Before I ever worked for the Library, I was a member of a Young Adult book club. Our book club has gone through a few different iterations, but in the past year or so, we’ve settled into a pretty great rhythm: One person picks the book and the restaurant, and we meet up on a predetermined date to eat tasty food and chat about our book. It’s my turn to pick our title for August, and my deadline to choose just so happens to be tonight. I have so many potential choices I’m having difficulty narrowing it down. Here’s a look at a few books I’m considering – if you’ve read any of them, please comment and help me decide what my pals and I should read next.
33 Snowfish by Adam Rapp – A gritty-yet-lyrical look at three teenage runaways and their life of crime, this book is sure to be emotional and should inspire some pretty interesting discussions.
Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kristin Cronn-Mills – Gabe is balancing his transition from female-to-male, his course load at school, and his burgeoning success as a late-night DJ, and he does it all with uncommon humor and honesty.
Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero – Written like a journal, this book gives readers a glimpse at the complicated, messy life of Gabi Hernandez as she navigates everything from a drug-addicted parent to her blossoming sexuality during her senior year in high school. Lots of CLP staff have already declared their love for this title, one review I read on GoodReads described this book as “the YA poster child for #WeNeedDiverseBooks“, and it’s the theme book for this year’s Teen Alternative Homecoming, so this one seems like a pretty strong contender.
Sunrise over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers – I’m not typically very interested in books about war, but the description of this book sounds really compelling: it’s told from the perspective of several young soldiers in the early days of Operation Iraqi Freedom, with less of a focus on tactics of war and more of a focus on the people grappling with this incredibly difficult situation. It’s easy for us to forget how many members of the armed forces are still teenagers, and I expect this to be a sobering reminder. Also, I think I’ve only ever read one other book by Walter Dean Myers, which seems like a major gap in my reading history.
Silhouette of a Sparrow by Molly Beth Griffin – We’ve only read one other historical fiction title in my book club, and we all enjoyed it. I’m intrigued by the description of this book’s plot, where the main character tries to break free of gender roles in 1920s America.
So, friends, help me decide: What should my book club read next?