Amy Pattee quoted in article

This fall I’ll be taking Amy Pattee’s course on Young Adult (YA) Literature. I’ve been working my way through the reading list already: Forever by Judy Blume (I somehow missed this when I was younger, though I did read Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret), Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan, Stitches by David Small (actually I read this in galley form before it was published – they were giving it away at BEA a couple years ago), and many others.

One of Amy’s articles was quoted in a piece back in July, “The case for raunchy teen lit.” Generally speaking, in the U.S., when parents or other adults get upset about or offended by a book and want to censor it, it is often because they (the books, not the adults) are “sexually explicit.” (Offensive language is next, followed by violence. See statistics on challenges on the ALA site.) In Europe, on the other hand, violent content is much more likely to raise opposition than is sexual content; one could extrapolate from this and say that Europeans are more comfortable with sex, and Americans are more accepting of violence.

Either way, the Salon article makes a good point; it’s much safer to explore these topics through literature than in person.

Top 100 Sci-Fi and Fantasy books (according to NPR poll)

A comment thread in the ALA group on LinkedIn alerted me to an article about an NPR poll’s Top 100 list of science fiction and fantasy books. Science fiction (or sci-fi, or SF) and fantasy are generally regarded as two quite distinct genres by people who read one or the other (or both); people who read neither tend not to distinguish as much. It was a little jarring to see them all mixed together – William Goldman’s The Princess Bride, at #11, is sandwiched between Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series – but it’s certainly a great list.