*From The Guardian, “Judy Blume: ‘I thought, this is America, we don’t ban books. But then we did.’” From the article:
“When I started, in the 70s, it was a good time for children’s book writers. Children’s reading was much freer than in the 80s, when censorship started; when we elected Ronald Reagan and the conservatives decided that they would decide not just what their children would read but what all children would read, it went crazy. My feeling in the beginning was wait, this is America: we don’t have censorship, we have, you know, freedom to read, freedom to write, freedom of the press, we don’t do this, we don’t ban books. But then they did.”
Blume’s theory is that children read over what they aren’t yet ready to understand. Sometimes, she says, “kids will actually go to Mom or Dad and say ‘What does this mean?’, which is the perfect time to talk to them about it. But that’s when sometimes parents get hysterical. Really. It’s like, ‘Argh, I don’t want to talk to you about this, let’s get rid of this book, I don’t ever want to talk to you about this, I don’t ever want you to go through puberty.’”
*Justine Larbalestier has a guest post on her blog from @
*I got a good laugh out of Carolyn Parkhurst’s “Eloise: An Update” in The New Yorker. Eloise at forty-six? Yes, please!
*At Bustle, “Lois Lowry’s Anastasia Krupnik is still wonderful today and here are 7 reasons why.” Anastasia is one of my all-time favorite literary characters. On my first day working at The Children’s Book Shop, Lois Lowry called to talk to the manager about something. I answered, asked who was calling before transferring the call, and then nearly had a heart attack.
*At Salon, “I’m sorry for coining the phrase Manic Pixie Dream Girl,” by Nathan Rabin. From it:
“As is often the case in conversations about gender, or race, or class, or sexuality, things get cloudy and murky really quickly. I coined the phrase to call out cultural sexism and to make it harder for male writers to posit reductive, condescending male fantasies of ideal women as realistic characters. But I looked on queasily as the phrase was increasingly accused of being sexist itself.”
*At Book Riot, Kelly Jensen has a great piece called “Libraries Are Not a ‘Netflix’ for Books.” This is another one I’d like to just quote in whole here, but I’ll just pull out this bit:
“When the library is made to be seen as a business, rather than the heart of a community or a fundamental service made possible through citizen-approved tax dollars, it makes the library expendable. That expendability then moves down the chain: staff salaries get cut, then staff withers, then more programs and projects that benefit the community — books and movies and CDs and magazines and newspapers and wifi and computer access and database subscriptions and programs for all shapes, colors, and sizes of people — disappear, too. It detracts from the unique aspects that make a library what it is: a place for all, rather than a place for some.
Libraries reach out where Netflix reaches in.”
*Food for thought at 100 Scope Notes: “All Middle Grade Novels Should be 192 Pages. No Exceptions.” Fabulous conversation happening in the comments.