Last Call!!

YALSA is collecting volunteer forms through Oct. 1st for book and media selection committees that begin work on Feb. 1, 2014.  If you have experience evaluating and selecting young adult literature and would be interested in lending your time and talents to YALSA, please fill out the online form: http://www.ala.org/CFApps/Committee/volunteerform/volunteerform2.cfm?group1=YALSA.  To learn more about what the time and commitment required of a YALSA selection committee member is, please watch this free webinar http://connectpro87048468.na5.acrobat.com/p65385874/ and read this brief article http://www.ala.org/yalsa/sites/ala.org.yalsa/files/content/How2Succeed_YABookCommittee.pdf.  If you have questions about the appointments process, please contact YALSA’s President-Elect, Chris Shoemaker, at cinf0master@gmail.com.    Please note: selection committee members must be personal members of YALSA.  To add YALSA to your ALA membership, visit www.ala.org (click on join/renew in the top right corner) or contact Letitia Smith at lsmith@ala.org or 800.545.2433×4390

UpComing

The following are a few good ways to get involved in the dynamic world of YA.

ALAN, the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE, is seeking applicants for the position of editor of their journal, The ALAN Review.  To apply, interested persons should submit the following: a letter of application detailing qualifications for the position and the applicant’s vision for the journal, a current vita, one sample of published writing, and a letter of general support from appropriate administrators at the applicant’s institution. Classroom teachers are eligible and encouraged to apply. Applications should be sent via email, using the subject line, ALAN Editor, to Teri Lesesne, Executive Director of ALAN (AlanExecutiveSecretary@gmail.com). Please send files as Word attachments. Applications must be received no later than October 1, 2013. Finalist interviews will be conducted at the NCTE conference in Boston.

Note that the TAR editor receives complimentary registration to the ALAN Workshop and a stipend of $2,000 a year.

Click here for further information about the position from ALAN’s Policy & Procedure Manual.

There is still time to register for the United States Board On Books International Conference in St. Louis MO, Oct. 18-20
Speaker highlights: Ashley Bryan, Mem Fox, Gregory Maguire, Pat Mora, Katherine Paterson, Peter Sis, Jacqueline Woodson
Breakout Session highlights (and there are many more):
“Bringing the World to Your Library: Incorporating International Books into Everyday Practice”
“Diverse Voices, Digital Narratives: Connecting Children, Books, and Digital Media  to Promote Bookjoy Around the World”
“PictureBookJoy: Humor in International Picture Books”
“Depictions of African American and Black Culture in Graphic Literature”
“Hair in Children’s Literature around the World”
“BookJoy for Middle School: Poetry in Many Voices”

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YALSA is seeking program proposals and paper presentations for its 2014 Young Adult Literature Symposium,Keeping it Real: Finding the True Teen Experience in YA Literature, to be held October 31 – November 2, 2014 in Austin, TX.   YALSA’s 2014 Young Adult Literature Symposium will gather together librarians, educators, researchers, authors and publishers to explore what’s ‘real’ in the world of teen literature.  In what ways is young adult literature reflecting the real and amazing diversity of today’s 42 million teens and it what ways has it fallen short?  Who are today’s teens, really?  What are the ‘real’ issues that they want and need to read about, and how do they want to read about them?  Why are realistic teen experiences in books sometimes controversial when they accurately portray a young person’s life? How are the evolving areas of identity and sex(uality) being explored in YA literature and nonfiction?  Join YALSA as we explore what is ‘real’ in young adult literature.

YALSA invites interested parties to propose 90-minute programs centering on the theme, as well as paper presentations offering new, unpublished research relating to the theme. Applications for all proposals can be found at http://ala.org/yalitsymposium  (click “Propose a Paper/Program”). Proposals for programs and paper presentations must be completed online by Nov. 1, 2013. Applicants will be notified of their proposals’ status the week of Jan. 12, 2014.

Important news from IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People)

In international children’s book news,  the 2013 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award,  sponsored by the Swedish government and currently the world’s largest award for children’s and young adult literature, has been presented to Isol, the Argentinian writer and illustrator of children’s books.  According to the ALMA website:  ” Isol’s great talent as a picturebook author is apparent in the overall experience created by the dramatic composition, the choice of colours and the intensity of the drawn line.”  (wwww.alma.se)

IBBY has selected the next editor for Bookbird .  Dr. Bjorn Sundmark will edit the journal from 2015- 2018.  He is Associate Professor of English at the Faculty of Education, Malmo University, Sweden, and serves on the board of the Swedish National  Culture Council.

Sunday Morning Reads

This post would have been up hours ago if I hadn’t been having Internet issues. Service just shouldn’t be so intermittent in one’s own home. I’m just sayin’

This may have been my last visit to the garden. I was surprised with a head of cabbage that I missed in previous visits and green peppers that just began to grow. I run through the photos on my phone and I’m just amazed at the growth that has taken place. This time, I didn’t even think to take any pictures. Growth happens whether we’re watching or not.

In recent years, there have been amazing blog posts that contain research relating to various facets of diversity in YA lit. Do publishers look at them? Are their decisions impacted at all by the data that is collected and analyzed? I work in a world that frowns on blogs and the information they relate as if it is all bogus forms of cheap entertainment. Knowing that, part of me wishes some of these research posts were submitted to journals, but I am so glad the information is made accessible to readers, authors, editors and publishers. Information is power. I think more impactful than where these reports are posted will be the replicated efforts that better document trends and hopefully change in the industry.

diversity_tinakugler

 

Can we try to collect these reports? Please leave a link to others in the comments.

I know there’s more! I’m sure Debbie Reese has collected figures, but I haven’t found anything…yet. Are there numbers on Latinos? Asians?

This 2008 article references a Brigham Young Study I’ll trying get a hold of this week.

The Brigham Young study analyzed the race, gender and family background of human characters in 82 Newbery-winning books through 2007. The analysis compared three periods, starting with 1922 through 1950, followed by the era in which the Civil Rights Movement gained momentum, 1951 through 1979, and concluding with the 1980 through 2007 period.

Black and Hispanic protagonists became scarcer during the past 27 years. American Indian and Asian main characters increased in number — to two each.

Latino protagonists disappeared from 1980 through 2007 and black ones fell to two from a high of five between 1951 and 1979, the study found. White main characters rose to 19 from 18 in the same period.

The last book with a Hispanic protagonist to win a Newbery Medal was “Shadow of a Bull,” by Maia Wojciechowska, in 1965. The book dealt with a young Spanish boy’s struggle to follow in the footsteps of his slain bullfighter father.

Books by authors of color and with characters of color aren’t written just for people of color. (Corollary: Books by white people aren’t written just for white people.) So, POC books and authors fight the good fight and show up anywhere and everywhere that readers can be found such as at book signings, local library events and conferences. Readers of color have to show up to.

Think about it.

If publishers and editors don’t see us at conferences and signings, their notions that we don’t read or buy books will only be re-enforced. Show up to these events, inquire about your favorite author of color. I say this out loud to remind myself why I’m going to ALAN this year and why I’m especially thankful that author Lyn Miller-Lachmann proposed a panel with her, myself, Kekla Magoon and Rene Saldana Jr. I think I saw names of three other authors of color in the program. So disappointing! I really hope to see more people of color than that in the audience.

If you’re a librarian looking for ways to get involved in ALA and make a difference, this information is for you.

Committees with openings:

and the Committee Volunteer Form (which requires you to sign in):

https://www.ala.org/CFApps/Committee/volunteerform/volunteerform2.cfm?group1=YALSA

YALSA has dozens of ways for its members and supporters to get involved, including many options for virtual participation.  Whether you choose to volunteer to gain additional leadership opportunities, build your resume, increase exposure in the association or library community, or give back to the profession, YALSA relies on you to help support the association and make a positive difference in serving teens through libraries.

Whichever way you choose to get involved, we are committed to providing you with a meaningful experience.  If you have any questions, or would like additional information, we’re happy to help!  Email us at yalsa@ala.org or call us at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 4390.

And yes, dammit! There are malls in Kenya! And paved roads, car dealerships, universities, banks and yes, even book publishers! I remember when The Cold War between the US, Russia and China played out in Africa and now it’s this ‘war’ between… who is this between? Who are the players? These extremists in the East and in the West? It’s playing out all over Africa, from Mali to Kenya and to Somalia. Great people to follow from various locations across the continent to keep you aware of mostly literary and a few political occurences.

Storymoja Hay Fest@SMHayFest

Kinna@kinnareads

Writers Project Gh@writersPG

African Library Proj ‏ @AfricanLibraryP

Jalada Africa ‏ @JaladaAfrica

I’m thinking about mooncakes and Moon Festival while my friends in Taiwan are just getting over a massive typhoon.

Bless the people of Kenya who are mourning and grieving. Bless the people of Taiwan who should be celebrating the autumn moon festival but are suffering from a massive typhoon. Even from these tragedies, there will eventually be growth; god willing!

Bless us!

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday’s Harvest

It’s really hard to believe it was 97 degrees last week when we’re having 30 degree nights this week.

The garden is definitely winding down. I’m hoping for a red tomato or two but probably will get the last few green tomatoes, some rutabagas and whatever other surprises are left. One draw back to having a community garden is that people from the community wander into our garden and help themselves to the veggies. I’ll just hope I’m feeding someone who really needs it.

+-+757567409_140With sadness, I must mention the passing of Sonia Lynn Sadler, She was a talented artist and designed and recipient of the 2011 Coretta Scott King John Steptoe Award for Seeds of Change. May she rest in peace.

 

 

 

Malinda Lo (Inheritance, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2013) just compiled a very interesting set of statistics on BFYA. Malinda’s analysis addresses several variations of diversity, helping us to realize all the different teens who are reading the ‘best’ books. Her closing:

The question is: Who is this “young adult” reader that this list is supposed to appeal to? Considering race alone, in a US where 37% of the population is people of color, and where “half of all children under 18 are expected to be non-white in five years” (MSNBC), should the BFYA lists attempt to diversify? How does quality — that slippery concept of “best” — relate to race and representation? These questions are further complicated when you bring in sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability.

And what about authors of color? What can be done to increase representation in that arena, both in general and in lists and awards that seek to recognize the best of YA? Is that important? Should it be?.

She followed this with an interview with yours truly.

Getting listed in BFYA or other award lists is quite important to authors. Alaya Dawn Johnson (Summer Prince, Arthur A. Levine, 2013) Tweeted this after learning her book is on the National Book Award longlist.

But, getting your book made into a movie? WOW!! The Watson’s Go to Birmingham will premier on Hallmark this wtsonFriday at 8:00 pm.

You do know what day it is, right? HUMP DAY!! It’s all down hill from here!

Zora Neale Hurston Award

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2014 Zora Neale Hurston Award offered by the American Library Association Reference and User Services Association (RUSA).

This annual award, founded in 2008, is given to an ALA member who has demonstrated leadership in promoting African American literature. To further the professional development of the winner so that he or she can continue to build multicultural collections and serve diverse populations, the winner receives funds to attend the ALA Annual Conference, tickets to the Literary Tastes breakfast and the FOLUSA Author tea, and a set of the Zora Neale Hurston books published by Harper Perennial at the time the award is made.

Candidates will be evaluated based on the quality and contribution of their project. Project examples include, but are not limited to, a program, display, collection building efforts, a special readers’ advisory focus, or innovation
in service. Candidates will also be evaluated on the extent their projects promoted African American literature and highlighted its rich history and diversity. In addition, the candidate’s project should serve as a model for others, must be innovative and/or should advance service in this area.

Candidates will also be evaluated based on the quality of their essay and the ideas expressed therein (clarity of content and form, clear goals and benefits of attendance, commitment to ALA and the library profession, enthusiasm, and potential growth perceived).

Some previous winners of the award include Lavonda K. Broadnax of the Library of Congress for her bibliography, Selected Literature Published by the Civil War Soul Sisters; Vanessa Irvin Morris, Drexel University, for her book The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Street Literature; Theresa Venable, Children’s Defense Fund Haley Farm’s Langston Hughes Library for library programming featuring African-American authors and African-American illustrators of children’s picture books at the May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture and the Big Read, and Anthony Loum, Brooklyn Public Library (BPL), for his work planning and ensuring the quality of programs delivered by BPL in the 2009 Big Read for which Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God was the chosen book.

The 2014 award will presented at the RUSA Awards Reception during the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, NV, June 26- July 1, 2014.  To nominate someone, download and complete the [http://www.ala.org/rusa/sites/ala.org.rusa/files/content/awards/znh/znhurston.pdf] nomination form (PDF format), and follow the submission instructions therein.
Questions should be directed to the committee chair, Jannie R. Cobb
mail to: jcobb@nlc.edu ]jcobb@nlc.edu.

The deadline for nominations is January 15, 2014.

 

The Hispanic Division and the Center for the Book of the Library of Congress will honor Sonia Manzano for The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano (Scholastic) with the America’s Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature by the Consortium of Latin American Studies Program on Monday 23 September in Washington DC.

First Book made headlines this past summer when they targeted purchases from two publishers to increase the availability of diverse books for young readers. After distributing books from HarperCollins and Lee and Low around the country, First book has announced the second phase of their program.

So what’s next for First Book? In June, the group unveiled at the Clinton Global Initiative America the planned next phase of the project, a “Commitment to Action” that includes outreach to 30,000 new schools and programs, special collections of diverse and multicultural titles, matching grants for educators, and an influential council of authors to help inspire new books and stories.

In the past few weeks, I’ve noticed a growing dynamic in the demand for diversity in characters and authors in YA lit. Sure, it may be just another phase that the industry is experiencing, but I feel a real commitment from the individuals who are speaking up. They’re making statements that express concerns and beliefs they live with all the time. School Library Journal recently held a virtual conference “Embracing Diversity” which resulting in an article full of diversity resources.

The mosaic on Elephant Rag blog is a great place to find new books that reflect the world around us.

From authors Kelbion Noel and Zetta Elliott

Everyone deserves to see themselves in the pages. That’s what Diversity Reads is all about. Allowing youth the opportunity to enjoy speculative fiction featuring characters who look and deal, just like them. The non-profit is introducing a quarterly series, featuring multicultural authors of speculative fiction works, featuring main characters of color. Stay tuned for an event near you!

Their first event, “Black Magic” is in Toronto on 21 Sept.

Author Carole Boston Weatherford visited the Brown Bookshelf to discuss her book, Birmingham 1963 which pays homage to the four girls who lost their lives in a church bombing 50 years ago.

Lisa Yee is publishing on Paper Li.  STET, Good Books and Bad Dogs and Outer Space Stuff is brought to you daily.She’s much better at that than I am! I have a weekly publication but all I news I manage to collect comes from YALSA. I’m working on it!

Author Cynthia Leitich Smith will be presenting a Graphic Novel Writing workshop in Austin on 5 Oct. To prepare for this event, her blog recently featured an interview with her conducted by Samantha Clark, Austin SCBWI’s regional advisor, Why did she take her Tantalize series to graphic format?

The Tantalize series struck me as a great fit for graphic format. The books are genre benders–Gothic fantasies with strong elements of romance, mystery/suspense and some humor. They’re high action, rich in setting – an alternative Austin; Dallas; Chicago; small-town Michigan; Montpelier, Vermont – and offer diverse protagonists and visually arresting creatures (angels, vampires, werearmadillos).

Me? I’m working at the reference desk today! I’m looking forward to my first visit to Rose Hulman’s library this week to hear a speaker that’s part of the Muslim Journey bookshelf on which we’ve partnered. And, I’m reading reading reading for BFYA! With regards to BFYA, I’m really excited to have identified several ways to distribute the books I’ve been receiving. Of course, some have been going to the Indiana State University library! Advanced copies have been going to area teachers for their classroom libraries. Others will soon ship to the Boys and Girls Club of Burbank and in March I hope to distribute the remaining hundreds to school libraries here in Indiana. Thanks to a wonderful suggestion from Suzanne Walker, the Children’s Librarian for the state of Indiana, I’m planning a mini-grant program to send the books to the neediest libraries in the state. Hopefully, I’ve found a way to get it funded as well!

You?!! I hope you have a fantastic week and that your favorite team wins, unless they’re playing the Colts!