Tip of the Day: For a look at trends, check out YA author/agent Mandy Hubbard's "Epic Post on Trends" based on her meetings with kidlit editors in May.
One of the assignments my colleague and I are having our teen library volunteers do this summer is to read a new YA book (fic or non) and write up a 50 to 70-word review of it for a fall brochure. I asked two of the teens (a boy and a girl) what they were reading. The answer was "tough stuff" realistic fiction. And you know what else they said? They wished there was more upbeat, funny realistic fiction that was't quite so serious.
Don't get me wrong -- I love me some down-on-our-luck books. I was a HUGE fan of Lurlene McDaniel novels as a teen, as well as GO ASK ALICE. I understand the need for these books. And I love some current titles like this too.
But I just wish there was a bit more balance on the new YA book shelves.
My book on submission to editors, the one I would love for teens to be able to read and relate to (for those kids who blush and stammer and sweat when they have to give an oral report in school; for those who want something realistic with a lighter tone; and for those who love Project Runway and reality TV) is having trouble breaking through because of its lack of darkness and paranormal elements.
Yet I'm hopeful -- because trends cycle through, and because my teen volunteers are ready for something new -- that if not this summer then a summer soon my book will be ready to sell.I'm still sending my little YA novel good luck!
(Though anyone who wants it now, to be CUTTING EDGE when realistic stories hit big, don't hold back! :))
Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing