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This year the organisers of NerdsHeartYA will be using some expert help to create the final shortlist. Three women have been called upon to suggest which of the nominated books may deserve to progress to the shortlist. These women have each spent many years reading books from one of the categories NerdsHeartYA will be representing (GLBT, POC, disability/mental illness, lower socio-economic status and religious lifestyle):
Liz Burns will be consulting on the disability/mental illness category. She is a librarian for a regional library of the National Library Services for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and works with the American Library Association on the Outreach to Young Adults with Special Needs committee.
Liz will also be providing advice to the organisers on the religious lifestyle category as she has a keen interest in many different religions and regularly reviews books about religion on her blog, ‘A Chair, A Fireplace and a Tea Cosy’.
Daisy Porter will be consulting on the GLBT category. Daisy is a public librarian, who reviews GLBT young adult fiction and books about the history of GLBT fiction for teens at her blog ‘Queer YA’.
LaTonya M Baldwin (know as Susan to much of the blogging community) will be consulting on the POC category. She helps to run a library for teenage girls at a non-profit organisation in Detroit, which maintains a collection that focuses on black, asian, hispanic and Native American female writers. Susan also blogs at ‘Colour Online’ and ‘Blackeyed Susan’s’, as well as maintaining the growing Facebook group ‘Readers Against Whitewashing’.
We hope their experience will help to create the best shortlist of unrepresented, deserving books for the judges and for the enjoyment of those following the contest.