Read Alert - Youth Literature

So long, and thanks for all the fish

May 16, 2016

I’m sad to announce I’ll soon be leaving the Centre for Youth Literature, with my last day here being Friday 20 May. It has been an honour to work for an organisation that champions the benefits of reading for pleasure, and supports the voices and views of young adults. I am however, very excited to have the opportunity to shift into supporting and advocating for LGBTIQA young people, working with Geelong’s Adolescent Sexuality Project (GASP).

I have loved working with the Centre for Youth Literature for the last five years, and I will be taking so many great memories with me – most of which involve meeting and working with wonderful people, both in person and online. The youth literature community is beautiful, with so many people passionate about getting great books into the hands of Australian teens. It has also been a privilege to work with, and publish writing by, so many talented young readers - superstars, the lot of them.

[caption id=“attachment_4652” align=“aligncenter” width=“300”] Inky Awards judges L-R: Inky Awards Judges Lauren, Angus, and Vinhara, with Jordi Kerr[/caption]

In the last 5 years the Centre for Youth Literature has:

  • Run 519 in-person sessions, with over 30,000 total attendances
  • Had three-quarter of a million visits to our digital community
  • Grown our social media community by over 9,000 people
  • Had 129% increase in Inky Awards teen voting
  • And, in the last 3 years, we’ve worked with 176 writers and speakers… a quarter of whom were teens.

It’s an exciting time in the world of youth literature, with powerful grass-roots movements like We Need Diverse Books and LoveOzYA. It’s also an exciting time for the Centre for Youth Literature with the redevelopment of Inside a Dog, and redevelopment at State Library Victoria that will include establishing a dedicated space for young learners.

To celebrate my farewell, and as tomorrow (17 May) is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT), here’s my personal favourite LGBTIQA YA reads:

  • The Flywheel by Erin Gough
  • Ash by Malinda Lo
  • The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
  • Pink by Lili Wilkinson
  • If You Could Be Mine by Sarah Farizan
  • George by Alex Gino (Middle Grade)
  • Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
  • Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
  • Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
  • Clariel by Garth Nix
  • Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (Older Readers)

To find more great reads check out GayYA and Australian LGBTQ YA, and if you’re looking for resources and support, I highly recommend Minus18.

Best wishes, and happy reading,

Jordi (soon-to-be-former minion of the one and only Inky).