Just this week, I’ve had a co-worker tell me about his 4-year-old son’s fascination with “unboxing” videos on YouTube featuring new toys, had a parent ask for help finding books for her twelve-year-old daughter who is “obsessed with YouTube” and received two purchase requests for books by YouTube stars months ahead of their release (a rare occurrence).
YouTube has long been popular with teens, and vloggers have amassed millions of followers. Especially in the last year, the publishing world has taken notice. These are eight 2015 releases of memoirs and essays from YouTube stars that might be of interest to teen patrons.
Really Professional Internet Person by Jenn McAllister
This memoir is from YouTuber JennxPenn, who not only vlogs, but is starring in a movie, Bad Night.
This Book Loves You by Pewdiepie
This book, from a channel with 37 million (yes, that’s right) subscribers is “is a collection of aphorisms, bits of wisdom-slash-jokes, paired with photos and other visuals” that is sure to be a hit with teens. Pewdiepie’s YouTube channel includes everything from animated fanfiction to important and entertaining information like “the 10 creepiest websites”
The Amazing Book is Not on Fire by Dan and Phil
Dan and Phil have been popular with teens in my library for years, and I’m betting that this book will be in demand in many libraries. This comical books will include some traditional biographical info, as well advice for coping with awkwardness and their text messages to each other.
A Work in Progress by Connor Franta
Connor’s videos cover everything from “speaking backwards” to dating and relationship advice. His reflections on his struggles during his teen years and his journey from a small-town Midwesterner to Internet sensation will like be a story that many teens can relate to.
Binge by Tyler Oakley
Tyler Oakley is a popular LGBTQ voice on YouTube, and this collection of essays will surely find a teen audience. You can see some teen reactions to Tyler in this video (as well as Tyler’s reactions to the teens’ reactions).
In Real Life: My Journey to a Pixelated World by Joey Graceffa
This memoir details Joey’s personal and family struggles in a hopeful tone. Joey’s YouTube channel is part of Dreamworks AwesomenessTV Network and is mix of personal stories and short movies and music videos.
I, Justine: An Analog Memoir by Justine Ezarik
Justine has a few different YouTube channels and covers everything from cooking to gaming and technology. her memoir will detail how she became an Internet star.
I Hate Myselfie: A Collection of Essays by Shane Dawson
Shane has been making YouTube videos since 2008 and has also directed a feature film. His collection features essays on many topics, such as his anxiety about getting haircuts.
These are just a sampling of books written by YouTubers. Expect more if these are successful. One thing’s for sure — New Media is here to stay, and will likely continue to influence and reflect teen interests.
– Molly Wetta, currently reading Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A. S. King