The Great Unsung YA 2010 Giveaway

Kelly at is offering a cool giveaway. We all know that there are certain YA reads that rise to the top every year. What about the ones that don't? Is YA greatness out there disguised as a sleeper read? To enter this pledge, all you have to do is fill out a google form. However, there are ways to increase your odds of actually winning a book by writing about this contest on your blog, linking back to a similar giveaway offered by The Purple Crayon (which is how I found out about this giveaway--it's an awesome blog), and you can get an extra 2 points by actually reading one of these under-discovered YA reads.

I love this last part of the challenge. I am totally psyched to read a great title that no one in my circle of YA-obsessed teachers and friends will have heard of. (Hopefully they're not reading this post!) Here are my top choices from this challenge:

1. Border Crossing by Jessica Lee Anderson. This is the book from the list provided that I am most likely to buy and/or read with gusto. I love reading about immigration/ border issues, and I teach a huge immigration unit every year. So, I'm always looking to develop my selection of immigration-related Free Reads for students. This is a current, relevant topic for me to be reading about. Plus, the cover's intriguing.

3. Unsigned Hype by Booker T. Mattison. I know that I would love this book. It's about a teen who desperately wants to make his dream music career a reality. He's willing to leave high school to follow his dream. I love music. (I am not a good singer. People cringe.) I think in lyrics, I relate songs to my life all of the time, and my husband and I parody songs to make them about whatever we're doing. We're dorky. But we love music. Plus, I have a bunch of students who love rap/ hip-hop music and would love to read this book. It's now on my wishlist.

2. Year of the Horse by Justin Allen. Why? Well, I was first attracted to this title because I was born in the Year of the Horse (I know this from the Chinese Zodiac calendars I see at Chinese restaurants). I went online and read some reviews of this book and it looks like it'd be a great wild west sorta read. I'm always looking for great action reads for my guy students, and this could be a gem!

So, what have I learned from this exercise? I need to dig more carefully and not just follow the hype. I've learned about all kinds of new and promising books simply by looking up titles on amazon and reading reviews. I am excited to see what else I am missing out on!