Where Are the Brown Girls in Teen/YA Books?

I went to the 2014 National Book Festival with two of my daughters.  Elle, a high schooler, is the voracious reader of the family.  Often times, before any of the rest of us can finish reading – or even begin to read – a book that we’ve checked out of the library or bought at the bookstore, she has “borrowed” and finished the book, then handed it back with a quick review.  No book is safe in her arm’s reach (and she has long arms.)  Nat came along, too; still in elementary school, she reads when and if she feels like it. ...more
The folks at We Need Diverse Books are great at keeping tabs on all the new diverse releases in ... more

Writing Erotica is Hot... Unless You Are a Teacher

Carol Ann Eastman is a high school teacher in North Canton, Ohio. Like many people I know, she also dreamed of writing a novel and being published. She took her publishing dreams into her own hands and self-published a novel using the pen name Deena Bright. Her book and her career have now come under scrutiny because she didn't write just any novel....more
My mom taught in a public school for many years and one of the clauses in their contracts was ... more

Do You Allow Anonymous Comments on Your Blog?

There are plenty of good reasons why someone would need to leave a comment anonymously, but I Still Hate Pickles outlines all the times you should think twice before posting that comment anonymously, especially if your point is to mock or condemn someone. As she points out, there are very real people on the receiving end of that comment. ...more
I allow anonymous comments, and up until recently, it's not been a problem. We're a book blog ... more

Are You Really Reading YA?

A Field Guide to YA Book IdentificationAround the ol' interwebs, there seems to be some confusion about what "YA" is and what books fit into this category.To quickly clarify, it does not stand for "Young Age" nor does it stand for "Yeah, Anything." It stands for "Young Adult," meaning -- loosely -- "teen." It is a book category (not a genre, which is another one of my linguistic bugaboos) with an teenage audience in mind. It is not a reading level. ...more
 @jeszimsmi I do think it has something to do with the growth in YA's popularity--people hear ... more

Are You Really Reading YA?

A Field Guide to YA Book IdentificationAround the ol' interwebs, there seems to be some confusion about what "YA" is and what books fit into this category.To quickly clarify, it does not stand for "Young Age" nor does it stand for "Yeah, Anything." It stands for "Young Adult," meaning -- loosely -- "teen." It is a book category (not a genre, which is another one of my linguistic bugaboos) with an teenage audience in mind. It is not a reading level. ...more
 @beyondelsewhere The books with teen characters that don't have any of the normal themes of YA ... more

7 Reasons Why I Love My Book Club

 One glorious Wednesday night a month, I get to go to Book Club. To say that I look forward to this night is a gross understatement. We rotate through houses, the 10 of us each anxiously awaiting the month that's ours. We talk and laugh and sometimes cry. Oh, and we discuss a book we've all collectively read...most of the time; that is, most of the time we talk about it and most of the time we've all read it....more
There's not much more that I look forward to more than book club meetings too. I'm a book club ... more

No Other Option: Code Name Verity

Code Name Verity isn’t really about WWII. It’s about women who do what they love and what they are good at, not for the war effort, but because they can and they want to. It’s about friendship, comradery, and true bravery. Not the kind of bravery where you think ‘I’m going to do this because it’s the right thing do do’ or ‘it will save so many people’ or ‘I will sacrifice myself’, but the kind of bravery where you don’t even think because in your mind there is no other option. ...more
I just started it (I got an early review copy) and it's very interesting so far--there's a lot ... more

Stop Telling Me What to Read!

Why the HELL do we even care what people do or do not read?" Seriously. Why is this important to so many people? It seems that at least once a month, there's some new article (50 percent of which feature Jonathan Franzen bloviating about his supposed superiority) asserting that we should read X, that we should not read Y and that "serious readers*" would most definitely should not read Z. ...more
 @drannmaria Stick Dog Wants a Hamburger sounds fabulous! Civilization needs more of that! :) more

Stop Telling Me What to Read!

Why the HELL do we even care what people do or do not read?" Seriously. Why is this important to so many people? It seems that at least once a month, there's some new article (50 percent of which feature Jonathan Franzen bloviating about his supposed superiority) asserting that we should read X, that we should not read Y and that "serious readers*" would most definitely should not read Z. ...more
 @KattyAtLaw Awwwwww... thank you! :) more

Stop Telling Me What to Read!

Why the HELL do we even care what people do or do not read?" Seriously. Why is this important to so many people? It seems that at least once a month, there's some new article (50 percent of which feature Jonathan Franzen bloviating about his supposed superiority) asserting that we should read X, that we should not read Y and that "serious readers*" would most definitely should not read Z. ...more
 @Tina Ann Forkner Thank you! :) more