Friday, July 24, 2009

ALA Annual: YA Coffee Klatch

During Annual, I had the great pleasure of attending the YA Coffee Klatch. This might just sound like a casual morning session, which it is, but it is a casual morning session with about 30 different YA authors that rotate to your table and you get to talk to!

Featured authors at this event were: Libba Bray, Jim Benton, Elizabeth C. Bunce, Stephen G. Bloom, Michael Buckley, Janet Lee Carey, Sarah Dessen, Simone Elkeles, Margarita Engle, Garret Freymann-Weyr, Lorie Ann Grover, Julie Halpern, Silas House, James Kennedy, Stephanie Kuehnert, Margo Lanagan, E. Lockhart, David Lubar, Melina Marchetta, Lisa McMann, Christopher Myers, Kimberly Pauley, Richard Peck, Sara Ryan, S. L. Rottman, Lisa Schroeder, Yasmin Shiraz, Andrew Smith, Jeri Smith-Ready, Kristina Springer, Maggie Stiefvater, Pamela Todd, Todd Tucker, Jacqueline Woodson, Patricia Wrede.

Due to timing, I did not get talk to all of these authors, but I did get to talk to a few and here are some things I learned:

Andrew Smith is the author of Ghost Medicine has been commissioned to write four more books. His most recent book involves two brothers during the Vietnam War taking a roadtrip. It is told from 5 differing perspectives.

Jamie Kennedy is the writer of The Order of Odd Fish which is a comedy/fantasy that is a cross between Roald Dahl and Monty Python. It deals a lot with dubious/impossible knowledge. The basic plot is the child has been born to destroy the world and they hide her away until she becomes 13 and realizes that unless she stops this, the prophecy will come true.

David Lubar is probably most known for Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie and his Hidden Talents series. He will be releasing a new book in August called My Rotten Life. He also has 4 short story collections with 35 stories each and does school visits.

Todd Tucker is the 2009 Alex Award Winner for his first novel Over and Under which is a "boy book" about two 14 year old boys in 1979 in a factory town haboring two fugitives. it contains some autobiographical elements. For example in real life and in this book his mom ran a secret shelter for abused and battered women. He has four other books about 20th Century American History.

Kimberly Pauley wrote It Sucks to Be Me, a humorus vampire story with no vampire slayers as characters. The plot is that the parents are vampires and upon her birthday the main character has to decide whether or not she wants to be a vampire before time runs out. The new Sucks to Be Me sequel will be released in August of 2010.

Margarita Engle wrote The Surrender Tree, The Poet Slave, and Tropical Secrets. She writes primarily historical fiction with the topic of german/jewish refugees in the 1950's that were turned away from New York and sent to Cuba. Cuban volunteers taught the refugees Spanish and provided safe habors and showed the kindness of strangers. The Surrender Tree is being re-released as a bilingual book.

Pamela Todd has wrote The Blind Faith Hotel with environmental themes and characters with relationships to the natural world. In this novel, the reader will see a family in crisis with issues such as home, freedom, and belonging, as well as approaches to sibling relationships.

Sara Ryan has brought The Rules for Hearts to us. It has to do with that transitional summer between high school and college with a bohemian environment, a shakespear environment, and librarian all playing a part. Currently, she is working on a graphic novel called The Empress of the World where a boy helps his mom run estate sales and falls in love with a girl who's mom is a hoarder. There is a website showing the beginnings of this novel. It deals with addressing the objects of significance in our lives and how writers can give value to objects by writing stories about them. The website has various stories about different objects found at flea markets and rummage sales. Do these stories change an object's value? Read the stories and find out!

And the last author I had the chance to meet was:

Yasmin Shiraz wrote Retaliation, which is inspired by a true story dealing with girls and violence. A documentary about this issue is being released in September by Follett called "Can She Be Saved?" She is also working on a new book called The Hive which is about teen HIV infection in the high school setting.

There was a lot of information all at once, but well worth it!

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