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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Someday, in all my free time...

Being on an award committee is nothing new to me...I've been on various national committees that involve lots of reading for years. My favorite one was the SB&F Prize book award for Young Adults, which recognizes outstanding science writing. Excellent non-fiction for children and teens is a passion of mine, and since I am a science major, this award was close to my heart. Unfortunately, in the time since my two year stint on this committee, my non-fiction reading has dramatically dropped off, making me very sad.

Another favorite committee of mine was YALSA's Popular Paperbacks. This award recognizes popular titles to encourage teens to read for pleasure.  What could be better than that?! During my two years on this committee, my complaint was that I was reading (or re-reading) all things older (the books had to be in paperback after all), and that I did not read any new titles during that two years. I feel like there is a gap of great books in the publishing world that I have never read!

Enter my latest award committee,
YALSA's Best Fiction for Young Adults (BFYA). This award recognizes the best in new fiction for teens published in a 16-month calendar year. I will never complain about not getting to read the new books ever again! However, at this point in the year (voting takes place in early January), all I am reading are the books nominated for the award. If it didn't make the list, then I just don't have the time to read it.

I would really love to find extra time in the day to read all those books that I want to read JUST FOR ME! I know that characters in the books I read do this all the time, so it must be possible. If I were to figure out how, here is a just a small list of books I would love to read:

Virals by Kathy Reichs
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth by Jeff Kinney
Sapphique by Catherine Fisher (the sequel to Incarceron, I have had this book in my possession since JUNE, but still haven't had a chance to read it!)
Cross my Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter
Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan
King of Ithaka by Tracy Barrett
Charlie Bone and the Red Knight by Jenny Nimmo
The Youngest Templar series by Michael Spradlin
You are Not Here by Samantha Schutz
The Rivalry by John Feinstein

And the list goes on...and on...and on. Every day I come across a new title that went immediately out on the school library shelves before I got a chance to read it.

What about you? What is on your WISH list of books to read from the past couple of years? Have you read any of mine?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Where has Mrs. Yusko been?

I am looking at the blog today and discovering that my last post was before Thanksgiving. Yikes! That seems like a REALLY long time ago. But I do have several good reasons for that, I promise!

(1) We traveled to Vegas for 9 days over Thanksgiving break, and while I had every intention of actually posting reviews while on vacation (honest!), the Internet at our location was sketchy at best. And there was really no way I was going to use a year's worth of data plan to do it via cell phone. I promise that I was reading though!

(2) Upon my return to school, our 9th graders jumped right into a state-mandated research project that takes over the library, and my life, for three weeks. Can you imagine how much fun a Social Studies project on "Humans and the Environment" can be with 14 year olds?

(3) I have been READING, READING, READING as I am woefully behind in my committee reading. And I haven't been very excited about many of them lately, so not really motivated to write a review for you, sorry. But I am going to attempt to remedy this over the next few days.

So, I am alive, and I do have lots to share with you. I will try and make it up to you after the holidays. I'm thinking of having a giveaway after January 11th, 2011 (the day my American Library Association committee votes on our award). Hmmmm....what should it be???

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