ALAN v25n1 - The Membership Connection

Volume 24, Number 3
Spring 1997


Chris Crowe

Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah

ALAN Foundation Research Award Recipients, 1996

The following people submitted applications for funding (up to $1000) for research in young adult literature and were supported by the Foundation Committee, made up of the five most recent presidents of ALAN. Here is a list of winners and their project titles:

Elaine Stephens and Jean Brown (Saginaw State University): "Young Adult Literature of the American Civil Rights Movement ."

Melissa Comer (University of Tennessee): "The Design and Teaching Techniques of Young Adult Literature Courses."

Chris Crowe (BrighamYoung University): "A Longitudinal Study of Reading Interests of High School Students: 1983-1997."

Mary Ann Tighe (Troy State University): "Character Education: Values in Young Adult Literature as Perceived by English Teachers, Preservice Teachers, and Adolescents."

Mazers Address ALAN Breakfasters

Popular authors of more than 40 books for YAs, Norma Fox Mazer and Harry Mazer , addressed a sell-out crowd at the annual ALAN Breakfast in Chicago during the NCTE annual convention. In discussing their writing, Harry explained that he and Norma have some fundamental differences: "I want to condense and economize; she wants to expand." Harry said that he believes that in writing less is more, but Norma believes that "less is less, more is more, and more is better." The authors discussed their writing careers and the work it takes to balance family, different writing approaches, collaborative and individual projects. Harry said that, although he never planned on writing for YAs, he now enjoys his work and hopes it has some lasting effects on teen readers. Norma expressed her gratitude to ALAN members for their efforts to bring her books to young readers.

1996 ALAN Workshop a Success

Once again, the annual ALAN Workshop set attendance records. Conference rooms at the Chicago Hilton were packed to overflowing with teachers, librarians, authors, editors, and others interested in YA literature, who gathered for two full days of stimulating conversation about YA books. Aidan Chambers , author of Dance on My Grave delivered the keynote address, "Breaking the Rules." In the sessions that followed, more than 20 noted YA authors addressed the ALAN audience, including Avi , Bruce Brooks , James Bennett , Will Weaver , Nikki Giovanni , John Neufeld , Theodore Taylor , Sue Ellen Bridgers , and Terry Brooks . Sessions were also presented by an impressive assortment of YA literature scholars and critics. Program Chair and ALAN President, Charlie Reed , assembled nearly 30 small-group and general sessions, most of which addressed the Workshop theme, "Exploding the Literary Canon." In addition to the program sessions, workshop participants enjoyed hobnobbing with authors, publishers, and numerous YA literature glitterati at the Monday evening ALAN Reception sponsored by publishers. And if all that weren't enough, all participants took home the traditional ALAN bag of books, a pile of new YA works of fiction and nonfiction provided through the generosity of many kind YA publishers. Those who attended the Workshop agreed: the ALAN Workshop is one of the best things going at the Fall NCTE Convention. Next year's Workshop in Detroit promises to be as good - or even better.

ALAN Membership Distribution by NCTE Regions

NCTE Region #4, the upper Midwest, has the greatest number of ALAN members, with nearly six times as many ALANers as NCTE Region #7, the Northwest. NCTE Region #3, the Southeast, claims the second largest population of ALAN members. Over the last few years, ALAN membership has remained steady at around 2100 members. ALAN members in the eastern US outnumber those in the west by more than 3 to 1.

ALAN Leadership Changes Guard

At the fall NCTE Convention in Chicago, Charlie Reed moved from President to Past-President. Gary Salvner officially assumed ALAN presidential duties; Lois Stover completed her Board term and became president-elect. Board members Patty Campbell and John Bushman completed their terms of service. They will be replaced by newly elected Board members Rita Karr , Terry Ley , and Suzanne Reid .

ALAN Member Edits Heinemann Young Adult Literature Series

Former ALAN President Virginia R. Monseau is the series editor for an impressive list of books on a wide range of YA literature topics. The series, published by Heinemann Boynton/Cook, now features seven titles, one of which is on CD-ROM: A Complete Guide to Young Adult Literature: Over 2000 Critiques from The ALAN Review (CD-ROM); Responding to Young Adult Literature ; Reading Their World: The Young Adult Novel in the Classroom ; Interpreting Young Adult Literature: Literary Theory in the Secondary Classroom ; Young Adult Literature: The Heart of the Middle School Curriculum ; Conflict and Connection: The Psychology of Young Adult Literature ; Reel Conversations: Reading Films with Young Adults.

VOYA Founder Retires

Scarecrow Press regretfully announces the retirement of Dorothy M. Broderick , founding editor of Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA). In 1978 Broderick and Mary K. Chelton personally funded their revolutionary new journal for YA librarians. In their inaugural issue, they wrote that their goal was to "identify the social myths that keep us from serving young people and replace them with knowledge…. Through VOYA we hope to give you ideas and skills that will enable you to create a service network of adults: parents, librarians, and allied professionals, which will work toward increased life opportunities for young adults." Under Broderick's direction, VOYA became well known as an honest and uncompromising source of book reviews and information about YA literature. In 1991, the American Library Association honored Broderick with the Grolier Award, citing her journal for providing "a forum and communications medium unduplicated in the library literature."

American Library Association Awards

E. L. Konigsburg , author of The View from Saturday , is the 1997 winner of the Newbery Medal, Ms. Konigsburg's second Newbery. In 1968, she received both the Newbery Medal for From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and an honor book award for Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth . She is the only author to have received both the medal and an honor book award in the same year. The View from Saturday is about a group of sixth graders and their teacher/coach, Mrs. Olinski, who comprise a surprisingly successful Academic Bowl team. The Newbery Committee described the book as "a unique, jubilant tour deforce characterized by good humor, positive relationships, distinctive personalities and brilliant storytelling." The Newbery Committee cited four honor book authors: Nancy Farmer , author of A Girl Named Disaster ; Eloise McGraw , for Moorchild ; Megan Whalen Turner , for The Thief ; and Ruth White for Belle Prater's Boy .

Walter Dean Myers was named the 1997 recipient of the Coretta Scott King Author Award for Slam! Rebels Against Slavery: American Slave Revolts , by Patricia C. and Frederick L. McKissack , was named a Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book.

Author Gary Paulsen is the 1997 winner of the Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring an author's lifetime contribution in writing books for teenagers. Paulsen is the author of more than 130 books, including Hatchet , the book that introduced a legion of readers to the world of Gary Paulsen, one that encompasses the theme of survival in all its aspects, physical as well as psychological. Other Paulsen books include Woodsong , Winter Room , The Crossing , Canyons , and Dancing Carl .

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, publisher of The Friends by Kazumi Yumoto is the 1997 recipient of the Mildred Batchelder Award. The award is presented to a publisher for the most outstanding book originally published in a foreign language in a foreign country and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States. Translated from Japanese by Cathy Hirano , The Friends tells the story of three sixth-grade friends who spend their spare time spying on an elderly neighbor whom they expect to die.

Susan Hirschman , senior vice president of William Morrow Company and editor-in-chief of Greenwillow Books, has been selected to present the 1998 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture named for the late May Hill Arbuthnot, an authority on children's literature. The lecture is presented annually by an individual of distinction in the field of children's literature. Recognized as a force in children's books throughout the world, Hirschman has published, nourished and supported some of the best authors and illustrators in children's books for more than 20 years. More information on the ALA Awards can be found on the ALA Website:

Mystery Nominations

The Mystery Writers of America have just announced their nominations for this year's Edgar awards. Juvenile and YA title nominations are as follows:

Who Killed Mr. Chippendale by Mel Glenn

Mr. Was by Peter Hautmann

Flyers by Daniel Hayes

Hawk Moon by Rob MacGregor

Twisted Summer by Willo Davis Roberts

For more information on the Edgars, including all other categories and nominees, visit the Mystery Writers of America Awards web page at

Boston Globe-Honor Book Award Winners

Judges at the annual New England Library Association meeting in October, 1996, announced the winners of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards for Excellence in Children's Literature:

Fiction Award:

Poppy by Avi

Honor Books:

The Moorchild by Eloise McGraw

Belle Prater's Boy by Ruth White

Nonfiction Award:

Orphan Train Rider: One Boy's True   Story by Andrea Warren

Honor Books:

The Boy Who Lived with the Bears:   And Other Iroquois Stories by Joseph Bruchac , illustrated by   Murv Jacob

Haystack by Bonnie   Geisert and Arthur Geisert ,   illustrated by Arthur Geisert

1997 Knickerbocker Award (New York Library Association)1997 Knickerbocker Award (New York Library Association)

The School Library Media Section of the New York Library Association has announced that Bruce Coville has won the 1997 Knickerbocker Award. This award is given annually to an author and illustrator living in New York State whose body of work supports the curriculum. This award has been given out since 1992, and previous award-winners are Jean Craighead George , Jean Fritz , Russell Freedman , Seymour Simon , Robert Kimmel Smith , and Joseph Bruchac .

Conferences and Programs

The 10th BYU Symposium on Books for Young Readers will take place in Provo, Utah, July 18-19, 1997. Featured speakers include Amy Cohn , Jean Fritz , Lois Lowry , Allen Say , Alice Schertle , and Barbara Williams . For more information contact the conference organizers by writing to 348 Harman Building, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602-1532, calling (801) 378-2568, or faxing (801) 378-3949.

ALAN member Patty Campbell is offering "YA Bibliorama II: Genre and Beyond," a four-hour session for librarians and teachers that focuses on popular paperback fiction for teens. The half-day sessions use lecture, video, small group discussion, debates, and a quiz show for a total immersion into the best and most relevant fiction for young adults. Campbell, winner of the 1989 Grolier Award, brings to this presentation twenty-five years of experience as a critic, editor, teacher, author, and speaker on young adult literature. For information about scheduling a Bibliorama, call 800-659-5222.