Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


I remember (20 or more years ago, now) how dreary most of the YA-lit was at my local library. Lots of "problem novels," which to a relatively happy and secure young teen just seemed pointless and depressing.

I think I remember reading "Summer of my German Soldier" and some book on Robin Williams (this was before the whole drug mess) but that's the sum total of books I checked out (and enjoyed) from the YA section.

I was also somewhat shocked when I bought a used copy of "The Secret in Miranda's Closet" (a book about a girl with a mother who, because of some misguided ideas about what feminism is, won't allow her to have dolls. Miranda is given one and builds a whole world for her in the back of her closet) and found the word "chickensh*t" (spelled out though) used in it - I KNOW I read the book around age 8, and I KNOW I would have been shocked and horrified to find that word in there.

maybe I got a bowdlerized version, I don't know. I do know I'd've remembered it, seeing as it would have been my first introduction to an Anglo-Saxonism in print.

What am I trying to say? I don't know. Maybe YA lit has always had grittiness in it and it's just become more obvious lately.

By Blogger fillyjonk, at 11:20 AM  

My own "YA" reading consisted of Shakespeare, Alex Haley, Harper Lee and Irwin Shaw... I still swear that the reason Ken & I had a SECOND conversation was because in our FIRST conversation, when he said he liked reading, and I asked what his favorite book was, he didn't claim it was Catcher in the Rye,which is what all guys say when they're trying to impress a girl, because they had to read it in school, which makes it "brainy" and Holden curses, which makes it "bad"... I think it's crap.

But the books in the sections I should have been going to by library/bookstore standards when I was in middle school were those HORRID V.C. Andrews books - she wrote the same book fifteen times, and the plot ALWAYS consists of horrible abuse and hidden incest. Disgusting.

No, no, give me To Kill a Mockingbird, Rich Man; Poor Man, Roots, and Midsummer Nights Dream... I can still re-read all of those for the millionth time today and find something new and inspiring....

By Blogger Amie, at 11:52 AM  

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Wednesday, February 23, 2005  

Well durn, I just don’t feel inspired today. Not by stories about KAGOY (Kids are getting older, younger) and the collateral proof of this phenomenon hammered home by ALA’s recent award for excellence in young adult literature to Francesca Lia Block, who writes gritty stories about unwed teen mothers living in a world of rough sex and hard core drug use, compensating by tossing sparkle lace across the back of broken furniture. Uh, excuse me? Who is this young adult and just how old is she and is that what I want to offer 12 year olds in my collection and for god’s sake, why do we call teens "Young Adults" when we don’t even let these them sign contracts? Does self-esteem-speak really demand that a term once reserved for those who could be held accountable be offered pre-menstrual girls?

But neither can I slide into flitterglitterchitter about Europe’s fall offerings. Usually I can spew about clothing at the least provocation. Today I just feel flat, so I shan’t try. This slide show might be worth a peek, though. You decide.

I suppose it is because I have a knitting conundrum that is nagging at me. I’ve been speeding through the Brooks Farm Mohair Lace Cardigan - on the sleeve now, at the elbow, and I suddenly find an error. It’s one of those "devil or the deep blue sea" issues - at least, it offers two unpleasant paths to the solution: Ignore or Rip. This is lace. Admittedly, it’s eyelet lace, but holes nonetheless, and YO’s and K2togs, and geometry! I haven’t figured out how I made the mistake and until I do, I can’t move forward. I can’t pick either solution unless I know where I went wrong, because with lace you can compound a slight error into a major disaster if you don't know how it happened, and start repeating it. This halt before the Mohair-Wall-0-Math error in my knitting has me sort of distracted - and so - I shan’t try to write another thing, but instead, just go look hard at my knitting.


posted by Bess | 7:30 AM