An Ace Up Your Sleeve


Photo CC-aquarian_insight

You know the saying, “Always have a trick up your sleeve?” It’s fairly common, while it may originally applied to cards it has become a catch all for many topics. The YALSA website and corresponding blog The Hub are definitely tricks to have up your sleeve. In just the hour or so I spent browsing I found plenty of books to add to be TBR list as well as different ideas for my own classroom.

I started by looking at some of the different awards that the ALA gives out. I was aware of the Printz award, but there were other awards that I learned a lot about. These included the Edwards Award, Alex Awards, and Morris Award. Within these awards you can find a lot of good suggestions for books. The Alex Award is given to books that are written for adults, but appeal to YA audiences, while the Morris Award is given to first time YA authors. You can look at these awards for ideas for books for your students, or you can use them to support new authors and start to give them a platform in your classroom or library.

I also discovered that the YALSA has recently launched the Teen Book Finder Database. The database has over 4,000 books listed in it. The books range through different types of genres, but many of them are award winners as well. Not only that, but the database is also available in the form of a smartphone app. They have a link on their page that’s pretty easy to use. I even downloaded the app and started looking through it. There is actually a lot there. I suggest that you all check it out!

As far as The Hub I thought it was really great. I started off by looking at the yearly reading challenge. Basically the challenge helps you to try and read all of the newly released award winners. It seems like quite a challenge, but it could be something that you could encourage your students to take part in. I liked that the different posts dealt with current events and books that built off of it. For example there is a post about NASA’s recent planet discoveries. Included in the post are several books that deal with teen’s in space. There is another post dealing with strong women leads. I like the way that this is organized in topic form. That way if you send your students here they can dig around and look for book options.

As for myself I definitely picked up some new books to read in the future. These are just a few:

  • These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  • Cry, Heart, But Never Break by Glen Ringtved (This one looks like a definite tear jerker)
  • Hunted by Megan Spooner
  • The Smell Of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

There are several more, but these were the one’s I thought looked the most interesting! I loved this and I will definitely be bookmarking these for the future.


8 thoughts on “An Ace Up Your Sleeve

  1. I love The Hub’s Reading Challenge! I never complete it, but I do end up reading some books I wouldn’t otherwise get to. Now I’ve got to go check out the Book Finder–that’s new to me! And an app makes me so happy! I hate being in the library and realizing I have no clue what I want to read next.


  2. I really liked the book finder and book lists. They provide you with an opportunity to learn about so many book options that are out there. You are able to see books you may never would have found before by only looking through the books in your school or local library. This is a great resource.


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