Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, a Best Book for Young Adults

Aleksandar Ferdinand is a prince and heir to the throne — but that doesn’t mean a whole lot when your own people want you dead. On the eve of the Great War (WWI), the Austro-Hungarian Empire uses their Clankers, great steam-driven iron machines filled to the brim with guns and ammunition, while the British Darwinists get their fabricated animals ready for war.

Clanker Aleksandar is on the run with nothing but his clanker, a crew of loyal men, and an unknown payload to keep them alive — but he’s not the only one with something to hide. British Darwinist Deryn Sharp, a brilliant airman, has a secret as well… mainly, that she’s a woman hiding in an all-male navy.

The British Leviathan, the most formidable being in the sky, is a living airship — and it soon finds itself in the middle of more than its creators ever dreamed of it as a Deryn and Aleksandar, sworn enemies by country, cross paths, bringing them both on board the Leviathan and praying that the world as they know it does not fall into the Great War.

–Joe Kaufeld, Allen County Public Library Teen Advisory Board

Join us for the BBYA Teen Feedback Session! Boston teens will weigh in on their favorites from this year’s nominations. Click on the viewer window to join. You’ll have the option to sign in using your Facebook, Twitter or MySpace ID. If you choose to log in that way, your avatar will also be displayed during the session.

All Twitter updates with the hashtag #BBYA will be published in the live session.

Those of you who aren’t with us in Boston or find yourself double (or triple!) booked can participate in several YALSA events via live coverage at the YALSA blog. Once again we’ll be using CoverItLive, with some exciting changes: live streaming video and social networking logins.

When you join the live blog session by clicking in the viewer window (see last year’s BBYA live blog to see the interface) you’ll have the option to log in using your Facebook, Twitter or MySpace login. Your comments will then appear with your avatar from that account. You’ll also be able to view our streaming video from the session thanks to integration with Qik.

The schedule of YALSA live blogs:

Best Books for Young Adults Teen Session: Sunday, January 17 1:30-3:30 PM

Youth Media Awards: Monday, January 18 7:30-9:00 AM

Morris and Nonfiction Awards: Monday, January 18 8:00-10:00 PM

The YALSA Board had a very full agenda yesterday for their first meeting of Midwinter and several important decisions were made, including:

  • Approval of the Selected Lists Proposal. The approval of this proposal means that YALSA’s Best Books for Young Adults List is now Best Fiction for Young Adults. Also, the Alex Awards will be expanded. The Committee working on the Alex Award will continue to select 10 Award winners, and will also publish a longer list of titles that the group considers the best adult books of interest to teens published during the past year. All of the top ten titles selected by YALSA’s selection list committees, Read More →

YALSA’s board just unanimously approved Board Document 14 (PDF; Selected List Portfolio Proposal)’ in its entirety, which will affect several YALSA selected booklists and awards, notably Best Books for Young Adults and the Alex Awards. YALSA President Linda Braun will go into more detail’ on the blog after the YALSA Board adjourns this evening at 5:30 p.m.

Major changes are:

  • The heading “Best of the Best for Young Adults” will be used to promote all of YALSA’s lists and book and media awards inclusively, including but not limited to an annually disseminated cumulative list of the top ten titles selected by each of YALSA’s various selection committees
  • The current standing Best Books for Young Adults Committee will have an updated charge for its work in order to focus solely on annual publications of fiction (not including graphic novels) published for young adults. In order to reflect this change, the name of the list will become Best Fiction for Young Adults.
  • The number of books honored by the Alex Award will be increased. The ten winning titles will appear in addition to a list of the committee’s official nominations.

Once again the YALSA Board has a proposal about BBYA before it, and once again controversy seems to have erupted. Discussion–sometimes heated–on various blogs and Twitter streams has left many librarians wondering if we’re in for a repeat performance of the overcrowded, emotional Board meeting in Chicago last July.

Before anyone goes hunting for extra folding chairs, however, YALSA would like to clarify some information about the proposal.

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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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Thanks to all who participated in YALSA’s first event liveblogged with CoverItLive! Despite a couple of interesting technical developments, I think everything went very smoothly. Particular thanks to the fantastic Kelly Tyler, who took an astounding amount of photos and video–some of which we even managed to upload during the session!

You can now view a replay of the session, which includes selected book covers, video, and commentary from several folks who participated via Twitter.
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