YAing News: Week of February 13

Ah, yes! The days are getting longer, the robins are waking up, and the supermarket is out of roses. Spring is coming, and love is in the air! So set that new romance book on your nightstand, have some chocolate, and let’s dive into all the books and news we’ve been loving here at Young Adulting!

YAing Updates

First, let’s start with what’s been happening at Young Adulting this month! In our February author spotlight, editor Hannah Luppe interviews Tracy Deonn, New York Times bestselling and Coretta Scott King – John Steptoe Award–winning author of Legendborn! Tracy talks research, various kinds of storytelling, and writing advice:

Photograph by Kathleen Hampton

I love talking about my creative background because, for a long time, I worried about doing too many creative jobs, in too many forms and mediums, and I don’t want anyone else to do that! Every creative job or project I’ve done has helped contribute to the next job or project, and everything I’ve done up until now translates to my writing career. In my time working in theater, I was a playwright, an actor, a director, a lighting operator, a stage manager, house manager, production assistant. All of those jobs contribute to a focused story experience, but they approach narrative at different angles. The visual storytelling of theater means I write scenes very visually; I’m always thinking of how people are arranged in a room, what my main character can see, how the magic looks, body movement. And the collaborative nature of theater means that I’m trained to be very open to working with others, even on a book project that can sometimes appear as if it’s one person’s job.

5 Questions for Tracy Deonn

We’ve also published some marvellous reviews since I last wrote you! Here’s a recap:

  • Hunting By Stars shines on multiple facets, including its diverse characters, exploration of morality and choices, and creative parallels to real-life history.” Audrey Wahking reviews Hunting By Stars by Cherie Dimaline
  • “This book does a fantastic job of showing how to be a good friend, control one’s temper, and reflect if your temper does get out of hand.” Gabrielle Tselos reviews Petal the Angry Cow by Maureen Fergus, illus. Olga Demidova
  • “Each of the protagonists’ voices is unique—they all have different personal problems they are wrestling with, as well as motivations for investigating the murder. Treggiari does a brilliant job writing characters who are doing their best to investigate a mystery, but who are also still teenagers.” Evelyn Hussey reviews Heartbreak Homes by Jo Treggiari
  • “Each page features small gold specs woven throughout the depictions of Nate Gadol, adding a magical touch to the book. The detailed pictures also help draw in younger readers who may rely on pictures to help form the storyline.” Gabrielle Tselos reviews The Hanukkah Magic of Nate Gadol by Arthur A. Levine, illus. Kevin Hawkes
  • Weird Rules to Follow is a bittersweet and compassionate novel about growing up Indigenous in a small British Columbian town.” Evelyn Hussey reviews Weird Rules to Follow by Kim Spencer

Industry News


February is Black History Month, and the Canadian Children’s Book Centre has put together a fantastic list of children’s books written and illustrated by Black Canadians. Check out the list here!

The 2023 YMA award winners were announced on January 30! You can watch the recorded ceremony here, and find the official press release here!

A reminder that on February 16th at 10am PST, Ibram X. Kendi and Nic Stone will be hosting a live, virtual event on their new book How to Be a (Young) Antiracist. The event will include 30 minutes of dialogue about how to build a more equitable world, and attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions. Click here to register, and for more information!

On Wednesday, March 1, LIBYRExtraCredit will be conducting a live conversation about craft and storytelling with bestselling and award-winning author Dusti Bowling and librarian and blogger extraordinaire Betsy Bird. Click here to register and learn more!

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre is hosting a Get Published! webinar on March 25! The webinar will focus on writing picture books and fiction for young people and include expert advice for industry professionals. Click here to register and learn more!


WNDB has implemented the Books Save Lives grant which provides up to $10,000 for school libraries in the USA to purchase diverse titles. Their goal is to prioritize grants for schools located in areas most impacted by book bans and censorship. Applications will open on February 8, 2023 and close at 11:59PM ET on February 28, 2023. Click here to learn more about this initiative!

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 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s