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Tag: brian f. walker

YA Lit Dream Interpretation: Snakes

In your dream you are walking along a path in the woods when suddenly the trail becomes writhing snakes.  You cannot walk, you slip, fall and land among them.  The snakes climb over and above you.  You cannot see the sky.  You are suffocating.  

You wake up suddenly. Startled and confused you wonder, what did it all mean?  Freud might have a lot of explanations for your dream.  But a better interpretation is: you need fiction to solve your nightmarish concerns.  No need to psychoanalyze when some reader’s advisory  has the cure.

As a positive symbol, snakes represent healing, transformation, knowledge and wisdom. It is indicative of self-renewal and positive change. (DreamMoods)

This nightmare about snakes sounds like an impetuous for growth.  Are you heading to college soon?  Are you taking driving lessons this spring?  What other opportunities are you facing?  The following titles will inspire and guide you to reach your potential.

14830774The Look by Sophia Bennett

Ted has the ultimate epiphany about modeling while on a photo shoot.  There is never a wrong time to choose what is right for yourself.  Learn to be yourself by reading about Ted’s struggle to escape her beautiful sister’s shadow.



Black Boy White School by Brian F. Walker

Ant is going to get out.  He’s getting out of dangerous neighborhood.  He is going to find a new life at a new school.  Too bad the new school has its own problems.  Now lines have been crossed and choices have been made.  Its time for Ant to take a stand and prove wherever he is, he can make a difference. 

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Showing Our True Colors: YA Covers That Got it Right in 2012

Publishing companies aren’t putting out enough YA titles that feature protagonists of color. And when they do, some book covers try to hide or obscure the characters’ race by showing them in silhouette or in shadow, or at times whitewashing them completely. Even the most diverse library collections sometimes look homogenous when you just see the covers. Don’t believe me? Check out my post from last week: “It Matters If You’re Black or White: The Racism of YA Book Covers.”

The problem is insidious, but it’s not completely pervasive, as many of you pointed out in the post comments last week. There are a lot of publishers, authors, and books that have no problem putting people of color on the covers of their books. So I just wanted to take a moment to recognize and celebrate those folks who understand how important it is for everyone to be able to see their own identity validated on the cover of a book. Here are some books covers that got race right in 2012.

Ichiro by Ryan InzanaA.D.D.: Adolescent Demo Division by Douglas RushoffNever Fall Down by Patricia McCormickBoy21 by Matthew Quick


Cover trends: black, white, and a fabulous font

If there’s one thing I’ve learned working with young adult fiction, it’s that covers matter. More often than not, a good cover moves a book off the shelves faster than anything else, including a popular author, a funny title, or good word-of-mouth. Teens are visual people, and they make judgements quickly, so an eye-catching cover, at least at my library, pretty much guarantees good circulation. And a bad cover? A bad cover can kill a book, no matter how great the book is.

Publishers, smarties that they are, know the importance of a good cover, and covers, like anything else, are subject to trends.  We’ve all seen the girls in gorgeous dresses; giant, hairobscured faces; and kissing couples (lots of them).

Maybe, like me, you’re getting a little tired of some of those trends (our February 20th poll showed that!) Luckily, there’s something new showing up YA covers. The above trends and lots of other YA covers are photography-based, but this new trend is less photographic and more … well, graphic. Instead of stock photos, these covers are based on strong, minimalist color schemes, simple illustrations, and fonts that look loose and hand-drawn.

Here’s the UK cover of Maggie Stiefvater’s Printz honor title, The Scorpio Races:

Scorpio Races

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