Ravenna Koenig

Winter in Fairbanks, Alaska can be brutal. Daylight dips below 4 hours, and temperatures regularly fall past -30F.

So spring, when it finally shows up, is a big deal. People can reel off a long list of the things that signal the season is underway.

One of them is a 93-year-old man in a custard-yellow truck.

Glenn Hackney has lived in Alaska since 1948. And every spring, he's irked by the same sight: trash that has piled up over the winter, and is slowly being uncovered by the melting snow.

Canadian singer-songwriter Simone Schmidt, who performs under the name Fiver, undertook an ambitious project with her latest album. Audible Songs From Rockwood is Schmidt's way of telling the stories of real people committed to Rockwood Asylum, a 19th-century institution near what's now Kingston, Ontario.

With less than a month to go before Election Day, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are focused on locking up key battleground states. One of them is North Carolina, a state that Barack Obama turned blue in 2008, but lost in 2012.

It's a pivotal moment in any young person's life — that point at which you turn from the home you've known all your life, breathe in deeply and leap into the vast unknown of the world beyond.

It's a moment that young adult authors know well, and not just because they write for these young readers. They've experienced it themselves, and they've come out the other side, pen in hand.