I've been reading a whole lot of YA lately. They are quick and fun and since I spend my days in a middle school library, I have a ton of reading options at my fingertips.
The Selection by Kiera Cass has been on my TBR for years. It falls under the fantasy genre, which isn't something I generally gravitate towards. However, I'm the first to admit that I've read some amazing fantasy books I enjoyed a great deal. I handed this one off to my eighth grade girls book club a few weeks ago. They, too, are not big fantasy readers. Despite some initial objections, they took it and started to read. Almost immediately all the girls were telling me how much they enjoyed this book. And then they began fighting over the next books in the series. This book is part romance, part fantasy and hard to put down. America decides to take part in the Selection, a process where the Prince chooses a bride. She's already in love with Aspen, but her family could really use the money, so despite her initial reticence, she applies - and is selected as one of thirty five girls the Prince may choose from. This book reminds me a little of the Bachelor and a lot of the Princess Academy by Shannon Hale, except for an older audience. And I, too, am anxious to read through this series as quickly as possible.
White Bird by RJ Palacio is a book that Wonder readers won't want to miss. And it is one that you won't want to miss even if you haven't read Wonder. This is a graphic novel (again, I'm out of my comfort zone) that shares the story of Julian's grandmother who grew up in Nazi-occupied France. It's been quite a while since I read Auggie and Me, but a studen reminded me the other day as she returned it, that there is a part of that novel where Julian's grandmother tell him that he was named for a man that saved her life. White Bird is this story. The information about the war reminds me a little of Number the Stars. It is appropriate for younger readers, a gentle introduction to the horrors of World War II. I've already had several students read it in just the few weeks it's been in my collection at school and it's one I plan on gifting this holiday season as well.
I've got several other YA books I've read lately as well and am trying to keep up with the multitude of book clubs that have started at school. It's a good problem to have....but right now it's a little overwhelming.