Debbie’s Best of 2017!

Debbie's Best of 2017

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Stephanie’s Best of 2017 !

Steph- Best of 2017 YA graphic

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Roben’s Best of 2017!

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Anna’s Best of 2017!


The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

About- Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.

Anna’s thoughts- This book is insanely intense. McGinnis goes into such detail about rape and sexual assault that it can be uncomfortable to read…and that’s a good thing. On the other hand, Alex forms relationships through the story that are real and normal. I was actually surprised by the love story within this book and how prevalent it was to the whole story. I appreciated how McGinnis would just drop the murders on the reader and walk away- like BOOM!, but now I’m changing the topic before you even have time to comprehend what happened. This book is definitely not for everyone although it is an eye-opener about rape culture and how rampant sexual assault is in our society.

A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass

About- Mia Winchell has synesthesia, the mingling of perceptions whereby a person can see sounds, smell colors, and taste shapes. Afraid that she is crazy, thirteen-year-old Mia, who sees a special color with every letter, number, and sound, keeps this a secret until she becomes overwhelmed by school, changing relationships, and the loss of something important to her. Forced to reveal her condition, she must look to herself to develop an understanding and appreciation of her gift in this coming-of-age novel.

Anna’s Thoughts- I flew through this book! I had never heard of synesthesia before a colleague told me about this story. It is so intriguing. I love factors that make us all unique and Mia definitely is different…in a very cool way! The way Wendy Mass describes what Mia sees and feels is perfect; I could almost see the colors myself. The relationships between Mia and her best friend, siblings, parents, and boy friends are very realistic. The combination of family, friendship, growing up, and this gift that makes Mia so exceptional come together to create a truly memorable story.

Bad Machinery 6: The Case of the Unwelcome Visitor by John Allison

About- School is out for summer, and for the Tackleford mystery team, that means lazy days, balmy evenings, and… creeping existential dread that threatens the whole city. With half the team gallivanting off to exotic locales (like Aunty Kath’s in Margate), can Linton, Jack, and Lottie solve this season’s most dire case?
The Case of the Unwelcome Visitor, the sixth book in John Allison’s award-winning Bad Machinery series, pits our young heroes against the terrors of the unfamiliar and unknown. Lottie’s mum and sister have both fallen in love (thanks to the internet), Linton is determined to save his father from the soul-sucking responsibility of a promotion, and why is Jack working at the local paper with team nemesis (and hot-shot reporter) Erin Winters? Isn’t print meant to be dead?
Could the link between these tangled threads be The Night Creeper, who prowls Tackleford’s streets and leaves people in the hospital with a blank stare and a terrible smile on their face?

Anna’s Thoughts– This was a fun and fast read. Lottie’s character is too cute and Jack’s lines are funny! It actually took me a few pages to get into and I even thought about putting the book down but I’m glad I stuck it out. The villain is super creepy but the gang manages to crack the case and get rid of him with a little supernatural help.

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Audrey’s Best of 2017


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas 

This is THE YA title of 2017.
If you read one YA in 2017, this should be it.

       THUG is the story of 16yo Starr Carter who moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life. (taken from Goodreads)

Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Octavia E. Butler, and adapted in to graphic novel by Damian Duffy 

Octavia E. Butler’s bestselling literary science-fiction masterpiece, Kindred, now in graphic novel format. 
More than 35 years after its release, Kindred continues to draw in new readers with its deep exploration of the violence and loss of humanity caused by slavery in the United States, and its complex and lasting impact on the present day. Adapted by celebrated academics and comics artists Damian Duffy and John Jennings, this graphic novel powerfully renders Butler’s mysterious and moving story, which spans racial and gender divides in the antebellum South through the 20th century.
Butler’s most celebrated, critically acclaimed work tells the story of Dana, a young black woman who is suddenly and inexplicably transported from her home in 1970s California to the pre–Civil War South. As she time-travels between worlds, one in which she is a free woman and one where she is part of her own complicated familial history on a southern plantation, she becomes frighteningly entangled in the lives of Rufus, a conflicted white slaveholder and one of Dana’s own ancestors, and the many people who are enslaved by him.
Held up as an essential work in feminist, science-fiction, and fantasy genres, and a cornerstone of the Afrofuturism movement, there are over 500,000 copies of Kindred in print. The Intersectionality of race, history, and the treatment of women addressed within the original work remain critical topics in contemporary dialogue, both in the classroom and in the public sphere.
Frightening, compelling, and richly imagined, Kindred offers an unflinching look at our complicated social history, transformed by the graphic novel format into a visually stunning work for a new generation of readers. (Taken from Goodreads)

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu 

Viv is fed up with the sexual misconduct and harassment at her high school in Texas. Inspired by her mom’s Riot Grrrrl days, she starts an anonymous zine to combat the injustices being experienced, which in turn starts a Feminist movement at the school bringing those fed up with the patriarchy together!

American Street by Ibi Zoboi 

       American Street is about immigration and culture, family and loyalty, community and relationships. Fabiola is a Haitian Immigrant moving to Detroit to join her aunt and cousins when her mother is detained at customs. Suddenly, Fabiola is in a completely new ecosystem and must somehow get her mother to Detroit like originally planned, as well as navigate and adjust to her new urban environment. There was so much going on in this book, but it all flowed together into Fabiola’s story perfectly.

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon 

       Meet Natasha, a high school senior that loves science, facts, and grunge music. She is also an illegal immigrant scheduled to be deported that night….   Now meet Daniel, a Korean American boy on his way to an interview to get in to Yale. Their paths collide, changing everything forever.
This book has everything I like, and some things I dislike. However, Nicola Yoon does so in such a relatable and enjoyable way that I fell hard for this book. Though I, too experienced insta-love for Natasha and Daniel, and believe in love and it’s unpredictable yet intentional way of propelling things through the universe…. Or multiverse. Read this book!

Posted in #metoo, American History, Audrey, Best of 2017, Black History Matters, Black Lives Matter, character driven, civil rights, college, coming of age, contemporary, culturally driven, Diversity, female writers, Feminism, graphic novel, History, Immigration, Korean American, magic realism, multicultural, police brutality, realistic fiction, science fiction, time travel, urban fantasy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome to SPL’s Best YA of 2017 Lists!

It’s that time, folks! Best of the year lists are out! Check here every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday during the month of January to read the youth services staff at the Smith Public Library’s best of young adult for 2017 lists!

Best of

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Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

moxiecMoxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Viv is fed up with the sexual misconduct and harassment at her high school in Texas. Inspired by her mom’s Riot Grrrrl days, she starts an anonymous zine to combat the injustices being experienced, which in turn starts a Feminist movement at the school bringing those fed up with the patriarchy together (and that doesn’t just include Feminist weirdos, white, and Cis women).

As a teen librarian I meet lots of young people who are motivated by Feminism and human rights in general, looking for information and inspiration on where to start. Moxie is the perfect book, functioning as a narrative and guide to civil disobedience. There is also ample name dropping of figures and movements to know that can be further researched. Such as: Kathleen Hanna, Bikini Kill, The Riot Grrrl Movement, Roxanne Gay, Ann Richards, and Audre Lord to name a few off the top of my head. The author even provides a guide on organizations and resources for young activists.

This book would be relevant anyways, though especially right now with all the sexual misconduct and assault taking place in Hollywood and politics, and the #metoo movement. Anyhow, a timely must read for everyone.

Reviewed by Audrey

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