Young adult literature, a genre previously scoffed at for its supposed naivete, has recently started to benefit from a much-deserved sense of legitimacy among critics and readers alike.
Within a relatively short span of time, YA literature has established a strong fan base among teens and adults, and is starting to introduce a more mixed bag of narratives. Throw in the recent rise of popular YA film adaptations, and you have a market that demands a second look.
But common misconceptions continue to cling to the genre, both in terms of what many assume is in YA’s limited scope of creativity, and the topics some believe YA should just leave alone. But how can one judge what topics define teen experience?
And what a title it is! Though some might think it's got zombie overtones, Carolyn Pogue's multi-Saturday workshops at the Alexandra Writers' Centre in Calgary will bring up family history as a great source of inspiration for plotting and character development in story writing. Carolyn bases these workshops in part from the Gwen novels, a young adult historical series loosely based on the life of her grandmother, a British Home Child.
Award winning author, Leora Freedman, is well-known among literary journals for her crossover young adult novels and short fiction. A citizen of the US, Canada, and Israel, Freedman has traveled extensively in pursuit of her multidisciplinary interests. With a wide spectrum of experience under her belt, she weaves resonant stories of young characters searching for a sense of belonging, while staying true to their cross-cultural roots.
Currently available through Three O'Clock Press is Freedman's Parachuting, a young adult novel about a Jewish teen coming of age in Connecticut during the early 1970s.
Having spent most of her life immersed in the cultures of Beijing, and later Canada in pursuit of graduate studies, Professor Yan Li has acquired multiple layers of perspective in her work. Li's writing has appeared in both Chinese and English, and her latest novel, Lily in the Snow, is an insightful exploration of intergenerational conflict. The protagonist, Lily, is a single Chinese immigrant mother living in Mapleton, Ontario, who faces unique challenges when her mother comes to visit.