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Archives - September 2014

Sure, Alex Myers --- the protagonist in John Feinstein's new series, The Triple Threat --- is a fictional 14-year-old who plays football, basketball and baseball. But that doesn't mean that John didn't get inspiration from somewhere. First was his own childhood. Second was his favorite series growing up, Chip Hilton Sports, which followed a young athlete dealing with all of the triumphs and challenges of the school sports world. In the below blog post, John talks about how Chip influenced him throughout his youth and how Alex is both similar and different. 
Christine Heppermann uses fairytale characters and tropes to explore how teen girls are taught to think about themselves, their bodies and their roles in society in her new book POISONED APPLES. She doesn't do this in the form of a novel or short story collection, though --- she uses 50 poems!  Below, she explains why she thinks people are bit afraid of poetry...and why they shouldn't be.  
Last weekend, Teen Board Member Maya B. got the chance to go to one of the most exciting book fairs in the country  --- the Brooklyn Book Festival! In her post, she breaks down one of her favortie panels --- New York, New York. Read below to learn more about her experience, and be sure to check out our other Brooklyn Book Festival post, from Teenreads intern Rebecca Czochor!
Last weekend, intern Rebecca Czochor got the chance to go to one of the most exciting book fairs in the country --- The Brooklyn Book Festival. In her post, she breaks down the three YA panels she saw, which focused on love, gender and fantasy. Read below to hear more about her experience, and be sure to check out our other post about the Festival from Teen Board member Maya B.!
What could be better than hearing three of your favorite authors talk on the same panel, and then getting a chance to meet them? Not much, according to Kate F., Teen Board member. Read below to see her blog post about hearing Sarah J. Maas, Susan Dennard and Erica O'Rourke at Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville, Illinois.
What would you do if you told your best friend your deepest secret --- and than she told everyone within the hour? That's exactly what happened to Paige Rawl, who divulged her HIV positive status to her friend and soon after was bullied by the entire school with nowhere to turn for help. At 15 she found herself facing a bottle of pills, but pulled herself back, fought the system about bullying laws and has become an inspiration for teens everywhere. Paige tells her story in her new memoir, POSITIVE, and gives us a brief taste in her blog post below, where she explains what  happened to her in middle school and why HIV education is so important. Read below, and be sure to check out our interview with Paige, an excerpt from POSITIVE, and contest, where you can win a copy of the book!
At Teenreads, we love hearing what teens are reading, devouring, loving, not being able to put down even when they're walking to school or in the back of the get the picture. While we mostly hear from teens in the United States, it's extra special to hear from teens around the world! In this blog post, 12-year-old Pragya B. from Kolkata, India, tells us what's hot in her community.     
Is there some element that is present in the majority of popular and enjoyable young adult novels?  I've found that practically all books written for a pre-teen or teenage audience contain a young character who is somehow empowered, whether it is because of a magical ability or because of an opportunity or realization. I call this plot element Sudden Teenage Empowerment Syndrome. In some stories, such as the Harry Potter series, Sudden Teenage Empowerment Syndrome is obvious. But other characters are changed or empowered in more subtle ways. I've tried to make a few general categories of teenage empowerment that most books can fit into.
YA author A.J. Betts’ novels SHUTTERSPEED and WAVELENGTH were “completely fictional, plucked from thin air.” But her newest book, ZAC & MIA, had real life inspiration --- the teenagers at the cancer ward in Princess Margaret Hospital in Perth, Australia, where she teaches. Below, AJ explains how her real life experiences influenced the book, as well as its main themes of isolation, love, courage and beauty.