It is optimistic in terms of fiction and young adult fiction to propose a world in which there is healing, and in which healing exists, because complete or perfect healing doesn’t exist in the real world. But there is the idea of making room for new people.
Posts Tagged: YA Lit
The American Library Association’s Pura Belpré Awards just had its 20th anniversary this past weekend, celebrating two decades of outstanding Latino writers and illustrators who create books for Latino children and teens. The Monitor reported on the event, which featured dozens of prominent Latino authors and illustrators whose work has showcased and celebrated Latino culture, heritage, and experience with the hopes of instilling pride in young Latino readers....more
At NPR Education, Byrd Pinkerton looks at the emergence of children’s literacy and literature, starting with 17th century learning primers through to the late 20th century’s complex young adult literature, all of which have helped define the idea of “childhood” through the centuries....more
The YA novel The Face on The Milk Carton has marked a thrilling yet disturbing rite of passage for many young readers over the past 25 years, iconic right down to its simple, haunting cover—which many of those readers could easily conjure from memory....more
At the School Library Journal, Kelly Jensen examines gender norms and double standards in YA fiction, questioning which female protagonists we refer to as “strong”—and why do not refer to male voices as such:
When women take risks in their writing, when they choose to write female-driven narratives with take-no-bull girls who may not care at all whether you like them or not, they’re not seen as brave.
With the publication of several new young adult novels by teen authors, Julia Eccleshare wonders if age impacts a novelist’s ability to connect with younger readers. In addition, Eccleshare returns to the origins of the young adult genre, and investigates the influence of popular works by John Green, Judy Blume, and Beverly Cleary....more
Rainbow Boxes is a project by Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta, two YA writers who want to send a collection of LGBTQIA-themed books to one library and one LGBTQ homeless shelter or GSA in all 50 states:
The hope is that the project will do many things at once.
If you win, then you talk to the other winners, congratulating and praising them. If you lose, then you read through your submission, noting mistakes that weren’t there five minutes before, wondering where you went wrong,” she adds. “You tell yourself, ‘It doesn’t really matter.
At the Guardian, Sarah Hughes profiles young adult author Louise O’Neill, whose novels Only Ever Yours and Asking For It have received acclaim for embracing “dark themes” surrounding body image, sex, and social media:
When I wrote Only Ever Yours it was at a time when I was so sick and tired of feeling shame around my body and so weary of fighting the fact that women are seen as less in so many ways.
What do Yukio Mishima, Tana French, Shirley Jackson, and John Steinbeck have in common?
They’re the masterminds behind a couple of the most evil fictional youngsters of all time, according to a list compiled by British bookstore Abebooks. The list shuns contemporary malevolent characters in favor of the “utterly evil” children of yore, reasoning: “While Draco, Augustus, Violet and Veruca may be distasteful, they are actually quite mild-mannered compared to some of the horrible children literature has to offer.”...more
It’s hard to enjoy reading Pride and Prejudice for the umpteenth time when the stack of books on your bedside table keeps reminding you of all the cultural capital you have yet to consume. Flavorwire’s Sarah Seltzer wonders why we stop re-reading our favorite books as we get older:
I’ve come to understand that I’ll rarely experience that first rush of discovery again, and perhaps that’s the problem with re-reading.
Sex scenes in YA, the kind that (gulp) turn us on and make our cheeks flush and get our hearts racing, have never been more important than they are now. Stories that give protagonists flesh and bone and heart and all that goes with being in a body also give us a portrait of sexual intimacy born of desire, of need for one’s partner, of passionate love and want and its fulfillment, of playfulness and fun and joy.
Hit young adult novels may spread like wildfire, but they don’t grow on trees. The Times profiles Julie Strauss-Gabel, a YA editor known for whipping her writers into shape:
The last thing you want is an author saying, ‘That’s what’s selling right now, so that’s what I’m going to write.’ That’s the point at which a trend gets icky.
Even if we already know our identity, proper representation helps us accept that identity. It’s well-established that negative/no representation has awful effects on self-esteem. When we see no one like us—or when we’re only ever the troubled sibling, never the heroic kid —it sends a message.
That Guy in Your MFA is neither a guy nor a student in an MFA program. He’s actually a woman, Dana Schwartz, a Brown University undergraduate. Schwartz also runs the twitter Dystopian YA Novel that satirizes series like Divergent. She tells Chicago Reader that she invented the alter egos because her writing workshops had too many stories about guys on trains:
“They all had trains,” she says, “and a man leaving his family because he is too complicated and deep.
At Booth, Susan Lerner interviews Jonathan Franzen about a range of subjects including the influence of the YA novel, social media, and the different “forms of exploration” associated with essays and fiction. On the latter subject Franzen says:
I think fiction is the genre better suited to exploration.
Citizens of the multiverse rejoice: Philip Pullman has released another tale from the world of His Dark Materials, the fantasy trilogy for which fans have long awaited a fourth installment. Narrated by Bill Nighy and available only in audio format, the story features the familiar character Mrs....more
Good news! Early reports show that book sales are up 4.9 percent in 2014. Who can we thank for this Christmas miracle? Adults who read e-book versions of YA novels, that’s who. Sales are up by a dramatic 53 percent in YA/Children’s e-books, while sales in Adult Fiction/Nonfiction are down 3.3 percent—maybe because all the adults are reading The Hunger Games on their Kindles instead....more
We have to interrogate our basic assumption that writing skills possessed by educated white people are the best skills around…Humor, action, relatable language, and plotting are not lesser tools in a writer’s toolbox, but equally necessary ones.
YA author Kathleen Hale became obsessed over a negative Goodreads review of her first novel, to the point of finding the reviewer’s address and deciding to stalk her in real life. She wrote about the experience on the Guardian last week, and now BuzzFeed Books has collected the reactions to Hale’s story....more
For the New Yorker, Jon Michaud reveals how S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, a staple in middle school and high school classes, came to define the young adult genre:
“The Outsiders died on the vine being sold as a drugstore paperback,” Hinton told me, but her publisher “noticed that in one area it was selling very well.