The local NPR station, KUOW, was talking with famous librarian Nancy Pearl (of Book Lust and Book Crush fame) about books for children and teens. “Oh,” I thought on my morning drive, “I should call in! This is such a great topic!”
They asked for callers to recommend books. Well, I would love to recommend my own books, but I thought perhaps that might not go over so well, so I thought I’d start by just recommending urban fantasy for teens, such as Holly Black. I had such a well-thought out response in my head, how I could segue that into similar stuff like A Great and Terrible Beauty and by the way, look for Hallowmere this fall! 🙂 Well, I’m not terribly articulate over the phone on the radio–I did talk about how urban fantasy appeals to contemporary teens’ modern sensibilities or something like that–but Nancy Pearl had a lot of great things to say, and she talked about slipstream and the meshing of genres in YA and brought up Charles de Lint (I don’t hear people talk about The Blue Girl as often as I do Tithe, say, but it’s one of my favorites in that genre).
Anyway, I might not sound all that articulate as a caller, but you should listen to Nancy’s recommendations on the podcast. And now that I’m no longer on the phone on live radio, I have all these thoughts about how great it is in YA that genres can slip between each other, that historical fiction can mesh so nicely with fantasy in books like In the Serpent’s Coils and A Great and Terrible Beauty. Thoughts I don’t have the time to articulate now, because I should get back to work, but let’s just open up this thread for what you love about YA and children’s books, books you’d recommend, any books you thought the broadcast missed?
ETA: Oh, and Nancy makes a wonderful point about reluctant readers: how sometimes we unconsciously make reading a punishment–e.g., “you can’t go outside until you’ve read this book.” She goes on to talk about how instead reading should be portrayed as the exciting and interesting activity that it is. Very good program. Go listen!