The recent tragic events in Brussels make the joy I experienced this past weekend at the NYC Teen Author Festival feel like ancient history. But it isn’t. The wonder and hope I felt in the company of so many readers and writers joined together by their appreciation for young adult literature is perhaps more important than ever.
The topic of that first YA panel in the Saturday Symposium, What Can YA Do About It? “A discussion of how YA literature (and literature in general) can help social change, and the role this plays in works across a variety of genres” feels even more relevant now. YA authors can and do play a role in influencing how future citizens shape our world.
The panel I was on, Relationships are Hard, took on such thought-provoking questions as whether ‘forbidden’ love in fiction is better (yes!), insta love yay or nay (hmm), our favorite love stories, and the future of diversity in YA relationships. That last question is a big one, because tolerance for the diversity among us is key to avoiding a world where people kill each other due to religious or political differences, and what better place to start than with the books young adults are reading.
So though saddened by recent events I am going to share some links that remind us that the world of young adult literature is doing its part to set the stage for the future.
- At #NYCTAF I learned about book tubing, a new way that people share book love. I always seem to be the last to know, but in case you are interested here is a Beginner’s Guide to BookTube and some YA Book Vloggers.
- All those rumors about the death of YA fantasy may have been greatly exaggerated according to this piece about Trends in Children’s and YA literature.
- These imaginative Harry Potter Spin-Offs, which include a Live Action Role Play College of Wizardry, remind us of the power of books to inspire readers, fans, and other writers.
- Really happy to see YA Urban Fiction included in the push for more diversity in YA.
- These YA Stories Set Around the World (including one in Antarctica) are a great reminder that books can carry us past national boundaries and differences.