ALAN Picks

ALAN Picks

The new ALAN Picks is seeking book reviews that include a pedagogical analysis of the latest young adult and middle grades books, culturally relevant teaching strategies and ideas for student engagement with YA texts in the middle, secondary and university classroom and library communities and. On this page, you’ll find information on review guidelines, submission process, how to request an arc for review, and other frequently asked questions.

Note: The previous version of ALAN Picks, featuring selected YA reviews and author interviews, can be found below.

Review FAQ
  • Who Can Submit? Members of the YA/MG community! We are looking for middle school, secondary, and university educators, students, librarians, and authors to submit book reviews for editorial review and potential publication in the new ALAN Picks
  • What kinds of books can be reviewed? YA and MG texts that are either current Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) or were published no earlier than March 2020. 
  • What genres of books can be reviewed? All of them! Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, graphic novels, novels-in-verse, short story collections, or other under-the-radar genres are welcome!
  • How does the new ALAN Picks address inclusivity? Before submitting a review, please read the Statement on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. We strongly encourage review submissions that focus on “embracing human diversity and demonstrating sensitivity to the concerns of people historically underrepresented and marginalized.” 
  • Can I team up with a colleague or classmate to write a review? Yes! We love collaboration and encourage you to work with each other to write the review. We also welcome two or more authors of a review. It’s a great opportunity if you are in a professional learning community or university space. 
  • Who is the audience of the new ALAN Picks? Many of the individual members of ALAN are classroom teachers of English in middle and high schools. Other readers include university faculty members in English and/or Education programs, researchers in the field of young adult literature, librarians, YA authors, publishers, reading teachers, and teachers in related content areas.
  • What do I do if I want to review an ARC, but I don’t have access to it? Complete this Google Form with your Contact Information, ARC Request and a Brief Pitch for your review. Most publishers release ARCs via NetGalley, so you will need to create an account if you haven’t already. 
  • How often does ALAN Picks publish? When should I submit? ALAN Picks will be published monthly. Currently, there is a rolling deadline for submitting to ALAN Picks. For those who need deadlines, submissions should be sent to ALAN Picks Editor Richetta Coelho-Tooley at by 15th of each month. 
Review Guidelines & Format

The new ALAN Picks book reviews must include the following components: 

  • Text details: Title, author, publication date, publisher, page number, ISBN and genre
  • A brief synopsis (no more than one paragraph)
  • A comprehensive review of the text
  • Thematic connections and possible essential questions that support the close reading of the text 
  • Culturally responsive and sustaining teaching strategies and activities that encourage student engagement with the text
  • Culturally responsive formative and/or summative assessments that could be used with the text
  • Optional Components:
    • Author Interviews or Q&A (Typed or Electronically-Recorded): that include but are not limited to the following: discussion on the writing process, crafting decisions, inspiration or motivation (Note: The interview can be arranged following the acceptance of the review for publication in the new ALAN Picks, but intent for the interview should be included in the review submission.)
      • YA author interviews should be accompanied by written permission for publication in ALAN Picks from the interviewed author(s). Interviewers should indicate to the author(s) that publication is subject to review by the ALAN Picks Editor. 
    • Multiple books: If you have two or more books that would complement each other via simultaneous engagement with those texts in the classroom
    • Additional Research Components 
    • Other Creative Components: If you have an idea for an additional component that would complement your review submission feel free to include your idea in the submission. We want to always embrace creativity! Remember ALAN has social media, so Twitter Chats and Instagram Lives are a possibility!

Review Format

  • Spacing: Reviews should be 1.5 spaced
  • Quotations: If you are reviewing an ARC, please check with the publisher regarding their quotation guidelines. Longer quotations and complete poems or short stories must be accompanied by written permission from the copyright owner.
  • Subheadings: reviewers are encouraged to use subheads to delineate the different portions of their review (Synopsis, Review, teaching strategies, assessment possibilities, thematic ideas/essential questions, etc)
  • Images: Any images of the book and/or author should be in .jpg format and sent as an attachment when the submission is emailed
  • Reviewer Biographical Information: Each author of the review should include their name, position/job title and work location (school, university, library, etc) including city and state, at the end of the review
Submission Guidelines for Publication
  • Email: Submit your review to ALAN Picks Editor Richetta Coelho-Tooley at
  • Subject Line: The subject line should include: New ALAN Picks Review Submission
  • Email Body: Please include the title of the text being reviewed, publication date of the text, names of all authors of the review and their emails
  • Attachments:
    • Reviews should be in one of the following file formats: .doc, .docx or Google Document (If using Google Docs, please make sure that the document is shared with Please share the file as an attachment to the email.) (No PDFs)
    • Images should be sent as attachments and be in .jpg or .png format. 

Review Process

Each review submission will receive a review by the co-editors unless the length, style or content makes it inappropriate for publication. Typically, authors of review submissions should expect to hear feedback within six weeks. 

Publication of Reviews

The new ALAN Picks assumes that the review submissions have not been published previously, nor will they be published subsequently without permission of the editors. Reviews that are accepted may be edited for clarity, accuracy, readability and publication style. Reviews will appear online, typically within three months of acceptance for publication. The new ALAN Picks will publish monthly (depending on response) on the new ALAN Picks page of the ALAN organizations website.  Links, excerpts and teasers of the reviews will be shared in the newsletter and on ALAN’s social media platforms.

Richetta Coelho-Tooley

Editor of ALAN Picks

The NEW ALAN Picks Archives
Former ALAN Picks Archives