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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday Top 10

This week's post pays tribute to YALSA's Teens’ Top Tena “teen choice” list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year. Nominators are members of teen book groups in fifteen school and public libraries around the country. This year's nominations were recently posted (see the above link for titles/annotations) and teens have the opportunity to read any or all of these books over the summer before voting for their favorite at the end of August.

There are some great books nominated for this year's Teens' Top Ten...I'm not sure that I could narrow down my favorites, and there are still a few that I have not read. I decided to look at Evergreen Junior High's "Top 10" to see just how our students compared with teens across the country. (Our library catalog tracks the Top 10 books at any given time based on some strange formula I have never quite figured out, but appears to factor in number of copies and number of checkouts, but not number of holds/requests).

Three books from 2009's Teens' Top Ten list have spent much time in our own Top 10 recently, including our current #1 book "The Hunger Games." Not a surprise that students here or around the country would vote for this book. "The Hunger Games" was recently named Washington State's Evergreen Young Adult Book Award winner this year, and it dominated our school's voting as well, garnering over 62% of EJH's votes! It still resides in the number one place on our Top 10 likely due to the continued hype about the upcoming movie. (With all that being said, I still cannot convince my 8th grade son to read it...makes me crazy not having anyone in the family to talk about the series with! Who is going to see the movie with me???)

Two other books from the 2009 list have been in and out of our Top 10 during the past few months: "The Graveyard Book" (Gaiman) and "Graceling" (Cashore). Both of these are due to the fact that they were also nominated for this year's  Evergreen Young Adult Book Award. Though neither book garnered enough votes to beat out "The Hunger Games" (and really, what could?), both have seen an increase in readership since the voting took place. I attribute this to students encouraging friends, families, and teachers to read exciting when students promote the books they love!

Several books from the 2010 Top Ten list have also spent time on our Top 10 recently. "Catching Fire" (Collins), for obvious reasons. "Wintergirls" (Anderson) is always a popular choice with our 8th graders when they do the "Survival" unit (recently completed). And I'd like to attribute the popularity of "Heist Society" (Carter) to the fact that I love it so much and booktalk it often. Does this mean that the students actually listen to what I say? I will keep thinking that I do influence their reading habits, while also noting I'm sure it has a lot to do with the book itself and the amazing Ally Carter. We are looking forward to the sequel this summer!

On a side note, one of the authors from the 2010 list, Sarah Dessen (for "Along for the Ride"),  is wildly popular with my 8th grade girls (and since it's spring, my 7th graders are starting to discover her). Though her individual titles typically don't crack our Top 10, if the system could track Top 10 authors, she would be in the Top 5 without question. All of our copies of all of her books are ALWAYS checked out.

So what is popular right now with your teens?

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