Lincoln’s list

Hannah Roberts, Reporter

   Each year an extensive list of books is formed for teachers and librarians to read. In the end, the list is cut down to 20 novels to be read by students all over Illinois. The 2023 list includes books like Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, Legendborn by Tracy Deonn, Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo, and many more.

   The list starts with 75 books on it. All of these books must have been published in the last 5 years in order to make the list. A 30-member committee of librarians and teachers all over the state take charge to cut the list down and each member reads around 12 books. 

   After all the books have been read each is given a point value by the reader to then be discussed with the rest of the committee to decide on the final list.

   Librarian Rebecca Plaza was part of the committee last year and keeps up to date with this year’s books as well. So far she has read 11 of the 20 on the list. Plaza says she enjoys the variety of topics and formats from the books on the list.

   “It’s hard to keep up on  the latest and greatest,” Plaza stated.

   The Lincoln List is a great way to encourage reading all over Illinois. It helps young readers keep up with the new best books and maybe go outside of their reading comfort zone. 

   Now it’s time for an in-depth review of one of the books on this list, Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo. This book takes place in 1954 in San Francisco’s Chinatown and follows the main character, Lily Hu. Lily has grown up in a very traditional family with very traditional views. This proves to be an issue for Lily because as we follow her character she discovers that she is in love with another girl.

   That girl is Kathleen or Kath. The two girls start becoming friends and with that start developing feelings for each other. They both know that they like each other but they also know they can’t share that publicly.

   Kath proposes an idea: The Telegraph Club. It’s an underground club that has always been safe for people in the LGBTQ community. So they go, they have fun, and Lily gets the chance to meet people who won’t judge her for who she is. 

   Sadly life isn’t always that perfect and great. Things happen at The Telegraph Club. Lily can’t hide her secret forever. The girls start to be ripped apart from each other. You will have to read the book to find out what happens. Do Lily and Kath get to be together? Does everything turn out ok?

   Last Night at the Telegraph Club is a wonderful book with wonderful representation. It’s a great story that includes LGBTQ and San Fransico history. This book is the perfect one to read for anyone. It’s happy, sad, funny, and everything in between.