As you may have figured out, I have never written YA.
The material is well-organized (usually true of books in this series) and clearly presented. I especially appreciated all the examples. A lot of writing how-to books have examples that are lackluster, which always makes me wonder if the writer purporting to show you how to write knows what they're talking about, but here they were actively well-written.
The parts I found most interesting were not the general pointers on writing craft and technique but the ones that discussed how writing for young adults/middle grade readers is different from writing for an adult audience, everything from sentence structure (shorter sentences) to the nature of the protagonists (more self-centered and less reflective, to be in tune with the emerging maturity of the target audience). Also practical marketing considerations like being sure that you avoid doing anything hinky (e.g. sending marketing emails directly to minors, which is a no-no for obvious reasons).
Halverson refers to many examples from YA/MG, and includes excerpts from her own as well as brief spotlights from other YA/MG writers. I really liked this and found that I wanted to read a lot of the books mentioned! I regret so much that Party Girl Goes A.W.O.L. appears to be a made-up example for the purposes of illustrating how to write a cover letter, BECAUSE I WOULD TOTALLY READ THAT NOVEL. Former party girl sent to military prep school by her grandfather and leading a rebellion against the school authorities? Someone please write this!
I will own that I skimmed several sections as being not immediately relevant to me. For example, Halverson talks about finding an agent. This is useful stuff to know about, but I already have an agent, so I moved on because I am impatient and there are more boooooooks calling my name.
Thanks to the generous person who donated this book to the cause!