It’s 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning, two weeks after the end of school, when four teenage girls on their summer vacation meet me at school to get on a minibus and head to DC. Let me repeat—four teenagers came to school during the summer at 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning. Why?? ALA Annual of course!
Before I get into how awesome the day was with my teens, I would like to thank YALSA for providing my teens with the opportunity to come to ALA. My teens were a part of the session that YALSA hosted to receive input on the nominees for the 2020 Best Fiction for Young Adults. Along with the opportunity to give their opinions on a major awards list, all the teens who were a part of the session also received a badge to visit the exhibit hall and sat down for a pizza lunch with an amazing group of eight young adult authors.
Back to 8 a.m.—I climbed into the driver’s seat and my four girls settled on the brown bus benches that we all remember from field trips. Before I could even start the engine, the conversation about books started. It didn’t stop for the entire 45 minute drive to DC, and I couldn’t stop smiling. It was a librarian’s dream—four teens energetically and passionately talking about the books they love (or don’t). Four teens talking about the importance of representation in books—race, sexuality, gender, ability, etc… Four teens talking about which characters developed and which didn’t; about endings they loved or hated; about the pacing of plot.
My heart grew two sizes.
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This is a guest post from the Local Arrangements Committee for ALA’s Annual Conference in San Francisco.
The YALSA Local Arrangements committee for ALA Annual in San Francisco, June 25-30, 2015, is recruiting youth participants to give feedback on nominated books at the Best Fiction for Young Adults (BFYA) Teen Session on Saturday, June 27, 2015 (a list of titles can be found here: http://www.ala.org/yalsa/bfya-nominations).
YALSA takes input from youth very seriously, and in order to get a wide representative of area youth, we are seeking applications from library staff in the greater San Francisco/Oakland area who would like to bring their teen book group to the ALA Annual Conference to participate in the BFYA Teen Session. Up to 50 local teens from the greater San Francisco/Oakland area will be able to participate.
Participation consists of teens (ages 12-18) speaking in front of an audience of the committee, publisher representatives, and conference attendees. The Teen Feedback Session runs from 1pm-3pm. Read More →
on behalf of the MAE Award Jury
The MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens recognizes an outstanding reading or literature program for young adults. Learn more about the 2013 winner–you could be next!
Kristen Pelfrey, a teacher at Foothill Technology High School, won the 2013 MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens with her program â€œBest Fiction (about) Young Adults Revolution.â€ She has continued the Revolution this school year, and spoke by email about her experiences with the MAE Award:
How did winning this award affect how you were viewed at your school or community? How did your students react?
My kids were not surprised at all. They were â€œWell, yeah, that’s coolâ€ and then immediately made requests for books they want to read. I, on the other hand, went shrieking into the main office and danced down the hall with a copy of the notification email. The entire Underground Library is funded by grant money, and we always need more books. I think that winning this award has helped me get other grant monies. I asked for a matching grant from our parent organization, for example. People seem more inclined to award grants if they see how an organization like ALA/YALSA ‘ put the stamp of approval on it. Read More →
by Heather Booth
If you are a librarian or teacher in the Chicago area, you have an rare opportunity to give your teens these three awesome intangibles, all in one day, by bringing them to the Best Fiction for Young Adults Teen Session on Saturday, June 29th from 10:30-12:00.
Power. Their words have power. They will be up there, at the front of the room, holding the microphone. The microphone is power. The room will be full of adults, sitting at rapt attention, waiting for them to speak, hanging on their every word, relishing the opportunity to hear what they have to say. Their opinions on these books are powerful. They are seeds on the wind that will fly home with every librarian in the room and be planted in library collections nationwide. Your teens deserve this power. Read More →
There’s just one week left to submit volunteer forms for the following YALSA committees and taskforces:
Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults
Best Fiction for Young Adults
Fabulous Films for Young Adults
Great Graphic Novels for Teens
Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults
Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
Outstanding Books for the College Bound
2014 Midwinter Marketing & Local Arrangements Taskforce
2014 Midwinter Paper Presentation Planning Taskforce
Readers’ Choice List Taskforce
Please see my previous post for the nitty gritty (http://bit.ly/SngekL) and feel free to contact me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for your patience during the ALA blog and wiki outage! If you were following #YALSABlogInExile and #TheHubInExile you know that The Hub bloggers did another fantastic live blog of the Best Fiction for Young Adults Teen Feedback session (with video from Kate Pickett on Qik).
Don’t forget that the YALSA Twitter feed and YALSA and Books for Teens Facebook pages are always sources of up to date information about YALSA, and places where members like you can make your voices heard.
But for more apps and tweets, YALSA coverage from ALA Annual 2012, summer programming ideas and much much more, look no further than the YALSA Blog!
Another aspect of the CSLP theme “Own the Night” is Mad Science which ties in excellently with the 2012 BFYA pick, This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel. The book follows young Victor Frankenstein’s early attempts at alchemy as he strives to create the Elixir of Life to restore his ill twin brother. There are so many science programs that could be linked up with this book. Here are a few of my favorites. Read More →
Earlier this week, the Best Fiction For Young Adults committee members received an unexpected email from our diligent chair informing us of a YALSA policy we had been neglecting. Evidently, selection committee members are not permitted to nominate from pre-publication copies of books, but must read and evaluate only the finished final product. I, for one, was surprised, since I have done pretty much all of my nominating from galleys and ARCs. In fact, I had been viewing it as my responsibility to stay ahead of the publishing curve, trying to read ahead books that may not come out for a few months. And this information came to me on the same day as an ARC for the new Corey Doctorow book Pirate Cinema, a book I was really looking forward to reading and evaluating.
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I don’t know if it was the dizzying prospect of having a part time job, or feeling flattered that someone I respect would suggest that I do it, or simply thriving on being over-committed, but I’m serving on the Best Fiction for Young Adults Committee 2013. Throughout my year of service, I’m going to try to provide a window into my experience sitting on the committee, showing you how the BFYA sausage gets made and hopefully interesting some of you in joining in the future.
When I was formally accepted as a member of BFYA2013, it started to really sink in what I’d gotten myself into. I hadn’t really read a book since the birth of my son in December, preferring to spend my time sleeping or staring at his fuzzy head. I’m used to reading 3-5 books over the course of Shabbat if I don’t have too many social commitments, and 1-2 during the week, so this steep decline was worrying. The email from the chair welcoming us all to BFYA2013 said we would read an average of a book a day for the year, and to see our friends now, because we wouldn’t have any time for them in the future. I pruned my RSS feed and YouTube subscriptions and pulled ARCs that fit in the brief (September 1, 2011 through December 31, 2012) off the shelf to start reading.
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