Celebrate young adult literature’s rise with Teen Read Week 2008

Contact: Macey Morales / Jennifer Petersen
ALA Media Relations
312-280-4393 / 5043
mmorales@ala.org / jpetersen@ala.org

For Immediate Release
July 31, 2008

Celebrate young adult literature’s rise with Teen Read Week™ 2008

Learn more about Books with Bite @ your library, October 12 - 18

CHICAGO – Thanks in part to events like Teen Read Week, an annual initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), teen books now enjoy unprecedented critical success and popularity. Since its inception in 1998, Teen Read Week (www.ala.org/teenread) has encouraged teens to visit their public and school libraries, select their own reading material and read for the fun of it. Teen Read Week 2008 will be celebrated in more than 4,000 libraries across the U.S. on Oct. 12-18.

Teen literature is in its golden age. The most highly anticipated book of 2008, “Breaking Dawn,” is aimed at young adults, with teen books taking up many spots on best-seller lists from USA Today and Amazon.com, among others. Many adult authors have begun writing fiction for teens, and book editors and librarians across the U.S. agree that literature aimed at young adults is better than ever. As overall book sales stagnate, young adult publishing is a bright spot; a 2008 article in Newsweek says sales for books aimed at those ages 12-18 have increased more than 25 percent.

“In the age of the Internet, people sometimes assume that teens don’t want to read when the truth is that older teens often enjoy reading – and sales statistics and circulation figures can show this,” said YALSA President Sarah Cornish Debraski. “Teens just need to get their hands on the right materials, and reading now encompasses many forms: magazines, newspapers, blogs, audio books and graphic novels. It’s important to provide teens with a wide variety of reading material and allow them to make their own selections.”  

As teen literature has become more popular, teens remain regular library users. A poll conducted for ALA by Harris Interactive in 2007 found more than 78 percent of surveyed teens borrowed books and other materials for personal use from public libraries, while 60 percent sought out materials for personal use from their school library.

Libraries have responded to teen library use by increasing young adult library staff, programs and services. According to the 2007 Public Library Data Service (PLDS) Statistical Report, published by the Public Library Association (PLA), a division of ALA, nearly 90 percent of the nation’s public libraries now offer programs tailored to the needs and interests of young adults, and 51.9 percent employ at least one full-time staff equivalent in this area, up from 11 percent in 1995.

Each year, the Teen Read Week theme changes to aid libraries in their programming. The 2008 Teen Read Week theme is “Books with Bite @ your library®,” which promotes a variety of books – from vampire stories to cooking to technology (byte) – as a tool for getting young adults to read for the fun of it. During Teen Read Week, teens will also be able to participate in the Teens’ Top Ten (www.ala.org/teenstopten) , in which teens voice their choice for their favorite books. Last year teens cast more than 6,000 online votes in the Teens’ Top Ten.

Mirrorstone Books, a subsidiary of Wizards of the Coast, is the 2008 Corporate Sponsor of Teen Read Week for the second year.. Promotional Partners include ALA Graphics, Evanced solutions, Galaxy Press, Hachette Book Group USA/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Random House/Listening Library, Scholastic, School Library Journal and Zest Books. Nonprofit supporting organizations include the Adlit.org, American Association of School Administrators, American Booksellers Association, Cable in the Classroom, International Reading Association, Kids Care, Kidsnet, The N/Noggin, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Education Association, National School Boards Association, SmartGirl.org, Speak Up Press, Swept Away TV/The Rock Star Stories, and TeenInk.

For more information on Teen Read Week, please visit www.ala.org/teenread, or contact Macey Morales, ALA Media Relations Manager, 312-280-4393, mmorales@ala.org, or Jennifer Petersen, ALA PR Coordinator, 312-280-4393, jpetersen@ala.org.

For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos 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.

About Mirrorstone Books

Since launching in 2004, Mirrorstone Books, a subsidiary of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., has offered a wide array of fantasy fiction for children and young adults. Titles include The New York Times best-selling A Practical Guide to Dragons and A Practical Guide to Monsters (both selected as YALSA Quick Picks for Young Readers), the Hallowmere series (A New York Public Library Best Book for Teens) and the anthology for teens, Magic in the Mirrorstone. Mirrorstone is dedicated to turning reluctant readers in to lifelong readers. For more information, or to download teaching tools, visit Mirrorstonebooks.com.

About Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS), is a worldwide leader in the trading card game and tabletop roleplaying game categories, and a leading developer and publisher of game-based entertainment products. The company holds an exclusive patent on trading card games (TCGs) and their method of play and produces the premier trading card game, Magic: The Gathering*, among many other trading card games and family card and board games.. Wizards is also a leading publisher of role-playing games, such as Dungeons & Dragons*, and publisher of fantasy series fiction with numerous New York Times best sellers. For more information on Wizards of the Coast, visit their website at www.wizards.com. For more information on the Mirrorstone imprint visit www.mirrorstonebooks.com