If you visit your local chain bookstore, chances are that the teen section is inundated with paranormal and fantasy titles. There's nothing wrong with that; those titles are certainly popular with teens. But know that teens are craving realistic fiction, too. Paranormal may be hot right now, but it's contemporary stories that are, have been, and will be the meat of the YA genre. Teens need books that reflect their experiences and allow them to experience other situations in a safe way. Teens need to see themselves in books, need books that talk about relationships and tough situations.
Our panel, Get Real: Contemporary YA Lit is "The Next Big Thing" talks about the importance of contemporary fiction and gives TONS of suggestions in a variety of genres. If you couldn't make it to the Symposium this year or if you're just looking for the handouts, I've got 'em here.
Here's the Prezi that the panel presented this morning:
If you're not sure where to start, check out this awesome Contemporary YA flowchart made by Kelly Jensen of STACKED.
Contemporary YA lit is something our teens need and something they're asking for! Hopefully these resources we've put together will help you in your quest to put the right book in the right hands.