Author Signing at ALA

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Author Book Signing Spotlight: Nicola Yoon

Nicola Yoon is the author of two hit YA novels — Everything, Everything (now a major motion picture) and The Sun Is Also a Star (Nov. 2016) — with a third on the way. Yoon will be joining us at this year's ALA Annual, Booth #4020, to sign copies of her most recent book. She is looking forward to ALA, as she loves interacting with librarians. “They’re secretly very funny,” she says. “Also, they know everything about every book ever written in the entire history of the world.”

Judging by book sales, it’s no secret that readers are in love with Yoon’s writing. So what makes teens connect so strongly with her stories? “I think both books (Everything, Everything; The Sun Is Also a Star) ask some big questions about the meaning of life and the nature of love,” Yoon says. “I think readers are struggling with these kinds of questions in their everyday lives, and they identify with characters asking those same questions.”

The Sun Is Also a Star follows a Jamaican girl and a Korean boy as they grapple with weighty issues of deportation, expectations, love, and their place in the universe. One of Yoon’s inspirations came from The Big History Project. “The idea is that subjects shouldn't be taught in isolation, that we need to take more of an interdisciplinary approach to education,” Yoon says. “You can't really learn about poetry at a particular moment in history without knowing what the astronomers were discovering at that same time.” She is also a Carl Sagan fan. She explains, “These two ideas merged in my mind when I was writing. I wanted to show how everyone you meet — even the random stranger on the subway — can have an influence on your life that might not even realize.”

Her relationship with her husband helped her tell this story. “I definitely drew inspiration from the spirit of our relationship. We are both quite philosophical and we like talking about big ideas — the meaning of life, the existence or non-existence of God, etc. In the book, Natasha and Daniel get into some of these same discussions, though they approach it from opposing sides,” Yoon says. “I also drew from both of our cultural backgrounds for the book.”

Yoon has long had an affinity for romance novels, and libraries have helped fuel her obsession with reading. “I grew up quite poor, but I was obsessed with books and reading. The library was one of my favorite places. Also, my librarian let me borrow many, many, many Harlequin Romances!”

Try as we might, we could not convince Yoon to share any details regarding her next novel. “I can't! My editor would have my head, and I like it just where it is!” So do we!

Makerspace Magic

While you’re at Booth #4020, check out Hamilton/Buhl’s 3D Magic Pen™—it lets you create hand-drawn three-dimensional masterpieces. And why not invite patrons to strap on a pair of Hamilton/Buhl Virtual Reality Goggles™? Capable of turning smartphones into interactive virtual reality worlds, these goggles are a uniquely powerful teaching aid.