What (Female) Teens Read

ContemplatingBooks     Children’s and young adult books have been a bright spot for publishing even through the recession, showing growth where other categories have floundered. Naturally, publishers want their customers to enthusiastically buy their products. To do that, the publishers need to know what their customers want.

     A new survey put out by TeenReads and The Book Report Network says teens respondents (who turned out to be overwhelmingly female) are most drawn to series fiction, especially in the romance and fantasy genres. The vampire-lovers out there are smiling so widely their canines are showing. Next comes adventure and mysteries/suspense/thrillers.

     The survey reached out to many geographic areas and populations. The results of the survey are nicely broken down and displayed at Publisher’s Weekly here. It’s good news if, like me, you’re writing a fantasy novel. And it’s great news for the industry and book-lovers everywhere when children’s books are selling well.

Forerunning at the Olympic Qualifiers

     Look at her go! This is video of my daughter Antonia skating her personal best in the 500 meters — and opening the Olympic Qualifiers at the Pettit.

     Big events like these often have several young people forerunning, ie, skating a distance while the officials check the clocks. Toni skated with fellow Badger Club Member Michael Oechsner.

     Congrats to both for a great skate!

What I’m Reading

OutoftheDust     I’ve been reading Karen Hesse’s work lately. She’s an American author out of the East Coast whose well known for her page-turning historical fiction.

     I’d recommend reading Out of the Dust, written in free verse in the voice of a young girl who lives through the Dust Bowl of the Great Depression. It won the 1998 Newbery Medal and is a highly accessible and enjoyable read.

Witness     You also can’t go wrong with Witness, the story of a Vermont town’s changes during an attempted take-over by the KKK in the 1920s. The story’s told from the perspective of several of the townsfolk, who bear witness to the growing threat of the Klan. Each character’s unique voice and revelations weave together to form a compelling story arc. I’d recommend pushing this on any middle- or high schooler studying racism.

Opening the Olympic Trials

antonia_speedskating_2009     I am so excited to announce that one of my daughters will be taking part in the U.S. Speedskating Olympic Trials coming up at the Pettit National Ice Center! No, Antonia is not competing for a place on America’s Team — yet 🙂 — but she’ll be skating two distances as part of the clock check that officials do before the Olympians take to the ice.

     Another young (and fast!) skater from our speedskating club will join her, as will two other talented kids from another local club.

     This will be in front of a large audience, be webcast worldwide, and she’ll get her name in the record books! It’s a great honor, and she couldn’t be happier! More info about the event can be found here and at U.S. Speedskating.

     Congrats, Toni!