Readergirlz & YALSA present 31 Flavorite Authors!
The readergirlz divas and YALSA will be hosting 31 of your flavorite authors for 31 days in October -- all in honor of Teen Read Week.
From vamps to vampires, the creators of your favorite characters in YA lit will chat nightly at our group forum at 5 PM PST/8 PM EST (with the exception of the Halloween chat, which will be held at 9 PM PST/MIDNIGHT EST). So, readergirlz across the world, get ready to hang with:
The #1 international best-selling author Stephenie Meyer (Eclipse) and #1 New York Times best-selling authors Meg Cabot (The Princess Diaries) and Ann Brashares (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants), along with the Andre Norton Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature winner Holly Black (Ironside), National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti (Honey, Baby, Sweetheart), Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature winner Dia Calhoun (Avielle of Rhia), Mark Twain Award winner Janet Lee Carey (Dragon's Keep), YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens nominee Cecil Castellucci (Boy Proof), Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year winner Rachel Cohn (Gingerbread), Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award winner Chris Crutcher (Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes), Printz Honor recipient K.L. Going (Fat Kid Rules the World), Printz Award and Honor recipient John Green (An Abundance of Katherines), Coretta Scott King Award winner Nikki Grimes (Bronx Masquerade), NYPL Book for the Teen Age pick Lorie Ann Grover (On Pointe), four-time Book Sense pick Brent Hartinger (Geography Club), Asian Pacific American Award for Literature winner Justina Chen Headley (Girl Overboard), New York Times best-selling author Ellen Hopkins (Crank), Newbery Honor recipient Kirby Larson (Hattie Big Sky), ALA Best Books for Young Adults recipient E. Lockhart (The Boyfriend List), Printz Honor recipient Carolyn Mackler (The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things), Vanity Fair Hot Type pick Kirsten Miller (Kiki Strike), Book Sense pick Sarah Mlynowski (Bras & Broomsticks), New York Times best-selling author Lauren Myracle (ttfn), NYPL Book for the Teen Age pick Mitali Perkins (Monsoon Summer), Borders Original Voices nominee Cynthia Leitich Smith (Tantalize), Christopher Award winner for Best Children's Book Sonya Sones (What My Mother Doesn't Know), ALA Quick Pick Tanya Lee Stone (A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl), IRA/CBC Young Adults' Choice Gaby Triana (Cubanita), Book Sense pick Tiffany Trent (In the Serpent's Coils), Sid Fleischman Humor Award winner Lisa Yee (Millicent Min, Girl Genius), and NYPL Book for the Teen Age pick Sara Zarr (Story of a Girl).
Download and print the 31 Flavorites bookmark! Put one in the book you're currently reading and give others to your book-loving pals.
"Books are one of the safest places for teens to explore our tumultuous world. Long Live Teen Read Week!" - Tanya Lee Stone, A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl
"A book is the only thing I know of that invites you to get lost and finds you while you're wandering. Get lost and found during Teen Read Week!" - Tiffany Trent, In the Serpent's Coils
Every night in October 2007, the readergirlz divas and YALSA hosted a chat with a notable YA author. Click on a name below to read a transcript!
October 1st: Meg Cabot
October 2nd: Tiffany Trent
October 3rd: Brent Hartinger
October 4th: Lorie Ann Grover
October 5th: K.L. Going
October 6th: Nikki Grimes
October 7th: Ellen Hopkins
October 8th: Justina Chen Headley
October 9th: Chris Crutcher
October 10th: Ann Brashares
October 11th: Sarah Mlynowski
October 12th: Cecil Castellucci
October 13th: Kirby Larson
October 14th: Tanya Lee Stone
October 15th: John Green
October 16th: Sara Zarr
October 17th: Deb Caletti
October 18th: Rachel Cohn
October 19th: Kirsten Miller
October 20th: Mitali Perkins
October 21st: Sonya Sones
October 22nd: Lisa Yee
October 23rd: Carolyn Mackler
October 24th: E. Lockhart
October 25th: Janet Lee Carey
October 26th: Gaby Triana
October 27th: Lauren Myracle
October 28th: Holly Black
October 29th: Cynthia Leitich Smith
October 30th: Dia Calhoun
October 31st: Stephenie Meyer
Hanging out with your 31 Flavorite Authors
readergirlz group forum on MySpace NOW. You must
be a member of the forum to participate in the 31 Flavorite Author chats.
could be more perfect than YALSA's Teen Read Week for the darkening
days of October? Teens can turn up the lights, ignore the gloom outside,
and curl up with a stack of books by authors who write just for them."
- Dia Calhoun, readergirlz diva, Avielle of Rhia
Join readergirlz on our group forum for our live chat with a different YA author each evening at 5 PM Pacific / 8 PM Eastern.
Note that Stephenie Meyer (Eclipse) will be visiting us on Halloween at 9 PM Pacific / midnight Eastern.
"Books are truthful mirrors. Teens who turn to books get a clearer vision of their lives. Thanks, YALSA, for turning teens toward good literature!" - Janet Lee Carey, readergirlz diva, Dragon's Keep
The While-You-Read Playlist
These songs were chosen by you, readergirlz! Thank you for this awesome playlist and rock on!
32 Flavorites - Ani Difranco
What People are Saying
"By supporting Teen Read Week, readergirlz makes a statement to teens that reading is an essential and fun part of teens' busy lives." - Paula Brehm-Heeger, YALSA President
"Inspiring teens to read is one of the most important things we can do for the future. What teens imagine, they will create." - KL Going, St. Iggy
"You! Slowly move away from that TiVo . . . Now pick up that novel and let your brain indulge . . ." - Gaby Triana, Cubanita
"One of my greatest joys is opening a reader email; telling me they've never finished a book before, but finished mine in record time, and could I please recommend other books? Reading empowers." - Ellen Hopkins, Crank
"Reading = cooler than doing nothing. It's exercise for the mind (even nicer when served up with a side of chocolate)." - Rachel Cohn, Gingerbread
"I know what I loved about reading when I was a teenager: it made me feel grown up. I could travel anywhere, be anyone, and do anything. I loved that freedom and exploring those worlds. Teen Read Week is a great celebration of that, and a great reminder to teens that those voyages are there for the taking, right inside a book." –Cecil Castellucci, Boy Proof
The readergirlz divas are thrilled to give a shout out to three fabulous women at YALSA who celebrate teen reading: Beth Yoke, executive director; Paula Brehm-Heeger, president; and Judy Nelson, former president.
"What an amazing mission YALSA has to engage teens in literature. For many Teen Read Week could be the moment they start their own amazing journey of discovery, through a book in their hands." - Lorie Ann Grover, readergirlz diva, On Pointe
"Just as teenagers must come of age as people, they also must come of age as readers. Teen Read Week puts a spotlight on this transition, and reminds us all of the importance of getting good books to teenagers." - John Green, An Abundance of Katherines
"Books are like potato chips: they're made of potatoes, sliced thinly, then deep fried in oil and lightly sprinkled with . . . no, wait, that's not right. Books are like potato chips because you can't read just one! There we go, that's right." - Brent Hartinger, Geography Club
"This is the golden age of teen literature! Reading is popular, and books are the best kind of obsession." - Cynthia Leitich Smith, Tantalize
October 27, 2007 is Make a Difference Day -- a national day of helping others in your own community. So readergirlz -- get out there and find something to do to help your community. Stuck on ideas? Browse the past issues of readergirlz for our community service ideas that accompanied our previous book picks.
If you want even more ideas, go to the Idea Generator on the USA Weekend website. Take a moment to log your plan into the DAYtaBANK at the website. Your project will be included in USA Weekend’s national listing of local projects so others can help in your effort or join you on the Day -- and so your project can be available to USA Weekend's newspaper partners looking for article ideas.
Take pictures of your Make a Difference Day. The USA Weekend selection committee will choose a winner to go on a paid volunteer vacation (winner gets to pick where!) through Travelocity's Travel for Good Program.
"Reading is the key that unlocks everything. It opens doors to knowledge, experience, compassion, and perhaps most powerfully of all, imagination. With imagination, everything seems possible." - Sara Zarr, Story of a Girl
The Ultimate Book Celebration Guide
Want to celebrate 31 Flavorite Authors with your friends?
Download and distribute the 31
Flavorite Authors poster.
a teen finds herself in the pages of a book - and realizes that she's
not alone, she's not the only one going through it - it can make those
angst-ridden hideous years almost tolerable." - Sonya Sones, What
My Girlfriend Doesn't Know
Start brainstorming now about the questions you'll pose to your flavorite authors. Here are some of the readergirlz divas' top burning questions for the 31 Flavorite Authors:
What was your inspiration
for your novel?
This month, Little Willow, readergirlz website maintainer and the head of postergirlz, our teen lit advisory council, interviewed the divas about the 31 Flavorites project. This interview also ran in The Edge of the Forest, a children's literature monthly.
Little Willow: Who came up with the idea and name for 31 Flavorites?
Justina Chen Headley: I'm afraid the Headley clan is to blame for the craziness that is 31 Flavorite Authors for Teens! My husband was driving our family on this looooong road trip in the spring, and to keep him awake, brilliant conversationalist that I am, I told him about YALSA's Teen Read Week. On and on I blabbed about how readergirlz could help promote Teen Read Week since we have this massively growing group of avid teen readers plus a large network of authors and bloggers. I wasn't sure my husband was really tracking until he suggested that readergirlz feature 31 authors in 31 days. And then (possibly because I was starving), I blurted out: "31 Flavorite Authors!"
Fast forward to now: In addition to our own writing, the divas have been working literally around the clock launching 31 Flavorites - Dia creating logos and posters, Janet coordinating the calendars, Lorie Ann managing our MySpace and website. My divas love me.
Little Willow: What is the goal of 31 Flavorites, and how does it correlate with the readergirlz manifesta?
Justina Chen Headley: 31 Flavorite Authors is all about connecting teens to their favorite authors and adding another dimension of fun to reading. What better way to get teens excited about great literature than to give them a chance to talk to 31 of the most incredible YA authors today? Our partnership with YALSA creates the ultimate triumvirate of book geeks: librarians, readers and authors.
Every month, readergirlz features a fabulous book selected by our advisory council of bloggers, the postergirlz. The divas invite the author to chat online live once a month with readergirlz. 31 Flavorites is a supersized, uber-estrogened version of what we already do. Readergirlz exposes teens to YA lit, gets them talking about the books as it relates to their lives, and then inspires them to change the world.
31 Flavorites is going to be the world's biggest book club party!
Little Willow: Did you already know the YALSA powers-that-be, or was this the first time you teamed up?
Lorie Ann Grover: When readergirlz launched, the divas were invited to meet with the president of YALSA, Judy Nelson, in my own Pierce County Library System in Tacoma, Washington! Our presentation of the early concept of 31 Flavorite Authors to the PCL staff went so well, Judy arranged for Justina to meet with her again at ALA in Washington, DC -- along with YALSA's executive director and incoming president. Justina just happened to be attending the convention to pick up the Asian Pacific American Award for Literature for her novel, Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies)! To our collective delight, YALSA agreed to partner with readergirlz on 31 Flavorite Authors.
Little Willow: How difficult was it to get authors involved with this project?
Janet Lee Carey: I was amazed at the response we got from all of our participating YA authors - bestsellers and newcomers alike. It's a testament to YALSA, really. All of us are passionate about getting teens to read for pure pleasure. And all of us are passionate about supporting YALSA's Teen Read Week.
Now, of course, the logistics of reaching everyone was a gargantuan project in and of itself. We reached some authors through their email, others through MySpace, and a few through their publicists.
Then I decided to take a few days away myself and ended up in a hotel in Leavenworth, Washington (which shall remain nameless) with a Neanderthal Internet connection. I was actually working behind the desk for a few hours in the hotel office as I tried to reach Carolyn Mackler! When I finally got web access in my room and was writing a thank you to Carolyn, I boasted, "One of our readergirlz is wild about your book, The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things!" And I hit send. It went to Carolyn. It also went to a nun in a Catholic Girls' School the readergirlz divas visited this year . . .
Now, try organizing the night each of our wonderful YA authors could chat! That was another challenge. But other than that, inviting the authors to 31 Flavorites was a piece of cake, or should I say a bowl of ice cream?
Little Willow: What are you currently reading?
Justina Chen Headley: I'm midway through the readergirlz December pick, Miss Spitfire, and its companion read, Shannon Hale's newest, Book of a Thousand Days. Both are breathtaking. Our readergirlz are in for a spectacular treat with these novels.
Lorie Ann Grover: I'm finishing up Melissa Kantor's novel, The Breakup Bible. It's delightful!
Little Willow: What are you currently writing?
Janet Lee Carey: I've started a new YA fantasy and am roughly 100 pages in. But I put that aside to revise The Dragons of Noor. Those who read The Beast of Noor will be glad to hear that a sequel is on the way. I'm very "inside" Noor just now and find it hard to come out into the "real" world to things like cell phones, computers, trains, planes, and automobiles . . . In Noor, horses, carts, sail boats, and on rare occasions, dragon rides, are the only means of transportation.
Lorie Ann Grover: I'm busy working on my novel Dark Doorways set in Korea outside an American military post in the 1980s. The work shares one girl's journey to understand what she experiences as she lives among prostitutes and under a real military threat.
Justina Chen Headley: I have post-partum manuscript depression. I just handed in my next novel that's due out around October 2008, called North of Beautiful, about a girl with an enormous port wine stain on her face. It's all about beauty and the boy who shows her how to see her own True Beauty. I have an idea for my next three novels, one of which is very very very gnarly. I'm not sure I have the guts to write it. (Oh, bad readergirlz diva! Gutsy girls, I need your support!)
NOTE: readergirlz diva Dia Calhoun was unable to participate in this interview because she was on a writing retreat, busily finishing up her next YA fantasy.
Little Willow: What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Lorie Ann Grover: Oooh. It's definitely the Happy Birthday Cake mix at Cold Stone. I'm in love with sprinkles!
Janet Lee Carey: Pistachio Almond - any other green food aside from vegetables gives me the willies.
Justina Chen Headley: Heath Bar Crunch. Need I say more?
And if I got to be a flavorologist for readergirlz diva Dia, I'd create a Firegold ice cream for her - vanilla with apple pie and a huge kick of cinnamon.
Little Willow's favorite flavors of ice cream include Cream of Gold vanilla, chocolate chip cookie dough, cookies and cream, and strawberry. She feeds her mind with a wide variety of books. Drop by her blog, Bildungsroman, at http://slayground.livejournal.com to see what she's currently reading and recommending.
But wait! There's more!
The divas introduced Little Willow (albeit it virtually) to Paula Brehm-Heeger, the 2007-2008 YALSA President, and they got to talking.
Little Willow: How can people get involved with YALSA?
Paula: Getting involved with YALSA is easy! We're always looking for enthusiastic members to support YALSA's goal of advocating, promoting and strengthening service to young adults in all types of libraries.
You can start by subscribing to and participating on one of our electronic discussion lists. A complete list of electronic resources is available here.
The YALSA blog is another way to join in discussing teen services issues.
If you're looking for a way to participate live and in person, attend an ALA conference (held each June and January) where YALSA offers many exciting sessions and networking opportunities. Or, volunteer to serve on one of YALSA's many committees by submitting a volunteer form. And, some people may not realize that there are more than $33,000 in grants and awards available each year from YALSA! You'll also find opportunities to publish through our division's journal, YALS, and our online newsletter, YAttitudes.
I have to mention that officially registering for Teen Read Week is
an essential part of participating in YALSA. Registering is easy and
free. Just visit our Teen Read Week page at www.ala.org/yalsa/teenread
There, you'll find all kinds of valuable resources to help you celebrate
Teen Read Week!
Paula: Great question! YALSA members will confirm that an essential step in connecting teens with libraries and reading is listening to what teens themselves have to say! One great example of YALSA's efforts to provide teens the opportunity to have their opinions heard is through our Teens' Top Ten. Titles are nominated by teens working with YALSA's YA Galley committee. All teens are then invited to vote for their favorite nominees during Teen Read Week. The 2007 nominations are available here.
Little Willow: What is the aim of Teen Read Week?
Teen Read Week is a national literacy initiative aimed
at teens, their parents, librarians, educators, booksellers and other
concerned adults. It began in 1998 and is celebrated the third week
in October. Today's teens lead busy lives and Teen Read Week serves
as an important reminder for them to take time out and just Read for
the Fun of It!
Paula: I mentioned the main theme for the Teen Read Week - Read for the Fun of It - in my last answer. The sub-theme changes each year. This year it is LOL @ Your Library. Librarians and educators can take the idea of using humor and lighthearted books for getting teens to read and run with it by developing programs and displays centered on LOL!
Little Willow: How did YALSA team up with readergirlz?
Paula: The amazing and wonderful author and readergirl Justina Chen Headley, met with me, YALSA's immediate Past-President Judy Nelson and YALSA's Executive Director Beth Yoke at the American Library Association annual conference this past June in Washington, DC. Justina explained the readergirlz idea for supporting Teen Read Week through the 31 Flavorites. Her energy was contagious and she had quite an impressive list of today's most popular teen authors already on board with the 31 Flavorites idea -- well, it was a great fit and YALSA is thrilled to be working with Justina, the readergirlz and the many involved authors on this project.
Little Willow: What book are you reading right now?
Paula: I finished Harmless by Dana Reinhardt a few days ago and have just checked out Carolyn Mackler's new book, Guyaholic. I couldn't help it - I grabbed it as soon as I saw it on the shelf at my library! I hoping to start it this weekend (if I can wait that long).
Little Willow: What was your favorite book as a teen?
Paula: As a young teen I really enjoyed John Christopher's White Mountain series. Then, I must confess, I discovered Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield of Sweet Valley High fame (series created by Francine Pascal). Wow, did I love those books. That series really helped make reading a habit for me and is a big reason why I understand firsthand the power of encouraging teens to read what is fun for them whenever possible. A few years ago I was helping my mom clean out some boxes from my middle school years and discovered a handful of SVH paperbacks. One look and it was clear I had read them, passed them to friends to read and then read them again! In high school I also had a blast reading My Darling, My Hamburger by Paul Zindel with my older sister.
Little Willow: If you could give one piece of advice to teenage girls, what would it be?
I'll make my advice reading-related! Find good stories
with strong characters (like the great choices offered by the readergirlz!)
and read, read, read. If you're not finding what you want don't be shy
-- ask your librarian for exciting books with powerful girl characters
or for biographies about real life amazing women. Take a minute to see
yourself in those women and imagine all the possibilities for your own
Paula: I worked several jobs as a teen - fast food and other jobs in the customer service industry. The one thing that was clear to me was that I really enjoyed working with people every day. When I was a senior in high school I landed a great job as a student assistant at a local public library branch. I knew right away that I wanted to stay in libraries for the rest of my life, helping everyone discover the joy of reading and finding whatever information they wanted or needed.
Little Willow: Why teen services?
Paula: When I was in college I worked in a small, urban public library branch as a library assistant. I loved the feeling of community in that neighborhood and enjoyed helping everyone, but working with young people - particularly teenagers - was for me one of the most fun and rewarding things I had ever experienced. I've never changed my mind and feel the same today as I did then -- teens are the best audience in the world!
has a question for all of you readers: Are
You a Friend of YALSA?
are gracious to share these links to past interviews they've conducted
with a few of the 31 Flavorite Authors. Dip in and read more!
Brent Hartinger @ Interactive Reader
Lorie Ann Grover @ Bildungsroman
Justina Chen Headley @ Bildungsroman
Cecil Castellucci @ Bildungsroman
Kirby Larson @ Bildungsroman
Tanya Lee Stone @ Bildungsroman
Sara Zarr @ Bildungsroman
Sara Zarr @ Interactive Reader
Deb Caletti @ Bildungsroman
Rachel Cohn @ Bildungsroman
Kirsten Miller @ Miss Erin
Kirsten Miller @ Jen Robinson's Book Page
Mitali Perkins @ BildungsromanMitali Perkins @ Jen Robinson's Book Page
Sonya Sones @ Bildungsroman
Lisa Yee @ Bildungsroman
Lisa Yee @ Miss Erin
E. Lockhart @ Bildungsroman
Janet Lee Carey @ Bildungsroman
Holly Black @ Bildungsroman
Dia Calhoun @ Bildungsroman
in to these great audio clips from Random House!
Next Month: A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life
November's spotlighted title will be A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life by Dana Reinhardt.
What people are saying:
"Reinhardt’s first novel is superbly crafted and has compelling and strong characters. It asks the big questions, about love, about faith, about what it means to be a daughter. It also has strong subplots that deal with friendship; with boyfriend/girlfriend relationships, both good and bad; with standing up for what one believes is right; and with struggling to keep up with academics and fit in at school when things seem to be falling apart on a personal level. The novel deals with big issues without being preachy or sappy. It is a great read." - School Library Journal starred review
picked Brief Chapter because Simone finds the courage to look
outside of her perfectly normal, happy upbringing, to redefine family
and become the person she is rather than the person
people expect her to be. She learns to think,
rather than just agree with those around her, and she faces the fear
she's spent most of her life avoiding. I
think Simone speaks to me loudly because she's so ordinary, so real,
so normal. Yes, she was adopted, but it's not really a big thing with
her - it doesn't at all affect her daily life. She chooses
to question. To evaluate. To wonder if everything she's just taken for
granted is really the right position for her. No person or situation
forced her to reevaluate the issues. She got curious. Most people endeavor
to be exactly like everyone else and Simone is searching for herself."
- Jackie (InteractiveReader)
on behalf of the postergirlz, the readergirlz teen lit advisory council
Ultimate readergirlz Group Guide
How to set up your own readergirlz group:
Ten Tips for Starting Your Own readergirlz Book Club
1. Contact other girlfriends who love to read and chat about books as much as you do, and invite them to join readergirlz. Be sure they stand by the readergirlz Manifesta!
2. Your group can be any size, but staying below 12 seems to work well. Everyone has a chance to share. Will your group be all girls or will it be a mother/daughter group?
3. Consider if there's one girl who will always be the leader or will the leader change from month to month? That person might download readergirlz monthly info and discussion questions for the group and send out meeting reminders.
4. Consider where you'll meet. Homes, a library, a bookstore, or a school classroom are great choices.
5. Is your group going to have a party each month where you follow the great readergirlz suggestions? Who will take care of the food, decorations, and music? The fun preparations might rotate through the group.
6. How long will your meeting last? Two hours is a good amount of time to gab about a book.
7. Have a commitment from everyone to keep to the readergirlz monthly pick and avoid gossip. Redirect discussion that strays.
8. Share your opinions, but be willing to hear other points of view. Everyone doesn't have to agree. Differences make great discussions!
9. Once your group is meeting regularly, be respectful of the other members and ask before inviting another readergirl. Groups can be tight with each other, and everyone needs a say before an addition.
10. As all true readergirlz are, be a great friend in the group and out. These are friendships for a lifetime!
Readergirlz Ground Rules
So here's the deal: readergirlz encourages healthy discussion and debate about the books we're celebrating. What does that mean?
1. Keep it clean: no swearing and definitely no personal attacks, threats, porno, or cybersex. That is very uncool and un-readergirlz-ish.
2. Keep it pure: no ads of any kind, please. This is about the book, the whole book, and nothing but the book.
3. Keep it safe: don't share your personal info in any of our public forums.
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