YALSA offers resources, read-alikes to keep teens reading after final Harry Potter book

Contact: Stephanie Kuenn


Communications Specialist


312-280-2128


skuenn@ala.org
For Immediate Release


July 17, 2007

YALSA offers resources, read-alikes to keep teens reading after final Harry Potter book

As Harry Potter's saga ends with the release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" on July 21, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), the fastest-growing division of the American Library Association (ALA), can help parents, librarians, and educators keep the attention of teens hooked on Harry with read-alikes and resources for planning teen-focused programs.

"Ever since massive numbers of teens finished the first Harry Potter book and began to look for something else 'like that' to read, librarians have been faced with the welcome challenge of connecting these eager readers to new authors, series and characters," said Paula Brehm-Heeger, YALSA president.

And they do welcome that challenge, noted Marin Younker, chair of YALSA's 2008 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults (PPYA) Committee. The committee compiles themed reading lists each year with the goal of encouraging young adults to read for pleasure by presenting them with popular or topical paperback books with teen appeal.

"There are so many other reading options for teens who are hooked on Harry Potter. It's just a matter of teens finding the right book, which we hope they will do by talking to their library media specialist or teen services librarian," said Younker.

Younker points to the nominations for the 2008 PPYA list
"Magic in the Real World" as a starting point for Harry read-alikes. This list of recommended reading is meant to encourage teens to imagine what life would be like if magic really existed.

"Many of these titles are sure to appeal to Harry Potter readers," she said. "Teens who love Harry Potter can give 'Warrior Heir' a try, with its intense battle between good and evil plus newly discovered magical powers or the incredibly popular 'Lightning Thief' series by Rick Riordan. I'd also recommend Justine Larbalestier's 'Magic or Madness,' the first in a trilogy exploring family secrets. For something entirely different, the older teen reader can discover the complicated and fantastical world of London Below imagined by Neil Gaiman in 'Neverwhere.'"

The full list of 2008 nominations, as well as other PPYA themed lists, can be found at
www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists/poppaper. The final 2008 lists will be announced at ALA's 2008 Midwinter Meeting January 11-16, 2008, in Philadelphia.

Brehm-Heeger also encourages librarians to continue to offer fun, innovative programming aimed at capturing teen interests as much as they have with Harry Potter.

"When the first Harry Potter book was released, libraries quickly realized the power of creating unique experiences at the library for teens based on their interests," she said. "Great examples of these kinds of activities can certainly be found in the many innovative programs recently selected by YALSA in the fifth round of
Excellence in Library Services to Young Adults."

For 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, films, and audiobooks for teens. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to
www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists, or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390; or e-mail:
yalsa@ala.org.