Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dystopias and YA Authors

I've had, if I may use a cliched non-word, a booktastic weekend.  I received the plethora of books at NCTE, attended some interesting workshops at the convention, and just returned from a great YA author book signing.

The last convention workshop I went to yesterday was on dystopian and apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic fiction.  My book interests generally veer in that direction, although I've been complaining recently about overdosing on the doomsday.  Nonetheless, I was excited to hear other teachers talk about the books they've taught.  I'd read probably three-quarters of the books they recommended, and my current curriculum doesn't really allow me to teach dystopias, but I did come away with some books I hadn't heard of that I'd like to try.  These include:
- The Wave (Strasser)
- The City of Ember (DuPrau)
- The Running Man (Bachman, really Stephen King)
- The Long Walk (Bachman/King)
- Feed (M.T. Anderson)

This afternoon I went to a small independent bookstore called Children's Book World, which featured a book signing with a bunch of popular YA authors.  A portion of the proceeds went to support the Philadelphia Library System (definitely a worthy cause).  I'd heard of nearly all the authors present, but was especially excited to meet Steve Kluger, the author of The Last Days of SummerLast Days has been a summer reading book for our 9th graders for several years, and the kids absolutely love it.  I've heard wonderful things about his new novel, My Most Excellent Year, which I purchased.  He was super nice.  I also had Wintergirls signed by Laurie Halse Anderson and Leviathan signed by Scott Westerfeld.  Although Uglies is the only Westerfeld novel I've read so far, Leviathan looks really interesting.  Had a nice conversation with him about the use of illustrations in that book.

I had a wonderful time, and the authors and staff of Children's Book World were all enthusiastic and welcoming.  I have far, far too many books to read now, but I can't wait to start!


  1. What a grand time! I loved City of Ember, and I know you will too. Absolutely. When I read it originally, my impression was 'mystery,' so I was a tad surprised to see it on 'dystopian' lists, but I suppose it fits...
    The film version is pretty good, by the way - you'll want to catch it!
    AND I am so jealous - you met the author of The Last Days of Summer! That was probably the first book to make me cry post-college. I just picked it off the shelf at the library and got lost in it.
    Oh, and you will love Leviathan as well. Rip-roaring adventure and awesome fantasy world. *sigh*


  2. Sounds like you had a great weekend! I haven't read any of the books you've mentioned but they sound interesting.