It’s YA lucky day! It’s Teen Thursday!
Where we bring you YA news from around the globe and highlights from the
BookPeople Teen Press Corps!
Gearing Up for the Texas Teen Book Festival!
We are getting so amped up for the Texas Teen Book Festival! The fest is chock-full of great authors and programs. Don’t miss these fantastic programs on Saturday, October 18!
The panel “Growing Up and Other Natural Disasters,” is going to be a good one. Well, ALL the panels are going to be good, but if you are into realistic teen fiction, this is a do-not-miss panel for you. The four authors – Andrew Smith (100 Sideways Miles), Jennifer Mathieu (The Truth About Alice), Julie Murphy (Side Effects May Vary), and Jandy Nelson (I’ll Give You the Sun) – all bring to life varied, vivid, and interesting characters, facing unique challenges. Death, friendship, family, identity, and bullying are just some of the issues that appear in their books. Each author handles these topics smartly and with characters whose voices ring true. So dive and join what is going to be a down-to-earth conversation about real life and all of its beautiful, messy, complicated, dramatic splendor. Read more about each author.
Len Vlahos, Rock Star
We already know the books, but do we know the authors? Doing our prep work for TTBF means also researching the authors and learning what makes them different. Today, we focus on author Len Vlahos. He is participating on the panel “Come On Feel the Noise” at TTBF, and talking about music in his book The Scar Boys, an unforgettable story about the power of punk rock for a burned and bullied teenager and his band mates. Len is also in a band, and draws on his experiences for his book. Len gave us this playlist of five songs that he feels capture the spirit of The Scar Boys:
Add It Up by Violent Femmes
How Many Friends by The Who
Lightning Bolt by Jake Bugg (“I was introduced to this song after the fact by a reader,” Len says.)
Don’t Go Back to Rockville by R.E.M.
Growin’ Up by Bruce Springsteen
For more playlists and videos of Len playing with his band, check this out. Be sure to come to the “Come On Feel the Noise” panel to hear more about music and books from Len, Gayle Foreman (If I Stay), Frank Portman (King Dork Approximately), and Kevin Emerson (Exile). It’ll rock your face off!
Are you Excited Yet?? You Should be!!
Check out the full TTBF14 line up here.
Texas Teen Book Festival (formerly the Austin Teen Book Festival) happens on October 18, 2014 on the campus of St. Edward’s University. This event – and parking – is free and open to the public.
Throwback Thursday, TTBF Style
If you follow our blog, you’ve seen us post a lot of things about the 2014 Texas Teen Book Festival. And while those posts are all interesting in their own right, none of them really say what the TTBF is. So in case you are wondering, here is a little history on the fest.
The first fest was in 2009. It was a somewhat modest affair and was held at Westlake High School. Libba Bray was the keynote speaker that year and featured her book Going Bovine.
Fifteen additional authors, including Rick Yancey, Varian Johnson, Matt De La Pena, and Cynthia Leitich Smith, made the trip to what was then called the Austin Teen Book Festival. There were bands, a Thriller group dance, breakfast with the authors, and of course, panels, programs, and plenty of book signings. This first fest was a huge success and since then, the festival has grown both in attendance and reputation. Authors who have visited the fest since 2009 include Ellen Hopkins, Kenneth Oppel, Melissa de la Cruz, Susane Colasanti, Ally Carter, James Dashner, Jenny Han, Rob Thomas, Scott Westerfeld, Mary E. Pearson, Alyson Noel, John Corey Whaley, Ally Condie, Marissa Meyer, Rae Carson, Sarah Rees Brennan, Leigh Bardugo, Maggie Stiefvater, Robin La Fevers, Brandon Sanderson, and Holly Black. Pretty great group, right?
We have also had unique features such as a steam punk Leviathan photo booth, a zombie flash mob, our own Teen Press Corps started covering the event, and the very popular author game show.
Since 2009, the festival has been held at the Palmer Events Center, the Austin Convention Center, and this year, St. Edwards University. To reflect the festival’s attendees, the name has been changed from the Austin Teen Book Festival to the TEXAS Teen Book Festival.
No matter where it was held or called, the fest has always had the same mission and goals at heart, and those include bringing teens and authors together, promoting the fun and joy of reading, and having fun!
Our Favorite Banned Books
It is Banned Book Week. Here at the Teen Press Corps, we love all types of books and want everyone to decide which ones they will read for themselves. However, not everyone feels that way. What we wonder is, if you take away one book, what are the chances that you will take another? Anyhow, here are some of our favorite books that have been banned . .
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Of course, the Harry Potter series is most widely know to be the most challenged book and it is amazing. J.K. Rowling is the queen of witchcraft and wizardry. If you haven’t read these books yet, I would suggest you drop everything and begin. You will get no story like it and it is perfection!
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
I cannot believe this is a banned book! It is definitely the go-to book about being a teen and all the issues you may go through in high school. It’s also a great book for introverts and puts out a very important message that teens need to hear that they maybe don’t get to hear enough: It will be okay!
Review of the Week!
The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
This was last month’s Buzz Book, but I was a little behind in my reading. I’m so glad I caught up with this one, though. The Kiss of Deception is a really good fantasy-adventure-romance. The fantasy elements are minimal, but the adventure and romance elements are high. There are three main characters – a princess who abandons her title and runs away, literally; a prince, and an assassin. The princess, Lia, is strong and determined and has absolutely no issues doing things that are decidedly un-princess-y. I was surprised by the humor in this book, and greatly enjoyed trying to figure out which character was the prince and which was the assassin. This is a thoroughly fun tale and perfect for teen readers who enjoy stories like Graceling and Goose Girl.
YA New Releases
Speaking of which, we finally got Texas Teen Book Festival author Scott Westerfeld’s new book, Afterworlds. It is about an 18-year-old girl, Darcy, who writes a book and gets a major two-book publishing deal. She has been paid $300,000 for those two books, so what’s a girl to do? First, she has to write the second book, and then she has to figure out everything else – relationships, college, family, and herself. Filled with publishing insider info, Darcy’s story offers readers a glimpse into the life of an author – all the guts and the glamour. The second story of the book is Darcy’s book called Afterworlds, which is a riveting fantasy starring a girl who has a near death experience that leads her to a Hindu death god and the underworld filled with ghosts and other terrifying beings. This is a meaty book with two great characters and story lines to follow. Hear more about it from Scott at #TTBF on October 18! We can’t wait!!
A Little Something Extra
To have all of the Teen Press Corps’ YA news delivered to your inbox once a month, sign up for their newsletter.