Posts tagged Caroline Cooney

Yay for Books!

Last Saturday, I was lucky to attend the 5th Annual Young Adult Literature Conference. Even though it started at the awful hour of 7:30 in the morning (on a Saturday? come on), it was a pretty amazing day. 6 authors (Suzanne Collins [her latest The Hunger Games sounds INCREDIBLE-it’s on order], Ellen Klages, John Stokes, Holly Black, Nancy Werlin, Caroline Cooney) spoke about their latest books and how they came to write them. In between, there were different discussion groups that you could go to, like “Writing Fantasy”.

The three discussion I went to were: “Local Treasures” (Chicago area authors); “New Voices” (new authors) and “Writing Memoirs”. “Local Treasures” featured Andy Behrens, Pamela Todd, and Stephanie Kuehnert. Stephanie is also a new author, and her book is I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone. It’s about a girl whose mom left her as a baby to follow the music scene so when Emily starts her own punk rock band she thinks it’ll bring her mom back. A sex, drugs, rock n roll kind of book that’s also a coming of age story, author Melissa Marr (Ink Exchange) called it: “Teeth. Punk. Combat boots. Attitude. Feminism. Family. Girls with guitars. Relationships that jack you up. Sharp things of the not-good kind. Friendships. Love…. It’s all here; it’s all pure and real.”

“New Voices” was an awesome discussion! It’s great to be able to discover new authors and tell you guys about them. Ingrid Law has written an amazing sounding book called Savvy. It’s a tall-tale kind of story about a family where on your 13th birthday you receive your savvy- a kind of supernatural power. It’s a younger, more YA kind of book but it sounds fantastic. Paula Yoo is a violin playing, Yale graduate who has written the book Good Enough. It’s about a teenager named Patti whose Korean-American parents want her to get into HarvardYalePrinceton and get perfect SATs and play the violin perfectly. But Patti starts thinking, maybe there’s other things that life’s about besides perfect grades? Cameron Tuttle wanted to write a book that was the opposite of Meg Cabot’s How to Be Popular, where the girl discovers that being “unpopular” is actually more fun than being “popular”. It’s called Paisley Hanover Acts Out. The section that the author read is completely relateable, and even though the book isn’t coming out till March of next year, I got a copy.

“Writing Memoirs” was fascinating because both of the authors that spoke were speaking about their real life experiences that led to their books. Cylin Busby’s father was a policeman and was set to testify in a case. Driving home one day he was shot in the face. Cylin was nine at the time, and together she and her father wrote this book, The Year We Disappeared, that tells the story from each of their perspectives. The other author was John Stokes, who at 19 walked out of school with his classmates to go on strike to protest separate schools and the horrible conditions of the school that black students attended. Their lawsuit helped lead to the end of segregation. A horrible part of America’s past, he didn’t speak about it for over 50 years. His book, Students on Strike: Jim Crow, Civil Rights, Brown and Me, is on the 2nd floor. He was an amazing speaker.

Each of the individual authors talks had a way of making you inspired to read and to really think. I encourage you guys to branch out and try some of their books- you might discover a new favorite!

PS For Nancy Werlin fans, she revealed in her speech that she’s getting married in six weeks!

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