YALSA Teen Lit Symposium: Author Happy Hour from the Authors’ Perspective

The thing I was looking forward to least about the whole YALSA Teen Lit Symposium was the Author Happy Hour. Neurotic me imagined me sitting by myself at a table while all the other tables were mobbed.

When the librarians started streaming in, I took a picture because it was just this mob of people coming in, like the Running of the Brides at Filene’s Basement in Boston. And then you mobbed us all! It was thrilling. Continue reading

YA Lit Symposium: A Side Trip…

As I was unable to make it to the YA Lit Symposium’s Pre-Conference Session: On Beyond Stonewall, I decided to head to a local bookstore Friday night for an intimate and informal discussion about LGBT issues in teen literature.’  Present were authors Malinda Lo (Ash), Lauren Bjorkman (My Invented Life), Megan Frazer (Secrets of Truth and Beauty), Alexandra Diaz (Of all the Stupid Things) and Kirstin Cronn-Mills (The Sky always hears me and the hills don’t mind), all of whose books feature characters dealing with LGBT issues. Continue reading

YA Lit Symposium Pre-Conference: On Beyond Stonewall

The morning began with Michael Cart giving an overview of some of the important social and political events related to LGBTQ issues. Next, Cart and Christine Jenkins presenting a list of all of the books with LGBTQ content from 1969 to 2010. They booktalked many of these, highlighting some trends (resolution by automobile crash, melodrama, impossibly good looking gay men and the women who love them), the breakthrough books, and the real dingers. It was like being back in library school, taking a class on LGBTQ YA Lit, but it was compressed. If you want to spend more time with these books and these issues, check out Cart and Jenkins’ book from Scarecrow Press, The Heart Has It’s Reasons.

If you get your hands on their bibliography and were not in attendance, please note that this is not a list of recommended books. Some are good and some are not so good. During introductions, we each chose books from the list to highlight. Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan and Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and Levithan got the most nods, along with the graphic novel Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki. Please add your own recommendations in the comments. Continue reading

Preconference: Promoting Teen Reading with Web 2.0 Tools

What a line up for the preconference event on Friday, June 25 from 12:30-4:30p! Promoting Teen Reading with Web 2.0 Tools will feature the following speakers and topics:

Eliza Dresang , author of Radical Change: Books for Youth in a Digital Age will talk about evolving literacies and teen readers

Authors John Green and David Levithan will talk about the future of reading and writing young adult literature

Kristen Purcell with Pew Internet & American Life will give an overview of teen online behavior

Authors Malinda Lo (Ash, 2009), Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (Beautiful Creatures, 2010), and Melissa Walker with readergirlz will give a panel presentation on putting teen reading and web 2.0 tools into practice

This is a ticketed event for $99. This is a great opportunity to learn how to connect with teens beyond the collection in your library!

Interview With Malinda Lo

Get ready for some bookish fun! The six authors of the five’ books’ on the 2010 Morris Award shortlist have all agreed to be interviewed at the YALSA blog. Once a week, there will be an interview here, leading up to the Big Day: January’ 18, when the’ ‘ Morris Award will be awarded at ALA’s Midwinter Youth Media Awards.

The Morris Award Interview Series starts with Malinda Lo,’ the author of Ash.

Ash by Malinda Lo

Ash by Malinda Lo

The Morris Award Committee on Ash: “Consumed with grief after the’ death of her father, Ash’s only escape from her harsh life and cruel stepmother comes from re-reading the fairy tales that her mother once told her and hoping against hope that the fairies will appear to her. When the fairy Sidhean appears, Ash hopes that he will steal her away to his enchanted world; but when she meets the King’s Huntress, Kaisa, she realizes that staying in her own realm can also lead to beauty, romance, and perhaps even love.”

YALSA Blog: Congratulations on being on the shortlist for the Morris Award! Where were you when you found out you’d been shortlisted for the Morris Award? And who was the first person you told?

Malinda Lo:’ I was at home, about to take my dog for a walk, when the phone rang. I’m so glad I answered it! I was totally shocked when I heard. I think my first words were, “No way!” The first person I told was my partner, Amy. Continue reading