YAing News: Week of May 9

Two people sit at a park bench in the sunshine: one writing in a notebook, and one reading a book.

Spring is now in full swing, though it hasn’t often felt like it here in Vancouver. For every bright, beautiful day, it seems like there are five others full of unseasonable cold and rain. Regardless of the weather, though, May is a great time to relax and celebrate, especially with the upcoming long weekend.

For students like myself and many of our reviewers, May is also the deep breath after the non-stop work of the end of the spring term. Here at Young Adulting, that break in the demands of education means that we get to resume reading all the books we want to read — and getting back to our regular publication schedule! Here’s what’s been featured on the site so far this month.

YAing Updates

Now that we’re back, it’s a great time to highlight the amazing reviews we’ve published since the last instalment of this newsletter:

We’ll have many more reviews from debut reviewers featured on the site in the coming weeks. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for these fresh perspectives on new books!

Last week, we also featured the latest instalment of our author spotlight, with questions for author Susan Juby by reviewer Holly Maurer. Holly reviewed Juby’s recent middle-grade novel Me Three for YAing back in March — make sure you read it here! In the interview, Juby discussed the unique thought process behind writing books on heavy subject matter for younger readers.

“At risk of sounding glib, life doesn’t wait for us to be a certain age before hard things happen. How many middle graders have seen instances of harassment or abuses of power dynamics or objectification of others from the adults or older kids around them or in the media they consume? Most, I would imagine. It’s tricky territory but this is the age when many kids are still learning important things about boundaries and acceptable behaviour in personal relationships and many are shaping their ideas about how to interact with other people.” – 5 Questions for Susan Juby

Industry News

The BC Writers Summit is taking place from May 14 to 20 online, with a full slate of fascinating panels and discussions! Of particular interest to YAing readers might be Gail Anderson-Dargatz’s session on writing hi-lo books for the educational market, which will take place on May 15 at 10 am. YAing has featured a number of reviews of hi-lo books, most recently of Tash McAdams’ Sink or Swim.

The Writers Guild of Alberta’s annual conference is also upcoming. An online session that caught my eye is a panel on freedom of expression and responsibility in storytelling — a hot-button, highly relevant issue in the world of children’s books, featuring panelists David A. Robertson, Wakefield Brewster, and Alison MacLeod. Robertson, an award-winning Swampy Cree writer, was recently the subject of a controversy when his Great Bear series of middle-grade books was pulled from library shelves by an Ontario school district after complaints from parents. With widespread book-banning ongoing, particularly in the United States, this is certainly a discussion worth following.

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 Tuesdays 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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