paper supply challenges, and the pandemic more broadly, publication dates are changing at a pace I can’t keep up with. Some release dates may be pushed back. If a book catches your attention, the smartest thing to do right now is to preorder it or request it from your library. It’ll be a fun surprise when it arrives.
The Diamond Keeper by Jeannie Mobley
Game Changer by Abbi Glines (series)
The Nobleman’s Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks by Mackenzi Lee (series)
Our Violet Ends by Chloe Gong (series)
Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen
Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things by Jacqueline Firkins
Making a Play by Abbi Glines (series)
This Week at Book Riot
- Danika’s anti-censorship manifesto about queer books is essential reading. This is a reminder of how much queer literature has grown just over the last half-decade. I helped with one of Malinda Lo’s queer book count projects and remember when she stopped doing them because it’d become hard to quantify any longer.
- A Rioter talked about how YA horror inspired a love of reading.
- Why do so many young readers love VC Andrews? (I dug these books so much).
- Dark novels in verse, including a number of great YA titles.
- Given the perennial popularity of vampires and werewolves in YA, this deep dive into the history of those creatures in the UK and Ireland is definitely worth a read.
- Great new YA books about cheerleading.
- PEN America’s new report on the state of educational gag orders is eye-opening.
- Finally, here’s a look at (…some of) last week’s book censorship news.
Thanks for hanging out, y’all. Because next week is a holiday week here in the US, I’m going to take a week off nonfiction discussion for a roundup of some great YA gift ideas for the gifting season. I’ll come back to nonfiction the following Monday, since I don’t want to shortchange highlighting these excellent reads.
— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram.