Still thinking about going to see Avatar: The Last Airbender despite the terrible reviews? Gene Luen Yang tells you why that’s a bad idea, in handy cartoon form!
Brendan Halpin wants us to take another look at how we use those high school stock characters: who says the football player has to be a bad guy? Always good to be reminded not to fall into the easy traps of those stereotypical high school roles.
Really great post on white readers reading and responding to books by and about people of color. What they boil it down to: stay aware of the fact that you are white, and remember that every book concerns ethnicity – even if we don’t neccesarily think about it that way because whiteness is the default for so many people. (Hat tip to The Rejectionist)
After that last link, take a look at this essay on White Mind – it looks at how unconscious bias in white people’s perspectives, and applies it directly to children’s literature. (Hat tip to Neesha Meminger)
As long as Shannon Hale keeps being brilliant about books, I will keep linking to her. This time it’s about how the power in stories comes from their openness.
Adam Rex and Editorial Anynomous both crack me up. And here they are, together at last! After reading, go watch the booktrailers for Adam Rex’s excellent new book, Fat Vampire. If you want me to watch book trailers, make them like this.
Elizabeth Bluemle put together a LibraryThing library of books that feature characters of color but are not specifically about race. This is a great collection development tool – I’m using it as part of my goal to have my library’s collection more closely reflect the diversity of my community.
In the Horn Book, Ellen Wittlinger writes about the changes to the Lambda Literary Foundations’ book awards, and how she feels as a straight author who writes about queer characters and is no longer eligible for the award. I think this is a tough question – at least for me, there is not a right or a wrong answer here. I do think changing the award after it’s been done one way for so long is maybe not the best way to accomplish their goals – a new award specifically for LGBTQ authors sounds awesome, though.
Arthur A Levine is thinking about this same issue on his new blog, which leads him to some thoughts about making fiction more inclusive. (Edited to add: Wow, also go read the comments on this post. Some really well thought out discussion going on over there.)
Why are we making it so hard for our patrons to read ebooks? David Lee King is absolutely right here – DRM is an issue, but it’s not the only issue. Design and usability are important, guys. Let’s not ignore them.
SLJ’s latest editorial is about that tool of censors everywhere, Comon Sense Media’s book ratings. They do a nice job of outlining exactly why these ratings are less a useful tool for concerned parents and more a scary guide for folks who want to keep ideas out of the hands of children. Liz Burns’ response, in which she takes a look at their transparency and comes to a new decision about Common Sense Media, is also worth reading.
We’re Number 3! We’re Number 3! (The third largest library by collection volume, that is, according to this new ALA fact sheet. And #1 public!) Edited to add: Just took another look at this link, and they’ve added the branch library collections and bumped us up to #2!