23 May 2010

Becoming a Judge: Nerds Heart YA

Do you know about the Nerds Heart YA tournament for underrepresented young adult literature? If not, be sure take a moment to click on over to the tournament blog for more information.

The topic this year is diversity, and the books had to have been originally published in 2009. I'm pleased to have been asked to be a first-level judge for the tournament. Here are the books I'll be reading:

A Wish after Midnight by Zetta Elliot.

Genna is a fifteen-year-old girl who wants out of her tough Brooklyn neighborhood. But she gets more than she bargained for when a wish gone awry transports her back in time. Facing the perilous realities of Civil War-era Brooklyn, Genna must use all her wits to survive. In the tradition of Octavia Butler’s Kindred and Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, A Wish After Midnight is the affecting and inspiring tale of a fearless young woman’s fight to hold on to her individuality and her humanity in two different worlds.
I like time travel stories and I like the Civil War setting, so that's two pluses right off the bat. The negative is that the book was self-published, which is sometimes a problem for me. Based on the great reviews I've seen, I'm have high hopes.

Published by AmazonEncore
ISBN-13: 9780982555057


The Rock and the River by Kekla Morgan
Set in 1968 Chicago, this powerful debut novel follows 13-year-old Sam Childs, the son of a known civil rights activist who questions the possibility of change after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I grew up in the Midwest and remember 1968, so I should be able to relate to the novel. I've read that the book paints a bit of an idealistic picture of the Black Panthers, but that a well-written author's note fills in the historical details.

Published by Aladdin Paperbacks
ISBN-13: 9781416978039


The books are ordered and will be waiting for me after BEA. Have you read or heard of either of the novels?

10 comments:

irisonbooks 5/23/10, 6:13 AM  

I hadn't heard of any of these, but both sound interesting. I have to admit that The Rock and the River holds slightly more appeal to me.

Oh & have fun at BEA!

Tea 5/23/10, 7:12 AM  

This is so exciting. I'm going over to the Tournament place.

Julie P. 5/23/10, 7:43 AM  

Congrats! I'll be anxious to see how you like these books.

Sandy Nawrot 5/23/10, 8:01 AM  

Hey way to go! This sounds like it would be fun, plus you are exposed to novels you might not necessarily otherwise.

bermudaonion 5/23/10, 9:37 AM  

Have fun with the tournament! You'll be a great judge!

Tea 5/23/10, 9:57 AM  

Yes, they couldn't pick a better person. Good luck and have fun.

Darren @ Bart's Bookshelf 5/23/10, 12:30 PM  

I'm really looking forward to the tournament and watching which books make it through to the later rounds (I'm judging one of the semi-final slots). There's some wonderful looking books in there.

Vasilly 5/23/10, 2:14 PM  

I'm actually reading A Wish After Midnight right now and it's so good. The Rock and The River is also on my shelf right now so I'll be sure to read it before you judge it. Can't wait to read your thoughts on the two books!

Melissa B. 5/23/10, 9:25 PM  

Wonderful! I was dusting the bookshelves this afternoon, and re-arranged all our young adult selections. I'm saving them for grandkids...way down the road, I know, but still.

Jodie 5/24/10, 9:38 AM  

Hi Beth, thanks for posting about the contest :) Just wanted to drop by and say that Wish was picked up by AmazonEncore, a new offshoot professional publishing enterprise from Amazon.com. So while it started life self-published the new edition is not. Hope you enjoy both the books and have a great time judging.

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