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 →

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. Read More →

In this session, Pam Spencer Holley presented lists that she and co-author Julie Bartel (who was unable to attend) compiled for their book YALSA Annotated Book Lists for Every Teen Reader. Realizing that one of the biggest problems librarians have is finding the right books for a wide variety of teen readers, they looked to the YALSA-BK discussion list, reading through six years of archives and mining it for categories based on regularly asked questions.’  Bartel and Holley used recommendations offered by others on the listserv, adding newer titles if needed, and also winnowing down when their lists grew too large.

Each attendee was given a long list of recommendations in twelve categories, and Holley spoke briefly of every title listed, beginning each category by discussing the questions that prompted it.’  Some of the categories included were: Read More →