For all the girls out there who are survivors. Who are still surviving. Who feel unheard. You are already strong and growing stronger. You can do this.
Happy Friday, guys! This week has mostly been me hacking and sneezing and coughing, and walking around the house telling Bodo the Dog, “Bodo, I’m sick. I’m so sick,” and getting barely any sympathy from him. (He just get confused about why I’m not running around the house with him, squeaky toy in hand.)
But fortunately it’s Friday, which means a weekend of taking it easy. It also means book reviews in fifteen words or fewer!
All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry
Not at all what I expected but in a good way. Berry’s writing is masterful.
Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin
Sensitive and touching portrayal of childhood cancer, family dynamics, new friends, and change. Love!
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
Also not what I expected but awesome–sad and literary, combining text and art beautifully.
Lots of links I’ve been saving:
- On Buffy the Vampire Slayer turning 20 and the Scooby Gang fanfic
- Changing your story’s core question to boost your writing.
- Or maybe try these other tricks to help you move forward when your story’s stuck.
- Quitting is the only thing that makes you a failure.
- I have major card catalog love.
- I also have major love for these reasons why adults read YA.
- These Velveteen Rabbit illustrations are so gorgeous and evocative.
- Beyond excited for this Little Women adaptation (yay Masterpiece!).
- If you’re querying, some interesting stats and helpful tips.
- Helpful advice for attending conferences while dealing with a chronic illness.
- The secret world of celebrity ghostwriters.
- Querying cheat sheet.
- YES MORE MISS FISHER!
- Supporting authors even when you can’t afford every new book you want to buy.
- Being a professional vs. being an amateur.
I’m getting myself back on the blogging train after a couple weeks of off-line activity (marathon, NESCBWI, life with a dog), so today feels like a great time to share this fantastic comic by Debbie Ridpath Ohi:
It’s really easy to focus on all the scary “what ifs” and “you can’ts” and so on, but for today, let’s focus on what we can do. And then do the same tomorrow.
(PS–Debbie regularly posts writing inspiration illustration, so make sure to check out the rest of her work.)
It’s one thing to read stats, and it’s another thing to see them. Based on information compiled by the the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC), David Huyck created the infographic below:
How sad is it to see actual kids with less representation than animals and inanimate objects? Publishing as a whole needs to provide diverse young readers with way more mirrors.
The good news is that David has made his infographic available for general use, so you can share this around your own blog/social media networks. Because the more we see and talk about problems like this, the harder it is to ignore.
A few of good links for today:
- The amazing Christa Desir on Other Broken Things, advice for writers, and books that don’t work.
- Making a living as a writer is so rare.
- Not so rare? Getting stabbed in Shakespeare.
- Get these awesome and diverse 2016 debut authors on your pre-order list.
- Great interview with Gene Luen Yang, our new National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.
- The hard truths about breaking into/staying in publishing.
- Creative epiphanies from successful people.
- Loved Conviction by Kelly Loy Gilbert.
- 90% of what I want to do on vacation is read.
- Awesome list of feminist heroes in (largely children’s/YA) fiction.
- As always, libraries are so, so necessary.
Emma Watson, aka Hermione Granger, aka magical bookworm, is starting her own feminist book club. She’s starting off with Gloria Steinem’s My Life on the Road, but it got me thinking about what books I’d include in a feminist book club.
For powerful and thoughtful YA novels about girls and family and their place in the world:
- Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina
- The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
- Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero
- Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed
- Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
- Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr
For YA novels about girls fighting back in many different ways:
- The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
- Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley
- Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
- All the Rage by Courtney Summers
- Far From You by Tess Sharpe
- Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
YA feminism isn’t limited to the real world:
- The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
- The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
- The Fire Wish by Amber Lough
- Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker
- Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
- Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
And graphic novels are perfect for a feminist book club:
- Bitch Planet, Vol 1: Extraordinary Machine by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Valentine De Landro, Taki Soma, Robert Wilson
- This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki
- Lumberjanes #1 by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke A. Allen
And some of your favorite elementary/middle school reads are perfect for feminist book club:
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
- Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
- Matilda by Roald Dahl
- Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
- Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman
- From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
This is obviously not a complete list, because there are so many awesome books featuring compelling female characters and dealing with feminism and what it means to be a woman.
Did I leave out a favorite? Shout out in the comments.
Happy Friday, everyone! I’m extra excited for this Friday, because it’s the start of ALA weekend here in Boston, which means I get to meet some of my favorite librarians and bloggers and writers in person. Book lovers unite!
In case you’re in town for the conference or a YA-loving local, don’t forget to come to tonight’s Real Teen Lives YA panel at Brookline Booksmith (7pm EST)! In the meantime, let’s kick off the weekend with a look at what I’ve been reading and writing in fifteen words or fewer.
Reading: Bitch Planet, Vol 1: Extraordinary Machine (Bitch Planet #1-5) by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Valentine De Landro, Taki Soma, Robert Wilson
Started off the year with some feminist sci-fi graphic novel goodness.
Writing: “I wonder if Ms. Simpson is somewhere now, walking with the living and reciting poetry.”
My latest short story (about poetry and the zombie apocalypse) is up at the Hanging Garden.
A few links to get you through the middle of the week:
- Possibly the greatest Google doodle ever. Green Gables forever!
- I would love to see this Gene Luen Yang art exhibit.
- On writing and running.
- And speaking of running, marathon advice for writing a novel.
- What’s your book nerd score?
- Teen magazines and capturing an era.
- Historical fiction and the stories of women.
- Some bookish podcasts for your listening pleasure.
- Sometimes you just don’t want to devote all that time to a series.
- What high school seniors are reading across the country.
- Poetry in YA fiction.
- And speaking of poetry, picture books require just as much focus and accuracy of language.
- Great post on writing interracial romances.
- How to make an e-reader stand out of a coat hanger and other hacks for your reading life.
- Is the book better than the movie?