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 🙂

shared experiences and narrative indicators

I just read a blog post by the artist Nina Paley about a talk she gave to some teens and what they felt was the best way to support artists (when they had money some day). I thought it was an interesting post, not only because of the copyright ideas (Nina Paley isn’t a big fan of how copyright in the States works) but because of what the teens want. The most interesting facet (and why I bring it up here) was this:

Live Shared Experiences, including ballet, museum exhibits, and concerts. The event aspect was important; they wanted to be able to say, “Remember that one time when that awesome show was here…” They agreed seeing things in person is a more powerful experience than seeing things online, and worth spending more on. One said she would buy CD at a live show because “it reminds you of the show.”

I think that live shared experience is something we can do for teens in libraries. And I think that was what bothered me about the objectives and indicators we were talking about in class on Friday. I realize that administration wants something measurable because that’s easier to justify to everyone. But if our goals are more nebulous, like “creating positive relationships with our members” (which I maintain is a legitimate goal), the indicators are going to be more story-like, more “Remember that one time…”

Now, the scenarios we were working with in class were more service-based and could have those measurable indicators, which is fine, but I think even in those kinds of situations one of our indicators should be stories you can tell your administration, even if those stories don’t correlate perfectly with something that can go on a spreadsheet.

I guess I’m saying we should probably take a mixed approach to assessing our programs using both hard numbers and narratives, because then we’re doing a better job of satisfying our superiors and the people we’re there for. Does that make sense to anyone else? Or was that already part of what we were talking about and I overlooked it in my worrying about giving so much privilege to numbers?

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!