Friday, July 09, 2010

Recent insider/outsider discussion...

A new article in Horn Book Magazine is prompting some discussion of the insider/outsider debate. Titled Too Gay or Not Gay Enough, the article is by writer Ellen Wittlinger. Some of her books feature gay characters, which made them eligible for awards given by the Lambda Literary Foundation.

The foundation has now changed criteria for their award. Now, the books they consider and select for distinction must be written by a LGBT writer. As a result, Wittlinger's books are no longer eligible for the Lamba awards.

Regular readers of American Indians in Children's Literature know that I push books by Native writers. I think it matters to a Native child to be able to read a story written by a Native writer. Words have power. Who utters or pens those words also matters when the people the stories are about are ones whose identity has been, or is, under threat by mainstream society.

At his blog, Arthur A. Levine wrote about Wittlinger's article. Because it is a blog, there is conversation taking place in the comments. Because Levine is a major player in children's literature, I joined in the discussion. Scholastic has an imprint with his name on it. I think he was the individual who got J.K. Rowling to publish with Scholastic. Reading his "about" page I see that he was the editor for Rafe Martin's The Rough Face Girl.  In my post about Marcie Rendon's work, I noted, briefly, that Martin's book has problems....  I've not yet written up my notes and analysis of that book.

WHO SAID IT matters.

1 comment:

Beverly Slapin said...

Hi, Deb--

There's an excellent critical review by Paula Giese of THE ROUGH-FACE GIRL in A BROKEN FLUTE, pp. 334-335.

Take care,