Has anyone else noticed how frequently libraries and librarians are appearing in recent teen fiction? The Chosen One (Carol Lynch Williams) features a bookmobile as a catalyst for Kyra's questions of an escape from the world she lives in. Much of Lisa McMann's Wake takes place in the school library, where Janie tries to take brief naps between classes. Alexis, the protagonist of Katie Alender's Bad Girls Don't Die, uses the microfiche and special collections of her local library (with the rule-bending librarian’s assistance) to research methods of exorcising her sister.
There are plenty more--I've been noticing it more often lately, and that's my question. Is this something that I'm noticing more because I'm more aware of it, or is it popping up more often? Are libraries and librarians included because they’re organic to the plot (they don’t always feel that way), or are the authors sort of pandering to the library market, making a self-conscious nudge to the readers of "hey, use your library"?
And even if that last is what they're doing: does that matter? Is it enough that authors are, however obviously, normalizing the use of libraries—establishing that libraries and librarians can answer just about any question, from "is there a world outside my sheltered existence?" to "how do I help my demon-possessed sibling?"
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
So I am halfway through The Spectacular Now and enjoying it greatly. Witty first-person narration, realistic characters, real issues presented cleverly. However, I think it has a pretty un-Spectacular cover. How do others feel? In my opion, the graphics don't really relate to the story at all, and on their own don't do much to grab my attention or motivate me to pick it up. As an adult, I kind of appreciate the vague 1960s nostalgic feel it has, but I think a teen would totally miss that and again, it is set in the present so the images don't really jive for me. How has the story and its cover been received by your teens? I plan to pitch it hard to any likely parties, but would it circulate on its own?