In the Margins Committee

Posted: March 15, 2013 in Book Reviews, Resources
Strives to find the best books for teens living in poverty, on the streets, in custody – or a cycle of all three!
What is it? A group of Librarians under the umbrella of Library Services for Youth in Custody seeking out and highlighting books: preschool through adult fiction and non-fiction titles of high-interest appeal to boys or girls, ages 9 -18 who may fit into one or all of the following categories:
  • multicultural (primarily African American and Latino)
  • from a street culture
  • in restrictive custody
  • reluctant readers
What does it do? The committee will select and review the best books of the year, specifically for the population listed above. Titles of interest may be unusual, possibly unreviewed, have multicultural characters, dealing with difficult situations including (but not limited to) street life, marginalized populations, crime, justice, war, violence, abuse, addiction, etc.
Publicity featuring highlighted titles: YA Underground, a School Library Journal (SLJ) column will run reviews every other month or so through-out the year. Please see: for an example.
There will be an annual book award for top titles. The final list will be decided upon by this committee and run in SLJ.  Books will be put on the Library Services for Youth in Custody website.
Nominate a title! 

If you think a title is of interest to our committe, please nominate it here:… Titles nominated by non-committee members must be seconded by a committee member. We will look at all nominated titles.

Access to Wiki/Book discussions: 

If you are a librarian serving youth in custody and would like access to the wiki in order to read the discussions about up and coming titles, request access here Please provide your name and where you work in order to be granted access.

Committee membership and requirements:
  • research and nominate titles that are self, independently and small press published,
  • research and nominate titles of interest from all publishers
  • provide written review of books, and read for special content for detention facilities
  • read all nominated titles
  • work with or do outreach to teens in custody and/or from street culture.
  • get feedback from at least 3-10 teens on each title
  • actively participate in email discussions
  • meet 4-6 times a year via video conferencing and/or in person

The committee is now closed. We will open again in December of 2013. If you are interested in serving on this committee, please fill out the application here.

 For more information, contact Amy Cheney at

PUBLISHERS:    Download a list of committee members addresses here.    We accept electronic and print galleys and ARCs, as well as final publication copies.

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