ALA Annual 2015: YALSA YA Author Coffee Klatch Recap

The amazing group of authors participating in the Klatch.
The amazing group of authors participating in the Klatch.

I was lucky enough to attend the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco last week and attended the YALSA YA Author Coffee Klatch sponsored by BLINK on Sunday, June 28th from 9 – 10 am. Allison Tran was there too and included some great photos in her post from the event.

I had the opportunity to have coffee while I met many of YALSA’s award winning authors, many of whom have appeared on one of YALSA’s six annual selected lists or have received one of YALSA’s five literary awards. In this speed-dating-like event, we sat at the tables and every five minutes or so the authors would come to our table to talk with us.

Participating authors included: M. T. Anderson, Leigh Bardugo, Deborah Biancotti, Virginia Boecker, Erin Bow, Martha Brockenbrough, Rae Carson, Selene Castrovilla, Carey Corp, Zak Ebrahim, Jack Gantos, Gail Giles, Amalie Howard, Jenny Hubbard, Bill Konigsberg, Michael Koryta, Daniel Kraus, Stephanie Kuehn, Susan Kuklin, Margo Lanagan, Lorie Langdon, Eric Lindstrom, Sophie Maletsky, Marissa Meyer, Jandy Nelson, Patrick Ness, Mitali Perkins, Kate Racculia, Luke Reynolds, William Ritter, Ginny Rorby, John Scalzi, Neal Shusterman, Andrew Smith, Allan Stratton, Nova Ren Suma, Jillian Tamaki, Mariko Tamaki, Scott Westerfeld, Carol Lynch Williams,  and Suzanne Young.

These were the YA Authors who came to my table and a little of what they said (any inaccuracies are solely my fault):

Photo Jul 05, 10 53 23 AMMitali Perkins talked about her latest middle grade book called Tiger Boy. 

She said that publishers didn’t think young people wanted to read about teen characters from other countries but that hasn’t been the case. Perkins wants young people to read across borders. She said she’s gotten letters from kids from all over the US – like rural Kansas. They connect with her books and there’s a power that readers have over the story. She said that one of her previous books, Bamboo People (2011 YALSA Top Ten Photo Jul 05, 10 54 17 AMBest Fiction for Young Adults), is on twelve state reading lists. It has two boys as the main characters and lots of action and it’s still a popular read, even though it came out in 2010 and is set in Burma. The fact that it’s a coming of age story is universal. Perkins has drawn inspiration for her writing because she said she’s traveled a lot and lived in Thailand, Boston and in the Bay Area. Tiger Boy is a tribute to her dad. He became a talented civil engineer and traveled all over the world. She said she “writes to the boy who doesn’t think he is a reader.”


Photo Jul 05, 11 13 41 AMStephanie Kuehn described her third book Delicate Monsters (after Complicit, 2015 Best Fiction for Young Adults) after Charm & Strange (2014 William C. Morris Award winner).Photo Jan 26, 1 32 40 PM

It’s a psychological mystery, set in Sonoma, CA and it has a lot of darkness to it. It features a female anti-hero. The girl was sent down from boarding school for almost killing another girl. She is cruel. She becomes reacquainted with a boy named Emerson she knew as a kid & they both have a connection with Emerson’s younger brother who sees visions of people dying. It’s told from a third person point-of-view because it’s easier to tell that way as it shifts from the different perspectives of the characters. Kuehn says her main character is a psychopath but there’s a humanity to her too. “We share common experiences – they’re human monsters.”

Continue reading ALA Annual 2015: YALSA YA Author Coffee Klatch Recap

ALA Annual 2015: Day Four Highlights

Last day of the American Library Association conference! YALSA kicked off Monday with the YALSA Membership Meeting and President’s Program. This session is always a great one for YALSA members (and future YALSA members!) to connect with the organization, see fellow members recognized for their achievements, and see the passing of the gavel as a new YALSA president takes office. This year’s meeting was started by now-past president Chris Shoemaker and adjourned by YALSA’s new president, Candice Mack.

The meeting was followed by a Shark Tank themed program in which YALSA members pitched their innovative ideas for creating digital literacy programs for teens at their libraries. The pitches were judged by a panel of “Sharks” and provided tons of inspiration to the audience.

The panel of Sharks
Librarians with awesome ideas
Librarians with awesome ideas

In the afternoon, audiobook fans gathered for the Odyssey Award program. This award, jointly conducted by ALSC and YALSA, recognizes the best in audiobook production for kids and teens. It’s a really fun program to attend, because the audience is treated to live readings from the award winning productions.

The audiobook producers and narrators recognized at today’s program

At the end of the evening, the Hub bloggers wrapped up our conference experience together over good food and conversation.


Oh, and  here are just a few of the ARCs  acquired this conference that I’m going to have to try fit into my suitcase for the flight home.

That brings us to the end of our daily conference coverage, but stay with us– we’ll have some more in-depth post-conference coverage coming your way.

If you were here in Francisco with us, we hope you had a great time. If you weren’t, then we hope to see you next year in Orlando!

-Allison Tran

ALA Annual 2015: Day Three Highlights

Day three of the American Library Association Annual Conference was off to a bright start for YA lit lovers, who gathered at YALSA’s YA Author Coffee Klatch. Kind of like speed dating with authors, this event is a highlight of many attendees’ conference experience.

The amazing group of authors participating in the Klatch.
The amazing group of authors participating in the Klatch.
YALSA members Lalitha Nataraj of Escondido and Kim Christofferson of Salt Lake City eagerly await the authors.
Author Leigh Bardugo talks about her upcoming book, Six of Crows.
It seems like this event gets bigger every year!

Another excellent YALSA session for YA lit fans took place in the afternoon– bestselling author Marie Lu moderated a panel of debut authors whose books feature diversity. The room was packed, and the conversation was fascinating! There was a lot of talk about the intentionality of writing diverse stories, and about who the audience is (spoiler: everybody!).

A full house! This topic and these authors really resonated with the audience.
A full house! This topic and these authors really resonated with the audience.
The fabulous panel and moderator!
Tamara Baltazar and Christopher Estes of Greensboro take a selfie with Marie Lu
YALSA members Tamara Baltazar and Christopher Estes of Greensboro take a selfie with Marie Lu

In the Moscone Center West (where the above session was held), I spotted a gorgeous display of  newly created cover art for classic books.


That’s it for day three… one more day coming up!


-Allison Tran, currently reading an ARC of Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

ALA Annual 2015: Day Two Highlights

It’s a beautiful day in San Francisco, and the American Library Association Annual Conference is in full swing!image

Today started with YALSA 101, which is always an inspiring introduction to the various facets of the organization with lots of advice about how to get involved, from the leadership development opportunities that come with serving on strategic committees to tips for staying on top of all that reading when you’re part of a selection committee. It was also noted in this session that YALSA is one of the best dressed and most productive divisions of ALA. Well, absolutely!


Next up was the Margaret A. Edwards Award brunch honoring this year’s recipient, Sharon Draper, who may have moved the entire audience to tears. Standing ovation!

The afternoon brought the Teen Feedback session for the Best Fiction for Young Adults committee– one of the highlights of each conference for many YA librarians. We love to hear the insight and honesty of these teens who have been reading the BFYA nominations! image

And just for fun: Thompson Reuters was giving away selfie sticks at their booth, as modeled by Muoy Li of Los Angeles, Susanne Sakai of San Francisco, Claire Arnold of Washington, D.C., and Lynn Kysh of Los Angeles. Smile!
imageMore to come tomorrow!

-Allison Tran, currently wanting to read Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (I got an ARC!)

ALA Annual 2015: Day One Highlights

Hello from beautiful San Francisco! Several thousand librarians are descending upon the city this weekend for the ALA Annual Conference, to talk about our profession, share ideas, and gain new knowledge of trends relevant to our work– including the realmoof YA literature! YALSA has a lot going on at this conference, and we here at The Hub will be doing our best to bring it all to you.

image First up: actually getting to the conference. Never overlook a plane ride for its potential as a reader’s advisory occasion! My seatmate on the plane was reading Paper Towns by JohnGreen, and you know a librarian never passes up the chance to make book recommendations. Since she was enjoying John Green, I suggested she might try Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.


The entrance to the exhibits hall decked out with an eye-catching Golden Gate Bridge replica- very festive!

And here’s the same spot about ten minutes before the exhibits grand opening… librarian mob! image

The exhibits hall on Friday evening was quite a rush… books everywhere! Librarians everywhere!


And then, the icing on top of an already fantastic evening– the Printz reception. Being in a room filled with fellow YA lit lovers celebrating some of the best YA books of the past year… it’s a kind of exhilaration that never gets old.

Stay tuned for more conference coverage coming up tomorrow!

-Allison Tran, currently reading Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby

San Francisco, Here I Come!

Are you heading to ALA annual this year? Are you staying home, but wishing you could join the festivities in San Francisco? Here are some young adult books set in San Francisco to help you feel like you are there already:

fire horse girl The Fire Horse Girl by Kay Honeyman

Jade Moon is offered the opportunity to join her father in immigrating to the United States. Soon, however, she finds herself trapped on Angel Island with no promise of ever seeing her new country. The only way she can get off the island is to disguise herself as a boy. Can this fire horse girl survive the streets of 1920s San Francisco?

Bitter Melon by Cara Chow

Frances’s mother dreams of the day that Frances graduates from high school and begins to pursue a career as a doctor.  She encourages Frances to work very hard in school and has forbidden any extra-curricular activities.  A computer glitch lands Frances in a speech class, though, and there she begins to find her true calling.

Miss Fortune Cookie by Lauren Bjorkman

Erin is the brains behind the popular advice blog Miss Fortune Cookie. When one of her friends writes in for advice, however, Erin must face the real-world consequences of her blog’s advice.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (2013 Alex Award)

Clay was just looking for any job that paid when he walked into Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore, but he soon finds himself wrapped up in mysteries and puzzles and enigmas.  Continue reading San Francisco, Here I Come!

Get Excited for YA Lit at ALA Annual 2015!

AC15_LearnMore_250x124Shout it out, Hub readers– are we going to see you at the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco in a few weeks? Quite a few of your friendly Hub bloggers will be there, and we’d love to say hi!

YALSA has a fantastic line-up of programs to help librarians sharpen their teen services skills, including a bunch of amazing events and sessions focusing on YA literature. You can read about all of YALSA’s offerings in detail on the YALSA wiki, but I’m here today to give you the highlights for YA lit lovers. Mark your conference schedule for the following!

Friday, June 26

YALSA and Booklist Present: The Michael L. Printz Program and Reception
June 26, 8-10PM. Tickets — $34
Kick off your Annual Conference by attending the best celebration of YA lit all year: the Michael L. Printz Program and Reception! Jandy Nelson, the 2015 Michael L. Printz winner for I’ll Give You the Sun, will speak about her writing. The honor book authors Jenny Hubbard (And We Stay); Jessie Ann Foley (The Carnival at Bray); Andrew Smith (Grasshopper Jungle); and author Mariko Tamaki, and illustrator Jillian Tamaki (This One Summer) will answer questions in an engaging panel format, followed by a reception. The annual award is administered by YALSA and sponsored by Booklist Publications.

Saturday, June 27

Margaret A. Edwards Brunch
June 27, 10:30am-12:00pm, Tickets — $39
Everyone likes brunch, right? Now add an AMAZING author to the allure of brunch, and you have a can’t-miss event. Sharon M. Draper, the winner of the 2015 Margaret A. Edwards Award, will speak about her writing. The award honors a significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens, and I can’t wait to hear what wisdom Sharon Draper will bring to this event.

BFYA Teen Feedback Session
1:00 – 2:30 Moscone Convention Center, Esplande 302
Want to hear what teens really think about what they’re reading? Come hear Bay Area teens react to the books nominated for this year’s Best Fiction for Young Adults list. They’re giving the BFYA committee their feedback, no holds barred, and it’s guaranteed to be brilliant, honest, and awesome.  Continue reading Get Excited for YA Lit at ALA Annual 2015!

ALA Annual 2015: Don’t Miss the Stonewall Book Awards Program

AC15_LearnMore_250x124Are you going to be at ALA Annual this year in beautiful San Francisco? We hope so! And if you’re going to be there, we have some info for you from our friends at ALA’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table about an event you’ll want to attend.

The Stonewall Book Awards Program will be FREE and open to all this year.  Join in celebrating the winning and honored authors Monday, June 29, 2015 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm in the Moscone Convention Center 3005 (W).

A fitting end to GLBT Book Month, the very best in GLBT literature will be recognized at the 2015 Stonewall Book Awards Program. Sponsored by the ALA Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT), the Stonewall Book Awards is the first and longest enduring book award series for GLBT literature. The award recognizes English-language works of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience in children’s and young adult literature, literature, and non-fiction. Since the award’s inception in 1971, more than 150 titles have been honored.

You may have read this year’s Stonewall Young Adult Honor books, Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun and Susan Kuklin’s Beyond Magenta, for the 2015 Hub Reading Challenge—  so add the event to your ALA Scheduler:, and we hope to see you there.