The Popularity of YA Fiction

You can read an interesting “Room for Debate” multi-viewpoint piece on YA fiction at the New York Times, prompted in part by the ridiculous success of the Hunger Games trilogy.

The Power of Young Adult Fiction

There’s a range of opinions expressed, so give it a few moments while your book trailer is rendering 🙂

Additional Resources for Book Talks & Trailers

Hey class,
Here are a few additional resources for the next two assignments.


Links to booktalk/booktalking resources

Book trailers:

Links to resources on developing book trailers

From Very Secret Diaries to Clockwork Angel

Since a couple groups are reading books by Cassandra Clare (or Cassandra Claire…it’s the same person), I thought I’d post a little bit of humor on the blog. Some of you may be aware that Cassie earned her reputation as a writer of fan fiction, in particular parodies and/or extensions of several fantasy series such as Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. CC’s early fiction still exists online if you know where to look. One of my all-time favorites is the Very Secret Diaries of the Fellowship of the Ring. The following warning is prominently displayed on the site, and I heartily agree:

~ Warning! ~
These are works of parody, and as such include content which may result in loud laughter, drinks sprayed across keyboards/monitors, et cetera. The creators of these works and this site assume no responsibility for any censure or damage which may occur. Use at your own risk.

YALSA Research Agenda

I mentioned in class that YALSA (a division of the American Library Association) had recently put out a significant research agenda document. I highly recommend this as a starting point for working on your topic briefing, if a topic still eludes you, and as a future reference for your work as an information professional. You can access the HTML version or a PDF of the whole document. And for those who just want the references, skip to the bibliography. I have a print copy in my office as well.

And the winners are…

The ALA Youth Media Awards were announced this morning at the Midwinter Conference in Dallas, TX. You can read the full press announcements here. Below are a few highlights related to YA media:

  • The Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults goes to Susan Cooper (Dark is Rising series) **yippee**
  • The Michael L. Prinz Award for YA literature goes to: “Where Things Come Back,” written by John Corey Whaley, published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an
    imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. Honor Books include: “Why We Broke Up,” written by Daniel Handler, art by Maira Kalman and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group; “The Returning,” written by Christine Hinwood and published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Group Young Readers Group USA; “Jasper Jones,” written by Craig Silvey and published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.; and “The Scorpio Races,” written by Maggie Stiefvater and published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.
  • Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of
    the disability experience winner in the teen category (ages 14-18) is: “The Running Dream,” written by Wendelin Van Draanen and published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

The Alex Awards, for the 10 YA novels most appealing to young people include:

  1. “Big Girl Small,” by Rachel DeWoskin, published by Farrar, Straus
    and Giroux
  2.  “In Zanesville,” by Jo Ann Beard, published by Little, Brown &
    Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
  3. “The Lover’s Dictionary,” by David Levithan, published by Farrar,
    Straus and Giroux
  4. “The New Kids: Big Dreams and Brave Journeys at a High School for
    Immigrant Teens,” by Brooke Hauser, published by Free Press, a division of
    Simon & Schuster, Inc.
  5. “The Night Circus,” by Erin Morgenstern, published by Doubleday, a
    division of Random House, Inc.
  6. “Ready Player One,” by Ernest Cline, published by Crown Publishers,
    an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.
  7. “Robopocalypse: A Novel,” by Daniel H. Wilson, published by
    Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc.
  8. “Salvage the Bones,” by Jesmyn Ward, published by Bloomsbury USA
  9. “The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt: A Novel in Pictures,” by Caroline
    Preston, published by Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
  10. “The Talk-Funny Girl,” by Roland Merullo, published by Crown
    Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random
    House, Inc.

Happy Reading!

Recommended Reads

Several students asked for titles and authors after class on Friday, so here are a few of the books I recommended:

  • Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd, edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci. Contains short stories from YA favorites including John Green, Libba Bray, Scott Westerfeld, and M. T. Anderson. Satisfy your inner geek!
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore. Katsa has been graced with a rare and deadly skill. What’s a girl to do? Kick butt, of course! Has a sequel in print and another coming out in May.
  • Heroes of the Valley by Jonathan Stroud. A stand-alone tale unlike his Bartimaeus series, but equally well told. Short, lazy Halli Sveinsson goes on a hero quest to make up for a prank gone wrong, but he gets far more than he bargained for.
  • The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. The quiet proprietor of a country tavern reveals himself as the legendary hero and scoundrel Kvothe. Still working on it, but I’ve been sucked in.

p.s. Get a deal on YA fiction from a local retailer — Kidsbooks is having their annual clearance sale starting this Thursday, January 19th. 20% off everything in the store and online. w00t!!

Welcome to the 528 course blog!

This blog is designed as a place for students to post media reviews, write about course readings, reflect on trends and ideas in YA services, and bring articles and stories to the attention of peers and classmates. This blog is what we make of it — I’m hoping it can be an active space of open, non-judgmental inquiry and reflection. I encourage you to post and write beyond that which is required. I’m always looking for interesting ideas, articles, and news items to share with students. Please return the favor by posting your serendipitous discoveries on the topic of YA services here!