Even though I work in a high school library, I am shockingly uninterested in Young Adult (YA) librarianship. That said, a couple of pieces of noteworthy YA information have come my way in the past few days (Andrea, this one's for you!).
While surfing knitting blogs I came upon a reference to an article from the Guardian UK--"Read to Live, Live to Rock" about a band called BloodHag. This Seattle band writes and performs songs exclusively about science fiction writers and frequently gigs libraries in hopes of encouraging reading among teenagers. A long interview with three of the members (including Professor JK Stratton, whose parents are both librarians) can be found on the SciFi website, Strange Horizons. I am not a big fan of the speed metal, but I think that I could drag myself out to see a band that tosses books into the audience at every one of their shows.
As I scoured the web for more information about my new favorite band, BloodHag, I found myself at the Library Grrls livejournal where I learned the sad news of the death of Paula Danziger. In recent years Paula had become well-known for her Amber Brown series, however I knew Paula's work from when I was a young girl.
I don't know how the YA age bracket breaks down, but as I remember I read her books when I was around 11 or 12. The protaganists in her books were maybe a year or two older than I was at the time. I guess that sounds about correct. You want to read about what comes ahead, right? I suppose that would explain my love of George Saunders' view of the not so distant future.
Anyway, I used to babysit for a couple down the street--a pediatrician and a school teacher (maybe not so oddly, their children were terrible brats). When my parents split up one of them handed me a copy of the Pistachio Prescription. I was a regular reader even at that age, but beyond the beloved Judy Blume most of the books I read were set in another time or place distant from my reality. I loved that first Paula Danziger book and went on to read several others and each one held a little piece of what was going on in my life at the time.
I was terribly sad to hear of Paula's passing on July 8th. However, I am comforted that her work will live on through There's a Bat in Bunk Five and The Cat Ate my Gymsuit.