Musings on children's and YA literature, the academy, and the relationship between them, from an English professor and mother.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

YA writers take on the issues

OK, I've been following the various Palin stories for a while now (and posting about them a little bit on the other blog), but today I read two great posts from YA writers that I just have to highlight. First, John Green talks about Sarah Palin's alleged history of attempting to ban books. Now, as you probably know, YA books get challenged an awful lot, and Green's Looking for Alaska is no exception. However, in his Alaska (a person, not a place, but anyway) no one gets pregnant. And the sex is so unsexy, I can't imagine anyone wanting to emulate it. Nonetheless folks get a bit queasy about it and try to ban it, which is --surprise!-- usually unconstitutional as well as counter-productive, since nothing says "Read Me" like a big "banned in your teen library" notice.

And then Maureen Johnson weighs in on Bristol Palin in the best possible way, by reminding us of the need for comprehensive sex education in schools. (She tells funny and sad stories while she's at it, so go read!) My daughter, who just graduated from high school, helped give a great presentation at her school last year about the same subject because they provided only the briefest sort of "Family Life Education"--uninformative at best, counter-productive at worst. So I'm with Johnson on this one.

OK, back to your regularly-scheduled programming. I think I have a couple of book reviews coming up, if I can just find my notes. And, um, the books. Getting on it, really.

ps to Sarah Beth Durst, who I hope will google her name and read this: I would really love you to take on The Black Bull of Norroway in your series on obscure fairy tales. I just taught it today and it is so mind-bogglingly weird, we barely skimmed the surface. A little bit Beauty & the Beast, a little bit East of the Sun and West of the Moon, and a whole lot of weird, with two burned-up women at the end. Ick.

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