My first loved books, Judy Blume, Babysitters Club, gifted me my love of reading and solace when life needed solace. Then required reading in school and adult books came my way and I forgot about young adult lit until I started teaching. I immediately began devouring Sharon Draper, Sarah Dessen, Walter Dean Myers, Ben Mikaelsen . . . Partly so I could recommend books to my students or find books to teach, partly because I couldn't put them down.
My children are not yet old enough for many of the YAL books I love. Yes, we continue to read Harry Potter over and over, have read all the Judy Blume books appropriate for their ages. Clark's started Gary Paulson's Hatchet series, but many of the ones I now pick up, I read purely for myself.
Because even at 37 they are important reads, good reads, need to be read reads.
Recently I came across an important, good read, Lora Richardson's Outspoken -
"Penny Beck is a girl who says yes when she means no. She keeps to herself, follows the rules, and does what she’s told. After a disastrous experience with her boyfriend, she's determined to change from the spineless person she’s always been into the strong woman she wants to become. All she needs is a little practice. On a cross-country trip to check on her grandpa, she strives to become bolder and more outspoken with the strangers she meets. Penny's plan is to practice saying and doing what she wants without worrying about what anyone else thinks. Then she meets Archer, an introspective loner to whom she finds herself drawn. She realizes she does care what he thinks, very much. Will Penny be able to stick to her plan, or will she revert back to her people-pleasing ways?"
A definite page turner, I loved how introspective Penny is, the relationship that unfolds as she spends time with her ailing grandfather, and how Penny's character continues to grow due to the decisions she makes- not because a boy sweeps in and saves her.
Richardson's characters are easy to relate to and made me think about past decisions- future ones too. And there is love, which when written well, as it is in this read, always makes me fall a little more in love with my love.
I think YOU, reader, should read this book.
Lora is offering you a chance to do so!
Comment below and on November 17th at 8am random comment generator will choose a winner (notified by email) and Lora will send you a signed copy.
Please share this giveaway with your people who love to read!
Thankful for good reads! Thankful for this one!