News Flash: Tears of a Tiger was published in 1994.
Let that sink in for a moment. Your teens weren’t born yet.
Now, while that does mean we should maybe start talking about an Edwards for Sharon Draper it also means that it’s not flying off the shelves like it did ten years ago. While Walter Dean Myers has a lasting and important impact on young adult literature those books aren’t circulating like they did years ago either.
- They are old.
- Some high school readers are drawn to street lit instead.
- Teens don’t want to be lectured to via fiction. (The social contract? Really?)
- They’ve become classroom books and we know nothing zaps appeal faster than that.
So, while I wait for Dana Davidson to write another book and for someone to re-issue Janet McDonald’s books with covers that don’t make kids run away screaming here are some authors whose books are moving with my teens. I only have to look at long list of lost copies in the catalog to know what’s hot (1)(2).
Earl Sewell (3)
(1)There are of course other authors like Travis Hunter, ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Stephanie Perry Moore, Darrien Lee, and Babygirl Daniels but those titles are not currently as popular in my system.
(2) Bluford and Urban Underground are sitting on the shelf more than they ever have. I’m not sure if that’s true in branches.
(3)All the Kimain Tru titles circulate, but Sewell & McKayhan are by far the two I am asked for the most.