Category Archives: Books

Feminist Fiction, Graphic Novels & Non-Fiction (a list in progress)

Novels

  • Speak – Laurie Halse Anderson
  • The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
  • The Making of Mollie – Anna Carey
  • Sorcerer to the Crown – Zen Cho
  • The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
  • Beauty Queens – Libba Bray
  • The Lie Tree – Frances Hardinge
  • The Bermudez Triangle – Maureen Johnson
  • A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle
  • Ash – Malinda Lo
  • The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks – e. Lockheart
  • Dumplin’ – Julie Murphy
  • Only Ever Yours – Louise O’Neill
  • Asking For It – Louise O’Neill
  • Alanna – Tamora Pierce
  • The Ruby in the Smoke – Philip Pullman
  • How I Live Now – Meg Rosoff
  • Stargirl – Jerry Spinelli
  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry – Mildred D. Taylor
  • The Hate You Give – Angie Thomas
  • Maresi – Maria Turtschaninoff
  • Code Name Verity – Elizabeth Wein
  • Black Dove, White Raven – Elizabeth Wein
  • Uglies –Scott Westerfeld
  • Blood Red Road – Moira Young
  • The Book Thief – Marcus Zusak
     
    Graphic Novels
     

  • Captain Marvel: Higher, Further, Faster, More – Kelly Sue Deconnick and David Lopez
  • Ghost World – Daniel Clowes
  • Hark! A Vagrant – Kate Beaton
  • Hilda – Luke Pearson
  • Lumberjanes – Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Brooke A. Allen and Noelle Stevenson
  • Ms. Marvel – G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona
  • Paper Girls – Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang
  • Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi
  • Sally Heathcote Suffragette – Mary M. Talbot, Kate Charlesworth and Bryan Talbot
  • Skim – Jillian Tamaki & Mariko Tamaki
  • This One Summer – Jillian Tamaki & Mariko Tamaki
  • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl – Ryan North and Erica Henderson
     
    Non-Fiction
     

  • Crafting with Feminism – Bonnie Burton
  • Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World – Kate Pankhurst
  • We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Wonder Women 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History – Sam Maggs
  •  
    Compiling a list of books on a subject as emotive as Feminism is difficult and often prone to sparking arguments as books are left out or sometimes disagreed upon due to a variety of factors. If you would like to suggest books for inclusion please feel free to do so in the comments section below, disagreements are also welcome!

    My Name is Not Refugee by Kate Milner

    Our town is not safe for us any more.
    Leaving will be sad, but quite exciting too.
    The journey will be long, but Mum will be there every step of the way.
    How would you feel if you had to leave your home behind?

    My Name is Not Refugee is an interactive picture book told from the perspective of a young boy that has become a refugee with his mother. This is perfect for introducing why people become refugees to children of all ages, it asks the reader to consider what they would do if they became a refugee and is perfect for sparking group and individual conversations. This book is not just for onlookers it has been designed with young refugees in mind and reinforces that while they may be refugees – they should not let this define who they are.

    Kate Milner has created a book that is both heartbreaking and hopeful; in this current climate of multiple global crises it is an essential book for all libraries and collections.

    My Name is Not Refugee written by Kate Milner and published by The Bucket List imprint of Barrington Stoke is out now.

    The Inspiration Behind When Dimple Met Rishi By Sandhya Menon


    I firmly believe that marginalised teens need more books where they’re allowed to be happy, to make friends, to fall in love, to chase their dreams, and to have that perfect ending. When the opportunity to write When Dimple Met Rishi, a light YA rom-com, presented itself, I couldn’t believe my luck!

    I’ve always been a huge fan of writers like Sophie Kinsella and Jenny Han, and although I’d never written a light YA before, I knew that that reading experience would help immensely. While I wanted to show that Indian-American teens have many of the same hopes and fears as the rest of the population—and to make people laugh and swoon, of course!—I also wanted to give the culture the space and respect it deserved on the page. That’s why I put in nuances and experiences that would (hopefully!) ring true for other teens living in the diaspora.

    But above all, I wanted When Dimple Met Rishi to resonate with teens who’ve ever felt like they don’t belong or that their families simply don’t get them. That’s a very universal experience, I think, and you don’t have to be Indian-American to experience it!

    Peppa Goes to London

    The record skips, there is a screech as the needle runs across the surface… Peppa Pig appearing in Teen Librarian?

    Surely Peppa is more suited to a younger readership? Yes – yes she is!

    However… Peppa Goes to London is one of my daughter’s current favourite books of the moment.

    I know that if I wish to attract her attention then all I have to do is pick it up and concentrate furiously on the story and ignore her; moments later as if by magic I will see her smiling, cherubic face peer round the side of the book before she pushes it aside to sit in my lap and wait for me to read the story, sometimes she will grab the book and tell me all about it – I may not be able to understand what she is saying, but she is emphatic in her love for this book.

    Featuring recognisable London landmarks from Buckingham Palace to Tower Bridge and ending up at Trafalgar Square with Her Majesty the Queen acting as a daredevil bus driving tour guide. Any story that ends with the Queen, Peppa and all her friends joyfully jumping in muddy puddles is great for all ages!

    Look – Peppa Pig is phenomenally popular, appearing as she does on TV, in books, as plush toys and stickers and more! All the books that feature her are exceptionally popular as small children around the world love her and her family. I know too that much like Tellytubbies and other popular child-centric characters that appeared in pop culture before her that some adults are not massive fans but my daughter loves reading and watching her.

    But don’t just take my word for it. Check out my daughter below:

    Daddy Pig is also the ‘face’ of The Book Trust’s Bath Book Bed programme to help weary parents get their children to sleep at night.

    This Beats Perfect blog tour

    Working as a Music TV Producer for Rockfeedback was easily the most fun, exciting and exhausting job I ever had in television. What could be better than traipsing the world filming your heroes and being occasionally paid for it?

    I spent countless hours backstage at festivals running around arranging interviews and live filming for bands and one of the things that never ceases to surprise is how dreary backstage areas can be.

    The image of wild, all night parties is not generally the reality (although these do definitely exist!) Firstly, bands are often on gruelling tour schedules and they are often tired and jet-lagged. They’re also wary of strangers and especially film crews, so you have to be respectful of their space and grateful for their time.

    And a lot of artists don’t drink at all these days –since touring became the bread and butter for a lot of artists, they simply can’t afford to put on a bad show. It’s not unusual to see them hunched round their tablets and phones, updating social media and catching a bit of shuteye before the show.

    And you might not see the bigger artists AT ALL, as they stay with their dressing rooms firmly shut and only come out to perform, but there is always some group who are on the up and super excited to be there and to play and party.

    The best ‘backstage’ area I ever went to was at Fuij Rock Festival in Japan. You can see the hotel we stayed in overlooking the campsite (perks of the job). It was partially shut since the resort is mostly used for skiing, and at night we ran round all the cordoned off areas –sneaking into ballrooms and huge empty restaurant areas. It was super creepy.

    Backstage, the atmosphere was really friendly and upbeat – and just look at that 2007 line up!

    Red Hot Chili Peppers , The Strokes , Franz Ferdinand , Jet , The Raconteurs , Sonic Youth , Wolfmother , Snow Patrol , The Hives , Dirty Pretty Things , KT Tunstall , Jason Mraz , The Cooper Temple Clause , Madness , Mogwai , Scissor Sisters , Yeah Yeah Yeahs , Super Furry Animals , Gnarls Barkley , The Zutons , Ore ska band- and many others.

    ~ Rebecca Denton

    HiLo The Boy Who Crashed to Earth by Judd Winick

    I have had a copy of Hilo written and drawn by Judd Winick since December – it is a comic book that I loved and have been meaning to write a review of since I read it. However I have been dragging my feet with this and I have no idea why.

    Last night I had a dream, and in that dream I wrote a Hilo review and compared it to The Iron Man by Ted Hughes – this is better known internationally as The Iron Giant thanks to the fantastic Warner Bros. animated movie. When I woke up I was confused as on the surface they two beings appeared to be completely different; on deeper reflection I realised that the stories had a number of similarities, my brain also threw about Osamu Tezuka’s Astroboy and Frank Miller and Geof Darrow’s The Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot into the mix as well as the parallels to Judd’s early work The Adventures of Barry Ween Boy Genius (the book that made me a Winick fan-boy)

    Judd – if you do read this can you *please* let me know if Barry Ween will ever come back – thank you!

    ANYWAY! Hilo The Boy Who Crashed to Earth is funny, sweet and contains some surprisingly hidden depths to the surface story of a mysterious boy who falls to Earth and the children that become his best friends.

    There is a lot of screaming and running away from alien monsters and pathos in the form of familial relationships and the feeling of not fitting in with both Hilo and D.J. filling the role of outsider Hilo on earth and D.J. within his family.

    JW has always been championed diversity in his works and HiLo is no exception, a Caucasian from another dimension with a Hispanic and African American as best friends who get equal development within the story.

    HiLo is a fast-paced, enjoyable romp for all ages and there are two other books in the series that are also available so there will be no long waiting for more once you have finished it!
    If I could sum up HiLo The boy Who Crashed to Earth in one word then it is:
    OUTSTANDING!

    HiLo The Boy Who Crashed to Earth is published in the UK by Puffin

    The Territory: Escape by Sarah Govett

    territory-escape

    The year is 2059. Fifteen-year-old Noa Blake has passed the exam to stay in The Territory but her childhood friend Jack has been shipped off to the disease-ridden Wetlands, a death sentence in all but name. Noa and Raf have vowed to rescue him, but how? With an electric fence, gun towers and a police state monitoring their every move, getting into the Wetlands looks impossible, let alone getting home again. Second in The Territory trilogy, The Territory, Escape follows Noa, Raf and Jack as they battle through a world of raiders, mosquito swarms and psychopathic prisoners. Noa faces her own battle too is it just friendship that drives her and if not, is Jack still even hers to claim?

    The Territory: Escape is the sequel to The Territory – my favourite dystopian novel of 2015.

    As a follow-on novel, Escape does not disappoint continuing Noa and Raf’s quest to save their friend. One of the things that gripped me when I started this series was that Noa was not a gung-ho action heroine; actually none of her friends are they are just young people much like teens today doing their best to survive and overcome the odds (which are definitely not in their favour).

    In this current age of political uncertainty and the ongoing talks on sacrificing of rights for safety, The Territory trilogy brings young readers face to face with serious questions about survival, choice and the type of world we want to live in.

    It is also a damn good adventure and survival story!

    Lie Kill Walk Away by Matt Dickinson

    lie-kill

    LIE

    I check the Range Rover dash. The keys are in there.
    The sirens are closing in. There’s a police helicopter coming over the hospital.

    KILL

    I have to decide. Decide right now. I can keep out of trouble. Not get involved. Just run away through the park and go home and pretend none of this has happened.
    Or I can help Becca.

    WALK AWAY

    I stare into her eyes. Those deep blue eyes. Just for a split second.
    I tell her, ‘get in the car’.

    If you have ever wondered what a high-octane YA thriller looks like, then take a look here! Lie Kill Walk Away is possibly the perfect example of a high stakes, heart in the throat, no holds barred thrill ride!

    It is the kind of story that you would expect to see in a James Bond film – the Daniel Craig variety rather than the guys that came before him, although possibly Sean Connery’s Bond would be able to handle it as well!

    But anyway I digress the story can be summed up as boy meets girl on the run and together they have to save the world and more importantly – not get killed!

    This is a seriously fast-paced story that will shamelessly pull you along for the ride and leave you wanting more!.

    Get it today! Actually get two! One for yourself and the second as a Christmas gift because you will no want to share your one until you are done!

    Refugees, Immigrants & Asylum-Seekers: a short list

    This list is a companion to http://teenlibrarian.co.uk/2015/11/20/book-list-refugees/

    As we become immersed in the 2016 Christmas it is important to remember that the reason for the season was a refugee for a large part of his early life, not only that he was the son of a single mother from Palestine.

    We are exhorted to welcome him into our hearts, what do you think the chances are of he and his family being welcomed to seek sanctuary in the UK in this day and age?

    I have put together a short list of books about refugees, immigrants and asylum-seekers for readers of all ages below.

    refuge-booth
    Refuge by Anne Booth and Sam Usher, it is the Christmas story seen through the eyes of the Donkey, simply told with beautiful illustrations it is a timeless work that could be the story of a refugee family today.

    Refuge is published by Nosy Crow

    Alpha SOFTCOVER 13mm.indd
    Alpha: Abidjan to Gare du Nord by Bessora and Barroux, translated by Sarah Ardizzone is a heart-breaking, award-winning graphic novel detailing the journey Alpha takes from his village in Cote d’Ivoire to Europe. With a visa this would only take a few hours but for refugees it is a dangerous, life-threatening journey of many months.

    Alpha is published by Barrington Stoke
    sun-star-yoon
    The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon a love set in New York City, between Daniel a Korean-American and Natasha the daughter of illegal immigrants from Jamaica and the 12 hours they spend together before her family is deported.

    The Sun is Also a Star is published by Penguin

    arrival-tan
    The Arrival by Shaun Tan is a wordless graphic novel detailing the arrival of a migrant in a strange, foreign land. The Arrival is a masterclass of wordless storytelling, showing through imagery the difficulty migrants often face when arriving in an alien culture.

    The Arrival is published by Hodder Children’s Books

    falling-star
    Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee and Susan McClelland is the chilling memoir of Sungju Lee’s life as a street child and later his escape from North Korea to a new life in Canada.

    Every Falling Star is published by Amulet Books

    journey-sanna
    The Journey by Francesca Sanna is a picture book that has an effect like an unexpected punch to the stomach. After the death of her husband in a civil war, a woman takes her two children on a journey towards safety. I have never read a picture book that affected me so deeply, perfect for discussing war and refugees with readers of all ages.

    The Journey is published by Flying Eye Books

    The Tale of Kitty in Boots by Beatrix Potter – a Review

    kitty-in-boots

    Beatrix Potter is remembered fondly by many adults as the author of wonderfully written and illustrated books for children including The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Tale of Jemima Puddleduck and The Tale of Mr Tod.

    It is a little-known fact that Beatrix was a gifted scientific illustrator and amateur naturalist and had she been male may have been one of the greatest biological scientists of the Victorian era (the sexism and misogyny of that time being more repressive than it is now) the Linnean Society rejected her membership as women were not allowed to join or present papers (they issued a posthumous apology in 1997).

    One of the things that is often forgotten is that she often includes the violence of nature in her stories, even though they are dressed as humans the animals are often red in tooth and claw. The violence is not just physical, there is often a ton of emotional upset that makes the books so readable! If you cannot remember – then take the time to reread her works – they are really phenomenal!

    This ‘lost’ story was never published in Beatrix Potter’s lifetime and was resurrected in time for the 150th anniversary of the author’s birth, this is the first time an illustrated edition has been published. the artwork is by the incomparable Quentin Blake.

    The Tale of Kitty in Boots is no exception, I felt during reading and after that if it is ever adapted into a film it should be shot in a Guy Ritchie Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels style.

    kitty-in-boots

    It is an excellent story involving identity swapping, poaching and a significant amount of violence that will appeal to children of all ages!

    The illustrations by Sir Quentin Blake who is possibly the greatest living illustrator make a wonderful accompaniment to the text.

    So if you are looking for a gift for a young reader or something excellent to read, reread and just to brighten up your shelves then The Tale of Kitty in Boots is for you! Buy it now!