Janet Lee Carey-Library Lions Roar Library Lions Roar Janet Lee Carey Award-winning author of novels for children and young adults


Today we’re thrilled to welcome acclaimed author Justina Chen to Library Lions. Check out her newest book and hear her Roar!


Justina Chen is an award-winning novelist for young adults whose most recent book, A Blind Spot for Boys, is a Booklist Top Romance for Teens. North of Beautiful was named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus and Barnes & Noble. Her other novels include Return to Me, Girl Overboard, and Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies), which won the Asian Pacific American Award for Literature. Additionally, she co-founded readergirlz, a literacy and social media project for teens, which won the National Book Foundation’s Prize for Innovations in Reading. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University where she was given the Dean’s Award for Service.


When she isn’t reading or writing, Justina can be found hiking with her daughter (who’d rather be shopping) or Skyping with her son who now lives in Abu Dhabi.



“Educators and librarians hoping to engage female readers want to add this novel to their shelves.” –VOYA


Shana Wilde has always had a blind spot for boys. Can she trust the one who’s right in front of her?

Shana is officially on a Boy Moratorium. After a devastating breakup, she decides it’s time to end the plague of Mr. Wrongs and devote herself to her true passion: photography.

Enter Quattro, the undeniably intriguing lacrosse player who slams into Shana one morning in Seattle. Sparks don’t just fly; they ignite—and so does Shana’s interest. But just as she’s about to rethink her ban on boys, she receives crushing news: Her dad is going blind.

Shana and her parents vow to make the most of the time her father has left to see, so they plan a photo safari to Machu Picchu. But even as Shana travels away from Quattro, she can’t get him out of her mind.

Love and loss, humor and heartbreak collide in this new novel from acclaimed author Justina Chen (North of Beautiful).


About writing the book
Of all my novels, A Blind Spot for Boys was the most fun to write. Machu Picchu, a bedbug sniffing dog, a girl who puts herself on a Boy Moratorium? Those were such fun elements and balanced some of the more serious themes in the book. Seeing your blind spots clearly—the blind spots we have for our mistakes (especially the ones we keep making over and over and over again). The blind spots we have for people. The blind spots we have for our past.

Teachers and Librarians check out the free Educator’s Guide

Library Love When You Were a Cub
My second home when I was growing up was the Cupertino Public Library. I would spend hours and hours in the library, browsing books first in their children’s section when I was in elementary school, then in the adult section as I grew up to be a teen. The few YA books at that time were housed in slender rounders on the second floor that I would check every visit in hopes that a new book had been written for girls my age.

This deeply ingrained memory of wanting stories that reflected me propelled one of the literacy projects readergirlz spearheaded, Operation Teen Book Drop (Operation TBD)For a number of years, we partnered with Young Adult Library ServicesAssociation  (YALSA), publishers, Children’s Hospitals and libraries to get 30,000 YA novels into the hands of teens around the country.

More Library Love
Celebrating librarians and teachers who work so hard to match books to teens drove Janet Lee Carey, Dia Calhoun, Lorie Ann Grover, and I to create readergirlz.


Readergirlz with Nancy Pearl


That same mission to nurture librarians has led me to commit to create small happy hour gatherings
for librarians and teachers so we could celebrate the launch of A Blind Spot for Boys together with Lorie Ann Grover’s new novel, Hit.


I’d like to give a personal shout out to Michelle Lane for organizing a fantastic Northwest book festival. Through A Cavalcade of Authors  thousands of teens have been able to meet with their favorite authors because of her, her vision, and her team of literacy-minded volunteers.

We are so blessed in the greater Seattle area to have truly great librarians who are providing amazing thought leadership on what it means to be a library and provide youth services. Their programming is cutting-edge and community-building. So a special shout out to Jackie Parker Robinson, Rachel McDonald and Darcy Brixey.


A Lion’s Pride of Programs
One of my greatest joys as an author are my visits to middle and high schools where I get to spend time with remarkable students, teachers, and librarians.


Photo with Middle School librarian “Walter the Giant”


With Hanna Teter and Arlington Librarian

One of the most memorable visits was to Charlotte Country Day School in North Carolina. Megan Fink is a truly wonderful librarian who worked with media specialists to sponsor a multicultural day where I had the privilege of being the keynote speaker. The school district bused in a couple of hundred of students to Charlotte Country Day so they could hear me. On display outside the auditorium was a student’s senior art project: a pair of wings crafted from maps and inspired by my novel, North of Beautiful. I was beyond touched that my words could catalyze a young woman to create art.

Let’s link
Facebook: facebook.com/AuthorJustinaChen
Twitter: @JustinaYChen

Thank you Justina for sharing your books and your Library Love with us!


Love Libraries? Give a Roar in “Comments” below.


Note to Librarians: If you’re a Youth Librarian working in a school or public library we’d love to hear about you and your library. Email Janet on the Contact page on this website for an interview.


Note to Authors: If you’re interested in Roaring for Libraries on this blog, contact Janet. 


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