Last week was one of the most important times of year in the literary world --- the National Book Awards! These awards celebrate the best of the best in American literature in all fields --- adult fiction, adult nonfiction, poetry, and, as LEMONY SNICKET author Daniel Handler delightfully claimed was the most important category, Books for Young Readers.
I was lucky enough to attend the Awards and have a front seat for all of the action, as well as a couple of the pre-Awards events, including 5 Under 35, a “celebration of emerging fiction writers” under 35 years old, and the Teen Choice Book Conference, where New York City students interview the finalists for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature.
Below, I detail some of my favorite moments from those whirlwind few days.
We recently checked in with Brianna Robinson --- one of our Teenreads and Kidsreads interns and brave NaNoWriMo participant --- who told us how she was doing one week into the month long, 50,000 words challenge. Now it's been 20 days (!) and she gives an update, shares some motivational sayings and explains how getting sick can really throw a wrench into your writing timeline.
At Teenreads, we love to review the latest and greatest YA books to hit the shelves. However, we recognize that older books --- sometimes much
older books --- have plenty of value, too. In this blog series, Teen Board member Alison S. will write about some of her favorites, and how it remains relevant today. Read below for the first one, on Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN
Two weeks ago, Teenreads intern Brianna Robinson attended a talk by Leigh Bardugo
, the author of The Grisha Trilogy
at Books of Wonder in New York City. Read her blog entry below to learn a bit more about Leigh’s thoughts on love triangles, beauty and pleasing her readers.
Along with thousands of other new and experienced writers across the globe,Teenreads and Kidsreads intern Brianna Robinson is participating in NaNoWriMo --- the month-long creative writing event where people must compose a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. Yup, you counted right --- that's 30 days, or, an average, 1,667 words a day.
In this new blog series, we'll check in with Brianna a few times throughout November to see her progress. Read the first part of her story, here, right before she starts Day 7,
Fairytale retellings are an increasingly popular sub-genre in YA --- everyone from the Greek goddess Persephone to Cinderella has made multiple appearances in original ways. But have you ever wondered why?
In this blog post, Jen McConnel --- whose latest book BEAUTIFUL CURSE (Month9Books, December 9th) tackles the myth of Cupid and Psyche in a contemporary setting --- asks (and answers): What's the point of retelling stories that have already been told? Why do audiences continue to love fairy tales, especially in with more modern packaging? Read below to hear what she has to say, and see if you agree!
Some of the fiercest women in literature are the protagonists of YA novels, and Bree Sunderland --- the central character in Janice Gable Bashman
's new novel PREDATOR
--- is no exception. Bree travels to Ireland intending to study bog bodies with her father, but when the military wants to turn his research into a bio weapons program and dark forces threaten her family, she has to use her fierce energy and strong heart to save them all.
In this guest post, Janice writes about why strong YA heroines are so important, and she shares her thoughts on some of the kick-butt heroines that she loves most.
Suzanne and Melanie Brockmann
aren’t just mother and daughter --- they’re co-authors of the YA novel NIGHT SKY
, which came out in early October! In this blog post, they interview each other on the writing process --- and what it’s like to work with such a close family member! Read below for each of their questions and answers, and be sure to check out an excerpt
of the book, here.
Sure, Alex Myers --- the protagonist in John Feinstein
's new series, The Triple Threat ---
is a fictional 14-year-old who plays football, basketball and baseball. But that doesn't mean that John didn't get inspiration from somewhere
. First was his own childhood. Second was his favorite series growing up, Chip Hilton Sports,
which followed a young athlete dealing with all of the triumphs and challenges of the school sports world. In the below blog post, John talks about how Chip influenced him throughout his youth and how Alex is both similar and different.
uses fairytale characters and tropes to explore how teen girls are taught to think about themselves, their bodies and their roles in society in her new book POISONED APPLES
. She doesn't do this in the form of a novel or short story collection, though --- she uses 50 poems! Below, she explains why she thinks people are bit afraid of poetry...and why they shouldn't be.