YALSA’s upcoming YA Literature Symposium will explore the future of young adult literature. The symposium begins on November 2nd, but we wanted to get a head start here at The Hub, so we’re devoting October to 31 Days of the Next Big Thing. Each day of the month, we’ll bring you forecasts about where YA literature is headed and thoughts on how you can spot trends and predict the future yourself.
Everyone has their favorite award, the one that celebrates stories you always seem to love. I enjoy the books that win the Mildred L. Batchelder Award. Its an ALSC award, and yet it’s a little obscure compared to the big winners in children’s literature like the Caldecott and the Newbery. The award was the optimistic vision of Mildred L. Batchelder, who wanted “to eliminate barriers to understanding between people of different cultures, races, nations, and languages.” Batchelder was devoted to the belief that through books, we could learn not to exclude people based on regional differences.
I imagine Batchelder’s ideals were based on a globalism we have not yet achieved, a world and a microcosm, a library with everyone represented. The first time I visited Jungle Jim’s International Market, I was overwhelmed and excited to try so many new things. I hope the next big for thing literacy is a more universal library where books that are translated are unique to some and familiar to others, but wonderful to all. Lately I’ve been reading a lot of multi-genre novels that combine a great many elements; I hope some of these new elements are the traditions and languages of other countries.