2013 Armchair BEA: Young Adult Fiction and Another Giveaway


June 1, 2013

Good morning and welcome to The Armchair BEA. Today’s topic is all about Young Adult Fiction…and I am so excited to talk with you about my friend, Beth Kephart, who is not only an amazing author of Young Adult Fiction, but has also written non fiction books, and will be releasing a new book about memoir this summer.

Where do I begin?

I first met Beth in New York City at the BEA in 2010, but I had heard about her from other bloggers before that day in New York. I knew I would find a connection with Beth…a person whose heart is larger than life, who is careful with her words, and who has a smile which lights up the room.

BethBeth Kephart is an accomplished and prolific writer (just check out her many, many awards, sterling reviews, and nominations here). Her book, A Slant of Sun, was named a National Book Award, Nonfiction Finalist in 1998. Her most recent novel, Small Damages (a luscious, heart-breaking gem of a book) was just awarded Best YA Novel of the Year for The Armchair BEA. But that is not the only reason you should read her books.

I should tell you that I was not a reader of Young Adult Fiction (with the exception of The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak which is, admittedly, a cross over to adult fiction). I had this notion that YA literature was only about blood-sucking vampires and a dystopian universe that frankly depressed me. Beth Kephart changed the way I look at YA.

She changed it in a big way.

Because Beth writes characters who feel inspired by real people. She provides profound insight into relationships, and transports her readers to places that feed your soul. Her prose is filled with meaning. It is gorgeous. When I am reading one of her books, I just do not want it to end.

I have often said that Literary Fiction overlaps into other genres. And Beth’s work is an example of that – it is something that should be called Literary YA.

Read more about this amazing author by following her blog.

I have been saving up Beth’s books – reading them a little at a time to stretch them out. I have a nice little stack and I don’t want to get to the end of it! Have you read a Beth Kephart novel yet? What are you waiting for? Try these:

SmallDamages dangerousneighbors YouAreMyOnly[1]


And because I keep pushing Beth’s books into the hands of everyone I know, I thought I would offer a giveaway to one lucky US reader. For this giveaway you can pick any of her books up to $30 in value and I’ll ship them to you from Amazon. Sound good?

  • Contest open today through June 5th, 2013 for US readers
  • I’ll randomly draw one winner and announce their name by June 6th.

**UPDATED: Just now, I received an email from Beth – and she would very much like to send a signed copy of any of her books, to one winner – SO, I am going to draw TWO winners – one will win the selection of books of their choice (click through the survey below) and then I will select a second person from the survey to win the signed book. How does that sound?!??! If I draw your name for the signed book, I will email you to ask which of your selections you would like. Sound good?

***FURTHER UPDATE: Beth is giving away a galley of her book Handling the Truthvisit this post to enter!

Below are the available books (not just YA) with links to Amazon so you can read about them (please note: Handling the Truth will not ship until August). To enter the contest: Click here to take survey

sasparilla SmallDamages YouAreMyOnly[1] SlantofSun

Flow Undercover handling_the_truthFINAL dangerousneighbors

IntoTheTangle NothingButGhosts HouseOfDance HeartIsNotASize

StillLove SeeingPast

 Good Luck!



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  1. I think it’s great that you found an author that made YA make sense for you, and made it more appealing. Not wanting a book to end is an awesome experience!

    I don’t know if you read gay YA, but you might enjoy emily danforth’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post. When I read it last year, I felt like it was literary YA.

    Your furchildren are adorable!

  2. Oh my gosh, Wendy. what are you doing, you crazy crazy crazy full of love lady, you? I’m kind of floored by this. And do you know, I’ve never seen all those book jackets in one electronic place like that. I am thinking of how patient you had to have been to go find them all and place them here and how generous you always are with your time and heart.

    Will you allow me to send the winner a signed book? I would like to do that, because, goodness! You have done so much already.

    So glad I in some way pulled back the curtains on YA for you. There is so much richness here.

    Much much love!

    • True on June 1, 2013 at 07:16

    Since I have had Beth’s books on my read list this is an awesome chance! Thank you.

  3. What a generous giveaway! Thanks Wendy and Beth 🙂

    I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Small Damages. Somehow I never got around to reading it. (You know how that goes!)

    I’d absolutely love to win. Crossing my fingers!

  4. How Wendy Robards further inspired me to keep the party partying on. (Your chance to win a galley of Handling the Truth — the last one left.)

  5. Wendy, Thank you for this generous offer! I’ve read and loved Small Damages and follow Beth’s blog. She has a special way of illuminating her grace-filled moments and sharing them with others. I would love to win any of her books and have filled out the survey. I’m happy to be introduced to your blog!

    • Sherry on June 3, 2013 at 15:03

    Hi Wendy,

    What a fun contest! I’ve always wanted a hard copy of Beth’s book Flow: The Life and Times of Philadelphia’s Schuylkill river. So I’m dreaming big. 🙂 I love Beth and enjoy all of her writing: books, magazine articles, poetry, blog posts and on and on. Like you, I am reading through her published work slowly but surely savoring each and every book. My latest read was Seeing Past Z. Inspiring (as usual)!

    • Serena on June 4, 2013 at 08:58

    What a great giveaway Wendy…so generous…I’d be hard pressed to pick through these choices.. 🙂

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