At the Friday morning YA crossover panel—featuring three authors live and in technicolor and one author writing in answers from a quarantine bubble—I was once again reminded of how exciting the coming weeks and months of the publishing landscape will be.
Emily X.R. Pan, Casey McQuiston, Iris Gottlieb, and Sayantani DasGupta all shared insight into their writing process, their upcoming releases, and what writing for a YA audience, as opposed to a primarily adult audience, means to them.
Casey McQuiston was giving a brief synopsis of their upcoming title, I Kissed Shara Wheeler, which is a queer YA rom-com set against the backdrop off a less than accepting community, which resonated with every audience member watching the news these days.
While talking about the importance of queer representation on the page, Casey McQuiston said something that really stuck out to me as she ended her train of thought.
“A little less alone, a little more hopeful,” is how they hope readers feel when finishing their book.
How can we as librarians, especially librarians working with young people, make them feel a little less alone AND a little more hopeful? What books can we connect our readers with that will not only allow them to see their experiences on the page, but hope for a brighter future?
What is your library doing to make kids—especially kids from marginalized backgrounds—feel a little less alone, and a little more hopeful?
Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.
Guest conference blogger Aryssa Damron (she/her) is a children’s librarian with the District of Columbia Public Library system and a member of the ALSC membership committee. This is her first PLA, and she’s so excited to attend in person, and present in person on Thursday the 24th! Aryssa is looking forward to learning more about some of the great new books coming out this year and meeting other librarians from around the country. Her favorite snack is grapes and pepperjack cheese, always in the exact same bite.