It is not too late to make plans to celebrate the second annual Support Teen Literature Day on April 17, 2008. This is a day to celebrate the vibrant world of YA literature. Create a display of the newest award winners. Post lists of BBYA, Quick Picks, and other lists from YALSA. Read aloud to teens from the latest and best YA books (a good place to begin might be with Printz winners from the past couple of years) or play a track or two from YA audiobooks (see the YALSA list of Amazing Audiobooks and the Odyssey winners). Highlight the work of some of the winners of the Margaret Edwards Award, a wondrous collection of incredible authors including Lois Lowry, Orson Scott Card, Chris Crutcher, Richard Peck, and M.E. Kerr to name a few.
Better yet, create some lists of your own to recommend to local bookstores, parent groups, schools. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper supporting the use of contemporary literature. Offer to do periodic reviews for your town newspaper of forthcoming YA books.
And don’t forget the new technologies. Use podcasts and wikis and blogs to pass along the news that YA literature is not only interesting for teen readers, it is a literature rich in language and imagery and can stand alongside the literary canon (most of which are contemporary stories from past times). How will you celebrate? Let us know what you did and how it all went. Share your experiences and successes with your colleagues.
For more ideas visit YALSA’s wiki. For 2008, YALSA has teamed up with the readergirlz and 20 publishers to distribute 10,000 books to children’s hospitals. You can get the details from the press release. There are tips on the wiki to help you connect with hospitalized and homebound teens in your community.