You know how in “Empire Records”, that kid jumps in front of the news camera, part of a last-ditch effort to save the quirky, independent record store he and his friends love, and screams, “Damn the man! Save the Empire!”? The kids in that movie were trying to save something that felt like home to them, and YA lit is a little bit like home to me.
That’s not to say YA literature is going down the tubes and needs saving–you could reasonably argue that YA lit is a bastion of stability in a publishing industry shifting and quaking with each new method of distribution (iPad, iPod, Kindle, Kobo, Nook, Cruze) that emerges. But these days when I walk around this most sacred section of my local bookstore, I feel like the selection of content has considerably shrunk to only a few types of stories. If we hunker down and think for a good five seconds, we’ll realize we know exactly what they are.
Therefore, my intention is to say, “Damn the ordinary! Save the obscure!” by shining a spotlight on books and authors that think outside the box, and by being a resource for readers who do the same. On YAvolt, you’ll find novels, short stories, graphic novels, and comics that take risks and hold the unexpected in their pages, titles full of ideas that are at once entertaining and insightful, emotionally resonant and intellectually deep. So pick up something unusual, read with me, and let’s start a YA revolt. A YAvolt, you might say.
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