YA

Write This: Author Kristen Simmons on the Importance of Backstory

Lillie Forteau's picture

Dressed in a Hogwarts t-shirt, standing in front of a room filled with eager writers and readers, most adorned in costumes, ranging from Maleficent to The Mad Hatter (me!), author Kristen Simmons explored and explained the magic of backstory. Personally, backstory is something I try and avoid whenever I can (which is never); I walked away with a sense of need to write someone's previous turmoil, love, and treason. 

The Art of Holding On and Letting Go: Travel, Climbing, and Finding Yourself

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

“When every piece falls into place, it’s like a dance, a delicate but powerful balancing act. The art of holding on and letting go at the same time.”

Such is the beautiful writing in the winner of Elephant Rock Books’ 2016 Sheehan YA Book Prize, The Art of Holding On and Letting Go, by Kristin Lenz. A fellow Michigander, Lenz has written a powerful story of family, finding yourself, and growing up. 

Raptors, Science, and Essence of Place: Avenging the Owl

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Being a teen is hard. Being a teen with a series of life changes is even harder. One new YA book that explores this theme is Avenging the Owl, by Melissa Hart.

The Drowning Shark: An International Adventure

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Rowling, Riordan, and Sweitzer & Swanepoel – authors who GET adventure writing for young adults. Know the first two, but not the last? That’s about to change, with the new Sierra Rouge adventure series by Stormy Sweitzer & Will Swanepoel. The first in the series is entitled The Drowning Shark, and, like all the books in the series, focuses on social change, compassion for the world around us, and adventure. 

Untamed: Honesty, Power, and Reality in a Dystopian World

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Every so often, a book comes along that beautifully, powerfully reminds you of humanity. One such book is the first in a series (YAY!), entitled Untamed. Written by Madeline Dyer, this YA novel takes a look at a world that is changed - and who the changemakers are. From the start of Untamed, you're pulled into the arc of the story, as if one of the family. Then (and make note of this, so you plan for it) you won't be able to put the book down. Meals? Who needs them! Sleep? Ditto!

Musical Youth

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

My favorite book genre is YA (young adult) - it perfectly captures that magical time of life when anything is possible, while also discussing the very real problems of life, growing up, and finding yourself. It's the ultimate genre of hope, possibility, and growth. 

Author Interview: James Gough on his YA novel, Cloak

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Rowling, Carroll, Riordan, Baum – it’s time to make room up on that shelf of elite writing goodness for another author. Scoot over. It won’t hurt. James Gough, take your place. His new novel, Cloak, is a classic, an eminently readable, interesting, extraordinary book. If you’re like me, you’re already imagining a movie. But I digress.

Behind the Scenes of Cloak with Author James Gough

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

I just can't wait any more. I HAVE to share this with you! Last month, I read THE best YA book I've ever read. The book, Cloak, is about enchants, travel, the magic of life, eating (Spam, or bugs, or...), friends, growing, learning, BEING.