Los Angeles Public Library launches teen reading series
With young adult literature become something of a cultural juggernaut, it's about time the genre spawned a literary series in Los Angeles. Starting Thursday, the central branch of the Los Angeles Public Library will begin hosting a teen reading series on the fourth Thursday of each month.
Thursday's kickoff will feature local authors Lauren Kate ("Fallen in Love"), Abby McDonald ("Getting Over Garrett Delaney"), Blake Nelson ("Dream School"), Carol Tanzman ("Dancergirl") and Kathy McCullough ("Don't Expect Magic").
Each author will give a five-minute reading followed by a panel discussion and question-and-answer session led by Cecil Castellucci, founder of the teen reading series and an L.A.-based young adult author.
"It's about time we had a teen reading series here," said Castellucci, author of "First Day on Earth" and the upcoming "Year of the Beasts." "New York has had one for five years now.
"I'm really passionate and have been for years, making sure that young adult gets the attention it deserves," added Castellucci, who runs a monthly young-adult reading club at Skylight Books in Los Feliz. "Because we're so spread out here, it's sort of difficult to get everybody together in one place. I've been longing for community."
Castellucci has been a part of the New York Public Library teen reading series for several years. She was part of a panel of seven young adult authors the Central Library in downtown L.A. hosted in November for the young-adult librarians at its 72 branches.
Eva Mitnick, acting manager of youth services for the Los Angeles Public Library, credits the teen reading series' creation to "the absolute awesomeness and energy of that panel discussion" and Castellucci's participation in a similar panel in New York.
"It's Cecil who is the force of nature behind this," Mitnick said.
The teen reading series will be held the fourth Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in Meeting Room A at the Los Angeles Public Library, 630 W. 5th St. www.lapl.org/ya/events/teenscape.php
-- Susan Carpenter
Photo: Teen reading series founder Cecil Castellucci at Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena; "Fallen in Love" book jacket. Credit: Young-adult author Cecil Castellucci; Delacorte Books for Young Readers.