Archive for April, 2009


YALSA-BK, or YALSA Book Discussions, is a moderated mailing list, part of the ALA Mailing List Service.  It is attached to YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association), which is a division of the ALA.  A subscription to the mailing list gives access to an open forum about young adult reading and literature.  The discussion focuses on issues relating to Young Adult Reading, and includes topics such as:

  • Award nominations (Best Books for Young Adults, Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers);
  • Discussions about specific titles;
  • Requests for suggestions;
  • Book recommendations and book lists;
  • News of upcoming events or important happenings in the world of YA reading.

Members include professionals in the field of young adult literature (librarians, teachers, etc.), parents, and young adults themselves.  At the time this post was written, there were 3157 subscribers.  That’s a big conversation!  The archives are available for browsing and date back as far as 1988.  They are handy for those who don’t want to subscribe, or would like to know more about the kind of conversations taking place before subscribing.  For those who would like to read more about mailing lists in general, the ALA Mailing List Service has provided a helpful and readable introduction.  On the YALSA wiki I found an entry titled “Booklists from YALSA-BK”, in which many of the booklists that have appeared on the mailing list have been usefully compiled.  Some examples include: “Body Image Booklist”, “International Books”, “Music Themed Books”, and “Romance for Boys”.  These booklists are put together by subscribers, and reflect the reading interests and habits of individuals across the community.  YALSA-BK is a fantastic resource for librarians.  Subscribing will connect you with others working with or interested in teen reading.  Reading the list will keep you up-to-date and in-the-know, and contributing to the discussions provides you with an opportunity to voice your suggestions, ideas, questions, and enthusiasm for YA literature.


Review: Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist



Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

New York: Alfred A. Knopf, c2006

183 p., pbk, $9.99 CAN

ISBN: 978-0-375-84614-4

Broken-hearted Nick can’t believe it when he sees his ex-girlfriend Tris walk into the club with another guy.  Turning to the girl beside him, he does the only thing he can think of to save face.  Norah is preoccupied with her own complicated life, but when Nick turns and asks her to pretend to be his girlfriend for five minutes, she somehow finds herself agreeing.  One electrifying kiss later, Nick and Norah find themselves traveling together through New York, a city sizzling with sexual energy, and alive with the beat of the music that serves as the soundtrack to their experiences.  In one incredible night, they come to terms with past mistakes, confront the realities of unsatisfying relationships, accept the challenges of the unknown future, and discover the exhilarating prospect of real love.  Acclaimed YA authors Rachel Cohn and David Levithan came together to write this trendy novel.  Chapters switch back and forth between Nick’s perspective and Norah’s, an engaging narrative style that is both convincing and funny.  The authors bring the energy, lights, and sounds of New York City to vivid life.  The fast-paced narrative makes this a quick read, but the insightful characterization and themes encourage thoughtful reflection long after the book is finished.  The print is clear and large, and the lightweight paperback is comfortable to handle.  Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist will appeal to teen boys and girls, especially those interested in the contemporary music scene.  However, explicit language and graphic sexuality make this novel more appropriate for older teens.

Recommended with reservations. 4P. 5Q.