Every year, the Miami International Book Fair is hosted to bring books to readers across South Florida. Not only are dozens of authors present, there are over a hundred booths dedicated to bargain-hunting and collectors alike. Only here will you find piles and piles of books going for as little as 2 dollars, live performances by musicians and authors, and panels happening by the hour.
Before 2011, the young adult presence at the Book Fair was nonexistent.
However, as the market has grown, so have the readers who request YA authors to visit. Now the Miami Book Fair boasts authors such as Ellen Hopkins (Crank) and Meg Cabot (The Princess Diaries) every year to hundreds of fans.
This year, they had a powerhouse panel featuring New York Times bestsellers such as Kami Garcia (Unbreakable: The Legion), Holly Black (The Coldest Girl In Cold Town), Lauren Oliver (Requiem), and Alex Flinn (Towering). Each read a section from their upcoming books and then answered questions. Lauren Oliver even read an exclusive from her upcoming novel Panic.
During the open question session, a fan asked: how did the authors feel about young adult literature crossing over into an adult fanbase?
“I think it’s great. I think that the themes of young adult literature now — themes of identity, our place in the world, themes of change and transformation — are increasingly relevant to people throughout their whole age. I mean personal happiness was an idea that was only invented in the 1960s and now people spend their whole lives really inventing and reinventing themselves and keep asking: is this really my authentic self, was my authentic self ten years ago different from how it is today? And I think young adult literature — is this person that the love the one I want to keep loving — deals with a lot of those ideas,” said Lauren Oliver.
Considering the large amount of teens in the audience, a mother thanked them for being such good role models.
“When you write YA, you meet so many readers. And when a girl comes up to you and says they want to design book covers because they love your books and now, they’re inspired. Or an adult who comes up and says they haven’t read a book since high school and now they’re reading because your books aren’t boring giant tomes and they got sucked in by the vampires and Rapunzel and the scary cliff diving. You know, to me, that’s the reason to do it,” said Kami Garcia.
After the panel, there was a signing session – and then the bargain hunting could begin!