John Green: *writes about women as though they are people*

John Green: *deliberately and vocally rejects the idea that teenage girls are vapid and beneath the rest of intelligent humanity*

John Green: *consistently advocates for imagining people complexly, and not simplifying people to your convenience*

Tumblr: Isn’t it kind of creepy how John Green caters to teenage girls? Clearly this white male cannot possibly have good intentions?? He’s a pedophile????


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.


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!  


Since 2009, we have been celebrating stories.

Together we have created a home for creativity, community, and charity. For geeking out. For meeting friends who understand us.

GeekyCon is pure passion in person. We’ll see you in Orlando, FL, from July 30 to August 2!

Remember to use the code TUMBLR when you register for $25 off!

the process of reading

stage one: before beginning

stage two: you meet the main character, who easily becomes the love of your life

stage three: relationships grow, characters develop, plot building, ALL THE GOOD THINGS

stage four: climax and plot twist

stage five: in denial

stage six: cliffhanger and another year until the release date

stage seven: book hangover

final stage: reread

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
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). 

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. 

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