by Heather Love Beverley
Looking to get revved up for ALA Annual in Chicago? How about spending some time immersed in some deliciously good YA novels, all by extremely talented Chicago authors? Here’s a sampling of some of the literary YA wonders of the Chicago-land area:
Lisa Jenn Bigelow: First-time YA author Bigelow’s novel Starting From Here is captivating readers with its poignant, charming and compelling coming-of-age storyline, and has been named a 2013 Rainbow List Top Ten book.
Franny Billingsley: Billengsley has written a masterpiece of rich imagery and sensual language with her beguiling historical novel, Chime.
Fern Schumer Chapman: Chapman’s novel Is It Night or Day? is a heartwrenchingly beautiful account of a young Jewish girl’s journey from WWII Germany to America. This novel is a fictionalized account of Chapman’s mother’s own journey, which is also chronicled in her memoir Motherland.
Simone Elkeles: Elkeles’s novels range from intense and steamy- the Perfect Chemistry series, Leaving Paradise series, and her newest Wild Cards series- to comical and sweet- the How to Ruin series. All are delightful and engaging. Read More →
I’m just back from YALSA’s 2012 YA Lit Symposium in St. Louis. It’s YALSA’s third Symposium, but—for a variety of reasons—my first. There will be much discussion over at The Hub about the actual programs and presentations, but I wanted to say a few words about something else that I observed over the course of three days.
I’ve been going to ALA Annual and Midwinter for over 15 years, and they are great. But a Symposium like this is something really special, and it’s all about the connections. Let me just give you a few examples that I observed:
- I was chatting with someone at a break who works at the library in the area where I grew up. We knew people in common from the library, but then I found out where she had gone to high school, and immediately took her over to introduce her to another YALSA member who went to that same high school—turned out they had overlapped by a year or two.
- A librarian told me that she was rooming at this Symposium with someone she had first met at the 2008 Lit Symposium.
- At the closing session, I was asked to take a picture of four librarians who had met and bonded at the symposium. They told me they were all “orphans” who had come alone, but met and had a great time together.
- At the Morris Lunch, a librarian who wanted to know more about staff development models happened to be seated with another librarian who does staff development as a full-time job.
- At the same table, a person who is interested in library apps like Boopsie was put in touch with someone in her local area who was involved in getting the app for her library.
- The symposium Twitter hashtag (#yalit12) was trending on Saturday afternoon, as attendees live-tweeted their sessions and got into back-and-forth discussions about what was being presented.
- I found new people to follow on Twitter, and new people followed me.
- Attendees had opportunities to have real conversations with authors at the Book Blitz on Saturday night, and at the networking breaks. Read More →
The Inspire USA Foundation, the non-profit organization behind the youth mental health site ReachOut.com, is releasing a list of recommended young adult fiction titles dealing with a range of issues like depression and eating disorders. Inspire USA is also announcing a schedule of live YA author chats on Ustream throughout the month of May, which is Mental Health Awareness month. The chats and books are listed at http://reachout.com/reachoutreads.
The goal of this campaign is to promote positive mental health and build awareness of ReachOut.com a resource for teen and young adult readers of popular YA fiction. The list of books was developed by YALSA, the Young Adult Library Services Association, and has been reviewed by Inspire USA staff for positive mental health content.
Last week, Hillel Italie of the Associated Press profiled Walter Dean Myers, one of a few authors to win both the Printz and Edwards awards from YALSA, on his enduring popularity with teen readers. Read on to see why YALSA chose Myers to be a featured speaker at Give Them What They Want: Reaching Reluctant Readers, YALSA’s half-day Annual preconference in New Orleans on June 24, 12:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Among the kids at the Promise Academy and around the country, Walter Dean Myers is a must-read whose books have sold millions of copies and have a special appeal for the toughest of people to reach, boys. He is able, like few writers, to relate to his readers as they live today.
And he is old enough to be their grandfather.
Myers, 73, has written dozens of novels, plays and biographies. He has received three National Book Award nominations and won many prizes, including a lifetime achievement honor from the American Library Association and five Coretta Scott King awards for African-American fiction. He is also the most engaged of writers, spending hours with young people at schools, libraries and prisons, giving talks and advice on life and work, his own rise from high-school dropout to best-selling author, a story that translates across generations.
Read More →
The second YALSA YA Lit Symposium abounded in riches for the inclusive title hungry: where to mine for new GLBTQ books, how to evaluate requests from teens for street lit, when to stop and do a good readers advisory interview instead of just stocking the shelves and expecting the goods will be found by the readers who want them. Pam Spencer Holley called out the difference between a teen’s reading interests and that of his or her (overprotective?) parent. Robin Brenner showed off sequential art panels that speak louder than words. Author, educator, and activist Sophia Quintero reminded all that discussion is a necessary adjunct to reading tough stuff. Read More →
As I filed out of the excellent Images & Issues Beyond the Dominant: Including Diversity in Your Graphic Novel Collection (more on that later), I was surprised to see a milling mob of librarians waiting in the hallway. Then I remembered the Author’s Happy Hour(s): two hours of YA author superstars, signing free copies of their books, plus snacks and alcohol. Ah…. The eager chatter and press suddenly made sense!
Each attendee was given a small tote bag and five tickets, good for five books. However, with over 30 authors in attendance, each one of us had to make some serious decisions about which authors we needed to gush to and whose books we must have. Read More →
The program below is one of many featured on ALA’s online clearinghouse for school/public library cooperation managed by the AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation. Visit the clearinghouse to learn more or share your own exemplary partnership!
Title of Program: Author Lecture
Type of Program: Special Events
Age level: Elementary & Secondary (middle school)
Description of Program: Author Lecture is a joint program organized and funded by the Multnomah County Library, The Library Foundation and Riverdale Grade School. This annual event, begun in 1998, explores the exciting and diverse world of books for children from the viewpoint of the books’ creators. Past guests include Jack Gantos, Christopher Paul Curtis, Sharon Creech, and Katherine Paterson. As part of the program, needy schools can apply to participate in the school exchange program. Students in the exchange receive complimentary tickets to the lecture, transportation, an autographed book by the author, and will meet with a class from Riverdale Grade School to discuss the author’s writing. URL: http://www.multcolib.org/kids/lecture/
Reading Promotions Coordinator
Multnomah County Library
205 NE Russell
Portland, OR 97212
Well, hello there! I know it’s been a long time since my last ATB post (and I know I promised an anti-Twilight edition; it’s still in the works…). But I’m back, and this one’s more fun than a barrel of… well, you know.
Now, I don’t claim to know a lot, but there are a few things I do know:
- Zombies are cool
- Airships are cool
- Steampunk is cooler than cool
- Seattle is cool (or so I’ve heard…never been there, actually)
So imagine how beyond cool beans with extra hot sauce a book would be if it threw all of these things together, and even had a cool teen protagonist (with an even cooler mom!)!
Enter Cherie Priest, and our latest ATB: The zombie and steampunk-filled tour-de-force, Boneshaker.
Read More →
With budgets being frozen and cut, it can be hard to find the money to host a traditional author visit. Here are six tips to connect with authors – virtually and in person – for little to no money.
1. Piggyback: When you book an author, you don’t just have speaker fees. You also need to pay for travel, lodging, and other expenses. One way to cut costs is to piggy back on book tours. When Jeff Kinney came to our local Border’s, one of our elementary librarians contacted his publisher who put her in touch with his agent. She was able to schedule a school visit between his other engagements. While this visit was not exactly cheap, it was cheaper than it might have been.
2. Buy Local: Another way to avoid travel fees is to book a local author. YALSA has a wiki which lists YA authors by state. Local authors may be more willing to work with your budget constraints since it is a way for them to support their community.
Read More →