|Lauren Myracle, 2012 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Winner|
Photo by Harper Point Photography
ALAN Online News - August 2012
In this newsletter, you'll find a couple of "Help Wanted" ads. ALAN is looking for a new webmaster, and the 2013 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee is recruiting new members.
It was a year ago that I responded to an announcement about an editor needed for ALAN's online newsletter. I'd attended my first workshop in Orlando the year before and came away determined to get involved with ALAN. For years, I'd read Joan Kaywell's ALAN News of Note emails religiously. Now I wanted to find out more about the organization, and working with this latest outreach effort suddenly seemed like a way to both keep in touch with ALAN and to contribute.
If you are at all inclined to apply for the job as webmaster or to help with the AEW committee, go for it. You won't find a better group of people to work with. Expect a warm welcome, friendly emails, and professional attitudes.
Speaking of Joan Kaywell, it was recently announced that she will be this year's recipient of the Ted Hipple Service Award, which will be be presented at the ALAN breakfast on November 17th. The next newsletter will have more details about Joan and the Hipple Award, but I wanted to say an early congratulations to someone who made me feel a part of ALAN years before I ever attended that first workshop. Thanks, Joan, for all you've done both for ALAN and young adult literature.
Anne McLeod, Editor
ALAN Online News
|Ballot Deadline October 1|
ALAN members should have received a final paper ballot recently for the election of next year's President-Elect and Board Members. Please mail by October 1 to James Bucky Carter.
Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Winner, Finalists Announced
Shine by Lauren Myracle 2012 Winner
The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN) of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is pleased and proud to announce the winner of the 2012 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award for Young Adult Fiction.
The 2012 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Winner is Shine by Lauren Myracle (Amulet Books).
The 2012 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award finalists are:
- The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow (HarperCollins)
- Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (Philomel Books)
- Blood Red Road by Moira Young (Margaret K. McElderry Books)
- Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall (Lee & Low Books)
Established in 2008 to honor the wishes of young adult author Amelia Elizabeth Walden, the award allows for the sum of $5,000 to be presented annually to the author of a young adult title selected by the ALAN Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award Committee as demonstrating a positive approach to life, widespread teen appeal, and literary merit.
All Walden Award titles will be identified by an award sticker-gold for the winner and silver for the four finalists. The winning title and finalists will be honored on Monday, November 19th at the 2012 ALAN Workshop in Las Vegas, Nevada, and will be invited to participate in a panel discussion.
The 2012 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee would like to thank: the Amelia Elizabeth
Walden Award Foundation, the ALAN Executive Council, the ALAN Board of Directors, NCTE, and
the thirty publishers who submitted titles for consideration.
The 2012 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee considered nearly 300 young adult titles
throughout the process. The committee was comprised of eleven members representing the
university, K-12 school, and library communities. They are: Ricki Ginsberg, Committee Chair, Classroom Teacher, Rockville High School, Vernon, CT; Wendy Glenn, Past Chair Associate Professor, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT; Carolyn Angus, Director, George G. Stone Center for Children's Books, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA; Jonatha Basye,Librarian, Ralston High School, Ralston, NE; Lois Buckman, Librarian, Caney Creek High School, Conroe, TX; Jeff Harr, Classroom Teacher, Theodore Roosevelt High School, Kent, OH; Jeff Kaplan, Associate Professor, College of Education, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL; Kellee Moye, Classroom Teacher, Hunter's Creek Middle School, Orlando, FL; Mindi Rench, Classroom Teacher, Northbrook Junior High School, Northbrook, IL; Lois Stover, Professor, St. Mary's College of Maryland, St Mary's City, MD; and Diane Tuccillo, Teen Services Librarian, Poudre River Public Library District, Fort Collins, CO.
For more information on the award, please visit ALAN Online: The Official Site of the Assembly onLiterature for Adolescents.
Call for 2013 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Selection Committee Members
Those interested in serving on the ALAN Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee may self- nominate by completing a self-nomination form. Members of the selection committee must be: 1) ALAN members and 2) classroom teachers, university professors, or librarians. To avoid potential conflicts of interest, authors and publishers are not eligible to apply.
To participate in the selection of the 2013 winner, please send completed self-nomination forms to Lois Buckman
, the 2013 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee Chair, by September 15, 2012.
Service on the committee requires a commitment to reading a wide range of YA fiction and consulting with other committee members. All of the committee work is done in an online forum. Access to the internet is essential. Ability to read critically is also important. It is expected that deadlines be met and that all committee members are active discussants during the process.
The Committee Chair, striving for wide representation of members in terms of professional position, grade level of population served, and geographic diversity, will extend an invitation to potential committee members who show an interest in serving. Those selected will serve for one year with the possibility of reappointment.
For more information about the award and self-nomination forms for those interested in serving on the award committee, go to the AEW Award Committeee blog at the ALAN website.
Register Now for 2012 ALAN Workshop
The ALAN Workshop is always part of NCTE's post-conference sessions, but you do not have to be registered for NCTE to attend ALAN. In fact, ALAN president cj Bott recently blogged about the process of signing up for the workshop and breakfast. Remember, an ALAN Workshop registration includes a year's membership, plus a box of books for you to carry home. Quite a deal!
It's time to reserve rooms too. Here's the link to the MGM Grand Resort and Casino.
Got a fantastic shot of Scott Westerfeld from the ALAN breakfast? Run into Rebecca Stead at the reception and get a friend to capture your moment with the Newbery Medalist? ALAN President cj Bott plans to have a slideshow of scenes from the conference running when we reassemble after breaks. Email pictures to Teri Lesesne, who has agreed to coordinate the project.
Teri's email is ALANExecutiveSecretary@gmail.com.
Deadlines for ALAN Foundation and Gallo Grants
|ALAN Foundation Grant for research in young adult literature: Applications due September 15th.
Gallo Grants for early career educators to attend ALAN Workshop for the first time: Applications due September first.
Find more information about both grant programs at http://community.alan-ya.org/ALANYA/ALAN/Grants/
Spotlight on an ALAN Member
Elizabeth Stagis, East Hartford High School
Please tell us about what you do, where you teach, your position, how long you've been in education and how long in your current job.
I've been teaching English at East Hartford High School in East Hartford, Connecticut for going on 6 years. I work in a specialized program that serves students who failed the ninth grade. We teach both the 10th grade curriculum, and offer an opportunity for them to earn back their ninth grade credits at the same time. We encounter a lot of behavioral issues, so it's important that I can use relevant and exciting materials with them. YA fiction has been a major help for me.
How do you use YA literature in your classroom?
Copies of The Hunger Games actually disappear out of my classroom. I've been able to teach it for two years now, and the students simply love it. It engages them like nothing else, and I hear fairly often that, "this is the first book I ever actually read!" We hold a full-scale Hunger Games
simulation using balloons outdoors in June, and the students love to make comparisons to the novel afterwards-- writing the reflections and participating in the many discussions that result are some of my students' favorite activities on team. It's even expanded to the other classrooms-- all the team teachers have now read the book and bring elements of it into their classes!
What YA books have you read in the last few months that stand out for you and why?
Along with The Hunger Games, I get to teach Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher. One of the most powerful moments of the 2011 ALAN Conference was Crutcher's rousing speech about justice for children and the idea that we are all accountable, even witnesses. It was near the time of the Penn State scandal breaking, and he was rightly outraged. He publicly called out the vague "university officials," coaches, and any other adult who may have even heard about the malicious goings-on at the school and who did nothing or stopped at simply fulfilling the duties of their job. He received a standing ovation in Chicago, and I've been trying to spread his message since.
An unforgettable ALAN moment?
I received a copy of Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly at the conference, was lucky enough to meet her, and I simply love the book, much as I loved A Northern Light. Historical fiction is a favorite of mine, and this book did not disappoint. She does not shy away from the dangerous psychological issues her character is suffering through, while simultaneously weaving a fantastic and exciting story of heartbreak and excitement for long-dead historical figures. This is a novel I will read again and again.
What did you take away from your first ALAN Workshop?
My first ALAN workshop was a surprise to me. I was not surprised at the number of people excited about YA books, I was surprised at the camaraderie and kindness of the authors. I got the impression that the YA author group is more of a community. They were friendly and familiar with one another, and I loved how open they were to their readers and fans. I never felt as if the authors did not appreciate the people present, and I was more than comfortable chatting with all of them. To sum up the event in a neat package, I overheard a conference attendee say "this is like being backstage at a rock concert for me!" I couldn't agree more.
Elizabeth, along with Marsha Boyd of Campbell High School in Smyrna, Georgia, received a Gallo Grant to attend the 2011 workshop in Chicago. If you're an early career teacher and hope to attend ALAN for the first time, please apply for the Gallo grant by September 1.
Sponsored by the ALAN Anti-Censorship Committee
Arguably, our students might be considered the most tragic victims of censorship; they are too often the passive recipients of adult decisions over which they have little, if any, control. Given the fact that the consequences of censorship can touch them directly, students deserve to understand the issue and be afforded the time and resources to develop for themselves a well-reasoned perspective.
To support the explicit teaching of censorship in school and classroom communities, we offer the following bibliography of young adult titles that address censorship as part of the narrative, exposing readers to the complexities of free speech and giving them insight into how such issues might come to fruition in their lived realities. Thanks go to cj Bott for the suggestion. If any other titles come to mind, please don't hesitate to let us know (email@example.com). Enjoy!
Avi. (1993). Nothing but the Truth. Avon Flare.
Due to poor grades in his English class, ninth-grader Philip Malloy is banned from the
track team. Hoping to get transferred to another class due to his assumption that the
teacher doesn't like him, Philip refuses to honor the school policy of silence during the
playing of the national anthem. The consequences are larger than he anticipates and raise
questions of freedom and patriotism nationwide.
Bartoletti, S.C. (2008). The Boy Who Dared. Scholastic.
During World War II in Nazi Germany, 16-year-old Helmut Hubner listens to the BBC news on an illegal shortwave radio and learns that he and his fellow citizens are being duped by their government. Attempting to reveal the truth, he writes and distributes an underground newsletter. Captured, tried, and sentenced to death for treason, Helmut reflects upon his experiences while awaiting death in his jail cell.
Cashore, K. (2012). Bitterblue. Dial.
Eight years after the events described in Graceling, Cashore's first novel in this trilogy, Bitterblue has ascended to the throne and serves as Queen of Monsea. She comes into power but has very little, as the influence of her cruel father survives him. Her advisors tell her nothing of her father's policies and doings and seem hell bent on simply forgetting the past, even if it means losing important traditions, values, and stories. As Bitterblue explores the community while in disguise, she determines that the only way to move forward is to look back.
Crutcher, C. (2009). Angry Management: Three Novellas. Greenwillow.
In these three pieces, Crutcher revisits characters from his earlier novels to explore the theme of anger. Relative to censorship, "Montana Wild" focuses on student journalist, Montana West, originally featured in The Sledding Hill (2005). She encounters resistance when she writes an article on medicinal marijuana, ultimately battling it out with the right-wing school board president, who also happens to be her father.
Crutcher, C. (2005). The Sledding Hill. Greenwillow.
Eddie Proffitt's father and best friend die in violent accidents just prior to the start of his freshman year of high school. Billy, the best friend, continues to offer advice from beyond the grave, aiming to help Eddie grapple with complex questions as part of the healing process. With Billy's support, Eddie chooses to support a school assigned YA novel, Warren Peece, in spite of the local fundamentalist church's challenge.
Doctorow, C. (2008). Little Brother. Tor.
Little Brother lures readers into a vision of the near future when technological innovation offers convenience and flexibility but also limits personal freedoms. The novel's tech- savvy teen protagonists find themselves near the site of a terrorist attack. Despite their innocence, they become fugitives against a seemingly democratic government that feels threatened by their knowledge and suspicious behavior. They suffer psychological torture and humiliation during an interrogation, lose personal privacy when their computers and phones are tapped, and suffer the loss of their right to assemble in protest.
Garden, N. (1999). The Year They Burned the Books. Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.
Jamie Crawford, senior editor of her high school newspaper, publishes an opinion piece in support of the school's new policy to distribute free condoms to students as part of the sex ed curriculum. A newly elected and highly conservative school board member takes offense and rallies others in the community to oppose both the curriculum and Jamie's voice. Amidst the controversy, Jamie begins to explore her sexual identity, while her best friend, Terry, falls in love with a boy whose parents are homophobic.
Hentoff, N. (1982). The Day They Came to Arrest the Book. Delacorte.
A parent's objection to the English class reading of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn inspires dissension among members of the George Mason High School community. Barney Roth, editor of the school newspaper, attempts to shed light on the issue by exposing several examples of censorship in the school's recent history. Hentoff's balanced examination of censorship honors multiple perspectives and educates thinkers on both sides.
Lasky, K. (1994). Memoirs of a Bookbat. Harcourt.
After Harper Jessup's parents are "reborn," the family travels across the country speaking out against blasphemy on behalf of F.A.C.E. (Family Action for Christian Values) and F.I.S.T. (Families Involved in Saving Traditional Values). Their daughter, however, finds solace and value in the very literature they despise; out of self-preservation, she learns to hide her secret. After her parents demand her more active involvement in their efforts, however, Harper accepts that their values are not her own and reveals her true self in an act of independence.
Makkai, R. (2011). The Borrower. Viking Adult.
In this adult novel, children's librarian, Lucy Hull, befriends ten-year-old patron, Ian Drake, a precocious, dedicated reader whose mother doesn't approve of such frivolity. When Ian's mother enrolls him in antigay classes taught by celebrity Pastor Bob, Ian goes where he knows he'll be most safe - the library. Lucy, sympathetic to his situation, agrees to travel with Ian when he chooses to run away.
Miles, B. (1980). Maudie and Me and the Dirty Book. Knopf.
Set in Sussex, MA during the 1970s, the novel centers on eleven-year-old Kate. She and a classmate, Maudie, volunteer to participate in an inter-school reading program designed to help younger readers gain proficiency and interest. As Kate reads a book about dogs, discussion focuses on the birth of a puppy described in one scene. In response, the children ask questions about reproduction and proudly describe their own parts - "I've got a vagina!!! I've got a penis!!!" Adults in the community are outraged and go after the "smut" running rampant in the their school.
Peck, R. (1995). The Last Safe Place on Earth. Delacorte.
Todd is a high school sophomore counting the days until he is old enough to attain his driver's license and enjoy the freedom he assumes will accompany it. He and his family live in a Christmas card home on Tranquility Lane in Walden Woods. They discover, however, that their seemingly idyllic locale cannot protect them. Todd's younger sister, Marnie, finds herself under the spell of her religious fundamentalist babysitter, Laurel, a quiet and demure girl who hides behind her fanatical faith to conceal the truth about her dysfunctional family.
Reed, M.J. (2011) Americus. First Second.
This graphic novel features Neil Barton, a soon-to-be high schooler and a bit of an outsider. He and his best friend, Danny, share a fascination with their favorite epic fantasy series, "The Chronicles of Apathea Ravenchilde." When Danny's mother declares that the books promote witchcraft, she fears for her son's life, sends him away to military school, and attempts to save other people's children by working to ban the titles from the library. Like his heroic Apathea, Neil must find the courage within to battle forces of evil.
Zusak, M. (2006). The Book Thief. Knopf.
Liesel Meminger lives with her foster parents in Germany during World War II. Drawn to words, she makes a habit of stealing books, even in a time when free expression is suppressed and attempts to uphold it are dangerous. Told through the thoughtful, honest voice of Death, the novel explores matters of truth and consequence, oppression and resilience, and the value of stories and those who tell them.
- Wendy Glenn, Chair, ALAN Anti-Censorship Committee
ALAN Seeks Webmaster
ALAN (Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the National Council of Teachers of English) is seeking a Web Services Manager for its ALAN Online Connected Community, the premiere Web 2.0 presence for professionals who teach, promote, study, and advocate for young adult literature. The deadline for applications is October 1, 2012.
The Web Services Manager is responsible for designing, arranging, and administering the online community, including processing access requests and creating and maintaining forums, libraries, and blogs. In addition, the Web Services Manager serves as a member of the Public Relations Committee, which is charged with promoting social media connections.
List of Qualifications:
1. Excellent verbal and written communications skills and a self-motivated personality.
2. Experience in web publishing and administration. No coding experience is required, but experience--or a willingness to gain experience--with the Higher Logic Connected Community content management system is required.
3. Experience with file uploading, documents processing, email, etc. is required.
4. Ability to delegate, recruit moderators and other volunteers, and manage a variety of contributors.
5. Ability to work with the ALAN Executive Committee, ALAN Board, contributors, moderators, and members.
6. Willingness to seek and establish marketing relationships to support the growth of the ALAN Connected Community.
* Communicate with the ALAN Executive Committee on a regular basis regarding content, tasks, marketing, sponsorship strategies, and community management.
* Work with the Public Relations Committee and ALAN Executive Committee to promote a strong social media presence.
* Design and arrange for various committees, groups, microsites, and forums for ALAN committees and special interest groups.
* Attend and report to the ALAN Board of Directors meeting at NCTE each November.
* Coordinate with platform provider, Higher Logic, to improve the community and to solve any technical issues.
* Work with other ALAN publications and editors to post content, announcements, and materials.
* Follow all established policies and guidelines according to the ALAN Constitution.
The Web Services Manager will be appointed by the ALAN Executive Committee by November 1, 2012. The term of the appointment is three years beginning in November. The Web Services Manager does receive an annual stipend and complimentary registration to the ALAN Workshop each year.
Interested applicants should send a letter detailing experience and qualifications to ALAN Executive Director, Teri Lesesne, at ALANExecutiveSecretary@gmail.com by October 1, 2012.
YA Links in Popular Media
Thanks to Teri Lesesne, James Blasingame, and Joan Kaywell who sent in links to share in the newsletter this month. I apologize if I missed other contributors. If you find an online video, article, or other resource you'd like to share, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, makes a rousing case for libraries in this video from YALSA's Printz Award Program earlier this year.
Voting is over in NPR's 100 Best Ever Teen Novels poll, but discussion continues elsewhere online about how the original list of books included only two authors who aren't White (Sherman Alexie, Sandra Cisneros) and about what do we mean by "best" anyway. You can see the top 100 titles selected by voters here
|Recent Publications by ALAN Past Presidents |
ALAN's fortieth anniversary is approaching, which means that over the years, many teachers, professors, librarians, and all-around YA literature fans have served as the organization's president.
These past presidents are a prolific group, as their writing, research, and advocacy demonstrates. A children's book about a little known baseball hero, professional articles aimed at better understanding of race and how YA literature can inspire action toward social justice, the latest edition of what many of us call simply Nilsen and Donelson (or Donelson and Nilsen), and a biography of one of the country's most celebrated authors. Here are citations for just a few 2012/2013 publications by ALAN's past presidents:
Crowe, C. (2012). Just as good: How Larry Doby changed America's game. Boston: Candlewick.
Glenn, W.J. (July 2012). Developing understandings of race: Pre-service teachers' counter-narrative (re)-constructions of people of color in young adult literature. English Education 44(4).
Glenn, W.J., Ginsberg, R., Gaffey, E., Lund, K., & Meagher, I. (2012). From awareness to action: Young adult literature as a road to reflection and catalyst for change. The ALAN Review 39(2), 25-32.
Nilsen, A. P., Donelson, K.L., Blasingame, J. & Nilsen, D.L.F. Literature for Today's Young Adults. 9th ed. Boston: Pearson.
Schwartz, S. (2012). F. Scott Fitzgerald. London: Haus.
Note: If you're a past president of ALAN and would like your recent publication shared via the newsletter, please send an APA citation and a short annotation.
Calls for Manuscripts and Proposals
The ALAN Review
Summer 2013 Theme: 40th Anniversary Issue
While we will be soliciting articles from past ALAN presidents and editors as well as influential young adult authors, we welcome submissions that reflect on the past 40 years of ALAN. Submission deadline: November 1, 2012.
The ALAN Review: Stories from the Field Editors' Note: Stories from the Field invites readers to share a story about young adult literature. This section features brief vignettes (approximately 300 words) from practicing teachers and librarians who would like to share their interactions with students, parents, colleagues, and administrators around young adult literature. Please send your stories to: email@example.com.
Voices from the Middle
Expanding the Canon: Virtue or Vice?
September 2013. English content has traditionally been defined by its canon-the texts deemed noteworthy by the discipline. But the canonical approach to teaching English has been questioned in recent decades as concerns about the reading and language arts development of every student have become reality. The Common Core State Standards introduce a new layer to this dilemma, with text complexity and exemplars highlighted. As a profession, it seems that we need to ask: Should there be a canon? Is a new canon warranted? What is the new canon? How does it jibe with reading development? What role should content literacy, and nonfiction, postmodern, and digital texts play? In what ways can students be best supported to foster comprehension of challenging texts? We invite manuscripts for this issue that critically examine the canon, its role in curriculum, and the challenges and triumphs of supporting educators and their students in making text meaningful. Deadline: September 1, 2012 Contact Doug Fisher at firstname.lastname@example.org more information.
Fall 2012/Winter 2013 Theme: In Defense of Young Adult Texts: Common Core State Standards and the Demand for Increased K-12 Text Complexity - Deadline: September 1, 2012. Contact email@example.com for more information.
Volume IV of Fastitocalon: Studies in Fantasticism Ancient to Modernis
Our goal in Volume IV of Fastitocalon: Studies in Fantasticism Ancient to Modernis to offer a sustained reflection upon the nexus of crime and the fantastic. We encourage submissions that explore manifestations of crime, punishment and justice in and through the frame of the fantastic in all its current and historical media. Contributions to our Crime and the Fantastic issue may focus on individual works, authors, genres, series or adaptations. They may discuss the development and transformations of the various crime topoi or explore the literary-theoretical aspects connected with them in the context of, among others, class structures, social inequalities, war and international conflicts, representations of criminal justice or legal systems, ecology, politics, imperialism, sexuality, ethnicity and gender. Essays accepted for inclusion in the volume must range between 6000 and 8000 words and will be due on April 30, 2013. Fastitocalon: Studies in Fantasticism Ancient to Modernis a peer-reviewed journal. Abstracts and/or full papers submitted will be reviewed by the editors and members of the advisory board. For more information about the journal, including listing of previously published articles, go to Fastitocalon. Abstracts (300-450 words) accompanied by a brief biographical note (100-150 words) must be sent in to editors Dan Hade and Marek Oziewicz electronically at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com by December 31, 2012.
Bookbird - Special Issue - Queerness and Children's Literature
The international children's literature journal Bookbird invites submissions for a Special Issue on queerness and children's literature. Over past two decades in particular, interest in the intersection between the representation of children and queerness has been steadily growing. In the past several years, several volumes have stimulated this growth: Curiouser: On the Queerness of Children edited by Steven Bruhm and Natasha Hurley ((2004), The Queer Child by Kathryn Bond Stockton (2009), Over the Rainbow edited by Michelle Ann Abate and Kenneth Kidd (2011), and Innocence, Heterosexuality, and the Queerness of Children's Literature by Tison Pugh (2011). The editor and guest editor invite proposals for articles of 4000 words which explore queerness and children's literature. Suggested topics might include (but are not limited to): Nation, empire, queerness; queerness and cultural difference; national children's literature and queerness; translation and queerness; homophobia, violence, and/or bullying; "innocence" and queerness, gender, nation, queerness; censorship and sexuality. Titles and abstracts of 250 words should be sent to both editors by January 15, 2013: Roxanne Harde and guest editor Laura Robinson.
|Remember to send a change of address to Membership Secretary Karin Perry. The postal service does not forward bulk mail, and if ALAN does not have your current mailing address, you will miss issues of TAR.