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Skylar Dorset's Otherworld series folows Selkie, a Bostonian teenager who learns a terrifying secret: she's a half-faerie princess and her mother wants her dead. But Selkie isn't the only protagonist in THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS and THE BOY WITH THE HIDDEN NAME (which came out on December 2nd!) --- there's also her quasi-boyfriend, Ben. Below, Skylar talks about why she wrote Ben the way she did...and a bit of a pattern she has when it comes to creating charactors.      
As FOREST OF WHISPERS author Jennifer Murgia explains in her blog post below, history can be boring sometimes. If you're listening to a teacher with a monotone voice talk about a period in time that feels completely irrelevant to your life? Probably not your favorite way to spend an hour.  But if you're interested in the topic, that's a whole other story. Below, Jennifer talks about her research process for her newest YA novel --- which focuses on Southwestern Bavaria in the 17th century, a time ripe with fear, suspicion and witch hunts --- and shares why delving into the past while preparing to write a historical fiction novel can actually be one of the most fascinating things you ever do. 
Former intern Brianna Robinison is the first to admit that she's not particularly moved by the "holiday spirit," but sometimes a few ugly sweaters and a plethora of A+ YA authors is all you need to transform from Scrooge to Santa.  Below, she talks about the recent MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME panel at the McNally Jackson bookstore in New York City on its 10th anniversary, and how editor Stephanie Perkins' story inspired her to keep writing, herself.
One of the biggest conversations in the YA world right now is the importance of diverse voices --- there are teens from all walks of life in the United States, and our books should reflect that. But what if you were to look at diversity from a more global perspective? That's exactly what they did at International Diversity in YA Writing at the New  York Public Library on December 10th. intern Rebecca Czochor attended this fascinating event, and gives a breakdown below. Give it a read, and next time you visit a bookstore, maybe you'll look for some translated YA novels from around the world!
December 4, 2014

NaNoWriMo Musings - Brianna Robinson, All Done!

Posted by Shara
            You've heard from her on Day 7 and on Day 20. Now that it's December, it means that NaNoWriMo is over and Teenreads intern Brianna Robinson is all done! Did she meet her goal? Read below to find out, as well as what the experience taught her overall. 
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. is writing about some of her favorites and how they remain relevant today. Read below for the second one, Oscar Wilde's THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY, and click here to read her first post on Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN.  
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.