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I often have this experience and wonder what I would do if I was in those terrifying situations, running from zombies or trying to fend off a serial killer. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake: If all else fails, try to get your hands on a ghost-killing knife like Cas. The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean (2008 Printz winner): Having trouble handling an ill-advised polar expedition and feel like you need a friend to help you make sense of your world?
Conversion by Katharine Howe: Not sure if what is happening to you and your friends is real?
The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes: Again, try your hand at profiling, reading emotions, and trying to notice everything. Blood Red Road by Moira Young: Learning how to distill water would be helpful here, but so is scavenging, riding a horse, and being able to fight your way out of any situation.
Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry (2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults): Practice, practice, practice! Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Banned Books Week: A YA Survival Kit To Get You Through Banned Books Week Posted by Diana R.
So get your flashlights, bottled water, and canned goods ready, then be sure to add the following items to your Banned Books Survival Kit. This National Book Award winner admittedly tackles tough topics, many pulled from the author’s own adolescence, which led him to comment, “I have yet to receive a letter from a child somehow debilitated by the domestic violence, drug abuse, racism, poverty, sexuality, and murder contained in my book.
As much as parents justifiably want to prevent their children from ever contemplating suicide, banning books on the subject won’t change the reality.
These books reference many teen issues that parents don’t want to admit, like smoking pot, wearing thongs, and getting caught in bed with a boy. Collins herself has acknowledged her dystopian stories aren’t for everyone, admitting that, "people were concerned about the level of violence in the books.
It’s an iconic story told from the point of view of a child surrounded by adults with such heightened, racially-charged emotions that one man is willing to threaten the kids with a switchblade at the end, ultimately leading to his own demise.
Included on Time’s list of the 100 best English-language novels, the book features main character, Holden Caulfield, who writes about his late brother’s baseball glove and then goes on to fantasize about becoming a "catcher in the rye," symbolically saving children from the evils of adulthood.
Cormier, a Catholic school grad, was reportedly inspired to write the book after his son refused to sell candy at his Catholic school.
Obviously, parents don’t want their daughters to experience rape, but that doesn’t make the subject unsuitable.
And if you take only one thing to put in your Banned Books’ Survival Kit, let it be this quote from Blume, “Book banning satisfies [parents’] need to feel in control of their children's lives.
Diana Rodriguez Wallach is the author of Mirror, Mirror, a YA short-story collection based on the Narcissus myth (Buzz Books 2013). While the number of LGBTQ teen novels out there is growing, these books are a good place to start if you are new to the genre.
To solve the crisis, the oracle stones are cast, and Kaede and Taisin, two seventeen-year-old girls, are picked to go on a dangerous and unheard-of journey to Tanlili, the city of the Fairy Queen. With a steady boyfriend, the position of Student Council President, and a chance to go to an Ivy League college, high school life is just fine for Holland Jaeger.
This moving love story between two girls is a worthy successor to Nancy Garden’s classic young adult coming out novel, Annie on My Mind. New York Times  bestselling author David Levithan tells the based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS.
While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity, and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites—all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other. Then his online gay chat buddy turns out to be none other than Kevin, the popular but closeted star of the school’s baseball team. Brent Hartinger’s debut novel is a fast-paced, funny, and trenchant portrait of contemporary teenagers who may not learn any actual geography in their latest club, but who learn plenty about the treacherous social terrain of high school and the even more dangerous landscape of the human heart. The last thing in the world Thom Creed wants is to add to his father’s pain, so he keeps secrets.
Transferring to Billy Hughes School for Academic Excellence is the perfect chance to try on a new identity. Secrets have a way of being hard to keep, though, and Ava finds that changing herself is more complicated than changing her wardrobe. Across North America, flocks of birds hurl themselves into airplanes, causing at least a dozen to crash. Among them are Reese and her debate team partner and longtime crush David, who are in Arizona when the disaster occurs. Nicola Lancaster is spending the summer at the Siegel Institute Summer Program for Gifted Youth-a hothouse of smart, articulate, intense teenagers living like college students for eight weeks. Ever since he was a young boy, music has coursed through the veins of eighteen-year-old Anthem—the Corp has certainly seen to that. Anthem finds hope and comfort in the twin siblings he cares for, even as he watches the life drain slowly and painfully from his father. Compelling and provocative, this is an unforgettable novel about a transgender teen’s struggle for self-identity and acceptance.
In razor-sharp verse, Kristin Clark folds three narratives into one powerful story: Brendan trying to understand his sexual identity, Vanessa fighting to keep her and Brendan’s relationship alive, and Angel struggling to confront her demons.
It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. Fifteen years ago Francesca Lia Block made a dazzling entrance into the literary scene with what would become one of the most talked-about books of the decade; Weetzie Bat. One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths.
Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won both of them legions of faithful fans. Lydia Sharp’s first two debuts, TWIN SENSE, and MISMATCHED are great LGBT quick reads.
What Happened To Lani Garver by Carol Plum-Ucci is a good book, not least because the gender identity of the focal character remains hard-to-define (and the narrating character has her own struggles, both with being in remission from cancer and with an eating disorder).
Two new books with gay themes that I liked this year were MAGIC LOBSTERS AND FLYING TAGINES and another called THE HELLESPONT. In this novel, Brian’s plane crashes, leaving him alone in the wilderness with only his hatchet to rely on, staying alive on his wits and this one archaic tool. In an Election that Pits Inspiration Against Evil, How Should We Treat Political Dissenters?
I'm Stacey, a girl from London, England who blogs about books and works in the book industry.
Nil is like Castaway but with attractive teenagers and a less probable reason for their arrival. Lost and alone, Charley finds no sign of other people until she meets Thad, the gorgeous leader of a clan of teenage refugees. The island residents have also discovered that although the shimmers break down the barriers of space (and logic…), they do not transport teens through time.
Since I don’t have a lot of confidence in my survival abilities, I will turn to the hobby I have a lot of confidence in: reading!
But don’t let yourself get too wrapped up in the case, like Cassie, or you will find yourself in the middle of one. When your job is killing zombies, that’s what you need to do whether ir be with a samurai sword or whatever you can find.
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I was having serious trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality."While on a backpacking trip in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, nineteen-year-old Maddie Pearce finds her world has been thrown into a vortex and is madly spinning toward the impossible.
He’s stated in interviews that he felt some of the authority figures he knew in grade school were villains, but “none of the children in my school, including me, thought to question them. That’s why you should pack a basketball in your survival kit in honor of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, which ranked as the #3 Most Banned Book in 2013. And it might be even harder to find a tape deck to play it on, but that could be why parents so desperately want the item banned from your life. Cell Phone, duh. If you don’t know the necessity of having a fully charged cell phone in your survival kit, I don’t know what to tell you. But as Myracle puts it, “One [character] goes to a college party when she’s still in high school.
Hey, you never know. It seems like in most post-apocalyptic futures, from The Hunger Games to the TV show Revolution, knowing how to use a bow and arrow could save your life, so be sure to put one in your survival kit.


More than 50 years after its initial publication, this Pulitzer Prize winner is still making the top ten most banned lists, hitting  #10 as recently as 2011.
In 2014, it’s amazing that this highly acclaimed novel is still one of the most banned, proving that when it comes to stubborn ignorance, history can’t always prove you right. Holden wants to stop children from losing their innocence, which is ironic given that’s exactly what the censors are trying to do by banning this very novel.
That’s a lot of decades of banning, with parents claiming the book features ?offensive language, sexual situations, and violence.
He defended his book and its explicit language until he died, stating that teens aren’t “looking for titillation, they're looking for validity. Ranked as #60 on the Top 100 Most Banned Books for 2000-2009, the novel is a cautionary tale about the emotional aftermath of rape. Halse Anderson explains that, “When Speak was published, there was some whispering that this was not an appropriate topic for teens.
Maxi Pad, no belt required. If your survival kit is going to have to last you more than 28 days and you’re a female, then tampons and pads are an unfortunate necessity. She is also the author of three award-winning YA novels: Amor and Summer Secrets, Amigas and School Scandals, and Adios to All The Drama (Kensington Books 2009).
Last week, we invited our community members to weigh in on the topic of gay characters in young adult literature. Their deaths mean they will never learn the truth she eventually comes to—that she’s gay. Taisin is a sage, thrumming with magic, and Kaede is of the earth, without a speck of the otherworldly.
With her characteristic humor and breezy style, Peters has captured the compelling emotions of young love. Jesse wishes their relationship could be out in the open, but Emily feels she has too much to lose.
But the threesome faces their first separation when Nina goes away the summer before their senior year.
A Patron, he has everything a boy could possibly want—the latest tech, the coolest clothes, and a Proxy to take all his punishments. But just in case things don’t work out, Ava is hiding her new interests from her parents, and especially from her old girlfriend.
On their drive home to San Francisco, along a stretch of empty highway in the middle of the Nevada night, a bird flies into their headlights. San Francisco feels like a different place with police enforcing curfew, hazmat teams collecting dead birds, and a strange presence that seems to be following her. What do you do when you think you’re attracted to guys, and then you meet a girl who steals your heart? By encoding music with addictive and mind-altering elements, the Corp holds control over all citizens, particularly conduits like Anthem, whose life energy feeds the main power in the Grid.
Escape is found in his underground rock band, where music sounds free, clear, and unencoded deep in an abandoned basement. Like the moon from whom Liam has chosen his female namesake, his true self, Luna, only reveals herself at night.
He was certain that eventually everyone would understand who he really was; a boy mistakenly born as a girl.
But things start to look up when a new student breezes through the halls of his small-town high school. Although Grady is happy about his decision to finally be true to himself, everybody else is having trouble processing the news. He’s a star wrestler, a video game aficionado, and a loving boyfriend to his seemingly perfect match, Vanessa. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached.
This poetic roller coaster swoop has a sleek new design to match its new sister and brother books, Goat Girls and Beautiful Boys. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.
Cheryl Rainfield has four books, all with LGBT characters: SCARS, HUNTED, PARALLEL VISIONS, and STAINED. Okay, we learned some survival skills, but we can’t even bring hatchets on planes anymore. I love taking photographs of books, exploring London and visiting new bookshops and coffee shops. It’s a non-stop action fest, where kissing or running toward escape or away from island creatures is always taking place.
When they woke up they were on an exotic beach with no clothes and no idea where they were. There’s something about fighting for your life that makes everything seem more and less important. Nil‘s premise made me want to shout out loud at its improbability at times, but I always remembered that 1. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby. I propose turning to the examples of plucky, resourceful, and brave heroes and heroines in YA literature to save you from the frights of Halloween and beyond. It works out fairly well for Sam Toop even though he is trying to save the ghosts, not save himself from ghosts.
If your imaginary friend happens to be a real-life – though long dead – Antarctic explorer, even better!
It may save you from thinking you’re being driven mad and sick by a coterie of witches. It will beat having to venture out into a blizzard-bound climatological disaster-world to try and find food.
Hargrove, realized her life was on fast forward and if she didn't do something soon, it would quickly be too late to write that work of fiction she had been dreaming of her whole life. This year, if you’re going to survive Banned Books Week, I thought I’d provide you with ten essentials featured prominently in ten of the most challenged young adult novels.
The series revolves around two fourth graders who pull pranks and take issue with their egomaniacal principal, Mr. Specifically, parents took issue with the drugs, alcohol, smoking, offensive language, racism, and sexually explicit situations encountered by a Native American boy as he attempts to acclimate into an all-white public high school where he joins the varsity basketball team. This way you’ll never come home to a box of cassettes detailing exactly why a deceased classmate took her own life and your specific role in her suicide. Except that maybe you shouldn’t use your precious battery life to text your friends about parties and boyfriends using language some parents deem inappropriate, as is the case with ttyl by Lauren Myracle, the #1 Most Banned Book in 2011. Though if The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, #3 Most Banned Book of 2011, is already pulled from your library shelves you might not fully appreciate why this hunting tool is so essential. Most parents question the book’s offensive language and racism, which are rather essential elements when you’re writing a novel set in a small Alabama town, during the Great Depression, featuring a young black man who’s accused of raping a white woman. Essentially, Cormier was writing about bullying before it was trendy to do so, and he’s still being criticized for it.
The language is just enough to suggest that this is the way kids talk." If parents spent any time on teen chat rooms, they’d know he’s right. Thus, the fact that it features “sexual situations” should come as no surprise to parents, yet they still continue to challenge it, also referencing the book’s cursing and alcohol use. They want to believe that if their children don't read about it, their children won't know about it.
Diana teaches creative writing for Johns Hopkins University’s Center of Talented Youth, and she holds a journalism degree from Boston University.
We asked for reading recommendations that prominently feature gay, lesbian, bi, trans, queer or questioning characters and have finalized the list to these 25.
Orphaned, Cameron comes to live with her old-fashioned grandmother and ultraconservative aunt Ruth. She’s the founding (and only) member of NOLAW, the National Organization to Liberate All Weirdos.
When they find themselves on opposite sides of a heated school conflict, they each have to decide what’s more important: what you believe in, or the one you love?
But it’s only the beginning of a sometimes painful, sometimes funny, always gripping journey as three girls discover who they are and what they really want.


There’s his best friend Min, who reveals that she is bisexual, and her soccer-playing girlfriend Terese. Like Thom, these heroes have things to hide; but they will have to learn to trust one another when they uncover a deadly conspiracy within the League. So when Knox and Syd realize that the only way to beat the system is to save each other, they flee. As she faces surprising choices and unforeseen consequences, Ava wonders if she will ever figure out who she really wants to be. When the two of them meet, they have an instant connection–but will it be enough to overcome their differences? Fearing terrorism, the United States government grounds all flights, and millions of travelers are stranded.
When Reese unexpectedly collides with the beautiful Amber Gray, her search for the truth is forced in an entirely new direction-and threatens to expose a vast global conspiracy that the government has worked for decades to keep secret.
But when a band member dies suspiciously from a tracking overdose, Anthem knows that his time has suddenly become limited. In the secrecy of his basement bedroom Liam transforms himself into the beautiful girl he longs to be, with help from his sister’s clothes and makeup. But on the inside, Brendan struggles to understand why his body feels so wrong—why he sometimes fantasizes having long hair, soft skin, and gentle curves.
Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash’s capacity for love-and her desire to live. Collins was excellent, a great and accurate exploration of casual homophobia and bullying, highly recommended for anyone who has been bullied before. Of course my favourite book of all time is Jean Genet?s Querelle de Brest – the film was bad but the book is a must. So as a tribute to the author of this ubiquitous novel, and for a fun trip down memory lane, we’ve compiled a list of YA books that gave us some serious emotional wounds that we may or may not still be nursing a little bit.
The Line is the part of the border that lopped off part of the country, dooming the inhabitants to an unknown fate when the enemy used a banned weapon.
The last thing she remembers is blacking out, and when she wakes up, she’s lying naked in an empty rock field. This only drove me to rush through the book, trying to keep pace with the mystery and adventure on the pages.
They know because when a new kid arrives, they ask them what date it was when they left wherever they’re from. It’s like all your priorities are in place, and I think the author conveyed that desperation and desire very, very well.
So, she rolled down the passenger window of her fabulous (not) company car and tossed out her leather briefcase. This way you can arm yourself with the knowledge, and items, that the parents in your community are protecting you from. This powerful theme, along with some references to drugs, alcohol, smoking and sex, is the reason Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher ranked as the #3 Most Banned Book in 2012. With its perceived anti-ethnic, anti-family, occult and satanic themes, this book elicits strong reactions from parents.
It's a war trilogy." But its interesting to note that most of the challenges came after the movies, leading many to wonder exactly what parents were taking issue with—the books or the films.
Salinger, which is still rocking the Top Ten most banned lists despite having been published in 1951. His main character, Jerry, dares to refuse to participate in the chocolate bar fundraiser at his Catholic high school, leading to violent altercations with classmates and extreme abuse of power by the school administration. This notion was validated by thousands and thousands of readers who connected with me to thank me for the book. Blume is the godmother of young adult literature, and we should all bow down and thank her for carrying the torch to fight censorship for the past 40-plus years.
As members of their party succumb to unearthly attacks and fairy tricks, the two come to rely on each other and even begin to fall in love. Cece and Holland have undeniable feelings for each other, but how will others react to their developing relationship? But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. But on the very first day, she falls in with Katrina the Manic Computer Girl, Isaac the Nice-Guy-Despite-Himself, Kevin the Inarticulate Composer . Revolution all but sings in the air, and Anthem cannot help but answer the call with the chords of choice and free will. Sage has been homeschooled for a number of years and her parents have forbidden her to date anyone, but she won’t tell Logan why. On top of that, there are more practical concerns–for instance, which locker room is he supposed to use for gym class?
When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love. Click through to check out our list of YA books that totally scarred us for life, and let us know which ones still keep you up at night in the comments. We bought a Swiss army knife after reading this book and then realized it totally wouldn’t help in a plane crash situation! Her mysterious rescuer introduces her to a world that Maddie has difficulty accepting as reality. Luckily, the pedestrian in the direct line of fire was a dodge ball pro and had über quick reflexes enabling him to avoid getting bashed in the head. Because as we all know, if you don’t read about taboo things in books, then of course, they will never affect you.
In fact, it hit #6 as recently as 2009, mostly because of “offensive language unsuited to the age group.” As we all know, teens never curse.
It should be noted that Blume has four other books in the top 100, including Forever, which was still ranking as #2 as recently as 2005. When she’s eventually outed, her aunt sends her to God’s Promise, a religious conversion camp that is supposed to “cure” her homosexuality. But the Kingdom needs only one huntress to save it, and what it takes could tear Kaede and Taisin apart forever. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.
And when Knox crashes a car, killing one of his friends, Syd is branded and sentenced to death. The ensuing cross-country chase will uncover a secret society of rebels, test both boys’ resolve, and shine a blinding light onto a world of those who owe and those who pay.
But once Logan comes to terms with what happened, he reaches out to Sage in an attempt to understand her situation.
This book just reinforced our feeling that we would probably die if stranded in the wilderness for 54 days. Will this strikingly gorgeous stranger be the key to her future or will she return to her mundane world, scarred from her experience? This makes Blume second only to Stephen King as the most banned author in American history.
But as the victim of some cruel jokes, Grady also finds unexpected allies, including the school geek Sebastian, and Kita Charles, who’s a gorgeous senior.
With Thad’s time running out, Charley realizes that to save their future, Charley must first save him. Kimiko, falling hard for Allie, and finding it impossible to believe that a gorgeous girl like Allie would be into her, is willing to stick around and help Allie figure it out. Moments later, the slivers expanded and then took form into three indistinct shapes.I kept blinking my eyes, not trusting what I was seeing.
She breathed a liberating sigh of relief, picked up her cell phone, called her boss, and quit her job.
Grinning, she made another call to her hubs and told him of her new adventure (after making sure his heart was beating properly again). They were identical in that they were all dressed alike—wearing black hooded cloaks that fell to their ankles.



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