I would bet that everyone here in this room has one book from their childhood that they still give to friends. A book that says, this is my heart. This is what I mean.
One of the things that makes Young Adult literature so wonderful is that it is ageless. It has the ability to lift hearts, both young and old, with its variety and richness of truths told both in fiction and non-fiction. It has the strength to show us everything that we need to know and understand in order to transform us from who we were to who we are. Young adult literature has the power to be that book, the one we give to the children we know, or to the children that still live inside of us.
In literature for young people, we find everything that makes us human: whimsy, troubled history, science, love and worlds rich with magic.
-a portion of Cecil Castellucci’s speech for the LA Times Festival of Books introducing the YA literature category (winner was MARCHING FOR FREEDOM: WALK TOGETHER CHILDREN AND DON’T YOU GROW WEARY by Elizabeth Partridge).
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