Oakland, CA—February 16, 2018
Nina LaCour learned this week that her fourth young adult novel, We Are Okay, earned her the 2018 Michael L. Printz literary award, which is bestowed annually by the American Library Association on the best book written for teens, based entirely on its literary merit. LaCour told Publisher’s Weekly that when she first enrolled in the MFA in creative writing program at Mills College, she hadn’t imagined writing for teens. “I went into grad school with part of an adult novel. And I haven’t given it up; I still work on it from time to time. But my heart has really been with YA,” she said. LaCour credited author and Mills professor Kathryn Reiss, who has published two series of suspense novels for young adults, with encouraging her to write for young adults. “Through her classes, I started reading YA in a way I hadn’t before and realizing how rich it is to immerse yourself in the teen experience and relive it, with all the possibilities it has to offer,” LaCour noted.
We Are Okay examines how teens manage loss and grieving. LaCour is currently working on her next novel, which she said will explore those themes as well. She also teaches at Hamline University’s MFA program.