Viva Libros! is honored to host two authors of young adult fiction, Ryan Van Cleave and Christopher Tozier. Both will participate in discussions, readings and conversations at this year's BookFest. A special feature of the young adult program this year is the school visits project, which will send both authors into local schools. The young adult program was introduced last year and drew new audiences to the festival.
Many readers feel that young adult literature is compelling to teens because it provides characters and situations teens can identify with in their own lives. Author Ryan Van Cleave will be at the Leesburg Public Library on Wednesday, March 13 at 4:30 p.m. Unlocked, is a fascinating look at how teens deal with the now constant threat of school violence, debut author Ryan G. Van Cleave provides a unique, emotional perspective on how it feels to be the one who can prevent a tragedy. Unlocked is a 2012 Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers from the American Library Association and the 2011 Gold Medal Winner in the Florida Book Awards. Ryan G. Van Cleave is the author of twenty books, including six poetry anthologies and a textbook on writing poetry. He is a freelancer writer, a writing coach, and the Coordinator of Creative Writing for the Ringling College of Art + Design in Sarasota, Florida.
Christopher Tozier will appear in the Tavares Public Library Wednesday, March 13 at 4:30 p.m. and in the Umatilla Public Library onThursday, at 4:30 p.m. Olivia Brophie and the Pearl of Tagelus, the first in a middle-grade fantasy series set in the wilds of central Florida. Author Chris Tozier was selected as a 2011 State of Florida Artist Fellowship recipient and his poetry has appeared widely. The book is fast paced, larger than life and filled with lessons on Florida habitat, above and below the ground. Olivia Brophie feels betrayed. Her dad sent her to live with her crazy aunt and uncle in the middle of nowhere—the Florida scrub. It seems boring till bears follow her to school, coral snakes leave her gifts, and tree frogs start writing cryptic messages on her bedroom window. Along with Doug, a local eco-nerd genius, and Gnat, her videogame-obsessed little brother, Olivia discovers a vast underworld city that holds secrets.