New children’s lit blogs

A couple, actually, one I just found out about today, and one that I found out about a while ago that I forgot to link way back when. And I still owe you guys a complete links list, but then, I owe myself one too. Instead, you get a couple new blogs and one that’s a little older but not by much.

I’ve created an LJ feed for both blogs.

Readathon is the creation of Mrs. K, a teacher who I met online at a feminist Mormon blog I like to read (speaking of yet another meme going around that I haven’t joined in on yet, the one about non-children’s lit blogs you read). It’s a great practical viewpoint, from someone who is in the classroom every day using children’s books to connect to middle schoolers (is it 6th graders? I’m afraid it’s slipped my mind).

She’s got a great series going on girls in literature you should know, along with just a lot of good booktalk. So you should check it out and welcome her to the childlit blogosphere. Here’s the feed:


Deliciously Clean Reads was recently started by

 , who I just “met” today on LJ but who happened to be in the same child and human development program with me at BYU, but graduated a couple years later. I’m sure we must have had a couple classes together at some point, because I was a transfer student and was taking intro classes at the same time I was taking upper level classes. But then, I graduated with 5000 other people in the colle
ge, so you never know. Large program.

At any rate,  the blog was begun as a positive review site for parents and others to discuss books that meet whimsy’s definition of a clean read, which she clearly delineates. Unlike a lot of sites out there telling people books to avoid, this site shows people books that the participating reviewers are excited about reading.

I like this not only on a personal level–I too like a good clean read as a rreader, though I make exceptions for particular content when it’s in service to the story–but I like it also on a professional level, because Mirrorstone dedicates itself to what you might call a PG-13 rating. We do this not out of focusing on what we exclude–we just like sharing really great stories, full of adventure.

Now, I think it’s still possible to address really tough issues in a “clean” read, even for a teen crowd. But opinions differ on how that can be done and whether it can be done. Certainly I think Feed couldn’t have been written in any other way, language and all. That was the whole point of the story, after all.

I once had a conversation with a couple of YA authors who asked how we handle this issue, and I had to answer honestly: I think usually my position is possible, even with some of the darkest subjects, but sometimes it’s not, and you have to take those individual cases as they come. So I’m just speaking in generalities here. And I don’t think that Holly Black or M.T. Anderson are adding language gratuitously. (Tangentially, I agree with Liz–link below–who noted that perhaps “clean” isn’t the word we should be using for books that don’t contain sex, because it’s not so much that the other books are “dirty” per se, at least collectively. But it is an easily recognized terminology.) Complicated issue, that, which involves a lot more discussion than I have room for in this post. Speaking of feeds…


And speaking of further discussion, that’s exactly what they’re doing over at YA Authors Cafe today–having an open discussion of how readers feel about sexual content in YA books. I didn’t think there was an LJ feed for YA Authors Cafe, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover I was wrong:


(All of this particular discovery came about because I discovered A Chair, A Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy. Who also posted an answer on her own blog to the sex in YA issue. Her feed:

–that’s teacozy backward, by the way.)

That’s enough for one night. Lots of fodder for discussion and thought out there.