You may know Michael Cart for his clarion reviews in Booklist. Or maybe you know him for his witty and candid “Carte Blanche” columns (I especially admired his recent look at Carl Barks, Walt Kelly, and John Stanley, the big three of classic kids’ comics). Or maybe you’ve heard him wax poetic as the world’s foremost champion of Freddy the Pig and author of Talking Animals and Others: The Life and Work of Walter R. Brooks, Creator of Freddy the Pig. Or as the author of the indispensible Young Adult Literature: From Romance to Realism. Heck, you might even know Michael as a past president of YALSA, or from his work helping to create the little ole Printz Award (he was also the committee chair in 2006, aka “The John Green Year”). The point is, you just won’t find anyone who’s been championing YA literature for as long or as dedicatedly as Michael has, so how about some recognition already? Oh, what’s this?
Now in its third year, the NYC Teen Author Festival is one of the biggest teen author festivals in the U.S., including over seventy authors, spanning over seven days, and garnering an attendance of over a thousand readers. Every year, the Festival selects a Guest of Honor – someone who has made a marked and sustained contribution to teen literature. This year’s honoree is Michael Cart, for his indefatigable support of authors and literature over many decades. Honoring him will be New York Public Library’s Jack Martin and award-winning authors Jacqueline Woodson and David Levithan, followed by a symposium on LGBT YA literature also including Nick Burd and Patrick Ryan.
It’s terrific news, and terrifically well deserved. As his editor at Booklist, it’s been an honor to learn from Michael’s insights and passion, and our collective hats are off to him around the Booklist offices, even moreso than usual. And if you happen to be a Big Appler, I can see no finer way to spend a brand-new Spring weekend than attending this festival. You can find details and the who’s-who list of authors attending on the event’s Facebook page.