Feb. 3rd, 2009

viedma: I will rule the world! Emperor Cupcake! (Stop Splaying)
I'm one of ones who's jazzed that Neil Gaiman won a Newbery for The Graveyard Book and I haven't even read the darned thing yet. If I had my way he'd do nothing but write YA books like Coraline just to make me happy, but you know how that goes. I've always liked that Gaiman is outspoken on the rights of comic book artists, and libraries, and free expression, and all that jazz, and that he'd keep doing it if he never won a thing in his life. He just strikes me as that kind of person.

Anyway, this commentary on Gaiman and the Newbery made me think about the unconscious signals we send to kids. If we roll our eyes or sigh or act like a book is something to be endured, then we send the message that that book isn't valuable. Maybe we don't think that book is valuable, but it doesn't always have to be a choice between what's popular and what's good. Maybe a Newbery award winner can be a good book once in a while, even if it isn't "entertaining"? I know a lot of kids (hell, I *was* that kid) who love to read dark, depressing problem novels because it may either relate to their own lives and or makes them feel less alone, or may think this is how "real life" works. Whatever. There are so many reasons we all seek out books.

I once went to a library conference where a librarian stood up and talked about a list of books that were interesting to her, but probably weren't appropriate for children because of sex, violence, language, etc. All around me, heads were nodding in agreement. I thought I was on a different planet. None of these librarians read outside their reading level or sought out books with "adult" themes? You run into more librarians than not who'll look for reasons not to recommend a book to a kid. Sometimes they're too titillating; now they're too boring. Hrm.


viedma: I will rule the world! Emperor Cupcake! (Default)
Bill Rebane, Moviemaker and Feminist

April 2010

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