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ALAN Online News - February 2014

Long before I knew much of anything about the ALAN Workshop, I was a die-hard subscriber to The ALAN Review. My favorite graduate course in the school library program twelve years ago was "Selections for the Media Center," and the professor highly recommended TAR. Since I was in school, I could get that fabulous student discount on the journal (still just $10!) I was quickly hooked on TAR. Its blend of theory and practice was just what I was looking for.

As the journal transitions over the coming months to the new editorial team, please join me in thanking Steve Bickmore, Jackie Bach, and Melanie Hundley for their leadership over these last few years. Putting together TAR is a labor of love for all of them, something that shows through in the quality of the articles in every volume. There is an amazing amount of work that goes into assembling a peer-reviewed journal: soliciting manuscripts; assembling a review board; shepherding articles through the peer review process; and doing a million behind-the-scenes tasks that transform several hundred emails and attachments into The ALAN Review we know and love. 

Expect to hear more from the new editorial team over the next few months, as Wendy Glenn, Ricki Ginsberg, and Dani King begin their term as co-editors. Below is the reveal of the new TAR cover, based on results from their recent email survey. 

If you're like me ten years ago and know ALAN primarily through the journal in your mailbox and the emails in your Inbox, I hope you'll consider making plans to attend this year's workshop in National Harbor, Maryland, just outside Washington, DC. The photo above is linked to the resort's website. Click away and enjoy a momentary winter break.

Anne McLeod, Editor
ALAN Online News
Missing your issue of TAR?
Please email membership secretary Karin Perry.

In This Issue
TAR Update - with Cover Design
Elections Committee Seeks Candiidates
Scenes from Boston
Walter Unleashed
Spotlight on an ALAN Member
ALA Youth Media Awards
African-American Read-In
YA Links in the News
Real Quick Picks
The ALAN Review Update

Cover Design

We are thrilled to announce the result of The ALAN Review cover image vote.  Two hundred and fifty (250) members shared their preference (thank you!), and the winning image is....



Across the three possibilities, image one (abstract green design) received 10% of the vote, image two (above) received 60% of the vote, and image three (two teens sitting back to back) received 30% of the vote.


Those in support of the winning image described it as "very modern and classy;" "theme appropriate and energetic;" and "subtle, stylish, and with some character [that] should last." Several appreciated the decision not to show the face of the model. The image was identified as "humanizing" in the way the "arms could belong to almost anyone."  The cover doesn't take "the focus off the main theme of the journal," as "books are the variable that is constant for ALAN."


We recognize that pleasing all members with a single cover is impossible.  Some members loved the funky lettering; a few others expressed a desire for something more traditional.  Most liked the inclusion of novels without titles, suggesting that the non-specified titles honor the reality that different books appeal to different readers, while a handful of members thought spines of specific titles would add color and visual appeal. 


Relative to cover #3, we want to address directly a few comments intimating a desire for more diverse models.  We understand (and share) concerns of over- and under-representation of particular groups and selected our models with intention.  Both models self-identify as members of historically marginalized groups, Puerto Rican and Mexican, and one self-identifies as gay.  This experience served as a powerful reminder to us that markers of race, ethnicity, and sexuality are not always readily apparent.


As aligned with our aims, we're happy to have engaged the membership in this democratic process and hope you'll find satisfaction in having participated in the cover selection.

Selection of Column Editors/Columnists

Additionally, we are honored and excited to reveal our new Column Editors/ Columnists! Given significant interest in the positions (25 applicants across the three columns), we deliberated at great length in our selection and decided to name Column Editors/ Columnists for the first two years of our term (rather than just the first).  This will allow us to take advantage of our pool of highly qualified applicants and foster a smooth transition process as one group replaces the next over time.  Selected individuals or teams will serve for one year.  The decision to assign an individual or team to Volume 42 versus 43 was determined not by rank order but an attempt to balance teacher, librarian, and scholar roles across the column leaders. 


Please help us congratulate the following:


Book in Review Columnists

Shannon Collins (vol. 42)

Barbara Ward (vol. 43)


Layered Literacies Column Editors

Susan Groenke and Jud Laughter (vol. 42)

Sandra Abrams and Hannah Gerber (vol. 43)


Right to Read Column Editors

Teri Lesesne (vol. 42)

Jim Blasingame and Sybil Durand (vol. 43)


Selection of Reviewers

Finally, we are grateful to all who submitted applications to serve as manuscript reviewers for The ALAN Review.  We are excited to announce the members of our first Review Board:


Jacqueline Bach, Jean Boreen, April Brannon, Alan Brown, Jennifer Buehler, James Bucky Carter, James S. Chisholm, Sean Connors, Chris Crowe, Janine Darragh, Annamaria Deidesheimer, E. Sybil Durand, Bryan Gillis, Eimile M�ir�ad Green, Judith Hayn, Lisa A. Hazlett, Sarah K. Herz, KaaVonia Hinton, Jeff Kaplan, Joan Kaywell, Dixie Keyes,Sean Kottke, Desi Krell, Katherine Mason, Linda T. Parsons, Emily Pendergrass, Karin Perry, Daria Plumb, June Pulliam, Kia Jane Richmond, Amanda Schear, Lisa Scherff, Kelly Shea, Joanne Simpson, Tiffany Smith, Renee Stites, Lois Stover, Terri Suico, Barbara A. Ward, Mary Warner, Julie Warner, Marney Weimers, Shelbie Witte, and Connie Zitlow.

If you considered applying to be a reviewer but weren't entirely sure what this involved, we have posted our Guidelines for Reviewers and a sample review on our webpage to give you a better sense of the task.  Please see for more information.


Thank you for your continued support of The ALAN Review.  We are honored to do this work on your behalf. 

- Wendy Glenn, Ricki Ginsberg, and Dani King

UConn Editorial Team

Elections Committee Seeks Potential Candidates for 2014 ALAN Elections

I attended my first ALAN workshop back in 1999. This Canadian thought she had died and gone to heaven. I came home to northern British Columbia with enough inspiration to last me until the following year when another ALAN workshop took place. If you want support and inspiration and the opportunity to network with energetic, life-affirming teachers, librarians, publishers and authors, DO consider becoming more involved in the ALAN organization.

The ALAN Elections Committee is looking 
for candidates for their 2014 elections slate. The Committee is seeking six candidates to run for the three vacant positions on the Board of Directors. If you are a member of ALAN and NCTE and have some skills and interests that you believe could contribute to the working of this outstanding organization, or if you have been wanting to become more involved in ALAN please do consider allowing your name to stand for the Board of Directors.

The Committee is also looking for two candidates for the position of 
President- Elect. The President-Elect must have been active in ALAN for a while and have some knowledge of and visibility within the organization.

Who have you seen at ALAN that you think might be 
the leaders we are looking for? If you have any suggestions to make the Election Committee welcomes them. Members of the election committee include Barb Dean, chair; Ricki Ginsberg,; Karen Hildebrand,; Laura Renzi; and Lisa Muller,

- Barb Dean, ALAN Board of Directors
More Scenes from Boston 
Author Lauren Myracle with fan Jonatha Basye Photo by Don Gallo

Colleen Gleason autographs
Photo by Don Gallo

Exchange Table
Jeffrey Haar and Rick Williams work the exchange table
Photo by Don Gallo

Reflections on ALAN Workshop 2013


I started attending ALAN in 1997 and did not miss a workshop for at least ten years. An active NCTE member, I always found that the combination of sessions at the Convention coupled with the authors' talks (and break out sessions) at ALAN each year provided me with the resources, ideas, knowledge, and energy that I needed to get through the academic year.


When I was elected to the executive committee of the Conference on English Education (CEE) and was obligated to be at the Monday CEE Colloquium, I had to forego the ALAN Workshop for a different, but also beneficial learning day. After my 4-year term on the CEE EC ended, I was elected CEE Chair, adding three years to my time with CEE and the Colloquium.  


This year, after a seven-year hiatus from the ALAN workshop (though I do admit to sneaking in several times over the years during CEE breaks to hear an author or two), I was able to return. It truly felt like a homecoming. Once again, the panels, individual authors, colleagues' sessions, and of course the box of books have provided me with resources, ideas, knowledge, and energy I desperately needed for this challenging academic year.  


My seven years in my "other home" of CEE did this as well, but my return to my original home, ALAN, was special and truly felt like a homecoming. I look forward to spending time with my ALAN family in the coming years. Many thanks go to Jeff Kaplan and his team of ALAN board members for making ALAN 2014 one to remember!


- Marshall George, Fordham University, ALAN Board of Directors 2013-15



Walter Unleashed
A Message from 2014 ALAN President Walter Mayes
 Walter Mayes
Photo by Don Gallo
Hello, everyone!

Things are progressing apace! We have received enough proposals to ensure a good selection of breakouts for Monday at the Workshop. Publishers and I are in discussion about which authors will be featured--I'll update you as things become finalized. Appointments have been made to the many ALAN committees and they will shortly begin the work so essential to ALAN's success.

Many of you have reached out to me to offer support and assistance in making the 2014 Workshop a success, and I assure you I will be contacting you! I am always interested in hearing from ALAN members who are willing to help moderate panels and introduce authors, as well as those who like to work behind-the-scenes; I will find work for every volunteer.

With my term on the Odyssey Committee completed (choosing the best audio book for children and teens) I've had time to do some serious reading for the first time in a year! Three outstanding 2014 novels for teens I recommend to you are John Corey Whaley's NOGGIN, E. Lockhart's WE WERE LIARS, and Andrew Smith's GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE.

Be well!

- Walter M. Mayes
Spotlight on an ALAN Member
Emily Pendergrass, Vanderbilt University
What is your educational background and experience? What's your current position?

I have had many experiences that have led me to where I am today. I taught elementary and middle school students for eleven years mostly in a reading lab. While working alongside middle schoolers, I finished my Ph.D. in Language and Literacy Education at the University of Georgia. While at UGA, I worked extensively with the Red Clay Writing Project, part of the National Writing Project. Currently, I teach courses in Teaching Reading with secondary students, YA Lit, and a seminar for the Learning, Diversity and Urban Studies program at Vanderbilt University. Additionally, I work closely

 with the local public schools in literacy coaching and facilitating professional development workshops.


How do you use YA literature in your classroom as a college professor? 


Each fall I teach a course called Teaching Reading with Diverse and Speical Needs Learners to full time middle school teachers who are part time masters students. In this course, we use YA books such as Draper's Out of My Mind, Haddon's Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, de la Pena's Mexican Whiteboy, and/or Budhos's Ask Me No Questions. This course is designed to address the lack of attention given to diverse and special needs learners in an urban middle school. To that end, the course aims to give students opportunities to investigate the theories, practices, and pedagogies, issues, perspectives, and complexities of literacy acquisition from the point of view of mainstream teachers teaching in diverse, urban classrooms. We use YA literature so that we can share characters/students. The teachers in the course all have their own students and use them as examples to help us learn, but it is sometimes nice to adopt these characters as students whom we might teach so that we all have the necessary info to plan accordingly.


How do you see technology changing the way we read and understand texts? 


Technology does change the way we read and understand texts in that technology makes text more accessible. Nooks, kindles, iPads, even netbooks in classrooms take up less space and allow for many books to be accessed by a reader. Additionally technology is changing the way we interact with texts. For example, the company Immersedition is changing digital books in such ways that makes reading a non-linear, information embedded, multi-sensory experience.


Best or most memorable YA book you've read lately? 


This is a tough question! I love so many books. If I have to pick one, I'd have to say Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys is the book that I am constantly recommending to colleagues, students, and friends. This novel rips your heart out for the Lithuanian people during WWII, but also offers such hope and renewal.


How did you first hear about ALAN?


I honestly don't remember how I heard about ALAN. I think that my first encounters with ALAN where when a teacher, who taught down the hall from me, Melinda Lundberg-Wallace, showed me her review cards from the "clip and file" section of the TAR journal. She and Angie Fondriest-Pendley taught me quite a bit about ARCs and how to stay up to date with all the latest books. Both of these teachers are longtime book advocates and helped feed my love of YA lit.


What's been your most memorable ALAN moment?


My second trip to ALAN was probably my most memorable moment. I was able to go with first time attendees and help show them the ropes. This was exciting for me as I was able to walk alongside novice teachers as they met YA authors, met leaders in the field, and met other teachers as excited about books as they are. As a teacher, that was a proud moment for me: helping build connections and relationships across the country for these young teachers. 

ALA Youth Media Awards

Each year at its Mid-Winter Meeting, the American Library Association announces winners of the Youth Media Awards. Congratulations to Kate DiCamillo, newly appointed National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, whose Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures won the 2014 NewberyNewbery Honor Books are: Doll Bones by Holly Black (Margaret K. McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster) The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins) One Came Home by Amy Timberlake (Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children's Books); and Paperboy by Vince Vawter (Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children's Books).
Marcus Sedgwick won the Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults for Midwinter, published by Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan. 

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults. Printz Honnor Books were: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (St. Martin's Griffin, Macmillan); Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal (Candlewick Press); Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner, illustrated by Julian Crouch (Candlewick Press); and Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool (Delacorte Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children's Books).


Rita Williams-Garcia won the Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults for P.S. Be Eleven (Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers). The King Author Honor Books were March: Book One written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell (Top Shelf Productions); Darius & Twig  by Walter Dean Myers (Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins); and Words with Wings by Nikki Grimes (WordSong, an imprint of Highlights).

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina (Candlewick Press), is the Pura Belpr� Author Award winner. Belpr� Author Honor Books were The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba's Greatest Abolitionist by Margarita Engle (Harcourt, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt); The Living by Matt de la Pe�a (Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children's Books); and Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant's Tale written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh (Abrams Books for Young Readers).  

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills (Flux, an imprint of Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd); and Fat Angie by e. E. Charlton-Trujillo  (Candlewick Press), are the winners of the 2014 Stonewall Children's and Young Adult Literature Award. The Honor books: Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers); Branded by the Pink Triangle by Ken Setterington (Second Story Press); and Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan (Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children's Books). 

For a complete list of this year's awards, click here. Maybe you've served on one of the Youth Media Award committees, or maybe you're an author or illustrator who's gotten what has to be one of the best wake-up calls ever. For the rest of us who want to know what it's like to be behind the scenes on that morning in late January, here's ALA's video
 Let the Light  Shine with AARI
Schedule an African-American Read-In during February
Black History Month is here, and NCTE's Black Caucus and NCTE are once again
encouraging teachers to set aside time to showcase the work of African--American writers through Read-In events. Check out the information on NCTE's website and  set up your AARI event for any time during February. 

YA Links in the News

This Star Won't Go Out debuted at #7 on the New York Times bestseller list. It's a collection of the writings and artwork of Esther Earl who inspired the character of Hazel in John Green's The Fault in Our Stars. The book includes celebrations and remembrances of Esther, who died at the age of sixteen in 2010. 

Speaking of John Green, he's doing pretty well on the NYT list himself, but he's really psyched about the movie trailer for The Fault in Our Stars, release date June 2014. TFIOS won ALAN's Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award in 2013. 
Thanks to ALAN Board member Mark Letcher for passing along this link to a blog which contains a petition aimed at the Muhlenburg School District iin Pennsylvania. Imagine coming back from NCTE and ALAN with boxes of books for your classroom library and then being told that each one has to be reviewed "for violence, sexual content, language, etc." or else it will be removed. And this needs to be done by a deadline. Read the blog, check out the petition, and spread the word. 
Hear Laurie Halse Anderson describe some of the backstory for her latest, The Impossible Knife of Memory, in this NPR interview
ALAN Real Quick Picks 
Recently I gave up on ever getting caught up with all the fantastic YA titles out there and decided instead to start reading ahead. Thanks to NetGalley for Advanced Readers Copies  (ARCs) of the first three titles. 
Seeing Red by Katherine Erskine (Scholastic, 2013)
Seeing Red is set in Rocky Gap, Virginia, in 1971, where the social issues that rocked the 1960s, civil rights and women's roles, are far from settled. Still in shock after his father's sudden death, twelve-year-old Red Porter zealously minds the family garage ("Porter's: We Fix It Right" says the shop sign) and plots ways to keep his grief-stricken mom from selling out and moving the family back to her childhood home in Ohio. Red is also determined to ease the mind of his elderly neighbor, Miss Georgia, by finding the location of the African-American church where her grandfather preached.   
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (Delacorte Press, May 2014)
A thriller set on a private island belonging to the wealthy Sinclair family, We Were Liars is going to rock some readers' worlds this summer. Saying much more would ruin the impact of this shivery, well-crafted tale. Set aside enough time to read it in one sitting. 
And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard (Delacorte Press, 2014)
Emily and Paul's passionate high school romance and painful break-up turns tragic the day Paul walks into the library with a gun. As the book begins, Emily is rebuilding her shattered life at a private girls' school in Amherst, Massachusetts, but cannot yet share with those around her the awful events that led her there. Instead she finds connections to Emily Dickinson and expresses her complicated feelings about Paul in poems reminiscent of her namesake's.
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson (Viking, 2014)
Hayley Kincain's dad is a Gulf War hero, but his homecoming has been a nightmare for them both as he struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder, often drinking to self medicate his anguish. After he moves them into the old family place back in New York, he enrolls Hayley in the local high school and makes yet another attempt to get his life together. Through an unexpected romance, the return of her dad's erstwhile girlfriend, and her growing friendship with a neighbor who is having almost as much family trauma as Hayley herself, this unforgettable teen perseveres, even as her father's self-destructive behavior torments her. 
- Anne McLeod

Calls for Papers and Proposals 


The ALAN Review

Fall 2014: Stand Your Ground: Fostering Independent Thought and Action

We believe that, as educators, we sometimes need to be our own best allies as we fight to teach in ways we know to be good and right and true-and increasingly uncommon in an age of commonality.  We need to know how to defend our selection of materials and our practices as we stand our ground in the face of scripts and censors, standards and accompanying tests.  In this issue, we invite educators to band together and unite around our shared commitment to kids and stories, to offer our own evidence-based support for the innovative work we do in our classrooms and libraries, to celebrate the ways in which we encourage our own students to think independently and act in good conscience, even when the odds feel daunting. Please send manuscripts to: General submissions are also welcome. Submission deadline: March 31, 2014


The ALAN Review

Statistics suggest that, by 2019, approximately 49% of students enrolled in U.S. public schools will be Latina/o, Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, or American Indian (Hussar & Bailey, 2011).  However, the field has been increasingly criticized for not reflecting these demographics in the literature published for young adult readers. For readers of color, this can result in a sense of disconnect between lived reality and what is described on the page.  For readers from the dominant culture, this can result in a limited perception of reality and affirmation of a singular way of knowing and doing and being.  For all readers, exposure to a variety of ethnically unfamiliar literature can encourage critical reading of text and world, recognition of the limitations of depending upon mainstream depictions of people and their experiences, and the building of background knowledge and expansion of worldview. In this issue, we invite you to share your experiences, challenges, hesitations, and successes in using or promoting young adult literature that features characters and/or authors of color.  Invite us into your classrooms, libraries, and school communities to better understand the potential value and necessity of broadening the texts we use to capture the imaginations of all readers. Please send manuscripts to: alan-review@uconn.eduGeneral submissions are also welcome. The deadline is July 1, 2014. Please see the ALAN website for submission guidelines.


ALAN Online News

Items needed for this newsletter: ALAN organizational news items, YA Links in the News, The Book That Changed My Life, Real Quick Picks, candidates for Spotlight on an ALAN Member, feature articles about programs in your area that promote teen reading or young adult literature. Photographs are welcome as well. Send to Deadline for next newsletter is March 7, 2014.  

LSU Young Adult Literature Workshop and Seminar

ALAN Review co-editor Dr. Steven Bickmore, along with the LSU School of Education, announces the premier "LSU Young Adult Literature Conference & Seminar" to take place June 2-6, 2014 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The workshop hopes to bolster YAL as an academic pursuit and further bolster the best efforts of The ALAN Review, SIGNAL, NCTE and IRA to support the academic pursuits of those who teach and study YA literature. The conference provides academics who specialize in young adult literature the opportunities to collaborate on projects and publications that will advance the field while working together with classroom teachers and librarians.  Submit proposals at submit a proposal for either a workshop or breakout session or for more info about the conference, visit Review of submissions will begin Friday, February 21, 2014. Registration information will be available soon. 


ALAN Marketplace 2013
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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.