Attanya: #WeNeedDiverseBooks because I love science fiction and fantasy books, but I’m tired of authors treating dragons and robots and magic as more plausible than black and brown characters

Jennifer: #WeNeedDiverseBooks because… when I was 13 a white girl told me it was selfishthat all of the protagonists in my stories were Latina because she “just can’t relate to nonwhite characters.” She made me feel guilty for writing about people like me. 

Aiesha: #WeNeedDiverseBooks because…Black Girls are more than sidekicks or “sassy, ghetto friend”

Facts and Figures About Race/Ethnicity in YA and Children’s Lit:


Posting this a little late, but followers please take the time out to check out this post explaining the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign and more events to come over the next few days! 


High School Reading List

Back in May, the #weneeddiversebooks campaign lit a fire to fulfill the desperate need for diverse books in children’s literature. Behind the Book has always championed efforts to find diverse authors and protagonists that will appeal to students since we serve communities of color. For your enjoyment (and enrichment), we’ve created an epic list of diverse books to reflect the diversity in our city; here’s our list for high school students.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Drown by Junot Diaz

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

The Living by Matt De La Peña, a Behind the Book author

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

The Pearl that Broke Its Shell: a Novel by Nadia Hashimi

Mare’s War by Tanita S. Davis

A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea by Dina Nayeri

The Book of Unknown Americans: a Novel by Cristina Henríquez

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal by Margarita Engle

Naughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman

The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi

For descriptions, click the read more!

(Click the following links to be directed to the Kindergarten, (early) Elementary and Middle Grade lists)

Keep reading


The news just broke… Walter Dean Myers has passed. In his lifetime, he wrote over 100 books, served as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, won too many awards and honors to list, advised and inspired kids and young writers everywhere, and impacted thousands of lives. He was a lifelong proponent of diversity in children’s literature, and just a few months ago wrote an article that once again sparked the discussion.

Rest well, sir. You will be remembered always.

Beyond this, words fail me.


We might have mentioned before how much we love science fiction, and the fact that this year’s summer reading theme is Science. Actually: Science!! It needs an exclamation point. 

So, we’ve put together a really, really, incredibly huge booklist (working title? The Hive) for fans of science and fantasy fiction - and we added a little something extra, since, if you’re anything like us, when you love reading a genre, you love to watch films and shows, and play video games, in that same genre. 

And if you’re playing Reading Bingo this summer with us for Summer Reading - or if you’re planning to take part in our Summer Fling (With a Book)! matchmaking program - then these books will definitely see you through summer and beyond!

Resource: Should You Swear in YA? (And Other Rules About Cursing)

Your mother probably taught you not to curse when you were a child; as a teenager, you learned the freedom in screaming FUCK at the top of your lungs. Now you’re an adult (or at least a focused, responsible writer), and the problem with swearing has snuck back up on you: what is too much, and where do you draw the line between authentic and vulgar? While there’s no single rule for when to swear and when not to in literature, here are some resources I hope will help you avoid that long debate with your editor in the future. 

Rules For Swearing In Literature:

Should You Swear in Young Adult Literature?

Swearing Around the World:

There’s no life lesson here, no “remember” this for me to wrap up this post with. Use your discretion, Folks. At the end of the day, authenticity is key, and if it’s really an unacceptable word, well, editors are trained to remove it for you (try to avoid it in the titles). 


Last week, it was our Summer Fling picks for adult fiction. Today, our Young Adult Fiction Summer Fling with a Book Hive Booklist! (We know: It needs a better title. =) )

And as you can see, it took just a teensy bit longer because our readers overwhelmingly preferred YA - here’s everything we recommended for romance, science fiction, fantasy, and mystery/thriller, plus a few bonus beach reads to boot. Thank you to everyone who submitted a personality quiz - we had a fantastic summer with our summer fling readers!

And in case you missed it, we got you covered for fall books, too!  

It’s a fact that ableism, homophobia, and racism influence countless aspects of people’s everyday lives. Micro-aggressions, stereotypes, internalized prejudice, flagrant bigotry, institutionalised discrimination… There are also other matters to consider: accessibility, hair or skin care, limited dating pools, communities, culture, etc.

When none of these elements are acknowledged in realistic fiction, I notice. When the absence of those elements is praised, I notice especially.

And I wonder — perhaps uncharitably — are diverse characters only OK as long as they’re not too diverse?

—  Great article by YA author Corinne Duyvis on “incidental diversity” in books and the decline of the issues book. Lots worth thinking about. 

Yesterday we saw bookriot’s post of read-alikes for Robin LaFevers’s His Fair Assassin trilogy and were so, so excited: one, because that’s one of our favorite YA series, ever, and two, because the list features Jennifer McGowan’s Maids of Honor books - Jennifer will be here tomorrow for our next NaNoWriMo workshop, talking publishing and critiquing short pieces, and we can’t wait! 

Naturally, that got us thinking about some of our other favorite YA novels in which thieves, spies, and assassins appear, so here’s a small compilation of historical, fantasy, and historical fantasy fiction for your weekend reading! 

Maid of Secrets and Maid of Deception, Jennifer McGowan


  • The Demon King, Cinda Williams Chima
  • Star Crossed, Elizabeth Bunce
  • Scarlet, A.C. Gaughen
  • Midnight Thief, Livia Blackburne
  • The Thief, Megan Whalen Turner
  • The Outcasts, John Flanagan
  • The False Prince, Jennifer A. Nielsen
  • Illusive, Emily Lloyd-Jones


  • Palace of Spies, Sarah Zettel
  • Etiquette & Espionage, Gail Carriger
  • Sekret, Lindsay Smith
  • Across a Star-swept Sea, Diana Peterfreund


  • Graceling, Kristin Cashore
  • Throne of Glass, Sarah J. Maas
  • The Assassin’s Curse, Cassandra Rose Clarke
  • The Kiss of Deception, Mary E. Pearson

From the blogs who reblogged the original promo post, the categories were divided as follows: YA themed-blogs (post 80 - 100% YA) and other YA lovers (posted YA at least once in their last ten posts). Any blogs who hadn’t posted YA in their last 20 posts were culled from the list. (This may have been bad timing, but I had to narrow it down to cut down those reblogging for a free promo.)

We have bolded the blogs we recommend heavily. (Note: because of our layout, you can only see the bolded links in a Tumblr dash / reblog / mobile layout.)

YA AUTHORS [click]

aftranyaalicemarvelsanothergenericbookblogbadandbrilliantbooksbloggers-heart-books bookaholicsanonymousblogbook-answersbookishchatterbookishlybrittbookloverwormbooksandstarlightsbooksydaisyreviewsboookishblogcakewormdailyyadandelionn-booksdeuxlectricesenchantingpagesendless-bookendsfairclary fireflybooksfollowthebread-crumbsgatsbookgeekchicbooksgrangerandherbooksgreekcamphistoricalyoungadultinkyopinionsjreadsyalaurenwritesstufflibrary-heavenlibrary-paradiselifeofanemotionalwrecklovelyowlsbookslyamsdarlinmusingsofabooknerdnovelnoviceyaonlycoolkidsreadbookspaperbackd readingperksseahuntress1267sittingonabookshelfthebooknestthefaultinourplotthat-bookwormtheyajournaltotalbooklovertumblingbookshelvesvalentinapoole whispersofthesilentwindwordybirdybookswovenwithwordswordsandteabottlesyabookfanaticyabooknookyabooksweeklyyahighway yapages yasourceyoungadultlityay

abbottfinnabookislifeabookthiefandawordshakeracciobooksandsunshineadventuresonpaperalibraryismyparadisealittlebookblog allthosegoodbooksamelia-rosaleeamyyreadsbooksamywritesxoanidarlinga-novel-thingapageofheavenareaderlivesarrutterartbookslifeashleyiseeatifasbookshelfawordshaker baby-got-bookbangbooksbeautiful-inked-pagesbeccaandbooksbecoming-thereaderbetween-the-pages-of-a-bookbeyondtheperhapsbiblioqueenbluestockingbookwormbookamourbookandcoffeeloverbookcompulsionbookeuphoriabookgeeksambook-giraffebookreader1329bookhoardingdragonbookinspectorbookishlybrittbooknerdaestheticbooks-anovelideabooks-and-cookiesbooks-and-cranniesbooksandeverything-in-betweenbooks-and-moonlightbooksandsugarquillsbooksandwordsbooksaremylife13booksaremyonlyescapebooksaroundtheworldbooks-booksandmorebooksbooksfabulousbooksbooksholdthekeystotheworldbooksofoursbookssforthesoulbookstashbookstealovebooktymebooks-writing-teabooks-wrote-my-storybooksyrupbooktalkpresentsbookuponbookbookwormsarecharming • • cainsvalkyriecafeaushaecatsreadbookstoocaughtwithinpageschibireadscity-of-heavenly-fandomsclacehernxdalecodenamereaderconnorstolldaisdailydaisy6263deliriaforbooks dreadfuldumbgloriousbooksduckduckbooksemmaswritingthoughtsenathebookwormenglishmajormusings erinlovesbookseternaliafictional-starsfictional-teafindingmagicinbooksfirstpublishedbyfortheloveofbooks123friendsinbooksfully-booked-and-fancyfree • • girlfromthemirrorworldgreekgirlreadshannahc8lin25helenasbookuniversehermanhattanhreadsbooksiamsbookworminkandboundpages infinitebookshelvesintertwiningfantasyiotterreadanotherbookisthatabluecakekissabookwormradyrock18ladytomlevilovescathlibrarianlucylifeissweetinbookslifesbookwormlikeakidinabookstorelittlesbookbloglived-a-thousand-liveslivingvicariouslythroughstorieslost-in-the-tides-of-timeloubblegumbitchlovegudloving-bookssmagic-in-every-bookmanicpixiedream-megmarebearreadsmariethelibrarianmissdarcy87mostlyjustbooksmychemicalbooksnephilim1999newtsbookblognitatyndallnovelreveriesohidigressohsomanybooksonthebookshelfpaisleyreaderapaperebooksparabatalspatronusnoxpaytongundersona-pen-run-dryperseasspetitelivreprettypaperbackprintedwordsonuncutpagespussrebootsrachel-reviewsrainydayscoffeeandbooksreadandreviewedreadbymoonlightreaderontheloosereadinglunchreadingrookreadingroom • • read-it-and-sleepreadmybookshelvesreadthebloodybookreadunderthestarsrituleenrj-writessalexandra123sarinasbookssaringlewritesseducedbybookssignourneybookssomemoronicwolfyclaimsortingmyprioritiesstarvingpoetsstephanotis97stephy01sweetheart • • stillnotinkansasstormcloudsandcreamstormydawnmcsugarpixelxtamaraniac-tea-books-and-doctorwhotea-books-loverthatonereadertheaebarberthe-amazing-bookshelfthebestbookseverthebibliophilesdiarythebookcavethe-book-ferretthebookforestthebookishprincessthebookminethebrightest–starthedragonsbookhoardthe-girl-who-reads-a-lotthelastbookilovedthelibrarianrecommendsthemindofafictionbookloverthepagesagetheperksofbeingabooksellerthe-7-weasleysthesmellofinkandpaperthewallofbooksthewildredreaderthewordlessbookwormthewritinghufflepufftilly-and-her-bookstraci-readstranceofreadingtruesdell-carolineturningallthepagesturtleonmarstwoavidbookwormsunapologeticallybookishwalkingnorthwe-are-bookloverswhatrachelreadswhouffletodivergentwildwaves-whiperingflameswordshavethepowerwrittengifts xgingerbookwormvys-blogwhatyouseeisnotwhatiseewizdomsdaughterwrite-me-jessicawritten-beastwritetothestarsyabookspertyagivesmefeelingsyummibooks

YA lit meme » [2/10 books or series]

Anna & the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

“Mademoiselle Oliphant. It translates to ‘Point zero of the roads of France.’ In other words, it’s the point from which all other distances in France are measured. It’s the beginning of everything. Welcome to Paris, Anna. I’m glad you’ve come.”


Weekly YA Spotlight: A selection of the most anticipated new YA novels released this week (01/06 - 07/06)

The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu ✤ June 3rd

Smart by Kim Slater ✤ June 5th

The Girl Who Never Was (Otherworld #1) by Skylar Dorset ✤ June 3rd

Picture Perfect (Geek Girl #2) by Holly Smale ✤ June 5th

Take Back the Skies (Take Back the Skies #1) by Lucy Saxon ✤ June 3rd

OMG! I’m in Love With a Geek! by Rae Earl ✤ June 5th

Graduation Day (The Testing #3) by Joelle Charbonneau ✤ June 1st

Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern ✤ June 3rd

Toxic (Pretty Little Liars #15) by Sara Shepard ✤ June 3rd


Recently we got an inquiry through our Book Drop recommendation service - which is open all year round for personalized reading suggestions, perfect if you’re stuck for a weekend read! Or, you know, anytime -  for a fan of The Sky Is Everywhere and Fangirl. And the first thing we thought of (after replying, of course!) was, that would make such a good booklist - books about the bookworms, word nerds, enthusiasts, and all-around talented characters who make up some of our favorite books.

So here it is, in customary gigantic booklist fashion!  And really, this is just a starter - there are still many, many more books that you can find on our two Goodreads pages, on Riffle, on our Pinterest boards (like our Once More with Feeling and Books about Libraries, Readers, and Reading boards), and of course, at the Book Drop. Happy weekend reading! :)


  • Breakfast Served Anytime, Sarah Combs
  • The Book Thief, Markus Zuzak
  • The Book of Lost Things, John Connolly
  • Inkheart, Cornelia Funke
  • White Space, Ilsa Bick
  • The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield
  • Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, Robin Sloan
  • Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
  • The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, Gabrielle Zevin
  • Out of the Easy, Ruta Sepetys
  • Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets, Evan Roskos
  • Belzhar, Meg Wolitzer
  • And Then Things Fall Apart, Arlaine Tibensky


  • Afterworlds, Scott Westerfeld
  • Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell
  • Dying to Know You, Aidan Chambers
  • The Start of Me and You, Emery Lord
  • Under the Mesquite, Guadalupe Garcia McCall
  • The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door, Karen Finneyfrock
  • And We Stay, Jenny Hubbard
  • Words and Their Meanings, Kate Bassett
  • The Language Inside, Holly Thompson
  • Sloppy Firsts, Megan McCafferty
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, Sherman Alexie
  • I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky
  • Ketchup Clouds, Annabel Pitcher
  • Love Letters to the Dead, Ava Dellaira


  • Just One Day/Just One Year, Gayle Forman
  • Eyes Like Stars, Lisa Mantchev
  • Don’t Touch, Rachel Wilson
  • Everything Leads to You, Nina LaCour
  • Evil Librarian, Michelle Knudsen
  • The Reece Malcolm List, Amy Spalding
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson, John Green and David Levithan
  • This Is What Happy Looks Like, Jennifer E. Smith
  • Love Lucy, April Lindner
  • Famous in Love, Rebecca Serle
  • Between You & Me, Marissa Calin

Musicians and Music Lovers

  • Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
  • All Our Pretty Songs, Sarah McCarry
  • Open Road Summer, Emery Lord
  • Wildflower, Alecia Whitaker
  • Get Happy, Mary Amato
  • The Disenchantments, Nina LaCour
  • Kissing Ted Callahan (And Other Guys), Amy Spalding
  • No Place to Fall, Jaye Robin Brown
  • Girl Defective, Simmone Howell
  • This Song Will Save Your Life, Leila Sales
  • Playlist for the Dead, Michelle Falkoff
  • The Lucy Variations, Sara Zarr
  • The Sky Is Everywhere, Jandy Nelson
  • Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, Morgan Matson
  • If I Stay/Where She Went, Gayle Forman


  • I’ll Give You the Sun, Jandy Nelson
  • The Astonishing Adventures of Fan Boy and Goth Girl, Barry Lyga
  • I’ll Meet You There, Heather Demetrios
  • Fan Art, Sarah Tregay
  • A Mad, Wicked Folly, Sharon Biggs Waller
  • Wanderlove, Kristan Hubbard
  • The Summer Prince, Alaya Dawn Johnson
  • Now That You’re Here, Amy K. Nichols
  • Isla and the Happily Ever After, Stephanie Perkins
  • Audacious, Gabrielle Prendergast
  • Graffiti Moon, Cath Crowley
  • Gone Too Far, Natalie Richards
  • Glory O'Brien’s History of the Future, A.S. King

Gamers and Hackers

  • Erebos, Ursula Poznanski
  • The Aftermath, Jen Alexander
  • Ready Player One, Ernest Cline
  • Life in Outer Space, Melissa Keil
  • Scott Pilgrim series, Bryan Lee O'Malley
  • Little Brother, Cory Doctorow
  • Cress, Marissa Meyer
  • Don’t Turn Around, Michelle Gagnon

Miscellaneous Geekdom :)

  • Geek Girl, Holly Smale
  • Love and Other Foreign Words, Erin McCahan
  • Bitterblue, Kristin Cashore
  • Between Us and the Moon, Rebecca Maizel 
  • The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak, Brian Katcher 
  • The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, E. Lockhart
  • Geektastic, edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci