Big Blue Marble Bookstore Young Adult Newsletter
January 13, 2017
   December front window

Happy New Year! I've been spending some time lately curled up with some of my favorite YA series, excellent rereads for comfort and inspiration. Please see a list of memorable series below, along with our annual bestseller lists and all sorts of celebration and service and activism possibilities coming up in the next week -- from Martin Luther King Day through the Women's March in Philly the day after the inauguration.

Identity-based book recommendations on our  blog , updated periodically: 

As I'm no longer adding to the  past-selections list on the book club page of our website, I'm keeping  links to the most recent newsletters on the blog!

Keep warm, and keep reading! 
Young Adult Top Sellers in 2016 
  • I'll Give You the Sun - Jandy Nelson
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - Sherman Alexie
  • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs 
  • Paper Towns - John Green
  • The Giver - Lois Lowry
  • Seraphina - Rachel Hartman
  • Gathering Blue - Lois Lowry
  • Crossover - Kwame Alexander
  • Looking for Alaska - John Green
  • Goodbye Stranger - Rebecca Stead
  • The Wee Free Men - Terry Pratchett
  • Gregor the Overlander - Suzanne Collins
  • Skyscraping - Cordelia Jensen (local author)
  • Afterworlds cover Afterworlds - Scott Westerfeld
  • Leviathan - Scott Westerfeld
  • Divergent - Veronica Roth
  • Library of Souls - Ransom Riggs 
  • Hollow City - Ransom Riggs 
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl - Jesse Andrews
  • Feed - M.T. Anderson
  • The Fault in Our Stars - John Green
  • Outsiders - S.E. Hinton
  • Red Queen - Victoria Aveyard 
Keep an eye on the  blog  for general store bestsellers!
Highlighting: Memorable Series 
Divided into some loose categories.
Please email us to reserve a copy of any of these books!
Leviathan trilogy by Scott Westerfeld
Alternate History:
- Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld: World War I with hybrid Darwinist beasties and steam-powered war machines.
- Finishing School (Etiquette & Espionage) by Gail Carriger: Victorian era with (well-mannered) vampires and werewolves.
- Sorcery & Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Caroline Stevermer and Patricia Wrede: Regency England with magic and chocolate.

Finishing School series by Gail Carriger

Historical Fiction:

- Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: Young women flying and imprisoned during World War II.
- Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson: Slavery and loyalty during Revolutionary times.

Chains, Forge, Ashes

Fantasy with Kingdom Intrigue:
- Graceling by Kristin Cashore: How to use one's power to help and not to hurt. The two following books (to read in either order, but Graceling first) have similar focus with different main characters.
- Seraphina by Rachel Hartman: How to survive in court as a secret half-dragon when one's existence is an abomination.
- Provost's Dog/Beka Cooper (Terrier) by Tamora Pierce: How to be fair in one's work for the Provost's Guard and engage in only the right amount of corruption. Takes place 200 years before the Alanna books. (If you prefer espionage, try the Trickster series, about Alanna's daughter.)
- The Queen's Thief (The Thief) by Megan Whalen Turner (5th book coming out in May!): Don't believe everything the narrator says. He's a thief, after all.

Graceling Realms covers

Coming of Age:
- Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock: Learning to speak up about what one really wants.
- Tiffany Aching (The Wee Free Men) by Terry Pratchett: Learning to be a witch, and how much of that is being oneself.
- Every Day by David Levithan: Learning to navigate sustained human interaction when one wakes up in a different body every day.
- Annals of the Western Shore (Gifts) by Ursula K. Le Guin: Similar to Graceling -- can one's power be used to create and not destroy? Also similar to Graceling (and to Le Guin's Earthsea series) in that the books focus on separate, though interlocking, stories.
Tiffany Aching books 1-4
Coming events!

1) Monday, January 16, 3:45pm:
Reading of "I Have a Dream" Speech for Martin Luther King Day.

Please join us Monday afternoon for a participatory reading of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s powerful speech at the Lincoln Memorial, on August 28, 1963. Feel free to take a turn reading, or to come and listen in community, as you please. You can also find text and audio of the speech here.

Earlier on Monday, you might want to volunteer for a service project (you can search the listings by location, among other things) or attend exhibits and concerts throughout the city. (FYI, the free 1:30pm orchestra concert will be broadcast live on 90.1 and streamed at

2) As mentioned last month, January 16-20 is No-Name-Calling Week.
One of the books I recommended last month is The Misfits, which spawned the annual No Name-Calling Week, with events in schools across the country. If you're a student, or a teacher, or in any way affiliated with a school, please consider encouraging your school to take part! 

3) Thursday, January 19, 4:30-6:30pm: Weekly Dungeons & Dragons group meeting at the store, for kids ages 9-16. Come check it out! (Dice and books available.)

4) Friday, January 20, 2-6pm: On Fridays, We Fight Back! is back. Every Friday afternoon, we're gathering to make phone calls, write letters, or take other actions of resistance.  We'll have scripts, phone numbers, a plan, and a comfortable space to gather!

5) women's march logo Saturday, January 21, 8am: Eat Before You March! Going to the Philly Women's March Stop by the store for a fundraising breakfast!   Join your friendly neighborhood booksellers for breakfast before you head down to the Philadelphia Women's March. We'll have coffee, bagels, and Pink Pussy Hats to raffle off! The breakfast is a sliding scale donation, $5 - $30, with all funds going to Planned Parenthood and The Women's Medical Fund.
Registration not required but will help us have enough food on hand.
Young Adult Top Sellers to Date
  • Skyscraping coverThe Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - Sherman Alexie
  • The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
  • Catching Fire - Susanne Collins
  • Mockingjay - Susanne Collins
  • Skyscraping - Cordelia Jensen (local author!)
  • The Fault in Our Stars (hardcover) - John Green
  • Looking for Alaska - John Green 
  • John Green boxed set -- photo by box designer Karen KavettPaper Towns - John Green
  • The Giver - Lois Lowry
  • The Fault in Our Stars (paperback) - John Green
  • Divergent - Veronica Roth
  • Twilight - Stephenie Meyer
  • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs
  • The Golden Compass - Philip Pullman
  • Dairy Queen - Catherine Gilbert Murdock 
  • The Thief - Megan Whalen Turner
  • Gifts - Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell
  • Tangerine - Edward Bloor
  • The Wee Free Men - Terry Pratchett 
  • code name verity Code Name Verity - Elizabeth Wein
  • Magic or Madness - Justine Larbalestier
  • Insurgent - Veronica Roth
  • New Moon - Stephenie Meyer
  • Three Cups of Tea - Greg Mortensen
  • Graceling - Kristin Cashore
  • Stargirl - Jerry Spinelli
  • An Abundance of Katherines - John Green
Keep an eye on the blog for general store bestsellers!
Books from Years Past...

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
The Shadow Speaker by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu
Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli

The Wild Girls by Pat Murphy
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
Beka Cooper: Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Geography Club by Brent Hartinger
The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld
Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock 

Big Blue Young Adult Book Discussion

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


We had our final meeting on May 19. Newsletters will continue, with recommendations and reviews, and relevant events.  Feel free to send a review or comment!


This is the continuing newsletter of 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. For links to the continuing newsletters and these new recommendations, see the bookstore blog.