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Black History Month: Book Recommendations from Ashley Woodfolk

Welcome to the second to last installment of our Black History Month series! This month has absolutely flown by and we are sad to see it winding down. However, we’re only sad to see it wind down in number of posts because we’ve got two AMAZING authors lined up for today and next Wednesday, so let’s get started with today’s post!
Happy First Reads Friday!  Today we feature debut author Ashley Woodfolk whose The Beauty That Remains publishes in less than two weeks! The reason I’m SO excited for this book is that Ashely incorporates one of my favorite things — music.  Her story of grief is told from 3 points of view and it seems music plays the roll that will tie the characters together and help them through their grief.  I’m expecting this to be heartbreaking in it’s grief, and, hopefully, offer some hope for our teens. Let’s find out more about The Beauty that Remains, Ashley and books that inspired her to write this story.

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Black History Month: Book Recommendations from LL McKinney

The premise of A Blade So Black can be summed up into one simple sentence: “What if Buffy fell into Wonderland instead of Alice?” Combine that with a bada$$ black girl on the cover and a release date of MY BIRTHDAY and I LITERALLY CAN’T WAIT FOR THIS BOOK.  I was so excited that LL agreed to give us some recommendations because I admire her tireless work in our online YA community so much.  I was thrilled we could have a small snippet of her time.  LL has focused on books she read when we was younger, so be prepared to topple your TBR with some classics!

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Black History Month: Book Recommendations from Claire Kann

It’s Valentine’s Day, so Let’s Talk About Love–literally, let’s talk to Claire Kann, author of Swoon Reads recent release, Let’s Talk About Love. We were drawn to Claire’s debut novel because of it’s absolutely joyous cover with an ebullient black girl on the cover, but when we discovered that Alice is asexual, we became REALLY interested in her story. Let’s see the diverse books that inspired Claire’s debut.

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Veteran’s Day Reading List

Tomorrow, November 11th, marks Veteran’s Day, which was originally celebrated as Armistice Day beginning in 1919, to commemorate the end of World War I. It is being observed today in much of the United States.  Coincidentally, today is also the Marine Corp’s 242nd birthday.  HOORAH.  With so many military celebrations today, we thought it would be good to cook up a themed reading list.  We have had a difficult time finding books that directly deal with US wars, so we decided to ask and expert for help.  Gwen Katz recently published Among The Red Stars earlier this year, a YA historical fiction inspired true events.  The Night Witches were a squadron of female Russian pilots and navigators who gave the Nazi’s absolute hell.  We figured since she’d research World War II, she may have some recommendations.  What she delivered is one of the most thoughtful book lists we’ve ever seen. Find out a little more about Gwen and her book, as well as check out her incredible reading list after the jump.

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#ReadABookDay Reading List

It’s not coincidence that #ReadABook Day falls this month.  UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has declared September National Literacy Month and, with it, come many days dedicated to the promotion of reading. In addition to today, September 8th marks International Literacy Day.  The theme for the  conference, held in France this year, is “Literacy in the Digital World.”   The goal is to actively mobilize the international community and to promote literacy as an instrument to empower individuals, communities and societies.

While researching for this article, I was surprised to learn that over 775 million adults lack minimum literacy skills.  The statistic is that one in five adults are illiterate and two-thirds of those are women.  To bring awareness to this issue and to advocate for reading and literacy, UNESCO began National Literacy Month in 1946.

Today, I created a book recommendations list of YA books including characters that struggle to read or are illiterate and tell you about some organizations that you can support in the fight against illiteracy.

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10-10-10: 10 OTHER YA Books Releasing October 10th

When I tell people that I read YA, the standard responses are:

  1. Twilight? LOL
  2. I really love The Hunger Games!

John Green is the de facto star of YA to those who aren’t in the know. It’s been 5 years since his super-mega hit, The Fault In Our Stars, was published and 3 years since a movie was made.  We’ve known for a while that he’d been writing a new novel, but I was surprised when it was announced last month that his upcoming YA novel, Turtles All The Way Down, would be published this year.  Specifically, October 10th.  Naturally, the internet went bonkers and just a few days later, John tweeted this.


I got to thinking about other YA authors releasing the same day as John, who may not have as many tip-in sheets to sign.  What if they’re new and/or marginalized authors?  How could I help spread the word about those books?  After a quick review of my Goodreads TBR, I discovered that it just so happens that there are ten other books already on our radar releasing on the same day as John’s.  Find out what books you should also be adding to your 10/10 TBR and enter for  your chance to win your very own pre-order after the jump!

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