YA Lit Symposium — Meet Them Where They Are and Open the Door

The YA Literature Symposium is quickly approaching! Have you registered yet? The list of programs with times is now available.

The featured program this week/today is:

Meet Them Where They Are and Open the Door: Urban Teens, Street Lit, and Reader’s Advisory

Socioeconomically disadvantaged urban teens are often stereotyped as non-readers, reluctant readers, or readers of a single genre. But just as with other teens, urban teens’ reading choices are informed by their needs, interests, and social landscape. In this session, we will discuss factors that contribute to urban teens’ reading choices, demystify the increasingly popular genre of street lit, and demonstrate proven reader’s advisory techniques and programs for connecting urban teens with a variety of books that speak to them. Presenters:  Megan Honig and Beth Saxton

Presenters Megan Honig and Beth Saxton kindly answered my questions.

KH: Can you share one interesting or thought provoking fact from your presentation?
Beth:  There is not a large chain bookstore within the Cleveland city limits, or a bookstore selling a variety of new books for teens.  It would take a teen who lives near downtown at least an hour on the bus to get to the nearest Borders or Barnes & Noble on a good day.  There is a Borders Express at the mall downtown, the same mall that does not allow anyone under 18 without a parent.

KH: Who should come to your presentation?
Megan: Anyone who wants to learn more about why teens are drawn to street lit and how to do reader’s advisory for street lit fans (HINT: respect their reading tastes!!).

Beth: I think we could have called this “Respect the reader”.  I would say anyone who is interested in how to raise reader’s awareness of titles and who wants to get more books into the hands of their teens.

The full interview with Megan and Beth is available at the YA Lit Symposium Online Community.

The YA Literature Symposium is November 5-7 in Albuquerque, NM. To give everyone a sneak peek into the presentations I be posting portions of interviews with program presenters weekly until the symposium. Full interviews will be available at the YA Lit Symposium Online Community.

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