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Not in Seattle but wishing you could hear what local teens have to say about this year’s Best Fiction for Young Adults nominations? In Seattle but stuck in another meeting or session on Sunday? Have no fear–you can join the BFYA Teen Feedback Session live blog here or on The Hub!
We’ll be streaming live video from the session, pulling tweets with the #bfya hashtag, polling readers about nominated titles and publishing your comments LIVE. The live blog will start shortly before the session opens at 1:30 PM Pacific, and you can join at any time. You can even log in with your Facebook or Twitter account to include your gravatar with your comments.
If you can’t make the live session, have no fear; the complete session, including video, will be available to replay at your leisure as soon as the live blog closes.
My thanks to Sarah Laurence for letting me know that Small Damages (Philomel) was among those titles discussed by Kelly Jensen at The Yalsa Hub, in a story entitled: "The Next Big Thing: Contemporary/Realistic Fiction).
For the whole story, which looks at all the contemporary/realistic books nominated for this year's Best Fiction for Young Adults, go here.
For those of you who don’t already know, the Collaborative Summer Library Program‘s teen theme for 2012 is “Own the Night”, which calls to mind all manner of creepy, fun programs. Also, a lot of the books on this year’s Best Fiction for Young Adults list lend themselves to these creepy, fun ideas. Here are two “Own the Night” themed programs for the 2012 BFYA pick, Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake.
Anna Dressed in Blood is the story of Cas Lowood, a boy who hunts and kills ghosts. He meets the ghost of Anna, a girl who was brutally murdered in 1958 and who kills anyone who sets foot in her home. Oddly enough, the two spare each other, but why? This book is great for the ghosts and scary stories portions of the “Own the Night” theme. One program idea for this book would be to invite your local paranormal society to the library to discuss ghost hunting tips, tricks, and safety. I have worked with my local paranormal society, and they were great! They even brought in equpipment to demonstrate and asked the teens to debunk “ghost photos”. It was a blast, and since Cas is a ghost hunter, it ties in perfectly with the book.
Another good program for this book would be to have a local story teller come in and share local ghost stories and urban legends. You could also share these stories yourself or compile handouts of local ghost stories and legends and have the teens share them with each other. Sit in a circle, dim the lights, hand out a flashlight to anyone that is telling a story. Have them hold it under their faces to give them a gruesome look. Then, serve everyone fake smores by spreading chocolate icing and marshmallow fluff onto graham crackers. (I wish I could take credit for this, but the idea actually came from Jennifer Hopwood who presented at the Florida Library Youth Program’s Summer Workshop.) Now, you have the perfect campfire tales program in the library, combining two “Own the Night” themes: camping and scary stories. This program also ties in with Anna Dressed in Blood because Cas gathers all of his information about the ghosts that he hunts through the urban legends that his classmates share.
Hope you have some spooky fun! Tune in next month for Mad Science with Victor Frankenstein in This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel.
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.
Available as an ebook
Available on OverDrive
Big Girl Small
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Jo Ann Beard
Little, Brown & Company
The Lover’s Dictionary
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
The New Kids: Big Dreams and Brave Journeys at a High School for Immigrant Teens
The Night Circus
Ready Player One
Robopocalypse: A Novel
Daniel H. Wilson
Salvage the Bones
The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt: A Novel in Pictures
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!
I just got back from a much-needed vacation to Oregon, and it’s a great place to visit. I spent half of my time in Portland and the other half in Newport, a coastal town. Of course, it was hot and sunny in Portland and rained the entire time I was at the beach, but that’s the Pacific Northwest for you. While I declined my husband’s offer to visit the beautiful Central Library in downtown Portland — we were on an epicurean tour at the time, and the promise of drinkable chocolate is much sweeter than visiting somewhere that will make me feel like I’m at work — I couldn’t seem to distance myself from books or YALSA.
Apparently, it’s a sin to visit Portland without going to the ginormous Powell’s City of Books. This is perhaps the bookstore to end all bookstores. Not only does this four-story building, containing over a million books, take up an entire city block, it is so big that it has a separate building to house its computer, science, math, & technology books. Wandering around was fun, but I since I rarely buy books, I went over to the YA section to compare the selection to my library’s (I’d call it about even). Imagine my surprise when I saw a huge shelf marker for Franny Billingsley’s Chime and others, advertising that they were on the 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults list. I was pleased; that’s not the kind of thing you usually see in bookstores (ahem, B&N, ahem). So, YALSA, you have been spotted out in the wild.
As a side note, if you want to take a vacation in a place that is all about books, stay at the Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport, OR. Each room is themed with a different author: Seuss, Rowling, Tolkien, and so many others. It even has its own library for their guests on the top floor facing the ocean, though watch out — it may make your fingers itch with the need to alphabetize, and with all of the peace and quiet (no internet, TV, or phones) you may find yourself finishing all of the books you brought with you and have nothing left for the plane ride home!
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, including Best Fiction for Young Adults, Great Graphic Novels, Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, Amazing Audiobooks, Fabulous Films, and the Alex Award will be compiled annually into a Best of the Best for Young Adults list published by YALSA. The changes voted on by the Board related to YALSA’s selected lists is in direct response to feedback from members regarding the use and creation of these lists. The Board spent many hours working on creating a proposal that supported the needs of the majority of YALSA’s members. The full proposal is available on the YALSA web site.
The Board also voted on several actions in order to begin implementing the changes to YALSA’s selected lists. Chairs to those committees affected will be contacted by their Board Liaison to go over the details of the new and/or expanded work of the group. The Organization and Bylaws Committee will work on updating the charges of selected list committees where needed. And, the Board also voted that after one year of the revised and expanded lists, they will evaluate the success of the changes and make any necessary adjustments.
The Board also directed the Organization and Bylaws Committee to continue their work related to creating consistency, where possible, in the policies and procedures of YALSA’s selected lists committees. Information on these changes are also available on the YALSA web site.
Over the past several months, the YALSA Board put many hours of work in on a proposal related to virtual membership on YALSA’s committees. At yesterday’s meeting, Board members approved a proposal so that all process committees (except for the Executive, Organization and Bylaws, Strategic Planning, Preconference, and President’s Program Committees) will transition to 100% virtual status. The committees that are not transitioning in this way are not making the transition because there are specific reasons that either the chair and/or members need to be at Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference.
While committees will become 100% virtual, if members think it necessary to meet face-to-face at Midwinter or Annual they will be able to arrange for that. The full proposal is available on the YALSA web site and was developed in response to changes in ALA’s virtual committee membership policies and YALSA member needs. With more committees allowing for more virtual members, those YALSA members who can not attend face-to-face events can now participate in the Association in this way.
In early fall of 2010, the YALSA Board brainstormed ways that the Association could
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Want to hear what teens have to say about the nominated titles for our very first Best Fiction for Young Adults list? Check out the live blog! As we did at Midwinter in Boston, we’ll be streaming live video of the teens, pulling tweets, and giving real-time coverage of all the action. The session will open at 1:30 EST and close shortly after the feedback session ends at 3:30. If you can’t join us in real time, you can also watch a replay of the live blog.
There are several ways you can participate. If you’d like to log in through Facebook or Twitter, your comments will be published using your profile photo. If you’d like us to publish your tweets without logging in, you can leave your Twitter username in the comments here (warning: all your tweets will be published while the live blog is running!) or just use the hashtags #yalsa and/or #bfya when you tweet. You can also join the live blog by clicking on the viewer window that will be posted here.
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
2013 Midwinter Marketing & Local Arrangements Taskforce
2013 Midwinter Paper Presentation Planning Taskforce
Readers’ Choice List Taskforce
How do I get on a committee or taskforce?
To serve on a committee or taskforce, you must be officially appointed by YALSA’s President-Elect, Jack Martin. YALSA is collecting volunteer forms from now through Sept. 30 for members who would like to serve on selection and award committees as well as taskforces that begin work on Feb. 1, 2012. If you are currently serving on a selection or award committee and you are eligible to and interested in serving for another term, you must fill out a volunteer form. This is the only way the President-Elect knows for certain that you’re interested in continuing on the committee. Also, please note that selection committee members are required to attend both Midwinter and Annual conferences. Please ensure that you can travel to both conferences before you volunteer.
What Do I Need to Know to Volunteer?
Before you volunteer to serve on a committee or taskforce, you’ll want to learn what the group does and what your responsibilities will be. YALSA has created a free webinar with information about what it’s like to serve on a selection or award committee. Be sure to take the time to view it. You can also contact the chair directly to let him/her know you’re interested in serving and to ask questions about what your involvement will entail. Names and contact information for all the committee chairs are available from the Governance link on YALSA’s website. From the Get Involved link on YALSA’s website you’ll also find information about each of the committees’ functions, size, etc. Lastly, be sure to read through YALSA’s Handbook, especially the sections that list responsibilities for committee members.
Orchards is Thompson’s debut novel for young adults and is written in verse. It tells the story of Kana Goldberg, a half-Jewish, half-Japanese American teenager who, after a classmate’s unexpected death, is sent to her family’s farm in Japan to reflect on her participation in the events that led up to the classmate’s suicide.
“The Many Forms of the Novel” in which she spoke about writing in verse and read an excerpt from Orchards; and
“The Stranger Experience” on writing away from home, cross-cultural experiences, and the multi-faceted immigration experience with Gemma Nemenzo and Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz. The immigrant’s experience plays a vital role in Junot’s work and I have to share this amazing quote from him that I found on Tarie Sabido’s blog Asia in the Heart, World on the Mind:
“You guys know about vampires? … You know, vampires have no reflections in a mirror? There’s this idea that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. And what I’ve always thought isn’t that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. It’s that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves. And growing up, I felt like a monster in some ways. I didn’t see myself reflected at all. I was like, Yo, is something wrong with me? That the whole society seems to think that people like me don’t exist? And part of what inspired me, was this deep desire that before I died, I would make a couple of mirrors. That I would make some mirrors so that kids like me might see themselves reflected back and might not feel so monstrous for it.” — Junot Diaz
Looking for live coverage of the BFYA teen feedback session, starting at 1:30 central? Look no further than The Hub, YALSA’s young adult literature blog! The Hub will be streaming all the teen feedback LIVE, or you can replay the live session after it closes.
There are so many great fiction books on the 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults list that it was hard to pick just one to highlight. So, I fell back on an old favorite. The Chronicles of Harris Burdick shares 14 stories from well known young adult authors such as M.T. Anderson, Sherman Alexie, and Walter Dean Myers. All of these stories are based on the book The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris VanAllsburg, a book with wonderful illustrations and cryptic captions.
For years, I have used the portfolio edition of The Mysteries of Harris Burdick as a writing prompt for my teen writing group. They would each pick an illustration and write a story about it to share with the group. Now, with The Chronicles, I can also share stories with them by their favorite authors that were inspired by the same illustration. The stories are short enough that they could even be read aloud. A great, multi-week writing group program would be to show an illustration from The Mysteries and read the caption. Then, give the teens 30 minutes to write a short story based on the illustration. Then, read the corresponding story from The Chronicles. It’s a great chance to talk about point of view and perspective in writing because everyone can look at the same illustration and come up with a different story, which may or may not be wildly different from the version in the book. This could also tie in to talking about different books by the authors of the stories in the Chronicles and what the teens might have done differently than the authors if they had been writing the story.
To me, The Mysteries of Harris Burdick have always been inspiring. I’m glad to see that some of my favorite YA authors felt the same way. The Chronicles of Harris Burdick adds a whole new dimension to them.