From left, authors Shaun David Hutchinson, Marie Lu, Renee Ahdieh, and Veronica Roth at the closing session of the 2019 YALSA Symposium in Memphis, Tennessee, November 3.

Sci-Fi Can Save You

November 4, 2019

“I read a lot of genre fiction growing up,” said Roth, creator of the Divergent series. “Fewer women were in the driving seat of those books. [But Meg] had a lot of feelings.” Hutchinson, author of We Are the Ants (Simon Pulse, 2017) and At the Edge of the Universe (Simon Pulse, 2018), agreed. “It’s … Continue reading Sci-Fi Can Save You


From left, YA authors Lauren Myracle, Sandhya Menon, Kekla Magoon, and Meredith Russo speak at the Opening Session of the Young Adult Library Services Association’s Young Adult Services Symposium on November 1 in Memphis, Tennessee.

“Really YA” Tackles Real Issues

November 4, 2019

At “Really YA,” a panel moderated by YALSA President Todd Krueger, bestselling authors Kekla Magoon, Sandhya Menon, Lauren Myracle, and Meredith Russo talked about the inspiration and experiences behind their latest realistic fiction works and the research they did to write their characters’ stories. “I wanted to show a trans girl who’s messier, and having … Continue reading “Really YA” Tackles Real Issues


Challenges to nonbook materials in libraries

Censorship Beyond Books

September 24, 2019

“That didn’t necessarily make sense to me because most public libraries are well prepared to deal with challenges,” she says, pointing to the popularity of Banned Books Week (this year September 22–28) and the array of resources OIF provides for librarians dealing with book challenges. “When I went back and looked just at public libraries, … Continue reading Censorship Beyond Books


Raina Telgemeier (Photo: Joseph Fanvu Photography)

Newsmaker: Raina Telgemeier

September 3, 2019

Telgemeier has also written two fictional graphic novels (Drama and Ghosts), four illustrated adaptions of The Baby-Sitters Club series, and the new interactive journal Share Your Smile. American Libraries spoke with Telgemeier about her creative process, how graphic novelists became champions for unrepresented voices in publishing, and her advice for aspiring artists. You wrote two … Continue reading Newsmaker: Raina Telgemeier


Jacqueline Woodson and Christopher Myers

Changing the Narrative

June 22, 2019

“I didn’t see any reflections of girls like me,” she told attendees at “50 Years of the Coretta Scott King (CSK) Book Awards,” a live taping of the Dewey Decibel podcast at the American Library Association’s 2019 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., June 22. “I think the first book that I read about an African-American … Continue reading Changing the Narrative


Author, poet, and essayist Benjamin Alire Sáenz speaks to attendees at the Third National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color in Albuquerque on September 27.

Praise for the Gatekeepers

September 28, 2018

“You are the gatekeepers of American culture. You are what this country needs even though it doesn’t know it needs you. And you do it anonymously,” he said. Sáenz, a New Mexico native, welcomed a standing-room-only crowd to the Third National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (JCLC) in Albuquerque on September 27. The Opening … Continue reading Praise for the Gatekeepers


Junot Díaz

Newsmaker: Junot Díaz

May 1, 2018

Islandborn is your first book for kids. What was its inspiration? There were multiple inspirations. A lot of it was being a writer with godchildren, nephews, and nieces always saying, “Hey, will you write us a story?” And knowing that I should write them a story, because when I was growing up a kid of … Continue reading Newsmaker: Junot Díaz


Neil Patrick Harris

Newsmaker: Neil Patrick Harris

January 3, 2017

We’ve heard that Bridge to Terabithia is one of your favorite books. That can be an emotionally difficult read, given its tragic ending. Has becoming a father changed the way you approach children’s literature? Oh, absolutely. It’s important to us that our children not only read but understand the morals and messages behind the words. … Continue reading Newsmaker: Neil Patrick Harris


Illustration by Tom Deja

Fellowship of the Fans

November 1, 2016

That was the beginning of a big confidence boost on Shelby’s part, says Frisbie, who is now a collection development librarian at the same branch. The pair began collaborating on a story based on characters from the video-game series The Legend of Zelda, taking it in turns each week to continue and give feedback on … Continue reading Fellowship of the Fans



Patrick Farley's Game of Thrones entry for Maureen Johnson's Coverflip challenge

Fart Jokes and Feelings

June 29, 2015

Panelist Hannah Gomez, a librarian at an all-girl school, has found that there’s a tiny stack of “authorized” books about boys that her students are willing to read. “If it’s about a boy and not by John Green, they’re not interested.” With young adult books, girl books are expected to have romance, boy books have action … Continue reading Fart Jokes and Feelings


Kody Keplinger

Newsmaker: Kody Keplinger

February 20, 2015

An avid reader, Keplinger was born with Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis, a disorder that causes legal blindness. Last fall, she wrote about the important role honors like the Schneider Family Book Awards play in ensuring people with disabilities see themselves in the stories they read. Keplinger shared her thoughts with American Libraries on the appeal of YA literature, encouragement for young … Continue reading Newsmaker: Kody Keplinger