Best Young Adult Books with Liz Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy
By Liz Burns, for Hideous Love
By Stephanie Hemphill
Hemphill is the author of Your Own, Sylvia (Random House, 2007) a Michael L. Printz Honor Book. Like Your Own, Sylvia, Hideous Love is told in verse. And it’s not just any story told in verse: it’s the story of Mary Shelley. MARY SHELLEY. I know. I’m fascinated by Shelley, her life, her love, her losses. Long story short: before she wrote Frankenstein, a then sixteen year old Shelley ran away from home with her married boyfriend, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. They spent the next few years travelling around Europe, having and burying children, and marrying when Shelley’s wife committed suicide. So, yes, I’m very eager to see how Hemphill tells this story.
Ages 13 and up | Publisher: Balzer & Bray, an imprint of Harper Collins | October 1, 2013
By Anna Jarzab
I adore Jarzab’s first two books, All Unquiet Things (Delacorte Press, 2010) and The Opposite of Hallelujah (Delacorte, 2012). Both of those are contemporary titles. When I heard that Jarzab’s next work would be fantasy, and the first in a trilogy, I was intrigued. It’s not often that an author writes in both genres. Not only that? Tandem is about parallel universes, with the heroine, Sarah, occupying two worlds as two different versions of herself. This means that Jarzab isn’t just going to be giving us one well defined fantasy world; she’s going to have to give us several. This was one of my must-get titles at BEA (and bonus, I got my copy signed. I said I was a fangirl!)
Ages 12-17 | Publisher: Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House | October 8, 2013
I’m preparing to be on a panel for an upcoming school librarian conference, and part of that involves reading books that have been nominated for YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults list. One of the books I read was McGarry’s Dare You To (Harlequin Teen, 2012). I loved Dare You To, and upon finishing it discovered it was the middle book in a sequence of stand-alone titles with shared characters. The next book in the sequence? Crash Into You. Good girl Rachel and bad boy Isaiah share a love of street racing. I’m looking forward to lots of feelings, emotions, miscommunications, hot kissing and action. Car racing action, of course. I’m also hoping for at least a peak at the characters I met in Dare You To.
Ages 13-17 | Publisher: Harlequin Teen | November 26, 2013
On Twitter, I know Carrie Mesrobian as someone who says funny and thoughtful things that make me laugh and make me think. We had conversations about libraries and The Chocolate War. So when I realized “duh she has a book coming out” I wanted to read it. Here’s the thing: I wanted to read it because Carrie didn’t sell or push herself aggressively on Twitter. She was, well, just Carrie, someone I like talking to. I liked her voice, as it came through in her tweets. Plus, when I found out it was being published by Carolrhoda Lab? Andrew Karre, their editorial director, has an amazing track record with books so I knew I had to read the book whatever it was about. What is it about? Well, Sex & Violence. No, really – Evan is a bit of a player, gets beaten up, and has to figure out his life in the aftermath.
Ages 14-17 | Publisher: Carolrhoda LAB, an imprint of Carolrhoda Books, a division of Lerner Publishing Group | October 1, 2013
What’s better than a book about the summer before going to college? Two books. OK, I cheat a little. Roomies is just one book, but it’s the stories of two girls, Elizabeth and Lauren, who are assigned as roommates. It’s about the emails they send back and forth, figuring out who will bring the fridge and getting to know each other. I love books set in this time period, that slice of life during the last time before heading off to independence. The both wanting to leave home and fearing it. Plus, two fantastic authors telling this story.
Ages 12-18 | Publisher: Little Brown | December 24, 2013.
Liz Burns blogs about young adult books, TV, and other things at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy at School Library Journal. She is a Youth Services Librarian for an east coast regional library for the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Liz co-authored, with Sophie Brookover, Pop Goes the Library: Using Pop Culture to Connect with Your Whole Community (Information Today, Inc., 2008). She is active in ALA and YALSA. You can follow her on Twitter @LizB.