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Field Trip Friday: April 17, 2014


- YA Highway is one of Writer Digest's Top 101 Blogs for Writers! We're excited and humbled to receive this honor and hope to continue to be a good resource for you, our fabulous readers!

- Last week's many conversations and posts about diversity in kidlit carried over to this week with ReedPOP, the panel organizers for BookCon, issueing a non-apology for their all white, middle-aged male "Kids Authors That Dazzle" panel. Author Justina Ireland writes an open letter to conference planners telling them to quit using the equivalent of "I have black friends" and stop organizing diversity panels. "There's a lot of good talk but there's still no action," notes author Ellen Oh in her piece We Are Still Not Doing Enough for Diversity in Kidlit, while author Lamar Giles says forget being the change, don't BS the change. EW's Shelf Life talks to publishing professionals about why there are so few books featuring diverse main charactersMaya Prasad interviews author Sherri L. Smith about how we can achieve the change we need in the second post in her Diversity Solutions series, and Daniel Jose Older powerfully discusses the effects of race and power in publishing. Finally, the lovely Kaye M. kicks off a new blog series focusing on diversity and midlist authors.


- It's not all drowning in tears and bourbon being a writer. You might take a writing class with James Franco or even win a National Book Award...playing this How to be a Writer game.

- "These narratives portrayed alcoholism and drug use as spectacular and sensationalistic but also as having a definitive end: either the person died or the person got clean." The Ism and The Alcohol by Lauren Quinn dissects drugs, literature and the addition narrative. (via Corey Ann Haydu)

- E. Lockhart writes about taking herself seriously versus being taken seriously by the institutions that mock the feminine.

- "Women...have wounds: broken hearts and broken bones and broken lungs. How do we talk about these wounds without glamorizing them? Without corroborating an old mythos that turns female trauma into celestial constellations worthy of worship?" Settle in for the Grand Unified Theory of Female Pain, a glorious, hour-long look at how authors write, sensationalize, get right and get wrong the wounded woman. (via sarah mccarry)

- Special Needs in Strange Worlds: Elizabeth Bear on Writing Disabilities.


- Mike Jung writes poignantly about "the issue of loving a book, really loving it, while also feeling genuinely troubled by it."

- The Not So Horrible Consequences of Reading Banned Books notes that "a new study of Texas teens found no connection between reading edgy books and mental health issues or delinquent behavior." Imagine that.

- Teacher Mrs. Anderson surveys the girls in her English class to discover which book characters they do and don't see themselves in, what they'd like to see more of in books, whether they've seen characters in required reading that stick out to them, and more.

- Debbie Reese brought Arigon Starr's Super Indian Comics to our attention and it makes for superb reading.

- Friend of YAH Kelly Jensen reviews Julie Halpern's The F-It List and wonders whether some readers can't handle "positive portrayal of girls embracing sex and doing so without apology and without holding back on being crude and, at times, obscene."

- "Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice." ~ One Hundred Years of Solitude. Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez passes away at the age of 87.

- There is a huge narrative surrounding the failing independent bookstore, but NY Mag gives us a look at six that are thriving and how they're managing the feat. Yes! Go forth and buy books!

- It's possible you didn't get tight-chested and glassy-eyed while watching the If I Stay movie trailer this week. It's also possible you don't have a heart. As for me and mine, GIVE ME THIS MOVIE ALREADY.


- Wake up and sell your book! Seven Brilliant Ways Authors Build Buzz--That Anyone Can Use. Yeah, I'm working on that whole "get on Oprah's good list" thing, too.

- In response to Elle Magazine's suggested wardrobe for The Novelist, Lynne Kelly describes The Author's Wardrobe, For Real. I'm on board with Jo Whittemore--my author superhero blanket cape is regularly draped over my shoulders as I write. Isn't yours?

- Chuck Wendig has Ten Things [He'd] Like to Say to Young Writers. So sit up and pay attention, youths! (We love you, youths.)

- Dan Wells and a whole slew of authors are putting together an anthology to raise awareness of mental illness and to show support for Dan's brother, Robison Wells.


- Congrats to Adventures in YA Publishing for hitting 2 million page views! To celebrate, they're giving away 20 incredible prize packs. Go forth and enter.


- Hug a Dungeonmaster today. Annalee Newitz discusses how We Won the War on Dungeons & Dragons.

- "We are both birthed from resilience." Teenagers Amina Iro and Hannah Halpern own the stage at the Brave New Voices 2013 Quarterfinals. (via Sajidah)

- In more awesome teen girls slash where is the book about THIS superhero news, a 13-year old eagle huntress in Mongolia gives us a glimpse of her world.

- Muggles need not apply. But for the rest of us, Hogwarts courses are now online! Grab your wands, witches, you're late for class.

- The vegetation on Kepler-186f would grow in shades of yellow and orange but that probably won't stop people from wanting to inhabit Earth's newly discovered "cousin."

- We prefer promoting teens who do great things. In the case of the girl who tweeted a bomb threat at American Airlines, consider this an advisory, do-not-do tale.

-  Catherine Cleary Wolters, the real life inspiration for the character Alex on Orange is the New Black, speaks out about her relationship with Piper Kerman for the first time.

- I know teenagers who use maybe...three of these terms regularly? I don't know what that says about me or about this article on 23 Words Teenagers Love To Use and What They Really Mean.


- They're all yours, horror lovers. The most gruesome sentences found on Wikipedia.

- Going in for a new haircut anytime soon? This guide to finding your face shape will surely help you discover the most flattering style.

- You could wonder how and why bunnies became a symbol for Easter (huh?) or you could just look at these terrifying vintage Easter bunny photos and call it good.

- Hilary Clinton is going to be a grandma!

- A $20,000AUD party and he won't take the sunglasses off because they're famous.

Have a great weekend, but try not to break anything. <3 Kristin
Kristin Halbrook

Kristin Halbrook is the author of the critically-acclaimed young adult novels Nobody But Us (HarperTeen, 2013) and Every Last Promise (HarperTeen, 2015). She likes many things.

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  1. The If I Stay trailer is fantastic...I can't wait!

  2. Congrats on the spotlight in Writer's Digest- it's well deserved!


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Item Reviewed: Field Trip Friday: April 17, 2014 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kristin Halbrook