19-13 Segment 1: Using YA Fiction to Help Young People Process Big Issues

VP 19-13a wordpress

For a few decades now, teens have flocked to YA novels like The Hunger Games or The Fault in Our Stars. Why are they so popular? We talk to two novelists who say young adult fiction can help teens consider big issues and life and ‘practice’ their responses to real-world problems like violence and drugs.


  • Marie Lu, author, Wildcard
  • Ellen Hopkins, author, People Kill People

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17-06 Segment 2: The Craft and Responsibility of Writing Books for Young Readers

Girls reading books in library


We encourage our children to read but what are they reading? We talk to two authors, one for children and one for young adults, who discuss juggling their desire to entertain with the necessity of teaching young people about ethics, history, and tougher topics like drugs and addiction.

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16-07 Segment 1: Human Trafficking: The problem and some solutions


Synopsis: Sex and labor trafficking are big business in the U.S. and around the world. Often it’s young people and immigrants who are forced to work in the sex industry or in sweatshops, restaurants and hotels with little pay, horrible hours and horrible living conditions. We talk to an author who’s experienced dealing with young people caught in this web, and a university lecturer who’s an advocate for trafficked victims, about the extent of the problem, how desperate people become ensnared in the trafficker’s trap, and how law enforcement and communities can help the victims escape from a life of slavery and abuse.

Host: Gary Price. Guests: Ellen Hopkins, author of the young adult verse-novels, Tricks, and Traffick; Tony Talbott, director of Anti-Human Trafficking Initiatives at the University of Dayton.

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click here for the transcript