1. Award-Winning YA Books with a Cultural Studies Twist;
2. The Collected Works of Stephen R. Lawhead; and
3. YA Books By Authors I Adore.
1. Award-Winning YA Books with a Cultural Studies Twist
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (by Sherman Alexie) and American Born Chinese (by Gene Luen Yang). Both of these books have won some serious awards—The Absolutely True Diary… won the National Book Award in 2007 and American Born Chinese won the ALA’s Michael L. Printz Award in 2007 and was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2006—and I tend to accept those distinctions as a pretty good recommendation. This week I put them both on my TBR shelf—I picked up a copy of Alexie’s book about an American Indian that goes off-reservation for school at Barnes & Noble (it was such a steal at only $9) and I checked out Yang’s graphic novel from the library while hunting in the YA section with my nephew. I’m ready to have my eyes opened about other cultures living right here in the United States… bring on the cross-cultural education!
2. The Collected Works of Stephen R. Lawhead
Tuck, The Iron Lance, and Taliesin. You can read here and here about how much I’ve enjoyed reading the first two books in Lawhead’s King Raven series (a re-telling of Robin Hood), so I’ve definitely got the final installment of that series, Tuck, on my wish list. But while I’m waiting for that to come out in paperback and/or come in at the library (whichever happens first), I’m satiating myself with his backlist of works. I picked up The Iron Lance (the first in the Celtic Crusades trilogy) at the library on Sunday—I’m on a real Celtic bender right now, so this one should do me good. And I picked up a cheap copy of Taliesin (the first in the Pendragon Cycle) at the book store because I’ve heard that this series of books is his best. If that’s true, then I’m in for a real treat!
3. YA Books By Authors I Adore
Hero-Type by Barry Lyga and Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher. It’s not a secret around this blog that I love YA authors who write smart, funny, and poignant works, and neither Lyga nor Crutcher ever disappoint. You can read my gushing about Barry Lyga here and my gushing about Chris Crutcher here and here. I’m slowly, but surely, reading my way through both of their bibliographies. I picked up Lyga’s book about a boy who did a heroic deed (helping to catch a serial killer), but isn’t really that heroic, at the library on Sunday. Then I added Crutcher’s book about a swim team without a pool (Crutcher’s dynamite when he’s talking about swimmers) when I was at the book store on Monday. I was so excited for these reads that I finished Lyga’s book in a day… it was that good! (The review is up already.)