One of my favorite parts of any Midwinter Meeting is the announcement of the Youth Media Awards. There’s an Oscar-like buzz in the room. I love the pride and enthusiasm from juries and selection committees (many of whom dress up for the event). I get chills at the emotional outpouring for beloved authors and titles, and it’s a particular thrill when a dark horse title wins.

But if you can’t be in the room for the announcements, have no fear–YALSABlog and The Hub will be jointly covering the YMAs with a live blog, complete with streaming video! Join the session here or on The Hub to watch the video, answer reader polls and add your own commentary live. We’ll also be pulling selected hashtags (like #yma13, #printz, #alexaward and #morrisaward) to bring you thoughts and reactions from Twitter.

If you miss the live session, you can replay the whole thing (including the video) at any time after the live session ends. Don’t miss out on one of the best parts of Midwinter!

One of the reasons I love working with teens and kids is that their books are so awesome. There are so many amazing authors in YA right now, from John Green to Holly Black to Stephanie Perkins. I could spend all day, every day reading amazing YA lit and still not even make a dent in my to-read pile. That’s not even mentioning the great kidslit out there, including Rebecca Stead and Catherynn Valente. ‘ Just thinking about all the books and authors I want to read makes me giddy.

So, in terms of reading, I’m a pretty busy lady. As you all know, librarians don’t really get to sit around reading every day, so I have to squeeze in what I can during lunches, after work, and on my commute (don’t worry, that’s an audiobook happening there). With all of the pressure to keep up with popular authors and series, I sometimes forget about all the books over in ol’ Dewey. I mean, I know they’re cool (probably. maybe? definitely.), but nonfiction just seems less appealing when I’m plucking my next book to read off my stack of library tomes. I know that connecting to all types of books – nonfiction included – is just as important as connecting to readers and community members when serving teens successfully.
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In the spring issue of YALS, you’ll find an easy-to-reference listing of all the YALSA award winners and book and media lists announced at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Since ebooks are on the rise, I thought I’d take a look at which of the winners are currently available as ebooks and which are available for libraries on OverDrive.

Counting the winners and honors of the awards (except for Odyssey) and the top ten books on the Best Fiction, Quick Picks, and Popular Paperback lists, we end up with 50 unique titles. Of those, 37 are available as ebooks that can be purchased through the usual channels including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Google Books. The only titles that aren’t available electronically are non-fiction titles, graphic novels, and older fiction titles. Of the 37 ebooks, 20 are available for libraries to lend in OverDrive, according to their search engine.

As the ebook market continues to grow, I expect we will see more backlist titles become available, while full-color ereaders and tablet computers will allow graphic-intensive books to be offered electronically. Whether or not more ebooks will be available for library lending, however, remains to be seen. I hope that next year, more of the award-winning and noteworthy books honored by YALSA will be available to as many readers as possible in their desired reading format. Read More →

Join YALSA with LIVE streaming video of all the YMA announcement, presented jointly by the YALSA Blog and The Hub. Along with the video, we’ll also be offering quick polls and pulling Twitter hashtags like #printz and #alexawards. You can log in to the live session with your Twitter, Facebook, MySpace or OpenID username (which will include your avatar), or just jump right in.

YALSA Blog manager mk Eagle (username pandanose) will be offering transcriptions of all the announcements, with live video from The Hub blogger Jessica Pryde. Coverage begins at 7:30 central on Monday, January 23.

This fall, YALSA will be making appointments to the following selection committees and taskforces! Put your passion for young adult literature to work! If you have experience in evaluating and selecting young adult materials, as well as time to volunteer your skills, please consider serving on a YALSA selection committee. The committees and taskforces are:

  • 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
  • Great Graphic Novels for Teens
  • Alex Award
  • Morris Award
  • Odyssey Award
  • 2013 Midwinter Marketing & Local Arrangements Taskforce
  • 2013 Midwinter Paper Presentation Planning Taskforce
  • Readers’ Choice List Taskforce Read More →

YALSA has selected five books as finalists for the 2011 William C. Morris Award, which honors a book written for young adults by a previously unpublished author. YALSA will name the 2011 award winner at the Youth Media Awards on Jan. 10, at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in San Diego.

The 2011 finalists are:

  • Hush by Eishes Chayil, published by Walker Publishing Company, a division of Bloomsbury Publishing, Inc.
  • Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey, published by Little, Brown and Company/Hachette Book Group
  • Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride, published by Henry Holt
  • Crossing the Tracks by Barbara Stuber, published by Margaret McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division
  • The Freak Observer by Blythe Woolston, published by Carolrhoda Lab, an imprint of Carolrhoda Books, a division of Lerner Publishing Group

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If you can’t be at the Westin Copley Plaza for the Morris and Nonfiction Awards, you can join the live blog by clicking in the viewer window below. We’ll have live streaming video, commentary from those of us in the room, and selected tweets about the awards.

You have the option to sign in using your Twitter, Facebook or MySpace ID, which will include your avatar. We’ll be automatically publishing tweets that use hashtags #MorrisAward, #yalsanf and #yalsa. A replay of the live event will be available as soon as we close the 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 Morris Award winner will be announced’ at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in Boston on Monday, January 18 from 8-10 p.m. at the Westin Copley Place Essex Center South, along with the winner and finalists for YALSA’s Nonfiction Award.

All six authors of the five finalists were interviewed here at the YALSA blog. Here are the links to the interviews:

Interview with Malinda Lo, author of Ash: “I did outline [Ash],’ and came up with long character questionnaires. At the same time, I was an anthropology graduate student, so I approached worldbuilding from an anthropologist’s perspective. That means I thought about rituals—cultural practices that can mark major changes in one’s life, like birth, marriage, and death.”

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Welcome to the’ final interview in YALSA’s’ series of interviews with the authors who are on’ the 2010 Morris Award Shortlist. Today we’ have Nina LaCour, author of Hold Still. Don’t forget to tune in on Monday, January 18 to the Youth Media Awards to find out who wins the 2010 Morris Award!

holdstill_webThe Morris Award Committee’ on Hold Still:’ â€œAfter Caitlin’s best friend Ingrid commits suicide, Caitlin has a hard time making sense of the loss. She finds Ingrid’s journal and slowly allows herself to read it and learn about why Ingrid felt the need to end her life. Caitlin also grapples with allowing herself to find another friend, to let in a boyfriend, and to understand why her favorite teacher is ignoring her. It is the haunting story of dealing with loss, moving on, and finding peace and hope.”

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

Nina LaCour: Thank you so much! It’s such an honor to be recognized with these five incredible authors.’ I was in my apartment when I got the call from Penguin. I was completely shocked and so excited. The first person I called was my wife, Kristyn, who was on her way home from work and sounded even more excited than I felt, if that’s even possible. Later that night I went to a pub for trivia night with Kristyn and my cousin and a couple friends, and the only answer I knew the whole night was the title of a 90s hip-hop song, but I didn’t mind because I was so elated over being shortlisted. Read More →