2014 Hub Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

2014_hub_reading_challenge_logo_participant.jpg (396×318)

I participated in YALSA's 2014 Hub Reading Challenge. You can read about the challenge here. The objective of the challenge is to read/listen to 25 books from the  list of eligible titles. I completed this challenge for the first time last year because 1. I like challenges and 2. I am on a YA literature reading binge. This year I completed the challenge because last year was fun and because I liked discovering books that I normally wouldn't have read. The audio of Monstrous Beauty last year was a fantabulous discovery.

I finished the challenge earlier this week, and was able to complete my own personal mini-challenge by reading at least 1 book from each award category along with all of the great graphic novels. 

My 2014 Hub Reading Challenge Favorites:

  1. All The Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry
  2. Beautiful Music For Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills
  3. Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang
  4. Dodger by Terry Pratchett
  5. I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak
  6. Lexicon by Max Barry
  7. Will & Whit by Laura Lee Gulledge

Goals for next year:
  • Finish the challenge.
  • Read at least 1 book from each award category and all of the amazing audio books. (Graphic novels and audio books are difficult for me so I use the challenge for motivation.)
  • Make the challenge more of a social experience by sharing progress updates on social media.


Truth in Fiction: Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner

Maggot Moon

"I collect words - they are sweets in the mouth." Standish Treadwell p. 24

"It had struck me that the world was full of holes, holes which you could fall into, never to be seen again. I couldn't understand the difference between disappearance and death. Both seemed the same to me, both left holes. Holes in your heart. Holes in your life. " Standish Treadwell p. 32

Truth in Fiction - Saints by Gene Luen Yang

Boxers (Boxers & Saints, #1) Saints (Boxers & Saints, #2)

"The world will never be exactly as we want it, Vibiana. But regardless of how imperfect things may seem, God's will can still be found.

God doesn't always speak through angels. His voice is often much quieter, like a fluttering in your heart."

p.85 Joan to Vibiana aka Four-Girl

Truth in Fiction - Manga Edition Strobe Edge by Io Sakisaka

Strobe Edge, Vol. 1 (Strobe Edge, #1)

"Lately, I've been feeling truly blessed for being surrounded by such good people... Because I get to do my work while surrounded by these people, I haven't had to deal with work-related stress...It's because the goodness of the people around me has a healing effect. I'm surrounded by hard workers who serve as my role models. They're so inspiring... Do your best or don't do it at all! BE WELL-ROUNDED AND DO YOUR BEST!" (Io Sakisaka's motto)Vol. 5

Many of us do not get to choose our co-workers. I myself deal with quite a bit of work-related stress, but surrounding myself with positive people has helped tremendously, and in ways I wouldn't have imagined.

"It feels amazing to be yourself without having to worry about what others think." Vol. 6

I agree 100%

"Be Strong and carry on. That's what I told myself that summer night." Vol. 6

Technically, this post should not be part of the Truth in Fiction series because these words from Io Sakisaka are not from the text of Strobe Edge, but from the "free pages" in Strobe Edge where Io Sakisaka shares herself with her readers, so the truth is in the book just not in the fiction. Right?


Truth in Fiction - All The Truth That's in Me by Julie Berry

All the Truth That's in Me

"I never knew a man could speak so boldly, so rudely to a woman. I never knew words could act like fingers, touching where they ought not, grasping their pleasure at the victim's expense." p 183

Most of the women I know remember the first time that a man's words had this effect on them. Do you remember the first time someone spoke to you in a way that violated your being?

*"Maria has taught me anew how to speak; I must teach myself better, when not to." p. 188

There is power in speech. People attend classes to become better speakers and join clubs to overcome the fear of public speaking. Yes, there is power in speech, but there is also power in silence. Perhaps as part of every speech or public speaking class, time out to be allocated for lessons on when not to speak.

*emphasis mine


Truth in Fiction Part 2 - Scumble by Ingrid Law

Scumble (Savvy, #2)

"Some fears can be conquered...Others have a way of coming back around. Sometimes at the moment you least expect. Often with the very worst possible timing. Fear makes it hard to think. And when you can't think, it's hard to figure out your choices. When you can't see all your options, all you can do is react." p.147 
Uncle Autry sharing a life lesson with Ledge on the nature of fear.

"Just because someone's got a knack for something, doesn't mean he can't learn more, right? p. 152
Uncle Autry sharing a life lesson with Ledge about innate abilities and honing our gifts and talents.

"It can take a lot of strength to show up and be yourself... don't you think? p. 240
Uncle Autry sharing a life lesson with Ledge about being your true self .
See Truth in Fiction - Scumble by Ingrid Law

"Scumbling is not about you trying to fit in with the rest of the world; it's about making your savvy fit in better with you. It's simply learning to balance all the different parts of yourself so that you don't let the one thing that feels most out-of-control take over and rule your life. Get it?" p. 251
Cousin Rocket sharing a life lesson with Ledge about balance.

"Wounded animals can be dangerous, Ledge. Some wounded people can be too." p.278
Cousin Rocket sharing a life lesson with Ledge about the danger of wounded people.

Uncle Autry sure has a gift for sharing life lessons. Is there someone in your life who shared their wisdom with you as you were growing up? If so, who? What wisdom did they share with you?


Truth in Fiction - Scumble by Ingrid Law

Scumble (Savvy, #2)

"It can take a lot of strength to show up and be yourself...don't you think?"
Scumble by Ingrid Law

I finished reading Scumble and the above quote has stayed with me. I/We spend a considerable amount of time contemplating, and often discussing, the nature of community and what it means to be part of a community. In order to live, work, and worship in community, I think it is important for people to be themselves and to accept others as they are. I often do not have the strength needed to be my whole, true self within certain communities.

Questions for further consideration:
What can we do to develop the spiritual strength it requires to show up and be ourselves?

Do we recognize the strength that it can take for others to show up and be themselves?

Do we encourage others to show up and be themselves? If so, how do we encourage others to show up and be themselves?

What would it look like for our respective communities if we all showed up and were our true selves?