Each year teens get to vote on their favorite books from a list of nominations that found their way to the list because of teen's choice. This makes this list of winners extra special because they were chosen by the audience they were written for. So, today, I will highlight two of the books off the Teen's Top Ten 2019 list.
First is the book #murdertrending by Gretchen McNeil. If you are familiar with the use of #, then you know that this book involves social media. So, how is the author combining # and murder? Well, who would have thought that our society would have come to a point where executions had become entertainment, but that is what has happened. Convicted murderers are being sentenced to death and their execution is streamed live for the public to 'enjoy.' But, what happens when the convicted murderer is innocent? Will they have the chance to prove their innocence before it is too late? You might want to read the book to find out.
On a whole different topic, Gloria Chao's book American Panda gives us a glimpse into how culture still plays a part in families throughout America. We like to think of ourselves as progressive, and having all of the answers. So, what happens when our modern ideas conflict with our culture? American Panda faces this question head on as mom and dad have planned one future for our protagonist, and she sees herself going a different direction. Will she understand and trust the plan her parents have created, or will she try to get her parents to accept her interest? Will she find her own happiness in the choices that are made?
Teen's Top Ten offers such a variety of books. There should be something for everyone.
Each year the Iowa Center for the Book chooses three books for the designation "All Iowa Reads." The program was established in 2003 to promote a sense of community across the State of Iowa by encouraging schools, community organizations, and book clubs to all pick up the same book to read and discuss. The program started with just adult books, but expanded to include teen and children's selections. This year's selections were announced by the Iowa Center for the Book on November 6th.
The adult book chosen this year is The Mothers by Brit Bennett. This is a debut author known for her essays. Her book is a study of a modern black woman and her position in society. It should provide lots of good reading and interesting discussion.
The Young Adult book is Hey, Kiddo! by Jarrett J. Krosoczka. The author shares his memoir through a graphic novel. The author was raised by his grandparents because his mother was in jail. As a young child, he didn't know his father. When he learns his father's name, he also starts a journey to try to find him. The author shares his struggles and his triumphs as he finds himself.
Finally, the children's selection is The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson. This book takes us on a mystery as the main character finds a clue to a hidden treasure in her deceased grandmother's house. Old houses, mysteries, and hidden treasure always work together to provide a fun story.
So, I hope you'll think about picking up one of the All Iowa Reads books and join your neighbors and friends in some fun discussion.
Hi! I'm Sonya, the Young Adult Librarian at Algona Public Library. I'll be sharing about YA books - old and new.