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YA Wednesday: Books!

In this edition of YA Wednesday, we remind you that books are among the most rewarding, entertaining, educational, practical, FUN, portable, (did I mention potentially life-altering?), and affordable gifts for the holidays. Here are just a few to consider...

AcurseGraceling_cover_jpeg AbsoluteMadappleMethemissing

Congrats to Morris Award shortlisters!
This week, YALSA announced the short list for their first ever Morris Award (full name: the William C. Morris YA Debut Award), which will honor one of these outstanding 2008 YA books by first-time authors:

A Curse Dark as Gold, by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Graceling, by Kristin Cashore
Absolute Brightness, by James Lecesne
Madapple, by Christina Meldrum
Me, the Missing, and the Dead, by Jenny Valentine

The winner will be announced in early 2009. (found via Tasha Saecker on Kids Lit)

The end of a monarchy...
Foreverprincess As fans of Meg Cabot are well aware by now, the series that introduced so many girls to Princess Mia is ending on January 6, 2009 with the publication of Princess Diaries X: Forever Princess. Cabot has been posting updates about the big January 9 farewell party/benefit for the New York Public Library on her blog:

"The Switchblade Kittens will not only perform at the event–they’re putting out an actual CD of songs devoted entirely to the Princess Diaries series (and a few of my other books)!"

(Cuteness warning: when I opened the Switchblade Kittens' website, a very sparkly song called "Magic Cat" started blaring out of my computer.) Their Princess Diaries CD, "Rebel Princess," will be on sale at the event. And there will be tiaras designed by 25 celebrities. Tiaras!

Mia (wink) is also posting updates on her blog (with a little help from Meg) about Ransom My Heart, the romance novel Mia wrote (also with help from Meg) in Forever Princess. It's coming out on January 6, too.

Publisher's Weekly had a story about the series last week, with this bittersweet quote from Cabot:

“I keep thinking of things that would be great for her next story, and then I have to remind myself that there will be no next one. It has taken a lot of adjustment.”

Side note: Readergirlz is featuring Meg Cabot this month and one of her (non-PD) books, How to be Popular.

Guys who write about guys who...
The always insightful and outspoken Horn Book editor Roger Sutton (Read Roger) reviewed two YA novels in the New York Times last week. They are both realist fiction written by guys about guys, which is, apparently, a bit of an anomaly in the YA world.

Paper On Paper Towns, by John Green:

"What’s a guy-writer to do? He can write for younger children, where the male audience is not yet lost, or he can write in a genre like science fiction or suspense, which hold on to a male readership in a way domestic fiction does not. He can write about girls, of course, although I’m having a hard time coming up with the name of any male author in the young adult genre who has done this with more than one-off success.

Or he can write about what boys find so fascinating about girls. John Green is the master of this."

On Black Rabbit Summer, by Kevin Brooks: Blackrabbit

"...he knows how to keep a story going and gathering steam, and plain- speaking has a virtue of its own: “ ‘I’m a police officer,’ ” the narrator’s father says. “ ‘I believe in what I do.’ He looked at me. ‘And you’re my son, and I believe in you, too.’

Those are sentiments that get where the boys are, in case you girls are wondering."

Quick links...
Mancusiwalkerparty Galley Cat posted photos of Melissa Walker and Mari Mancusi at Butter, "the restaurant on Gossip Girl," where the two celebrated their latest books, Violet in Private (Walker) and Gamer Girl (Mancusi), with games. You know, games: Connect Four, Hungry Hungry Hippos, etc.

On The Millions, Rachel Fershleiser, co-editor of Not Quite What I Was Planning (remember the six-word memoirs?) raved about Frank Portman's King Dork (which came out in paperback in February of this year):Kingdork

"It's as funny and filthy and filled with the inhumanities of high school loserdom as everyone has said... But for me, the true brilliance lies in the complex questions of our antihero's dead father and the coded messages left behind in his library of classic books. King Dork is the only book I've ever read in which the mystery is never resolved, and I finished feeling completely satisfied anyway. For that near-impossible feat, this story is as sophisticated as it is scatological."

Rapunzel Bookends reviewed the inventive graphic Western, Rapunzel's Revenge.

Old Hag (Lizzie Skurnick) interviewed Kelly Link (Pretty Monsters, one of three Amazon Best of 2008 books in this post) last Saturday at the Indie & Small Press Book Fair in NYC. Many announced it, but no one wrote about it. Did they? Anyone? New Yorkers? Were you there? We need details!--Heidi

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Re Guys who write about guys who...

Have a look at John Marsden. Australian author, very well known, widely translated, with many YA books written based on young female protagonists. (In particular, the "Tomorrow When The War Began" series - it won numerous European YA lit awards).

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