Authors Ellen Hopkins, Lauren Myracle to keynote closing session for YALSA’s Young Adult Literature Symposium

For Immediate Release
Tue, 09/28/2010


Stephanie Kuenn

CHICAGO — Ellen Hopkins, the young adult author who recently became the target of censors in Texas, and Lauren Myracle, whose ttyl series was the most frequently challenged set of books in 2009, will be the keynote speakers for the general closing session of the 2010 Young Adult Literature Symposium, announced the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association. Hopkins and Myracle will speak during the general closing session from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Nov. 7.

Both Hopkins and Myracle are noted advocates for intellectual freedom whose books have appeared on YALSA's selected booklists, including the Best Books for Young Adults, Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers and the Teens' Top Ten.
"In honor of Banned Books Week and the celebration of intellectual freedom everywhere, I am thrilled that Ellen Hopkins and Lauren Myracle will be joining us at the symposium in Albuquerque," said YALSA President Kim Patton. "Both authors are courageously writing some of the most popular titles for teens, telling stories of teens dealing with the same issues as their readers."
Hopkins recently made headlines when the Humble Teen Lit Festival near Houston, Texas, uninvited her from appearing, citing complaints from middle school parents. After Hopkins made the decision public, several other participating authors withdrew, resulting in the cancellation of the January 2011 event.
Myracle's ttyl series topped the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom’s list of most frequently challenged books in 2009. In October 2009, Scholastic asked Myracle to alter her novel “Luv Ya Bunches” for inclusion in the publisher's school book fairs. While Myracle agreed to replace some of the language, she refused to change the sexual orientation of one of the main characters’ parents. Scholastic subsequently dropped the book from its book fairs, although the publisher eventually included a toned-down version (with the same-sex parents included) to its middle school book fairs.
The symposium will take place Nov. 5-7 in Albuquerque, N.M., with a theme of “Diversity, Literature & Teens: Beyond Good Intentions.” Details on the symposium can be found at
Advanced registration for the symposium, which saves $25 over on-site fees, is open through Oct. 8 at Advanced registration costs $245 for YALSA members, $295 for ALA members, $350 for nonmembers, and $50 for students, who must be enrolled in an ALA-accredited library and information science program.
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