YAing News: Week of Jan. 24

Two people smile, framed by shelved books. The YAing News logo is below the image.

So this is the New Year! And does it feel any different? Here at Young Adulting, the more things change, the more they stay the same. While we’ll continue to publish reviews, news, and interviews, you can expect to see many new voices appearing on these digital pages over the coming months, with reviews of authors both familiar and unfamiliar. Without further ado, let’s jump in!

YAing Updates

In our January author spotlight, reviewer Deborah Vail interviews Brent van Staalduinen, an award-winning novelist for children and teens living in Hamilton, ON. Brent and Deborah discuss Brent’s recent recognition for his books BOY (2020) and Nothing But Life (2021). They also discuss the impact of religion on Brent’s writing, the challenges and joys of writing about the place you live, and what goes into writing YA:

“Teenage life is full of unique rites of passage, quests, stumbles, falls, temptations, and a host of other conflict-ridden things. Someone who seeks to write YA should try to tap into these, and more. I also think we need to find new voices and stories that diverge from the mainstream. Shine light into attic and basement corners. Upend the canon. Create new heroes, monsters, and villains.”

5 Questions for Brent van Staalduinen

Look out for Deborah’s review of Nothing But Life coming later this week!

After our December break, we’ve jumped right back into the swing of reviewing in January. Here’s what we’ve published on the site this month, in case you missed it:

  • “Those for whom Eid is a well-loved celebration will surely find a home in these stories. And if you’re unfamiliar with Eid and its festivities, this anthology is the perfect welcome.” Claudine Yip reviews Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices, edited by S.K. Ali and Aisha Saeed.
  • “Learning to write your own story can be a fun activity or a valuable lesson. In the case of Max the dog, it saves his life.” Debut reviewer Kaila Johnson reviews See the Cat by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka.
  • “…[A]n honest protagonist, a queer romance, and an introduction to occult magic that transcends any barrier…” Debut reviewer MacKenzie Sewell reviews All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O’Donoghue.
  • “[I]nstead of assuming vocabulary to be a deterrent, Lukoff and Nelson invite young readers into the pleasures and delights of learning and wordplay.” Debut reviewer RJ McDaniel reviews A Storytelling of Ravens by Kyle Lukoff, illustrated by Natalie Nelson.
  • “Trying to survive without your family is difficult. 40,000 years ago, it was almost impossible.” Debut reviewer Charis Young reviews Sisters of the Wolf by Patricia Miller-Schroeder.
  • “[A]uthor Susan Hood’s precise, lighthearted text provides a fanciful array of examples to illustrate numbers we might encounter in our everyday existence.” RJ McDaniel reviews We Are One: How the World Adds Up by Susan Hood, illustrated by Linda Yan.

Industry News

On January 24, the American Library Association announced their list of award-winners for 2022, including the winners of the prestigious Newbery and Caldecott awards. You can check out the list here. (A word to the wise: look out for an interview with the author of one of the new Newbery Honor Book honourees coming to Young Adulting very soon!)

In celebration of World Read Aloud Day of February 2nd, the Children’s Writer and Illustrators of BC are hosting a free virtual reading and Q&A with authors Jami Gigot, Mahtab Narsimhan, and Mark David Smith. You can register for the event here.

Today is the final day of the American Library Association’s LibLearnX event! Even if you missed the live events, registrants have access to the amazing speakers, panels, and sessions until February 28th. The closing session speaker will be former NFL quarterback and activist Colin Kaepernick, who will be speaking about his forthcoming picture book I Color Myself Different. You can register for the event here.

As always, please do send us your news related to children’s and young adult literature at young.adulting@ubc.ca so we can feature them in future newsletters. Our newsletter is published on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month. And remember to keep up with us on Twitter and Instagram!

Take care, and happy reading, 

The Young Adulting Editors 


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