Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE
Walter Dean Myers
Walter Dean Myers was recently named Ambassador for Young People's Literature by the Library of Congress. Here he signs books at the ALAN Workshop in November.
Photo by Don Gallo.
ALAN Online News - January 2012
January can be such a clich� - so much new, so much improved. This time it's true -  ALAN's new website is ready for its close-up.

Thanks to David Macinnis Gill for a lot of behind-the-scenes work on this major revamping of It's paid off, as we now have a site that incorporates social media like FaceBook and Twitter as well as discussion among members. Make a blog post, send a message, view archived newsletters - it's all there and more. Last month David described it as an
 "integrated social media YA mecca," and he was right.

Happy 2012, ALAN! As we say in Athens, Georgia, "It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine!" (Stipe, 1987).

Anne McLeod, Editor

ALAN Online News 


In This Issue
ALAN: Connected Community
Profile of cj Bott
ALAN Grants
Voting on Constitution Revisions
Joan Kaywell Honored
Welcome, Karin Perry
ALA Webcast Monday
Like us on Facebook
Recruitment for ALAN
Don't forget to encourage your colleagues to join.  Membership Form

ALAN-YA.Org: A Connected Community

If you have not visited the brand new ALAN website, it's time to check it out. Beta users have had it out for a test drive for a couple of months now, creating profiles, discussions, and blog posts to test out its digital horsepower, and we think you're going to like it a lot.

ALAN's web guru, David Macinnis Gill, has created a set of FAQs that will quickly put you at ease. Log in using the email address you supplied to ALAN. Your last name is your password. Once  you're in, more content will appear, including posts from ALAN Executive Secretary Teri Lesesne and other officers of the group. The site will prompt you to create a user profile, offering to link to your FaceBook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts if you choose. So introduce yourself and step right in.

You'll notice on the right hand side of the window is a list of frequent users. As I write this, Paul Hankins is number one, followed by Daria Plumb, cj Bott, and me. Want to claim one of these spots for yourself? Go right ahead. The very best part of the new site is content generated by users like you about what you're reading, enjoying, writing, and teaching.

If you've tried blogging only to have your brilliant posts echo in the lonely void of cyberspace, this is your chance to reach a target audience of the most committed YA fans in the world. Create a blog post of your own on the ALAN site, and you know you'll be reaching teachers, librarians, authors, and all-around aficionados of YA.  Tell us what you're reading, teaching, writing, and appreciating. We'll look forward to seeing you there!
ALAN President cj Bott
Photo by Don Gallo

A Profile of cj Bott - ALAN's New President

ALAN's 2012 President, cj Bott, knows a lot about bullying. In fact, she consults with educators in school systems about recognizing and stopping bullying. Her interest in children's and young adult literature on the topic led to the publication of two books, The Bully in the Book and in the Classroom and More Bullies in More Book. She's also presented at many conferences, including NCTE and ALAN.

According to cj, her  interest in bullying was encouraged at Shaker Heights High School where she taught from 1984 till she retired in 2002. "I seemed to grow from one committee to another--a support group trying to help males stay out of gangs, a friend and I started a group for female students called WHEW, Women Helping Education Women, we focused on setting goals and dealing with sexual harassment-just about everywhere, and then I helped start the first GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) in a public school in north-eastern Ohio, about 13 years ago. All of these groups dealt with harassment/bullying in some way. I got hooked on the need for books dealing with these issues."

Along the way, she attended her first NCTE conference and ALAN workshop in Baltimore.  Back home she launched Nancy Atwell's reading and writing workshop approaches with her tenth grade students: "We made ZINES!!"

When cj went to China in 1993 with a group from NCTE, one of the others in her group was Don Gallo, whom she had heard speak at the ALAN workshop she'd enjoyed earlier. She says that as it's not an unusual name, she didn't make the connection for quite a while.  "After the trip I exchanged letters with several of the other travelers asking for copies of their schools' sexual harassment policies. Don and I kept writing on a professional level, and I still didn't make the connection. It wasn't until a friend of mine was looking for books for reluctant male readers that I said I would ask a friend of mine who seemed to know a lot about YA books, Don Gallo."  Her friend screamed, "You know Don Gallo?"

cj emailed Don that night and asked, "Who the H are you?" As she says, "Obviously I was not one of his ALAN groupies." (Editor's note: If you are a newbie now as cj was then, at this point, you need to open a new tab in your browser and Google "Donald R. Gallo." )

As the assembly's new President, cj looks forward to an exciting 2012. "This next November will be my 17th ALAN workshop, I truly do feel the sense of family at ALAN because so many ALAN people have become an amazing part of my life. And I know I have many more to meet."

Find out more about cj and her work with bullying prevention at her website: Bullies in Books.

Grant Opportunities from ALAN
Gallo Grants and ALAN Foundation

Are you a classroom teacher in the early years of your career, determined to attend the ALAN workshop for the first time this November? Do you have an idea for a research project and using YA literature. ALAN may be able to help with two different grant programs.

The Gallo Grant was established in 2003 by ALAN Award winner Don Gallo to assist teachers like you.
Two teachers are selected each year to receive funding up to $750 to attend the ALAN Workshop. Applicants will write an essay of no more than 750 words explaining their interest is in Young Adult Literature, what they hope to gain from this year's ALAN Workshop, and how they hope to use this experience with students in the future.

The ALAN Foundation funds classroom research projects. This year's recipient was from Hiram College in Ohio. Here's how she described her study: "I am working with 7th graders at an area middle school. Next month they will be reading The Sledding Hill by Chris Crutcher. I am going to interview students before, during, and after the reading of the novel. I am also going to do some classroom observations. Then, Chris will be visiting the school in March and I will interview the students after the author visit. What I want to know is how the students' response to the reading and their motivation to read is influenced by contact with the author. In the beginning I will be asking the students about their reading habits and motivation to read, during the unit I will be asking them about their response to the book, and then I will follow up with questions about how they felt about the reading experience and if they would want to read more books like this or by this author."

Think about how your own practice might translate into teacher research, and 2013 might be your year. Both applications can be downloaded from the ALAN website. Look under the @ ALAN tab for grant information. The deadline is September 1 for the Gallo grants and September 15 for ALAN Foundation.


Coming in 2012:
Online Vote on Constitutional Revisions

The ballots for President-Elect and Board Members that arrived in members' mailboxes in early fall will likely be the last paper ballots you receive from ALAN. The mild surprise of finding an actual piece of correspondence amid the advertising circulars, that oh-so-20th-century search for an actual postage stamp with which to send your response, the quaint delay while results roll in and are tallied by hand - those days are gone as ALAN moves to online voting on proposed revisions to its constitution.

The Constitution Review Committee, chaired by Gary Salvner, included c.j. Bott,
Jennifer Buehler, Pam Cole, Shannon Collins, and Walter Mayes, who submitted suggested changes to the Board of Directors in November for discussion. Most have to do with roles and responsibilities of ALAN's officers and committees. The Board voted online last month on what to send to the membership for a final vote.

The vote by members will take place through an online survey with dates to be announced. Watch for the proposed changes to be posted on ALAN's website in the not-too-distant future.  

Former Membership Secretary Joan Kaywell
Photo by Don Gallo
Joan Kaywell Honored by ALAN
Former Membership Secretary and Editor of ALAN News of Note

For years, Joan Kaywell kept ALAN's members informed about the organization and happenings in YA literature through her email ALAN News of Note.  She also worked behind the scenes to ensure that subscribers received issues of the ALAN Review. Joan was honored for her service after she announced she would be stepping down at the end of 2011.

Thanks to Joan, and we wish her the best in her new endeavors. 

Introducing Karin Perry, ALAN Membership Secretary 

Hello ALAN Members,

My name is Dr. Karin Perry and I am lucky enough to be the new Membership Secretary for ALAN. Since we are going to be spending some time together I thought it might be good for you to know a little about me.  Currently, I'm an Assistant Professor at Sam Houston State University in the Library Science Department.  Prior to teaching at the university I worked as a school librarian.  I have four years of elementary school experience and five years of middle school experience. I found out that I was one of those weird people that really love working with middle school students.  I enjoy how wacky and strange the students are at that age. My day was never boring, that's for sure.

On a more personal note, I've been married for 16 years (goodness, that sounds like a long time).  I live part-time in Oklahoma with my husband and little Chihuahua and part-time in Texas for work. I know it sounds strange, but it works out nice.  My drive allows me to listen and enjoy a lot of wonderful audio books.  My passion is young adult literature so I spend my free time reading, listening to, or blogging about the books I've read. My mission in life is to promote reading for pleasure.  I firmly believe there is a book out there for everyone that will spark their love of reading. I'm so happy to be a part of ALAN so I can connect with people who feel the same way I do.

I look forward to getting to know the members of this wonderful organization. If you have any membership questions, feel free to email me at


ALA Award Webcast January 23
There's just a couple of days left of Newbery buzz, chatter about mock Caldecotts, and speculation about the Printz. On January 23 at 7:30 AM CST (8:30 EST), the ALA Youth Media Awards ceremony will begin. The American Library Association announces the winners of these and other awards, including the Coretta Scott King and Pura Belpr�, each year at its Mid-Winter meeting.

In recent years, ALA has offered a live webcast of the awards ceremony so that those of us at home, at school, or in our offices can be a part of the excitement. The video quality of the webcast and the ease of access has improved greatly since its humble beginnings. Just go to ALA Webcast as the awards begin on Monday morning and you can be the first  to namedrop the 2012 winners to your coworkers.

Calls for Manuscripts and Proposals


The ALAN Review  

Fall 2012 Theme:  Poetry and Young Adult Literature - Deadline: March 1, 2012. Submission guidelines available online at  The ALAN Review. 



Spring/Summer 2012 Theme:  On the Cutting Edge: Pushing the Boundaries of Genre - Deadline: February 1, 2012. Contact for more information.   



January 3-6, 2013, Boston. Proposed panel: Race, Girlhood, and Social Justice in Children's Literature. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: twentieth- and twenty-first-century multi-ethnic narratives of girlhood, such as the works of Cynthia Kadohata, Jacqueline Woodson, Julia Alvarez, Louise Erdrich, and Ed Young; teaching narratives of race and girlhood, from K-12 to the college-level; transnational representations of girlhood and race; and, African American girlhood and children's literature of the U.S. Civil Rights movement. Please send a 250-word abstract and a 1-page CV to Kristen Proehl and Sharon Holland. Deadline: March 1, 2012.   




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.