As teens face increasingly complex issues, the voice of many of those struggles, author Alex Flinn, will be in the area to address students at two schools and the public.
Libby Wilson, a librarian at Central Junior High School, said Flinn writes realistic fiction that many students at her school can relate to. This perspective and understanding makes her work popular among adolescents, even those who do not always enjoy reading.
"Alex Flinn is known for her ability to reach reluctant readers. She addresses a lot of issues teens are facing and she doesn't water it down. She doesn't always write about the sunny side of life," Wilson said. She said Flinn's books deal with hate crimes, parents who break the law, dating violence and other serious subjects.
"She finds the words to communicate darker issues. She is an advocate for what teens are going through," Wilson said.
Mary Pensel, a librarian at Jackson High School, said part of Flinn's popularity with the age group is not only her subject matter, but how she writes.
"Her books are not as word-heavy as the classics. Her plots move quickly. She can be both serious and light-hearted with her books. She writes realistic fiction about subjects kids face everyday. Her latest books, however, are retold fairy tales," Pensel said.
Pensel said part of Flinn's appeal is her ability to reach both boys and girls.
"She is comfortable as a writer telling a story as a male protagonist. This widens her audience," she said.
According to her website, Flinn writes for adolescents because she continues to relate to that age group.
"I think I write for young adults because I never quite got over being one. In my mind, I am still 13 years old, running laps on the athletic field, wearing this really baggy white gymsuit. I'm continually amazed at the idea that I have a checking account and a mortgage. So I try to write books that gymsuit girl might enjoy," she said.
Flinn will discuss the writing process with students Monday at Jackson High School and will conduct a writer's workshop Tuesday morning at Central Junior High School. Members of the community can listen to her speak about reaching reluctant readers at a presentation at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Central Junior High School.
Youth Education Literacy Learning (YELL) is sponsoring Flinn's visit.