Kate Hart is off doing some well-earned galavanting this week, so I'm taking the reins! Oh god I spelled that "reigns" the first time. Bear with me, friends.
THE BIG NEWS THIS WEEK
- The National Book Award Young People's Literature finalists were announced! They are: BROWN GIRL DREAMING by Jacqueline Woodson; NOGGIN by John Corey Whaley; THE PORT CHICAGO 50: DISASTER, MUTINY, AND THE FIGHT FOR CIVIL RIGHTS by Steve Sheinkin; REVOLUTION by Deborah Wiles; and THREATENED by Eliot Schrefer. They're all winners! Go forth and read 'em!
- John Grisham made some truly mind-boggling remarks to The Telegraph, suggesting the U.S. legal system should be easier on people who view child p0rn online. Anne Ursu wrote a pretty definitive response, asking what it means that someone who has of late started writing books for children believes that "sixteen-year-old girls who look thirty" are somehow less exploited than 10-year-old boys. "I do believe that when you profit off kids, you have a moral obligation to serve and honor those kids, and I know that this industry is full of people who care a great deal about that obligation," Ursu writes. "So, what happens now?" Grisham has apologized. But why even bother, when people fall over themselves to come to your defense in major U.S. newspapers and call the response a "piling on"?
The women at Teen Librarian Toolbox recount a time the police were (correctly) called on a patron searching for child p0rn on library computers, and note that the "accidental clicking" Grisham suggests a friend of his did is different from the engaged activity of downloading. "The ease at which Grisham suggests people accidentally stumble upon child pornography has not been evidenced in my 20 years as a YA librarian working in a library system with sometimes over more than 20 public computers used daily by 100s of people."
THIS WEEK IN READING
- American Indians in Children's Literature posted a handy guide to the best books by or about American Indians.
- Debut author Robin Talley writes about TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD for The Guardian, and how that book's message of empathy ties into the current movement to publish and read more diverse stories. In the same paper, Corinne Duyvis wrote about the rise in "incidental diversity" in kids' books: "When none of these elements are acknowledged in realistic fiction, I notice. When the absence of those elements is praised, I notice especially. And I wonder — perhaps uncharitably — are diverse characters only OK as long as they’re not too diverse?"
Malinda Lo also took down critics who critique books by saying diversity "isn't realistic."
- Brooklyn Magazine compiled a map of the best book for every state. We spy THE OUTSIDERS and ELEANOR AND PARK!
THIS WEEK IN WRITING
- Writing retreats don't have to be at four-star resorts by Lake Tahoe, author Kristi Holl reminds us. She challenges writers to think differently about retreats, and give themselves permission to take one. (Incidentally, YA Highway has a quiz to help you figure out what dream writing retreat is right for you. Daydreams don't hurt, right?)
-Stumped? Get inspired by BookRiot's list of the Top Ten TED Talks on Writing.
- Cat Winters, Morris Award finalist for her debut IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS, talks about her 20-year path to being published.
THIS WEEK IN PUBLISHING
- We Need Diverse Books announced a new grant and award program. The Walter Dean Myers Award, which will begin in 2015, will recognize published authors from diverse backgrounds who celebrate diversity in their writing and “[allow] children to see themselves reflected back” in those works. Grants will be awarded to up-and-coming, unpublished writers and illustrators who are creating diverse works and require financial support so that they can get published.
- CNN does a YA publishing trend look-ahead to 2015. In: Illness; diversity; mystery; horror; fantasy; bullying; New Adult.
- A book by an unidentified visual artist detailing the sexual abuse from his childhood has been put on hold after his ex-wife protested its release, in hopes of keeping their son from reading it. A UK court ruled that the question of whether the boy’s rights should take priority over those of his father should be decided at a full trial.
- Riot grrl goddess and Sonic Youth co-founder Kim Gordon's memoir, GIRL IN A BAND, has a 2015 release date!
- Ursula Le Guin's 90s letter declining - in badass fashion - to blurb a Brian Aldiss work because it is so "self-contentedly, exclusively male."
- NYTimes best-selling author Margaret Stohl is writing a Black Widow YA book as part of her deal with Marvel Comics!
THIS WEEK IN OTHER STUFF
- GamerGate continued to horrify this week, as developer Brianna Wu was forced out of her home to seek safety after an online stalker sent death threats to her and her family. Deadspin posted a thorough break-down of what GamerGate is, what they're doing (systematically threatening and harassing women who discuss misogyny in the video game industry). Video game vlogger Anita Sarkeesian - who has also been forced to flee her home and contact police because of Internet harassment and threats - had to cancel an appearance at Utah State University after the college received threats of a mass shooting and then refused to check attendees for concealed weapons. Most recently, the group apparently now plans to attack Brianna Wu's game, Revolution 60, by mounting a string of false anti-feminist complaints about it. In response, CommunityRED outlined nine ways to to doge trolls, "A Feminist's Guide To Digital Security." (via @katwithsword)
- Our own Kate Hart's new project - Badass Ladies You Should Know - prompted some great thoughts on what makes a lady "badass," and a list of pretty freaking awesome women. Follow the new Tumblr for future awesomeness!
- A 12-year-old Arizona girl called B.S. on DICK's Sporting Goods for sending her a basketball catalogue that featured zero women playing basketball in a letter that went viral. "It's hard enough for girls to break through in this sport as it is, without you guys excluding us from your catalogue."
- The seven Sayreville football player teens charged with hazing may be tried as adults.
- THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS will be adapted again -- but for TV this time.
- GayYA is looking for volunteers!
- Send YA Interrobang your favorite female authors for #WomenAuthorWednesday.
- Photographer María Fernanda, who was taken down by VICE commenters (ugh), gives advice to artists on how to deal with haters.
THIS WEEK IN THE RANDOM
- Drunk J Crew!