Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Case of the Missing LibrariYAn

You might have noticed that I haven't posted since last Saturday, and there's two good reasons for that:

1. My computer died, and I just got a new one yesterday.
2. The "Parade of Awesome" has taken me to Chicago, where I'll be working with Teach For America for the summer. I've been working 14 hour days in preparation for the beginning of our institute, but those should be getting shorter soon.

Once I'm back in the swing of things, I have planned exciting posts on topics like:

BEA Recap Part 2: YA Editor's Buzz
What Do Middle Schoolers Read?
Review in Two: Liar by Justine Larbalestier

Until then, I invite you all to have strong negative reactions to this article in the WSJ. My two cents (echoing sentiments expressed by others who've blogged about it) is that the author clearly hasn't/doesn't really read YA fiction. If she did, she'd know that YA fiction has always - since the days of The Outsiders and The Chocolate War - delved into the deeper and darker side of things. She'd also know that Speak and If I Stay are about the need for human connection and The Hunger Games is about fighting the power. I also took personal offense at her suggestion that (in reference to Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why) librarians "want to keep the book off the shelves." I don't know how many librarians Ms. Roiphe knows, but all the ones I know enjoyed the book and recommend it to their teen patrons. So, unless she means that librarians want teens to check the book out from the library, thus keeping it "off the shelves," I'm not sure where she's coming from on that point.


  1. Not to mention the crazy spoilers at the end. How ridiculous!

  2. The spoilers are awful! They have just ruined a wintergirls scene for me and the book "Catcher in the Rye".

  3. "i invite you all to have strong negative reactions" -- hee hee. that made me laugh.

  4. The author of that article is being ridiculously ignorant to fairy tales....

    Just stating the obvious.

    Well, the author should note that the well-known books in her article are the ones that depict drama and tragedy, which are two great factors in whether a book is a bestseller or not. As you say, they are the deeper+darker sides. No one wants to read a book where everything's in Happy Land--because it's dull.

    I would also say that those Clique books aren't getting usage of now because the public has Gossip Girl in the form of the more preferred version of entertainment--TV.

  5. Those spoilers in the end are what made the article the most insufferable for me. All while reading it, I was thinking, "Oh, wow, 'If I Stay' sounds like a great book, I wonder what she chooses." Well, she completely ruined it for me.