Saturday, January 31, 2015

Launch of the Mostly Books YA Bookgroup

It’s a big jump from reading children’s books into reading adult books and one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic areas of publishing in recent years has been books aimed at creating great reads that particularly appeal to children of twelve and over – ‘YA’ books (or 'Young Adult').

There's some very exciting things happening in the world of YA this year - so we'll hand over to Mostly Books YA expert Imogen to tell you more about her passion for YA, the YA Book Prize 2015 - and the launch of our new YA Bookgroup...

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"Anyone who knows me knows that I have one huge book weakness: the Young Adult section in any book shop I come across.

Over the past few years, this section has bloomed. With the success of books like 'The Hunger Games' and 'The Fault in Our Stars', it has rocketed into the minds of both teenagers and adults alike. As that has happened, more and more books have come out, meaning that YA is no longer just a ‘genre’ but a group of books that stand out all on their own.
 

There is no one way you can sum up Young Adult books. It holds infinite worlds inside its name, from the alien invasion where you cannot trust a soul ('The 5th Wave') to the assassin who must work for her enemy for the chance at freedom ('Throne of Glass') and finding friendship and love in an unlikely place ('Anna and the French Kiss') to a dark fairytale set in the future ('Cinder').

What I love about this collection of books is that the word ‘Young’ does not put people off reading them. In fact, many parents will pick up a book after seeing their teenager read it, and end up wanting to read more.

This sudden growth in the YA sales, alongside the successes of films such as ‘If I Stay’ and ‘Mockingjay: Part One’ have prompted people to start thinking about this as a whole new section. Before, it might have been put down the end of the children’s books, or hidden near the adults, but treated like people were not sure what to do with it.
 

There are many awards that both adult and children’s books can win - the Costa Book Awards, Blue Peter Book awards, etc. - but YA have never had one for themselves.

Until now!

The YA Book Prize is a brand new award for 2015, and it looks at YA books from both the UK and Ireland. Shortlisted this year are:
  • A Song for Ella Grey, David Almond
  • Salvage,  Keren David
  • Say Her Name, James Dawson
  • Lobsters, Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison
  • Half Bad, Sally Green
  • Finding a Voice, Kim Hood
  • Only Ever Yours, Louise O’Neill
  • Goose, Dawn O’Porter
  • Trouble, Non Pratt
  • Ghosts of Heaven, Marcus Sedgwick
Well, my To-Be-Read list just grew...

The winner of this award won’t be announced until March, but to coincide with it, we’ve decided to start something in the shop. For teenagers that love to read, or just want to try something different, we’re starting a YA Bookgroup. 

I have a passion, not only for the YA books, but for getting teenagers and young people to grow into reading them as well. The excited spark in their eyes as they talk about books they have found and loved, and the debates about what character/book/series is the best...

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So - fancy getting involved?

We will read three of the titles nominated for the first YA Book Prize before the winner is announced. The first book we are going to read will be Sally Green’s thrilling ‘Half Bad’ about one boy's struggle for survival in a hidden society of witches, blending the hard-hitting realism of ‘The Hunger Games’ with a supernatural twist (Kate Atkinson described it as 'Brilliant and Utterly Compelling' and film rights have already been sold...).

If you are over twelve and would enjoy the chance to get your teeth in to the best in YA fiction and join in to discuss what you loved/loathed about the books, then we’d love to welcome you to this new book group. Let us know you’d like to join and all you need to do is to have read the book in time for the first meeting on Saturday Feb 14 at 9.15am in the shop. You get 15% discount on the book if buying it from the shop.

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