Showing posts from January, 2011

sex, fictional and factual

First, a little context:  I've been asked to guest lecture in a class on sex in the media, and at the same time I've been asked to write an article on how LIS should envision young adults.  So I've chosen to focus on controversies and censorship of factual sexual health books for young adults, hopefully to bring the two together.  I may even be able to write about talking to this class of freshman in the article.  Some background on the central book I'll be looking at is here . Though nonfiction is the focus, I also opted to delve into a little YA fiction on the topic, thanks to the help of the always wonderful CCB GAs, A. and L.  Thanks you two!  This is the first of that pile that I'm reading.  Since the presentation and article are going to focus on books that support comprehensive sex education for young people, this may also be the last of the pile.  We'll see.  The Making of Dr. Truelove by Derrick Barnes I've read a lot of YA fiction, and this


What a great title for an article in this year's Book History about the extreme differences between British and U.S. versions of Charlotte Yonge's works in the late 19th century.  The whole title is: "Re-Authorship:  Authoring, Editing, and Coauthoring the Transatlantic Publications of Charlotte M. Yonge's Aunt Charlotte's Stories of Bible History " by Leslee Thorne-Murphy, Book History 13 (2010) The whole argument that Thorne-Murphy (T-M) makes is fascinating, showing that Yonge was produced as an author, to some degree constructed and re-written as a character in her own books. Two particular aspects of this very well-written article fascinate me. First, T-M examines the British/U.S. publishing divide at a cultural level by examining the differences in how the author is figured in these very variant editions of the same work.  That's interesting in and of itself, but it's especially useful to me as one of the comments on my book chapter on ev

just jake

I can blog about Jake because it's no longer up for award consideration for the Gryphon Award , though a fair smattering of my reading at the moment is geared toward the needs and ideas of that committee.  Like reading for reviewing, reading for awards committees is an art in and of itself.  I have to balance my critic with my reader.  This means leaving room for the contradictions of both keeping an eagle eye out for flaws at narrative, cultural representation, or other levels while also trying to just drop into the absorption of a good narrative.  It's like reading for class used to be, back before I finished all the degrees I'm doing.     Jake by Audrey Couloumbis Jake is ten and it's almost Christmas when his mother slips on the ice in the grocery store parking lot.  After that, a lot of things change quickly.  His mom is unconscious and has a twisted leg fracture, so Jake has to stay with their neighbor.  Even stranger, his grandfather comes to town, and Jak

poet/photographer and a dead librarian

Christmas was good to me in terms of books.  I got Patti Smith's memoir Just Kids about her long connection with Robert Mapplethorpe from Ben and a signed copy of Here Lies the Librarian by Richard Peck as a gift from my lovely student Genevieve along with a pile of other books that may soon be chronicled here.  Here Lies the Librarian by Richard Peck He won the Newbery for A Year Down Yonder, and I am particularly partial to A Long Way from Chicago , so it's nice to see him follow up with more young adult historical fiction.  This one begins with a wild Indiana tornado in a small town that disturbs a graveyard, uprooting, among others, the recently deceased librarian.  Peewee sees the wreckage, and then gets back to doing what she does best, which is helping her brother fix cars at their little garage.  When an Indianapolis paper slams their rural borough for closing the library when the librarian died, the town elders open up a search out of pure consternation.  When four