Teen Librarian Toolbox
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#YAAtoZ: More letter D author recommendations from Twitter

Today we are continuing our alphabet soup of YA authors with more Twitter recommendations for the letter D.

Join the conversation! Share a post about your favorite author OR tweet us your favorite author with the tag #YAAtoZ. While we’re sharing our favorite authors, we would love to hear about yours. We all might find some new authors we haven’t heard of before. And the more authors we share, the more comprehensive and diverse the list becomes. On Twitter, we’re @TLT16 and I’m @CiteSomething.

#YAAtoZ Schedule: Week 1 4: A ; 5: B ; 6: C ; 7: D Week 2 10: E ; 11: F ; 12: G, H, I ; 13: J, K ; 14: L Week 3 17: M ; 18: N, O ; 19: P, Q ; 20: R, S ; 21: T Week 4 24: U ; 25: V, W ; 26: X ; 27: Y ; 28: Z

YA A to Z: Sarah Dessen

The thing about doing this YA A to Z project, is it’s actually hard to just discuss one author for certain letters (Christa Desir! Eric Devine! Trish Doller! Matt da le Pena!). We had HUGE discussions behind the scenes between the 4 of us. We negotiated letters. We bribed. We traded. There may have been tears (and swears) (okay, not really). But I never doubted that I wanted to do the letter D and that we needed to discuss Sarah Dessen. I have been a huge fan of Sarah Dessen’s books for a really long time and they have had a tremendous impact on me as a reader and as a YA librarian.

Dreamland was the first book I ever read that dealt with the issue of relationship violence. Dreamland is also the first book that made me realize that books could inform and educate while entertaining. I had always been a reader, always. But I tended to mostly read horror, lots of Stephen King, Dean Koontz and John Saul. Occasionally I would steal – I mean borrow – my mom’s Mary Higgins Clark books. So when I became a YA librarian, I was like Oooh books. And then I read Dreamland and I realized that books could do more then frighten or entertain, they could really help you understand important issues (if only grown up me had remembered the importance of reading Deenie by Judy Blume in middle school). I had never known anyone who was in an abusive relationship.  And this was still a topic we didn’t talk a lot or very openly about. So Dreamland was the first book that really opened my eyes to a lot of the very important teen and women’s issues that I am so passionate about today. It awakened the advocate in me. It made me want to really change the world by talking openly about issues that I didn’t realize we needed to be talking about. And for me, Sarah Dessen is part of the reason that we are now having these very important conversations.

Just Listen just moved me with its beautiful writing and, together with Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, got me really thinking about the issue of sexual violence. Years later as I found a way to do the #SVYALit Project, I would recall how powerful and moving these two titles were. How bold they were in making us think about things that we really didn’t want to talk about, but needed to. Just Listen also spoke to my deep passion for music and how I would use it to escape for just a little bit each day to find my center.

Last year I was the fangirl in the elevator at Austin Teen Book Festival apologizing to Sarah Dessen but asking her to pretty, pretty please let me take a pic with her. In the elevator. She was very nice about it. She talked on a panel with writer Rob Thomas and was a magical moment for me to behold personally. As a paraprofessional in my early 20s these two authors wrote the books my teens were passionate about.

So, I’m supposed to tell you a little bit about Sarah Dessen here. Sarah Dessen was born in Illinois but now lives in North Carolina. She loves Good Morning America and is a fan of Robin Roberts. She Tweets about sports and books and GMA. I follow her on Twitter and she is honest and inspiring, she is great about encouraging and supporting other authors. But at the end of the day the important thing is this: she writes really good books. They have a deep emotional resonance to them, they capture the teen experience with a rich authenticity, and she really was a trailblazer in talking about issues that we needed to be talking more openly about but weren’t. Today we talk a lot about the inner lives of girls, about the sexism that we face daily, about gender stereotypes and how they harm both boys and girls . . . and Sarah Dessen was part of the vanguard, discussing these very things in YA lit when we still weren’t talking as openly about them in the mainstream media.

She has written 12 YA novels and 1 novella.

We often say things like, “we need more boy books.” That is a thing that gets said and it is annoying. And yet a couple of years ago Stephanie Wilkes wrote this great piece about how her boys loved to read Sarah Dessen. And I am glad that they do, because a good story is a good story, no matter if the main character is male or female. And there is no reason that boys shouldn’t be reading from the female point of view and stepping into the inner lives of girls. We expect girls to do it all the time with male characters and don’t think twice about it. But the thing is, trying to find yourself, trying to live your life, that’s a universal story.

Sarah Dessen, she writes good stories. Everyone should read them.

If you like Sarah Dessen, you might also like Deb Caletti, Elizabeth Euhlberg, Gayle Forman, Jessi Kirby, Morgan Matson, Sarah Ockler, Lisa Schroeder and Sara Zarr

Join the conversation!  Share a post about your favorite author OR tweet us your favorite author with the tag #YAAtoZ. While we’re sharing our favorite authors, we would love to hear about yours. We all might find some new authors we haven’t heard of before. And the more authors we share, the more comprehensive and diverse the list becomes. On Twitter, we’re @TLT16 and I’m @CiteSomething

#YAAtoZ Schedule: Week 1 4: A ; 5: B ; 6: C ; 7: D  Week 2 10: E ; 11: F ; 12: G, H, I ; 13: J, K ; 14: L  Week 3 17: M ; 18: N, O ; 19: P, Q ; 20: R, S ; 21: T  Week 4 24: U ; 25: V, W ; 26: X ; 27: Y ; 28: Z

YA A to Z: Kristin Cashore

Photo credit: Laura Evans

Why I chose Kristin Cashore:
Full disclosure: Kristin is one of my best friends. We met at Simmons in 2001. My love for her books, though, is separate from my love for her. Kristin writes fiercely strong female characters that exist in magnificently detailed, complicated, and perilous fantasy worlds. Kristin’s characters buck convention, choosing their own path and making their own choices. What makes her characters special is also what makes them dangerous to others and in danger themselves. They are skilled, intelligent, and flawed. They are strong and broken and uncertain and real. They are gifted and burdened. Kristin deftly addresses subjects like rape, abuse, sexuality, gender expectations, contraception, disability, and more. The feminist messages, the subversions, and the challenges take place in books full of scheming, mystery, suspense, intrigue, and romance. Her work is thoughtful and complicated, and I can’t wait to see what she writes next (see below).

 

Brief (abridged) biography (from Cashore’s website):
So, here’s the short tale of me: I grew up in the countryside of northeastern Pennsylvania in a village with cows and barns and beautiful views from the top of the hill and all that good stuff. I lived in a rickety old house with my parents, three sisters, and a scattering of cats, and I READ READ READ READ READ. I read while brushing my teeth, I read while chopping parsley, the first thing I reached for when I woke up in the morning was my book; the only two places I didn’t read were in the car and in bed. What did I do then? The one thing I liked even more than reading: I daydreamed.

And so, without knowing it, I was planting the seeds. Reading and daydreaming = perfect preparation for writing.

At 18 I went off to Williams College and it almost killed me. College is hard, man, and the Berkshires are cloudy. A (phenomenal) year studying abroad in sunny Sydney revived me. After college I developed a compulsive moving problem: New York City, Boston, Cambridge, Austin, Pennsylvania, Italy, and even a short stint in London.

During my stint in Boston, I got an M.A. at the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College. Grad school almost killed me, but I felt a lot more alive than when I was almost being killed in college. The Simmons program is stupendous. It got me thinking and breathing YA books. It got me writing.

Since Simmons, I haven’t stopped writing, not once. I’ve developed a compulsive writing problem that makes my moving problem look like a charming personality quirk. I can’t stop! It’s a dream job, which is another way of saying that when I shop for work clothes, I go straight to the pajamas section.

 

Works:
Graceling (2008)
Fire (2009)
Bitterblue (2012)
Kristin has two books in revisions, one of which is realistic YA and one of which is “experimental,” and is writing a third.

 

Find Kristin Cashore online:
This is My Secret (website and blog)
@kristincashore 

 

If you like Kristin Cashore, check out these authors:
Rae Carson, Megan Whalen Turner, Robin LeFevers, Melina Marchetta, Garth Nix, Leigh Bardugo, Robin McKinley, Tamora Pierce

 

Join the conversation!  Share a post about your favorite author OR tweet us your favorite author with the tag #YAAtoZ. While we’re sharing our favorite authors, we would love to hear about yours. We all might find some new authors we haven’t heard of before. And the more authors we share, the more comprehensive and diverse the list becomes. On Twitter, we’re @TLT16 and I’m @CiteSomething

#YAAtoZ Schedule: Week 1 4: A ; 5: B ; 6: C ; 7: D  Week 2 10: E ; 11: F ; 12: G, H, I ; 13: J, K ; 14: L  Week 3 17: M ; 18: N, O ; 19: P, Q ; 20: R, S ; 21: T  Week 4 24: U ; 25: V, W ; 26: X ; 27: Y ; 28: Z

 

#YAAtoZ: More Letter B Authors from Twitter

As we mentioned, everyone is invited to participate in #YAAtoZ. The more authors we share, the better our alphabet soup. If you would like, Tweet us (@tlt16, #YAAtoZ) your author for the letter(s) of the day. Or write a post discussing the authors and books you love. Yesterday, we celebrated the letter B with Libba Bray. We also got a couple of other great recommendations via Twitter:

 

 

 

 

 


Join the conversation! Share a post about your favorite author OR tweet us your favorite author with the tag #YAAtoZ. While we’re sharing our favorite authors, we would love to hear about yours. We all might find some new authors we haven’t heard of before. And the more authors we share, the more comprehensive and diverse the list becomes. On Twitter, we’re @TLT16 and I’m @CiteSomething.

#YAAtoZ Schedule: Week 1 4: A ; 5: B ; 6: C ; 7: D Week 2 10: E ; 11: F ; 12: G, H, I ; 13: J, K ; 14: L Week 3 17: M ; 18: N, O ; 19: P, Q ; 20: R, S ; 21: T Week 4 24: U ; 25: V, W ; 26: X ; 27: Y ; 28: Z

#YAAtoZ: More letter A recommendations from Twitter

As we mentioned, everyone is invited to participate in #YAAtoZ. The more authors we share, the better our alphabet soup. If you would like, Tweet us (@tlt16, #YAAtoZ) your author for the letter(s) of the day. Or write a post discussing the authors and books you love. Yesterday, we celebrated the letter A with Laurie Halse Anderson. We also got a couple of other great recommendations:

@CiteSomething @TLT16 Love yr pick! Had the pleasure of seeing her speak abt her latest novel last year. My A pick would be @Sherman_Alexie

Join the conversation! Share a post about your favorite author OR tweet us your favorite author with the tag #YAAtoZ. While we’re sharing our favorite authors, we would love to hear about yours. We all might find some new authors we haven’t heard of before. And the more authors we share, the more comprehensive and diverse the list becomes. On Twitter, we’re @TLT16 and I’m @CiteSomething.

#YAAtoZ Schedule: Week 1 4: A ; 5: B ; 6: C ; 7: D Week 2 10: E ; 11: F ; 12: G, H, I ; 13: J, K ; 14: L Week 3 17: M ; 18: N, O ; 19: P, Q ; 20: R, S ; 21: T Week 4 24: U ; 25: V, W ; 26: X ; 27: Y ; 28: Z

YA A to Z: Laurie Halse Anderson

Why I chose Laurie Halse Anderson:
There are certain authors whose works are an immediate must-read for me, regardless of what they’re about. I don’t need to know what a new Laurie Halse Anderson book is about—I already know I’ll read it. Anderson’s powerful and memorable books never fail to affect me. I’ve read Speak, a book about rape, repeatedly, most recently for the discussion I held with my teen book club about sexual violence in young adult lit. Wintergirls, about eating disorders, and The Impossible Knife of Memory, about PTSD, join Speak as my favorite of her novels because of their honest and brave approaches to serious topics. I consider Anderson one of the pillars of modern young adult fiction.

Brief biography (from Anderson’s website):
Laurie Halse Anderson is the New York Times-bestselling author who writes for kids of all ages. Known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity, her work has earned numerous national and state awards, as well as international recognition. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists. Laurie was honored with the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award given by YALSA division of the American Library Association for her “significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature…”. Mother of four and wife of one, Laurie lives in Northern New York, where she likes to watch the snow fall as she writes.

Young Adult novels (from Wikipedia):
Speak (1999)
Fever, 1793 (2000)
Catalyst (2002)
Prom (2005)
Twisted (2007)
Chains (2008)
Wintergirls (2009)
Forge (2010)
The Impossible Knife of Memory (2014)
Ashes (forthcoming)

(click here to see children’s books)

Find Laurie Halse Anderson online:
Website
Twitter
Facebook

If you like Laurie Halse Anderson, check out these authors:
Patricia McCormick, Courtney Summers, Jay Asher, Brandy Colbert, Ellen Hopkins, E. Lockhart, Amy Efaw

 

Join the conversation!  Share a post about your favorite author OR tweet us your favorite author with the tag #YAAtoZ. While we’re sharing our favorite authors, we would love to hear about yours. We all might find some new authors we haven’t heard of before. And the more authors we share, the more comprehensive and diverse the list becomes. On Twitter, we’re @TLT16 and I’m @CiteSomething

#YAAtoZ Schedule: Week 1 4: A ; 5: B ; 6: C ; 7: D  Week 2 10: E ; 11: F ; 12: G, H, I ; 13: J, K ; 14: L  Week 3 17: M ; 18: N, O ; 19: P, Q ; 20: R, S ; 21: T  Week 4 24: U ; 25: V, W ; 26: X ; 27: Y ; 28: Z