Big Blue Marble Bookstore Young Adult Newsletter May 12, 2016
   December front window
Contents and comments:

1) It's a party! Please help me wrap up the series with a discussion of any and all YA books!  Ones you've read, ones you haven't read, ones that don't exist yet...  Come early and enjoy pretzels and food trucks!  (Read more below).

2) My current plan for after May is to continue the newsletters, with news, reviews, and recommendations. 
Highlighting for May:
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo, newly released last week! It's a powerful and thought-provoking look at a transgender girl, introducing her new identity in a new school community.  Also: late-breaking news -- I've just picked up today a copy of a middle grade novel coming out in September, which covers very similar themes!  Check out both of these below. 

3) Back when the #BlackLivesMatter movement was coming together, a bunch of local parents gathered on Facebook and in the streets of NW Philly to form a group of families, particularly with small children, working toward ways of teaching and living racial justice.  There have been marches of solidarity, and ongoing playgroups that include play and grownup discussion both.  There is also an emerging Teen Leadership, who have organized a spoken word workshop/performance 2-part series, starting this Sunday.  See below for more details!

See you soon, 
Thursday, May 19, 2016
7:00 pm
Final discussion: Read ALL THE BOOKS!

RSVP on Facebook!

Please join me to talk about your favorite YA books, books you've read in the past, and books you hope to read in the future! If you've been coming to the book club, are there books or discussions that have surprised you? Impressed you? Come if you've been once, or many times, or if you've never made it because you hadn't read that particular book! Join me in our final gathering, and let me know what you are reading.

Come by the corner early, and enjoy the food trucks out front (Mucho Bueno barbecue and Zsa's ice cream) from 5:00-7:00, along with Big Blue Marble's version of Thirsty Thursdays -- free soft pretzels and soda, starting at 4:30.

  A colorful sampling of past discussion books.  Click here for full list!  A colorful selection of past Big Blue YA Book Club books!
New Release!  Highlighting:
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo (published May 3)

If I Was Your Girl cover
A new addition to the growing numbers of books about trans teens! It is notable for being the story of someone who has already gone through the process of identifying and accepting her own identity. This means that her own growing awareness, reactions from others, and episodes of trauma are mainly covered in flashback. She also has no trouble passing, and so in her new community, trouble will arise only if she tells people her secret, or if they find out unexpectedly. Which gives her a lot of decisions to make as she meets new people -- how close to get, how much to trust, whether it's possible to relax and just be. Very powerful.

The author is trans herself, and she has notes to readers at the beginning, cautioning cisgender* readers not to take her story as gospel, as it is only one of many. She has heartfelt words of wisdom for trans readers as well:
"To my trans readers: It's okay if you're different from Amanda. She isn't real, and you are. ... There is no wrong way to express and embody your most authentic self! You are beautiful, and you deserve to have your body and identity and agency respected."

*cisgender: those who are not trans; those whose gender identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth.  
Philly Children's March Teen Leadership
is pleased to present
We Matter: 
Penning 4 Justice with Ursula Rucker
Sunday, May 15, 2016
from noon - 2 pm

at Mighty Writers,
1501 Christian Street, Philadelphia PA.

We Matter: Penning 4 Justice
is a 2 part series born from the voices of youth by youth. In partnership with Philly's own Ursula Rucker, exploring the current challenges that plague us as young leaders, working to dismantle the barriers of injustice and what actions are necessary to support us...the present and future leaders of tomorrow.

For more information and to register, go to the eventbrite event page.

For information on Philly Children's March, check out the website or Facebook group!

Late-Breaking Recommendation:
The Other Boy by M.G. Hennessey
(to be published September 2016)

Okay, so this book was just handed to me today, and it's a middle grade novel, apparently about a trans boy who's passing at his (no longer so new) school. He's been keeping his past life "private," but what will that mean to his friends and classmates if it's actually a secret, which threatens to come to light?  Looking forward to reading!

Big Blue Young Adult Book Discussion

For adults who read YA and teens who like to talk about books  


Upcoming books:

May 19 (third Thursday): Final meeting - Read ALL THE BOOKS. 


Please join us on the fourth Thursday of the month (with some exceptions) for the Big Blue Young Adult Book Discussion, led by Jen Sheffield.  The young adult genre refers to the books under discussion; readers of all ages are welcome.  The books do not have to be big or blue, though that's always nice.


For a list of past selections, check out the Book Clubs page on the Big Blue Marble website.