Author Archive: Daniel Kraus

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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Throwback Thursday: Romancing the YA Cover Art

Throwback Thursday: Romancing the YA Cover Art

Editor’s note: Nicola Yoon’s The Sun is Also a Star took home a Coretta Scott King Award on Sunday at the ALA Youth Media Awards. Long before these laurels, Yoon was a bestselling author whose iconic cover design launched scores of imitators—something Dan Kraus noticed long before anyone else. This post was originally published on […]

The (Literally) Biggest YA Novels of the Year

The (Literally) Biggest YA Novels of the Year

The days of the sub-200-page YA book have been vanquished. Formidable cement bunker–sized books are what everyone’s reading these days, and why not? Lengthy books provide an antidote to screen-scrolling, app-switching, notification-chiming sort of reading. As a bonus, they protect you from unexpected machete attack. So let’s run through this year’s 10 biggest YA behemoths, […]

Posted in: Books and Authors
The Civil War in 3,000 Easy Pages: Celebrating Shelby Foote’s 100th Birthday

The Civil War in 3,000 Easy Pages: Celebrating Shelby Foote’s 100th Birthday

Recently—very recently, about an hour ago—I completed a year-long siege comparable to that of General Grant’s 1863 campaign against Vicksburg: finishing Shelby Foote’s landmark trilogy, The Civil War: A Narrative, before the author’s 100th birthday on November 17, 2017. Wedging even slender books into a reviewer’s free time is difficult, and this was 3,000 tiny-print, small-margin, often […]

Posted in: Books and Authors
On Problematic Reviews

On Problematic Reviews

Recently more than one review journal has been called out for problematic reviews, particularly around the labeling of characters’ gender identity or sexual orientation as somehow connoting “mature” content. Our friends at SLJ recently responded to such a criticism—and responded very well—and our hats are off to them for taking responsibility in a mature, open, […]

Posted in: Books and Authors
Booklist Celebrates 50 Years of YA

Booklist Celebrates 50 Years of YA

So this is, as they say, kind of a big deal. In 2017, for the whole darn year, we’ll be celebrating the 50th year of the modern young-adult book, as is commonly defined by the 1967 publishing of S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. We’ve got so many things planned I honestly don’t know where start. For […]

31 Horror Films in 31 Days: The Slime-Sucking Conclusion

31 Horror Films in 31 Days: The Slime-Sucking Conclusion

Creee-ee-eeee-eek. That’s the sound of the casket closing on the eighth annual #31HorrorFilms31Days challenge. Once again, we saw people from across the world participate in the hashtag, all of whom, we have just learned, were actually pod-people clones of me. Interesting twist—and weirdly flattering. Thanks? Below are the final lists of Booklist staffers who injected dozens […]

The 31 Horror Films in 31 Days Challenge: 2016

The 31 Horror Films in 31 Days Challenge: 2016

“Sweet sassy Satan!,” as Old Granny Kraus used to cackle. (No, she didn’t.) Is it that time of year again already? Now that you mention it, October’s approach does explain a few unsettling visions I’ve been blaming on an outdated glasses prescription. How when I get on the train every morning, I expect everyone to turn toward […]

Posted in: Books and Authors
Sex in YA: What Works, What Doesn’t, and Why It Matters

Sex in YA: What Works, What Doesn’t, and Why It Matters

There are romance novels, and there are novels with sex in them, and only sometimes do the categories intersect. Few people know this better than YA authors Christa Desir (Bleed like Me, Other Broken Things) and Carrie Mesrobian (Sex & Violence, Cut Both Ways). They cohost the Booklist-sponsored Oral History Podcast, a hilarious and often […]

R.I.P. Joseph P. DeSario

R.I.P. Joseph P. DeSario

Joseph P. DeSario died on August 31, 2016. Readers of this blog may be unfamiliar with DeSario, though that certainly couldn’t be due to my lack of effort. As detailed in a 2011 article I wrote for Booklist—few things in my life am I prouder to have written—DeSario published a book in 1989 called Sanctuary, a book that influenced […]

Romancing the YA Cover Art

Romancing the YA Cover Art

Some book cover trends are easy: “Hey, this photo of a girl in a ballroom gown drowning in water was popular? Well, let’s try 38 more of them!” These trends can be attributed largely to genre, because genre has typical trappings, and trappings are signals, and signals penetrate our puny human brains so that the right people pick up the right […]