Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dear John Green: About "Columbus brought smallpox to the Natives"

Editor's note: Please read the comments. The discussion taking place there is definitely worth some thought. And please submit your own comments, too. --Debbie

Dear John Green,

Like most of the people in the land of children's and young adult literature, I took time this morning to watch the trailer for the film based on your much acclaimed book, The Fault In Our Stars. I liked the characters and decided I best read the book.

I got The Fault In Our Stars (published in 2012 by Dutton Books) in ebook a few weeks ago. I settled on my couch and started reading. It was going along ok until chapter three when Hazel's mom wakes her up and gleefully announces that it is March 29th. She goes on to say Of her mom's "celebration maximization" Hazel thinks (the text is in all caps in the book):*
I stopped reading. I'm no longer with you as you tell this story. Now I'm just doing a "WTF does he mean by including that as part of a celebration?!"

I'm wondering if anyone else noticed that line? Rather, has anyone else objected to that line? I'm finding it a lot on the Internet, as something quotable. I don't get it.

Debbie Reese

*Update: an hour and a half after posting my "Dear John Green" letter

A reader on YALSA's listserv pointed out that the passage I excerpted above is what Hazel is thinking. I made the correction (hence the strike though text above).

As Wendy noted in a comment (below), it is sarcasm. Obviously, it didn't work for me. That subject (smallpox) is just too loaded for me.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Gansworth's IF I EVER GET OUT OF HERE on 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults list

Just heard that the days-long discussions of the YALSA's Best Fiction for Young Adults committee are over, and... the committee has voted on the 2014 list.

Eric Gansworth's If I Ever Get Out of Here is on the list! Congratulations, Eric!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

2014 Recipients of American Indian Library Association's Youth Literature Award

Just after 2:00 Eastern Time on January 26 2014, the American Indian Library Association announced the recipients of their 2014 Youth Literature Award.

Picture Book Winner: 
Caribou Song by Tomson Highway
illustrated by John Rombough
published by Fifth House. 

Middle School Winner: 
How I Became A Ghost by Tim Tingle, 
published by RoadRunner Press.

Middle School Honor:
Danny Blackgoat: Navajo Prisoner by Tim Tingle, 
published by 7th Generation.

Young Adult Winner:
Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac
published by Tu Books
Update on Sep 30 2023: I (Debbie Reese) no longer recommend Bruchac's work. For details see Is Joseph Bruchac truly Abenaki?

Young Adult Honor:
If I Ever Get Out Of Here by Eric Gansworth 
published by Scholastic

AICL offers congratulations to each author! I encourage librarians across the country to order them. The award is given every two years. To see previous winners and criteria, see American Indian Youth Literature Award.