YA in Action
Volume 49: Issue 3 (Summer 2022)
Submissions due: November 1st, 2021
From hashtags (think #BlackLivesMatter #StopAAPIHate #FreePalestine and #WeNeedDiverseBooks) to books for young adults, the written word can inspire us to act. Patrise Khan-Cullor’s YA edition of When They Call You a Terrorist: A Story of Black Lives Matter and the Power to Change the World (Wednesday Books, 2020) reminds us that protest in the interest of the most vulnerable comes from love. With journal entries, photos, and notes that show the formation of an activist from a very young age, this meaningful, empowering account of survival, strength, and resilience seeks to change the culture that declares innocent Black life expendable. In Taking On the Plastics Crisis (Penguin Workshop, 2020), youth activist Hannah Testa shares with readers how she led a grassroots political campaign to successfully pass state legislation limiting single-use plastics and how she influenced global businesses to adopt more sustainable practices. And in Marke Bieschke’s Into the Streets: A Young Person’s Visual History of Protest in the United States (Zest Books, 2020), young adult readers can journey through photos, artwork, and other visual elements of significant protests, sit-ins, and collective acts of resistance throughout US history.
We want to know: What issues are you and your students passionate about? How do you define activism? What does activism look like for you and your students? How do you use young adult literature—in your classroom, in your personal life, in your research—to act and/or to inspire activism? What YA titles inspire you to act? What YA titles show you how to?
We invite correspondence about ideas for articles and submission of completed manuscripts. We would especially love to hear from adolescents about the role YAL plays in their own activism or desire to act. Here’s a partial list of topics, meant only to suggest the range of our interests for this issue:
- For people who have never been involved in activism before, books like This Book Is Anti-Racist (Jewell, 2020) can be a powerful starting point. It provides readers with actionable steps and lessons on how to take action! What other books act as guides to waking up and getting involved in activism? How are books jumping-off points for action?
- The resurgence of anti-Asian hate, sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic and racist rhetoric by Trump, is not a new occurrence in the United States. Books like We Hereby Refuse: Japanese American Resistance to Wartime Incarceration by Frank Abe and Tamiko Nimura teach readers about pivotal moments of oppression and resistance in Asian American history and illustrate how we can connect this history to our present day. What other books provide context into excluded histories that can help us face our current reckoning and grow as activists?
- This past year, we’ve increasingly seen how important activism is when it comes to voting rights. How do books like Yes No Maybe So (Saeed & Albertalli, 2020), You Say It First (Cotugno, 2020), and One Person, No Vote: How Not All Voters Are Treated Equally (YA edition, Anderson & Bolden, 2019) demonstrate ways in which adults and adolescents can get involved in political activism?
- Titles like Parachutes by Kelly Yang and Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson inform readers about sexual assault and calls for allies to speak up about harassment, rape, and the #MeToo movement. How do works like Yang’s and Anderson’s inspire action for women’s rights? What other YA titles ask readers to “shout” for women’s rights and advocate for radical feminism?
- George M. Johnson calls themself a journalist, author, and activist. How does their book All Boys Aren’t Blue offer readers an introduction to advocating for LGBTQIA+ rights? How can an author’s online presences, like George’s, also be a model for young people on how activism can be extended from books to social media? What other books help inform young readers about the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights?
- In Love Is a Revolution by Renee Watson, the protagonist struggles with finding her place as a teen activist in comparison to her cousin, who is passionate about environmentalism and being part of a teen activist group. How does Watson’s book portray the tension people may feel when first getting involved in activism? How can it inspire teens to find their passion for activism? How does Watson’s book speak to the power adolescents hold? What books could be paired with Watson’s to show the importance of environmentalism? Consider Poisoned Water: How the Citizens of Flint, Michigan, Fought for Their Lives and Warned the Nation (Cooper & Aronson, 2020).
Please submit all manuscripts electronically to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please see the ALAN website (http://www.alan-ya.org/page/alan-review-author-guidelines) for full submission guidelines.
Please note, The ALAN Review‘s editorial team is creating an inclusive writing guide for authors, which will include expectations for inclusive language use and citations. While this guide is being prepared, authors are asked to consider the inclusive language and citations used throughout their manuscripts. Please access the following resources to help determine the inclusivity of your manuscript and your references list:
- University of Idaho Brand Resource Center Inclusive Writing Guide
- The Diversity Style Guide
- GLAAD Media Reference Guide
- National Center on Disability and Journalism Language Style Guide
- Asian American Journalists Association Guide for Covering Asia and Asian Americans
- National Association of Black Journalists Style Guide
- A Note on Inclusive Citation Practices: if only white scholars are referenced, this is unacceptable; cite multiply marginalized and underrepresented (MMU) scholars and voices (e.g., #CiteASista)