Video Thrilled the Literary Stars

WintergirlsIt used to hold that one of the reasons you became a writer was that you were the sort who ducked out of photographs and preferred to communicate through quill-written correspondence. These days, though, these Salingeresque avoidance techniques won’t win you much love from your publisher–and probably won’t push many books, either.

So Penguin’s the Screening Room has launched Penguin Storytime and YA Cafe. I was particularly taken by the latter, which takes advantage of some pretty slick production values while grilling a few of the publisher’s heavy hitters. The first three interviewees: Laurie Halse Anderson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle (who I video-interviewed right here on Likely Stories). Though the videos are long-ish, I’m really digging the supplements. In the case of Anderson, in addition to the 7-minute interview, you get an original poem read by the author, the Wintergirls book trailer, and a 26-minute discussion of Wintergirls between Anderson and five real live teens–apparently escaped from the wild! I found this last video the most interesting, as sometimes we in the youth book racket need a reminder of what real teens look and talk and act like.

Bravo, Penguin. Now all we need is an uninterrupted live feed of John Green’s living room and we’ll be good.



About the Author:

Dan Kraus is Booklist's Editor of Books for Youth. He is also the producer and director of numerous feature films, most notably the documentary Work Series, and the author of several YA novels, including Rotters and Scowler, both of which won the Odyssey Award. Follow him on Twitter at @DanielDKraus.

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