Wishing for everyday life to disappear and to be magically transported somewhere else does not always deliver on the promise of a happier ending. Parallel universes seem to be a popular trend these days, with quite a few books released in 2011 and 2012. For one, YA thrill-master Christopher Pike is back, veering toward fantasy with his trademark thriller plot thrown in the mix. And, in one of the most highly acclaimed books of the year, Every Day, David Levithan drops the main character into a new body, and therefore a new world, each morning. Some of the titles are serious, offering a look at how one might escape a bad home or school life. Others trend toward humor or fairy tale retellings. In all, the glimpse of “what might have been” provides readers an escape from their daily lives.
The idea of a book within a book is not a new idea—The Book Thief, Inkheart, and Fahrenheit 451 all explore this theme. It’s fun to think that the characters you are reading about may show up in your living room, ready to interact and share their literary lives with you. In some cases, such as Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, the books become characters themselves. For a light-hearted and quick read, check out It’s a Book by Lane Smith. Although it’s a children’s picture book, the humor will definitely appeal to teens.
This summer, SLJ is presenting SummerTeen, a daylong, online celebration of young adult books, and “Rockin’ Women of YA” is one of the many programs you’ll get to choose from. You can sign in from the comfort of your very own home or office and listen to great authors such as Maggie Stiefvater, A. S. King, Julie Kagawa, and more. The best part is that you can go back and watch the archived event later on or show it to your students or teen advisory group. Check out the following list of titles from a few of our scheduled presenters—there are too many authors to include in just one list!