May 30, 2012
Contact:
Cara Philbin, NPR


   

NPR BOOKS CONFESSES LOVE FOR "TEEN" READS

"SUMMER BOOKS" SERIES COMES-OF-AGE WITH YOUNG ADULT FOCUS, YA AUTHORS REVEAL FORMATIVE LITERARY INSPIRATIONS

NPRBOOKS.ORG FEATURES ANNUAL "SUMMER BOOKS" ROUND-UPS FROM NPR FAVORITES

A good novel doesn't just transcend the boundaries of its target market – it knows nothing about target markets. NPR Books takes this to heart with the launch of its annual Summer Books package, focusing this year's theme on the coming-of-age stories that open our eyes to a world beyond childhood and stick for a lifetime. NPR Books will spotlight Young Adult literature with a new series and its annual listeners' poll in addition to round-ups of critics’ picks and exclusive excerpts from this season’s most anticipated reads.

The centerpiece of Summer Books is "PG-13: Risky Reads," a new series exploring the ageless themes and no-holds barred style that makes the Young Adult genre eternally inspiring. In first-person submissions, acclaimed authors including Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper), Abraham Verghese (Cutting for Stone), Lois Lowry (The Giver) and Jesmyn Ward (2011 National Book Award for Fiction, Salvage the Bones) remember the books they may have read before they were quite ready – a child peeking into the world of adults. The series began on All Things Considered with the nightmarish nail-bitter I Am the Cheese, which made a then-12-year-old Ben Marcus worry. Listeners can also visit the This Is NPR blog to read similar narratives submitted by NPR staff. Local stations and broadcast times are available at www.npr.org/stations.

In June, NPR Books will begin compiling readers' nominations for the best YA literature of all time. Listeners can vote for their favorite formative novel and find further inspiration at www.npr.org/summerbooks. The Top 100 list will be released in August.

Summer Books 2012 will again offer its extremely popular package of themed critics' lists compiled by NPR favorites such as Susan Stamberg, Lynn Neary and Maureen Corrigan, as well as acclaimed literary names like romance author Eloisa James (Pleasures trilogy) and novelist Madeline Miller (The Song of Achilles). Other notable compilations include critic Heller McAlpin's list of "Seriously Funny" reads to distract that fidgety beach buddy, NPR bookworm Nancy Pearl's "Under the Radar" list of inconspicuous gems, and librarian Lee Butler's summer reading assignments for those avid YA fans. These recommendations – for literary fiction, mysteries, historical fiction, romance, humor and more – will make even avid NPR listeners turn down the radio and pick up a book. Listeners can also find exclusive text and audio excerpts from some of this year's best reads at www.npr.org/books.

NPR Books is specifically designed to help a busy audience find great reads. The site combines the best of NPR's on-air interviews and news with original web reviews, recommendations and lists. It includes popular recurring series such as "You Must Read This," in which well-known authors make one, passionate recommendation; the "NPR Bestseller Lists," based on weekly surveys of 500 independent bookstores nationwide; "My Guilty Pleasure," which reveals the books notable writers love but are embarrassed to be seen reading; and "Three Books," in which authors recommend three books on a theme. Summer Books adds to the expanding library of outstanding books coverage at NPR Books – www.NPR.org/books – which generates nearly 4 million page views per month.