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Rajdeep Paulus, award-winning author of the Swimming Through Clouds trilogy, has a lot to say about love. From her authentic portrayal of the highs and lows of teen romance to her advice on writing sensitive scenes, this tremendous writer is an authority on crafting tales full of romance and the strength of the human spirit. Below, check out our interview with Rajdeep, where she talks about what makes her tick as an author, her social media obsessions and her advice to budding writers.
Dore’ Ripley, a lecturer at California State University, East Bay (CSUEB), had a better afternoon than most on January 20th. Why? Gene Luen Yang --- the recently named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and author of BOXERS & SAINTS, THE SHADOW HERO, AMERICAN BORN CHINESE and more came to visit! The CSUEB alum had a lot to say about Asian representation in comics, both today and throughout history. Dore’ recounts some of the most interesting parts of his talk, below, so read on --- your comics knowledge is about to get a lot more nuanced!
Why do people love paranormal novels? Um, the ghosts, aliens and surprising but sweet intergalactic romances, of course! But these elements alone don't an amazing book make --- if the characters aren't realistic, then boom! All believability, all reader investment, goes out the window. Below, Brigid Kemmerer --- author of the Elemental series and THICKER THAN WATER --- shares how she adds some normality to her paranormal books, making those cool out-of-the-ordinary elements shine all the brighter.
Let's be real for a minute --- why perform an act of kindness? What are you getting out  of it? What's the point?  That may sound a little cynical, but it's not an uncommon thought in today's world, where we're all incredibly busy and stressed and just trying to get through our own lives without making a mistake, let alone getting involved in others. Luckily, the characters in Estelle Laure's debut YA novel THIS RAGING LIGHT --- as does her best childhood friend --- understand that there is always a point to helping others, no matter how small the kindness might seem. Read more below... Laure's post will certainly give you the warm and fuzzies this holiday season.  
December 2, 2015

YALLfest Breakdown

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There are book festivals all around the country, but one that's dedicated to 100% YA? Sign us up, please! Teen Board member Isabel C. was lucky enough to attend this festival --- YALLfest, in Charleston, South Carolina --- in November, and outlines her day, below. It's a whirlwind full of authors, book signings and hilarious panels. Get ready to be jealous!
While we're all for curling up on the sofa with a good book, there's nothing like getting out in the world and going to a literary event where you can see your favorite authors talk on panels, meet other book lovers and come home with a tote bag stuffed full of new reads. Teen Board member Juliette G. experienced just that when she attened the Miami Book Fair on Saturday, November 21st. Below, she talks about some of the highlights of the day --- including sharing an umbrella with someone you just may have heard of. 
Rose, the protagonist of RULES FOR 50/50 CHANCES, isn't the only one who lives by a set of rules. As it turns out, her creator --- debut author Kate McGovern --- has the same tendency. Below, she outlines her own rules to live by --- as well as a few she's trying to break. Be sure to check out Kate's post, below, as well as the book itself!
November 23, 2015

National Book Awards

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Wednesday, November 18th was one of the biggest literary nights of the year --- The National Book Awards!
Teen Board member Brynn S. got one of the best phone calls of her life, recently --- her friend Danielle invited her to join her at the L.A. premiere and afterparty for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2. On Friday, we posted her blog about the entire experience of the premiere, and today, we're posting Part 2 (see the parallels with the movie, here?), which is a review of the film itself. Read below, and see whether or not they reflect your own thoughts on the movie!
When Brynn S.'s good friend called her up, she was expecting to talk about school, mutual friends -- all of the usual stuff. She was NOT expecting to be invited to see The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2...at the L.A. premiere. And go to the after-party. What?! Below, she outlines her amazing experience celebrating the end of one of the best YA franchises ever written (and filmed). Go ahead...live vicariously through her.