by Lisa Goldstein Chair, 2014 Popular Paperbacks For Young Adults Committee
Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults has released its 2014 lists. PPYA creates three to five themed booklists each year of paperbacks with wide appeal to teens. The 2014 themes are Conflicted: Life During Wartime, GLBTQ: Books with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer-questioning, Intersex, Asexual Individuals, and Their Allies, and Humor Me: Funny, Fantastic and Witty Reads.
When deciding on this year’s topics, the committee was struck by the fact that our teens have lived most of their lives in a country at war. Conflicted subcommittee chair Shilo Pearson realized that organization was key in creating a balanced list, working from a spreadsheet of locations and time periods: â€œSince, unfortunately, there have been so many wars, we wanted to make sure that we covered as many different times, places and perspectives as possible.â€
GLBTQ and Humor Me were updates of previous PPYA lists. GLBTQ subcommittee chair Karen Keys and her committee were astounded by the increase in young titles with GLBTQ themes, yet still worked hard to identify books with characters of color.
Funnily enough, the discussions for the Humor Me list were quite serious. Subcommittee chair Jennifer Kendall observes, â€œHumor is a category subjected to a variety of interpretations, and our committee comically tossed about that question of just what is funny? Well, as we discovered, humor is a many splendored thing – sometimes sophisticated, sometimes dark, sometimes far out, and sometimes just downright dirty. Teens, as varied in personality as we were with our ideas of humor, deserve a list worthy of all these shades of humor- and I believe our committee came up with just that kind of list!â€
Take a look and decide for yourself here.