Christie Burke's Infinite Booklist

where I’m getting this stuff June 10, 2009

Filed under: nuts and bolts,recommendations — Christie @ 9:56 pm

Just thought I would take a minute to talk about my sources.  There’s a lot out there to read, obviously.  While I’m a longtime devotee of the highly scientific “this looks interesting” school of book selection (not to mention the word “devotee”), I do recognize that part of my job is bringing good books to people who aren’t me.  Like, you know, boys.  And comic-book people.  And people like my husband, who refers to fantasy novels as “talking goat books.”  So here’s a little rundown of the places I’m getting recommendations for this summer’s reading:

My local library offers some flyers with recommendations for middle school and high school students, as well as a comprehensive teen space online.  On top of that, they run Bookspace, which is a robust online community where people can create booklists and connect with each other.

The Ultimate Reading List from is a long, long reading list (300+ titles) that are supposed to be essential.  Just reading the list itself, I see a bit of a bias toward English class… but maybe that’s what essential means?  (Link to PDF in left sidebar.)

Flashlight Worthy Books is a site that does nothing but booklists.  Not all of them are relevant to what I’m trying to do; they’re not all my personal cup of tea either.  They are, however, briefly annotated and generally interesting.

YALSA sent me to, Guys Lit Wire, and readergirlz.  These are three distinct voices for particular audiences (and they *may* be actual YALSA blogs), good for various reasons.

I also have a big stack of booklists created by my colleagues in our YA Lit course last fall, and I’m working my way through those as well.  (Sorry, no links – but I’ll let you know when I pull something directly from one of those lists.)

I don’t expect to exhaust these any time soon, but I’d love to hear your thoughts about where to find good YA books.  Can you suggest additional resources?


2 Responses to “where I’m getting this stuff”

  1. Another fun one is I like to browse it like an old bookstore. One can almost smell the mothballs!

  2. Cat Says:

    There’s a couple of books that were going around the middle school in AC, called the Pretties and the Uglies, by Scott Westerfield. Amazon says there’s a third, the Specials. I read the Uglies. It was okay, kinda weird for me. An interesting study on cliques and class societies to the extreme, pretty good character development, some authority challenges. According to Kirstin, one of my 13 year old friends, all the girls were reading them.

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