American Street by Ibi Zoboi

The comparison titles alone made me thrilled to finally read this book: “For fans of Everything, Everything, Bone Gap, and All-American Boys.” And American Street lived up to its comps, telling the gorgeous and gut-wrenching story of Fabiola Toussaint, a Haitian immigrant adapting to life in Detroit on the corner of Joy Road and American Street. When Fabiola andContinue reading “American Street by Ibi Zoboi”

Seven Books to Get and Gift in a Post-Election World

As we process and prod the results November’s US election, we begin to search for a way forward. What can we do now? How can we work for change? We need a plan of action in an uncertain world. Trump’s campaign fueled division and fear. He told Americans: immigrants are dangerous. People who pray aContinue reading “Seven Books to Get and Gift in a Post-Election World”

And I Darken by Kiersten White

This book is an enthralling, disturbing, seriously messed up trip. And I loved it. An alternate history of Vlad the Impaler (recast as a woman, Lada Dragwlya), Mehmed the Great, and Radu the Handsome, this book takes us to the heart of the Ottoman Empire as it sets its sights on Constantinople. Lada and her brotherContinue reading “And I Darken by Kiersten White”

Enter Title Here by Rahul Kanakia

Reshma Kapoor is your new favorite anti-hero. An almost-straight-A student at an elite Silicon Valley high school, she’s vying for the top rank in her senior class and an early-action spot at Stanford. The book opens with a literary agent contacting Reshma about an article she published in The Huffington Post. The agent asks if she’d be interested in writing aContinue reading “Enter Title Here by Rahul Kanakia”

Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

I read this book a while ago, but the story really stuck with me. With Naila and her goals and passion and determination still hanging around in my head, persistent and present, I knew I needed to write a blog post about Aisha Saeed’s Written in the Stars. Here are three things writers can learn from Saeed’s heart-wrenching––butContinue reading “Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed”

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

This is the first time I’ve used a sequel as one of the Writer Reading Kidlit books. But this one was just too good to pass up. **Note: Due to the nature of writing about a sequel, and that none of these tips would really make sense without them, this post has some serious spoilers.** SoContinue reading “A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas”

Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas

Sarah Prineas’s first foray into YA fiction is a retelling of the Cinderella story where the Fairy Godmother is evil and nothing is quite as it seems. Ash & Bramble is a dark, superbly feminist take on the concept of story, narrative arc, and what the idea of a standardized Happily Ever After might really imply. HereContinue reading “Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas”

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

More Happy Than Not is a book that sticks with you. Though I read it a few months ago, I keep coming back to the nuggets of writing wisdom in this lovely YA debut. Here are three things kidlit writers can take away from Adam Silvera’s first novel (apart from an abiding hope that there are many, manyContinue reading “More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera”

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

Renée Ahdieh’s stunning debut, The Wrath and the Dawn, is a loose retelling of A Thousand and One Nights, and follows one of my favorite protagonists of 2015, Shahrzad, as she plots to take down the Caliph of Khorasan, Khalid Ibn al-Rashid, who’s responsible for the murder of her best friend and many other unlucky young womenContinue reading “The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh”

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

I read I’ll Give You the Sun a while ago but can’t stop thinking about it––and recommending it to everyone who crosses my path. There’s a lot to unpack in this incredible novel, 2015’s Printz winner and a Stonewall honor book. With a fresh awards season just around the corner, it’s a great time to lookContinue reading “I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson”