Library Blog

YA Panel: Libba Bray and David Levithan in Conversation

Sunday, February 12, 2017

On Sunday, January 29th, The New York Society Library hosted a conversation between famed and beloved young adult authors Libba Bray and David Levithan, moderated by the talented school librarian, reviewer, and blogger Jennifer Hubert Swan. The conversation focused on literature, the quirks of being an author, and the effect current events has on writing for teens. All photos by Simen Kot.

David Levithan and Libba Bray join Jennifer Hubert Swan in conversation.

The two authors discussed their initial meeting, and the collaboration that can be found in the young adult writing community. Beauty Queens was a great example brought up by the pair—David pitched the idea, Libba wrote the novel, and then David edited the finished product.

Cracking jokes often, they kept the sometimes serious topics of young adult literature trends lighthearted, and the audience couldn’t help but laugh along with them. They also explained the role that music has in the writing process, and how both authors have a strong love for music.

David Levithan and Libba Bray keep the mood light.

Audience members had a chance to ask Bray and Levithan questions of their own, and a few posed questions about how current events, including social and political trends, have had an effect on the kind of literature being written for teens today. Bray and Levithan explained that young adult literature has been shifting in recent years from simply books written for teens, to books written about teens, for everyone.

An audience member asks Libba Bray and David Levithan a question.

Before the end of the discussion, both the authors and moderator revealed recent favorite reads. Jennifer Hubert Swan mentioned Burn, Baby, Burn by Meg Medina for its authenticity, David Levithan picked The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon because it’s surprisingly more than the “meet-cute-romance” people think it will be, and Libba Bray chose The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Ruma and Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older.  

Libba Bray and David Levithan discuss topics surrounding young adult literature.

The best part, of course, was for fans to get a chance to meet and chat with their favorite authors! After the panel ended, authors signed books and had a chance to get to know those in the audience.

Libba Bray chats and laughs with fans of her books.

 Libba Bray signs a book for one of her readers.

David Levithan signs books for his eager readers.

Thank you to the authors, moderator, and everyone who helped make this YA event a success! To catch on the latest in young adult literature, make sure to check out the new books on display in the lobby, or the young adult section in stack 9.