A group of teens from the New Orleans area participated in YALSA’S Best Fiction for Young Adults Teen Feedback Session during the ALA Annual Conference. They each read at least three books from this year’s list of BFYA nominations so far. The teens provided the BFYA blogging team with valuable insight about the “teen appeal” of the books. To reward the teens for their hard work and participation, YALSA generously provided them each with a pass to visit the exhibits and collect as many free books as they could carry! After visiting the exhibit hall, teens enjoyed a pizza lunch with nine popular YA authors. The event was a great success. But don’t take our word for it—here’s what some of the teens told us about their favorite part of the day!
We asked: “What was your favorite part of participating in the conference and what are you reading next?”
“I liked the part where you met the authors, because you got real insight on what they were thinking when they wrote the books.” –Sabian B.
What Sabian is reading next: What I Leave Behind by Alison McGhee
“I think it was seeing how many people are here and so passionate and [in the feedback session] seeing what books everyone chose to read and how they interpreted them.” –Abigail D.
What Abigail is reading next: “I have no idea, I going to lay them all out and decide!”
“My favorite part was getting to walk around and meet new people.” –Carissa W.
What Carissa is reading next: Dry by Neal Shusterman
“I really liked meeting the authors, because you got to see some aspects of an author’s career. I also thought it was really cool to receive books before they were out!” –Tiyasha C.
What Tiyasha is reading next: Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough or Orphaned by Eliot Schrefer
“The convention was exactly how I imagined heaven. Also, I expected the feedback session to be way more stressful, but it was actually really easy to just talk about the books. It’s so cool that we got the books before the Library of Congress got them!” –Laxmi J.
What Laxmi is reading next: “Well, I read The Schwa Was Here (by Neal Shusterman who I met yesterday!) for school summer reading, and I have to read Chains too, but after that I think I’m going to start Dry.”
This event was truly a team effort and would not have been possible without the collaboration and dedication of many people. Thanks to the teens who participated, the teachers, librarians and parents who prepared teens and arranged for them to come, the authors and publishers who sponsored and participated in the pizza lunch, and the BFYA blogging team for nominating thought-provoking titles and welcoming teen feedback.
Carolyn Vidmar is a Teen Services Librarian at the New Orleans Public Library.