BookExpo America (BEA), the book industry’s long-running trade expo, took place in Chicago last week. Within BEA, teens and YA book lovers convened at BookCon, a convention for book lovers that combined storytelling and pop culture in a daylong event. Fans attended panel discussions with such MG and YA stars as Kate DiCamillo, Dav Pilkey and Ransom Riggs. In honor of BookCon and BEA – the largest publishing event in North America – YA Wednesday looks at the history of children’s books and explores some topics and upcoming trends in YA.
• Publishers Weekly caught up with YA authors Veronica Roth, Melissa de la Cruz, Lauren Oliver, and Sabaa Tahir who gave a talk at BEA about what it means to write about good and evil, and why both heroes and villains abound in fiction, just as they do in real life.
• Did you know the first widely printed picture book for kids — the Orbis Pictus was published in 1658?
• For some historical context, check out this January 1888 article from The Atlantic archives, The History of Children’s Books.
• Children’s literature has gone through many stages. NPR Ed explores how children’s books have evolved from their inception in the mid-1600s up to the present.
• One of the ways YA literature has changed over the years is by embracing topics never before presented in YA books. For example, author Victoria Jamieson parlayed her experience on a roller derby team into her new book, Roller Girl.
• And YA stories don’t end with just books. With the Hunger Games and other money-making movie franchises behind us, producers are scrambling to discover the next big film franchise.