We're All Reading Children's Books

This Telegraph article speaks to the new phenomenon of large numbers of adults reading children’s and young adult books. They offer up two theories of why adults are doing this. First is the sad theory that it is “further proof of an intellectually degraded culture in which magical quest literature is teh new rock’n’roll.” Yikes! But the second theory hits closer to the truth, “that some adults are rejecting the arid pastures of clever-clever, look-at-me contemporary adult fiction”.
I have read books for children and teens for years. I enjoy the clean writing style, the unpretentious language, and the strong narrative line. I enjoy their subject matter more too, where I don’t have to worry about graphic murders and explicit sexual scenes dominating the book. I also find more treasures, more books that will stay with me for years, more worthwhile reading than when I read bestsellers aimed at adults.
But frankly, I don’t know any other adult who reads the books I do. They still don’t know what their missing, and I suppose they would say the same to me. As I tell patrons who complain of a specific book, that’s why the library has to have so many. So everyone can find the book that is right for them and there can be room for those that are right for others.

The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler (0-7636-1958-2)
This is a humor-filled and emotion-filled book about Virginia, a teenage girl who is plus sized in a family of people who look perfect. She worships her older brother until he commits a crime. The way that her family reacts to his actions forces Virginia to see their apparent perfection for what it is. She begins to understand that body weight does not define us.
Mackler perfectly captures the angst of large teens, the self-hatred that they feel, and the finally the joy of realizing that their size does not define who they are. Girls of all sizes will enjoy the book and understand Virginia.

Dark Horse

Dark Horse Libraries
Dark Horse Comics has this new website specifically for librarians. The site requires sign-up to use it.
Via Library Planet.

Sheroes Central

Sheroes Central
I had never heard the term “shero” before, but this site makes the definition clear, a female hero. There are discussion forums available on the site and the focus is not only on sheroes in books, but also in other media forms and real life.

Teen Fiction

Teen Fiction: sex, drugs and more sex
A rather inflammatory article on the fact that teen fiction has “racy subject matter.” The article pulls out Anne of Green Gables and Nancy Drew as examples of older teen fiction, which I completely disagree with. Those are children’s books not teen novels. When I was a teen, Judy Blume’s Forever was the one being passed around the school. Racy? You betcha! Must have scarred me for life too, since I think that teen novels need a little danger, angst and racy subject matter.

Suse MacDonald

Suse MacDonald
A bright and energetic site for this illustrator and author of children’s picture books.