Join us for a round-table discussion of a new title in Young Adult literature! We'll be joined by readers, teachers, librarians, authors, and media critics as we converse about these books. Even if you haven't read one of our titles yet, you'll be able to listen to the first half of each episode spoiler-free. Although we read a wide variety of books, we especially love those with diverse casts of characters and those that tackle a range of issues. We always look at books for their valuable representation and wide range of experiences.
Sick Kids in Love by Hannah Moskowitz
This week we’re chatting about Sick Kids in Love by Hannah Moskowitz, a heartwarming #ownvoices tale of two chronically ill teens who don’t die at the end! (Transcript) In today’s episode… Sick Kids in Love by Hannah Moskowitz Isabel is sick. Not “Make-a-Wish” sick, though. Isabel has Rheumatoid Arthritis, the kind of sick that hurts her every single day and requires constant treatments, but isn’t going to kill her. Her friends and family, although they care about her, sometimes forget that she’s sick at all. After all, Isabel is dealing with it so well, and works hard to never be an imposition on their lives. Sasha’s world is different. He’s sick, too, with Gaucher disease, but he and his family are open and unapologetic about his life and struggles. When the two meet during […]
A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy
Our friend Courtney joins us to chat about A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy. It’s perfect for fans of Children of Blood and Bone or Three Dark Crowns! (Transcript) In today’s episode… A River of Royal Blood tells the story of two rival princesses, Eva and Isadore, in a land of magic and mystery. Eva, our POV character, has always known that when she comes of age, she and her sister will fight to the death for the crown. Even though she wants to rule and be a good queen, Eva has never believed she’d have a chance because she’s never been able to use her magic of Blood and Marrow. It’s a terrifying magic with a sinister past, and Eva’s father could never find someone to teach her. When a mentor […]
The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junauda Petrus feat. L. Sam Smith
Writer & teacher L. Samantha Smith joins us to chat about The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junauda Petrus, a lush, split perspective YA debut. (Transcript) In today’s episode… The Stars and the Blackness Between Them follows two girls, Audre and Mabel. Audre has just been sent to Minnesota from her home in Trinidad after her mother found her with another girl. Mabel is ready to welcome her, but barely has the energy to enjoy much these days. After a startling diagnosis, Mabel counts on Audre for calm and peace. She also begins a correspondence with an imprisoned writer. It feels like these two people are alone in understanding her and anchoring her to this life. Can the two girls shape happiness in the space and time they have left together? […]
Pet by Akwaeke Emezi feat. H.D. Hunter
This week we’re chatting about Pet by Akwaeke Emezi. Our guest is author H.D. Hunter who has some great insight into this totally unique YA new release. (Transcript) In today’s episode… Pet by Akwaeke Emezi The people in the town of Lucille know that there are no monsters anymore – not since the angels came and took them all way. But when a creature from one of Jam’s mother’s paintings comes to life and declares it’s here to hunt a monster, Jam believes it. The creature tells Jam to call it ‘Pet’, and asks her to help it find a monster lurking in her best friend’s house. Can Jam navigate the tricky waters of hunting a monster when no one believes they still exist? These Show Notes use Amazon Affiliate […]
The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert feat. Nikea JaLynn
BookTuber, Nikea JaLynn (cohost of the series #BlackGirlLit), joins us to chat about The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert. (Transcript) In today’s episode… The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert Dove “Birdie” Randolph has tried hard to live up to her parents’ expectations: she’s at the top of her class, she works hard, and she even quit playing soccer to make more time for schoolwork. She seems to be the perfect daughter. But Birdie has a secret: she’s seeing a boy named Booker, a boy who’s been in Juvie, and Birdie’s sure her parents won’t approve. When her estranged aunt Carlene comes to town, Birdie’s life gets even more complicated. Carlene’s in recovery, but Birdie’s mother still braces herself for the moment when it will all come crashing down. Can Birdie […]
The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee
Stacey Lee does it again! The Downstairs Girl is exactly the kind of historical fiction we need right now. We loved it, and your students will too. (Transcript) In today’s episode… The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee Being a Chinese American teenager in late 19th century Atlanta isn’t easy, but Jo Kwan has made a life with some stability. She and her caretaker, Old Gin, live in secret in a hidden room below a house, eavesdropping on the family living above them. When Jo’s fired without cause from her job as a hat maker she has no choice but to return to work as a lady’s maid for a girl she despises. Luckily, Jo has a secret. She’s taken to writing an advice column as “Miss Sweetie,” a sauce box of […]
Actually relevant and diverse
Danielle and Amanda take the time to ensure their selections represent a diverse array of demographics and topics. I love that they split the podcast in half so if you haven't read the book yet, you don't get any spoilers. This podcast is excellent for any middleschool or high school English teachers or individuals who enjoy YA/MG literature. Highly recommend.
Amazing and helpful!
I’m a YA librarian and although I wish I had time to read every new title, of course I don’t. This podcast helps me keep up with a broad swath of teen lit, and also is a fun way to dive deeper into books I have read. Love it!
Let me wipe my tears first...
This is an amazing podcast and the last episode I listened to (The Hate U Give) covers all of the things I wanted to discuss with others about the differences from the book. Your episode made me cry; it not only *authentically* brings up topics we should all be discussing together, but makes me want to be a better ally for POC--and to be an accomplice! Thank you for this!