Arthur Levine

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A Diverse Dozen

Looking for some YA books that just happen to have characters of color, LGBT characters, and/or disabled characters? Here’s a diverse dozen titles with something for every reader — contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, and mystery too. (Descriptions are from WorldCat.)

Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac (Tu Books) — In a world that has barely survived an apocalypse that leaves it with pre-twentieth century technology, Lozen is a monster hunter for four tyrants who are holding her family hostage.

Pointe by Brandy Colbert (Putnam) — Four years after Theo’s best friend, Donovan, disappeared at age thirteen, he is found and brought home and Theo puts her health at risk as she decides whether to tell the truth about the abductor, knowing her revelation could end her life-long dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer.

If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth (Arthur A. Levine Books) — Seventh-grader Lewis “Shoe” Blake from the Tuscarora Reservation has a new friend, George Haddonfield from the local Air Force base, but in 1975 upstate New York there is a lot of tension and hatred between Native Americans and Whites–and Lewis is not sure that he can rely on friendship.

Fake ID by Lamar Giles (Amistad) — “An African-American teen in the Witness Protection Program moves to a new town and finds himself trying to solve a murder mystery when his first friend is found dead.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (Simon & Schuster) — Lara Jean writes love letters to all the boys she has loved and then hides them in a hatbox until one day those letters are accidentally sent.

Pantomime by Laura Lam (Strange Chemistry) — Gene, the daughter of a noble family, runs away from the decadence of court to R.H. Ragona’s circus of magic, where she meets runaway Micah, whose blood could unlock the mysteries of the world of Ellada.

Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall (Tu Books) — In an adventure reminiscent of Homer’s Odyssey, fifteen-year-old Odilia and her four younger sisters embark on a journey to return a dead man to his family in Mexico, aided by La Llorona, but impeded by a witch, a warlock, chupacabras, and more.

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina (Candlewick) — One morning before school, some girl tells Piddy Sanchez that Yaqui Delgado hates her and wants to kick her ass. Piddy doesn’t even know who Yaqui is, never mind what she’s done to piss her off. Word is that Yaqui thinks Piddy is stuck-up, shakes her stuff when she walks, and isn’t Latin enough with her white skin, good grades, and no accent. And Yaqui isn’t kidding around, so Piddy better watch her back. At first Piddy is more concerned with trying to find out more about the father she’s never met and how to balance honors courses with her weekend job at the neighborhood hair salon. But as the harassment escalates, avoiding Yaqui and her gang starts to take over Piddy’s life. Is there any way for Piddy to survive without closing herself off or running away?

Rogue by Lyn Miller-Lachmann (Nancy Paulsen Books) — An eighth-grade girl with Asperger’s syndrome tries to befriend her new neighbor, facing many challenges along the way.

More Than This by Patrick Ness (Candlewick) — A boy named Seth drowns, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying. So how is he here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighborhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust, and completely abandoned. What’s going on? And why is it that whenever he closes his eyes, he falls prey to vivid, agonizing memories that seem more real than the world around him? Seth begins a search for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, trapped in a crumbling, abandoned world.

Prophecy by Ellen Oh (HarperTeen) —A demon slayer, the only female warrior in the King’s army, must battle demon soldiers, an evil shaman, and the Demon Lord to find the lost ruby of the Dragon King’s prophecy and save her kingdom.

Far From You by Tess Sharpe (Hyperion) — After Sophie Winters survives a brutal attack in which her best friend, Mina, is murdered, she sets out to find the killer. At the same time she must prove she is free of her past Oxy addiction and in no way to blame for Mina’s death.

vimeo

Here’s our AMAZING Indiegogo campaign video featuring Matt de la Pena, John Green (fishingboatproceeds) , Marie Lu (marielubooks), Cindy Pon (diversityinya), Grace Lin, Lamar Giles, Tim Federle (timfederle), Jacqueline Woodson & Arthur Levine!

For more on our campaign: http://igg.me/at/diversebooks

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Unknown adult woman off camera: What’s your name?

Boy #1: Parker Lee.

Girl #1: I’m Charlotte Spencer.

Girl #2: I’m Abbie.

Boy #2: Pham.
Girl #3: Savannah.

Charlotte Spencer: I want to be a graphic designer when I grow up.

Pham: A children’s physician.

Abbie: I want to be a ballerina fashion designer.

Savannah: An artist.

Parker Lee: Happy.

Matt de la Peña: Hi, I’m Matt de la Peña and we need diverse books. I feel like I’m a living embodiment of why we need diverse books. Growing up I wasn’t a great student. I was what people call a reluctant reader. I felt like literature was a club that I didn’t belong to. Like anybody else who wasn’t good at one thing, I found other things to get involved with - for me it was sports.

I was pretty good at basketball in particular and because of basketball I became the first de la Peña to go to college. Once I was at my university, I was introduced to one specific book that changed everything for me - it’s called THE COLOR PURPLE, and it was the first time I had ever had an emotional reaction to a book; it almost moved me to tears. And from that point on I went in search of that feeling elsewhere, and I realized that books became my secret place to feel. From African American female authors I found Hispanic authors, and from that point on I felt like all I wanted to do was be a part of the world of literature. It doesn’t matter if you’re African American, Asian, disabled, part of the LGBTQ community - we all need to see ourselves in books. Because if we don’t see ourselves in books, we may not feel as connected to the human experience - the story of all of us. At the same time, books are more than mirrors, they’re also windows. I’ve always believed that reading is the ultimate form of empathy. Yes, we’d love to find ourselves in books, and read about ourselves and our own experiences, but it’s also important to read about people who aren’t like us. It’s only then that we’ll have a full understanding of the world around us.

John Green: Hi my name’s John Green and we need diverse books. I think we need diverse books because we need to reflect the reality of our communities and that reality is a very diverse one. One of the magical things about reading to me is that it helps me to imagine the life outside of myself.

Grace Lin: These books give all readers a glimpse into a culture that they may not be familiar with.

Marie Lu: I was a huge reader when I was a kid, but I didn’t see a lot of myself in the books that I was reading.

Lamar Giles: I remember in my later teens running across a book called BLOOD BROTHERS by Steven Barnes. That was pretty much the time when I saw something that really made me feel like I was seeing a piece of myself in the work.

Tim Federle: I’m trying to think when I was a kid, what the most sort of diverse book was that I read and I’m having a hard time thinking of it, which is, I think in a way, what underscores the entire campaign.

Jacqueline Woodson: I didn’t know women, black women, could write books, and I didn’t know why I didn’t know this.

Cindy Pon: I don’t want my children to grow up like me - not having read anybody that, you know, looks like them.

Arthur Levine: When you read, you’re reading to discover the essential truths in life.

Marie Lu: Everybody should be able to go to a bookstore, or a library, and look at the shelves and be able to see themselves looking back.

Matt de la Peña: So now you know why our diverse books campaign is so important. If we can reach our campaign goal, this will just be the beginning of us putting diverse books into the hands of young readers. Giving children diverse books and getting them into reading in general will open up so many doors for them. And I know, because that’s what diverse books did for me.

Join us. Donate and share this message, so the story of all of us, becomes everyone’s story.

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youtube

Happy LGBT Pride Month! To celebrate, watch this video from the authors of The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes To Their Younger Selves!

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10 Recent Diverse* YA Fantasy and Science Fiction Novels

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh (Putnam Juvenile)

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray (Little, Brown)

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough (Arthur A. Levine Books)

Changers Book Two: Oryon by T Cooper, Allison Glock-Cooper (Akashic Books)

Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee (Flux)

King by Ellen Oh (Harperteen)

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older (Arthur A. Levine Books)

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera (Soho Teen)

Feral Pride by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Candlewick)

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (Penguin)

* Diverse = Set in a non-Western world or inspired by a non-Western world; or with a main character who is non-white, LGBTQ+, and/or disabled

LC '12

I was looking through the LC tag and it really started to get to me that I probably won’t be able to go to LeakyCon 2012. Combination of money, the fact I start college next year (which I can’t think about right now or I’ll go into another fit on panic) and… I just miss everybody so much. I wish I had written down more people’s names, took more photos, got things on video. Everything about LeakyCon 2011 was perfect.

Maureen Johnson plucked my eyebrows. They’re still super shapely.

I had my first kiss. Circumstances were a bit off but the point still stands.

I told Arthur A. Levine he was a Hufflepuff, and then he accepted my friend request on Facebook. 

I had fabulous roommates. 

I met people like Kassie who I never thought I would and reminded me how awesome the world can be.

I got my Kindle Cover signed by my favorite authors, got an ARC of The Name of the Star because I had a copy of Twilight on my Kindle, asked Hank Green to hump a mic (which he declined), saw John Green at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Yeti in hand).

Earned the nickname ‘Tostitos’, took part in a GIANT circle the night before Lit Day where we started playing camp games and we all loved each other and…

Now I’m in tears. I want to go back to that week so terribly. 

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Finalists for the 2014 Bisexual Book Awards:

(listed alphabetically by title)

Bisexual Teen/Young Adult Fiction

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Here are this week’s diverse new releases:

The Six by Mark Alpert (Sourcebooks Fire)

“The Six are introduced as terminally-ill teens, but there’s plenty of high-speed action in which they engage. Their physical disabilities and limitations through disease are forgotten as the teens’ hearts, minds, and personalities shine through, even though their bodies are now steel data containers…questions of principle, power, and possibility keep this look at our modern, hardwired existence fresh and fascinating. ” — Booklist, starred review

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older (Arthur A. Levine Books)

“When walking corpses—and worse—show up in the city, a teen discovers family secrets and ancestral powers. … This story about ancestors, ghosts, power, and community has art and music at its core; Sierra’s drawing and painting turn out to be tools for spirit work. Sierra’s Puerto Rican with African and Taíno ancestors; her community is black and brown, young and old, Latin and Caribbean and American. Sometimes funny and sometimes striking, Older’s comfortable prose seamlessly blends English and Spanish. Warm, strong, vernacular, dynamic—a must.” — Kirkus, starred review

Storm by Amanda Sun (Harlequin Teen)

Book Description: After almost a year in Japan, Katie Greene has finally unearthed the terrible secret behind her boyfriend Tomohiro’s deadly ability to bring drawings to life—not only is he descended from Kami, the ancient Japanese gods, but he is the heir to a tragedy that occurred long ago, a tragedy that is about to repeat.

Even as the blood of a vengeful god rages inside Tomo, Katie is determined to put his dark powers to sleep. In order to do so, she and Tomo must journey to find the three Imperial Treasures of Japan. Gifts from the goddess Amaterasu herself, these treasures could unlock all of the secrets about Tomo’s volatile ancestry and quell the ink’s lust for destruction. But in order to complete their quest, Tomo and Katie must confront out-of-control Kami and former friend Jun, who has begun his own quest of revenge against those he believes have wronged him. To save the world, and themselves, Katie and Tomo will be up against one of the darkest Kami creations they’ve ever encountered—and they may not make it out alive.

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Finalists for the 2014 Bisexual Book Awards:

(listed alphabetically by title)

Bisexual Speculative Fiction [Sci-fi/Fantasy/Horror/Etc.]

publishersweekly.com
African-American Interest Young Readers Titles, 2014–2015

Current and forthcoming African-American interest books for young readers published between September 2014 and March 2015.

Get ready to add more books to your TBR pile!

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New Releases » April 28

Here’s a selection of new YA novels hitting shelves this week!

U.S.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Publisher: Razorbill
Release date: April 28th
When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy. Elias is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling.

Backlash by Sarah Darer Littman
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release date: April 28th
As online life collides with real life, things spiral out of control for Lara. When the truth starts to come together, the backlash is even more devastating than anyone could have ever imagined.

Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade #1) by Jennifer Estep
Publisher: Kensington Teen
Release date: April 28th
In the most magical town in America, Lila finds herself putting everything on the line for Devon Sinclair after some nasty characters bring their Family feud into her friend’s pawn shop.

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Release date: April 28th
Antony and Cleopatra. Helen of Troy and Paris. And now … Henry and Flora. For centuries Love and Death have chosen their players. And Death has always won. Always.

The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight #1) by Melissa Grey
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release date: April 28th
Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she’s fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it’s time to act.

In a World Just Right by Jen Brooks
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release date: April 28th
Sometimes Jonathan Aubrey wishes he could just disappear. And as luck—or fate—would have it, he can. Ever since coming out of a coma as a kid, he has been able to create alternate worlds.

Invincible (Invincible #1) by Amy Reed
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release date: April 28th
Evie was diagnosed with terminal cancer several months ago. Then Evie meets Marcus. She knows that he’s trouble, but she can’t help falling for him. Being near him makes her feel truly alive.

Life Unaware by Cole Gibsen
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release date: April 28th
Regan Flay is on the cusp of achieving her control-freak mother’s “plan” for high school success until all the lies and insults she’s ever said are taped to all the lockers in school.

Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release date: April 28th
When Ryder emails Amy asking her out, her friends see it as a prank opportunity not to be missed. But Sonny ends up talking to Ryder all night online. And she realizes that she might actually like him.

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release date: April 28th
Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia. Above the clouds, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time.

The Replaced (The Taking #2) by Kimberley Derting
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: April 28th
Kyra hasn’t been the same since she returned from her mysterious five-year disappearance. Now, on the run, Kyra is forced to hide out with others who, like her, have been Returned.

Rogue (Talon #2) by Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release date: April 28th
Ember can’t forget the sacrifice made for her by the human boy who could have killed her. Determined to save Garret, Ember must convince Cobalt to break into the Order’s headquarters.

Rook by Sharon Cameron
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release date: April 28th
In the Sunken City, all who oppose the revolution are being put to the blade. Except for those who disappear from their prison cells. Is the mysterious Red Rook a savior of the innocent or a criminal?

The Secrets of Attraction by Robin Constantine
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release date: April 28th
Madison Parker is on fast-forward. Jesse McMann is stuck on repeat. Slowly but surely, Jesse and Maddie forge a friendship, but do they have what it takes to make their relationship truly sync?

The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Release date: April 28th
When—after a heated argument—Maddy and Ella get into a tragic accident that leaves her sister dead, Ella wakes up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones who believe she is Maddy.

Trouble from the Start by Rachel Hawthorne
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: April 28th
Avery knows better than to fall for Fletcher, the local bad boy. Fletcher knows he shouldn’t bother with daughter-of-a-cop Avery. But when their paths cross, neither can deny the spark.

Fire & Chasm by Chelsea M. Campbell
Publisher: Skyscape
Release date: May 1st
Azeril is a ward of the Church, and their most cunning weapon. Az has no memory of his life before the Church, until one night, when a wizard recognizes him from his past.

AUSTRALIA

Footy Dreaming by Michael Hyde
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Release date: May 1st
Ben and Noah play on opposing teams in a footy-obsessed town. They each dream of playing on the G - and this is their make or break season. Tensions rise as sledging goes too far.

One True Thing by Nicole Hayes
Publisher: Random House Australia
Release date: May 1st
Frankie is used to being a politician’s daughter, but with her mum now running for Premier, life’s a whole lot crazier than usual. All Frankie wants is to lose herself in her music.

A Single Stone by Meg McKinlay
Publisher: Walker Australia
Release date: May 1st
Every girl dreams of being part of the line. But what happens when a discovery makes Jena question everything she has ever known? What happens when moving a single stone changes everything?

CANADA

The Merit Birds by Kelley Powell
Publisher: Dundurn
Release date: May 2nd
Tragedy strikes and Cam finds himself falsely accused of a crime. His freedom depends on a person he’s never met. A person who knows that the only way to restore his merit is to confess.

U.K.

Grey (The Romany Outcasts #1) by Christi J. Whitney
Publisher: HarperVoyager
Release date: April 30th
Sebastian Grey always thought he was a fairly normal teenager, but when strangers arrive in town, Sebastian soon realizes that his world is nothing at all what it seemed.

Better Left Buried by Emma Haughton
Publisher: Usbourne
Release date: May 1st
Sarah never knew her brother was hiding a dark secret when he died. But now his reckless actions have led the wolves to her door. And the only way out is for her to run.

The Last Summer of Us by Maggie Harcourt
Publisher: Usbourne
Release date: May 1st
Limpet, Steffan and Jared. Three best friends crammed into a clapped-out rust bucket of a car on a whirlwind road trip to forget their troubles and see out the end of the summer.

Bad Bones by Graham Marks
Publisher: Stripes Publishing
Release date: May 4th
When Gabe stumbles across a shallow grave he doesn’t think twice about taking the gold bracelet he finds buried. Even from the clutches of skeletal hands. But he has no idea what he’s awakening.

The Summer Prince

The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, 2013)

WorldCat summary: “In a Brazil of the distant future, June Costa falls in love with Enki, a fellow artist and rebel against the strict limits of the legendary pyramid city of Palmares Três’ matriarchal government, knowing that, like all Summer Kings before him, Enki is destined to die.”