It’s Time Once Again for the SWON Teen Reading Challenge!


Every year from February through April, library staff in Kentucky and Ohio gear up for summer programming by reading as many young adult novels as possible. I have participated for several years, and I am ready to jump back into it. (Go Team Louisvillains!!!) For three months, I will be swimming in young adult titles.

I thought I would share some of the new books on my desk.

The Boy in the Black Suit is Jason Reynolds’ second novel, following his fantastic When I Was the Greatest. Matt has been wearing a black suit every day since his mother died. Not out of mourning, but because he landed a job at the local funeral home. While struggling to deal with his grief and his dad’s increasing drinking, he meets a tough girl named Lovey who never cries.

After Shelby gets hit by a car in There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake, her entire life changes. Her mother rushes her away for a “long vacation,” but as they get closer to the Grand Canyon, Shelby realizes everything she knows about her family is a lie.

In The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion & the Fall of Imperial Russia, Candace Fleming explores the extravagant lives and tragic murders of the Russian royal family as well as the suffering and poverty of the Russian masses. This book is a finalist for YALSA’s Excellence in Nonfiction Award.

I love graphic novels, and graphic memoirs even more. In Tomboy, Liz Prince recalls trying to make her way through her middle and high school years. Hint: she was not a girly girl.

Set during the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, Hold Tight, Don’t Let Go by Laura Rose Wagner follows Magdalie and her cousin Nadine as they lose their home in Port-au-Prince and settle into a camp where they try to build new lives.

These five will get me started in my reading challenge. What titles would you recommend?

The readers at Crescendo, Iroquois Branch’s Teen Book Club, suggest Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout, and 13 to Life by Shannon Delany.

Iroquois’ Teen Tuesday crowd recommends The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan, and The Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld.

If you have a favorite book, please leave a comment below. We always love to hear your recommendations!

-Susan, Teen Services, Iroquois Branch

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