Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE
ALAN Workshop 2012
ALAN Workshop 2012
ALAN Online News - December 2012
If you were in Las Vegas last month at the 2012 ALAN Workshop, you know how special this organization is. From the Saturday morning breakfast to the authors' reception to the keynote address by Teri Lesesne, to the panels and breakout sessions with authors and educators, hundreds of enthusiastic young adult bibliophiles were in their element - talking, trading, listening, laughing, and sometimes crying. That's how powerful stories for young adult readers can be.

Thanks to cj Bott who worked incredibly hard to put together a workshop that did indeed live up to its billing: ALAN has books for everyone. All photo credits in this newsletter belong to Don Gallo, unless otherwise specified. Thanks to Don, who makes us all look good.

If you haven't already given your feedback on the workshop, it's not too late. Just go to this online survey.

With the new year, expect some changes at ALAN. The board plans to approve a new logo soon, so with that will come a fresh look for the ALAN newsletter. The website will be changing too. ALAN has a new webmaster, Jon Ostenson, who is working on moving ALAN to a Ning platform. One final change: The board determined that it was necessary to raise dues for the first time since 1987. The good news is, ALAN remains one of the best deals around.

Anne McLeod
Editor, ALAN Online News

In This Issue
Renew Now and Save
Value of ALAN Membership
Election Update
ALAN Breakfast
Donations from ALAN
Thanks from cj
Call for Proposals 2013 Workshop
Speak Loudly
ALAN Picks Reviewers Needed
Missing your issue of TAR?
Please email membership secretary Karin Perry.

Renew Now to Save
Dues Increase to Take Effect January 1, 2013

The board of directors decided that the time has come to increase ALAN membership dues from $20 to $30 per year. This increase will allow ALAN to continue providing member benefits and activities at the current level. The last dues increase, as best anyone could recall, was back in 1987, perhaps a record for containing costs for a professional organization!
  • Current rates are $10 for students, $20 for individuals, $30 for institutions.
  •  New rates will be $10 for students, $30 for individuals, and $50 for institutions.
  • If you paid for your ALAN Workshop registration, you are automatically renewed for the following year.  
  • You may pay for more than one year of membership at a time (up to 3 years) to lock in the current rate.
  • Although the plan is to have an online payment option, that is not yet in place. Please download and print the current membership form and mail to ALAN's treasurer, Marge Ford, at the address on the form. The 2013 membership form with the new rates can be downloaded here.  
  • You do not have to be a member of NCTE to become a member of ALAN.  

ALAN Membership Offers Outstanding Professional Learning

I attended the 2012 ALAN breakfast in Las Vegas and heard Joan Kaywell, who was justly honoured with the Ted Hipple Award say that the best professional investment she has made is her ALAN membership. I agree with Joan wholeheartedly. I discovered this remarkable community in Denver in 1999 and have been an enthusiastic supporter ever since.

ALAN provides me with a lively, knowledgeable
reading community, fills me with enough inspiration at each year's annual conference to last me throughout the following year; and introduces me to many authors, editors, publishers, and issues that otherwise might not cross my path.

My hat goes off to both
cj Bott and the committee of behind-the-scenes organizers who put together an ALAN program that matched the high standards I have encountered in the past. I came home with lots of books, new ideas for how to introduce them to the classrooms I will visit in the coming months, and reassurance that books do change lives.

membership is the best professional and personal investment I have made. Spread the word!

- Barb Dean, Member, ALAN Board of Directors
British Columbia, Canada


Election Update from Fall Ballot

Congratulations to ALAN's newest president-elect and members of the board. Walter Mayes is the new president-elect, taking office next November. Barb Dean, Mark Letcher, and Laura Renzi were elected to 3 year terms ending in 2015.  

ALAN Breakfast 2012 Recognizes Achievement in Field of YA Literature
ALAN Award Winner George Nicholson
George Nicholson,
Recipient of 2012 ALAN Award

The world of publishing may seem far removed from the day to day lives of educators, but at the recent ALAN breakfast, literary agent George Nicholson drew that curtain aside and shared reflections on his long career as editor, publisher, and literary agent.  Founder of Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers and Yearling, George was instrumental in promoting the young adult market and the affordable paperback which made it possible for many of us as teen readers to build our own book collections.
He joined the literary agency Sterling Lord Literistic in 1995; among his authors at SLL are Alexandra Flinn, Patricia Reilly Giff, Lois Duncan, Betsy Byars, and Tony Abbot.

Hipple Award Winner Joan Kaywell
Ted Hipple Service Award Winner Joan Kaywe

Joan Kaywell, recipient of this year's Hipple Service Award, paid tribute to her mentor Ted Hipple, one of ALAN's founders, whose long-lasting influence on YA scholarship was seen in the large numbers of people at the breakfast who had been Ted's students or colleagues. Joan
has served ALAN as its president, as well as membership secretary and newsletter editor, and is a tireless advocate on behalf of children and teens. She also established the Ted Hipple Special Collection at the University of South Florida library in Ted's honor.  Joan is a professor of English education at the University of South Florida.
Scott Westerfeld at ALAN Breakfast
Author Scott Westerfeld

Scott Westerfeld, author of Pretties, Uglies, Specials, and other novels, discussed his work on Leviathan, the first of his latest trilogy, with illustrator Keith Thompson. Leviathan is set during a Great War very different from the one in history books. The global stage is divided between the Darwinists who employ genetically engineered beasts in battle and the Clankers who rely on machinery instead.

Scott's thoughtful, smart, and very funny talk covered the eclipse of illustrations by photographs in the e
arly 20th century and the return of the illustrated text over the last few years. One of the highlights: A show of some of the fan art he's received in response to the Leviathan series.

Educators' Panel: Many Books to Reach and Teach Them All
One of the Educators' Panels: Many Books to Reach and Teach Them All
Keynote Speaker
and YA Goddess
Teri Lesesne
The Next Best Thing to Being There
Photos, Notes, and Blogs from ALAN 2012

What happened in Vegas isn't staying in Vegas this time. Here is a sampler of just a few scenes from the recent workshop. Relentless pop music and one-armed bandits aside, the MGM Grand was the place to be for all things YA.

Teri Lesesne's keynote address reminded us that, for young adult literature, "The future's so bright, I have to wear shades."
Thanks to Teri for putting together a slideshow that played during breaks and showcased pictures submitted by ALAN's paparazzi.

Author panels over the next two days would feature an amazing range of topics: fantasy, humor, war, nonfiction, LGBTQ identity and relationships, nonfiction, serial killers, graphic novels, and much, much more.

Sharon Flake
Sharon Flake, Middle School Panel

Julie Anne Peters
Julie Anne Peters, LGBTQ Panel
Gaby Rodriguez, Nonfiction Panel
Mike Mullin
Mike Mullin, Dystopian Panel

Poet Sonia Sones
Poet and Author Sonia Sones Added a Lyrical Touch
 Between Panles 

Teen librarians shared ideas for keeping readers engaged and building collaboration with colleagues. Another panel of educators and authors discussed censorship.

Tuesday afternoon Lois Lowry explained how she came to write The Giver quartet, including her latest, Son, in which Gabriel is reunited at last with his birth mother, years after the events of The Giver. (Her thoughts on her Vegas adventure can be found on her blog.)

on the ALAN line-up this year were author break-out sessions on Tuesday afternoon. Thanks to the authors and their publishers who gave away additional copies of books at these sessions. (Kate Messner's blog has the scoop on her session with Jody Feldman, Blue Balliett, Jo Knowles, and Rebecca Stead, plus a few photos from her desert sightseeing.)

Ruth Caillouet
Nilsen-Donelson Award winner Ruth Caillouet
AEW Award Finalists Ruta Sepetys and Lauren Myracle,
with Award Committee Chair Ricki Ginsberg
Here's hoping this taste of Vegas will inspire you to join us next year in Boston!
Children of War photo
Words into Action
ALAN Members' Donations to Creation of Hope

Authors on the "Children of the World" panel usually donate money from sales of their books to relief organizations whose websites were shared in the presentation. Books given to ALAN members at the workshop had been donated by publishers, however, generating no income, at least not directly.

Joan Kaywell volunteered on the spot to solicit cash donations for Eric Walters's Creation of Hope foundation and soon those present were passing the hat, or in this case the plastic cup.

According to panel moderator Don Gallo, "Eric said he would send the money directly to Kenya as soon as he got home. A total of $144 was given that day, and Eric added another $6 to bring the total to $150-an amount that Eric says provides 44 children three days-worth of clothing, medical treatment, school fees, the salary of the matron, tutor, and night watchman, along with drinking water, and sanitation and water for the entire building at the Rolling Hills Residence in Kikima, Kenya. The children posed for the attached photo, thanking ALAN members for their donation.


Thanks from cj
cj Bott at ALAN Workshop 2012,
Las Vegas, Nevada
Reflections on Term as ALAN President

In October 2010 when I found out I had been elected the president-elect for 2011, a rush started for me that stayed with me until November 2012.  I felt like I was in fast forward 24/7 with ideas coming to me in the middle of the night, during TV commercials, while walking our Huskies-well, from everywhere. The publishers were patient and generous in offering all the wonderful authors that shared the stage in Las Vegas. The monthly Executive Committee Skype meetings (with Teri Lesesne--ExecDirect, Wendy Glenn-Immediate Past President, and Jeff Kaplan-then the President-elect) and working with the panel chairs helped me figure out how to get where I wanted to end up.

Planning was crucial. There were so many details to track. Besides the publishers and their authors, there were the educator breakouts, the author breakouts, the details for the ALAN Breakfast-the floor plan, AV equipment, menu, honorary table for the ALAN Award Winner, the Hipple Award winner, the PAC--Presidents Advisory Committee, and the
Amelia Elizabeth Walden table, and so many more. The Authors Reception was completely organized by the Publishers and they did a fantastic job. The ALAN Workshop itself had hundreds of details, but the panel chairs and volunteers kept things running smoothly, particularly Walter's Silent Signing Area and the new Exchange Table.
So in the end I only put together the framework; the ALAN Board, Panel Chairs, authors, and ALAN members brought the workshop to life. I must add in Don Gallo who kept me grounded and moving forward. I owe you all many, many thanks

And n
ext year in Boston, we will all be there for Jeff Kaplan and ALAN's 40
th birthday party.

- cj Bott
ALAN Past President 


ALAN 2013 in Boston, November 25-26
Call for Proposals

The theme for the 2013 ALAN workshop is "40 Years of ALAN: Celebrating Great Books for Young Adults"-- Presenters are encouraged to revisit time-honored classics of young adult literature as well as "future" classics. Books that deal with hard truths and books that deal with fantastical worlds are welcomed as well as provocative discussions about the authors who write them, the librarians who nurture them, the teachers who teach them and the students who read them. This workshop will be a celebration of the emergence of young adult literature - both fiction and non-fiction - as a driving historical, sociological, literary and contemporary force in today's culture.


Please include the following in your proposal: Proposed Session Title; Name of Session Chair; Street Address; Email Address; Telephone Number; Institutional Affiliation and Position; Presenter(s) for Session plus their affiliations; and Description and Purpose of Break-out Session. Submit proposal on separate page including target audience.  Limit 250 words.

All applicants must be ALAN members.

Electronic submission should be sent to Proposals are due no later than midnight of Friday, January 11, 2013. Include phone number. If proposals are not submitted electronically, please mail by Wednesday, Jan 9, 2013: Jeffrey Kaplan, College of Education, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816.

NOTE:  The 2013 ALAN Workshop will follow this format.

All Author Break-outs will present on Monday morning. All Educator Break-outs will present on Tuesday morning. Authors, please indicate your publisher's name and whether or not your publisher has agreed to support your participation if you are selected.) Preference will be given to those who did not present in 2012. 


- Jeffrey Kaplan, ALAN President


Speak Loudly
Submitted by Wendy Glenn on behalf of the ALAN Anti-censorship Committee 

In response to the writings they create, authors are often targets of censorial attacks. In
response, many YA authors are speaking loudly about their experiences and sharing
advice and suggestions for teachers and librarians who might deal with challenges
associated with their titles. In this issue, we highlight a few YA authors whose comments
on the topic are particularly well developed, insightful, and useful.

Chris Crutcher provides a Censorship tab on his website. Here you'll find descriptions of challenges to several of his titles and the resulting outcomes. Additionally, the site includes links to free speech support,videos, and other resources, including images of Banned Book Week posters.

Laurie Halse Anderson provides a Censorship and Book Banning tab on her website. She describes challenges to two of her novels, Twisted and Speak, and support for the classroom use of these titles offered by the Kids' Right to Read Project. The site also contains links to several sister organizations (ALA, NCTE, the National Coalition Against Censorship, and the Cooperative Children's Book Center) that support anti-censorship measures and provide resources for educators facing challenges.

John Green's video commentary, I am Not a Pornographer offers a passionate, well
reasoned, and thoughtful response to a challenge to Looking for Alaska at Depew High
School outside of Buffalo, New York. Censors described the book as "pornographic"
and "disgusting" and advocated for its removal from the eleventh grade curriculum; John

Matt de la Pe�a offers his thoughts in response to the recent removal of Mexican
WhiteBoy and other titles from classroom shelves in Tucson Public Schools. In
a three-part interview by Amy Bowllan (author of the "Writers Against Racism" blog on
the School Library Journal site), de la Pe�a explains the results of such banning on kids
as readers and as people.
Interview, Part 1
Interview, Part 2
Interview, Part 3

In a blog entry, Cheryl Rainfield posts a video in which she describes a challenge
to her novel, Scars, her reason for tackling difficult subject matter in the story, and her
advocacy of dark books for teens. This is followed by a list of quotations related to the
dangers of book banning and censorship.

Ellen Hopkins published a blog entry, Banned Books Week 2010: An Anti-Censorship Manifesto on the Huffington Post site.  She shares highly emotional responses of readers to her novels and her subsequent belief that writing about difficult topics is both necessary and lifesaving. She concludes the piece with a manifesto in poem form that ends with the following stanza:
"A word to the unwise.
Torch every book.
Char every page.
Burn every word to ash.
Ideas are incombustible.
And therein lies your real fear."

Although challenges to students' freedom to read and educators' freedom to teach
are frustrating and sometime incomprehensible, there might be hope through dialogue.
As Lauren Myracle says, "I am sad that we silly humans can't get our acts together and sing in harmony. But I'm an eternal optimist. We'll figure it out, and conversations about tough topics - like censorship - inevitably lead to growth."

We appreciate each and every YA author who challenges the challengers with wisdom,
grace, and courage in the attempt to ensure that readers have access to titles that enrich
and expand their world.

-Wendy Glenn, chair
ALAN Anti-censorship Committee

Reviewers Needed for ALAN Picks

If you love to read YA lit and want to tell the world about the latest new release you've finished, here's one way to do just that. ALAN Picks,
monthly online reviews of young adult new releases, needs readers willing to write short reviews. Contact Bryan Gillis at for details.

ALAN Merchandise ALAN Merchandise Available
T-Shirts, Water Bottles, Bags and More
Several attendees at the November workshop were decked out in ALAN swag. Make a fashion statement and spread the word about the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE with merchandise available from

Calls for Papers and Proposals


From The ALAN Review


TAR 40th Anniversary Issue

Got a fond memory of ALAN? Want to share it in our 40th Anniversary issue? In 26 words or less, share a memory, thought, idea about ALAN and email it to


Fall 2013 Theme: Reading and Using Nonfiction Young Adult Literature

So often our schools tend to privilege the reading of fiction over the reading of nonfiction. But what about those kids who want to read something other than the novels we assign? What about the students who crave nonfiction? The theme of this issue asks us to consider the role of nonfiction in the classroom and in the personal choice reading of adolescents. What is it about nonfiction that grabs students? What role can/should nonfiction play in classrooms? What nonfiction have you used that empowered adolescents? What is it that we must consider or celebrate when we teach/use/recommend nonfiction? This theme is meant to be open to interpretation, and we welcome manuscripts addressing pedagogy as well as theoretical concerns. General submissions are also welcome. Submission deadline: March 1, 2013.


Consider submitting to Stories from the Field

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: .


Moved recently?
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.