YaNovCon Experience

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Shortly after this class started, I learned that there was going to be a YA Novel Convention at my local library. How perfect, right? I wasn’t quite sure what to expect going into it, but thought it would be a great opportunity to learn more about YA lit. Plus the convention was free, which made it sound even better!

C3SYFjLUMAAFXuq.jpgWhen I got there, I was handed a name tag, button, and program. The program listed 15 different YA authors that were going to be speaking at the convention. The authors were divided into different panels, so you heard from about five or six of them at a time. The first panel was the keynote. It addressed mental health and YA books. There was a young lady that shared her story about her mental health struggles, and how she found help. Three authors were also a part of that panel. They had backgrounds in mental illness, and had each written a book that deals with mental illness. There was a moderator that asked questions, and then they opened it up to audience questions after that.

After the keynote, panels ran simultaneously. I chose to go to the realistic fiction panel first. Again, there was a moderator that asked questions, and also opened the floor to audience questions. It was a very laid back, and I enjoyed hearing from the authors. The second panel I chose to go to was the one on censorship. It ran in the same format as mentioned. This discussion turned out to be a very thought provoking one. The authors in this panel have written books with suggestive material, and shared their stories on writing it and getting published. I. W. Gregorio, author of None of the Above , wrote about a person in high school learns they are intersex–and then this information ends up being leaked to their high school. The author shared her story about being disinvited from a high school author visit because of the content of her book. I left this discussion with many questions in regard to censorship. I feel like censorship is a difficult area. I see where the one who wants to censor is coming from, yet I question if it is really the best choice or not. There is a lot of grey areas for sure.

After the second panel, I did have to leave for another engagement. I learned a lot from the panels I attend and am glad to have gone and been enlightened!

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4 thoughts on “YaNovCon Experience

  1. This sounds like a wonderful experience, and it is one that I would have loved to attend. As a librarian, I have been taught very liberal views as far as censorship goes. In essence, librarians pretty much aren’t responsible for censoring materials. They are out there for everyone to decide for themselves. However, as an elementary school librarian, I feel that I must act in place of the parents to a degree, and we are cautious about what subject matter is purchased for our schools. It is definitely a touchy subject though.

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  2. This is so awesome! I’m so glad you had the opportunity to go. Personally, I love that they had a mental health forum. I know that books that talk about mental health are getting more prevalent, but it’s still “taboo” you know? I’m glad they’re talking about it. As for censorship, everyone is going to be a critic, especially parents. In a high school setting, of course it’s difficult. But the question is, why are they censored in the first place? In relation to that authors book, doesn’t the school realize that some students actually deal with this? Kids deal with things like sexuality, drugs, abuse – it happens. Of course the school wants to cover their bases, but it seems that every banned book I’ve read has always been the one that has the biggest effect on me. Wonder why? Once again, I’m so glad that you go to go!

    Ali

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    • Thanks! It was a fun experience. And yeah, censorship is tough…at the very least, good thing there are public libraries! A good place for students that feel they really want to read the more taboo books.

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