photoMar 27, 2014 6:40 pm
photoMar 14, 2014 11:37 am
Teaching children about environmental issues is incrediblyimportant, but it can also be pretty darn difficult. When some folks from Tennessee realized there weren’t any good resources to educate kids about mountaintop-removal coal mining (which threatens the land and communities in the region), they decided to make their own.
photoMar 06, 2014 9:49 pm
Authors Nico Lang and Zach Stafford set out to collect a group of stories revealing the voices, stories, and lives of gay, queer, and trans men when they compiled (and contributed to) the anthology “Boys.” Little did they know the books would be pretty inspiring before the stories even started.
photoMar 04, 2014 1:33 pm
videoFeb 19, 2014 12:22 pm
quoteFeb 17, 2014 8:38 pm
The problem that needs to be fixed is not kick all the girls out of YA, it’s teach boys that stories featuring female protagonists or written by female authors also apply to them. Boys fall in love. Boys want to be important. Boys have hopes and fears and dreams and ambitions. What boys also have is a sexist society in which they are belittled for “liking girl stuff.” Male is neutral, female is specific.
I heard someone mention that Sarah Rees Brennan’s THE DEMON’S LEXICON would be great for boys, but they’d never read it with that cover. Friends, then the problem is NOT with the book. It’s with the society that’s raising that boy. It’s with the community who inculcated that boy with the idea that he can’t read a book with an attractive guy on the cover.
Here’s how we solve the OMG SO MANY GIRLS IN YA problem: quit treating women like secondary appendages. Quit treating women’s art like it’s a niche, novelty creation only for girls. Quit teaching boys to fear the feminine, quit insisting that it’s a hardship for men to have to relate to anything that doesn’t specifically cater to them.
Because if I can watch Raiders of the Lost Ark and want to grow up to be an archaeologist, there’s no reason at all that a boy shouldn’t be able to read THE DEMON’S LEXICON with its cover on. My friends, sexism doesn’t just hurt women, and our young men’s abysmal rate of attraction to literacy is the proof of it.
If you want to fix the male literary crisis, here’s your solution:
Become a feminist."
photoFeb 03, 2014 5:06 pm
quoteFeb 02, 2014 7:27 pm
I was asked in an interview once: You’re writing another book with a female lead? Aren’t you afraid you’re going to be pigeonholed? And I thought, I write a team superhero book, an uplifting solo hero book, I write a horror-western, and I write a ghost story. What am I gonna be pigeonholed as?
Has a man in the history of men ever been asked if he was going to be pigeonholed because he wrote two consecutive books with male leads? Half of the population is women. I lose my temper here. And it’s certainly not at you. It’s just this pervasive notion that “white male” is the default. And you have to justify any variation from it."
photoJan 03, 2014 1:44 pm
photosetNov 18, 2013 9:33 pm
Obit of the Day: Creator of “Junie B. Jones”
Junie B. Jones is called “the funniest kindergartner ever,” “irreverent,” “loud-mouthed,” and, even “inappropriate.” The school girl protagonist of thirty children’s chapter books was the creation of author Barbara Park. Mrs. Park, who modeled Junie after some of her own class clowning, would write 30 books about Junie B. between 1992 and 2013.
Mrs. Park, who originally planned on becoming a teacher until she stepped into a classroom, began writing books for children in the 1980s. She shopped her first manuscript, Operation Dump the Chump, to three different publishers until it was purchased by Alfred A. Knopf. Ironically, Dump the Chump would be Mrs. Park’s second book published by Knopf (1982), a year after she made her debut with Don’t Make Me Smile (1981). She would write 13 non-Junie B. Jones novels during her career.
But her beloved Junie B. Jones was her greatest legacy. By the time of Mrs. Park’s death the series had sold 55 million copies as young readers followed the school girl’s exploits. Originally set in kindergarten, Junie B. Jones was able to reach the first grade after eighteen years, a lengthy stay Mrs. Park acknowledged in her 2001 book Junie B. Jones, First Grader: At Last!
As popular as Junie B. Jones was with kids, her slang and attitude were deemed inappropriate by some adults. Between 2000 and 2009, the Junie B. Jones series was the 71st most challenged/banned book in the United States according to the American Library Association. (Number 72? Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison.)
Outside of books, Mrs. Park served as the CEO and co-founder of Sisters in Survival (SIS), a non-profit which provides money for ovarian cancer diagnosis and treatment to patients who could not otherwise afford it.
Mrs. Park died on November 15, 2013 at the age of 66 of complications from ovarian cancer.
(Images are all copyright of Random House, Barbara Park, and Denise Brunkus and courtesy of: top left, scholastic.com; top right, examiner.com; middle left, The Cotton Boll Conspiracy; middle right, juniebjones.com; bottom left, indiebound.com; bottom right, escobookstore.com)