Goodbye for now. Hello summer reading!

Photo from the Collaborative Summer Library Program

It’s the end of another quarter here at the good ‘ol UW iSchool, and we at iYouth couldn’t be more excited. Don’t get us wrong! We loved our classes, and we created some amazing things in them. However, there’s just something about this break that’s calling our names. We were so ready for a couple months without class and with reading…with lots and lots of reading! Whether it’s a summer of reading or a summer or learning, we’re really just all about the summer part, and the Seattle area has a plethora of kids programs to get excited about! Each library system around us has a little something to offer:

*King County Library System
*Kitsap Regional Library
*Pierce County Library System
*Seattle Public Library
*Sno-Isle Libraries

If you need a book or two to get you started, ALSC is ready and willing with recommendations. That is, of course, if April’s recent post about LGBTQ YA books hasn’t already filled your GoodReads list! #somanybookssolittletime

And now it’s time for us to leave you to it! Get out there and enjoy your summer. That’s where we’ll be. Which is to say, we won’t actually be posting here, but we will be gathering plenty of stories to share with you next year. See you in September!

(P.S. Before we’re done, we just wanted to make a quick shout out to all the graduating iSchoolers out there, especially the iYouth officers. You have been an inspiration, and we’re so excited for you! Congratulations!)

LGBTQ YA Books to Look Out for This Year

Hello! My name is April, and I’m a residential MLIS student. I am iYouth’s secretary. I am primarily interested in teen/young adult services, and I am particularly interested in serving LGBTQ teens. So I am going to share some of my most anticipated upcoming YA releases that feature LGBTQ characters!

When the Moon was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore



When the Moon Was Ours follows two characters through a story that has multicultural elements and magical realism, but also has central LGBT themes—a transgender boy, the best friend he’s falling in love with, and both of them deciding how they want to define themselves.”
Release date: October 4, 2016
What to read while you’re waiting: The Summer We Got Free by Mia McKenzie




Our Own Private Universe
by Robin Talley



“In Our Own Private Universe, fifteen-year-old Aki Hunter knows she’s bisexual, but up until now she’s only dated guys—and her best friend, Lori, is the only person she’s out to. When she and Lori set off on a four-week youth-group mission trip in a small Mexican town, it never crosses Aki’s mind that there might be anyone in the group she’d be interested in dating. But that all goes out the window when Aki meets Christa.”
Release date: January 31, 2017
What to read while you’re waiting: Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour



Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst


“Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden. Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine, sister of her betrothed.”
Release date: November 22, 2016
What to read while you’re waiting: Huntress by Malinda Lo


True Letters from a Fictional Life by Kenneth Logan



“If you asked anyone in his small Vermont town, they’d tell you the facts: James Liddell, star athlete, decent student and sort-of boyfriend to cute, peppy Theresa, is a happy, funny, carefree guy. But whenever James sits down at his desk to write, he tells a different story. As he fills his drawers with letters to the people in his world–letters he never intends to send–he spills the truth: he’s trying hard, but he just isn’t into Theresa. It’s a boy who lingers in his thoughts.”
Release date: June 7, 2016
What to read while you’re waiting: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli


If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo




“Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee. Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.”
This one’s out now!



Images and blurbs are from Goodreads.


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Being an ABC but also a Superhero

Growing up as a ABC (American Born Chinese) for me, was like living in a shadow. You see yourself as one person at home, but then another at school or with your friends. Sometimes, you just don’t know who you are. This identity crisis occurs not just in ABCs but in everyone at one point in their life. It’s our job as future librarians to help aid in helping people find their identity.

In honor of his anointment by the Library of Congress as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature on Monday, I wanted to write this week about my reading experiences that included works by Gene Luen Yang, specifically American Born Chinese.


Over winter break, I read his latest book, The Shadow Hero



Reading it reminded me of my teenage inner demons and how important it is for books to have protagonists from all backgrounds. This is the background story of a 1940’s comic book hero called the Green Turtle created by artist Chu Hing. It goes through the story of the son of immigrants named Hank. He and his family run a grocery store in Chinatown. After his mother was saved by a superhero who could fly, she aspired for her son to be one too. One problem: her son doesn’t have superpowers but he becomes tangled with some bullying gangsters anyway. When a tragedy hits, a spirit is released who has some answers for Hank. The importance of the story is aligned with the importance of the author’s note in the back. It explains from an unbiased point of view of the faceless 1940s Green Turtle character and how it is rumored that the artist wanted the character to be Asian. Even though his publisher turned down the idea, the character’s face was always in the shadows; replaced with the shadow of a turtle head. The first issue of the 1940’s comic is attached at the end for the reader to determine the hero’s identity for themselves.

Continue reading “Being an ABC but also a Superhero”

Book Awards Bonanza!

The ALA Youth Media Awards will be announced Monday January 11th, 2016, at 8:00 am EST at the ALA Midwinter Meeting Exhibition in Boston.  The awards include Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, and Coretta Scott King Book Awards.  Have you made your predictions yet?


Here are some of the top choices based on Elizabeth Bird’s predictions found on the School Library Journal’s blog. Tell us your predictions!



Let us know if there are others that you think are better in the “comments” section below!  iYouth Blogger, Katie, is rooting for Listen, Slowly for the Newbery!