05 February 2010

Links to Look at

There are responses to Wednesday’s posting on whether we can assume kids choose books without regard to race in the comments, from Roger Sutton at Read Roger, and from Colleen Mondor at Chasing Ray responding. (See also her remarks additional to the article that got me thinking about that aspect of the topic.) Zetta Elliott has contributed to the discussion even as she gears up for the reissue of her novel for teens combining history and science fiction, A Wish After Midnight.

Elsewhere, I enjoyed Catherynne M. Valente’s remarks about the realities of self-publishing as a model for publishing in the future. They’re especially meaningful because she’s the author of an award-winning web-published novel, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland (which was picked up by a print publisher).

At the Spectacle, I admired Jo Whittemore’s analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of using a protagonist who’s an insider or an outsider in a fantasy world. Do you want a hero who has to learn about everything, so readers can follow along, or someone who’s already familiar with that world, so readers can plunge right in?

Finally, Dave Elzey at Fomagrams has started his series on what boys like in books:

But let’s be brutally honest for a moment: boys are a pain in the ass.

They’ll say they hate books and reading, and the next thing you know they’re driving books like Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series onto the bestsellers list.

They’ll ask for something exactly like what they just finished reading, a beginning reader series like the Time Warp Trio or Geronimo Stilton, and then quickly lose interest because they’ve discovered and become bored with the formula.

They’ll read a page of grade-level text aloud in a halting stammer, then read the sports section of the newspaper as smoothly as professional television announcers.
Do I recognize anyone in those descriptions? Well, I can still describe the exact architecture of any Encyclopedia Brown or Three Investigators title. And my brother taught himself to read in order to keep up with the Bruins scores.

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