Summer 2015: (Re)membering and (Re)living: Probing the Collective and Individual Past
Stories are dynamic, told and heard, accepted and revered, rejected and rewritten by readers who
draw from their experiences and understandings to garner meaning from the words on the page. In
young adult texts, fiction and nonfiction, historical and contemporary and futuristic, this dynamism
can encourage the critique of our collective past, helping us question assumptions about what came
before and reconsider our responsibilities to the present and future. These texts can also help us consider
the adolescent experience across time and place and explore the similarities and differences that
shape reality as young people navigate and draft their own coming-of-age stories. This universality
can foster a connection to others and reinforce our shared existence as members of a human community.
And yet, these texts can give emotional reality to names, dates, and other factual information,
letting us imagine the voices of those who lived in other places and times, voices that have sometimes
been silenced in official accounts of history, ideally inspiring us to honor these voices and generate
a better future. Through these stories, we might come to reject a single narrative and develop
empathy for individuals we never knew—and those we did and do and will.
In this issue, we welcome articles that explore the relationship between young adult literature,
history, stories, and readers. We acknowledge that “every living soul is a book of their own history,
which sits on the ever-growing shelf in the library of human memories” (Jack Gantos, Dead End in
Norvelt). And that, “If you stare at the center of the universe, there is coldness there. A blankness.
Ultimately, the universe doesn’t care about us. Time doesn’t care about us. That’s why we have to
care about each other” (David Levithan, Every Day). Stories matter in this caring: “I leapt eagerly into
books. The characters’ lives were so much more interesting than the lonely heartbeat of my own”
(Ruta Sepetys, Out of the Easy).
As always, we also welcome submissions focused on any aspect of young adult literature not
directly connected to this theme. All submissions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org prior to
November 1, 2014. Please see the ALAN website (http://www.alan-ya.org/page/alan-review-authorguidelines)
for submission guidelines.