I have been a member of USBBY (The US Board on Books for Youth) for some several years. I served as YALSA’s liaison to the Board and now serve as the NCTE rep. It is the American arm of IBBY (The International Board on Books for Youth). The focus of USBBY and IBBY is to bring attention to literacy throughout the world and to celebrate literature from other countries. Each year, USBBY sponsors lists that include books for children with disabilities and outstanding international books. You can read more about the organization at its web site (www.usbby.org).

You are invited to join a new Community on ALA Connect open to people interested in promoting international understanding and good will through books and literacy services to children and teenagers. Once you join the
community (you don’t need to be an ALA member) you can post pertinent information, register information about upcoming conferences of interest to the community on the calendar, post documents or open online discussions and chats.

Hope you will check it out at:

It seems to me that it is in the nature of librarians to be interested in lists. Lists are a way of cataloging, qualifying, and creating memorable criteria- information that can be retrieved later- about a topic. This is similar to the way we approach our collections. What better way to organize and remember all of the books we want to share? Or apps? Or other resources? See, I’m making a list already.
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If you have questions about the changes coming to YALSA’s selected lists, this new FAQ is for you. You’ll find answers to the questions that are most commonly asked of YALSA staff and Board members including:

  • Why were the changes made?
  • What is Best of the Best for Young Adults?
  • Will nominations for the Excellence in Young Adult Fiction and Alex Awards be published?
  • Will teens be involved in the Best Fiction for Young Adults selection process?
  • Read More →

My colleagues, my editor, my friends, my students and (especially) their parents have all bemoaned on one occasion or another the term “graphic novel”.’  Problem 1: They’re not always novels.’  Problem 2 (mostly from parents of students): the word “graphic” suggests adult and/or extreme content.’  Well, I’ve made my peace with the fact that the name refers to the physical form of the object (it has a similar appearance to that of a standard novel) rather than the contents, and at this point we maybe too far gone to replace it anyway.’  However, this has not come up on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee and I’m interested in a rough general consensus.’  Should there be a change?’  And to what?’  I’ve heard graphics novel, graphics, graphic book, graphic format, sequential book and GN (which sort of avoids the issue and faces it both at the same time), plus plenty of others I won’t labor through here.’  Please, tell me: where do you stand and what’s your suggestion for a name change, if you’ve got one?

In dream library world, planning would probably be Step 1 in building a graphic novel collection.’  But in real library world, I didn’t make a plan for how to define, collect, catalog, process, and shelve graphic novels.’  I just started buying them.

As I’ve blithely added materials to my graphic-novel-and-nonfiction collection, I’ve run into all kinds of interesting questions: If I shelve my graphic novels by author, am I devaluing the role of artists?’  If I have a graphic adaptation of a novel, like Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, do I shelve it under the name of the adaptor, or the original author?’  Can I make a meaningful distinction between superhero comic books and other graphic novels?’  If I do make that distinction, where do I put series about heroes without superpowers?’  And don’t even get me started on nonfiction. Read More →

As we close in on the last month to nominate new titles everyone is in a mad scramble to find the great graphic novels which cannot be overlooked. The field nominations are hopefully going to come reeling in now. It really has been incredible to try and develop this list. Attempting to balance all the different types of graphic novels, to have all ages represented, to find books that speak to the Young Adult condition…it’s really an incredible mandate. Of course that boils down to hours and hours spent reading comic books. Of course we are not just READING them, delving into them, devouring them, giving them close readings and giving them a pass when they are just good and not GREAT. If you have a graphic novel which has blown you away this year please take the time to give it a field nomination. We want to hear from you (and find new books that are incredible).

Imagine this: all your life, you’ve been underestimated. You’ve been patted, petted, cooed over and kept in an imaginary cage. Always back by curfew, only had one boyfriend. You’re never allowed to do anything “cool”, and you go to one of the most prestigious academies in Massachusetts. Oh, yeah- and your family calls you “Bunny Rabbit”.

That’s the life of Frankie Landau-Banks. And she’s had her fill of it.
This year, all that is going to change. Read More →

Put Rapunzel in the Wild West. Send the Lady of the Lake to Avalon High. Teach Elizabeth Bennet how to fight zombies or send the Marvel comic book Heroes and Villains back to 1602. The Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults Committee is creating a ‘Twists on the Tale’ recommendation list for 2010. ‘ The list will include retellings of classic literature, folktales and fairytales, as well as stories with twists on iconic characters. Some titles nominated for the list are Jake, Reinvented by Gordon Korman, Into the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst, and Marvel 1602 by Neil Gaiman. You can find the current nomination list at www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists/poppaper. Nominations open up on August 1st and field nominations are accepted. Please help us create a great list!

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few weeks, you’ve probably heard about the controversy surrounding one of YALSA’s best-known lists: the Best Books for Young Adults. Heck, you’d have to be ignoring Twitter, various journals, and this very blog to have not heard a peep about the kerfuffle.

But what really happened?

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One of the things that struck me the most about the many comments on YALSA’s new readers’ choice list, is the opposition some people in the field have had to the idea of creating a list based on input from YALSA’s 5,700 members.

One of the key messages I emphasized to the press during my year as president–something I said over and over again–was that teens and their caregivers should turn to their local school or public librarians for guidance in choosing reading materials.’  YALSA works hard to show that young adult librarians are the experts in the field–not just a few, but all librarians.’  It’s an important message and YALSA even has a white paper on the topic.’  Read More →