2014 Hub Reading Challenge discussion

Better Nate Than Ever (Better Nate Than Ever, #1)
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Best Fiction for Young Adults > Better Nate than Ever

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Angela Critics (quiltinglibrarian) | 16 comments Going in, I expected this to be a pretty fun book. But I was a bit disappointed. I was never able to connect with Nate. He just seemed such a stereotype of the naive hick visiting the big city. All of the characters fell a bit flat for me. I'm trying to figure out the audience for this book, besides complete theater geeks.

Jenni Frencham (jennifrencham) As much as I was glad to see a middle grade/tween book about an LGBT character, I have to agree that Nate's story got fairly Disney-esque. I was glad when he didn't get the part at the end, because otherwise this would have been like "Glee-the Junior Edition"

Allison | 21 comments Mod
It's interesting to hear different takes on this one-- as a Broadway-obsessed kid in middle school and high school, I felt SO much empathy with Nate. His journey was indeed much like a Disney movie or fairy tale, but I think that's part of what I liked about it. I just wanted GOOD THINGS to happen for Nate. His Broadway musical references had me in stitches, and I loved his naïve optimism.

For the fellow librarians in the crowd-- where are you shelving this book? I can't decide whether it will circulate better in YA or children's. This is a book that makes me wish we had a tween area in my library!

message 4: by Tahleen (new)

Tahleen Allison, I passed on buying it for my teen section when it came out, though I went back and forth for a little while. Eventually, right before the lists were announced, I noticed our children's librarian had ordered it for the J section.

Angela Critics (quiltinglibrarian) | 16 comments Our current copy is in J. But when the lists came out, our YA coordinator ordered several copies for the YA section. I think it is definitely more tween than teen.

Kefira | 9 comments Very cute, it was very much like a entertainment fairy tale, but I'm assuming that was the point. It did make me curious about the sequel.

Allison | 21 comments Mod
Thanks for weighing in on my shelving question! We have this title in children's, but since it was recognized on the BFYA list, I wonder if it should be in YA. Decisions, decisions! I'm just starting to read the sequel-- maybe that will help me decide. I love this book and want it to be shelved where it will shine.

Lee-ann | 16 comments the copy I read had spine label "j"

Jenni Frencham (jennifrencham) If I were in a public library with a "tween" section, that's probably where I'd put this book. I think it's a bit young for most teens, but may appeal to middle grade or preteens.

Kelly | 13 comments I loved this book. It made me smile. It wasn't a hard read, but I did connect with the character. I love how he addresses gender stereotypes, how he talks about the idea people have that he "likes boys" even though he is really too young to have even thought about it. It made me think about a recent case I heard about where a (young, like maybe 4 or 5 yo) girl was suspended for acting/dressing like a tomboy, and her guardians were chastised by the school for raising her to be a lesbian. I loved his best friend and her dedication, and I really wanted everything to work out for Nate (although I doubted it would).

message 11: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rjung) | 8 comments I was surprised to see this on the list of eligible titles because the rules plainly say, "Middle grade titles recognized by these lists and awards are not included in the list of eligible titles for this challenge." So why is it included?

Kelly | 13 comments I'm willing to bet that the reason many schools would put this on the YA shelf is that it deals with gender issues and different sexual lifestyles. In my opinion, it touches on it very gently, but I know that some districts are more conservative than others. Maybe that's why?

message 13: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rjung) | 8 comments That makes sense, but I wouldn't consider it YA for my library...although there are plenty of cross-over books (I'm thinking of something like Sharon Draper's Out of My Mind, which we shelve in J and YA.) Thanks Kelly!

Allison | 21 comments Mod
Hi Rebecca, this title is included in The Hub Reading Challenge because it's recognized on YALSA's 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults list. The YALSA awards and selected lists are the core of The Hub Reading Challenge, because it's a YALSA initiative. The statement about not including middle grade titles refers to the non-YALSA awards included in the challenge, like the Stonewall and Schneider Family Book Award.

message 15: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rjung) | 8 comments Thanks for the answer!

Jmrunninglib | 25 comments I will have to agree with others in that the book seems a little scripted (no pun intended) or rather disneyish. Though I enjoyed the book I think it would have limited appeal in the teen section. I thought the LGTB character was set for teens they would be turned off by the age of the character.

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