Nowadays it seems teen novels have a surprisingly universal appeal. Maybe they’re funnier or more relatable — or maybe they’re just easier to read. Despite their target demographic, “teen” books find their way into grown-up hands pretty often — think “Hunger Games” or John Green. That’s okay! You can’t outgrow a good read. You can geek out about it, though, no matter your age.
The North Texas Teen Book Fair, happening this Saturday at the Irving Convention Center, has a lot of pretty stellar reasons to geek out. This one-day event only lasts a few hours (nine, to be exact) but it’s packed with incredible events, panels, and discussions featuring Young-Adult (“YA”) and Middle-Grade authors from nearly every genre, alongside prominent podcasters and “BookTubers” who share their love of teen-lit online.
Close to 3,500 attended its inaugural year last year. This year, Kristin Treviño, Irving Public Library’s teen services librarian and festival organizer/founder, expects as many as 7,000 YA fans the teen-targeted fest. Honestly, it wouldn’t be a shock.
Here’s 3 reasons to set your books aside (just for a moment!) and check out this weekend’s North Texas Teen Book Fair.
- The authors. Seventy-five authors will be in-house, signing books and leading discussions at dozens of panels throughout the day, including James Dashner, whose popular “Maze Runner” series is now a big-budget film franchise. He’ll be featured in an authors’ discussion of YA film adaptations at 1 p.m., alongside Holly Black (“The Spiderwick Chronicles”), and Gayle Forman (“If I Stay”).
- The panels. Current and future novelists can learn how to develop the perfect fictional crime scene in the “Research Lab” panel at 9 a.m. After honing your newfound researching skills, you might want to tell the world. For help with that, swing by the Podcasting panel at 11 a.m. or the “BookTube” panel at 1:30. Maybe you’d rather tell the Internet about that new, awesome book you found in your speed-dating sesh. Aspiring critics can hit up the “Writing About Writing” panel at 2 p.m. for tips on crafting reviews. Here’s the full schedule.
- The books. Duh. Though the festival is free, there’s no excuse to leave empty-handed. Loads of YA and “tween” books will be available for purchase on-site ($8 – $20), provided by Half-Price Books. Plus, you can even take home the (free!) book of your dreams after a book speed-dating session curated by librarian “matchmakers.” With a limited number of free books available, you’ll want to arrive early for this one. There’s only so many fish in the sea, you know.