|New York Times Bestseller Ellen Hopkins signs a book for UDHS junior Emily Miller|
After hosting Tina Fey and Anderson Cooper in recent months, Upper Darby High School added young adult author Ellen Hopkins to its list of celebrity sightings.The New York Times Bestselling author spoke to about 40 students in the school’s library Monday afternoon about the writing process, future projects and her career.
“(Young adult) is where I belong as a writer,” said Hopkins, who has written, non-fiction children’s books, adult fiction and poetry as well.
Hopkins has been the source of controversy with her signature one-word titled books, including “Crank” and Burned”, with the former being banned in some schools because of its frank depiction of drug use and sexuality among teenagers. The same novel has also been required reading for schools for the same reasons.
She said of the controversial nature of her books, which have tackled teenage suicide, prostitution and rape, that these are problems that parents don’t want to know “exist.”
“I’m a staunch defender of your right to read,” she said, encouraging teenagers and parents to read provocative books together to have a discussion about the issues books address.
Hopkins later signed copies of her books for students who are big fans of her work, including junior Emily Miller, who said the author’s “ballsy” style has influenced her.
“It’s dark and twisted, but hopeful. I like stuff like that,” Miller said.
Miller said she’s currently writing a novel about an abnormal household life and poverty, while also incorporating poetry into it.
“(Writing) doesn’t have to be happy and nice all the time” she said.
Hopkins is currently on a book tour for her recently released novel, “Rumble”.