Welcome to the first ever YALLWEST Read-a-thon!

We’re getting closer and closer to YALLWEST 2018 and we know anticipation grows with each passing day… readers “patiently” await the panel schedule, pile their backpacks and wagons and wheelbarrows with books to be signed, and reminisce about YALLWESTs past... 

To make the waiting a little less agonizing, our Teen Ambassador super-star, *Emma*, invites you all to get in the YA spirit and join her  in the YALLWEST Read-a-thon

In the four weeks preceding the festival, we’ll read and discuss two books a week by authors coming to the festival this year. You can read one or both, or if you've already read the book, you're still more than welcome to join in. Emma will provide discussion questions to kick off the conversation 

To add to the excitement, we’ll be giving out PRIZES to read-a-thon readers every week!

Let us know you’re participating by posting a photo of the book and/or your thoughts on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook with #YALLWESTReadAThon and @YALLWEST, or by submitting your responses to the discussion questions below. 


Here’s the schedule!

April 6-12

The Darkest Minds

Alexandra Bracken

Tiny Pretty Things

Sona Charaipotra and  Dhonielle Clayton

April 13-19


Veronica Roth

Everything, Everything

Nicola Yoon

April 20-26

The Education of Margot Sanchez

Lilliam Rivera

The Hate U Give

 Angie Thomas

April 27-May 3

American Panda

Gloria Chao

We Were Liars

E. Lockhart



Discussion questions ***WITH SPOILERS*** are below.






American Panda Discussion Questions

(submit your responses in the form at the bottom)

  1. At the beginning of the novel, Mei’s life plan is strongly defined by her parents. How do their high expectations affect Mei? How is she able to communicate to her parents that she wants to have a say in the course of her life? Why do you think that her parents feel such a strong need to have control over her actions?
  2. How does Mei participate within American culture while holding onto her Taiwanese roots? How do Mei and her family celebrate their Taiwanese background over the course of the novel?
  3. How do various stereotypes affect the characters in American Panda, and how do they confront them?
  4. How does Mei find the courage to make her own choices? Do you think it is her love for dance that pushes her to stand up for her passion? Do you think that her romance with Darren encourages her?

The Hate U Give Discussion Questions

(submit your responses in the form at the bottom)

  1. Cadence lives surrounded by wealth and excess. What are the ways in which materialism affects Cadence over the course of the book? How does the desire to accumulate material items motivate Cadence’s family members? Why do you think that both Cadence and her mother go through periods early in the novel where they give away their possessions? How does greed lead to the fire on Beechwood?
  2. Analyze the Liars’ relationships with one another. Do you think they treat each other well? Do you think that they are a good presence in Cadence’s life, or a destructive one?
  3. Cadence’s family is largely manipulative and dishonest with one another. What role do secrets play within the novel? What do the family members hide from one another, and how do these secrets affect the characters and the events that take place?
  4. The ending of “We Were Liars” is a shock to many readers. Could you see the twist earlier on, or were you surprised? How did the ending change your view of the book’s characters and narrative structure? What larger statement do you think that the author is trying to make through this ending?
Please indicate which book and question number(s) you are responding to.