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.

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:

Beyond Good Intentions and Chicken Soup: Young Adult Literature and Disability Diversity: How Far Have We Come?

Today’s teens are likely to have friends and classmates with disabilities. Young adult literature increasingly reflects the diverse identities found among today’s teens, and scaffolds the social beliefs they hold about people with disabilities, by including positive portrayals of characters with disabilities. Session participants will critically examine how changing social beliefs about disability are reflected in historical through contemporary fiction and nonfiction YA lit and explore methods to promote acceptance of diversity through the genre. Participants will be able to apply this knowledge when selecting and teaching YA lit. Speakers are Dr. Heather Garrison, Dr. Katherine Schneider, and author Terry Trueman.

The interview with Drs. Heather Garrison and Katherine Schneider 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.

This week’s featured presenter for the Young Adult Literature Symposium  is Megan Frazer – presenting during the all day preconference On Beyond Stonewall: The Uphill Journey of Young Adult Fiction with Gay/Lesbian/Queer Content, 1969-2010.

Here is a portion of the interview with Megan:

KH: Can you share one interesting or thought provoking fact from your presentation?

MF: One issue around LGBTQ lit that some of the other authors and I have been discussing is whether or not these characters need to be role models. Is including a villainous LGBTQ character reflective of reality or just propagating stereotypes? On the flipside, what about making LGBTQ characters too perfect?

KH: Who should come to your presentation?
MF: I hope that this is a topic that everyone is interested in. I am hoping for an open, honest, and illuminating discussion about the topic of LGBTQ lit. In 2009 SLJ did a self-censorship survey (http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6633729.html), and 47% of respondents said they passed on purchasing a book because it dealt with homosexuality. This is a shocking statistic to me. If you are in that 47%, you need to come to this pre-conference.

**The complete interview can be found 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.

This week’s featured program for the Young Adult Literature Symposium  is Commercial Success and Diversity: Are Both Possible, or Are They A Contradiction in Terms?

Presenter Neesha Meminger kindly answered my questions.

KH: Can you share one interesting or thought provoking fact from your presentation?

NM:  According to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, “There is no single definition of the term ‘multicultural literature’ as it is applied to books for children and young adults. At the CCBC, we use the term to mean books by and about people of color.” And according to their stats, in 2009, out of an estimated 5000 books published for children, less than 5% were authored by people of color.

KH: Who will be presenting with you?

NM:  Cynthea Liu, Paula Chase Hyman, and Alisa Valdes

**The complete interview can be found 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.

This week’s featured program for the Young Adult Literature Symposium  is On Beyond Stonewall: The Uphill Journey of Young Adult Fiction with Gay/Lesbian/Queer Content, 1969-2010.

Presenter Michael Cart kindly answered my questions on behalf of himself and co-presenter Christine Jenkins.

KH: Can you share one interesting or thought provoking fact from your presentation?

MC:  The growth of the literature under discussion. From 1999-2000 a total of eighteen books were published. From 2008-2009 the total grew to 63!

KH: Who will be presenting with you?

MC:  The program will include a panel of authors who write gay-themed work. The writers will be Malinda Lo, Lauren Bjorkman, and Kirstin Cronn-Mill.

**The complete interview can be found 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.

This week’s featured program from the Young Adult Literature Symposium is Heroes in International Literature!

This week’s featured presenter is Rosemary Chance.

KH: Can you share one interesting or thought provoking fact from your presentation?
RC:  In a panel four American editors will address the joys and challenges of editing books from other countries. They are the editors of The Shadows of Ghadames, The Century: Ring of Fire, Winter’s End, and Tiger Moon.

KH: Who should come to your presentation?
RC:  Anyone interested in stories with foreign settings, stories of heroes, and stories that will expand the worlds of young adults.

**The complete interview can be found 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.

This week’s featured program from the Young Adult Literature Symposium is Doomed to Repeat It: Diversity in Historical Fiction!

This week’s featured presenter is Melissa Rabey.

KH: Who should come to your presentation?

MR: Hopefully, everyone!  But I think this presentation will be most helpful to librarians who work in diverse communities, who would like to find works of historical fiction to recommend to multicultural teens or would like to learn more about the culture of their service area.

KH: Who will be presenting along with you?

MR: After I present on a variety of novels, two debut authors will be joining me to discuss their works of YA historical fiction.  Christina Gonzalez, author of THE RED UMBRELLA, will talk about how she was inspired to write about Operation Pedro Pan, which brought many Cuban children to the US in the 1960s.  Then, Ruta Sepetys will share how she wrote BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY, a novel set in the Ukraine during World War II.

**The complete interview can be found 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.

This week’s featured program from the Young Adult Literature Symposium  is Celebramos Libros: Celebrating Latino Literature!

This week’s featured presenter is Teri S. Lesesne, Professor of Library Science, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX.

KH: Who should come to your presentation?

TL: Anyone interested in learning more about adding diversity to their collections for tweens and teens, who wants to have the chance to hear authors (Ben Saenz and Margarita Engle), who wants to learn about why books about another culture are essential to the collection.

KH: How will people be able to use the information you share in their own practice?

TL: They will be able to identify the books that need to be a part of the collection so that patrons have both mirrors (books in which they can see themselves) and windows (books that open the world to them and show them other people and places).

**The complete interview can be found 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.

Have you registered for the Young Adult Literature Symposium yet? The 2nd YALSA YA Lit Symposium is going to be November 5-7 in Albuquerque, NM. Early Bird Registration for the Symposium is only available until September 10th – register soon to get the great early bird rates!

To give the YALSA Blog readers an idea of what to expect at the Symposium, I will be posting interviews with the symposium presenters from August until the Symposium. What a better way to decide which programs to attend?

Why wait until the symposium to get the discussions started? Join us in the discussion of diversity issues and YA literature that addresses them today at the YA Lit Symposium Online Community (http://yalsayalitsymp10.ning.com/).  Booklists, discussions, and questions and answers about the symposium can all be found here!

Look for the first YA Lit Symposium presenter interview next week!

For additional information about the symposium, visit the symposium website (http://ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/yalitsymposium/symposium.cfm) or the symposium wiki (http://wikis.ala.org/yalsa/index.php/Young_Adult_Literature_Symposium%2C_2010).