February 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Woodson, Riddell, Herrera Selected as Laureates; “Minus Me” Giveaway | SLJTeen News

Acclaimed authors honored as laureates

EH140424-Jacqueline-WoodsonJacqueline Woodson, who has written more than 25 books and won numerous awards, including a 2014 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature for her 2014 memoir in verse, Brown Girl Dreaming (Penguin, 2014), began her two-year tenure as the U.S. young people’s poet laureate on June 1. Honored by the Poetry Foundation for a two-year tenure, the young people’s poet laureate aims to raise awareness about young people’s natural receptivity to poetry and to emphasize that they are its most appreciative audience, especially when poems are written specifically for them.

Illustrator and writer Chris Riddell, who has worked with authors Quentin Blake, Michael Rosen, and Neil Gaiman, has been named the UK’s ninth children’s laureate. He’s taking over from Malorie Blackman, who was the most recent author to hold the two-year post. Riddell “will focus on creativity and visual literacy, extolling the meditative pleasure—for everyone—of creating a drawing every day,” according to the Guardian. Riddell wants to encourage people to draw every day, and he intends “to celebrate librarians at the heart of our schools.” He is only the third illustrator to hold the position, after Anthony Browne and Blake.


Photo by Blue Flower Arts

Juan Felipe Herrera, author of the Pura Belpré Honor–winning Portraits of Hispanic Americans (Dial, 2014), Downtown Boy (Scholastic, 2005), and Cinnamon Girl (HarperCollins, 2005), has been named the first Latino U.S. Poet Laureate for 2015–16. Herrera will take up his duties in the fall, participating in the Library of Congress National Book Festival on Saturday, September 5 and opening the Library’s annual literary season with a reading of his work at the Coolidge Auditorium on Tuesday, September 15. Herrera said in the Library of Congress’s press release, “This is a mega-honor for me, for my family and my parents who came up north before and after the Mexican Revolution of 1910—the honor is bigger than me. I want to take everything I have in me, weave it, merge it with the beauty that is in the Library of Congress, all the resources, the guidance of the staff and departments, and launch it with the heart-shaped dreams of the people. It is a miracle of many of us coming together.”

Teen creators lauded

PEnguin Random house)Sixty-eight New York City high school students were chosen to receive up to $110,000 in scholarships as part of the 22nd Annual Penguin Random House Creative Writing Awards. The winning seniors competed in categories such as original poetry/spoken word, memoir, fiction, and graphic novel compositions. More than 1,300 entries were received from public high schools throughout the city’s five boroughs. The 2015 first-place winners, each garnering a $10,000 scholarship, are:

Anna Learis, for Poetry, from Edward R. Murrow High School

Erika Lopez, for Fiction & Drama, from Brooklyn Technical High School

Jordan White, for Memoir, from Hunter College High School

Bonny Truong, for Graphic Novel, from Stuyvesant High School

The winners and their families, along with teachers and publishing industry leaders, will be joined on June 9 at the Symphony Space in New York City by James Dashner, author of The Maze Runner (Delacorte, 2009); Meg Wolitzer, author of Belzhar (Dutton, 2014); Elliot Figman, executive director of Poets & Writers Magazine; and Alex Simmons, educational outreach director of the New York Museum of Comic & Cartoon Art at an award reception honoring all of the recipients. The evening will include dramatic readings, spoken-word performances, and a graphic novel presentation produced and directed by author Richard Hoehler, Off Off Broadway Review Award–winning actor and creator of the Random House LLC WRITE NOW! writing workshops. Among this year’s judges are Harold Augenbraum, executive director of the National Book Foundation; Arianne Lewin, executive editor of Putnam Books for Young Readers; and Calvin Reid, Publishers Weekly Comics Week coeditor.

Calling all aspiring authors of color

NVAL_WinnerLogoLee & Low Books/Tu Books is accepting submissions for their Third New Visions Award for new middle grade and YA writers of color. The winner receives a cash prize of $1,000, and the publisher’s standard publication contract, including the basic advance and royalties for a first-time author. An Honor Award winner will receive a cash prize of $500. A past recipient includes Valynne Maetani for her Ink and Ashes, published earlier this month.

Manuscripts should address the needs of children and teens of color by providing stories with which they can identify and relate and which promote a greater understanding of one another. Themes relating to LGBTQ topics or disabilities may also be included. Submissions may be any fictional genre novels for children ages eight to 12 or young adults ages 12 to 18. The publisher is particularly interested in fantasy and science fiction but also welcome contemporary, historical, mystery, and suspense. Manuscripts should be submitted online via tubooks.submittable.com/submit in the New Visions Award category. Deadline for submission is October 31.

Enter to win a copy of the new YA title MINUS ME

Rossland_Minus MeAs compelling as The Lovely Bones (Little, Brown, 2002) and as memorable as Before I Fall (HarperCollins, 2010), MINUS ME (Oneworld, 2015) is an upper middle grade novel that raises thought-provoking questions about life, love, and death.

During a diving competition, Linda discovers that she has a rare heart condition and is told that her only hope of surviving is a heart transplant. Sensitive, introspective, and intelligent, Linda refuses to be coddled. Determined to experience everything a 13-year-old girl should, Linda starts to work her way through a list of all the things she and her best friend wish to do: have a first kiss, go to a rock concert, travel without parents….

But as Linda starts to tick these off, a mysterious boy named Zak appears—and continues to show up at the most unexpected moments. And he is happy to accompany her on daring escapades, particularly those that her timid best friend refuses to go on with her. Is Zak good or bad? And why is he the only one that Linda can share her fears with? MINUS ME, written by Ingelin Røssland, one of Norway’s most acclaimed YA authors, is an addictive novel that will keep readers guessing until the end

To celebrate its publication, the publisher Oneworld Publications, will give away 15 copies to readers of SLJTeen. To enter, send an email with the subject line “MINUS ME SLJ GIVEAWAY” and include your name and shipping address in the body of the email. Entries must be received by midnight (PDT) on July 6, 2015. Winners will be selected in a random drawing and notified via email. One entry per person, please; prizes will only be shipped to U.S. addresses.

TeenDemographics_TNYoung Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) news

Teen diversity infographic
YALSA’s Cultural Competence Taskforce has created an infographic that shows an overview of the diversity of today’s teens. Additional data can be found about teens in each state and county from the Kids Count Data Center or this interactive Diversity Map. The Taskforce is also compiling resources on YALSA’s wiki to help members better serve teens from diverse backgrounds, so be sure to check it out.

Recipients of 2015 Teens’ Top Ten Book Giveaway revealed

A total of 60 recipients will be receiving a set of the 2015 Teens’ Top Ten nominees, recently announced by YALSA, a division of the American Library Association (ALA). Through funding from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, young adult and teen services librarians have been awarded copies of the YA books that were selected as finalists in the “teen choice” list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year. Teens everywhere vote for their favorite titles between August 15 and the close of Teen Read Week, October 24. For more information, ideas, and resources for libraries to incorporate the Teens’ Top Ten into summer reading/learning programs, download the free Teens’ Top Ten Toolkit.

A new publisher partnership

Quarto Group_PubUSA_

Lerner Publisher Services (LPS), a division of Lerner Publishing Group, announced on June 10 a new partnership with Quarto Library, a new imprint of library bound titles, to be the exclusive USA and Canadian distributor of their fall frontlist titles to the school and public library markets beginning August 2015. LPS will distribute 30 new titles from Quarto Library this fall in library-bound editions. Quarto Library will include titles from several divisions of the Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc.: Walter Foster Jr., Zenith Press, Quarry, and QEB Publishing. The seven new fall 2015 series include “20 Ways to Draw,” an introduction to drawing objects using simple methods; “Graphic Histories,” which profiles iconic events from American history in comic book form; “Animal Lives,” which showcases the day-to-day lives and habits of interesting animals; and “How to Code: A Step by Step Guide to Computer Coding,” which breaks down the complicated process of computer coding into clear, manageable steps.

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Shelley Diaz About Shelley Diaz

Shelley M. Diaz (sdiaz@mediasourceinc.com) is School Library Journal's Reviews Team Manager and SLJTeen newsletter editor. She has her MLIS in Public Librarianship with a Certificate in Children’s & YA Services from Queens College, and can be found on Twitter @sdiaz101.

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