Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Youth Media for Grown Ups- A Top Picks List

Last week, the American Library Association gave out the Big Awards in Children's Literature - things like the Caldecott (Locomotive, illustrated by Brian Floca) and the Newbery (Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo). We've posted all the ALA Youth Media Award winners on this Pinterest Board - click twice on the images to go to our website for more details on each book.

One award that caught our attention was the Alex Awards, given to books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults. That's great - but what about vice versa? Books written for young adults that adult readers will also enjoy? We all know there's abundant creativity, skillful prose, and unique, engaging characters throughout children's literature - and that's relevant to readers of any age.

So, Jane in the Children's Room looked back over the books of 2013 that have come her way and selected her top picks for cross over appeal, listed below. What would be your choices? Let us know in the comments section!

2013 Top Young Adult / Childrens' Books for Older Readers 

 Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
"Rich in historical detail and intrigue, Code Name Verity is a vivid reminder of what makes historical fiction so compelling. In exchange for a temporary stay of execution and lesser forms of torture, a young female spy captured in Nazi-occupied France writes a confession of her activities in the Resistance. Her story is that of two women who should never have crossed paths, yet were destined to become the best of friends and embark upon the covert mission that would determine which of them would live or die. Courage born of friendship, fierce hope, and surprising ironies abound in this spell-binding novel."

Winger by Andrew Smith
"A reader looking to pigeonhole Winger into a traditional genre category may be in for a surprise. It’s a laugh-out-loud funny sports story set at a boarding school, but it’s also a serious look at the many different forms of love—and a subtle meta-narrative about the process of telling a story. Winger packs a punch that will leave readers rethinking their assumptions about humor, friendship and the nature of storytelling—and about the broad range of emotions of which teenage boys are capable."

Reality Boy by A.S. King
"A fearless portrayal of a boy on the edge, King explores the desperate reality of a former child "star" struggling to break free of his anger. King writes with raw honesty in a compulsively readable first-person narrative."

Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff
"Mila, 12, a keen observer of people and events, accompanies her translator father, Gil, on a journey from London to upstate New York in search of Gil’s lifelong friend, who’s disappeared. Rosoff respects her young character, portraying her as a complete person capable of recognizing that there are things she may not yet know but aware that life is a sometimes-painful sequence of clues to be put together, leading to adulthood."

Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick (2012)
"Based on the true story of Cambodian advocate Arn Chorn-Pond, and authentically told from his point of view as a young boy, this is an achingly raw and powerful historical novel about a child of war who becomes a man of peace."

Far, Far Away by Tom McNeal
"Jeremy Johnson Johnson (yes, Johnson Johnson) hears voices. Or, specifically, one voice: the ghost of Jacob Grimm, one half of the Brothers Grimm. Jacob watches over Jeremy, protecting him from an unknown dark evil whispered about in the space between this world and the next. McNeal has crafted a young adult novel at once grim(m) and hopeful, full of twists, and perfect for fans of contemporary fairy tales."

Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang
"Yang’s ambitious two-volume graphic novel follows the intertwined lives of two young people on opposite sides of the turn-of-the-20th-century Boxer Rebellion. This tour de force fearlessly asks big questions about culture, faith, and identity and refuses to offer simple answers."

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