We've made no secret of our love for the team behind readergirlz and the innovative job they do championing teen fiction. This week the divas give us, YA marketing folks and, most importantly, young readers just one more reason: by leveraging their online community to support YALSA Teen Read Week, a literary initiative run by YALSA since 1998, and holding a series of live chats from Oct. 18 -23.
Like the monthly author chats readergirlz has become known for, the five-day series (which kicked off yesterday) offers fans the chance to partake in candid online conversations with nine YA authors, eight of whom were nominated by teens for YALSA's Teens Top Ten list (side note: the very worthy winner Paper Towns by John Green was officially announced via webcast on the World Wrestling Entertainment site. Hmm.. now that's a more unusual partnership). For the complete line-up and details on the nightly chats check out the readergirlz' site.
This year's Teen Read Week's theme is "Read Beyond Reality," which I particularly like because it could just as easily apply to a genre book (paranormal/post-apocalyptic/historical fiction/sci-fi/what have you) as well as… any novel ever. That is, after all, part of the reason why we read fiction, right? Not to mention why we tend to start doing so furiously during adolescence . The thrill of taking a brief departure from our lives and hitching on to someone else's. For better or for worse.
But I digress. There are many reasons and authors to get YA fans pumped for the week ahead. And the readergirlz chats do a nice job of representing a wide array of interpretations for what "Beyond Reality" means like with tonight's chat around "Beyond Hardship" featuring rgz diva Lorie Ann Grover (Hold Me Tight), Lynn Weingarten (Wherever Nina Lies) and Elizabeth Scott whose novel Living Dead Girl is eerily topical, as it takes the perspective of a 15-year-old living with a captor after being forcibly kidnapped and imprisoned at the age of 10. Just one of many noteworthy jumping off points for discussion in the readergirlz forum.. and hopefully beyond.