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June 1, 2016

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Celebrate Teen Literature Today

April 17 is Support Teen Literature Day, part of National Library Week 2014. The honorary chair of National Library Week this year is Judy Blume, an author who has arguably done the most to support teen literacy for generations of readers. With groundbreaking books like It’s Not the End of the World; Forever; and Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret., she has provided generations of teens with stories that authentically reflect their experiences. Addressing topics like weathering parents’ divorce, first love, and the decision to have sex, Blume’s work has not only stood the test of time, but also inspired some of the most popular authors writing for young adults today.

John Green, author of award-winning and wildly popular books like The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska that tackle subjects like dying and falling in love admits to being a lifelong fan of her books. Author Patrick Ness recently spoke to the importance of authenticity in writing for teens: “I, like so many others my age, tended to skip teenage fiction altogether and go straight to Stephen King for one simple reason: Judy Blume aside (and God bless her forever and forever), most of the rest of it lied.” Sarah Dessen, who picked up the mantle of authentic teen romances with books like Just Listen and The Truth About Forever stated that meeting Judy Blume was “a dream of MY LIFE.” The thing all of these YA authors have in common is an ability to capture the way a teen thinks, and the courage and compassion to tackle tough, big, adult topics through that lens.

Perhaps one of the most intimidating things about supporting teens in their reading choices is determining when is the right time for them to discover the language, themes, and issues that many young adult books present. As readers grow, their reading lives become more personal and individual. They begin to find themselves and their reading preferences and rely less on adults to spark their literary interests. By including detailed information about content through our teen flyers and Book Beat online, Scholastic Reading Club helps navigate that space. We offer a curated collection of books that reflect the issues teens grapple with coupled with advisory details that help parents and professionals guide teens to the stories that are right for them.

 

About the Authors: Mia Mia is the managing editor of teen reading club and Book Beat at Scholastic Book Clubs. She has also worked as a young adult librarian and dreams of someday joyriding around the country in her own bookmobile. Sean is a managing copywriter for the Scholastic Reading Club catalogs. An all-around entertainment junkie, Sean also DJs in his spare time.

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April 17, 2014