When the champion of adult culture is portrayed, even by himself, as an old curmudgeon yelling at the kids to get off his lawn, it suggests that this adult culture is one of the unfortunate but necessary costs of coming into adulthood. We give up the pleasures of entertainment for the seriousness of art. I just don’t think that this is true. Christopher Beha on Henry James and the Great Young Adult Debate.
Black Girls Hunger for Heroes, Too: A Black Feminist Conversation on Fantasy Fiction for Teens.
What happens when two great black women fiction writers get together to talk about race in young adult literature? That's exactly what happens in the conversation below, where Zetta Elliott, a black feminist writer of poetry, plays, essays, novels, and stories for children, and award-winning Haitian-American speculative fiction writer Ibi Aanu Zoboi decided to discuss current young adult sci-fi.
"Reading Harriet the Spy today as an adult, I find a queer subtext throughout. Not only is Harriet the quintessential baby butch, but her best friends, Sport and Janie, run exactly contrary to gender stereotypes. Sport acts as the homemaker and nurturing caretaker of his novelist father, while Janie the scientist plans to blow up the world one day. It was as if Fitzhugh was telling us kids back in the sixties that you didn’t have to play by society’s rules, the first lesson a queer kid has to learn in order to be happy."
It's about a year since the storied Weird Tales magazine (previously) got a new editor and sacked its staff (previously), so WT elected to celebrate that milestone by publishing some text from actress, film director, sometime blogger and new author Victoria Foyt's debut Revealing Eden: Save the Pearls. Some people have a problem with its content and its video. [more inside]
Farewell Pushcart Queen: Jean Merrill has passed away from cancer. Many of her 30 books were young adult stories which followed underdogs in conflict with powerful interests. Her most well-known books were The Pushcart War, about a confrontation between New York pushcarts and the trucking industry, and The Toothpaste Millionaire, about a young African American entrepreneur who challenges big business. (previously) [more inside]
YOU CHOSE WRONG. A children's treasury of horrible "choose your own adventure" story endings.
Previously, WSJ asked if YA novels today are too dark- with abuse, violence and depravity. A YA writer took it literally and researched the color distribution and demographic of young adult novels.
"Perhaps in American cinema, women have typically been reduced to types like mom, girlfriend, or victim. But in the Y.A. books of our youth, they are far more complex, and more thoroughly drawn."
'The Atlantic Wire' kicks off its new YA For Grownups series with The Greatest Girl Characters of Young Adult Literature.
Presenting for your perusal: "The Conservative Teen", a new magazine designed to instill the right values in today's youth.
Patton Oswalt talks to NPR about his role in the Diablo Cody scripted Young Adult, which is already gaining him Oscar buzz.
Penguin announces a cover contest for John Green's An Abundance of Katherines. John Green, one half of the VlogBrothers (previously on metafilter), is also a Young Adult novelist. His upcoming book, The Fault in Our Stars, has topped pre-order lists since its title was announced in June of 2011, thanks in no small part to Green's promise to sign all pre-ordered copies of the book (150,000 total, as determined by his publisher). Since the upcoming novel's title release, fan-made covers have made the rounds on Tumblr, some for which Green has expressed admiration himself. As it turns out, Penguin went with a professionally-designed cover for TFiOS, but has also announced a contest to determine which fan-made cover it'll use for the next printing of Green's second novel, An Abundance of Katherines.
Read the latest Daniel Pinkwater novel before it's published. As he has done with his last three novels , children's author, NPR commentator and pet lover Daniel Pinkwater is serialising his latest novel, Bushman Lives. [more inside]
True love will get you laid for a couple of years and all of a sudden you're looking at someone and thinking, "What do I see in this person?"
Tamora Pierce is a writer of YA fantasy whose novels primarily feature female protagonists. Among other things, her novels explore privilege and prejudice within her fantastic cultures. In a recent interview for The Atlantic, she talks about why we need more girl heroes, the use of birth control for her teenage characters, and the myth of “sappy, sugary, true love”.
Last Monday, young adult author Jessica Verday announced that she'd pulled out Wicked Pretty Things, an anthology forthcoming with Running Press, after the anthology's editor asked her to change a romance between two teenage boys to a heterosexual pairing. The editor responded, "These teen anthologies I do are light on the sex and light on the language. I assumed they'd be light on alternative sexuality, as well. Turns out I was wrong!" [more inside]
Why are so many recent Young Adult novels set in nightmarish futuristic dystopias? Because they're just like high school. [more inside]
The Rosetta Project is an online collection of mostly children's books from the late 19th and early 20th centuries complete with illustrations (previously). [more inside]
The brain's plasticity has some neuroscientists worried about what the internet will do to reading - and to humanity. [more inside]
James Wallace Harris on Variable Star, Spider Robinson's posthumous collaboration with Robert A Heinlein, the elements that make up a Heinlein juvenile and what the equivalent might be today.
Hopefully this will put an end to the interminable AskMe questions: Adam Cadre has written a complete retrospective and review of William Sleator’s young adult science fiction.
Daniel Pinkwater's newest novel, "The Neddiad"—serialized weekly for your reading pleasure. (Previous Pinkwater Post)
The writing isn't the only great thing about Roald Dahl's books. There's also his fantastic illustrator, the perfectly-matched Quentin Blake. He's best known for illustrating such Dahl books as Matilda, The BFG, and The Witches. A comprehensive bibliography can be found here, his books in print can be ordered here, and, if you can afford it, buy some prints.
Daniel Pinkwater is a big, fat weirdo who writes really hilarious books for smart children and young adults. He can also be heard doing commentary on NPR. His most famous novels include The Hoboken Chicken Emergency, Fat Men From Space, Lizard Music, and Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars. Some of his books are being slowly republished in omnibus form. You can read an interview with him here, or peruse some obsessive links./