© 2023 Milwaukee Public Media is a service of UW-Milwaukee's College of Letters & Science
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Young Adult Authors Offer A Double Dose Of Heroism


The heroines in ​Ally Carter and Wisconsin native Elizabeth Eulberg's respective new novels are both strong teenage girls, but that's where most of the similarities end.

Eulberg's new book, We Can Work It Out is the sequel to The Lonely Hearts Club. It's young adult fiction featuring a girl named Penny Lane Bloom, the high school club she's formed in the wake of a bad break-up, and a bunch of clever Beatles metaphors.

Carter's new novel, All Fall Down, is an international intrigue thriller. It's set in the U.S. embassy in a fictitious southern European capital, where teenager Grace Blakely has been sent to live with her grandfather, the ambassador, after the murder of her mother.

The two authors are on a joint book tour. And, both authors joined Lake Effect's Mitch Teich to discuss their novels and why the young adult genre appeals to them as writers.

Credit allycarter.com

"You remember so many 'firsts' you have in high school, everything is such a big deal when you're a teenager...you have these heightened moments, and it's so easy to go back to that...My characters are very different from Ally's because their issues are very high school based and not really 'live or die,' but it's still fun to explore that," Eulberg said.

Carter shares the love for writing to youth because of the immediate and raw effects of emotions that teenagers often experience. But an even stronger appeal for writing strong female characters includes breaking down the stereotype in society and in literature that "girls' stuff is only suitable for girls."

"I think that we have a bad habit in our culture of saying the pink things are for the girls or the blue things are for the boys," Carer said. "And especially in fiction we have this sort of mindset that girls are willing to open their minds and read about male characters, but boys should be ashamed of about reading about girls. I think that's not only a bad thing for literature and education, but I think it's a very very bad and dangerous thing for our culture. So nothing makes me happier than to see a young man picking up a book with a female heroine, or to see male teachers recommending our books to their students."

Portage native Elizabeth Eulberg's new young adult novel just came out yesterday, and  Ally Carter's book came out last week - and is the first in her Embassy Row series.

Audrey Nowakowski is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.