novels in verse

Reading Without Walls


A new something has just come to my attention, that I absolutely LOVE. That something is National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, Gene Luen Yang's, Reading Without Walls Challenge. It is basically a challenge to "read a book outside your comfort zone". This is defined through the following guidelines, which you can also see in the picture below:

  1. a book about a character who doesn't look or live like you
  2. a book about a topic you don't know much about
  3. a book in a format that you don't normally read for fun

I love this because, not only does it help develop diversity in reading, but it helps develop diversity in WHAT you read and HOW you read it as well! Ex. reading graphic novels, novels in verse, or AUDIO BOOKS.

If you have read my blog in the past, you know that I LOVE AUDIO BOOKS. Also, a quick plug: Vroman's has started a new partnership with, that now has memberships! This is great because unlike Audible, it helps supports Independent Bookstores, which in turn, helps your community! So next time you think about purchasing an audio book, please check out their website! I have the app on my phone, and so far it has been a breeze for me to access and enjoy. More on that HERE.

Now, back to Reading Without Walls. This is so so important, because it helps kids AND ADULTS see themselves in books. It goes hand in hand with the #WeNeedDiverseBooks platform. If widely publicized, it will help create awareness with publishers, that we need more and more diverse books. It will also create awareness in bookstores like ours, for buyers to BUY MORE diverse books! 

Below is some of our favorite selections for the challenge. Some of these might look familiar, others are BRAND NEW! This includes the new Salaam Reads title, Amina's Voice. See the bottom of this post for a complete list of titles.

Here, you can see our picks for Young Adults:

AND we are having an event with LeUyen Pham, illustrator of some of my favorite books (The Princess in Black series), to help kick things off! As you can see below, her event is April 4th at 6pm. Additional details can be found HERE

Furthermore, if you come, you may be treated to some cool buttons like these:

Or stickers like these! 

For me personally, I am reading two books currently that fit this challenge and hope to read a lot more in the upcoming weeks and future! The books that I am reading are: 1. Batman and Son-I have struggled with graphic novels/comics in the past and am trying to get more familiar with them.

2. The Hate U Give-I actually got this on audio through and Children's Dept. Manager, Ashlee and I are listening to it. 

Again, I love, love, love this initiative and hope you, your friends, your kids, or kids you know, will get involved.  Love,

Jen in the Bookstore



Featured Children's Titles:

  1. The Bear Who Wasn't There
  2. Amina's Voice
  3. George
  4. The BFG (audio book)
  5. Junie B. Jones First Ever Musical Edition (audio book)
  6. Talking Leaves
  7. Stef Soto Taco Queen
  8. It Ain't So Awful Falafel
  9. Garvey's Choice
  10. Poet of Science
  11. Hidden
  12. Papa's Backpack
  13. The Water Princess
  14. Juana & Lucas
  15. The Journey

Young Adult Selections:

  1. Highly Illogical Behavior
  2. The Hate U Give
  3. You're Not Proper
  4. 100 Sideways Miles
  5. The Rest of Us Just Live Here
  6. Chinese Cinderella
  7. Tomboy
  8. X
  9. The Sun Is Also A Star
  10. Lucy and Linh