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Popular Paperbacks: Gowns, Greasepaint and Guitars!

Do you love the arts? Have you been busy devouring books set at boarding schools? Well if so, you really need to consider nominating a title for YALSA’s Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults list.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be discussing the four new categories that make up this year’s PPYA lists. But first, some information about Popular Paperbacks. This is a list that is focuses on titles that are widely available in paperback and encourage teens to read for pleasure. Literary quality, while a fine addition to any PPYA nominated title, is not the first consideration. Rather, these are books that truly fit the idea of popular: that is, something anyone would pick up for pleasure and fun. PPYA is all about the fun, and every year it tries to tackle topics that are current and relevant to readers’ lives. The Hub has been a big supporter of PPYA, doing several posts about PPYA lists they would like to see revisited. Maybe in the future, you’ll see similar topics popping up again. And now, onto the first theme for today’s discussion.

Gowns, Greasepaint and Guitars: not the same old song and dance
With the fame of shows like Glee and Smash, with dancing shows like Breaking Pointe or Bunheads, there has been a big rise in teens seeking out books about the performing arts. Music, theater, and dance are trends that are still growing. Do you know of a title that fits this category, where the main character is immersed in the world of performing arts and where the performing arts play a key role in the story? Is the protagonist struggling with getting that music piece just right, with ensuring that her pirouette is perfect? Or, maybe, is there a story about a teenage mime out there?! Be sure to nominate it for PPYA.

The great thing about Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults (and all of YALSA’s lists and awards) is that anyone can suggest titles. You do not have to be a librarian. If you’re a teen reader, an adult reader, a teacher-librarian, a dentist, or just a fan of young adult literature, you can suggest a title for any PPYA list. Here’s the suggestion form.

Next week: a glimpse into I’m New Here Myself: A Generation Caught Between Nations.

— Sarah Wethern (a member of the 2012-2013 PPYA committee), currently reading Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough

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Sarah Wethern