The biennial conference “Books for the Beast” devotes itself to showcasing and discussing the best in young adult literature. The conference, sponsored by the Enoch Pratt Free Library, was established in 1991 by Dr. Mary K. Chelton and a statewide steering committee, as a way to pay tribute to Margaret Alexander Edwards who was a pioneer in the development of reader’s advisory services for young adults. The “Books for the Beast” Conference gets its name from Edwards’ highly regarded book about serving teens in libraries The Fair Garden and the Swarm of Beasts. You and your students have the opportunity to attend the eleventh annual conference this year. Check out the schedule for the day, a list of guest speakers, and the titles selected for discussion, then register for the conference.
Each conference features outstanding young adult writers who present unique perspectives on this growing field of literature. Morning and afternoon discussion groups that focus on young adult genres: Fantasy/Science Fiction, Historical Fiction, Multicultural, Romance, Real Life, and Suspense/Horror. Where appropriate, genres may include graphic novels, nonfiction, or a suggested audiobook. In 1993, the conference began its popular practice of inviting as many as fifty teen readers to participate, free of charge, as a way of including their important insights on what has been written about and for young people. Students can register for the conference by printing and completing the PDF registration form, and mailing it in.