Friday, October 10

Fan Girls and Affordable Housing

I started a new job last week. As any young adult/middle grade writer will tell you, it's important to stay current. Not so much on the trends, which come and go, but with what teens and tweens are thinking and feeling. Some of it is universal and timeless. Check out Judy Blooms books if you don't believe me. Many of them written over twenty years ago still capture the thoughts and feelings of youth. But some things are new. For instance, we are now dealing with a post 911 generation. It's... different.

Anyway, in my desire to stay current and work in a field I believe in, I took a job with Community Partners for Affordable Housing. I help run an afterschool program for young people and children in poverty. It's a rewarding job and a blast because kids... well, they're fun.

Yesterday, a group of teens who have graduated from the program, came by and the director introduced me and told them about my book, Read My Lips. One of the girls had seen it on display at the library and was out of her mind with excitement. (She's a big reader, too.) She would call me over to the table while I was working with the little ones to ask questions. I heard her ask the other two, "Am I the only one so excited about this?" Then she asked me how much input authors had on their covers. I launched into a speil on it and one of the other girls said, "Wait! You wrote this?"

Classic moment.

So if you have a moment, check out CPAH's mission. I'm going to be collecting books for the library in the community center and am especially in need of books that have main characters of color.


Wendy Toliver said...

Sounds awesome!

Alyson Noel said...

Yay you! Sounds like an awesome program!

Melissa Walker said...

What a fabulous job, and you will get SUCH material and ideas, Teri! Bonus!

Coe Booth has a new book out and I heard her read last night--she is FANTASTIC. Her main characters are African-American; I highly recommend her books.

Sara Hantz said...

Wow, sounds like an awesome job.

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

That's fabulous that you're doing good works...and what a great moment to be you!